...towards a better life for the people VOL. 25: NO. 61855
ONLINE | www.vanguardngr.com
MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013
MEND claims killing of 15 policemen in Bayelsa •P.11
No action on UTME, NECO •P.41 yet —FG
We 're yet to decide on amnesty— BOKO HARAM •Faction rejects FG's offer •Embrace peace initiative — Atiku
BY NDAHI MARAMA, with agency report
AIDUGURI— ISLAMIC sect, Boko Haram has said that the Shura Council, the highest decisionmaking organ of the sect led by Imam Abubakar Ibn Shekau, which has Continues on page 5
DELE SOBOWALE •P.33
LES LEBA •P.40
OCHEREOME NNANNA •P. 48
Mr & Mrs
CONDOLENCE—Mother of late Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Adetutu Famuagun; flanked by Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Right); and his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, during a condolence visit to the Famuaguns over the demise of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.
Where's my daughter, late •P.10 Olayinka's mum asks Gov Fayemi C M Y K
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S-EAST STAKEHOLDERS—From Left: Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, Sen. Ben Obi, Governors' Theodore Orji of Abia; Martin Elechi of Ebonyi; Peter Obi of Anambra; Sullivan Chime of Enugu; Monsignor Obiora Ike and Sen. Uche Chukwumerije, during South-East Stakeholders Meeting in Enugu, yesterday. Photo: Hill Ezeugwu.
We 're yet to decide on amnesty — Boko Haram Continues from page 1 the power to decide whether the sect will accept the offer of amnesty being planned by the Federal Government is yet to take a decision on the offer even as another faction of the sect has publicly rejected the amnesty saying the group did not ask for it. The Federal Government last week set up a committee to
look at the feasibility or otherwise of granting amnesty to the sect members in a bid to put an end to the spate of violence in the North. Spokesman of a faction of the sect, Abu Dardam, however, spoke on the Hausa service of the BBC that the group was rejecting the offer of amnesty by the government. The group also said that it will not accept the amnesty
BY PASTOR ITUAH
Today you’ll move past a whole range of different feelings. Let them come, let them go, and find real value in every one.
TAKE HEART BY ELLA RANDLE
the day will come where the validity P of one’s spirituality will be judged not by the correctness of one’s theology but by the authenERHAPS
ticity of one’s spiritual life. When that day comes, authentically spiritual persons may find that they have more in common with each other than they do with those in their respective religions who have failed to develop their spirituality —David N Elkins
Albert Einstein perception on everyday spirituality is uplifting to emulate. He says, a human being is a part of the whole we call universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Remember this too, the affection that you’ve shared with another person or any of God’s creatures, can never be broken. Love is an everlasting energy and it is a sacred lasting gift from Divine Spirit. So give thanks that your heart is open to see the beauty of God in everyone and everything, for we are all God’s children.
which the Governor Alhaji Kashim Shettima promised to offer them. Abu Dardam stated that the group was rejecting the amnesty because they don’t recognize democracy as a form of government and that the group does not agree with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, arguing that justice can only be found in the Holy Quran, that is Shariya system of government.
Borno Govt appeals for peace Borno State Commissioner of Home Affairs Information and Culture Mr. Hyeladi Inuwa Bwala, in his reaction appealed to the group to see reason and embrace dialogue with a view to restoring lasting peace in Borno State. He noted that most wars and crisis in the world were settled mostly through dialogue, and therefore called on the group to see wisdom in the amnesty offer and come to a round table for dialogue. Imam Abubakar Ibn Shekau-led Boko Haram, however, said only its highest decision-making organ, Shura Council has the power to take a decision whether or not to accept the amnesty. A credible source close to the sect explained that the Shura Council is Boko Haram’s apex council
and highest decisionmaking organ of the sect while all cells of the organization are represented in the council. The source explained that everything about the proposed amnesty would be deliberated upon and thereafter subjected to the group’s Islamic theology and jurisprudence According to the source, “Shura Council may surprise Nigerians, because they may agree and may not agree. It depends on their understanding and Islamic theology and the jurisprudence they are following. They are above what people think about them, they are highly ideological and hold their beliefs high. They are committed Mujahideens and highly committed to their cause. I know this rather well.” The source disclosed that the Shura Council would act according to the tenets of their faith.
Gunmen attack church in Maiduguri Meanwhile, some gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect yesterday attacked the Ekliziyar Yan’uwa a Nigeriya (Church of Brethren), also known as EYN in Bulumkutu ward of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital injuring
one policeman even as another set of gunmen abducted a former chairman of Abadam local council of Borno state, Alhaji Mustapha Gadobe,, weekend and demanded N50 million ransom from the state government or he will be killed. Vanguard gathered that the gunmen who attacked the church came in a Keke Napep (tricycle) at about 11:02am when the service was going on opening fire on the JTF troops deployed to the church to protect lives of and property. JTF troops however repelled the attack and in the process a policeman was injured on his leg. According to an eye witness, “the gunmen numbering about five came on a tricycle and started shooting at the JTF security personnel attached to the church, but the JTF responded swiftly." When contacted on phone for confirmation, the JTF Spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa confirmed the incident. He said at about 11am, some Boko Haram suspects attempted to attack the JTF location at the EYN church in Bulumkutu ward of Maiduguri Metropolis, but were repelled, pointing out that one policeman sustained gunshot injury on his leg. The problem was treated and immediately discharged from the hospital. The abducted former council boss, Gadobe was said to have been kidnapped near a Maiduguri suburb, Wadiya by the gunmen who hurriedly bundled him into his Toyota FJ Cruiser and drove off to unknown destination. V a n g u a r d authoritatively gathered that a serving member of Borno state house of Assembly was currently handling the negotiation between the kidnappers and Borno state government.
A top political appointee informed our Correspondent in confidence that the abductors threatened to kill their hostage when the said mediator offered a N3 million cash payment as against the N50 million earlier demanded. ‘We learnt that the family members of the former council chairman and the mediator had on Saturday offered to pay N3 million an offer that was said to have angered the kidnappers who vowed to kill Gadobe should such ridiculous amount be mentioned again’, said the source. It was further learnt that another offer of N10 million was yesterday advanced to the abductors which was still turned down. A top official of the DSS confirmed the abduction to Vanguard on phone but declined giving details of steps being taken to rescue the kidnapped politician.
Embrace peace initiative —Atiku tells militia groups In a related development former Vice President Atiku Abubakar urged members of the Boko Haram sect to embrace taking advantage of the constitution of an Amnesty Committee on the insurgency by President Goodluck Jonathan. Reacting to the weekend attack on the private residence of the Adamawa State Deputy Governor, Bala James Ngillari by some armed men and the massacre of policemen in Bayelsa State, the former Vice President in a statement yesterday urged the militia groups in the country to lay down their arms, saying not laying down arms portend grave consequences for the country.
6—Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013
How I was assulted by policewoman —Lawyer BY OLA AJAYI
BADAN — AN Ibadanbased lawyer, Mr. Demilade Olaniyan, has narrated how he was beaten to a stupor by a policewoman, Sola Olanrewaju, and her colleagues at Kajorepo Police Station, Ibadan during a controversy that ensued over a wage bill of a consignment of sugar. Also, some policemen in the station allegedly broke the windscreen of his Peugeot 307 car. Though, the police command in the state through its Public Relations Officer, DSP Olabisi Ilobanafor said it had spoken to the lawyer, the state branch of the Nigerian Bar Association is already considering a legal action against the police in the state for the alleged inhuman treatment meted to its member. Ilobanafor said: “I have spoken with the lawyer in question, and he said the matter had been resolved. He said he could not get better justice than what he had got from the Area Commander, who intervened. Definitely, he is going to get redress.” But Olaniyan said: “Since the Generals in the NBA have shown interest to prosecute the case to serve as a deterrent to others, I cannot say that they should not act in my protection.” According to the lawyer in a statement, he went to the station over a truck allegedly intercepted by the police along Iwo Road, Ojoo when he got the beating of his life. “When we got there, a police officer acquaintance of mine took me to the Station Officer (SO), Etim Ebighe, whom he explained to me would take me to the office of the OC P and G. This was around 2:30 p.m. When I got there, I met three personstwo gentlemen and a lady discussing. “I explained my mission to him and while I was doing this, the lady interjected and started asking me series of questions. One of the questions she asked was why the consignment of sugar had no Way Bill. “She shouted me down and told me that the trailer which had brought the sugar from Lagos should have given the bakery the Way Bill which it had used. I attempted to explain to her what usually obtained where there was a need to transfer some of the goods supplied. ‘‘In the manner at hand, it was for the bakery to issue a Way Bill to cover the transfer of sugar from Ibadan to Ilorin.”
A vehicle laden with empty baskets after sale of tomatoes, at Zuba in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN.
Five perish in Rivers road crash BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
PORT HARCOURT— FIVE persons died, yesterday, in a fatal accident on Tai/Bori road in Rivers State.
Eye witnesses told the Vanguard that the driver of a Sienna Space bus lost control at a sharp bend on the road and rammed into an on-coming saloon car. He said five persons in the Sienna car lost their lives on the spot.
“The Sienna saloon was on high speed and on getting close to Nowa junction, as he was trying to negotiate from a bend the car suddenly lost control and hit an oncoming vehicle. Five persons in the Sienna saloon car died on a spot,” the
source said. A staff of the Federal Road Safety Commission in the state who volunteered comment on condition of anonymity said the five who died had been taken to a morgue.
Police invite Leadership newspapers over report on alleged presidential directives LAGOS—THE management of Leadership newspapers will this morning honour an invitation by the Police at the Force Headquarters, Abuja. The invitation followed a publication in its newspaper, Wednesday April 3, 2013, entitled “Outrage trail presidential directive on Tinubu, APC.” Leadership said since that publication, the police had besieged its offices, particularly after its follow-up publication on Thursday entitled “Bromide of the Presidential directive” which was in response to denials of the report by presidential spokesmen, Doyin Okupe and Reuben Abati. “After we published the bromide of the presidential directive, we provoked a raft of police visitations on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Today, Sunday, we received the invite to report at the Nigeria Police Headquarters, Abuja by 10 am Monday and we intend to honour the request.”
A copy of the invitation sighted by Vanguard, read in part: “This office is investigating the circumstances leading to your front page publication entitled ‘Outrage trail Presidential directive on Tinubu, APC‘ and a sub title captioned ‘Bromide of the presidential directive.’ The publication
which featured in your Wednesday, April 3, 2013 edition was reported by the trio of Messrs Tony Omokeodo, Chibuzor Ukaibe and Taiwo Ogunmola-Omilani. “Based on our facts finding efforts, you are hereby requested to release the above mentioned reporters to inter-
view the Deputy Inspector General of Police D Department (FCID) on Monday April 8, 2013 at 10000hrs… Note that its your civic and corporate responsibility to assist police investigation by honouring its invitation in the interest of justice and due process.”
Man nabbed with charms inside Lagos church
AGOS — A man, Ali Haruna, 25, from Kano State, has been arrested by the police at the Maroko Police Division, Lekki, Lagos, for allegedly entering the Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David, situated on Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos with charms strapped to his waist. Haruna was arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrate Court on one-count charge of illegally entering a church
with charms. During interrogation, he allegedly told the police that he entered the church to pray to God. But when asked what he was doing with the charms he strapped to his waist, he could not give satisfactory answer nor explain how long he had been worshiping in the church since he claimed he was a Muslim. The church members suspected him to have entered the church to perpetrate evil.
BY CHIDI NKWOPARA
WERRI— NINE persons, including a supposed traditional ruler (names withheld) from one of the autonomous communities in Owerri North local council area are facing inquisition for their alleged involvement in a kidnap case. Vanguard gathered that the alleged kidnapping being investigated occurred about March 9, 2013, in which the victim, Mr. Uchechi Nlemadim, a car dealer in Owerri, was injured in the
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Police foil attempt to swindle Army general of N300m BY EVELYN USMAN
AGOS — OPERATIVES of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, have foiled an attempt by a syndicate to swindle a serving senior military officer of N300 million in Lagos. Also, they were said to have arrested three suspected members of the syndicate which specialized in printing fake foreign currencies, selling same at cheaper rates to gullible members of the public. Recovered from them were machines used to print the fake notes, fake certificate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and a box containing fake $2.5 million in 1000 dollar bills. One of them, said to have impersonated a staff of the CBN, was found in possession of a CBN identity card bearing the name of a genuine CBN staff. The suspects were reportedly arrested, weekend, following attempt to sell $2.5 million, estimated at N400 million to a serv-
ing senior military officer for N300 million. Suspecting they could be fraudsters, the senior officer reportedly booked for a meeting with them at the Women Development Centre, Agege, from where they were apprehended by operatives. Sources told Vanguard: “On the said day, they went with a marked steel box on which was inscribed ‘Vol: $2.5 million, Grade A’ and the name of the serving senior military officer as the consignee. In their bid to make it look real, they attached a forged CBN certificate with one of them, later discovered to be Abiodun Akiniyi, displaying an identity card bearing the name: Mr. Tunde Bakare, No.011, a CBN official,” sources said. In their confessional statement, the suspects identified as Olasende Akinsiku, Abiodun Akiniyi and Tajudeen Lasisi, reportedly disclosed that they posed as CBN staff to deceive their victims .
Police nab 5 suspected NITEL cable thieves
BY IFEANYI OKOLIE
AGOS— FIVE persons said to be specialists in vandalizing and stealing telecommunication cables belonging to Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, NITEL, within Lagos Island and its environs have been arrested by the police. The suspects identified as Eze David, Iluwa Ubah, Oyebuchi Nwodom, Femi David and Michael Okoki, were arrested separately by policemen attached to Dolphin Estate Police Station and Anti-Robbery Policemen from Area 'A' Police Command. Vanguard learnt that the suspects were members of a large syndicate that vandalizes underground telecommunication cables from various manholes within Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Surelere, Isolo and Lagos Island.
Meantime, one of the suspects, Femi David, said to have been arrested with over 117 pieces of short cables told Vanguard that they usual melt the cables into copper before disposing of them. He said: “I am the leader of my own group and I steal cables from several manholes in Lagos State. I started last year and I usually operate in areas where I knew the police do not patrol regularly. “I have done it for more than 10 times and I make more than a hundred thousand naira from each trip. The job that gave me out was at Broad Street, by Kakawa on Lagos Island, we did that for about two days and when we were about conveying the cables out of the area the police intercepted us. “I ventured into it because there was no other job for me to do.”
“We simply told our victims that the foreign currencies were stolen from the office and that we wanted to change them to naira. That way, most of them would be willing to buy at cheaper rates. We sell a dollar for as low as N120 and at times N100, depending on
the demand. Biodun owns the machine with which we print the fake dollars,”Olasende said. Asked how they came across the CBN certificate, Olasende, who claimed to be a graphic artist, said it was downloaded from the internet.
A tri-cycle conveying water tank on Government House Road, Bauchi State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN.
NSCDC arrests gang of 6 rapists in Jigawa ....Raped 12-yr-old infected by HIV BY TINA AKANNAM
UTSE — NIGERIAN Se curity and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Jigawa State Command, has arrested a gang of six rapists led by a 32-year-old Mamman Bashir who allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl (names withheld) in Maigatari Local Government Area. This was contained in a statement from the NSCDC made available to Vanguard,
weekend, signed by Commander Muhammed Gidado Fari. According to the statement, the medical report obtained by the command, the 12year-old victim of the rape was infected by HIV virus. It stated further stated that findings had also revealed that the young girl was raped by more than one person. The NSCDC commander said the rapists will be arraigned in court today.
Traditional ruler, 8 others under probe process. It was equally gathered that Nlemadim lost N950,000, which was the proceed from the sale of his Sports Utility Vehicle. Narrating his ordeal to newsmen, Nlemadim said he was returning from where he went to collect some money at about 10.30 p.m when he was attacked and pushed into a waiting golden colour Toyota Corolla car. “As God would have it, the villagers raised alarm and quickly contacted the Owerri North Police Division and they swung into action,” Nlemadim narrated.
He recalled that the hoodlums hit him hard on his neck and fled after removing all his personal effects, including cash in his possession. He said: “The hoodlums hit me very hard on my neck. They removed all my personal effects, including cash. Honestly, I narrowly escaped death.” All efforts made to reach the Command’s Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mrs. Joy Elemoko, on the issue proved abortive as her phone was switched off. A senior police officer in the Command, who did not want his
JTF returns N1m stolen items to owner in Maiduguri
name mentioned, however, said he “heard such a story” but could not give details.
Police arrest 3 over monarch’s kidnap Meantime, a three-man gang of kidnappers allegedly involved in the kidnap of the traditional ruler of Njikoka Umulolo, Okigwe, Eze Joseph Aliebo, and and Anglican cleric, Rev. Barnabas Arinze, of Saint Michael’s Church, Amaozu Ikpaoji, Arondizuogu, have been arrested by the police. The Commissioner of Police,
Mr. Mohammed Katsina, who disclosed this in a statement, gave the name of the ring leader as Sunday Ikechukwu Okparaeke (36) alias Nwamama, while the other suspects are 34-year-old Kingsley Henshaw and Prince Simeon Igwegbe, believed to be the son of a royal father, Eze Basil Igwegbe of Ogbogbo autonomous community, Okigwe local council area. Some of the items recovered from the suspects included a Toyota Corolla car, Nissan Maxima car, Toyota 4-Runner Jeep and a Toyota RAV4 Jeep.
AIDUGURI — THE Joint Task Force, JTF, on Operation Restore Order, ORO, yesterday, presented recovered stolen items worth about N1 million to a businessman in Maiduguri. The items were stolen by suspected robbers from a store in Maiduguri in May before they were recovered by the JTF Patrol Team around RuwanZafi, Maiduguri. The JTF spokesman, Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa, handed over the items at a ceremony in Maiduguri, yesterday. Musa said a JTF patrol team impounded the items from the suspected robbers during a night patrol. He said: “A JTF patrol team on routine patrol on May 25, 2012 observed an unusual movement at Ruwan– Zafi in Maiduguri metropolis. “Consequently, a snap cordon and search operation was conducted in the area which led to the recovery of 10 brand new motorcycles.” The JTF boss said an additional four new motorcycle engine were also recovered. He noted: “Four new motorcycle engine wrapped in cartons were also uncovered. “Investigations revealed that the items were stolen and hurriedly moved to a store on sighting JTF troops’ movement to the area.” He added that the JTF traced the ownership of the items to a particular businessman in the metropolis. He appealed to residents of the state to report any unusual movement to the JTF and other sister lawnforcement agents for prompt action.
8—Vanguard , MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013
GTBank boss attributes success to customers' loyalty
Revealed! How BPE, Rusal grounded ALSCON
FRICAN Banker of the Year and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, has attributed the success of the bank during the 2012 financial year, to customer loyalty. Agbaje who spoke after the bank published its audited 2012 results, noted that no organisation in the world could be profitable if its customers did not believe and support its vision. According to him, “There is a direct relationship between a company’s level of profitability and public perception about its brand. When people see a brand as a valued partner, they continue to do business with it, which ultimately translates to profitability. Mr. Agbaje disclosed that the bank would continue to introduce products and alternative channels that will allow the public to undertake their banking activities quickly, safely and conveniently. Guaranty Trust Bank’s results for the 2012 financial year showed a Profit Before Tax of N103 billion, the highest for any Nigerian bank . The group’s results also showed improved Gross Earnings of N221.9 billion and 69 per cent improvement in Profit After Tax to N87.3 billion; (2011: N51.7 billion). The bank closed the 2012 financial year with an onbalance sheet size of N1.73 trillion (2011: N1.608 trillion) while total assets and contingents stood at N2.26 trillion (2011: N2.14 trillion) representing a growth of eight per cent and six per cent respectively. Additionally, the bank’s stance as an upstanding social citizen and commitment to full disclosure was evidenced by its 2012 tax liabilities, which came to over N16.3 billion, while total dividend payment for the financial year is projected at N45.62 billion (N1.55 per ordinary share of 0.50 kobo each). Guaranty Trust Bank Plc was established in 1990 and is regarded by industry watchers as the best run financial institution within the Nigerian financial services space, due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innova-
BY SONI DANIEL, REGIONAL EDITOR, NORTH BUJA—INDICATIONS emerged, yesterday, that the Federal Government-owned Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, might have turned a blind eye to the mismanagement of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON, while the Russian firm, Rusal, ran the only smelter in the country aground. Vanguard investigations showed that contrary to the posturing by both the BPE and Rusal that Alscon was doing well, available information filed with the Federal Government indicated that the company was bankrupt. It was learnt that the insolvency of Alscon was what actually forced Rusal, which has been ordered by the Nigerian Supreme Court to quit the place, to suspend production last month and sack 475 workers, citing ownership uncertainty and unreliable gas supply as reasons for its actions. A copy of the annual returns of the company for 2011, which was filed with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, showed that Alscon was actually bogged down by a huge debt of N21.35billion or $136 million, which it took from Dayson Holdings Limited, the firm that actually fronted for the purchase of the Federal Government’s 77.5 percent shares in 2004. The report shows that Rusal has come under obligation to pay at least two percent interest to Dayson Holdings since it has not been able to liquidate the loan at maturity date, thereby increasing its liability to the parent company. Last week, workers and residents of Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom State protested and barricaded the main entrance to the plant after UC RUSAL management shutdown production indefinitely and sacked 475 of the company’s 700 workforce over alleged epileptic power and inadequate gas supply. Findings showed that apart from the huge loans which the firm has been finding difficult to repay, the $120 million credit granted it by the Federal Government for the dredging of Imo River might also have been developed wings, even as the job remains undone.
Outstanding debts N22bn less than assets of N14.5bn Despite that, a Russian firm, “Autonomous Non-Profit Organisation Marine Technolo-
From left: Justice George Oguntade. former Supreme Court judge; Rt. Revd & Mrs James Odedeji, incoming Bishop of Lagos West; Mrs Joke Orelope- Adefulire, Deputy Gov . Lagos State and Rt Revd. Dr. & Mrs Peter Awelewa Adebiyi , Bishop of Lagos West during the second session of the fifth Synod of diocese of Lagos West at AVMCC, Ikeja, Lagos. Photo By Diran Oshe. gies and Safety of St. Petersburg, Russia”, has already put in invoices to the tune of N505 million for purportedly dredging the River on behalf of Rusal. The invoices for a total of N505.05millionn or $4.03million covering the period September 2007 and August 2009 showed that payment for N187.2million or $1.382million had already been reconciled against acceptance certificate, while another N317.95million, or $2.65million were awaiting certification. This is in addition to the initial $63,000 out of the $189,000 paid to a firm, GEMS International by the BPE in June 2005 to carry out a pre-dredging survey of Imo River. The financial statement prepared by PriceWaterHouseCoopers Limited and filed with the CAC showed that the company’s total asset base as at December 2004 was N127.14billion; N126.4billion in 2005 andN129.9billion, or $1.13billion when UC RUSAL took over in 2006. Curiously, within a year of taking over, UC RUSAL devalued ALSCON’s asset base by 80 per cent to N30.98billion, or $261million, by December 2007; N25.19billion, or $169million in 2008; N19.35billion, or $128million in 2009; N14.85billion, or $96million in 2010, and N14.5billion, or $91million in 2011. But Rusal’s spokeswoman, Smirnova Tatyana, claimed yesterday in an interview with Vanguard that the company was not broke but was forced by unreliable gas supply and ownership uncertainty to suspend production. According to Tatyana, the suspension of production will be lifted as soon as the contentious
issues are resolved. The BPE also denied knowledge of the huge debts being owed by Rusal, saying that it was a normal practice for a parent company to grant loans to its affiliates.
BPE denies knowledge of debts BPE’s spokesman, Joe Anichebe, said however, that they were unaware of the dredging of the Imo River by the company. The privatization agency may not be aware of the loan by Dayson Holdings to UC RUSAL, describing any such arrangement as an internal business matter that may not be to BPE’s knowledge. He said: “It is normal for a parent company to give an internal loan to support the operations of one of its affiliates.” President of the American firm that won the Alscon bid, BFIGroup, Reuben Jaja, who spoke yesterday on the development at the plant, described the findings as “startling and another reason BPE officials would go to any length to frustrate its takeover as directed by the Supreme Court.” Jaja said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, should immediately investigate what the huge funds were used for and
whether the river had been dredged by the Russian firm as claimed. “It is clear ALSCON is bankrupt and in severe financial difficulties. That explains why production was shut down recently and workers had to be sacked, since there is no money to pay for salaries, gas, repair the machines and the power generators,” he said. On allegations that the offer to BFIG to acquire ALSCON was cancelled recently following its refusal to execute the SPA transmitted to it by BPE, Mr. Jaja described such claims as “blatant lies” by BPE to discredit the reputation BFIG to cover its track. “The truth is that BFIG has since February 13, 2013 executed the mutually agreed SPA provided by BPE and submitted to it with instructions that they execute their part and return a copy accompanied with the details of their accounts for us to BFIG to transfer the initial 10 per cent offer price".
Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013—9
ACN, Presidency bicker over 2015 polls PDP out to scuttle elections—ACN BY BEN AGANDE & OLASUNKANMI AKONI
AGOS—ACTION Congress of Nigeria, ACN, yesterday, accused the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, led Federal Government of planning to make free and fair elections impossible in 2015 just as the Presidency faulted the statement credited to the ACN and accused it of deliberately misinforming Nigerians. National Publicity Secretary of ACN, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, at a briefing on the “State of the Nation”, claimed that PDP, having seen the handwriting on the wall that it would not win any free and fair elections in 2015, had embarked on a number of antics to scuttle the 2015 general elections. According to him, “We are compelled to once again raise the alarm about some disturbing developments in the polity. To be sure, this is not the first time we are raising concerns about what seems a deliberate ploy to plunge Nigeria into a deep crisis, by instigating
widespread violence and insecurity and engaging in scaremongering tactics. It is no longer a secret that the PDP-led Federal Government has failed the nation in all ramifications. In the provision of social amenities and standard infrastructure, ensuring the security of lives and property, provision of jobs for our teeming unemployed youths and generally ensuring better life for our people, the party that has presided over the affairs of our nation since 1999 has fallen short. "Against this background, the PDP is keenly aware that it has totally lost the confidence of Nigerians, and the long-suffering people of this great country are now ready and eager to vote out this clueless party. "The PDP has now realized that if indeed the 2015 elections are free and fair and conducted in a conducive environment, there will be no chance for the party.
You are lying — PDP "What is the way out for the PDP? The party has decided to go for broke: Either there will be no elections in 2015 or the polls will be conducted in an atmosphere of chaos, thereby paving the way for the PDP to do what it does best - rig the elections!” While corroborating the above claims, ACN, noted that since Boko Haram, Islamist sect crisis broke out in some parts of the north, it had been largely restricted to the region, adding: “this has made it possible to say to prospective foreign investors and others that the whole country has not been engulfed in violence and insecurity. But now, the areas that have been largely peaceful are being targeted by those who will only be happy when the whole country is in turmoil.” ACN cited three recent events as sign post to its claims: A multi-billion naira contract suddenly awarded for the protection of oil pipelines in the re-
gion (South-West). The main beneficiary of the contract has suddenly realized that the Unity Party of Nigeria, formed by the respected statesman Chief Obafemi Awolowo, is no longer in existence, and has thus decided to revive it. While, about the same time, suspected Boko Haram members were arrested in Lagos, specifically at a house belonging to a state government. The questions that arise among others ACN added are: “What is the real intention of the Federal Government in awarding this oil pipeline protection contract? Is it a mere coincidence that the main beneficiary of the multi-billion naira oil pipeline protection contract is also the same fellow who is promoting the revival of the UPN?
Presidency accuses ACN of misinformation The presidency accused the ACN of deliberate disinformation, saying that the allegation by the spokesman of the party, Lai Mohammed that the presidency was plotting to scuttle the 2015 election ‘falls within a pattern of disinformation and politics by trickery’. Reacting to a press conference addressed by Mohammed where he alleged that the Federal Government was promoting policies that would plunge the country into crises and as well shuttle election in 2015, the Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said no other president had worked hard to enshrine electoral integrity like president Jonathan. The statement which urged Nigerians to discountenance the antics of the ACN spokesman reads: "In a previous press statement, we had pointed out that a well organized campaign by the opposition designed to mislead the public, discredit the person and office of President Goodluck Jonathan, and cause disaffection within the polity appears to be well afoot. That there is an emerging pattern of disinformation and politics by trickery, orchestrated by Lai Mohammed and his ilk which is unsuitable to our democratic experience is now no longer in doubt. "We have been proven right, once more, with the deliberate disinformation engaged in today by the National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN), Alhaji Lai Mohammed".
Protest: LASCO releases Lagos time table BY VICTOR AHIUMAYOUNG ABOUR and Civil Society Coalition, LASCO, weekend, released the Lagos programme for the Wednesday, April 10, nationwide planned protest in solidarity with pensioners over unpaid benefits. At a briefing after a joint meeting, leaders of NLC, TUC and JAF in Lagos, explained that the protest was to demand justice for the pensioners, support the demand for a review of the pension fund and prompt payment to the aged and against corruption and impunity in government. Comrade Abiodun Aremu, Joint Secretary, said the takeoff point would be Lagos subheadquarters of NLC, Tejuoso, Yaba, Lagos. According to him; “the procession would move through Ikorodu Road to Maryland to Ikeja roundabout and terminate at Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa-Ikeja. However, pensioners who are not physically fit to be part of the procession from Yaba, are enjoined to assemble at the Nigeria Civil Service Union’s Secretariat, Alausa-Ikeja.
Lagos counsels residents over outbreak of measles BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI
OLLOWING reported out break of measles in some states, the Lagos State Government, weekend, advised residents to be vigilant and report any suspected cases, dead or alive, to the nearest health facility in the state or the directorate of disease control in the state Ministry of Health without delay. Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris who spoke on behalf of the government, explained that the reported outbreak of the disease called for immediate action. He said there was need for mothers and caregivers to take measures that would reduce the risk of their children contracting the disease. Such measures include: exclusive breastfeeding of babies for the first six months, routine immunization of children and ensuring that the schedule is completed by the child’s first birthday (measles vaccine at 9 months), ensuring the administration of Vitamin A from the age of six months, and keeping of a sick child at home, away from school and play, to rest and prevent infecting other children.
10 — Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013
BY OUR REPORTERS HE 81 years old Mrs. Adetutu Grace Famuagun, mother of the late Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs Funmi Olayinka, yesterday, wept uncontrollably and repeatedly asked Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, the whereabout of her daughter. Fayemi, who was at the Famuwagun’s family house, Oke Ori-Omi, where the parents of Mrs. Olayinka live in Ado Ekiti, at 10am, alongside his wife, Bisi and other top government functionaries, could not hide his emotion when the octogenarian mother kept asking “Kayode, where is Funmi?" repeatedly. In a statement, Governor Fayemi said all his engagements, including the symposium organised for the youths at Ikogosi Ekiti are cancelled. Equally, the state has suspended all official ceremonies and opened condolence register in the office of the governor and the office of the deputy, including the state’s liaison office in Lagos and Abuja. Already Governor Fayemi has declared a seven-day mourning during which all flags in the state will fly at half mast. This came as Senate President David Mark, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Professor Wole Soyinka, state governors, senators and other prominent Nigerians continued to pay glowing tributes to Mrs. Olayinka, 52 and mother of three, who died in a Lagos hospital on Saturday after a long battle with cancer.
Meanwhile, Senate President, David Mark, urged the Ekiti State government to immortalise late Olayinka in recognition of her contribution to the development of the state. In a condolence message through his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, Mark described the late deputy governor as an indomitable amazon, who stood to be counted when it mattered, stressing that her death was a huge loss to the nation. Also former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in a statement said the death of Mrs. Olayinka at such time when Ekiti State needed her services the most was most unfortunate. Abubakar appealed to Governor Fayemi to accept the death of his deputy governor as an act of God, saying “the death of the Ekiti State deputy governor is not only a loss
PARTCIPATION: From right— Professor Chike Edozien, Asagba of Asaba (left) and Mr. Olumide Adeyemi, Promotions Manager, Grand Oak Limited, during the presentation of certificate of participation to Grand Oak at this year’s Anioma Cultural Festival in Asaba
Where's my daughter, late Olayinka's mum asks Gov Fayemi zGov declares 7-day mourning to Ekiti State, but to Nigeria because she was a faithful and committed compatriot.”
In Ondo State, Governor Olusegun Mimiko, through a statement by Eni Akinsola, his Chief Press Secretary, said the death of such a young, lively and active leader could not but evoke deep feeling of loss and sadness. He said: “Nigerians were well aware that she was indisposed, but were hoping and praying that she will scale through and come out stronger and better. We were therefore shocked to hear of her death. It is sad, sad news. "It evokes a deep feeling of loss and sadness. The demise of Mrs Olayinka will be greatly felt by her husband, children, political acolytes and indeed the good people of Ekiti State. ”Sad as it is, we cannot but thank God for her life, pray that her soul finds repose in the Lord and seek God’s Grace and strength for the family to bear the loss.” On his part, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, described the death of Ekiti S t a t e Deputy Governor Ekiti as devastating and a big blow to progressive politics in the state and Nigeria. A state-
ment by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said the demise of the late Olufunmilayo Olayinka who died of cancer had shown that government at all levels should brace up and give the necessary attention to the treatment and detection of cancer. He said: “Lives of millions of women are being threatened as they suffer under the disease of cancer without early detection and adequate treatment. Government at all levels should rise up to the task by subsidising the cost for testing and treatment."
Fashola, Oshiomhole, Uduaghan others mourn
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, in a condolence message by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, described the deceased as a great daughter of the state who made her mark professionally and then offered to serve her people. The governor said: “As a brother Governor, I feel completely overwhelmed, just imagining the depth of your pain and anguish at the death of a most loyal, dependable and diligent deputy which you had in Mrs. Olayinka. "When the history of the restoration of the democratic mandate freely given by the duo of Governor Fayemi and the late Deputy Governor as well as the back-breaking work to restore the meaningful governance to Ekiti state comes to be written, a very glorious and general mention would be made of the late Deputy Governor."
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, in his condolence message, through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Peter Okhiria, said: “We learnt with deep shock and grief about the death of the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State. "Mrs Olayinka gave her all to the recovery of the mandate freely given to the Governor and herself by the good people of Ekiti state and she was unwavering in her quest to deepen the nation’s democracy by going through the judicial process." Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, through his Press Secretary, Mr. Felix Ofou, in a statement, said: “The Delta Governor praised the courage and strength of the late Deputy Governor in the battle against cancer. She worked tirelessly to please everyone until a few weeks ago when it was announced that she was proceeding on medical leave. "Not once did she betray signs of being sick. May be a few persons were aware of her health status. All we saw was a courageous and strong woman willing to please everyone.” On his part, Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, in a condolence statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Christian Ita, said although words seemed inadequate to express the sorrow felt by her loss, ”we must try to see beyond her demise and focus on the memories of her good works and life long achievements. "The thoughts and prayers of the people of cross River State are with her family and people of Ekiti state during this difficult time.” On his part, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State , through a condolence
message by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, described the passage of Mrs. Olayinka as a national loss as she died at a young age with a lot of ideas, zeal and vision that could help in shaping a better Ekiti State and the building of a virile Nigeria.
Prof. Soyinka, in condolence message, said: “Her departure will be felt as a great loss to your administration, to the people of Ekiti State, but most especially to her family, to whom I request that you be so kind as to convey my message of fortitude in the face of this grievous bereavement.”
Senators pay tributes
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu in a condolence message in Abuja, through his Special Adviser, Media, Mr. Uche Anichukwu, said Mrs Olayinka was not only a “promising female leader but a progressive and distinguished professional who wholeheartedly dedicated herself to the service of the good people of Ekiti and the entire nation.” Senator Gbenga Ashafa, representing Lagos East Senatorial District, in his brief message, expressed shock over the news of the deputy governor’s death, who he described, as “heroine of Democracy.” Others who paid condolences included former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu; former governor of Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni; member, House of Representatives, representing Ado-Ekiti/Irepodun-Ifelodun Federal Constituency, Ekiti State, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele; Osun State chapter of ACN and Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigerian Universities, CAANU.
Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013—11
Ghanaian President, Mahama, lauds Akpabio
HANAIAN President, Dr. John Mahama, has described Akwa Ibom State governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, as a good example of leadership in Africa. President Mahama, accompanied by Ghanaian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Baba Kamara and Information Minister, Felix Kwakye, among others, yesterday, when he paid a courtesy visit to Akpabio at Governor’s Office, Uyo, during his one-day official visit to the state, said: ‘’It takes leadership to bring about transformation. “Governor Akpabio is not a visitor to Ghana. When he recently paid a courtesy visit to me, he presented a book entitled Uncommon Transformation. Today, my visit to the state and what I have seen on ground through the numerous infrastructure, indicate a testimony of what true leadership can do to transform the lives of the people in Africa. I am impressed by what I have seen today in the state. ‘’Africa is changing and transforming. We are experiencing positive Gross Domestic Product, GDP, growth compared to the 80s, when the economies were growing negatively."
DTHA holds Good Governance lecture
HAIRMAN, Delta State House of Assembly Service Commission, Mrs. Josephine Kachikwu, has concluded arrangements to organise the 6th in the series of the annual distinguished lecture. The lecture with the theme: Good Governance As An Imperative To Democracy, will be attended by dignitaries among them, Kaburn Taminu Turali, SAN, Minister of Special Duties, as guest lecturer and Justice Francis Tabai, (rtd) as Chairman of the occasion. The event, slated for tomorrow , at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba, will feature Mr Victor Ochei, Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly as guest of honour, while Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, is the chief host.
MEND claims responsibility for killing of 15 policemen in Bayelsa creek BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA
ENAGOA—MOVEMENT for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, yesterday, claimed responsibility for the Azuzuama attack in the creek of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, during which it said 15 policemen were killed. The state Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa Command, Mr. Kins Omire, on Saturday, said 12 of his men, two Inspectors, four non-commissioned officers and six constables were missing. MEND, in a statement by its Spokesman, Gbomo Jomo, said 15 policemen were killed while it lost two of its fighters in the shootout. MEND said the attack was due to the Nigerian security forces' dismissal of its earlier threat, Hurricane Exodus, as an empty threat. Though the attack was launched on Friday, MEND said: “For dismissing Hurricane Exodus as an empty threat, by the Nigerian security forces, heavily armed fighters from MEND at 17:00 hrs, Saturday, April 6, intercepted and engaged gov-
ernment security forces in a fierce gunfight lasting over 40 minutes at Azuzama, Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. “The clash, which happened on the river, left over 15 security forces dead as we also lost two of our fighters in the battle. “We hope this encounter will serve as a lesson to Joint Task Force, JTF, from making careless utterances that cannot be backed as we remain resolute in our resumption of hostilities.”
MEND advised oil companies and the public to ignore the false sense of security being peddled by JTF as well as the false comments from a “Comrade Azizi,” who claims to be the spokesman for the group. “This person is not known to MEND, does not speak for MEND and his utterances and style do not reflect our plans and actions,” the statement said.
AWARD: Senator Odion Ugbesia (right) congratulating Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State (left) his wife, Roli (2nd left) and Mrs. Utuama (2nd right) shortly after receiving an award from St. Benedict Catholic Church, Ubiaja, in Ubiaja, Edo State, Sunday.
.... As another group claims responsibility zDickson condemns attack BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
ENAGOA—A MILITIA group, led by one 'General' Jaspa Boro (Jnr), has claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack on policemen on Bayelsa State waterways, saying it was a clear warning to their erstwhile militant leader, Mr. Kile Torughedi, known as 'Young Shall Grow.' The group said: “What happened, Friday, was a warning to Young Shall Grow, as we shall extend our attacks to oil installations. “He is deducting our sala-
ries and we have been sidelined in Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Bajero security jobs. “He was given N80 million to buy cars for his commanders but he embezzled the money. We want the Federal Government, the Bayelsa State Government and other stakeholders to come to our aid. “If they refuse, we will blow up flow stations in the region. It is an armed struggle. We have just started. Federal Government should tell him to empower his boys. We are not afraid.” Meanwhile,Bayelsa State governor, Mr. Henry Dickson, has
described the untimely death of 12 policemen serving with the state Police Command as most tragic, shocking and disheartening. Dickson, in a condolence message to the InspectorGeneral of Police, in Yenagoa, noted with dismay that, the incident occurred as the affected policemen were on active duty to the nation and humanity. He said: “The development is a constant reminder of how vulnerable we are in our collective efforts at pursuing and achieving lasting peace and unity in our state and country.”
Dickson reads riot act to new LG bosses BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA
E N A G OA — N E W LY sworn-in local government chairmen in Bayelsa State have been warned against turning the monthly allocations and other funds accruing to the councils to their "pocket money." Governor Seriake Dickson, at their inauguration in Yenagoa, stressed the need for the council chairmen to be pru-
Meanwhile, security operatives were, yesterday, combing the creeks for the remains of the slain policemen. The state police Commissioner, who was hopeful that the policemem were still alive, said, Saturday: “We are hoping that if any of them is alive, we will rescue him and those that are dead will be recovered, as search and rescue operations are ongoing. We have also deployed divers to the waters."
dent with council finances as the government would not tolerate any act of indiscipline. He said: “As a state government, we are neither deducting nor authorizing any form of deductions from your council funds. We will also ensure that as chairmen, you do not use council funds as your personal pocket money. “The current administration in Bayelsa State will not allow council chairmen to devote the resources coming to the councils to service godfathers, godmothers
and godsisters. The resources coming to this state, as you have clearly seen at the state level, are being deployed fully to the development of our state.” The state government, he added, had put in place the machineries to monitor and give monthly reports on their activities to ensure that funds accruing to the third tier of government were utilised solely for the development of the grassroots.
Edo NUJ hails Garba’s election as FAJ president BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
ENIN—NIGERIA Union of Journalists, NUJ, Zone F, comprising the states in the South-South, yesterday, described the emergence of President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr. Muhammed Garba, as President of Fderation of African Journalists, FAJ, as good omen for African journalists. Garba was last week elected President of FAJ in Casablanca, Morocco, by defeating the former President, Omar Faruk Osman, from Somalia. In a congratulatory message, Vice-President of Zone F NUJ, Uzaka Seiyefa, said: “Your emergence as President of the continental body of journalists is a confirmation of your enviable track record since your election and reelection as national President.” Also, Edo Sate NUJ, led by Desmond Agbama and Correspondent Chapel of Edo State NUJ, expressed optimism that Garba's election will uplift the lives of journalists in Nigeria.
12—Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013
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14â€”Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013
Vanguard PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR AWARD
Mrs. Beere Aderinsola Osoba (left) and Aremo Olusegun Osoba. From left: General Ibrahim Babangida, Chairman of the occasion; Vanguard Personality of the year, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State and Mr. Sam Amuka, Publisher, at the Vanguard Personality of the Year Award 2012 in Lagos.Photos: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor, Lamidi Bamidele, Akeem Salau & Bunmi Azeez.
From left: Hon. Aminu Tambuwal; Ambr. B.A. Clark and Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote (left) and Alhaji Ismail Isa Funtua.
From left: Mr. Mideno Bayagbon, Editor, Vanguard Newspapers; Alhaji Ismaila Isa Funtua; Hon Muhammed Alabe and Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, Editor-in-Chief/General Manager, Publications, Vanguard Newspapers. C M Y K
From left: Captain Tito Omaghomi; Hon Chidi Lloyd and Chief Nemi Wisdom Adoki.
From left: AK Farooq Musa; AVM Hamzat Abdulahi and Mr. Francis Ogboro.
Cross section of guests.
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Vanguard PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR AWARD Vanguard Personality of the Year Award 2012 held in Lagos, Saturday. PHOTOS: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor; Lamidi Bamidele, Bunmi Azeez & Akeem Salau.
From left— Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker, House of Representatives; Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede, and family.
From left— Mrs Rita Amuka, Mr. Kelly Arawore and his wife, Toritse. Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, GMD/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Vanguard Personality of the Year runner-up.
From right— Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd.), Chairman of the occasion; Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede; Erelu Abiola Dosunmu; Mr. Frank AigImoukhuede and his wife, Emily.
Hon. Lejui Kwanee (left) and Dr. Sam Sam Jaja.
From left— Aremo Olusegun Osoba, former Governor of Ogun State; Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye and Professor Amos Utuama, Deputy Governor of Delta State.
Erelu Abiola Dosunmu (left) and Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
From left— Mr. Tarek Saidi, Mr. Hussein Fawaz and Mr. Hassan Fawaz.
16— Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013 IN fairness to Senate President David Bonaventure Alechenu Mark he had listed “capital punishment for offences” in his message of hope at the beginning of 2013. His concern then was terrorist attacks that had dominated security issues since 2010. When kidnapping was rampant, his proposed solution was the death sentence. Capital punishment, which he wants for pipeline vandalisation and bunkering, is in line with extreme measures to address situations that have continued to task us as a people. Death sentence, as lawyers opposed to Mark’s position rightly pointed out, has not stopped armed robbery almost 40 years after it came into effect. Robbers are more vicious and explore a justice system that is in decays, like most public institutions. Mark must be worried about an estimated $6 billion (N960 billion), or about a quarter of the annual national budget, lost to oil vandals. We are concerned too about the situation, but we are against a solution that neglects causes of the surge in crime. The issues are rooted in neglect of the common good. Bad governance and corruption fuel crimes,
Death Only F or For Others contrary to positions that criminals use them as excuses. Bad governance has divided Nigeria between custodians of public resources who deploy them to themselves – and others, the poor, the weak, who essentially bear the brunt of bad governance and death sentences for offences. A wonder of Mark’s position is the speed with which the high and mighty propose death for the poor – the others - while shielding themselves from harsh punishments through weak legislations. Why is corruption exempt from the death sentence? “We will seek to bring succour to our nation and re-energise our people’s faith in one indivisible nation and in constitutional democracy by a legislative agenda that not
only promotes the common good, but also responsive to the national mood and expectations,” Mark promised in January. Here comes Mark’s succour! Millions of children – future of indivisible Nigeria - are out of school. They are fancifully classified as poor; and they would become poorer with their parents’ pensions, running into trillions of Naira, stolen by those who are above death sentences. Would capital punishment be against common good if applied to pension theft? The likes of Mark ignore injustices in the dispensation of justice, where they involve others. Governments treat Nigerians with contempt, an abnegation of their responsibility to the people. Nobody punishes governments’ irresponsibility, including ceaseless inclinations to blame peoples’ expectations that governments should provide basic amenities, as obstacles to governance. Where is justice in death penalty for pipeline vandals when bad governance and corruption which devastate the people more are never punished? We are against laws that would promote injustice.
OPINION BY NNAMDI NWIGWE
HE protracted efforts by some political parties to merge into a mega political group should have been commendable but for their warped and negative rationalisation for doing so. Arrow-heads of the merger have made no secrets that their driving force to come together was to dislodge the present ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. And this motive, methinks is retrogressive. If the PDP implodes today and evaporates, then the merging partners will disentangle and return to their respective strongholds. It is a measure of our ignorance of the presidential system we have adopted since 1979 that political parties that are not part of the Federal Government gleefully call themselves “Opposition Parties.” That is why political parties like ACN, ANPP, Labour Party, CPC and APGA, all of which have states they are controlling, also consider themselves as “opposition parties.” One hears of opposition parties only in a British-type Parliamentary System where Opposition Members of Parliament, MPs are officially recognised. Their leadership forms the shadow cabinet which can take over the government if they manage to defeat the ruling party in a crucial vote in C M Y K
APC: Merging for wrong reasons parliament, such as the budget. They are on salary and have the responsibility of keeping the government on their toes to ensure good governance. In the American-type presidentialism that we are attempting to practice, the closest equivalent to the Opposition to the Presidency is the Congress. The Congress is like our National Assembly, comprising the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress could be made up of the majority of members of the President’s political party but that does not stop it from fiercely monitoring the activities of the Presidency and calling it to order if it tends to derail or over step its limits. In fact, the Congress, through the Senate, can impeach the President if he commits an impeachable offence. It is therefore a contradiction in terms for political parties with governors calling the shots from their state capitals to call themselves “opposition parties”. This diversion is meant to advert our minds to the important issue of political parties fusing to give Nigeria a vibrant and solid vanguard for the realisation of true democracy and not necessarily the half-hearted merger efforts of the socalled opposition parties. Nigeria needs two very strong political
parties to make any headway in the advancement of the democracy that we have all embraced. The world-acclaimed great election of June 12, 1993, was as a result of the two parties that Babangida’s military regime gave the country as a possible panacea to our acrimonious and ethnic politics of yore. In the NRC and SDP of those days, Nigerians had to choose where to belong to articulate and promote their political ambitions without scheming to find out where their ethnic loyalty lay. If the parties were three or more, ethnic bigots would attempt to appropriate one party or the other as belonging exclusively to them.
n 1993 Nigerians were so excited and united that even when two moslems, Abiola and Kingibe, ran on one ticket for President and Vice-President, it made no meaning to Christians. The Abiola whirlwind was so pervasive that the Tofa-Ugo Moslem- Christian combination was overwhelmed. Pity, the victor of that election was denied the plum but the fact still remains that Nigerian politics would be better off with only two giant political parties. So when concerned citizens come together to form
such parties they should be guided by the higher values of the country and not the blinkered short-sighted merging to defeat a particular political party. Since all the gladiators vying for higher offices now were adults in 1993, it is regrettable that they went ahead to form a thousand and one political parties when civilian governance returned in 1999. May it please the good Lord that rumours that more than 10 PDP governors are about to join the All Progressives Congress, APC, turn out to be true. Their involvement would strengthen the new group and weaken the tin gods within who think that without them nothing goes. They need to be contained by the entry of more heavy weights who have both the clout and the charisma to neutralise the unbending men of yester-years who are now a nuisance and an obstacle to progress. Mergers will not help the country because they involve complicated horsetrading and compromises that retard progress. Outright dissolution of the atomistic political groups and formation of a new party will be more like it. Two major political parties that can counter-balance each other and seriously contend with each other are what Nigeria needs to move forward.
* Mr. Nwigwe, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Lagos.
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INEC okays APGA's convention BY LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU
BUJA—INDEPENDENT National Electoral Commission, INEC, has finally given its approval to today’s Convention of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, holding in Awka, Anambra State. It said it will be on hand to monitor proceedings at the event. The development came amid discordant tunes from the embattled former chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh, who alleged that the convention was being convened by impostors who claimed to be executive members of the party. It will be recalled that the party has been in crises. Apart from the alltime feud that has been bedeviling it, the party launched itself in another bout of crises arising from the sack of Umeh by a court in Enugu. Consequently, leader of the party and governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, handpicked Maxi Okwu as acting chairman of the party. Soon after he assumed office, Okwu, in conjunction with Obi, announced the party’s convention. But controversy erupted when INEC recently rejected a notice of the convention served it by Obi on the grounds that he was neither the chairman of the party nor executive member. Just when it was believed that the convention might not hold, consequent upon INEC’s earlier position, the commission said it was going to be part of the convention.
ANNIVERSARY: From right— Chief Yekinni Ajao, National Chairman, National Committee of Friends, NCF; Alhaji Ademola Suleiman, guest of honour, and Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Grand Patron of NCF, and former Governor of Lagos State, during the 37th anniversary of NCF in Lagos. PHOTOS: Diran Oshe.
No action on UTME, NECO yet, says FG BY SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North, FAVOUR NNABUGWU & LIVINUS NWABUGHIOGU
BUJA—WORRIED by the anxiety that has trailed the purported scrapping of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME and the National Examination Council, NECO, the Federal Government has cleared the air on the matter, saying that no decision has been taken on the matter. Many groups including members of the National Assembly and labour unions have already kicked against the planned scrapping of the institutions, which have been providing services for students across the country. Although the government is yet to issue a white paper on the recommendation of the Oronsaye Report, which recommended the reduction of government agencies to a reasonable number to save costs, a top government official last week leaked a report to state House correspondents, claiming that NECO and UTME had been laid to rest. But the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, told Vanguard in an exclusive interview in Abuja that the government was yet to take any decision on the issue and asked Nigerians not to panic. According to Wike, it was improper for people to spread rumours about what the administration had not taken a firm decision on. Wike said, “It is true that there was a committee set up to issue a white paper on the Oronsaye Report and up till now the committee has not presented its report to the govern-
ment for examination and adoption to warrant the kind of rumours making the rounds and causing anxiety in the country. “What Nigerians should believe and expect from the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is nothing but the best at all times. This government means well
for the education sector and will therefore not do anything that will not be in the best interest of all Nigerians. “If the government wants to take any decision on JAMB, NECO and the rest, such actions will be weighed and taken with the overall best interest of all and I can assure Nigerians that no such
action has yet been taken." Wike explained that the government was rather working hard to reposition the education sector by providing necessary facilities and personnel for all the unity schools in the country as well as strengthen tertiary education to make it more useful to Nigerians.
Nigeria at crossroads over Boko Haram amnesty— Briggs BY LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU
B U J A — A Niger Delta activist, Madam Ankio Briggs, has said the planned amnesty for Boko Haram Islamist sect by the Presidency will put Nigeria at a crossroad. Speaking with Vanguard on the issue, Briggs said Boko Haram itself did not ask for amnesty, stressing that it was negotiated for them by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar 111, a situation, she said, made it a political matter. Her words: “Is it Boko
Haram that asked for amnesty? Where has Boko Haram asked for amnesty? Boko Haram did not ask for amnesty. The Sultan of Sokoto asked for Amnesty for Boko Haram?” She further stated that people should desist from comparing the deadly sect to the agitation of the Niger Delta people which necessitated the offer of amnesty to the youths of the region by the government of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2009. “As far as I am concerned, the comparison of Boko Haram to the Niger Delta cri-
sis is not acceptable and can never be acceptable to the Niger Delta people. Our issues are different. Boko Haram has not asked for amnesty. “Niger Delta people did not ask for amnesty. Amnesty was offered and the reason why amnesty was offered was very clear. The Nigerian economy was on its knees. That was why Yar ’Adua offered amnesty. Niger Delta agitations were prepared to carry on. It was Yar ’Adua that offered amnesty. I was part of the process so I know what I am talking about,” she said.
Why I didn't celebrate birthday— Mark BY HENRY UMORU
BUJA—SENATE Presi dent, David Mark, said yesterday that he decided to mark his birthday low key, for the first time in his life, because of the massive killing of Nigerians by the Islamist sect, Boko Haram. He also said his recent visit to the Vatican further ex-
posed him to the reality that one should be able to help the poor, less privileged and vulnerable in the society. Speaking during his 65th birthday thanksgiving Mass at St. Augustine Catholic Church, Otukpo , Benue State, Mark noted that that if there must be sustainable peace and unity in the country, prayer must be seen as
the panacea. He also urged religious leaders across the country not to relent in their oars in this regard. According to him, what the nation needed at this most trying moments of its history was fervent prayers to overcome the myriad of challenges, especially insurgencies that had crippled
parts of the country. Senator Mark, who noted that no nation made progress in a state of acrimony, said: “We should be more prayerful for our nation. We need peace in Nigeria, where there is no peace, there will be no democracy and no reasonable development can be attained. With our prayers, we can achieve more.”
C M Y K
42 â€” Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013
Vanguard PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR AWARD
Yemi Sax, instrumentalist and Jazz exponent, performing at the occasion.
General Ibrahim Babangida, former Military President and Chairman of the occasion, making a speech at the Vanguard 2012 Personality of the Year Award at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on Saturday. Pix: Joe Akintola, PHOTO Editor; Lamidi Bamidele, Bunmi Azeez and Akeem Salau.
From right: Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, former Minister of Health and Mr Sam Amuka, Publisher Vanguard Newspaper.
Amelte Fisher, former RIBA Vice-President; Mr Mike Umoh, Director CMD Lagos and Mrs M. Iyitoe, CEO Niche PR.
Dancers at the event.
From right: Worgu Boms of Rivers State and Dr Frank Eze, Paramont Ruler of Woji,Rivers State.
From left: Patricia Arawore; Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Member, House of Representatives and Rose Danmoze.
From left: Dr Mohammed Ibrahim; Lai Muhammed and Mrs Chantal Caulcrick.
Ben Horsfall, Rivers State House of Assembly; Ms Thelma Aliyu and Mr John Opara.
Vanguard , MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013 â€”43
Vanguard PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR AWARD
From left: Holly Mallam and Gordons Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, GMD, Access Bank; General Ibrahim Babangida, former military president and both comedians Chairman of the occasion; Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State
From left: Hon. Samson Osagie, Minority Whip, House of Representatives; Chief Olayinka Ogunmekan and Hon Opeyemi Bamidele
From left: Sir Ngo Martyns-Yellowe, Chairman Rivers State Civil Service Commission; Mr. Fortune Oguru, Permanent Secretary and Jyke Abbey, Commissioner, Rivers House of Assembly Service Commission.
From left:Hon. Asifa Honourable, Hon. Mpige Barry, Dr. Dawari George, Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Engr. Tele Ikuru and Hon. Allwell Onyesoh
From left: Mr. Muhammed Alabe, Alhaji Ismaila Isah and Mr. Tony Onyima, MD, The Sun
From left: Miss Beauty Iluyemi; Mrs Rita Amuka; Ms Yeye Rewane; Mr. From left: Mr. Babatunde Olusanya Wale Ibrahim and Ms Uloma Chibundu and Mr G K Animashaun Jr
Mr. Paul Adams and Mediline Tador C M Y K
44 — Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013
From left ,Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State and winner Vanguard Personality of the Year 2012 award; General Ibrahim Babangida, Chairman of the occasion; Mr Sam Amuka, Publisher, Vanguard Newspaper; Hon Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker, House of Representatives and Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede
PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR:
How Amaechi, Aig-Imoukhuede were crowned NIGERIANS from different walks of life thronged the Eko Hotel and Suites , Lagos, for the presentation of the award of the Personality of the Year to Governor Rotimi Amaechi last Saturday. The event which also recognized the runner up, Mr. Aigboje AigImuokhude progressed through the evening in the refreshingly different Vanguard style. Imoukhuede, managing Babangida, erstwhile military BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN, head of state who led men and director of Access Bank. POLITICAL EDITOR, women of yesterday’s politics The men of yesterday were BABAJIDE KOMOLAFE, business to the led by that enduring enigma of and DAPO AKINREFON & presentation ceremony. Nigerian politics, Gen. Ibrahim GBENGA OKE
T was a show of glitz, glamour and grandeur . The cream of the political class mingled with the top echelon of the business community in the Expo Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites last Saturday. The presentation ceremony of the Vanguard Personality of the Year award was indeed one occasion in recent times where the men of yesterday and the men of today came to a convergence on issues. It couldn’t have been otherwise, given that it was the best of yesterday ’s men that converged with the best of today. The two sets converged for the investiture of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State as Vanguard’s Personality of the Year and the recognition of the runner up, Mr. Aigboje AigC M Y K
TIMELINE 6:05pm—Governor Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State) and Governor Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti State) arrive 6:44pm—Dance performance by Team Quba 6:48 pm—Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede arrives 6:56pm—Comedian, Gordons cracks jokes 7:11pm—National Anthem performed by Timi Dakolo 7:12pm—Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker House of Reps arrives with his entourage 7:15pm—General Ibrahim Babangida arrives 7:20pm—Sam Amuka, Vanguard publisher gives opening remarks 7:30pm—IBB delivers speech 7:45 pm—Timi Dakolo performs 7:50pm—Governor Fayemi takes his leaves 8:10pm—Tambuwal presents award to Aigboje 8:12pm—Aig-Imoukhuede gives acceptance speech 8:25pm—Yemi sax performs 8:50pm—IBB presents personality award to Governor Amaechi 8:51—IBB, Tambuwal, Amaechi, Aigboje and Amuka take group photograph 8:55pm—Governor Amaechi gives acceptance speech 9:15pm—Omawumi performs 9:25pm—IBB, Tambuwal and Amaechi take their leave
The men of today were fully represented and included among others, Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Amos Utuama, SAN, senators, members of the House of Representatives, among others. The business class was led to the gathering by Africa’s richest man Alhaji Aliko Dangote with Mr. Cosmas Maduka among many others from the banking sub-sector of the economy. The traditional class was also in full representation and included among others the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade who was represented by Prince Tokunbo Sijuade. Though the Personality of the Year award was won by Amaechi with Mr. Aigboje AigImoukhuede as runner up, the recipients were humble to acknowledge that many of their generation and those before
them had done equally, if not more to deserve awards like that from Vanguard. Mr. Amaechi dressed in full Ikwere, Rivers State regalia, was even more forthright, saying that he had severally been offered awards but had seen such accolades as improper given that he believed he was doing his work. He, however, saw the award from Vanguard as an exception given the company’s prominence in the ladder of integrity and forthrightness. He also saw the award as a positive attestation of the work in progress in his state. The event broadcast live on three of the nation’s television stations kicked off by 6:56pm when ace comedian, Gordons was called on stage to put smiles on the faces of guests. Gordons whose real name is Godwin Omoneh, mesmirised the audience in his comic relief. Also on hand to lighten up the atmosphere was another popular comedian, Holy Mallam did not only crack jokes, he also ensured he took photographs with the former Military President, General Babangida. Music sensation and winner of the maiden edition of Nigerian Idol, Timi Dakolo sang the national anthem to kick start the programme shortly after 7 p.m.
Amuka's welcome address Publisher of Vanguard newspapers, Mr. Sam Amuka in a welcome address appreciated those who found time to come and paid special compliment to President Babangida who was the chairman of the occasion. According to him it was reflective of the simplicity in the retired general that it was just a phone call that was used in inviting him to the function. Mr. Amuka also paid high regards to Tambuwal who he hailed as the “Peoples Speaker”. He then gave way to the General Manager and Editor –in- Chief of Vanguard, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye to make a more formal welcome address on behalf of the company. Babangida's speech: In his address Babangida paid special commendation to the two awardees, Amaechi and Aig-Imoukhuede and Speaker Tambuwal saying that they had made their generation proud. Before addressing the virtues of the two awardees, he made a deviation towards Tambuwal saying, “Let me salute my brother and friend, the Speaker of the Federal House of
Continues on page 45
Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013 — 45
How Amaechi, Aig-Imoukhuede were crowned Continues from page 44 Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, for giving us hope and assurances. “His conduct has shown that the upcoming generation has the capacity to sustain the labour of our heroes past. When leaders like Tambuwal have delivered on their electoral promise, we advise them to try something higher. For Tambuwal, your guess is as good as mine. Well done”. His call on Tambuwal was followed by a thunderous applause as men and women in the hall stood in recognition of the sterling qualities the speaker has brought to in running the affairs of the House of Representatives. On Amaechi, he said: “Governor Amaechi is not just a governor in whom I am well pleased, but one that has been able to make a bold impression about promise and performance, in a Nigerian political space that is grappling with challenges of development and good governance.” Babangida who has been a ringing voice for the projection of the country’s federalism said: “His conviction that the federating units in the country should be allowed to enjoy some level of independence and exploit their comparative advantages often gets him into trouble, understandably so. “With leaders who are brutally frank about issues and the politics of transition, leaders who are driven by their conviction like Amaechi and Aig-Imoukhuede, Nigeria still has tremendous hope”.
Musical interjection Following Babangida’s address and a musical interjection, Speaker Tambuwal marched forward to the stage to present Aig-Imoukhuede, the runner up with his plaque. Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede was escorted to the stage by his wife, a son and a daughter as a short narration of his efforts which recommended him for the nomination was made. Following the presentation, he said: “Uncle Sam has known me since I was a toddler and I must therefore disclose my interest that he has always been one of my favourite uncles and I, his favourite son,” as he progressed to buttress the endurance of Mr. Amuka’s newspapering endeavours, at least using his own parameters in the banking sector. “There are only two banks in Nigeria that are older than Vanguard, First Bank and UBA. All the great deeds you
•L-r: Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, GMD, Access Bank, runner-up; Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State and Dr Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State. at Vanguard Personality of the year Award 2012. ascribe to bankers, Uncle Sam has surpassed,” adding that for Vanguard to have outlived most of the banks, underlined “the vision, capacity and tenacity of the leadership of Vanguard Media Limited.” Affirming that a man would always be defined by what he does in life, Mr. AigImoukhuede lauded Babangida for the projects he left behind in office giving the third mainland bridge as one. “I grew up knowing the head of state who built one of the longest bridges in the world, the Third Mainland Bridge. While appreciating the fact that he was second in the
estimation of Vanguard editors, the banker said the emergence of Amaechi as Personality of the Year was fitting given what he said was the governor ’s conversion of Rivers State to a massive construction site. He was to subsequently dedicate the award to his wife. Following that, musical star Omawumi performed on stage before Gen. Babangida came to the stage to present the Vanguard Personality of the Year award to Mr. Amaechi. In his comments following the presentation of the award, Governor Amaechi, who was escorted to the occasion by a strong delegation of the Rivers
Rep. Dakuku Peterside The award is an awesome event. Vanguard lived up to expectation. For Gov Amaechi It is an honour he truly deserves and rightly earned . Gov Amaechi without doubt has revolutionized the infrastructural landscape of Rivers state . The whole nation has come to acknowledge that he is the new gold standard in good governance. His democratic credentials is exemplary and above all his principled stand on issues stand him out. He is an honest leader which is very rare to find in this clime .
State indigenes said that he had in the past paid little attention to awards because he thought he was simply doing his job. The governor whose strong unpretentious political visage had recently caused him problems with some political interests came to stage with a prepared speech upon what he noted was the propensity of some to twist his words torwards what they claim as his 'ambition.' But even as he vowed to rely on his prepared speech, time and time again, he deviated with doses of humour that repeatedly kept the audience
Vanguard made an apt choice.” The award of the Vanguard personality of the year is a clear testimony to the fact that, in all one does,it is important to realize others are watching,either closely or from a distance. For us as political office holders, we must cease every opportunity while in office to make bold impressions on service delivery to our people. There wouldn’t have been better awardeess than the duo of Gov. Amaechi and AigImoukhuede. I join all well meaning individuals in congratulating them on the award.
Rep. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele It’s a honour well deserved. Gov. Amaechi is one of the few humble but effective leaders of present day Nigeria who understand the dynamics of power and the constant need to stay on the side of the common people. He has generously delivered on his electoral promises while holding on to his vision with a high sense of modesty. Surely, it is one award that is beyond controversy because it is truely merited."
Hon. Chidi Lloyd, Majority Leader, RVHA The award of the Vanguard personality of the year is a clear testimony to the fact that, in all one does,it is important to realize others are watching,either closely or from a distance. For us as political office holders, we must cease every opportunity while in office to make bold impres-
sions on service delivery to our people. There wouldn’t have been better awardeess than the duo of Gov. Amaechi and Aig-Imuokwuode. I join all well meaning individuals in congratulating them on the award, especially Gov. Amaechi, for his giant strides in Rivers State.
laughing. Despite the commendable achievements he has made and the positive commendations attracted, he did not see it as any thing strange saying that for him it was in the line of duty. According to him, anybody given the strong support of a godfather could become a governor. The governor who noted the absence of his wife, given the fact that Mrs. Aig-Imoukhuede was present, nevertheless, dedicated the award to the team working with him and the people of Rivers State who he said helped him to be so recognized.
Electricity supply “I am receiving this award today on behalf of the people of Rivers State and my team”, because it is not a feat achievable by just an individual.” He was to cap his remarks with the promise that in the nearest future that the people of Rivers State would start having 24 hour electricity supply. Like Aig-Imuokhuede before him, Governor Amaechi also poured accolades on Babangida, saying how hours earlier, while at a function with some young Nigerians in Ekiti State mention was made on past Nigerian leaders and almost everyone spoke well of Babangida. No one, he said, described Babangida as a dictator.
46—VANGUARD, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013
Our leaders must show conscience — Orji Kalu IMMEDIATE past governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu in an interview in Lagos speaks on contemporary issues facing the country including his return to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, corruption and the state of insecurity in the country among other issues. Excerpts:
OU were quoted recently as saying that security agencies were responsible for throwing of bombs in the northern part of the country. Why? The government knows so much about it. In fact what I am saying is not new. Nobody should say I did not say so. I said so. Even President Jonathan has indicted the security agencies by saying there is Boko Haram in his cabinet. So, if there is Boko Haram in his cabinet, they should work on it. It is beyond carrying guns and standing on the road. This is intelligence. I want the president to take the issue of insecurity very seriously because it is paining me as an Igbo man; it’s paining me as a southerner; it’s paining me as a Christian. It is painful to me because whenever you have a problem in Pakistan, they will go to the north and kill the Igbo, kill the southerner and kill the Christian for doing nothing. Apart from the issue of insecurity, what other problem do you see as major in Nigeria? Well, the major thing is the massive corruption in the system; it is massive. People are not looking at anybody at all levels of government from the local government level to the federal level; nothing is talking about budgets again. Nobody regulates budget. I am only telling those who claim to be leaders to lead with conscience. They should give the middle class and the poor justice. In any system that there is not fairness and justice, that system will collapse. In Nigeria, there is no justice and fairness. You are coordinating an
anti-corruption campaign in Africa. How far have you gone? We are still working out the programme. We are supposed to be in South Africa this May. We are working out that programme with stakeholders from the European Union, the United Nations, some diplomats from the United States and other Western countries. We are working out the process because since government agencies in Africa have failed to fight corruption, we are trying to use Non-Governmental Agencies to fight corruption. You can see people who became ministers, governors and president who never owned anything. They had
•Orji Uzor Kalu
Are you back to PDP? Yes, I am back to the PDP. So, what about the opposition against you from your state against your return? They are not democrats. If
BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN, POLITICAL EDITOR
They should remove immunity, even as a sitting governor, I called for the removal, if a governor has committed an offence, he should go to court, they said they will have many lawsuits
never been in business. You see retired army generals, who own billions of naira; their salaries couldn’t have been that. So, it is everywhere. In 14 years of democracy, what have politicians done to restore hope for the future? They have done nothing. They are even worse today. That’s the truth. What are the qualities of the president you are looking for in 2015? Well, most of you continue to think of civil servants and all these people but the president I am looking for is one that can make a decision; a president that can stand and say I have made this decision, whether it is right or wrong.
they are democrats, they will not oppose my return. Do you agree that the Governors have constituted a very powerful cabal? I do not agree that they are very powerful. The constitution has given them very powerful roles to play. The seat of the governors is very, very powerful and that of the President of Nigeria is the most powerful in the world, where the president can wake up and do anything he likes. I have called for a review of the powers since I became a governor in 1999. How do we remedy that? The National Assembly are not making laws that will benefit the people. They are making laws that benefit
themselves. Until the National Assembly will make laws to put themselves in part time, abolish one chamber of the Assembly and have only one chamber, we cannot make progress. We cannot be spending 25 per cent of our income on only 469 people. Even the US congress is not earning the kind of money we are spending here. Our lawmakers should be able to sit on part-time basis. Do you support removal of the immunity clause? They should remove immunity. Even as a sitting governor, I called for the removal. If a governor has committed an offence, he should go to court. They said they will have many lawsuits. Why not? The minister, does he have immunity? Has he had so many lawsuits? People must respect the laws of the land. The constitution must specify how anybody does anything. I don’t believe there should be immunity for anybody. You should be prosecuted if you do anything. When Bill Clinton was president, he was prosecuted. That immunity did not stop them. I believe we should start being an open society. We are too closed; we are not a communist country. We should be open, not claim to be open.
The government is saying that the economy is growing at seven per cent etc.... No, I am not contradicting them. What I am saying is that the basic things have not been done to bring this economic growth they are shouting about. On which electricity are they producing the growth? On which communication are they producing the growth? Telecommunication companies are not investing their money and you even see security agencies in part of Abuja jamming the lines without knowing the economic consequences. That is not how security is done. The companies that own these businesses are losing money. The companies that signed agreements with these companies are also losing money. You must find another way of protecting the people. Even when presidents are landing, they keep commercial airlines in the air for 40 minutes to one hour. Do you know it is also killing the economy of the airlines? Do you know the amount of money lost by hanging in the air?
Presidential movement The airport can just be closed for five minutes with priority to his airplane, which I support because he is the president of Nigeria. There’s nowhere in the world you close the airport for presidential movement. The airlines are losing money on delays and time. What I am saying is that Nigerian people only see the economy from the dress they are wearing. I want them to see the reality. Because, if we don’t see the reality, what is happening now will consume all of us. It is true; it will consume all of us. The revolution that will come might not look at faces. It might not see face of religion, it might not see face of tribe. It will only see the face of have you been there before? This is the truth. It is not a laughing matter. It is something people should take seriously. Are you happy with what is happening in your state Abia? I am not very happy at all. I don’t believe that anybody created by God will be this petty. But I leave it to his conscience, I leave it to the hands of God.
VANGUARD, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013 —47
Gombe LG: Different strokes BY LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU
Alleged reasons for the delay of LG polls Up and until the elections were conducted last Februar y, Dankwambo had no political structures in the state. Notably, he rode on the back of the people and heavily relied on the political mastery of exGovernor Goje who “bulldozed” his way in the 2011 gubernatorial elections for Dankwambo. Dankwambo was a perceived godson of Goje and as a result, Goje donated all political structures in the ruling Peoples Democratic party (PDP) to him which felicitated his victory at the polls. But surprisingly, a faceoff ensued between Goje and Dankwambo shortly after Dankwambo was sworn in as Governor on May 29, 2011. Those who are in the know say that the new governor, in the light of the face-off, decided to
conduct the election only when he felt that he had seized the structures from his predecessor and as such, curried the support of the stakeholders. Similarly, the same reason was adduced by analysts to have delayed the formation of Gombe State Executive Council. Another significant reason given by keen observers of political events in the state on why the elections were delayed
EMOCRACY came to the grassroots in Gombe only on February 23, 2013 when the local government elections were conducted across the 11 council areas apparently because of public outcry against the apparent indecision of the Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo’s led administration on the issue. Prior to then, the governor had turned deaf ear to the yearnings of the people for elected government at the grass roots. He instead, maintained the system inherited from his predecessor, Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje where care- taker committees constituted at the twilight of Goje’s in 2011 was used to run the local governments for upward 21 months. According to sources, the caretaker committee chairmen were not given chance to execute projects. In fact, their mandate was to pay salaries of workers only and should any capital project be required, the council in question was expected to write a proposal to the governor through the commissioner for Local Government Affairs. The process took time and sometimes and the proposals were often not attended to. That development obviously dislocated the people from the government. This was despite the fact that the state government embarked on construction and rehabilitation of some rural roads across the local governments. But then, investigations by Vanguard revealed that there was more to the delay than could be peripherally discerned by an ordinary mind.
councillorship seats contested on that day. In many places it was more of an affirmation as the party was virtually the only one on the ballot except in Kwami Local Government where the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) joined the battle. But even there, PDP won. Reactions
Dankwambo was a perceived godson of Goje and as a result, Goje donated all political structures in the ruling PDP
was the political inexperience of Dankwambo. He was a career civil servant before his nomination for the office of governor having reached his career peak as Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) before he was enrolled into politics by Goje in December 2010. Sources say that he needed all the time to learn the robes before he could embark on any political mission such as the local government elections.
Election: One Party Affair The local government election that took place on February 23 was entirely, a one party affair with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP having a field day. The PDP won the 11 chairmanship and 114
Chairman of the CPC in the state, Barrister Audu Baba Kwami however rejected the results, saying “there were no elections in Gombe state but selection”. He later called for outright cancellation of the election. Also, Dr. Garba Mohhamed Bajoga, a retired permanent secretary and opposition politician told Vanguard that it was a charade. He said “Honestly, as far as we are concerned, democracy is about people and the beauty of democracy is where you have multi-party system. But whereby you now have only a single party controlling everything, it doest make for a democratic system. It looks like Nigeria is descending towards a one-party state and that is not healthy for democracy.
“Of course there are states that have not even conducted elections. It is unfortunate and that is exactly the kind of antics we don’t want because it looks like the state governments all over, not just one party, but every other party wants to control everything. It looks like you don’t want to conduct election so that you will have elected chairmen at the local government level. But it is unfortunate that you now have people who are selected rather than elected into local governments. And these guys are easily controlled. And it doesn’t help the people. ”Definitely, there is no democracy at the grass root level. And even at the various levels of government like the houses of assembly, it looks like it is only one party that controls everything. Real democracy should be a rainbow where you see various colours. It gives variety and leave room for competition.” The feelings The feelings of the people now that the elections have held are mixed. There are people who are happy that at least there are elected chairmen in the local government areas. But there are still others who feel lost in the scheme of things. Such persons alleged that there is no visible departure from what used to be before the elections were conducted as they allege the election was done to fulfill all righteousness. They alleged that the state government still calls the shot at the grassroots, leaving both the people and the elected chairmen handicapped.
48—Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013
F you are a follower of the ever busy and vibrant Nigerian social media scene, you would not have missed this My oga at the top saga. It is as hilarious as it is a pathetic commentary on the general sorry situation of our homegrown human resources these days. I recommend that you log into any of your favourite social media platforms and see for yourself, in case you have not already done so. However, it is my journalistic duty to summarise it since I have chosen it as a topic of discussion. The Lagos State Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Mr. Shem Obafaiye put in an appearance at the Channels Television studios in their Sunrise Daily programme recently. Part of the issues he discussed with his interviewers: Chamberlain Usoh, Nneota Egbe and Maupe Ogun, was the use of his agency’s website by fraudsters to scam unsuspecting job seekers. Obafaiye, a very demonstrative speaker, assured that once it was proved criminals were performing such unholy acts the website would be removed. When asked to name the website, the man fell into the dilemma that now has the whole world reeling with laughter. “I cannot categorically tell you now. The one that we are going to make use of is going to be made known by my oga at the top…yes…I can’t announce one now and the oga says it’s another one that we are going to use”. Pressed further: “Hmmm, the website
My oga at the top syndrome (1) is, excuse me, my oga at the top”, he said, pointing his right digitus secundus (index finger) sky high, “knows the website. My oga at the top is working on the website and I don’t have them”. Not satisfied, the interviewers reframed the question and launched it again. Then came the final clanger: “ww.nscdc. that’s all”. This has now been voted the most popular Youtube video from Nigeria! Actually, the correct website address of the NSCDC is: “www.nscdc.gov.ng". Overnight, Obafaiye became a celebrity for the wrong reasons. T-shirts bearing my oga at the top with his image were printed and they sold like hot cakes. In fact, many songs have been created by vigilant musicians. The one I found most alluring was done by Maleke. But by far the most sidesplitting “re-mix” of this my oga at the top was created by one AmeborTalk.com.
Maku, it is University of Nigeria!
HILE briefing State House correspondents last week Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council meeting, Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, referred to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, (UNTH) Enugu as “University of Nsukka…”. We, the Lions, take severe exceptions this. The first indigenous university was created to honour this nation and emphasise Nigeria first before the rest. This was the noble ideology of the Great Zik of Africa and his political movement, the National Council for Nigerian Citizens (NCNC). It was founded in 1955 and officially opened for academic studies on October 7th 1960, shortly after Nigeria gained independence. Other universities that came LATER were named after regional leaders, individuals and cities. Their products, over the years, have tried to drag UNN to their level by referring to it as “University of Nsukka”. One of them included former Education Minister, Professor Jibril Aminu, who argued that a university that played a leading role in the Biafra War should not bear the name of Nigeria. Their antics failed and always will. Maku’s case had to be immediately challenged because being the Minister of Information and a veteran journalist he owes it a duty to call institutions and personalities by their correct names. Maku should not be part of the political mischief and sabotage against the identity, dignity and vision of the University of Nigeria (UNN).
It features Obafaiye as a rapper, gesticulating and demonstrating in tune to an accompanying beat. The viral popularity of the Shem Obafaiye outing reminds me of another, more ennobling episode that took place while I reported the US presidential elections in New York last year. David Axlerod, Democratic Party presidential candidate, Barack Obama’s Campaign Adviser, had boasted on MSNBC that he would shave his moustache of forty years in public if the president lost the Pennsylvania vote. When the president won there, he came back to pledge to shave it if the public was ready to raise a million dollars to assist people suffering from epilepsy. His daughter suffers from the disease. The amount was surpassed even as he spoke on TV. Some of the donors included President Obama and maverick billionaire Donald Trump, who campaigned against his candidacy. Axelrod’s wife, Susan, accompanied him to the MSNBC’s popular Morning Joe
Mr. Shem Obafaiye
OPINION BY ADEWALE KUPOLUYI
HE decision of the nation's Council of States, led by President Goodluck Jonathan, to pardon the former Bayelsa State governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and other ex-convicts, has continued to generate ripples in and out of Nigeria. Others beneficiaries of the Greek gift include a former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, the late Major General Shehu Musa Yar ’Adua; former Chief of General Staff, Lt. General Oladipo Diya; the late Major-General Abdulkareem Adisa; former Minister of Communications, Major-General Tajudeen Olanrewaju; Major Segun Fadipe; Major Bello Magaji; Mohammed Lima Biu; former Managing Director of the defunct Bank of the North, Shettima Bulama; and Dr. Chiichii Ashwe. On the list, Alamieyeseigha’s case seems to be singled-out as the most controversial for a number of reasons. The former governor was recently described by President Jonathan as his ‘political benefactor’, having been removed from office by the state House of Assembly, through impeachment that eventually led to his arrest, prosecution and conviction. We recall that the UK Metropolitan Police allegedly found about £1m in cash in his London home, as he later escaped from prison by disguising as a woman
Still on presidential pardon in December that year and was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in July 2007, having pleaded guilty in a Federal High Court in Lagos for money laundering and corrupt enrichment. The British Broadcasting Corporation had infamously dubbed him "Nigeria's Runaway Governor". The latest farce and controversial pardon is seen by many observers as an attestation to the fact that the government’s acclaimed anti-corruption is a mere ruse. While it is a common knowledge that there are other public officials in Nigeria, who have committed similar or more egregious harm than Alamieyeseigha, the timing of the pardon is also out of place. Number one, Alamieyeseigha may have served-out his jail time, still he’s yet to apologise to the people of Bayelsa State for abuse of the trust they placed in him and for mismanaging their resources. Secondly, public record shows that he is yet to satisfy the British authorities - from where he purportedly took flight at the height of the criminal allegations against him. He still has a case to answer. Thirdly, it was alleged that the very week he was
The tragedy of Obafaiye’s outing is obvious. He might even be a very effective and brave field officer, but within a couple of minutes he shot down everythingincluding the reputation of his organisation
programme to witness the momentous shaving of the moustache on live television. That event not only raised funds for charity but it also brought the president and his sworn ideological enemies together. Such is the power of the social media in today’s world and it pays to be careful what you say or do if you are a public officer or celebrity of any reckoning.
Elevated position The tragedy of Obafaiye’s outing is obvious. Here is the Sector Commandant of NSCDC, whose elevated position is akin to State Commissioner of Police or Sector Commander of the Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) or State equivalent of the Department of State Security (DSS). He is unable to communicate in official language, freely mixing vernacular/pidgin (oga for boss) with English and demonstrating a sickening ignorance of computer/ information and communications technology. If you dig into his curriculum vitae, it is very likely that Obafaiye has chains of degrees up to, perhaps, Master of Arts (M.A) or Master of Science (M.Sc) He might even be a very effective and brave field officer, but within a couple of minutes he shot down everything including the reputation of his organisation, which led to unconfirmed speculations that he has been sacked. We will continue this discussion next time, focusing on how our educational system has come to breed what I call “unemployable and unhelp-able” university graduates. I have a letter you should read. Catch you.
granted state pardon coincided with when he ought to respond to another criminal complaints in the United States of America. Due to these complexities, many people believe that the state pardon was political. They opined that the coupists were merely brought into the picture to give credibility to the process. It was learnt that the whole process was meant just for the former governor, who was Jonathan’s principal as Bayelsa helmsman when the President was his deputy and that he (Alamieyeseigha) is planning to return to the political limelight by running for the Senate in 2015 elections – badly needs0 the state pardon to achieve his goal. From the reactions, criticism and outburst generated so far, the pardon appears to be the most controversial in the annals of Nigeria. Legally speaking, the President's action in consonance with the NCS relied on Section 175 of the 1999 Constitution to grant the former convicted persons state pardon and is designed to have the effect of treating a conviction as though it never happened. It removes the stigma by restoring the convict to normal life in the sense that the pardon is a prerogative of a grantor. Continues tomorrow on the Viewpoints pg Mr. Kupoluyi wrote from Federal Varsity of Agric., Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013—49
T a church service to mark his birthday anniversary on April 4 last year, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole told the audience interesting stories of his growing days in his native home of Iyamho, Etsako West council area of Edo State where he was born 60 years ago. Of particular interest was the story that the natives, including his father, would dash into the bush at the approach of tax collectors and resurface when signalled that the invading government officials had left. The collectibles included personal income taxes, especially under Schedule Two for those in opposition political parties as well as bicycle and radio licence fees. As a lad he always wished he could ride in the car, a land rover most probably, the tax officials used then. He recounted how, as if ordained by fate and at his father’s pleading, it was the same tax collectors’ ‘’official’’ car that took him out of the village on his long and tortuous journey through life to Government House where today it is his lot to manage taxes and their collectors as well as numerous official vehicles of all makes and sizes. Of course, everyone present was entertained by the celebrant who but for God’s intervention may possibly have remained in his village to tell stories by moonlight.
He still tells stories, only that these days he tells the stories of his involvement in labour activism while working at a textile factory in Kaduna; his climb to the pinnacle as number one leader of labour in the country; his travails as defender of the rights of the working poor; his foray into the murky political waters and war with the ‘godfathers’ and his conquests over those who want to perpetually keep the state poor and under-developed. Each story Comrade Oshiomhole has had to tell touched on his life as a child, young man, husband, father and grandfather, unionist and leader of government. What stories will he tell at 60 years of age? They probably will centre round his passionate drive to achieve his vision for Edo State and its people. He will tell the story of how in the last four years as governor, he has had to fight and subdue the witches and wizards that conspired with corrupt government officials to keep development away from the people. Potable water supply, for example, had eluded several communities in the state owing to a resigned belief that water could not be found underneath their land. The story of the many successes in the provision of water to Ekpoma and other rural communities across the state using three state-of-the-art Dando drilling rigs will be told for many
years to come. From Ogbido, Ogbona and Iraokhor to Iruekpen, Ugbogui, Udo and many more the people now enjoy this basic facility which had eluded them for ages.
omrade Oshiomhole at 60 will tell the story of how he met a deliberate state policy which created ‘’disaster’’ of streets and roads in the state. The state of roads, state and federal, was so bad the people had come to believe that nothing could be done about them. It was in that state of despondency that Oshiomhole came to the rescue. Today at 60, Oshiomhole will tell the story of how he resolved to rehabilitate, construct and reconstruct major roads not only in the state capital, Benin City, but also in other urban centres across the state. Intra and inter-city road networks spanning several hundreds of kilometres have been constructed and reconstructed all over that state. In Benin City, gateway roads like Airport Road, Akpakpava Street, Mission Road, Sapele Road, Oba
APC: Overcoming the PDP decoy BY DAN OWEGIE
EMOCRACY appears to be on the reverse gear with the current happenings in the country. The desperation of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to remain in power by hook and crook is becoming more and more manifest daily. With the appointment of a Board of Trustees Chairman through a flawed process and a man who is known not to have respect for democratic norms and rule of law emerging leaves observers wondering if the nation will not retrogress by more than 50 years if this present crop of elites in the PDP are allowed to continue to misdirect the affairs of this country beyond 2015. The seeming controversy surrounding the registration of a political amalgam that is out to wrest power from the spineless PDP has further exposed the treachery and perfidy in the ruling party which establishes political parties every day to cause confusion in the polity. Obviously afraid of the robust blend the opposition parties have assumed when the All Progressive Congress, APC, was launched, from the merger of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP and All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, the PDP hawks went to their drawing board to plot what sort of spanner could be thrown into the works to prevent an obvious defeat come 2015. They eventually settled for a childish plot of rushing to establish more APCs. A few days ago, the African Peoples Congress, APC, unveiled its controversial logo, acronym and emblem even when the shameless promoters know that the All Progressives Congress have settled for that name. As if the controversy was not enough, the ruling party sponsored yet another
group, the All Patriotic Citizens. Those behind this dastardly exercise in the ruling party know that their game is up so they are ready to hang on to any available straw. The African Peoples Congress, which has Chief Onyinye M. Ikeagwuonu, as its protem national chairman, when he speaks, you think he speaks for himself and the unknown group, just as one unknown Mr. Oliver Ike will speak as if he has a political agenda for Nigerians. For instance , some members of the so-called African Peoples Congress rose from a hurried meeting accusing the ruling PDP of setting aside huge sums of tax payers monies with the sole aim of ensuring that their political association did not see the light of the day. But these voices put together are the voice of Jacob, but Nigerians can feel the hands of Esau. They come out and cunningly insult the PDP and its leadership, so that Nigerians could mistake the PDP decoy for reality. The PDP must understand that these old tricks would not stand the test of time. Prior to the consummation of the merger, observers as well as some active players on the Nigerian political turf, mouthed that it would, like the previous ones, end in a stalemate. This, they explained was because it is the coming together of strange bedfellows whose principles and political ambitions would not agree. But it later turned out that the personalities in the merger talk were unswerving to proving the doubting Thomases wrong. Everyone knows that the All Progressives Congress was the first to intimate the Nigerian populace and approached INEC since February 16, 2013 in writing of its resolve to use the acronym APC. This makes the APC exclusive intellectual property of the progressives. Unarguably, all legal and constitutional processes required to formalise the decision
Market Road, Siluko Road, Sakponba Road, Dawson/Uselu/ Ugbowo/Oluku Road have been reconstructed to make them befitting of capital city status. These roads and streets and many more now have covered drains, walkways and street lights. Upper Mission Road, Upper Lawani and many other roads in Benin City and elsewhere across the state are presently receiving attention. He will tell the story of how he has turned Five Junction around. Residents of Benin now journey from their faraway parts to see and appreciate the new face of this area which was erosion ravaged. At 60 Oshiomhole will gleefully tell the story of how he reclaimed Costain-Isonorho and adjoining streets in New Benin area of the state capital made impassable by refuse from people who subjected the inhabitants to daily abuse of offensive odour and disease. Today, the whole of the area has tarred streets with walkways, covered drains and street lights. It is now renamed Gani Fawehinmi Layout. He will tell the story of how he embarked on the very ambitious project of draining Benin City of ravaging flood water which had rendered many homeless and many roads impassable. Steady progress is being made on the massive canal from Ugbowo through Evbotutu/ Ekenwan to Oko/Ogba River which is expected to hold and take flood water from several secondary drains under the Benin storm water master plan. He will tell the story of how in the past four years he took several communities across the state from darkness to light through provision of electricity to communities that
BY NASAMU JACOBSON
Oshiomhole: Master story teller @ 60
He has had to fight the witches and wizards that conspired with corrupt government officials to keep development away from the people
Clearly the PDP is afraid of the merger and it is doing everything, using state resources to truncate the wishes of the powerful groups; but no gathering of any armoury can stop an idea whose time has come
by the CPC, ACN, the ANPP, to merge and register in the name of APC with INEC had been in progress since it was announced on February 16, 2013. Interestingly, prior to the adoption of the name, the amalgamation of political parties carried out a careful search of the existing names of all political parties and extant registration in Nigeria and found out that none had the name All progressives Congress nor the acronym APC, hence the resolve to settle for the name that was unveiled to Nigerians. Two days later, the PDP came up with their own versions to cause unnecessary confusion to overheat a polity it was supposed to be maintaining at least, room temperature.
learly, the PDP is afraid of the merger and it is doing everything, using state resources to truncate the wishes of the powerful groups. But no gathering of any armoury can stop an idea whose time has come. The PDP will continue to flee from its shadows from now till 2015 when they would be swept away from power for apparent reasons. First, it is noteworthy Nigerians had never taken interest in the coming together of opposition parties in their bid to square up with the government at the centre, which
had accepted darkness as a way of life. Oshiomhole will tell of the transformation his government has brought to the school system in terms of infrastructure and personnel. From Edo North through Central to the South senatorial district very many primary and secondary school buildings have either been renovated or reconstructed. The Red Roof Revolution, under which all renovated or reconstructed buildings wear red coloured aluminium roofs, floor tiles, pvc ceiling and electric fans, has been carried to all nooks and crannies of the state. He will tell the people how more than 50,000 children attending private schools have returned to the public school system because of this transformation and how children of the poor in public schools now feel like those of the rich. For the first time in Edo State, education is truly free from primary to secondary level with all forms of levies abolished. Students at the state-owned Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma have had their fees reduced considerably too. At 60, Oshiomhole will also tell the story of how he turned the health care delivery system in the state around. From mere consulting clinics, hospitals in urban centres have benefitted from his administration’s policy of massive infrastructural and manpower development. Rural communities across the state now have fully renovated or new primary health care centres equipped and manned by qualified personnel.
*Mr. Jacobson, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Benin City, Edo State.
they claimed, has reduced their citizenship to vagabond status. Nigerians are apprehensive that basic needs of life such as health, education, water, electricity, food and other things are out of the common man’s reach. While government officials and rich individuals go about buying private jets for themselves, send their children and wards to expensive schools overseas, seek foreign medical attention, supply their own water at home, provide their electricity and eat balanced meals, the poor study in schools under trees , have no roads to their communities, no health facilities or use ill-equipped and poorly staffed medical centres. Secondly and more disturbing is the fact that the country is immersed in official corruption and insecurity of unimaginable magnitude while the PDP is busy giving presidential pardon to high profile corrupt persons and ex-convicts. Who then can be prosecuted for corruption? Only the opposition parties, of course. Can the President Goodluck Jonathan administration have the moral right to prosecute anybody in court in Nigeria for corruption today? The answer is an emphatic no. Anybody being prosecuted of corruption by the Jonathan administration is just being persecuted by government because it is morally debased to combat graft. The Southern part of Nigeria and some volatile parts of the North is a haven for kidnapping, where even royals, celebrities, academics, sports heroes and heroines and even the poor public are afraid for their lives and the lives of their loved ones as they go about their lawful businesses. In the North, the insurgency of Boko Haram and menace of unknown gunmen make an average citizen feel very insecure. The PDP security chiefs have a ready cliché that they are on top of the situation. The more they claim to be on top of the situation, the more insecurity grows worse. Who then is fooling who?
*Mr. Owegie is Publicity Secretary of the ACN in Edo State.
50—Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013
Deputy Gov. blames Kogi, Anambra boundary crisis on rumours
OKOJA — DEPUTY Governor of Kogi, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, said weekend that rumour mongering and misinterpretation of gestures were the reasons responsible for the border crisis between communities in Kogi and Anambra. Awoniyi stated this in a statement by his Press Secretary, Mr. Michael Abu, in Lokoja, and made available to News Agency of Nigeria, NAN. He disclosed that t h e r e was misinformation that there was war between the boundary communities, saying that this was not true. Awoniyi said that the discovery of oil around Odeke area by a company wholly owned by Anambra citizens and the need to protect the assets of the company from vandals was a major reason for the crisis. He said the crisis started when the joint patrol team set up by the government of Anambra was moving around the land. However, in the heat of the controversy, some Kogi indigenes in the area felt they had come to take over the oil well.
CD condemns delay in giving refief materials to lood victims BY ANAYO OKOLI
MUAHIA — CAMPAIGN for Democracy, CD, South East zone, has condemned the slow pace of sharing of the relief materials given to Anambra State by the Federal Government and other good spirited Nigerians to displaced flood victims in the state. To this end, CD has called for immediate disbursement and equitable and transparent sharing of the materials for the victims not to die out of frustration.
S-East leaders agree to give Achebe befitting burial BY TONY EDIKE
NUGU—GOVER NORS of the SouthEast states and political leaders in the zone rose from a meeting in Enugu, yesterday, with a resolve to work closely with the family of the late literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe to accord him a befitting burial. No date has been fixed for the burial but the governors said they would be deeply involved in his funeral in recognition of his achievements which gave Ndigbo a pride of place. Chairman of the South East
Governor’s forum and Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, who briefed newsmen after the meeting held at the Government House, Enugu, said that efforts were on to reach out to Achebe’s family to work out a possible date for his burial. He said that the meeting also received a report of the Senator Ben Obi-led 11man committee set up by the leaders of the zone to look into the remote and immediate causes of the post-election crisis rocking the leadership of the apexIgbo socio-cultural
organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Obi said that the meeting attended by governors of Abia (Theodore Orji), Enugu (Sullivan Chime), Ebonyi (Martin Elechi); Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, Chief Anagha Ezeikpe, Eze Agom Eze, MAO Ohuabunwa, Senator Ben Obi, among others, also looked at other issues bordering on security of the zone. On Achebe, Obi who is also
the chairman of the Governors’ Forum, said the meeting could not fix the date for the burial of the late literary icon because of the need to consult with relevant stakeholders. ”We need to reach out to all the stakeholders, including President Goodluck Jonathan, the people of Ogidi, his hometown in Anambra, the various states in the south east. The essence of this is to ensure that everybody is carried along,” Obi stated. He, however, assured that
Dr. Joyce Ugochukwu @ 60: From right, Most Rev. Iweha praying for Dr Joyce Ugochukwu and her husband, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu while Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, Senator Nkechi Nwogu and others look on at 60th Birthday Ceremony of Dr. Mrs. Joyce Ugochukwu held in Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.
the burial will involve the people of the Igbo nation. On the Ohanaeze crisis, the governor said the South east leaders would take a critical look at the report of the Senator Ben Obi’s committee with a view to ensuring that peace returned to the organisation. ”We gathered to receive the report of the committee headed by Senator Ben Obi, to harmonise all aggrieved members of the body. "We also deliberated on Prof. Chinua Achebe’s burial to make it befitting as he was an illustrious son of Ndigbo. The security situation and infrastrutural situation in the southeast was equally looked into with a view to improving it,” Obi told newsmen after the meeting that lasted for about six hours.
Planned sack of NWC: Fear grips PDP .Some persons are using the Judiciary and INEC to destabilise the NWC, PDP cries out .Says it will not allow these persons to hijack the party BY HENRY UMORU
BUJA — A palpable sense of fear of the present National Working Committee, NWC being sacked has griped the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as it cried out, yesterday, that there were alleged moves by some persons to use the Judiciary and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to destabilise the leadership of the party. The party has also vowed to resist moves by these persons to take over the structure of the party from the present National Working Committee, NWC ahead of 2015.
In a statement signed, yesterday, by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party said, ‘’our party has uncovered plans by a tiny clique of undemocratic elements to use cohorts in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and bad eggs in the judiciary to discredit its leadership and destabilise the oarty. ‘’We as leaders of this great party will not fold our hands while those whose lack of self confidence in free and fair democratic process which our leadership has set as a sine qua non for the 2015 electoral exercises has
driven into an unconscionable frenzy of either hijacking the party or destroying its hard earned democratic credibility. ‘’We wish to alert Nigerians to a destructive plot by certain reactionary forces who working hand in glove with collaborators in the INEC have manufactured a spurious report, specifically aimed at destroying the credibility of the party’s 2012 National Convention which brought in the current National Working Committee (NWC) using judicial officers of questionable integrity. ‘’Such a maniacal re-visit of the 2012 National Convention over a year after it was held to a popular
acclaim of all party members was a measure of the desperation of some politicians to achieve selfish ambition even at the risk of destroying their party. “Till date, the PDP remains the only political party in the country that conducts transparent internal elections which start with the ward, local government and state congresses culminating in the national convention. The 2012 exercise was not only unique in the level of participation of party members but in the rancour free, sports-like attitude which various contestants exhibited.
Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013 — 51
Vanguard CLASSIFIED Correction of Name PENAWOU—I, elder and head of the family formerly known and spelt as Penawou, now wish to be corrected and spelt Pinawou henceforth. All former documents remain valid. The Pinawou family in particular, First Marine Engineering Services Limited and general public please take note.
UWADIA—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Oboh O. Mary, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Uwadia O. Mary Oboh. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public please take note.
OKPOK—I, formerly known and addressed as
OBIOMA—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Obioma Vivian Ijeoma, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Okwara Vivian Ijeoma. All former documents remain valid. UNIPORT, NYSC and general public please take note.
public please take note.
AGU—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Agu Prisca Chinwendu, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Osunwoke Prisca Chinwendu. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
ONYEKWERE—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Mercy Onyekwere, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Mercy Ejike Ejiowhor. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
MADUKA—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Doris Njideka Maduka, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Doris Njideka Obigadi. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
UGWUANYI—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Nneka Esther Ugwuanyi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Irofuala Esther Nneka. All former documents remain valid. Federal Cooperative College Oji River Enugu State, N.Y.S.C. and general public please take note.
URUABANI—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Uruabani Deborah Ndujekwu, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Ejianya Deborah Ndujekwu. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
UGBECHIE—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ugbechie Florence Kanayor, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Okwudili Florence Kanayor. All former documents remain valid. Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, AAU Ekpoma and general public please take note.
EZEOFOR —I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ezeofor Chika Maureen Nkiruka, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Obi Chika Maureen Nkiruka. All former documents remain valid. Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and general public please take note.
Confirmation of Name My correct name is Ubogu Mike, but some of my documents bear Ubogun Mark, and Ugbogu Mike. This is to confirm that Ubogu Mike, Ugbogu Mike, and Ubogun Mark is one and same person. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
AGBIGBE—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Agbigbe Ogheneovo Emily, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Omijie Ogheneovo Emily. All former documents remain valid. Word of Faith Group of School Abuja, American Embassy Abuja, First Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, GTBank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and general public please take note.
ADERIBIGBE—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Susan Nene Aderibigbe, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Susan Nene Vatsa. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
BELLO SULE —I, formerly known and addressed as Hameedah Bello Sule, now wish to be known and addressed as Hameedah Bello Abdullahi. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
EKEE—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ekee Emumena Gloria, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Nkennor Emumena Gloria. All former documents remain valid. Post Primary Education Board (Asaba) and general public please take note.
OKEKE —I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Okeke Ifeyinwa Emmanuella, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Ezeabakwulu Ifeyinwa Emmanuella. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
CLARKE—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Clarke Edith Alero, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Okome Edith Alero. All former documents remain valid. Primary Education Board Asaba, LEA Warri South West and general public please take note.
RILIWANI —I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Riliwani Suraya, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Salami R. Suraya. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
ANENE —I, formerly known and addressed as Isioma Josephine Anene, now wish to be known and addressed as Isioma Josephine Eziashi. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
known and addressed as Miss Uzozie Bibiana Chioma, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Chima Chioma Egere. All former documents remain valid. General
Miss Glory Anietie Okpok, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Glory B. Ezema. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
China warns ‘trouble makers’ in Korean Peninsula C
HINA has warned a g a i n s t “troublemaking” on its doorstep, in an apparent rebuke to North Korea, and the United States, adding that it was postponing a missile test to help calm high tension on the divided Korean peninsula. The North, led by 30year-old Kim Jong-un, has been issuing vitriolic threats of war against the United States and U.S.backed South Korea since the United Nations imposed sanctions in response to its third nuclear weapon test in February. Pyongyang’s anger appears heightened by U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises. But most analysts say it has no intention of starting a conflict that would bring its own destruction and instead is out to wring concessions from a nervous international community. Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary William Hague has called
for calm over the North Korean crisis. Despite the paranoid rhetoric from Pyongyang, it was important to remain firm and united, he, said warning of the dangers of a miscalculation by North Korea.
This is even as China’s leader Xi Jinping said no country could be allowed to throw the region “into chaos for selfish gains”. North Korea has made a series of direct threats against the US and South Korea.
France urges reconciliation in Mali
RANCE’S foreign minister has urged Mali’s government to begin a process of reconciliation, assuring the war-torn country of continued military support. Laurent Fabius said restoring security was essential but so was restoring democratic dialogue. He called for elections this summer, saying that it was possible to have a legally elected president by July. A French-led intervention that began
in January has regained the main cities of northern Mali from Islamist groups. However, fighting continues in the north. France sent 4,000 troops to Mali to block the Islamist advance; it plans to withdraw most of its troops by the end of the year. Speaking during a visit to the capital, Mr Fabius said: “There’s an unanimous desire for the elections to happen as planned and the date agreed was for July.
UN mission: S/Africa to send troops to Congo
OUTH Africa will send troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of a U.N. mission to neutralize armed groups in the conflict-torn east of the country, a South African military spokesman said yesterday. The deployment comes as South Africa is coming to grips with its worst military setback since the end of apartheid in 1994. Thirteen of its troops were
killed last month in a shootout with rebels in the neighboring Central African Republic (CAR). “The DRC deployment has nothing to do with the CAR. Neither did the CAR incident influence the decision to send the troops into the DRC. They are two different issues,” Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga told Reuters. The size and timing of the deployment will depend on the terms set
by the United Nations, he added. The Security Council unanimously adopted in late March a resolution establishing the so-called intervention brigade as part of the existing 20,000strong U.N. force in Congo, known as MONUSCO. It is the first time the United Nations has created such a unit within a traditional peacekeeping force.
Kerry wants Turkey, Israel to restore ties
HE United States of America Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday urged Turkey and Israel to restore full relations, calling this vital to regional stability, but said it was not up to Washington to dictate the conditions of rapprochement. An Israeli-Turkish reconciliation could improve regional coordination to contain spillover from the Syrian civil war and ease Israel’s diplomatic isolation in the Middle East as it faces the challenge of Iran’s nuclear program. Kerry said it was imperative for Israel to honor its commitment to
pay compensation to the families of those who were killed by Israeli marines aboard a Turkish vessel trying to break a naval blockade on Gaza in 2010, and for both countries to return their ambassadors. He was speaking in Istanbul some two weeks after President Barack Obama brokered a thaw between Turkey and Israel, whose relations were frozen by the killing of nine Turkish citizens in that raid on a Gazabound flotilla. “With respect to the Israel-Turkey track, it is not for the United States to be setting conditions or terms,” Kerry told
reporters alongside Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. “We would like to see this relationship that is important to stability in the Middle East, critical to the peace process itself, we would like to see this relationship get back on track in its full measure,” he said. “To be back on track in its full measure it is imperative that the compensation component of the agreement be fulfilled, that the ambassadors be returned and that full relationship be embraced, but it’s not up to us to discuss the timing.”
Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013
That Onochie’s breath of fresh (Athletics) air
am guilty as charged. Yes I am a FIFA Match Commissioner, CAF General Coordinator, Member Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, yet that is not enough excuse for the volume of thoughts I write on football in my column every week. But for the intervention of Vanguard Group Sports Editor in his column last Friday, I believe I would have dedicated today’s column as usual to vexed issues of football, issues that at the end of the day leave me angry and deflated. I believe that this week I would have jumped into the fracas involving Coach Stephen Keshi and his captain Joseph Yobo, most especially the order by the NFF President that the Technical Committee should as a matter of urgency wade into a matter that if not well handled can derail our World Cup dreams. I would have written about the unbelievable and scandalous 7-1 loss experienced by Lobi Stars in Maputo. After talking to club boss Dominic Iorfa on the morning of the match ( Friday ) I quickly dispatched a text of prayer waiting to hear qualification news, after all a 3-1 first leg victory can be considered enough assurance for a second leg qualification. About thirty minutes after the match must have ended, I tried in vain to establish contact with Maputo. I needed to call a colleague, Palmira Francisco who told me to get a Doctor by my side because what she was about to tell me was likely to break my heart. Jokes apart, when she said Lobi had lost by 7-1 I was, to say the least, astonished. There is no how I would not have written today about Heartland Football Club of Owerri that left our shores last Saturday ( Match day ) in two chartered planes that could not take more than thirteen players and two officials. The story is a long one especially as regards the Gabonese who did everything to block the line of communication so that when the two jets finally flew into Libreville, there was nobody on ground to welcome them, not to talk about onward flight to Bitam, venue of the match! The Gabonese are now claiming a Walk Over. Who knows, I would have written about the club President who woke up from a ten year old sleep to declare that Taribo West by his own reckoning is sixty years old today. Just as Taribo exclaimed, I would have asked, “ what’s his own”. I would have used this column today to echo the
Yes, let football continue to give us joy,(?) but when we need medals, lots of it ... then track and field is it.
cry of Chief Jonathan Ogufere, President of the Association of Sports Veterans, Nigeria who has summoned his members to an emergency meeting tomorrow in Lagos to discuss the “ not too palatable happenings in our football environment” Let’s forget football today and dwell instead on what has been my passion in the last twelve years that I had midwifed track and field championship in Akwa Ibom schools and colleges courtesy NNPC/ MPN Joint Venture. Onochie in his column made me remember the sacrifices we had to undergo every year to comb the grass roots, unearth and nurture school children to stardom and I am talking of thousands of students anxious to make an impact in sports. By the time we get to Eket for the grand finale, we are always in a position to camp about 600 students who qualify from the eight sports zones of the state from where we produced 120 champions yearly ( first to third positions in twelve events ) The Akwa Ibom/Mobil Athletics championship from inception attracted the support of the AFN and saw the attendance of ministers of sports and education and top federal and state government functionaries. Sadly for me and the sponsors, we are yet to get the state Sports ministry to match our enthusiasm,
Balotelli caught smoking in train F toilet
ATEST update from the wacky world of Mario Balotelli: the striker is set to be fined by AC Milan for having a secret cigarette in the toilet of a train. The former Manchester City striker, who appeared to be settling back in to Italian football by making headlines back on the field, has been allegedly caught smoking in a train toilet while the San Siro side were travelling to Florence for the club’s game against Fiorentina on Sunday morning. It is the latest bizarre incident for the 22-yearold, who has scored seven goals in as many Serie A games since his move
from the Etihad but several reports in Italy claim the train conductor caught him cigarettes in hand on the train. It is illegal to smoke on a train in Italy and the players seems unable to avoid controversy. According to La Gazzet-
ta dello Sport, the senior guard on the train informed Milan’s vicepresident Adriano Galliani, who was travelling with the team, saying: ‘Maybe you have to pull Balotelli’s ears, because he was smoking in the toilet.’
O R M E R heavyweight world champion Herbie Hide is to be charged with conspiring to supply cocaine. Video footage was published of the Brit apparently boasting about being able to fix boxing bouts while they also alleged that Hide
that of taking over the tracking and training of the athletes so discovered. Every year I go through the painful ritual of discovering athletes who are left fallow, thereafter. I am happy to announce that this year, the sponsors are considering taking the athletes a step further by subjecting them to extra coaching and tutelage that will enhance their competitiveness and improve their styles and techniques advantage Akwa Ibom, Nigeria. This without doubt is the future of our sports. It is not enough to be competition oriented. We must endeavour to develop our sports. With what MPN is putting in place in Akwa Ibom, hopefully with the support of the State ministry of sports, Akwa Ibom stands the chance of exploding in next year’s National junior sports festival athletics event. Onochie mentioned the lack of coaches . He can say that again. Before every championship, I endeavour to organize seminars for games masters and officials, yet most times it comes to nothing because those important bridges called games masters and mistresses do not exist anymore. What we have are individuals who fill the posts yet know next to nothing about sports not to talk about imparting same to their wards. How many times have I not turned a coach? Take the elementary skill that says If you teach your athletes to step over the opposite knee while driving down their foot into the ground they will be able to gain speed. How many games masters or even coaches know this? What about schools where sports does not exist in their curricular and Physical Education wiped away from the time table? Working with the kids gives me joy, despite the enormous organizational challenges that I face. Working with the youths give me hope of a bright future for this country. About five years ago, Yusuf Ali, Nigeria’s ex Athletics captain came to Eket and spotted two potentials in Enobong James Umoh and Ifiok Andrew. He took them to Lagos, enrolled them in the University of Lagos, tutored them and the last I heard they were representing the country at international level. Yes, let football continue to give us joy,(?) but when we need medals, lots of it, if we need fame for our youths and international recognition that enhances our diplomatic integrity, then track and field is it. See you next week
Hide faces drug charges offered to peddle drugs. And the 41-year-old will appear in court on April 18 to answer the charge. ‘Officers were handed video footage and inquiries were carried out,’ a Norfolk Police spokesman told the Sun
Odibo commends Gov. Uduaghan for hosting AYAC Warri 2013
O R M E R Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs in Delta State,, Barrister Moses Odibo has declared that the hosting of the African Youth Athletics Championship has broken the siege mentality in Warri and appealed to Governor Uduaghan to
sustain the tempo of activities at the Warri Staduim. Speaking with journalist at the Warri International Stadium,venue of the AYAC WARRI 2013 events, Odibo said prior to the event, it was like Warri was under stay at home siege but the competition has removed that negative
approach to waht warri means to the citizenry especally Deltans. According to him, there was this semblance of self imposed curfew......but that has dissappeeared within the last few days and thus, commended the Governor for hosting the Championship.
He described the hosting of the Sports event as an assurance to outsiders that Delta and indeed Warri is safe to do any business.and host international events of this nature. “ The habit of sitting at home in the evenings has been broken and people now move."
on Sunday. ‘As a result, one man has been charged and a second summonsed to appear in court to answer a charge of conspiracy to supply cocaine.’ Another man, Ben Sharman, 22, has already been charged. The video, released in February, showed Hide reportedly saying: ‘Whoever, which round you want, whatever you want as long as you put the money. ‘I can guarantee one thing, you can get whoever is the favourite, you can get them to step down for a million pounds. ‘You need a big name on good record — yeah, like myself!’
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Champions League best in the world —Okocha
ORMER Super Ea gles captain, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, was elated with the excitement that envelopes the Heineken Champions Planet where live viewing of the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League attracts society’s finest. The former Nigerian midfield maverick, who is an official UEFA Champions League Ambassador, was at the Champions Planet on April 3, when Real Madrid played Galatasaray..The game ended 3-0. As he interacted with other guests, he said that he always looked forward to the nearstadium environment cre-
ated at the Heineken Champions Planet. “Heineken Champions Planet is a concept that has allowed fans to have a direct connection with the glamour and excitement of the competition. I was part of this viewing experience last season and I am really amazed by the aesthetic work done here since then. This gives everyone here a rare opportunity to be in an environment almost similar to the stadiums where the live matches are being played”. On the outcome of the match, Okocha said “I feel sorry for many fans, who were looking forward to a
Mourinho Continues from BP told The Sun. ‘Every time Chelsea fans sing his name it makes him want to go back even more. ‘He’ll sign for the same money he’s on at Real, even though he’s sure he could earn more elsewhere — like City or PSG. ‘Jose could even remain at Madrid but he is clear about where he’d like to go
— it’s now down to if Roman Abramovich wants the same.’ Mourinho won six trophies in three seasons with Chelsea but was unable to lift the Champions League. He hopes to do that at Wembley on May 25 with his Real Madrid side who are all but guaranteed a place in the last four after a 3-0 win over Galatasaray.
Heartland Continues from BP remains that the state government led by interest in running a football club and this compounded their CAF Cup campaign. A member of the Nigeria Football Federation said the following from Abuja yesterday: ‘’We are not happy with Imo State government because Heartland are representing Nigeria in the CAF Cup and their state government doesn’t appear to have interest in the club. We know that the government does not release money in time to the club. We know that their remuneration is very poor. They receive N8m monthly and this is for salaries, bonuses, trips to league venues all over the country etc. Their counterparts receive more than N20 monthly. Heartland players take keke (Tricycle) to training because they don’t have a bus. The governor promised to buy a bus
for them two years ago but he has not redeemed it. Even after winning the FA Cup back to back, the club still suffers terrible government neglect. Government was said to have released money for the CAF Cup three or four days to the day of the match and this did not help them to plan well. The Government of Rochas Okorocha has clearly shown they are not interested in football and the people of Imo State should understand this.” After 18 years without a title Heartland welcomed Okorocha with the FA Cup in 2011 and won it again last year. They have won the Charity Cup back to back, a Super Cup with two continental tickets all in the past three seasons. That is the club that cannot boast of a bus and their players take to Keke for training. Okorocha has not made them a Champions league outfit.
surprise result against Real Madrid. Many would have expected the emotional confrontation of Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder, who were former favorites of Mourinho.
Rangers Continues from BP delivered by Efe Yarhere on 16 minutes. Rangers could have increased their lead in the 72nd minute, but Sanusi Sani’s effort crashed against the crossbar and nine minutes later, substitute Alhaji Gero failed to get on the scoreboard when he was one-on-one with the Vital’O goalkeeper. Goalkeeper Godwin Ayalogu ensured he kept a clean sheet when he saved a penalty in stoppage time after Yarhere pulled a Vital’O player down inside the vital area.
Pillars Continues from BP champions lost 3-0 on Sunday to AC Leopard for this first round tie to be tied 4-4 on aggregate, but the Congolese sneaked through having scored a goal in Kano in the first m a t c h . The round defining-goal was from the penalty spot in stoppage time in Brazzaville on Sunday. Pillars spokesman Idris Malikawa said the Ivorian referee robbed his team of qualification to the next round of the competition. “This is daylight robbery. African football is doomed with such refereeing,” blasted Malikawa. “It’s just unbelievable and if this is how African football is, then we are all d o o m e d . ” Malikawa claimed the referee struck out a 75th minute penalty he initially awarded the Nigeria c h a m p i o n s . “There were no complaints in the first half, but after the interval the referee became something else,” he accused. The hosts went ahead in the 32nd minute before rallied round to deliver two more goals after the interval and book a place in the second round of the Champions League.
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Mourinho issues come-andget-me plea to Chelsea
CAF Cup: Heartland in trouble BY ONOCHIE ANIBEZE
Pillars crash out
OCHAS Okorocha’s heart is not deep in the land of his state’s club and that has resulted in the state Heartland have found themselves today in the CAF Cup. The club arrived Gabon Saturday, the day of their CAF Confederation Cup match with Union Sportif Bitam. They scurried to Gabon in two small chartered aircraft on the day of the match but on getting to Libreville they learnt that they had been walked over at Bitam. They won the first leg 2-1 in Owerri. The Nigerian club have now petitioned CAF, hoping that the match could be rescheduled. They may have a good case considering their visa and flight hitches in Nigeria. But the fact
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ANO Pillars blamed biased officiating after they crashed out of the CAF Champions League on the away goals rule at AC Leopard of Congo. The Nigeria Continues on P.54
Rangers advance in Champions League N
CONTEST......Chelsea’s John Mikel Obi (L) battles for the ball with Sunderland’s Alfred N’Diaye yesterday’s match at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea won 2-1. PHOTO: AFP
IGERIA’s Enu gu Rangers beat Vital’O of Burundi 2-0 on Sunday to advance to the CAF Champions League second round. The first leg match in Burundi ended goalless for Rangers to progress to the second round of the competition 2-0 on aggregate. The home team bossed the game but
both sides missed several clear-cut chances in front of an 8,000-strong crowd at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu. Uche Oguchi opened scoring for the home team after only three minutes from the penalty spot after Seun Taro was brought down inside the box. ‘The Flying Antelopes’ doubled their advantage through a thunderbolt
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OSE Mourinho has urged Chelsea to confirm his dramatic return to Stamford Bridge or risk missing out. The Real Madrid boss is expected to take over from Rafa Benitez in the summer for a second stint in the Premier League. But Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan are also reportedly waiting in the wings to pounce. ‘Jose wants to go back to Chelsea. It’s where he wants to be,’ a source Continues on Page 54
YESTER DAY'S YESTERDAY'S
ACROSS: 1 Trade (6) 5 Scold (6) 8 Scatter (8) 9 Hint (4) 10 Jewel (3) 12 Redden (5) 15 Ocean (3) 17 Age (3) 18 Curve (3) 19 Stray (3) 20 Devil (5) 21 Coffer (3) 22 Anger (3) 23 Obscure (3) 24 Rug (3) 26 Sullied (5) 29 Bench (3) 33 Avoid (4) 34 Declare (8) 35 Delirium (6) 36 Cavern (6)
DOWN: 2 Lithe (5) 3 Record (4) 4 Rustic (5) 5 Consecrate (5) 6 Boulder (4) 7 Armistice (5) 10 Glint (5) 11 Deserve (5) 12 Founded (5) 13 Speak (5) 14 Convenient (5) 15 Rascal (5) 16 Awry (5) 25 Hate (5) 27 Infer (5) 28 Strap (5) 30 Expel (5) 31 Soon (4) 32 Too (4)
YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS ACROSS: 1, Acid 4, Rub 6, Sump 8, Canvas 9, Denote 10, Pry 12, Gloat 14, Dealt 15, Tooth 18, Shrewd 20, Accede 24, Demur 26, Bulge 28, Radio 30, Web 32, Thrice 33, Loiter 34, Type 35, Rot 36, Myth.
How to Play Sudoku
DOWN: 2, Crawl 3, Deviate 4, Rasp 5, Body 6, Singe 7, Mottled 11, Rut 12, Gas 13, Tow 16, Odd 17, Ham 19, Haughty 21, Cur 22, Cranium 23, Ego 25, Eye 27, Guise 29, Inert 30, Weir 31, Blot
lace a number (1-9) in each blank cell. (No line can have two of the same number). Each row (nine lines from left to right), column, (also nine lines from top to bottom) and 3 X 3 block within a bold block (nine blocks) contains number from 1 through 9. This means that no number can appear twice in any block, column or row. No mathematics is involved – no adding, subtraction, division or multiplication, just plain logic and your imagination. Printed and Published by VANGUARD MEDIA LIMITED, Vanguard Avenue, Kirikiri Canal, P.M.B.1007, Apapa. Phone: Newsroom: 018773962. Deputy Editor: 01-8944295. Advert Dept: 01-7924470; Hotline: 01-8737028; Abuja: 09-2341102, 09-2342704. E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Advert:firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.vanguardngr.com (ISSN 0794-652X) Editor: MIDENO BAYAGBON. Phone: 01-7742861, All correspondence to P.M.B. 1007, Apapa Lagos.