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...towards a better life for the people VOL. 25: NO. 62056

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ONLINE | www.vanguardngr.com

N150

MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

My convoy was bombed in Borno — Senator Ndume ....No, we shot at a suspicious convoy — Air Force

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RIVERS CRISIS: Senator Abe

shot, flown to London •He was shot twice in the chest — Aide

BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME & EGUFE YAFUGBORHI

•We only used tear gas, minimum force — Police P

ORT-HARCOURT THE steaming political crisis in Rivers State took a turn for the worse, yesterday, when Senator Magnus Abe was allegedly shot in the chest twice with a rubber bullet at a rally of the Save Rivers Movement, Continues on Page 5

Tukur, PDP NWC meet today

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•P.17

COLUMNIST:

LES LEBA — P.40

Mr & Mrs

Senator Abe being attended to in the hospital

UGBORODO CRISIS LATEST: Gunmen abduct Ayiri Emami's 10-yr-old niece 12 C M Y K


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POCKET CARTOON

ABE —Senator Magnus Abe being moved from the Kelsey Harrison Hospital in Port Harcourt to

the airport en route London for further medical treatment after being allegedly teargassed and shot by the Rivers State Police at a pro-Amaechi rally in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

RIVERS CRISIS: Senator Abe shot, flown to London Continues from page 1 a pro Governor Chibuike Amaechi group at Obio/Akpor Local Council of the state. There were conflicting accounts, claims and counter-claims over who shot the serving senator, who has been flown to London for better medication after first aid treatment in two hospitals in Nigeria. While

Governor Amaechi’s aides accused the police of shooting Abe, the police distanced themselves from the act, saying that they do not use rubber bullets and did not fire any shot at the event. Also, there was an allegation that the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, directed the police to

TAKE HEART BY ELLA RANDLE

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HE chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour-if you choose — Arnold Bennett When we see beyond the everyday seemingly trifling, to observing the beauty and miracle occurring in our lives momentarily, every experience becomes a gift that unwraps treasures to new beginnings and greater adventures, and a lever, that launches into new vistas! This life is precious, make the best of it. A person should strive to consciously remember at all times that everything that we desire in life is already in existence, so why be limited by the actions of another, an event, or circumstances. It is always a choice to just be. Challenges and obstacles are stepping stones, we can allow ourselves to be cowered by them or find the resilience to rekindle the flame of enthusiasm in finding newer and better solutions to uplift and improve upon our circumstances. After all as the saying goes, “where there is a will , there is a way” but an added value may be accepting inner or divine guidance and doing all you can possibly do but surrender your will to a higher force. Keeping a beautiful heart is a way of life for me... I do not know how to be anything else anyway. And the gains from a loving heart is immeasurably beneficial in every way, if you let your heart be a beautiful place of love, life becomes sweeter and graceful!

disrupt the rally, which the minister denied. The Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Mr Tony Okocha, who claimed that he was with the Senator when the Police shot him at very close range, said they also fired teargas at them, adding that one of the canisters of the teargas hit him (Chief of Staff) on his leg. Okocha said he had to escape into somebody’s house in the neighbourhood to save his life, adding that the Police kept on firing the teargas to disperse those that were there for the rally.

How we were attacked — Okocha

His words: “This morning was a huge surprise to me. It’s the turn of Obio/Akpor Local Government to host the Save Rivers Movement; we had gone to Eleme and also to Asari-Toru. Today (yesterday) is the turn of Obio/Akpor and as lawabiding citizens of Nigeria we wrote to the police, informing them of our programme and there was no negative response. We chose College of Arts and Sciences because it’s more expansive, it could accommodate at least 10,000 persons that will come out of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area today (yesterday). “At about few minutes past 12, I received a call from somebody; highly

placed, informing me that the Commissioner of Police had been reached by the Supervising Minister for Education to dislodge our people today and I couldn’t place it. About 4:30am, our men on ground, who were left there to secure the gadgets and facilities, called me to say that the police had taken over the place. For God’s sake, we are defenceless free citizens of Nigeria, we don’t carry arms. Save Rivers Movement is an organisation that insists that Rivers State must be saved, out to salvage the state from political buccaneers who want to put Rivers State into their pockets. We are in the business of sensitising our people from LGA to LGA. You are aware of a group called GDI, they go through all the LGAs with convoys of police, giving them all kinds of protection, including the commissioner of police, he’s always in their convoys, providing security for them and ensuring that what they do in the LGAs are trouble-free. “When they called me I couldn’t place it immediately so I had to go there myself to see things. I was smoked as if I was a rabbit. I ran into someone’s house and unfortunately the man has children, they were all suffocating, they were all dying. So we had to improvise, they said we should use coke, some said kerosene would work. We had to use all of that to ensure that the man’s children live. That was what I saw; I was quar-

antined in somebody’s house. “I was wondering whether it is the CP that is the chief security officer of Rivers State or the governor. They said the CP ordered that we should not gather and I said our rights to gather and associate is inalienable, you can’t take that away from us. “As I talk to you, a Senator of the Federal Republic (Senator Abe) is lying critically ill in the hospital. I learnt arrangements are being made to fly him out of the country. We were together, he was even trying to make contacts with the IG when they shot him point blank. Senator Magnus Abe was shot in the chest with this their rubber bullet thing. My own was teargas shells. If they were doing the right thing they wouldn’t be shooting teargas and be picking the shells, so they knew they were doing the wrong thing. They brought in seven Armoured Personnel Carriers inside the College of Arts and Sciences. To kill common criminals? Are we criminals? These are defenceless citizens of Rivers state and Nigeria. We have our rights and we are not aware of any court order that has taken these rights away or restricted us from gathering.” Continuing, Okocha said: “I heard that a young boy in the company of his mother, coming to church, suffocated and died instantly. I also heard that one house at Number 1 Elegbam Road was burnt because of the canister of teargas shot into it. They said it almost burnt down but people came to help put the fire out. A lot of people have been injured, there are people with varying degrees of injuries. Look at Magnus Abe, a senator of the republic, both of us were talking to the police, we were trying to explain to them and somebody was bold enough to shoot

him point blank. Of course, they are working on the orders of the commissioner of police.”

Hospitalised Abe can’t talk — Aide

Meantime, Media aide to Senator Abe, Mr Honour Sirawoo, told Vanguard that Senator Abe who represents Rivers South East Senatorial district, was first admitted at a hospital in D line area of Port Harcourt but was later transferred to another hospital with better equipment to handle his situation after series of tests. Sirawoo told Vanguard that he was not with the Senator when he was shot but that he rushed to the hospital to see the Senator who was on drip and could not talk.

Senator treated for traumatic shock

–Doctor Dr Mackay Anyanwu who administered first aide to Senator Abe at Krisany Medical services, in D line where he was first rushed to, told newsmen that the Senator was treated for traumatic shock. He said: “The patient was brought in a state of shock, as evidenced by low blood pressure. He was restless and he couldn’t communicate or reason coherently. As a first aid, we treated him for traumatic shock because the implication of his state was that there was severe blood trauma and the amount of layers affected could not be detected immediately. This can only be done through haemorrhoid tests”.

....Abe hit by high calibre weapon

"We have administered oxygen treatment on him for resuscitation and primary medication, but we also detected severe in-

Continues on page 42


6—Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

Ex-policeman nabbed for escaping from court’s custody BY TINA AKANNAM

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UTSE — A 30-yearold retired police constable, Ibrahim Safiyanu, of Gida Dubu in Dutse metropolis, Jigawa State, has been apprehended by officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Jigawa State command for escaping from a magistrate court custody. The ex-police man was arrested, weekend, in his hideout. Disclosing this to Vanguard, the commandant of NSCDC, Dr. Muhammad Gidado said the arrest was made based on the warrant of arrest issued to the NSCDC by the court. Describing the escape as shameful, he said it was a capital blunder for a custodian of the law, serving or retired, to undermine and abuse the rules of law that he was paid to protect.

Fire guts market, destroys shops in Ebonyi BY PETER OKUTU

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BAKALIKI — A MYS TERIOUS fire, weekend, gutted the popular Ophoke Ishieke market in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, destroying property worth millions of naira. It would be recalled that seven days ago same market was gutted by fire as shops within the market were razed. An eyewitness, Mr. Ogbu Chinwendu, said the fire occurred about 1 a.m. when residents observed thick smokes coming out of a pharmaceutical shop within the market, adding that alarm was raised and people came out to put off the fire. He said: “The way the fire spread to other shops made us to believe that it was not just the usual fire incident because while we were making efforts to stop the fire from spreading, people could not do much until the fire service men arrived." The State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Dr. Ifeanyi Ike, attributed the fire incident to an act of sabotage as it was strange that after one week that fire gutted the market, another was also recorded.

Pregnant woman, 9 others burnt to death as bus goes up in flames BY EMMA ARUBI & AKPOKONA OMAFUAIRE

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ARRI — TRAGEDY struck in Effurun, Delta State, yesterday, as a Delta City 14-passenger town service commercial bus caught fire, killing 10 passengers including a pregnant woman. Four people, including the driver, survived. The bus was heading towards Enerhen Junction. Vanguard gathered that the bus with number plate 14 C74 DT burst into flames at about 3.04pm along the ever busy PTI road near Emasodje junction. The accident caused serious vehicular traffic as officials of the FRSC, military men and Policemen retrieved the burnt corpses. According to a survivor, who does not want his name mentioned, tragedy struck immediately after a woman with a four-litre jerry can of petrol entered the front seat of the bus against the agitation of the passengers. In his word: “I boarded the bus at PTI junction and we were heading to Enerhen Junction. The driver picked a woman who was carrying four litres of

The burnt bus what was suspected to be petrol. We protested as the woman boarded. “Within three minutes, what we heard was an explosion. I managed to escape through the trunk of the bus. I am short of words. My escape was a miracle.”

Mr. Ben Igbakpa, Commissioner for Transport, who visited the scene of the accident, was speechless. He told Vanguard, when he finally found his voice, “I was told by a survivor that the fire was caused by a woman who boarded the bus with fuel in a

Bayelsa communities demand justice over youth’s killing BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA

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ENAGOA —THE Peo ple of Ayamabele and Kalaba in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, weekend, staged a peaceful protest calling on the police to bring to justice the alleged killers of their son, late Godsgift Atama. The deceased, an indigene of Ayamabele, was reportedly shot dead on December 7, 2013 while returning from his grandmother’s wake keep at Agbobiri by some persons, allegedly from Akumoni community. Angered by the alleged inaction on the part of the police to prosecute the alleged perpetrators of the heinous act whom they claimed were initially arrested but later set free, the indigenes of Ayamabele and Kalaba communities, Friday, staged the peaceful protest. The protest was staged same day the state government was planting “Peace Trees” in Okordia and Biseni clans as hundreds of youths, women

The protesting youths and children clad in black clothes, carrying placards and leaves marched on the only major road traversing the six communities of Okordia clan (linking the East/West Road). The placards carried messages like: “We No Want War, Let Justice Prevail”, “Ayamabele Vs Akumoni No Peace”, “Governor No Peace In Okordia”, “We Have No Confidence In Bayelsa Police,” among others. The protesters through the Youth President of Kalaba community, Joel Monibo Joel, called on the government to intervene in the matter in the interest of peace. His words: “We are appealing to the state governor and the

Commissioner of Police to step in and take the right action on this matter.” According to him, “On December 7, 2013, one of our brothers, a youth of Ayamabele community by name Godgift Atama, was returning from his grandmother’s wake keep at Agbobiri and he was stopped by some persons at Akumoni around one of the bumps on the road and they shot him dead. “Not only that, after killing him, they dragged his corpse to a remote corner of the Akumoni community. We had to invite the special state security outfit, Operation Doo Akpo and they came and searched for the corpse in Akumoni."

four-litre jerry can. “He told me that some complained, but she was allowed to seat in the front. I learnt that 10 persons were burnt beyond recognition, with the driver and three others surviving. “We will intensify our monitoring. We call on the operators to talk to the drivers to be very cautious. It is bad that someone will board a bus with fuel, it is regrettable. “We mourn this unfortunate incidence, most difficult is that no one can ascertain who died now because it is a town service, it does not carry a manifest. The state government is sad that such a tragic thing has happened.” On his part, Mr. Dickson Amromawhe, state CoOrdinator, Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Delta command said: “There were four survivors. I got a call that a Delta City bus was on fire along PTI road, so we mobilised and came here. “I, however, find it offensive that youths restricted the fire service truck that came for rescue operation. I was informed that on arrival, irate youths started chasing them away that they were late. This is not the first time that they are doing this. “Most painful is that even the policemen who came first were injured, one of he officers’ head was broken by a stone thrown by the youths. Why are they doing this? "Someone is coming for rescue and you are chasing him away. The state government should do something about this, it is not helping the victims at all.” At press time, the charred remains of the victims were packed in sacks ready to be taken to Central Hospital Ekpan morgue.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014—7

No ambition is worth the blood of Nigerians — JONATHAN ...holds marathon meeting with Tukur, NWC PDP members BY BEN AGANDE & HENRY UMORU

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BUJA—PRESIDENT Good luck Jonathan, yesterday, said that no Nigerian should kill or maim himself or herself because of his presumed 2015 second term ambition, saying that "any ambition I have at any time is not worth the blood of Nigerians." Meanwhile, President Jonathan has told the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur that he would require the support of every Nigerian, not only him (Tukur), to win the 2015 election if he would contest the election. The President stated this at a meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo, Tukur, and other members of the National Working Committee, NWC. Jonathan spoke on the need for peace in the PDP and warned that accusations and counter accusations must stop. He also said that he would "never, ever expect a Nigerian to spill a drop of his blood because Goodluck Jonathan has some ambitions. Nigerians should always preach peace and unity in all their engagements. This is the only way the country will achieve greatness." Speaking at a special church service to mark this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Jonathan reminded politicians that no ambition was worth the blood of innocent Nigerians, adding that if we continued to kill ourselves, there would be no nation to govern. He said: "Sometimes I get worried and embarrassed when I hear provocative statements that come from very senior citizens; people that ordinarily will be perceived as senior citizens, who ordinarily should know that the unity of this country is more important than the interests of any individual or a group of individuals. And that the peace of Nigeria is more important than any interest of individuals or group of individuals. Some people even encourage young people to take arms and fight themselves. "I always say as a politician that I pray all politicians should know that there will be no nation if we kill ourselves. If you want people to come out and vote, why do you threaten them? If you threaten people they will stay in their houses and how will you win election? "In an occasion like this, we should also admonish ourselves that we should preach peace and unity in all our conversations. If we do that all our problems will

be resolved, our security issues will be resolved. If all of us collectively talk about the unity of this country, about peace in this country, then our country will progress and move in the direction we want the country to move.” The president noted that this year’s remembrance celebration was unique as it was coming at a time that the country is celebrating its 100 years of existence as a nation. He paid tributes to members of the Armed Forces, saying that their sacrifices had ensured that Niger-

ia remained one indivisible country, despite the challenges it had faced. "The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is unique and this year's programme is more unique because first January marks 100 years of our existence as a nation. It is not easy to get here. The country faced a lot of challenges no doubt about that. Some of us witnessed the civil war. For us who have survived this 100 years, some people paid dearly for it, some people worked for it like the armed forc-

es. We know the challenges they faced during the civil war. But for their sacrifice, Nigeria would have been more than one nation. They worked for it, some died in the process while some died serving in wars outside Nigeria. These are the people that we are remembering today. We all have to emulate them. Those of us who are alive, what we can do to honour them is to ensure that whatever we do, whatever we say, whatever song we sing is a song that will bring peace and unity to this country.”

ARMED FORCES REMEMBRANCE DAY— From Left: Supervising Minister of Defence, Mr Labaran Maku; Rep Ndudi Elumelu; FCT Minister of State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide; PDP BoT Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih; Senate President David Mark; President Goodluck Jonathan; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha; Mother of the President, Mrs Eunice Jonathan; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen Anyim Pius Anyim at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day Inter-denominational Church Service in Abuja, yesterday.

Tukur, PDP NWC hold emergency meeting today BY HENRY UMORU

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BUJA—THE embattled Na tional Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has summoned an emergency meeting of the National Working Committee, NWC, for today. There were divided opinions yesterday on the agenda of the meeting following suggestions that President Goodluck Jonathan, who has until now been the staying power of the embattled national chairman, has advised Tukur to resign. Nine out of eleven members of the NWC present at a meeting summoned by President Jonathan had voted for him at that meeting to step down. Some other sources disclosed that Tukur may use the opportunity of the meeting to appeal to the NWC members for reconciliation while others insisted that Tukur would use the opportunity of the meeting to resign. Vanguard learnt that members of the NWC had at a meeting with President Jonathan last week passed a vote of no confidence on Tukur’s leadership style and thereby called for his removal. At that meeting, the members had taken turns to lampoon him, saying they have lost total confidence in him and stressed that Tukur was running a one man show without carrying them along, just as they accused him of turning his Wuse private residence to Wadata Plaza, National Secretariat of the party.

My convoy was bombed — Ndume zNo, we shot at his convoy — Air Force BY NDAHI MARAMA

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AIDUGURI —SENA TOR Mohammed Ali Ndume representing Southern Borno Senatorial District, yesterday, escaped death by the whiskers as a Nigerian Air Force, NAF, Jet allegedly mistook his convoy for those of Boko Haram terrorists and threw explosives at it. NAF authorities, however, said that the jet mistakenly fired shots at Ndume’s convoy while on the pursuit of some Boko Haram suspects who were operating in the area at the time Ndume was passing. Ndume was said to be returning from Gwoza Local Government where he had gone to sympathise with the people over ongoing killings in the area, when the incident

happened. Addressing newsmen at his Maiduguri residence, Ndume said he travelled to Gwoza to present a letter of appoinment to the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Iddrisa Timta, who was to be upgraded as a first class emir as well as visit Arbaku, Ngoshe and other remote villages affected by Boko Haram attacks to condole with the victims, adding that he was surprised when he was attacked by an Air Force jet. Ndume said, “I thank God for sparing my life as the jet which I suspected was on military operation against Boko Haram dropped four bombs on my convoy. "I went to Gwoza. I notified the police and military authorities of my presence where they even assisted me with security cover, and when I fin-

ished with my mission at about 2:10pm, we started hearing explosions. Initially, I thought it was Boko Haram that wanted to attack me, but when we were thrown into confusion, the soldiers attached to my convoy rushed to me and said it was not Boko Haram, but rather, an Air Force jet that was dropping bombs. We had to run into a military base close to the scene of the incident and take cover." Ndume said he had reported the incident to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Azubuike Ihejirika, who he further added, replied his text message thus, "I hope no life was lost." NAF’s Spokesman, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas said in Abuja yesterday that its jet was pursuing some Boko Haram suspects when it cited Ndume’s convoy and mistakenly fired some shots at it, and not bombs as alleged, describing the incident as unfortunate.

Speaking on telephone with Vanguard, the Director of Air Force Public Relations, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas, denied allegations that Senator Ndume’s convoy was bombed. Anas said that terrorists of the Boko Haram sect attacked the Army Barracks in Gwoza and made attempt to over run it, adding that during the pursuit of the terrorists, the jets flew low and opened fire on a set of vehicles, about five or more of them including Hilux vans that were carrying the terrorists...But because the aircraft could not ascertain those in the vehicles, no further action was taken. If Senator Ndume was in one of the vehicles, it is unfortunate but the fighter jets were not in a position to know the occupants of some of the vehicles who were fleeing,” Anas said.


8—Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

Death of 2 Nigerian students in Ukraine causes uproar BY VICTORIA OJEME

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BUJA—TWO Nigerian students at the Donetsk National Technical University, Ukraine, have died, after what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sources described as circumstances bothering on alleged negligence on the part of the hospital authorities where they were admitted for treatment. The late students, Theresa Olaoluwa Oresanya, third year Electrical Engineering and Bede Olunna Ogbu, a Masters Degree Engineering died Friday, December 10 and Wednesday, December 18, 2013 respectively. News of the death of the two Nigerians students was reportedly relayed to the Embassy by the leader of Nigerian student association in the city. “The embassy immediately, informed he parents of the late students of the sad event, in line with procedure. The father of late Theresa Oresanya authorized that autopsy should be carried out on the remains of her late daughter and that it should be conveyed to Nigeria for burial. "The father of late Bede Olunna Ogbu indicated that autopsy should not be carried out on the remains of his son. He however requested that the corpse should be conveyed to Nigeria for burial. The remains of late Bede Ogbu was air- freighted to Nigeria on December 29, 2013 for burial.”

National confab: Why I wrote minority report — ASEMOTA BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE & DAPO AKINREFON

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S controversies over the prep aration and submission of a minority report on modalities for the proposed national conference to President Goodluck Jonathan persist, the author of the report, Mr. Solomon Asemota, SAN, has told Vanguard why he wrote the report. In a telephone chat with Vanguard, Asemota, who is a member of The Patriots as well as the Senator Femi Okurounmu-led 13-man Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue/Conference, said he wrote the report in the interest of the country, the success of the proposed conference and to ensure that the exercise was not ‘tele-

guided’ like many numerous past attempts. He spoke as another member of Okurounmu committee, Mr. Tony Uranta, flayed the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Okey Wali, SAN, and Mr. Asemota over claims that the President refused to receive Asemota’s minority report. Meanwhile, Igbo leaders under the banner of the Igbo Leaders of Thought led by Professor Ben Nwabueze, SAN, has listed five points that should be incorporated into the conference modalities to make the exercise fruitful. Shedding more light on the controversial minority report

that he wrote, Asemota said: “I wrote the minority report. I wanted to submit it through the committee but they said it was unacceptable to them because they have only one chairman of the committee and will only accept one report from the chairman. So, I sent the report to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, and the President through DHL.” Asked why he differed with some of the recommendations of the committee, he said: “We must get the conference right. I was a member of the Constituent Assembly in 1989 and the military tele-guided the process. Nothing came out of the draft constitution that we prepared.

VISIT—From left: Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah, Chairperson House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora , Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Sokoto State Commissioner for Information, Danladi Bako during a visit by the Chairperson House Committee on Diaspora to the Bishop in Sokoto, weekend.

22 banks record N300.5bn profit in half year 2013 — CBN BY PETER EGWUATU HE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, weekend, stated that the banking industry recorded N300.5 billion unaudited profit for the half year 2013, representing a 22.95 per cent increase over the N244.4 billion achieved in the second half of 2012. This was contained in the six month Financial Stability Report, FSR, ended June 2013 released by the apex bank. The report stated that its interest income, which increased by 13.47 per cent, largely accounted for the higher profit level. The industry liquidity ratio stood at 67.8 per cent compared with 68.0 per cent at end-December 2012. According to the CBN “All banks met the 30 per cent minimum regulatory liquidity ratio throughout the review period. During the review period, the CBN executed an Memorandum of Understandinmg, MoU, with the Bank of Tanzania, and was in

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discussions with the Central Bank of Sudan and the Swiss Financial Market Authority with the aim of executing MoUs on supervision and information sharing. The CBN report further indicat-

ed that as at end-June 2013, ten 10 banks had complied with the requirement for divestment from non-banking activities, in line with the Regulation on the Scope of Banking Activities and

Ancillary Matters. Six of the compliant banks were issued with commercial banking licences, while four were being considered for the issuance of licences.

Health workers suspend planned warning strike BY SOLA OGUNDIPE & CHIOMA OBINNA

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HE Joint Health Sector Un ions, JOHESU, has suspended its five-day warning strike planned for Wednesday January 15, to Tuesday January 21, 2014. Disclosing the development yesterday in a telephone interview, Secretary General, JOHESU, Comrade Marcus Omokhuale, said the decision to stay action on the impending strike was taken weekend,

following a meeting between the unions and the Federal government. Omokhuale said: “There has been a response from government so we are staying action on the warning strike. They asked us to put it (warning strike) on hold in view of the outcome of the meeting we held with them. All the issues at stake were articulated and government has asked for time to look into the demands. There is a resolution to that effect.” Stressing that there was no

extension on the ultimatum, he stated that the JOHESU only suspended the call for warning strike so that government can honour its own side of the agreement. “Government has up till Wednesday or so to give us a feed back on how far they have been able to take action on our demands. Pending that feedback, the warning strike has been suspended and if government is able to meet up with its promises, there would be no need to embark on any action.

Nobody should tele-guide me after my years of experience. Even the people, who are to tele-guide me are people who were entering the university when had already become SAN.”

Uranta flays Wali, Asemota Speaking on the issue, Uranta said: “One is appalled at the NBA President, Okey Wali’s use of words in the body’s statement regarding the imminent National Conference, because it is a lie that President Jonathan refused to receive a much-touted phantom minority report when the Presidential Advisory Committee on the National Dialogue submitted its report. No other report, than the committee’s report, was offered to the President. Wali is a lawyer. Can he educate us on how you can refuse/reject something you were never offered.” Faulting Mr. Asemota’s position, Uranta said “it is even more disappointing that a respected lawyer of Mr. Asemota’s standing can go about bandying falsehoods to the effect that he was denied the opportunity to freely air his views pertaining to issues of representation and legal framework for the National Conference. He voted along with every other member on every issue and he was in fact Chairman, PACND Sub-Committee on legal framework." Uranta added that “The Patriots do not hold a monopoly of knowledge or wisdom, and their positions cannot take precedence over the desires of a large majority of Nigerians who are committed to this National Conference holding successfully.”

Igbo leaders issue five demands Also speaking, Igbo leaders of Thought, who reacted to the diatribe between Okurounmu and Nwabueze, insisted that the committee’s report fell short of the expectations of Nigerians who desire a genuine national conference of ethnic nationalities. In a statement by their Deputy Secretary, Evangelist Elliot Uko, they said the issues that are uppermost in the minds of Nigerians are: No ethnic nationality should be left out of the National Conference; the National Assembly should not have a final say on the decisions of the National Conference; the National Assembly should pass an enabling law to legalise the National Conference as inherent powers of the president has been successfully challenged in several courts in the past; Nigerians desire a fresh constitution not an amendment of the Abacha Constitution; and the decision of the National Conference must be affirmed at a people’s referendum.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014 — 9

I won't seek redress over my conviction — Bode George BY DAPO AKINREFON

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AGOS — FORMER Deputy National Chairman, South, of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olabode George, has vowed not to seek legal redress over the events that led to his conviction by a Lagos High Court. He also pledged to ensure the restructuring of the PDP in South-West region just as he urged warring factions to sheathe their swords for peace to reign. George said this on arriving the country, weekend, through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, after holidaying abroad for two months. The party chieftain, who recently had the sentence passed on him in respect of contract splitting by both the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal while he was chairman, Board of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, reversed by the Supreme Court, was received by party chieftains and loyalists as his plane touched down at around 6p.m. on Saturday. Those on hand to receive Chief George, included the state chairman of PDP, Captain Tunji Shelle; other state officers of the party, Senator Adeseye

Ogunlewe, Prince Remi Akitoye and Chief Aduke Maina, BoT member, among others. George said: “I want to first of all thank God the Almighty for making today a special day because for five years, it had been a dark cloud. "I also want to thank God that

eventually, the truth has been revealed because it was not a matter of the judgement." In its reaction, the Lagos State chapter of PDP expressed excitement over the return of George to the country after a relatively long stay in the United Kingdom, saying the return came after his acquittal

of by the Supreme Court. State Chairman of the party, Captain Shelle, said in a statement that, “the return of Chief Bode George will further add impetus to our now unstoppable movement to win the next governorship election.

PRESENTATION: Mr. Charles Gerard, Corporate Affairs Officer, Vanguard Newspapers, presenting Vanguard newspapers to Mrs. Toyin Ayeni, PRO of SO-SAID charity home; Debbie Igbinoba (2nd right), Ngozi Isiekwena (2nd left), both of Vanguard's Advert Department, and others, during the presentation of gifts to SO-SAID charity home for vulnerable persons, at their permanent site in Okota, to mark Vanguard Newspapers Advert Department end of year party, sponsored by Jago and Gino (Sosaco Nig ltd), in Okota, Lagos State. Photo: Bunmi Azeez

Court re-assigns Otudeko vs Dangote land suit BY INNOCENT ANABA

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AGOS — THE Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta has re-assigned the case by businessman, Oba Otudeko against Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote. Both men are currently enmeshed in a legal battle over 10.841 square meters of land within the Lagos Ports Complex known as the 5th Apapa Wharf Extension. The case was initially handled by Justice Ramat Mohammed,

but was transferred to Justice Okechukwu Okeke, following Mohammed’s transfer out of Lagos. However, Justice Auta has reassigned the case to Justice Okon Abang. The latest development was sequel to Okeke’s retirement from the bench of the court and the case is to start de-novo (afresh) before Abang on January 21, 2014. While Otudeko, through his company, Honeywell Group Limited, is urging the court to adjudge him as the valid owner

of the land by virtue of a lease agreement between his company and the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Dangote is insisting that the agreement was neither turned into a deed nor registered in any Lands Registry. Defendants in the suit are: NPA, Bureau of Public Enterprises, PBE, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote and Greenview Development Nigeria Limited. Honeywell Group said in the suit, that by an agreement, NPA leased the said land to it for five years for the purpose of setting

Lagos Fire Service saves N165bn property in 1,537 emergencies

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AGOS — THE Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Rasak Fadipe, said yesterday, the service responded to 1,537 fire incidents out of the 2,015 emergency cases reported to it in 2013. Fadipe said in Lagos that the service saved about N165 billion worth of property in the process. According to him, the emergency cases included those of collapsed buildings, accidents, people trapped in lifts and those that fell into pits and wells. “We also had 372 false calls from members of the public during the period.

“We had 312 cases of fire; the highest of such incidents was in January 2013, followed by 194 in March and 193 in December,’’ Fadipe said. The director blamed most of the fire incidents to power surge, which he attributed to unprofessional technical works. He said the agency had discovered that most residents engaged the services of untrained persons in installing electrical appliances which were mostly sub-standard. “Apart from sub-standard electrical products, over-loading of appliances resulted in cases of fire

out-breaks. “When people carry out renovation in buildings, they must include all the electrical facilities in the renovation of such buildings. “People should always switch off electrical appliances when leaving their offices or when not in use at home. Meanwhile, the director has expressed worries over recent incidents of fire caused by fuel laden tankers in the state, urging the government to check the trend.

up a bulk food handling facility for a consideration of N2.168 million per annum, adding that in keeping with the agreement, it paid the aforesaid amount and also paid N290, 000 for the survey of the land. It added that it took possession of the land to the knowledge of the defendants and began the required technical investigations and expenditures necessary for the setting up of the bulk food handling facility, which was to cost about $100 million. But Dangote, in his statement of defence, argued that that the suit was frivolous, vexatious and that it constituted an abuse of court process, adding that the suit was aimed at truncating the approved policy of the concessionaire of seaports of the Federal Government and to deter the progress of works and development being carried out by Greenview Development on the land. He argued that no presidential consent was sought nor obtained before the lease agreement was granted to Honeywell Group in respect of the land, and that as part of the privatisation and commercialisation policy of the Federal Government, notices were given to the general public in 2003 for the concessioning of all the Nigeria seaports/ complexes by the BPE.

‘Oando supplies 130 industrial customers electricity in Lagos’

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AGOS — THE Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Oando Gas and Power, Mr. Bolaji Osunsanya, yesterday, said about 130 industrial customers had been connected to its gas pipeline grid for their electricity needs. Osunsanya disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos. He also said the company had embarked on the expansion of its gas pipeline in Lagos to ensure steady supply of “clean, safe and environment friendly gas fuels.” The target, he said, was to keep the industries running profitably. The CEO disclosed that 14 new customers would be hooked to the company’s gas grid, once the expansion of the Ijora to Marina pipeline was completed. “Illegal connection to electricity can also cause fire out-breaks. Lagos Island has the highest recorded cases of fire through illegal electricity installation. Such practice should be discouraged," he said.

Herbal practitioners want better ties with Lagos

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HE Nigerian Union of Herbal Medical Practitioners, Lagos State Chapter, weekend, urged Governor Babatunde Fashola to accord their members better recognition by providing them a land to build their hospital and maternity centres. The herbal practitioners at their annual national conference accused the Lagos State Herbal Medical Practitioners Board established by the Lagos State Government to regulate their practice of not doing enough to fight their cause. Speaking on behalf of the union, the Iyalode-General of the Lagos State Chapter, Dr. Ogunpeju Ayoka lamented a situation whereby the state government was not doing enough to encourage their practice as their counterparts in other parts of the country, particularly in the Northern states.


10 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

Osun PDP, APC trade words over INEC registration BY GBENGA OLARINOYE

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SOGBO — OSUN State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, weekend, raised alarm over the alleged importation of about 50 buses loaded with people by the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the INEC registration in the state. But the ruling APC described the allegation as not only unfounded but most

irresponsible. The PDP Chairman in the state Alhaji Ganiyu Olaoluwa in a statement made available to newsmen, in Osogbo, stated that the ruling party had allegedly perfected its plan to rig the forthcoming governorship election in the state. Alhaji Olaoluwa said: “It was disheartening to know that a sitting governor can bring himself down to the level of fraud. What Aregbesola had

perpetrated during the Anambra elections is what he is trying to do during the gubernatorial election in Osun.” The PDP chairman also warned the Federal Mortgage Bank not to grant the N10 billion loan to Aregbesola as they will be doing so at their own risk. Alhaji Olaoluwa challenged Governor Aregbesola to explain what he had done with

FUNERAL: From left, second son of the deceased, Engr. Ayodele Alabi; first son, Chief Oladele Alabi; daughter of the deceased, Mrs. Omolola Yusuf, and another daughter, Dr. Wuraola Akinrinlola, during the funeral church service for late Pa Titus Alabi, at St. Luke's Anglican Church, Esun-Ekiti, Oke-Ayedun Ikole Local Government Area, Ekiti State. Photo: Shola Oyelese

the several loans he had allegedly obtained while calling on security operatives to be more vigilant as the APC was allegedly planning to import people to the state to cause crisis. The APC in its swift reaction by the Director of Research, Publicity and Strategy, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi challenged the opposition PDP to go a bit further and prove its “latest and most irresponsible allegation.” His words: ”The PDP indeed needs help because its scattered home has impacted negatively on its psyche. “The PDP, from all that emanate from its Osogbo office these days shows that it is a collection of not just irresponsible politicians, but a dishonourable outfit unworthy of participating in civilised political engagement. “For 90 months, the PDP government lacked the vision to turn the fortunes of our people around, but now has the effrontery to challenge the current APC government which has impacted on the lives of the people in all areas in just 38 months. “The good people of Osun who Gov Aregbesola is serving faithfully are fully behind his government and they are prepared whenever INEC calls the shot to finally nail the coffin of what is left of PDP in the state.” The APC called on the PDP in the state to stop disgracing the Yoruba nation by playing degraded and uncivilised politics that even motor-park touts will not contemplate.

I'll soon evaluate Amosun’s govt — Daniel z Says quarrel between him and Tinubu now resolved BY DAUD OLATUNJI

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BEOKUTA — THE immediate past governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel has said he would soon evaluate the performance of his successor, Governor Ibikunle Amosun. Daniel also disclosed that the long feud between him and his estranged friend, former governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been resolved. The former governor who was flanked by former minister of steel, Shaafa Ishola, former Commissioner for Information, Sina Kawonmse, governorship candidate in 2011 under Peoples Party of Nigeria, Gboyega Isiaka stated these at his Asokudero quarters, in Sagamu, on Saturday. He said: “Generally, let me say that we are not here to evaluate the administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun. “On the contrary, if you remember accurately after election in April 2011, I declared that the election has been fought, won and lost and the people of Ogun State should provide

support for the new administration. “ For me, that is how it should be, maturity in democracy and you have seen that I have not yet evaluated the administration we are all talking about. “I think at the point when he would have spent three years which is barely in few months, we all will be able to bring the figure black and white and the

evaluating will be properly done.” Speaking on his relationship with Tinubu, Daniel said: “I think there was never a time when the relationship went awire publicly. I think the things that happened were in the realm of politics. "We were competing under the same banner and I found it convenient and auspicious

that we should play national politics and so, I left to join PDP, probably the aftermath of that game is what you saw played out. “But beyond that, we had always been very good friends, our friendship dates back decades, so if we both woke up one day and say enough of this fight, are you not happy, that is how it happened."

Akinjide wades into S-West PDP crisis BY OLA AJAYI

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BADAN — FORMER Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN, has waded into the crises rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South West. At a stakeholders’ meeting in

Ibadan at the Idi Isin residence of the legal icon, weekend, leaders and elders of the party in Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo and Lagos states poured out their grievances before Chief Akinjide and some politicians of the party who converged on the venue of the

meeting. Before the commencement of what could be described as a closed door meeting, Chief Akinjide appealed to all feuding parties to "sheathe their swords for peace to reign in the party and our country."

Seme Customs boss reads riot act to officers BY GODWIN ORITSE

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N A bid to ensure that smugglers are not given a chance to ply their trade in and around the Seme border post, the Customs Area Comptroller of Seme Comptroller Willy

Egbudin has read the riot Act to officers at check points in the area. Speaking to men and officers during an unscheduled visit to Owode Border Station and Gbaji check-point, Egbudin said the visit would enable him to get a first hand view of the

operational environment of the officers and to help them to effective plan and improved strategies to prevent loss of government revenue and improve on the surveillance and interdi- ction capability of the officers.

Terminal benefits: Electricity workers threaten showdown BY VICTOR AHIUMAYOUNG & MICHAEL EBOH

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LECTRICITY WORKERS have declared a showdown with the Federal Government over the issue of terminal benefits of staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, promising to plunge the country into darkness today, by shutting down all power installations across the country and also hold a mass protest. This was in spite of claims by the Federal Government that the entitlements of about 94.79 per cent of former staff of PHCH have been paid, leaving about 4,538 staff who are currently being validated and will be paid once the verification is concluded. Joe Ajaero, General Secretary, National Union of Electricity Employees NUEE, told Vanguard that the protest and shut-down, initially scheduled to hold Tuesday, had to be brought forward today, since Tuesday has been declared a public holiday.

NUEE’s grievances

Listing some of the union’s grievances, Ajaero said: “All the collective agreements entered into by the Union with Government in the power sector have all been violated. "Over 10,000 workers in the power sector have not been paid a dime as their severance entitlement. “Over 25,000 workers have not received their pension components. "Over 5,000 workers who retired statutorily are yet to be paid their gratuity. The death benefits of over 1,000 people who died in active service are yet to be paid to their families.” He insisted that no staff of the defunct PHCN has been fully paid their terminal entitlements, saying Nigerians should ask the government to inform the public where the money that had been released for the payment of the benefits was being kept. However, the Federal Government faulted NUEE’s claims that about 25, 000 PHCN staff are yet to be paid, saying that only 4.5 per cent of the purported workforce, representing about 4,538 staff are yet to be paid.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014—11

No automatic tickets for 2015 polls —EDO PDP CHAIR BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE

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He said: “Edo State PDP will conduct free and fair primaries to elect candidate that will represent us. It is true that our opponent is aware that in Edo Central senatorial district, if we hold elections 100 times, we will win 100 times. But the nomination is generating problem

and I want to say that Chief Tony Anenih has no favoured candidate and has not endorsed any body. “Anybody willing to contest is free to come. There is no endorsement, no anointing or preferred candidate. Those

who have interest should go to the field are free to express their desire. Elected party chairmen, ward chairmen at both the state and national level should not be seen or heard canvassing support for any party candidate.”

ENIN—AHEAD of the 2015 general elections, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, has called on aspirants vying for elective positions on its platform, to disregard rumours that the leadership of the party had given automatic nominations or anointed some persons as its candidates in the election. The party promised to conduct free and fair primaries, just as it urged all aspirants vying for National and state Houses of Assembly seats, to put the interest of the party first before other considerations, insisting that the days of automatic tickets for any candidate was over. State Chairman of PDP, Mr Dan Orbih, who addressed a meeting of Edo State PDP leaders and stakeholders, weekend, from Edo Central senatorial district in Uromi, Esan Central Local Government Area of the state, said that the party was serious about winning the state back and would not want anything that would jeopardise its chances of achieving its goal in the forthcoming elections into VISIT: Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State (right), being received at Delta the National and State AssemState Government House, Asaba, by the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. blies.

LCCI picks holes on 2014 budget proposal BY PETER EGWUATU & NKIRUKA NNOROM

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HE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, weekend, criticised the Federal Government‘s 2014 budget proposal, saying, "the high and disproportionate share of the recurrent expenditure is clearly not consistent with urgent need to fix the huge infrastructure deficit in the economy." The Chamber also appealed to the National Assembly to give consideration to the foregoing submission and ensure a speedy passage of the Appropriation bill, especially in the light of the time lost to the consideration of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, last year, adding, “Delayed passage of budget has the negative implication of worsening the problem of uncertainty in the economy. The consideration of the budget should be in the overall national interest and devoid of all forms of partisanship.” LCCI's President, Alhaji

Remi Bello, in a statement said: “The recurrent expenditure proposal in the budget is 76.3 per cent while the capital expenditure is 23.7 per cent. The high and disproportionate

share of the recurrent expenditure is clearly not consistent with urgent need to fix the huge infrastructure deficit in the economy. "This imbalance in the

structure of the budget has the following implications for the economy: Low investment in infrastructure; weak competitiveness and productivity of enterprises in the econ-

Akpabio not nursing presidentaial ambition —A-IBOM GOVT ous terms that Governor BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN

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KWA Ibom State Government, yesterday, decried what it called a conspiracy against Governor Godswill Akpabio in the guise of a phantom presidential aspiration by the governor. Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, in a statement, described the conspiracy as an “invidious campaign of calumny and blackmail” to portray Akpabio as nursing a presidential or vicepresidential ambition against his earlier promise of seeking a Senate seat in 2015. The campaign, which Emmanuel said was being orchestrated in the print, electronic and social media as well as through bulk SMS, was

aimed at misrepresenting Akpabio before right thinking members of the society. He called on President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife Dame Patience, the Governors’ Forum, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Nigerians in general to “discountenance the evil conspiracy and campaign of falsehood. “For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state in clear and unambigu-

Akpabio is not interested in, and is not nursing any presidential or vicepresidential ambition. This campaign of falsehood and blackmail by unscrupulous politicians, who have no respect for truth, underpins a conspiracy to misrepresent Akpabio and overheat the polity.” He added that Akpabio had said several times that he had no presidential or vice-presidential ambition.

omy as infrastructure remains weak and risk of wasteful spending and corruption as recurrent expenditures are generally more susceptible.”

Why I'll continue to deploy soldiers on streets —Uduaghan BY AUSTIN OGWUDA

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S A B A — D E LTA State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, yesterday, at an inter-denominational thanksgiving service to mark this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, called for a peaceful society, saying that no amount of blackmail would deter him from protecting the lives of Deltans. He charged Deltans to ensure the maintenance of peace, urging them not to encourage or hide criminal elements in their midst, but to aid security agents in fishing them out. He said: “I will not shelve my responsibilities, but will do the work I had taken the oath of office for. Using the security forces, I will do my work of providing security for all Deltans. Let us ensure a peaceful society, so that we will not need to send security men to communities, to keep security on our roads.” He decried the blackmailing of security operatives deployed to keep peace in Kokori.


12—Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

Ugborodo crisis: Gunmen abduct Ayiri’s 10-yr-old niece BY EMMA ARUBI & GODWIN ORITSE

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ARRI – DESPITE the Abuja peace accord brokered by Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, to ensure the return of peace to oil-rich Ugborodo community in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, a twist has been added to the crisis with the abduction of 10-year-old Hilary Eyengho, by gunmen, yesterday. Hilary is the niece of Chief Ayiri Emami, a notable member of Ugborodo community. She was said to be returning from a church service in the company of five others in their car, when they were accosted by the gunmen on Mission Road, where she was singled out and taken away. Speaking to Vanguard on the development, Chief

Emami expressed dismay that this could still happen despite the peace brokered between the warring factions, alleging that the opposing camp in Ode-Ugborodo has continued to destroy houses of key members of his group. He called on the security agents to fish out the abductors of his niece and deal with them accordingly. He alleged that the opposing camp destroyed the homes of the 87-year-old mother of a member of Ugborodo Community Trust, Mr. Isaac Botosan and that of one Mr. Tunu. Elder brother to the abducted Hilary, Mr. Besidone Eyengho, told Vanguard that the matter had been reported at the Police “A”

Division, Headquarters, Warri. Speaking on the development, another elder brother to the victim, Mr Kiki Eyengho, said he was actually the target of the kidnap, adding that the inability of the kidnappers to get him led to his sister being abducted. Kiki, it was gathered, is a nephew to Chief Emami, who apparently lived and grew up with him (Emami). He told Vanguard that the kidnappers' plan was to have him killed as a result of his closeness to Emami. Kiki, it was gathered, is also a member of the community. It was also learnt that houses belonging to persons allegedly loyal to Chief Thomas Ereyetomi, were demolished in Arunton in Ugborodo, by yet to be identified persons.

....As Omadeli calls for reconciliation BY AKPOKONA OMAFUAIRE

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ARRI—THE Ugborodo Peace Committee headed by Mr. Macauley Ovuzorie, Secretary to Delta State Government, has been urged to reconcile all Ugborodo elders and ensure that a valid constitution was put in place, if lasting peace is to be achieved in the community. Pa Sandys Omadeli-Uvwoh, former Chairman, Ugborodo Management Committee, in Warri, Delta State, who gave the charge, yesterday, also called on Ugborodo sons and daughters to see the reconciliation as a golden opportunity to sink their differences and put all hands on deck to build the Ugborodo of their dream. Omadeli-Uvwoh commended the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, for speaking the truth and tongue lashing the Ugborodo elders at a stakeholders meeting in Abuja, for being partisan in the conflict. He said: “I am grateful to the Chief of Navy Staff, for his wisdom. He spoke the truth because we elders are the real problem of Ugborodo. If we had united and not been greedy and selfish, there would have been no conflict. “On behalf of the shameful elders of Ugborodo, I thank the state and Feder-

al Governments for giving us this project. I want the committee to start its work by first reconciling all the elders, because we are the trouble, we see Ugborodo as our retirement benefit. If the elders are united, then the young ones and the women will be

united. There will be no faction because the youths are the foot soldiers of the elders. “I use this medium to call on all Ugborodo sons and daughters to grab this reconciliation opportunity to bring enduring peace, so that we can develop Ugborodo of our dream."


Vanguard , MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014 —13

APGA sweeps Anambra LG election A

BY VINCENT UJUMADU

WKA—THE ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in Anambra State has made a clean sweep of the local government election held in the state on Saturday. The party won 20 chairmanship and 304 councillorship seats in the 20 local government areas where elections were held. Other parties won 14 councillorship seats. Election did not take place in Nnewi North Local Government Area and the state Independent Electoral Commission, ANSIEC, has fixed Saturday this week for the exercise to be conducted in the area. The APGA new helmsmen at the local government areas are Chukwuma Umeoji (Aguata ) who polled 55810 votes, Hilary Udeano (Anambra East)28,747 votes, Simon Onuorah (Anambra West) 12,228, Ikeobi Ejiofor (Anaocha) 14,934, Cosmos Okonkwo (Awka North) 15,381, Azubuike Ilo (Awka South) 28,292, Paul Obiorah (Ayamelum) 11,531, Chukwudi Okeke (Dunukofia) 17,702, Jude Mbaegbu (Ekwusigo) 17,563, Emmanuel Idemobi (Idemili North) 17,600 and Henry Ezenwa (Idemili

South) 37,117. Others are Chigozie Awugosi (Ihiala) 27,441, Emeka Onuorah (Njikoka) 10,772, Ossy Iyiegbu (Nnewi South) 28184, Victor Aguluo (Ogbaru) 23,119, Douglas Egbuna (Onitsha North) 9,246, Ann Chukwuneke, 7070, Fredrick Emekwe (Orumba North) 13,719, Jonh

Udeakpe (Orumba South) 8,186 and Charles Okafor (Oyi) 24,190. Wards where the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, won councillorship seat are Aguata (one), Anambra East (one), Idemili North (one), Idemili South (one), Ihiala (one), Njikoka (one), Nnewi South (one), Onitsha North

(two), Onitsha South (two), and Orumba South (one). PPA and UPP also won one seat each in Onitsha North. Acting chairman of ANSIEC, Chief Sylvester Okonkwo, who announced the results at the commission’s headquarters commended the people of Anambra State for their peaceful disposition during the election.

REMEMBRANCE: Chairman, Nigerian Legion, Abia State, Col. Sam Aboajah (rtd), Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State, his wife, Mercy Orji, wife of the Speaker, Lady Okochukwu and Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Udeh Okochukwu, during an Inter-Denominational Church Service by the state government to mark the 2014 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, at St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church, Umuahia.

Customs board considers list for promotion to DIG zSouth East loses out

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BUJA—THE Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, is expected to approve promotions in the category of deputy comptrollers general, DIG, assistant comptrollers general, ACG, comptrollers and other cadres this week. Vanguard gathered that the customs authorities had submitted names of officers for promotion to the ranks of DCG, ACG and comptroller, which will be considered by the board in a meeting scheduled in Abuja. All the zones except the South East and South West, currently have at least one DCG, while North West has two. The distribution of DCGs and ACGs among the six geopolitical zones is as follows: DCG Makarfi, ACG Mera, ACG Sulieman, ACG Mohammed, and ACG Liman (North West). DCG Jatua, ACG Mohammed, ACG Tahir, and ACG Iya Umah are from North East, while DCG Saka, ACG Aliu, and ACG Dan Ugo are from North Central. From the South West are: ACG Adewuyi, ACG Banke, and ACG Dosumu, while DCG Atte, ACG Gbemudu, ACG Wanikoro, and ACG Iferi are from South South. The South East has ACG Nwosu, ACG Okafor and ACG Okoli. It was gathered that in the list for promotion submitted by the customs authorities to the board,

South East was also excluded from the DCG cadre, while South West is tipped to get one DCG. Sources revealed that one of the DCGs from North West is billed

to retire in April. Competent sources said the customs board had rejected the recommendation for promotion to DCG and ACG last year, when it was discovered that not

all zones got a fair share. The board, it was gathered, had asked for another list, demanding balance, especially as all geo-political zones are supposed to have at least one DCG.

UNN crisis: ASUU chairman, 2 others suspended executive committee for failing

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BY TONY EDIKE

NUGU—THE crisis trailing the removal of Dr. Emeka Enejere as Chairman/ProChancellor of University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, Governing Council took another dimension at the weekend as the branch chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU-UNN, Dr. Ifeanyi Abada

and two executive members were suspended for allegedly working against the interest of their members. In a resolution reached after its emergency congress at Nsukka and signed by the Acting Chairperson and Secretary of ASUU-UNN, Dr. Adibe Agbo and Jude Chukwu respectively, the union said Dr. Abada was suspended from the

to take as priority the welfare of members. Suspended along with the chairman were Mr. Tochukwu Omenma, Financial Secretary and Mrs. Christy Obikeguna, Welfare Officer, while Dr. Adibe Agbo, Jude Chukwu, Ifeoma Nzekwe and Mr. Onah were elected as acting chairperson, secretary, financial secretary and welfare officer respectively.

Why Orji should lead Igbo into 2015 of civil war is over as events —PDP STALWART have completely over taken that

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MUAHIA—AS a result of poor leadership qualities exhibited by past leaders in the South East region, a call has been made for Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State, to lead Igbo into 2015. According to a Peoples Democratic Party stalwart and former aide to the governor, Mr. Ben Onyechere, this became expedient as the political progression of a people or group

is squarely dependent on their leadership which inadvertently must be selfless and acceptable. In a statement in Umuahia, weekend, he said: “At this juncture, it has become unavoidable to tell ourselves the truth such that we can collectively advance the position of lgbo in the scheme and calculus of Nigerian politics. Governor Orji is not only an asset to Abia, but to lgbo in general. “The time to apply sentiment

era with evidence for all to see. The acceptability of the governor by party leaders of other ethnic groups goes a long way to prove that he is positioned to galvanise Igbo interests in furtherance of our push for equity. “His membership of the PDP caucus is an eloquent testimony of the veracity of his personality which has added value in the attraction of federal presence to Abia and Igboland in general.”

FG pays N361bn to 43,375 PHCN bona fide staff BY FAVOUR NNABUGWU BUJA—THE F e d e r a l Government has paid N361 billion entitlements to 43,375 verified and validated bonafide staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, as both gratuity and pension component remitted to their Retirement Savings Accounts, RSA. The Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, in a statement issued yesterday by the Head, Public Communications, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe, said it remitted the said amount to the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation for onward payment to the PHCN staff. He added that the committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, was still working tirelessly to validate the remaining 4.5 per cent of the work force. “These are purported staff that the committee has so far not been able to obtain documents/ information to validate their claims to being staff of PHCN. The union is very much aware of this. Does the union want government to pay ghost workers? ”As been pointed out on numerous occasions, the challenges being faced in resolving issues affecting these outstanding 4.5 per cent staff, include irregular staff IDs, duplication in staff numbers and names, lack of or irregular Retirement Savings Account, RSA, pin and account numbers. “In some cases, the beneficiaries failed to sign or thumb print their benefit statements or inserted wrong passport photographs. There were also a few cases of corrupted biometric data or pictures. “Some staff also failed to supply the new NUBAN account numbers. All these, the leadership of labor are aware of, since they are members of the Presidential Committee on the Resolution of PHCN Labour Issues,” the agency said.

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14-Vanguard , MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

AAU crisis: NANS seeks FG’s intervention BY CALEBAYANSINA

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BUJA—THE National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, weekend, called on the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission, NUC, to wade into the crisis rocking Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State. NANS also demanded the removal of the embattled Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Cordelia Agbebaku, over non-qualification. NANS in a statement by its Vice President, External Affairs, Mr. Peculiar Asemota, expressed deep concern over the trend of events in the university. “This hitherto revered citadel of learning is being rapidly plummeted down the labyrinth of ignominy as favoritism and strong arm tactics now thrive above merit,” it said. According to NANS, academics and other allied activities at Ambrose Alli University have not only been stagnated, but is also now auto-piloted on a reverse gear since May, 2011 when Prof. Agbebaku was appointed Acting Vice Chancellor. NANS explained: “At the time of her appointment, Prof. Agbebaku was neither competent nor qualified to man the number one seat of AAU as she had not undergone the full process, rigours and discipline of academic development. “Barring the circumstances surrounding her appointment, despite her non-qualification, it was expected that she should leave office at the expiration of six months, if her appointment was not made substantive, in line with laid down rules. “The zenith and pinnacle of academic research with the confine of pupillage and supervision is the Doctor of Philosophy Degree, which is necessity if an individual might be fully grounded to cope with the dynamics and discipline of the academic. “Whereas the professorial seat might be awarded for a plethora of reasons that do not fit with the prior assertion, in the case of Prof. (Mrs.) Agbebaku’s leadership of AAU, the cart has been put before the horse, little wonder no progress is feasible.

Jang to CBN gov: You are not bigger than govt zModerate your comments or resign BY HENRY UMORU

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B U J A — FA C T I O N A L chairman of Nigeria Governors‘ Forum, NGF, and governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, yesterday told the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, that he was not in any way bigger than the Federal Government. Consequently, Jang warned that the CBN governor must moderate his comments and utterances making the rounds that President Goodluck Jonathan had asked for his resignation. Jang, who noted that it had become imperative for the apex bank governor to resign and give way to someone that could work with President Jonathan, if he was no longer having a good working relationship with the President, considering the sensitive nature of his office and the economy. In a statement in Abuja by the NGF media office, signed by Kassim Yakubu, Governor Jang said: “If the relationship between the CBN governor and President Jonathan has become frosty, it is only logical that the President becomes uncomfortable, knowing how sensitive the Central Bank is

to his transformation agenda. “Moreover, we elected the President to run the country and so we cannot be held hostage by an appointee of government if it is true that Mr. President has asked for the resignation of the CBN governor.”

According to Jang, Nigerians put their trust in President Jonathan to pilot the affairs of the nation when they voted him in as President and should, therefore, be allowed the latitude to run his government without unnecessary distractions, especially from appointees who

serve at the pleasure of the Federal Government and the President. He, however, called on Nigerians to continue to watch out for those usual beneficiaries of conflict who would seek to make an issue out of this by bending the facts to suite what he described as their mischievous agenda.

ZAKAT: From left: Chairman, Mushin Local Government Area, Babatunde Adepitan, Chairman, Advisory Board, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, Alhaji Umar Abdul Mutallab, Sultan of Sokoto/special guest of honour, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar III, and Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, during the ninth Zakat distribution ceremony in Lagos. Photo: Lamidi Bamidele.

ASUP plans protest rallies over alleged neglect BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU

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BUJA—ACADEMIC Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, will this week embark on a nationwide rally to protest government’s lukewarm attitude to polytechnic education in the country. National President of ASUP, Mr. Chibuzor Asomugha, who disclosed this yesterday, said there would be a meeting of the Council of National Officers within the week in Abuja to decide when the rally would kick off. Mr. Asomugha said the rally would take place in all the zones and local chapters of the union for the world to know how government had completely forgotten polytechnic education, alleging that children of those in government were not in any polytechnic in the country. He said: “We will decide on the rally, we will meet to decide. Now we are holding press conferences, we held one in Kaduna last week; this week, we will hold one in Enugu and next week in Zone B, Abuja, Nassarawa and Jos axis, then it will remain the South West. After that, we will decide when to tell our local chapters to begin to embark on rally.” ASUP had on April 17, 2013, embarked on strike to press home demands on issues around poor funding of polytechnic education

and government’s disparity between polytechnics and universities. However, after a meeting between the union and government, the 13 points demand of the union was reduced to four, with government assuring that the striking lecturers’ demands would be met within one week. The re-assurance led to the re-

opening of the polytechnics on July 9, 2013. ASUP boss accused the Federal Government of not showing any interest in polytechnic education, adding that there was no sign that government was interested in implementing the promises made to the union before the strike was called off.

He added that government’s care-free attitude was a deliberate ploy to deny polytechnic students of access to education. He expressed surprise that the government that had promised to implement the promises made to the union within one week before the strike was called off had turned its back on the union seven months after.

2015: Jonathan ‘ll beat APC in the North, says Middle Belt group BY EMMA UJAH, ABUJA

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BUREAU CHIEF

BUJA—THE Middle Belt Reconnaissance, MBR, has said that President Goodluck Jonathan would beat the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the North to emerge a clear winner in the 2015 presidential polls. Speaking in an interview at the weekend, coordinator of the group, Mr. Kuanum Terrence, said his group was already mobilising the minorities of the North to vote massively for the President. According to him, the interest of the Middle Belt will be better served under President Jonathan’s administration.

He said: “There will be a shocker in 2015. We the minorities of this country have decided that Jonathan must contest in 2015 because what he is doing in the development of this country, it is only a minority that can do it. It is only a minority that can feel the pain of oppression that we have borne over the years. “Jonathan has given us hope, that a minority can rise to occupy any position, even the highest position in this country, the Presidency. “Rising from a humble background to occupy the highest seat in the country gives minorities hope that they can attain the highest position

in the land. He has given the minorities hope and we are going to stand solidly behind Jonathan as Middle Belt Reconnaissance and make sure that he wins a second term. “We are going to mobilise the minorities of this country to support him; to know that he is a minority like them and that their fate is tied to his. Whatever affects him, affects them. “We are going to go round to mobilise the people and tell them that the challenge is not just for Jonathan or Ijaw, Tiv, Tarok- all minorities must stand together to defeat those who believe that they must oppress the minorities. “They must come out to support this democracy that President Jonathan has sustained.”


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Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014 — 15

Residents pelt Gov Shettima as Modu Sheriff visits Maiduguri BY NDAHI MARAMA

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AIDUGURI — GOVERNOR Kashim Shettima of Borno State’s convoy was, weekend, pelted with stones, sachet water and sand following allegations that he planned to humiliate his political godfather and predecessor, Ali Modu Sheriff, who was scheduled to visit the state, yesterday. Sheriff, who said he never planned to visit the state but for the sudden death of the Emir of Shani, Alhaji Muhammadu Mailafiya, was received at the Gombe airport by thousands of party supporters from Maiduguri and environs. He was led in a motorcade to Shani Local Government Area of the state for the condolence visit. Vanguard sources said alleged plan to stop the former governor from entering Maiduguri from Biu was foiled when it was learnt that Shettima reportedly mobilised security officials and Civilian JTF to force him back to Abuja. This was just as Sheriff ’s supporters in Maiduguri, who

assembled at his UTC campaign office to receive him, were chased away by security operatives. However, despite efforts to stop him (Sheriff), the former

governor stormed Maiduguri in a grand style as crowd, commissioners, members of the state House of Assembly, top politicians, as well as federal legislators

accompanied him into the city. When Sheriff and his entourage entred Maiduguri at about 3:30 p.m., the residents

welcomed him with cheers as they waved, chanting “the leader is back, the leader is back; we do not want Kashim Shettima’s style of leadership.”

Adamawa PDP warns against Tukur’s sack BY HENRY UMORU

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BUJA — ELDERS, Leaders and Stakeholders Forum, Adamawa State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chapter has moved to save its own, the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, pleading with President Goodluck Jonathan not to sack him It warned that anything to the contrary would further escalate the already lingering political quagmire in the party. Condemning the vote of no confidence passed on Tukur by other members of the National Working Committee, NWC, the Adamawa State PDP stakeholders and elders, however, stressed that the removal of Bamanga and the politics of his replacement would undoubtedly open up other wounds in the party that would be difficult

to address. A statement signed by former Adamawa State governorship aspirant, Dr. Umar Ardo on behalf of the leaders and stakeholders, read: “As members of the Adamawa State PDP’s Stakeholders and Elders we condemn in very strong terms the so-called vote of no confidence purportedly passed on the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, by some members of the NWC of the party. “We also disagree with their reasoning in calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to drop his support for the National Chairman. “We recall with grave concern the same antic employed by the same members of the NWC, then led by Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, to so-

called reverse the dissolution of the Pro-Nyako-led Kugama EXCO in Adamawa State last January. “We view the current act as another attempt by the same reactionary forces that then tried to undermine the political standing of the National Chairman and in the process almost wrecked constitutionalism in our party affairs. “The same forces are at it again, trying to create needless constitutional crisis for the party in an election year on the altar of self ego of the opponents of the National Chairman. It is a well-known prophetic saying that a house divided against itself will surely fall. “We, therefore, plead with the President to see the current action of the members of the NWC as an act principally

aimed at dividing the house and not uniting it. They failed then on Adamawa, they will fail now too, on Nigeria. “We further call on the president to also take account of the fact that the central opposition to the PDP is coming from the so-called Hausa-Fulani core North, to which Bamanga belongs, many of whom are still holding on to the PDP on account of Bamanga’s leadership. “The removal of Bamanga and the politics of his replacement will undoubtedly unlock several chains of events the final outcome of which no one can fathom for the party. “Those who left the party did not do so on account of Bamanga but on account of their own peculiar irreconcilable local politics in their constituencies. Bamanga becomes only a convenient excuse for them.”


16 Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014 THE Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has decided that candidates in the 2014 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, UTME, would compulsorily register only one university, one polytechnic, one college of education and one innovative enterprise institute. It is considered a solution to challenges with admissions to higher institutions. Candidates formerly had a second preferred institution. Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, JAMB registrar explained, “From our experience, universities refuse to take students who make them a second choice. Last year, vice chancellors of universities, rectors of polytechnics decided that students should only pick one university, one polytechnic, one college of education and one innovative enterprise institute when applying to write the UTME. If they do not follow these instructions, they cannot apply. ” Prof Ojerinde expects the move to solve the admissions crisis. “We also hope that this will curb the admission crisis. Often, there are spaces in tertiary institutions other than universities, but everyone wants to go to the university,” he said. What the JAMB registrar calls “admission

Ev er ybody W ants Ever erybody Wants University Place crisis” is not the fact that only one-third of those who applied for university admission in 2013 got places. Extortion of candidates causes the empty spaces in schools while over applications, to some schools, is part of the crisis. The perceived difference in the quality of education different universities offer informs candidates’ choices. Official discrimination against nonuniversity graduates is the biggest factor. It starts with the admission cut off points - 180 and above for universities, 160-169 for polytechnics, 150-159 for colleges of education, and innovative enterprise institutes. The impression is that candidates for institutions other than universities are inferior. The quality of facilities and teaching staff in polytechnics, colleges of education

and innovation and enterprise institutes reflect the discrimination. Nigeria rates teachers less intelligent than other professionals. The low cut off point says so. Nigeria is already paying dearly for her decisions. Fewer candidates are applying to polytechnics and colleges of education. How would we fill the gaps this would produce? According to UTME, in 2013, 1,670,833 candidates applied to universities, 28,977 candidates to polytechnics, and 28,445 to colleges of education for 520,000 places in over 128 federal, state and private universities; 76 federal, state and private polytechnics; and 63 colleges of education. Polytechnics and colleges of education candidates were 3.4 per cent of the application received. The 57,422 candidates for all the polytechnics and colleges of education were slightly higher than 52,608 applicants to the University of Ibadan, which was the 10th most preferred university. Candidates’ choices reflect the premium Nigeria places on university education. The appropriate response should be policies that would establish the importance of each segment of education by its contributions to society.

OPINION BY JUMMAI CALEBS

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HESE are heady days for the imperious traditional ruler of the Nigerian financial system, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who for all intents and purposes can best be described as the Emir, rather than governor, of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Kanoborn prince, who has made it very clear that his only ambition in life is to become the Emir of Kano, has been conducting himself in the most unprincely manner ever seen in a CBN governor. And being the kind of person he is, he will forever brag about how he took on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, rubbished him in public while supposedly serving as part of his government, and nothing happened! How did things come to this sorry pass? As every Nigerian with access to any media knows, Sanusi wrote a letter to the President insinuating theft of $49.8bn from the sale of the nation’s crude oil. A while later ‘His Royal Highness’ admitted before the nation that he had made a mistake in his letter. Thereafter, the CBN governor who likes and wants to be more European that citizens of Europe, failed to do what a typical public office holder in Europe would do when confronted with such a grave failing at his duty post -resign from office. The overly gentle President Goodluck Jonathan—and every Nigerian knows that being too gentle

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Heady days for CBN governor is one of the President’s faults— reportedly asked the CBN governor to turn in his resignation letter and perhaps proceed to wait in Kano to achieve his life’s ambition. It was then that ‘His Royal Highness’ began quoting the Constitution (the same Constitution he has repeatedly violated by refusing to present CBN’s budget before the National Assembly), and talking of two-thirds of the Senate, and a spurious claim of threat to his life. He even sent his media people to, in effect, gloat before Nigerians that, indeed, he is the 'Emir' of CBN and cannot be removed from office. As his ‘powerless’ subjects, Nigerians that is can only be grateful that this CBN governor does not have the same advantages of the Emir of Kano, whose throne he so sorely covets. Unlike the very dignified Emir of Kano, this Emir of CBN has a fiveyear tenure that will soon come to an end. ‘His Royal Highness’ has been telling whoever cares to listen that he does not want a second term at the helm of the CBN. The more important question is: Will any Nigerian, in his right senses, support a second term of office for this divisive, unrestrained, and attention-seeking governor of CBN? As a former director in the Presidency, Mr. Eric Teniola, wrote in

a recent public article, the person Nigeria needs as CBN governor should be “a cool-headed banker and an Economist who will not convert the office to a television studio.” This, undoubtedly, was a subtle but very clear barb at ‘His Royal Highness’, the outgoing governor who indeed turned the office to a sitcom drama and brought the high office into disrepute during his tenure.

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esides the many allegations of immoral and gross misconduct levelled against the outgoing governor of the CBN, ‘His Royal Highness’ is on record as the most profligate CBN head the country has ever had. Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (then representing Lagos State under the ACN), once described the CBN under Sanusi as “spendthrift” and “bleeding the economy of the country.” Hon. Gbajabiamila did not make this comment without basis. As his House of Representatives colleague, Hon. Goni Bukar Lawan (PDP/Yobe) said, “The moment I heard that the CBN gover nor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, donated N100million to victims of Boko Haram attacks in Kano State, I quickly rushed to my constitution to see if Yobe State was

no longer part of Nigeria. The bombings happened in Yobe, before Kano State. So, are we not part of Nigeria?” Yet, in this divisive, insensitive, and indecorous manner, the outgoing Emir of CBN, hid under the corporate social responsibility of the institution, went around making more unprecedented donations as if the Central Bank of Nigeria had become a relief agency. In addition, Hon. Gbajabiamila quoted section 42 of the 1999 Constitution and other relevant statutes in decrying Sanusi’s refusal to present CBN’s budget to the National Assembly for approval. Hon. Gbajabiamila said, “Even the Federal Government brings its budget for us to approve; so if Sanusi says he does not need to do that according to Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution, then he thinks the CBN is above the Federal Government.” It is indeed amusing that the outgoing governor can today rely on the Constitution he does not respect to retain him for a few more months in an office he has told the world he no longer wants. One would have thought ‘His Royal Highness’ would have since left for Kano bag and baggage, in order to plot his emergence as the next Emir of Kano.

*Ms. Calabs, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Yobe State.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014— —41

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42—Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

permit for the rally. According to him, they wrote to the Police on January 7 over the rally.

Meanwhile, at about 10.20 am, the Police mounted barricades on the two portions of the ever-busy Rumoula Road, diverting traffic heading to the two ends of the road to adjourning streets. At about 10.28 am, the Supervising Minister of Education, Mr Nyesom Wike drove from Aba Road into Rumuola Road in a convoy which included some security vehicles. He did not alight from the unmarked jeep conveying him. When his convoy got to the Police blockade on the Oroazi end of the Rumoula Road, it made a U-turn back to Aba Road.

(Downstream), Dakuku Peterside, said the police in Rivers State had taken impunity to new heights and urged all men of goodwill must rise up to defend constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of association and freedom of movement. However, the Senate yesterday, said it would not comment on the incident because the development had not got to it. Senate spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia South), told Vanguard in a telephone interview that since the alleged action had not reached the upper legislative chamber, it would not be proper to comment on the issue. “As I am talking to you now, the Senate is not aware of what you are talking about and so I can’t make any pronouncement on the issue now,” he said.

I didn’t disrupt rally —Wike

Ubani, Ogunade speak

Wike’s convoy diverted

ABE—Senator Abe about to be taken to the airport by an ambulance.

RIVERS CRISIS: Senator Abe shot, flown to London Continues from page 5 ternal bleeding and high level haemorrhaging in him. Another bad news is that we also detected that the affected side is showing severe swelling, which led me to the conclusion that he must have been hit by a high calibre weapon and my fears were confirmed when I was told that he was shot with a rubber bullet”, he said. Effort by the Save Rivers Movement to regroup at Rumuigbo Civic Centre for the rally was again aborted by the Police as Policemen came and fired teargas to disperse the gathering. The Police later blocked the civic centre part of the ever busy Ikwerre Road to traffic, a situation that caused gridlock on the other sections of the road and the adjourning part of East West Road.

Senator Abe was not shot —Police

However, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Ahmad Muhammad, said it was not true that the Police shot at Senator Abe with rubber bullets. According to him, Senator Abe and the Chief of Staff, Mr Okocha “ walked peacefully” out of the venue of the proposed rally. While urging the press to give the Police fair hearing on the issue, he challenged media men to try to access Senator Abe to confirm if he was shot. The Police spokesman confirmed that the Police used teargas to disperse youths who were there, stressing that no bullet was expended during the exercise. He also C M Y K

said the Police had to disperse the gathering because the organisers did not apply for police approval for the event. “I want to state categorically that the Police did not fire any shot, no single ammunition was used. We don’t shoot rubber bullets. We used minimum force to disperse the gathering at College of Arts and Science, Rumuola. When I say minimum force I mean smoke, teargas. “Senator Abe along with the Chief of Staff walked peacefully out of that place. I wonder why people now say that he was shot at. I challenge you Journalists, you have a social responsibility to go and see Senator Abe if they will allow you to see him. You know they are very good in telling lies against the Police. I want to remind you that this gathering they planned to do today (yesterday), there was no application for permit to the Police neither was there approval. Based on this reason we had to disperse them. You will recall that we even provided security for them in Eleme because they applied. When they gathered at the stadium we provided security for them because they applied and the Commissioner of Police granted approval. You remember Chief Bisi Akande, General Buhari, the governor, etc, all of them were at the programme at the stadium. Because they did not apply for approval for this programme that was why we dispersed the gathering,” he said. Vanguard gathered that the Police moved

into the Arts and Science venue of the rally on Rumoula Road as early as 6am to start dismantling canopies that had been mounted for the event. When they allegedly retreated, the youths came back again to erect the canopies. Eye witnesses told Vanguard that the Police later mobilised to the venue this time heavily armed. They allegedly fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the gathering. Some members of the group who spoke to Vanguard under condition of anonymity said they had wanted to shift the rally which was originally fixed for 12 noon to about 9am, yesterday, before the Police aborted the exercise. Chairman of the Save Rivers Movement, Aholu Okechukwu said the Police lied when it said the group did not apply for

Denying allegations that he asked the Police to disrupt the rally, Wike in a telephone chat with Vanguard said it had become the tradition in the state for his opponent to link him with any action of the Police. “So I was the one who told Police to allow them to hold their rally at the stadium. I was also the one who asked the Police to allow them to hold their rally at Eleme. Sometimes you people should not be asking some questions”. Reminded that his convoy was on Rumuola Road at about 10. 28 am yesterday, he said: “’ Yes. I was on my way to Ahoada. I got to the road but the Police blocked it. I had to turn back. Did you see me come down from my vehicle? You must have seen that I did not come down from the vehicle.”

Reactions trail alleged attack on Abe

....Amaechi not Abe was the target –Rivers govt BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, WAHAB ABDULAH, JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU & JOSEPH ERUNKE

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AGOS—THE polity was awash with illfeelings over the shooting of Senator Magnus Abe at the Save Rivers Movement rally in Obio/Akpor Local Council of Rivers State, yesterday. Deploring the police disruption of the rally and the shooting of Abe, the Rivers State Government, said Governor Amaechi and not Abe was the target of the police.

Reacting to the incident, the All Progressives Congress (APC) urged President Goodluck Jonathan to “urgently put an end to the worsening reign of impunity in Rivers State, which is being carried out under his watch by those who are obviously acting to impress him and the First Lady.” The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum

Two rights activists, Monday Ubani and Wale Ogunade said the shooting of Senator Abe portended a grave danger for Nigeria’s polity, if such developments were not checked. Ubani who also is the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja branch said: “Senator Abe has been a strong supporter of the state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, so I am not surprised about that. But then it also introduces a more serious dimension to this crisis in Rivers State. Again, it also brings to mind the allegation that some people have become targets and are placed on watchlist. I hope these allegations are not gradually becoming a reality” Ogunade, a Lagosbased lawyer and President, Voters Awareness Initiative (VAI), said “the police in Rivers State have been crying more than the bereaved ever since the political crisis began in Rivers State. The way the police have been going about their activities in Rivers State shows that they are the PDP itself. They are crying more than the bereaved.”

Abe received bullets meant for Amaechi — RiversGovt In a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, the Rivers State Government decried what it termed as “another senseless attack on innocent citizens in a continuous rape of democracy by the Joseph Mbu-led Rivers State police command,”

which she said Governor Amaechi was the target. Stating that “the unprovoked shooting of Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, is cause for worry and an indication of the length that the PDP is willing to go to silence opposing views,” Ibim said: “The Rivers State Government has it on good authority that Senator Abe took the bullet originally meant for Governor Chibuike Amaechi who was billed to be present at the event. This is disconcerting especially in the light of recent revelations that the presidency may be training snipers ahead of the 2015 elections and that Governor Amaechi is top on the list of those to be eliminated. In their bid to destroy, the Mbu led police thought nothing of harming innocent children. Five children are at present feared to be battling for their lives as a result of the impact from the tear gas fumes. She continued: “The Rivers State Government wishes to request the Federal Government and its agencies to respect the rules of democratic engagement in their misguided fight against the people of Rivers State and especially save our nation from the unnecessary chaos into which federal agents like Mbu want to plunge it ahead of the 2015 elections. “The Rivers State Government therefore reiterates its call for the re deployment of CP Mbu from Rivers State before he turns the state into a graveyard..." Stop reign of impunity in Rivers – APC urges Jonathan Also reacting, the APC, in a statement issued in Lagos by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the call on Jonathan had become even more imperative, “following the irresponsible act of brigandage by the police” at the Save Rivers Movement (SRM) rally. Berating the police for their conduct at the event, the party said: ‘’We understand that the exceptional brutal clampdown on the planned rally by the police, who seem to have now surpassed even their own act of brutality against the people of the state, was aimed at impressing the First Lady, believed to be due in Port Harcourt on the same day (Sunday),’’ it said. The APC said there was no way a Commissioner of Police in any state will be so bold as to be waging a war against an elected Governor and his aides/ supporters if he is not empowered to do so by higher authorities.


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44—Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

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Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014— —45

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SUU has resumed duties, after six good months of lost mann hours, in productivity and other collateral damages, in the form of accidents and deaths. The losses cannot be quantified, for example; counterparts of final year students, in the private universities, are months into their National Youth Service programme. Now that the strike is over, let us examine this ASUU - government relationship dispassionately, and in the process offer solutions, that, we hope, will help prevent future re-occurrence, that is; if heeded by all parties concerned. The standard industrial relations structure comprises of three bodies; The government, The employer and The employee. Ideally, where(when) there is a dispute between the employer and employee, the government serves as the mediator but in cases, where government is the employer, like we have in ASUU, arbitration bodies are set up, and if these fail to work, the matter is referred to the industrial courts. Throughout the five months period of strike, we did not hear that any of these processes were activated. If, this was the case, it means that something is wrong with the way our system works. Labour and Employer relationship is not all about fighting. In fact, the fewer the fights, the more productive the workers. It is important that, all

parties realize the essence of a trouble free work calendar. There is supposed to be an understanding of the facts on ground, as it affects the ability of the business to function, both on the side of the employer and employee. Under such conditions, it is the obligation of the employer to explain the challenges facing the business and how it affects the interest of the workers. Therefore, there must be effective communication between the employer and the representatives of the workers. Clearly, this was missing in the relationship between government officials and ASUU. ASUU as a body, has intellectuals in its membership, convincing them to understand government's inability to fulfil its obligations should not be a problem. Why was it difficult for government to lure ASUU to its side? My take on this, is that, there was no openness or sincerity of purpose on the part of government. If ASUU is convinced- with clear proofs - that government, from generated incomes, cannot meet its obligations, they would not have gone the extent they did, in calling for a strike action. However, when government is engaged in open profligacy, channelling funds, that are meant for educational development, to frivolous projects, they are bound to face resistance. ASUU members have seen the colossus called, corruption and how it has taken over the country - pension funds,

ASUU must also begin to let their curricula reflect the needs of the Nigerian society. That is how it is done in developed societies

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petrol subsidy, NCAA, oil thieves et al. They also know that if these wastes are halted, there will be enough fund to tackle the challenges of university education. If this is the situation, the government, should have negotiated with ASUU on the basis of their determination to tackle corruption, with clear action plans outlined and convincing enough to make the ASUU sheath its sword. Henceforth, government must be more forthcoming on the state of the economy and how income is allocated and managed. All forms of secrecy, that is associated with government's management must be discarded. If you come open to ASUU, the association will be open to government. If both parties are truly convinced about government's inability to perform, it will be fool hardy to engage in strike actions. I repeat, government must be open and sincere.

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e have all been shouting about true federalism and the need to devolve power from the

Kwankwaso is right on Jonathan, but... BY JOHNSON MOMODU

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ET me make my position clear that I am not a fan of President Goodluck Jonathan because of my personal beef with him. At the same time, my education and religion do not require me to turn a blind eye when bare-faced lies are told against any man because I am not his fan or I do not belong to his party. In blistering comments when he met with some unelected and self-appointed, but respectable elders a few days ago, the Kano State Governor and presidential hopeful, Rabiu Kwankwaso, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) took on Jonathan and tore him to shreds in the manner that smacked of the uncultured. He said that Nigeria was drifting because the President lacked the competence and courage to manage the affairs of the country. As is common with him whenever he holds meetings behind closed doors, the selfconfessed traitor in the Northern Governors’ Forum disclosed that though Jonathan had received advice from leaders from within and outside the country on how to put Nigeria on the right track, he had refused to follow them. The advice came from people like former US Secretary of States, Hilary Clinton, and I suspect national leaders like Olusegun Obasanjo, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and, even maybe, General Muhammadu Buhari, but the lily-livered and cowardly Jonathan, who has no courage, listened to these quality persons and ignored them. So much for a man who has no courage! If you doubted that Kwankwaso was not a man who betrayed people as he did to Jonah Jang of Plateau State, see the manner he divulged details of a meeting he had with C M Y K

Jonathan and other northern governors. The words from his leaky lips: “When we met with the President, as Northern Governors, he told us that the former US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, told him that as President he has to look at the issue of the North very critically. She noted that there was an imbalance in terms of patronage, appointments and sharing of resources. “He assured that he was looking at those comments and that was why he was delaying appointments into boards and so on. Since that meeting, we have not seen anything or changes. So, it is my conclusion that the President lacks the capacity and courage to do the right thing.” Hmmn. I doubt if a man who lacks capacity would have sat atop Nigeria as long as Jonathan has done, even when all political generals of note and their counterparts in civilian clothing have done everything, including promising to make Nigeria ungovernable, to undermine his government. It is either he has capacity or somebody with capacity is watching over him and Nigeria. Isn’t it again wrong in the faith of Kwankwaso to make the denigrating remarks he made about the leader of his people? Or, if I may ask, when all these political clowns finish rubbishing the presidency they desperately crave for, what would they have when they get into office? I remember once when the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo, was said to have been invited by former President Shehu Shagari, some of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) hotheads advised him not to go; but he told them he was going, not because Shagari asked him to come, but because the President and Commander-in-Chief wanted to see him. I think some of our ill-advised hotheads

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BY SUNNY IKHIOYA

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ASUU: Looking into the future

federal to the states; I find it very difficult to understand, why state universities should be dragged into a matter that is purely federal. What is the relationship between state universities and the federal government's inability to perform? It is not the responsibility of the federal government to run state universities. If state universities fulfilled their own part of the bargain, why not allow them run their programmes, like the private universities. I do not think, it is right, just as; it is not right for the federal government to fix remuneration for state employees. State governments, must begin to think of ways, to make their universities, truly independent. ASUU must not force states, to negotiate under the federal government conditions. In fact, the silence of the state governors, throughout the period of the strike, was disappointing. They saw it as the federal government's burden, even opposition groups used it as a weapon against the federal government. We should know when to draw the line between politics and good governance. ASUU on its part, has to show commitment. It must add value to the system. What has been its contribution to the enthronement of good governance? It is not only when matters affecting its welfare crops up, that it goes on strike. The association is made up of intellectuals, the beacon of hope to the masses, they should lead the way to a progressive society. They should be in the fore front to check the excesses of politicians, surely, the people need leadership in this direction. ASUU must also begin to let their curricula reflect the needs of the Nigerian society. That is how it is done in developed societies.

For me to agree with Governor Kwankwaso and to believe that he is right concerning Jonathan, he should do more than he has done this time

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today need to learn from that and not denigrate an office they are jostling for. According to media reports, the governor claimed that the federal budget is heavily tilted in favour of one section of the country, pointing out that a situation where one section of the country is suffering from illiteracy, underdevelopment and misery while the other section has more than enough is not good for national unity. Is that so? So the President created the problem of loafing youths all over the north, not the northern leaders who were in power at the centre for most of our years as a nation? Not the clueless leaders of Kano, including him who will be spending eight years in power by 2015? Not his predecessor and sworn political foe who spent eight years and both were unable to deal with the menace of joblessness in Kano?

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ut I must be fair to Kwankwaso to state that he has, with some of his recent initiatives in training the youths and even sending some abroad, begun a process that may turn the state around, if continued by his successors; but I think he is myopic in putting the blame of Arewa at the doorstep of an Ijaw man. We know our problems and we don’t have to lie about them in the name of the politics of 2015. What annoyed me most about the governor’s comments are the following words: “We have had enough crises in this

They must research and come up with solutions to the multitudes of problems besetting this nation. Curricula, that will make the students come out of the university and hit the ground running. There should be no lip service, a lecturer must be assessed solely on his contribution to research development, in his field of study. These researches must also factor in, roles to be played by private businesses and governments. I believe, if the universities come up with viable research programmes, finding support and back ups will not be a problem. It is important also, for universities to begin to think of ways of generating revenue internally. They could form consortium of consultants, present proposals and bid for jobs like their colleagues outside. As it is presently, it is not possible for government to satisfactorily meet the demands of our universities, those that cannot adjust to the present reality will surely lag behind. It is important that our universities brace up to these challenges. In recent times, universities abroad teach students how to run their own business and even encourage them to start from school. In an MBA class at Wharton School, America, 75 percent of the students are entrepreneurs and self employed, adding real value to their environment. That should be our direction. All parties - government, ASUU - must know their responsibilities henceforth, and not give room to avoidable strikes.

*Mr. Ikhioya, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Lagos.

country and it is not right to plant seeds for crisis in the future. Look at the North East that was allocated N2 billion in the current budget. N2 billion is what Mr. President allocated to non-APC states for supporting him, while N111 billion was allocated to the South East and South-South. This is not close to fairness.” With all due respect, the governor lied with statistics like his kith, the politicians. To start with, how much has been spent on the Almajiri programme in the North-east, and indeed the whole north? Was a similar amount spent to cater for those from the Christian north? Also, I read an interview in the Daily Trust granted by Jatau, the Christian leader, and it was painful to hear that no compensation has been paid for the schools taken over from them. On the Almajiri programme, I’d like to know what commensurate programme is on going in the South, or the Christian north for that matter. Secondly, the hundreds of billions being spent on insurgency or those budgeted for insurgency this year, are they part of this N2 billion calculated by the governor ’s mathematicians or accountants? Beyond the money, what about the lives of soldiers that have been lost or may be lost? How does Kwankwaso plan to calculate that in monetary terms? But Jonathan and the federal government apart, what exactly are the northern governors and local government chairmen doing with the huge sums they take monthly from Abuja? Is governance all about doing non-creative things like building roads, bridges, schools and other things that are by-products of sitting in office? For me to agree with Governor Kwankwaso and to believe that he is right concerning Jonathan, he should do more than he has done this time and not cut a picture of a man who enjoys sharing confidences in the open.

*Mr. Momodu, a pubic affairs commentator, wrote from Abuja.


46—Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

PDP: Obasanjo’s withdrawal is

a family affair — Bode George •Begs G5 govs to return to PDP •2015: Nigerians not ready to experiment with APC

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HAT is your reaction to the decision of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to withdraw from the activities of the PDP because of Chief Buruji Kashamu? I do not want to get into that kind of discussion because it will be a whole night of another letter. When you go to the market place to discuss your family matter, then you are gone. This is a PDP problem, we will discuss it in the PDP enclave, it is not meant for public consumption. We will do the analysis and find out where we went wrong, what happened, how it happened and how we can prevent it from happening in the future. That is the way I was trained. But if it was against the opposition, I will say it in the open. This is a family issue that must be discussed at the family meeting because these are serious issues that must be discussed in-house, so that we can correct the anomaly.

Correcting the anomally So, I do not want to get into the quagmire of saying who is right or wrong. My grandmother used to tell us if you go to the market place to criticise your parents, then you will have to rethink whether to return to that house or not. So, for me, it is an issue for the PDP family. There is not doubt that there is crisis in the PDP within the South-West but where do you want to start from considering the fact that you have been away for sometime? When you have been part of a system, no matter how long you have been out you will know how to handle situations when you come back. We need to sit down and X-ray all the problems. For me, having been part of those who built the party, all these things happening have happened before. There is nothing new under the sun but we must be fair and honest to ourselves. At the meeting, we will lock the door and tell ourselves the truth. On the issue of what we are

CHIEF Olabode George, a former national vice chairman (South) of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, was recently absolved of graft conviction by the Supreme Court which set aside a Lagos High Court ruling. In this interview, George said former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s decision to temporarily withdraw his activities from the PDP at all levels remains a PDP affair. While picking holes in the decision five governors of the PDP to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and begged them to return, he said the APC would not constitute a threat to the PDP in 2015. He expressed satisfaction with the apex court’s verdict and said he does not begrudge any one involved in the conspiracy against him. Excerpts: No human being is like God, to err is human, but to forgive is divine. We (PDP) must sit down as a party and ensure that we head in the right direction and forget about whistling in the dark. How do you see the Supreme Court’s verdict which set aside the lower courts’ ruling against you in the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) alleged corruption saga? I want to first of all thank the God Almighty for making that day a special day because for five years, it was a dark cloud. I also want to thank God that eventually, the truth has been revealed because it was not a matter of the judgment, which was very well written and captured. One thing the judgment did to me was that it gladdened my mind and reinvigorated my commitment to this country that there is hope for this country and that there are still people in this country who cannot be bought. If you recall, most of the times •George: Nigerians not ready for APC's experimentation that I said we did not commit any crime, but it was a convoluted On APC’s perceived threat to conspiracy. Can you blame the going to do, we suggested that issues. We are not going to there should be a caretaker apportion blames but we will state PDP in 2015 polls opposition for capitalising on it? I have said it before that People within the PDP family committee to reconcile all the categorically what needs to be General Buhari and Bola Tinubu were part and parcel of the warring factions in the South- corrected. West before heading to the zonal On the five PDP governors are like day and night, they can conspiracy. The enemies within never meet. This are worse than the enemies from congress. Let all the warring who defected to the APC factions calm down because I I have spoken to some of the know all that happened but governors who were so angry This is a family issue that must be everybody is important. and left. I cracked a joke to them My mission now is to beg all that you are a landlord here; discussed at the family meeting the aggrieved members. The suddenly, you were so angry that because these are serious issues that Yoruba are politically because some rats have infested knowledgeable people and very your house, you decided to go must be discussed in-house, so that we sophisticated politically. If you go and become a tenant somewhere can correct the anomaly and explain to them, they will else. Now, when the landlord understand because they know needs his house, what would who is lying to them. It is possible you, tenant, do? We will be experimentation the APC Army outside because how could it for us to chart our course. stupid to say we do not have crisis wants to start, we started it in have happened? First, there was We know there are no zonal in the PDP. 1998. You can still see the friction no law existing, a federal agency executives for the PDP in the I also want to beg the aggrieved within the PDP. If you think went to Lagos State, they know South-West, we will resolve that. governors; they must know that Nigerians are ready for the political opposition to us, but With all the silly mistakes that two wrongs do not make a right. experimentation, it is false, it will they were part of the conspiracy. have been made in the party, They were initially correct about not be possible. It is a lesson. how can there be peace? I am the dissolution in their states but The APC leaders have not even That has come and gone but happy the president is now at the they were wrong in jumping allocated offices to themselves nothing happens without the steering wheel, we will meet and ship. We are all humans but we and that is where the crisis will knowledge of the Almighty God we will tell ourselves real family will talk. start. Do you think Nigeria is Continues on page 47 ready for that?

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BY DAPO AKINREFON

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Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014—47

Obasanjo's letter in bad taste — Sen Ugbesia

BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU & JOSEPH ERUNKE

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T was alleged that the president skipped from physically presenting the 2014 budget because of threats of heckling in the House of Representatives. Was it so? Well, there is no substance to that. Nobody has spoken to any member of the House of Representatives who admitted of any such plan to embarrass the president. So, I won•ft buy into that. What is your perception of the letter by former President Obasanjo to President Jonathan? Well, I see that letter in bad taste. Absolutely in bad taste. I don't think we should govern this country on the pages of newspapers. As a former a head of state, I don't think it was proper for him to have written that letter.

Moral platform More so, I don't think that he has a moral platform to stand in writing that letter, considering his own antecedent. Truly speaking, I think he should have found another avenue to convey his feelings to Mr President. It is not Mr Jonathan that is there, but the institution which is the Presidency. It is wrong to disrespect it. He (Obasanjo) was there and God knows how many years. Nobody could have written him that kind of letter. Nobody would have done that and got away free. With this development now, how would you expect the sitting president to respond to the letter?

•Ugbesia: Obasanjo's letter in bad taste I wish he could ignore him, just completely ignore him because they said silence is golden. But most Nigerians want President Jonathan to respond to issues raised by the former president in the letter• (cuts in) He has written such letters to almost all the heads of states and presidents in the past and considering what he himself did while in the same office, most of us are questioning his moral justification in his latest letter. What is it that he is accusing the sitting president of doing that he did not do? Like I said, I wish President Goodluck Jonathan could ignore him. That is the

truth of the matter. Given the increasing tension in the country, do you fear that the prediction from America that Nigeria would collapse in 2015 could come true? No. I believe Obasanjo really has his personal motive in doing what he did. I don't think it has anything to do with the prediction by the Americans that the country would disintegrate in 2015. But I will say that the president should consider the letter as a wakeup call, if anything. The president has to be more careful in dealing with people like Obasanjo. What do you mean by wakeup

call? Well, that the president should begin to see from the letter that there are people with sinister motives around him. Who ever thought that Obasanjo could do a thing like that? Nobody thought that he would one day accuse the president of those things he mentioned in the letter! Take the issue of corruption in the oil industry because Obasanjo was the president and minister of petroleum for a long time but now the country has a serving minister in the petroleum industry unlike during Obasanjo•fs time. What is your reaction to the call by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the National Assembly to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan for alleged gross misconduct? I think it was a reckless statement. Whoever made that statement, I think it was reckless. The constitution is very clear on what impeachable offences are. Allegation of misconduct by somebody or by a

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SENATOR Odion Ugbesia , who represents Edo Central in the Senate is the only Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, senator from his state. In this interview, he talks on current national issues among which are the face-off between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan and issues concerning the 2014 budget and his own political future. Excerpts:

I don't think we should govern this country on the pages of newspapers, as a former a head of state, I don't think it was proper for him to have written that letter

former president is not enough to waste the National Assembly•fs time. We have to have concrete evidence in our hands that the president has breached this or that part of the constitution to warrant impeachment but nothing so far

2015: Nigerians not ready to experiment with APC Continues from page 46 and it was that faith that kept me through. I was given a cup of vinegar to drink while in prison but God turned it into a cup of honey and so, who am I to complain? It is now historical but there will be a day of reckoning. What can I say but to thank God Almighty? I almost lost hope thinking that the whole judiciary was rotten and corrupt but I am still convinced that there are good

people in the judiciary who still have integrity. Once there is no justice, there will never be peace. Like I said, I have no malice, I have no hatred towards anyone but the story must be told so that the younger ones coming must be able to learn that if you live on the path of perfidy, you are not going to last long, there will be a day of judgment. So, my reaction is that I have left that behind me because it was a rare privilege to have gone to the university of life. I am back. I

cannot take revenge because vengeance is for God. Do you intend to sue anyone? People have been telling me to sue but I leave all to God. Even within the PDP, they directed some of our party members to take me to court asking that my name should be struck out as a member of the Board of Trustees. Who directed them from the party secretariat? It was the national chairman. Where were they when I built

has been found. Nothing impeachable has been found so far. So, I think it was a reckless statement by whoever made that call. I will say that as political leaders, we should all exercise restraint, calling for the impeachment of the president, writing letters to Mr. President is not the demonstration of political maturity at all. Everything he (Obasanjo) has been doing amount to political recklessness, and that is not good for this country at all. This country needs a level of maturity in our conduct in our general behavior because if this country falls apart, it is not just Jonathan that will suffer but all of us that will suffer. If we don•ft want Jonathan to run in 2015, all we need do is to run against him if he runs. It is his inalienable right as enshrined in our constitution to seek reelection if he so desires. What issues in the polity do you think pose the greatest threat to the stability of the country? What is happening now, if allowed to continue, will heighten the anxiety about 2015, there is no doubt about that. But again, we must tread cautiously in approaching 2015. Elections, campaigns and everything can be conducted in the most peaceful manner if we the political leaders exercise some restrains in our conducts and in our utterances. Given your interest in the past, would you be participating in the next governorship election in Edo State? Unfortunately, the governorship election in Edo State is not in the same year with the Senate election. 2015 is for

the party in the South-West? If you look at those who perpetuated it and sold it to the enemy camp, none of them today is in any position of responsibility. I do not believe that Nuhu Ribadu was part of the conspiracy because he absolved himself from their conspiracy. I will continue to talk about it to educate the younger ones but someday, what goes around, comes around. So, I do not intend to take any legal action against anyone.

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Senate and the governorship election in Edo State is around 2017 or so. So that for now is a distant contemplation, 2015 is the bird at hand. On epileptic budgetary provisions for projects to constituents? This year they (ministers) will put something, next year they will not put something, that is where I have problems with some ministers, because they don•ft know where the shoe pinches. They don•ft probably know where this place is in the map of Nigeria. That is why I said and I will continue to say it without apology, that some of these ministers have no business being ministers in a political situation because they do not know what it is to represent a people. They were not voted for and I am sure many of them did not vote at any time in this country, they don't even have voters•f cards because they were picked.


48—Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

•Obasanjo: I cant associate with Buruji

•Buruji: I served Obasanjo in the past

PDP leaders mum as OBJ/Buruji face off thickens BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN, POLITICAL EDITOR, DAPO AKINREFON AND CHARLES KUMOLU

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HIEF Bode George, the preeminent leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the Southwest was careful to play down the latest eruption in the party on his return to the country on Saturday night. “It is an internal affair of the party,” George said as he was accosted by journalists, weekend. Just before he touched down after a two month holiday abroad, it emerged that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had written a letter to the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to withdraw himself from the activities of the party on the basis of his unwillingness to associate with Chief Kashumu Buruji who he alleged to be a suspect running away from justice in the United States of America. “Since I stick in my practice of party politics to the hallowed and cherished principles enunciated above, I take this opportunity to let you know that while I continue to remain a cardcarrying member of PDP, I cannot and I will not subscribe to a wanted habitual criminal being installed as my zonal leader in the party; a criminal for whom extradition has been requested by the US government,” Obasanjo said in the letter to Tukur dated, Tuesday, January 7, 2014.

The letter follows earlier complaints by Obasanjo in an earlier letter to President Goodluck Jonathan where he pointed to Buruji as among suspicious characters who he claimed had taken position around the presidency and were now directing the affairs of state. Buruji, a billionaire businessman burst into national consciousness shortly before the re-election of Otunba Gbenga Daniel as governor of Ogun State when the crisis between him and former President Obasanjo began to take shape. Buruji sided with Obasanjo and became an instrument through which Obasanjo supposedly took the structure of the party away from Daniel. Buruji has confessed to luring support to Obasanjo using hundreds of cars and other

incentives to stakeholders. For whatever reasons, Buruji and Obasanjo parted ways in the approach to the 2011 election and have been on opposite sides of the political equation in their native Ogun State. Buruji was allegedly instrumental to the displacement of Obasanjo’s nominees in the national executive of the party through court actions and other means. Buruji has also sided with the national chairman of the party and is known to be one of the arrow heads in the defence of Tukur’s controversial leadership of the party.

PDP leaders keep mum on feud

When contacted by Vanguard to comment on the imbroglio, former Caretaker Committee

chairman of the party in the South-West, Chief Ishola Filani said “no comment.” On his part, a former Minister of Power and Steel, Elder Sola Oyelese told Vanguard on the telephone that there are no plans to dissuade the former president from carrying out his threats. Oyelese said, “I do not think that is a big deal because already Tukur is already begging him not to withdraw his activities from the party. The chairman of the party is already pleading with him.” Also, former South-West Vicechairman of the party, Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo said “I have not been making public comments but at the appropriate time, I will talk.” A former national secretary of the PDP, Chief Remi Akitoye told Vanguard that the leaders are making efforts at ensuring that Chief Obasanjo rescinds his decision. Chief Akitoye said “the elders and leaders of the party have decided to take up the matter so that there will be peaceful resolution. People like Chief Obasanjo, Alex Ekwueme and other elders of the party should not be allowed to go. A meeting is going to hold in Abuja within the few days and all issues that will make PDP stronger, will be discussed.” Chief Bode George on his part said: “I do not want to get into that kind of discussion because it will be a whole night of another letter. When you go to the market place to discuss your family matter, then you are gone. This is a PDP problem, we will discuss it in the PDP enclave, it is not meant for public consumption.” “We will do the analysis and find out where we went wrong, what happened, how it happened and how we can prevent it from happening in the future. That is the way I was trained. But if it was against the opposition, I will say it in the open.”

Ball is in Tukur’s court — Obasanjo C

HIEF Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday insisted that the national chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur should address the issues raised in his letter saying that entreaties to him to reconsider his withdrawal from the party were wrongly based. Obasanjo spoke following pleas from Tukur and allegedly from President Goodluck Jonathan on him to reconsider his withdrawal from the party. Noting that he had raised issues and conditions for him to involve himself in the affairs of the party, he said that the national leadership should address those issues in its stead. Among the conditions raised by Obasanjo in his fiery letter was that Buruji should be brought down from his place of prominence in the affairs of the party. Obasanjo had said that he would

not subject himself to the leadership of a suspect fleeing from justice in the United States. Obasanjo who spoke through his media aide, Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye said: “President Obasanjo wrote a letter and in that letter there were conditions, there were issues he raised and he is a member and card carrying member of PDP but he is not going to participate in activities of the party until the issues he raised are addressed.” “So the question should not be to Obasanjo, your question should be to the people who received the letter and to how they are going to address the issues he raised.” “The letter said until certain issues are addressed. The letter is very clear, “I am with you, I remain a member, but I will not participate in your activities until you address the issues. The question is has he addressed the issues?"

I'm being attacked because of Jonathan — Kashamu BY DAUD OLATUNJI

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RINCE Kashamu Buruji yesterday explained that the attacks on him by former President Olusegun Obasanjo were because of his unflinching support for President Goodluck Jonathan adding that Obasanjo’s letters were spreading his popularity beyond measure. Buruji who spoke during a media interaction following an Ogun State PDP stakeholders’ meeting in his Ijebu Igbo country home vowed not to ever recant his support for Dr. Jonathan. “Jonathan is a good president, he is loyal to Nigeria, he’s a complete gentleman, transparent and a believer in due process. We are ready to go the extra mile in delivering the South West for him,” he said. “You ought to know the strategy of Obasanjo, that Obasanjo wanted to hijack me from Jonathan, that if I don’t support Jonathan in South West, the South West would be easier for them. How many times has he called me? How many times Obasanjo has sent people to me that why am I so stubborn? Many that he had sent, I did not answer them because I am not a betrayer. “When I love somebody and believe in the leadership of somebody, whatever happens I accept that I will go with the person. I believe in the leadership of Jonathan, I believe in the government of Jonathan and in his transformation agenda and I believe in his wise “It’s only Jonathan that can open his mouth and say don’t support me again. What I’m doing is for the party, for Jonathan and the country. Jonathan is a good president, he is loyal to Nigeria, he’s a complete gentleman, transparent and a believer in due process. We are ready to go the extra mile in delivering the South West to him. You know when it comes to mobilizing the people, I’m a grassroots person. I’ve already opened offices all over the South West. In Ogun State over two million registered in the last election but only 400,000 voted. In each state, I have registered in my data over 20, 000 supporters. Tell me which grassroots does Obasanjo have? The last election we did, they beat him flat. I have 80 per cent of PDP leaders in Ogun.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014— —49

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50—Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

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Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014—51

Clark’s open letter to Obasanjo not, really, high time Nigerians had found a common route to patriotic nation building? Other people in developed countries are busy fortifying their In reaction to the famous structures and the only thing letter written to President we can think of in this country Goodluck Jonathan by former is how to create mallicious President Olusegun Obasanjo sentiments to continually hold a former Minister of Informathe progress of this country at tion and Ijaw leader, Chief ransom. Enough is enough!!! Edwin Clark replies..... Abiodun Ayodele: I think it is time to get the true picture of Comments the reasons why our country, oe: Does Edwin Clark have the courage to write a Nigeria has refused to be in the list of developed countries. The sitting president? Because he wealth belonging to over 180 has the cover of a sitting million people is in the hands president…he has the temerity of the very few. They to write this letter. He should masqueraded as friends of the advise GEJ to investigate the nation while they are enemies. Haliburton and Siemen’s cases Anyway our God will lead us rather than making glib right and take us to the promise references to them. I cannot land. understand why a president Ekenwan Akwagbe: Though who is aware of fraudulent acts Chief Clark is not better than committed against his country; Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and refuses to do something morally and in all other spheres about it will continue to talk but his (Chief E. K. Clark’s) about it. Loveontopover: Clark should letter sums up the true Obasanjo. The interesting thing not turn Jonathan’s presidency is that for those of us who know to an Ijaw-emancipation E. Clark closely as Ijaws, he is presidency. If he does that, the Ijaw version of Obasanjo in Nigerians who voted for every way. It is unfortunate Jonathan the first time not because he was Ijaw but a good Obasanjo, ‘pot’ gave opportunity to Chief Clark, a”kettle” to Nigerian, won’t be so keen to dress him down by that do it again. subversive and self-serving So, Edwin Clark should simply letter he wrote to the very back off! Obasanjo helped to unassuming President give the minorities a voice and Jonathan. hope in Nigeria when he Osita Mike Okafor: Great Tukur may be one of GEJ’s joker stuff Chief! It is cards and he may have a magic on record that has done wand to win the opposition that is GEJ for the north why those in the opposition are more than any of their sons fighting hard to remove him that were in charge for 38 helped Jonathan to where he is years! Almajiri schools, rail transportation, light rail from today. No-one should forget Kaduna to Abuja that enabled that! people to live in Kaduna and Iam awori andYoruba: work in Abuja, customs chief Jonathan has replied and his since Yar’Adua etc. Yet they reply had been noted by all hated him more than anything. Nigerians. Why is Pa Edwin They lack the capacity to Clark, getting himself insurvive without power for just volved? What point is he trying eight years, yet the Ibos are to prove? Asari Dokubo has doing well even without testing replied and now Edwin Clark, the centre for close to 43 years. maybe the next open letter will We know very well that OBJ is now come from Oritsejafor and only doing the bidding of the Dame Patience Jonathan. As north which is to weaken GeJ one of the elder statesmen in towards 2015, but thank God he Nigeria, he does not have to is clearly losing the battle of the get himself involved. He letters. Get should just beware should have kept his emotions of his next antics which may and perhaps find a way to come in the form of ill intended resolve the matter with the two reconciliation. leaders. Fordman 07: I was reluctant at first to read this letter having Presidency shops read so many open letters for Tukur’s recently but I must say my stomach was full after reading replacement this…thanks a lot Chief for this....I await rebuttals from The Presidency has finally hypocrites..but this is factual moved against the National balanced reply...Thank you Chairman of People’s Demoonce again cratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Macben Idam: This ‘divide Bamanga Tukur, as it is now and rule’ game is, continually, certain that it is shopping for tearing this country apart. Is it his replacement. Reliable

COMPILED BY OLUFEMI AJASA Phemmbrown@yahoo.com

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sources told Vanguard that Tukur “will lose his position on January 16, as his exit is now a foregone conclusion.” Comments… Davies Osagie Eweka: At this point of heat in Nigeria’s politics and politicking by the elite against the backdrop of 2015 general elections, if Tukur is a problem to the smooth running of PDP and its capacity to win the forthcoming general elections, Tukur should quit Celestine Okoro: Would the exit of Tukur calm frayed nerves in PDP? Or would the dissenters further demand the divestment of GEJ’s 2015 presidential interest. Time will definitely tell. But it appears the PDP belligerents are winning. Farrybeckyns67: One way to test the progress and viability of a company, political party or private businesses, is to check how long the managers stay in their positions. Most People’s Democratic Party, PDP, chairmen do not stay long in office. Most of them are often linked to corruption directly or indirectly and they are always shielded by the presidency.

Party affiliations Did we hear anything about the allegation of corruption against Ogbulafor the former national PDP chairman? What about the oil subsidy scam that involved the son of Ahmadu Ali, another former PDP national chairman? There is nothing good in the party and they have nothing to offer. They will continue to stifle Nigeria. All Progressives Congress, APC, is not better. We need credible independent candidates to contest for the presidency of Nigeria. People without party affiliations or tied to the apron string of past leaders. Above all, Nigerians should vote without sentiments. Our destiny is in our hands. Honsyl Global Group UK: When will our leaders focus on the masses and not personalities? Has Tukur’s chairmanship of the PDP led to increased

employment figures in the country or reduced poverty amidst massive official corruption. GEJ should focus on the masses and every other political benefit will be available to him. Jean Gerard: Well, let’s wait and see how the drama unfolds. Those clamouring for Tukur’s removal all have hidden agenda. However, his removal or not will not stop GEJ from being the party’s flag bearer in the next presidential election. Ebeano Williams: Directly or indirectly, Tukur may be one of GEJ’s joker cards and he may have a magic wand to win the opposition that is why those in the opposition are fighting hard to remove him. He has shown his loyalty to the office of the president on many occasions and that shows that he is a true party man who can die to defend his boss. So GEJ must be very careful for his replacement as this may determine the outcome of his 2015 ambition. Henry Asede: The fact is that many Northern Governors wanted Tukur to execute the Northern agenda of “Power must go back to the North” but he refused. He should be commended for his detribalized posture. Goodluck should be careful choosing Tukur’s successor as the North and their ‘follow-follow’ partners are up in arms to take over Aso Rock that they have occupied for more than 35 years without any reasonable achievement. Nigerians should be careful with 2015, no zone should be underrated and no zone should overrate their strength, things have changed from what it used to be in the 60s. Beneth Ozor: It is normal if the ruling party’s slightest adjustment of election winning strategy attracts national attention. The differences in management style of different managers may not mean managerial incompetence of any of them. It is very clear that majority of PDP’s governors do not like the management style of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and if changing him is the only

solution to restore peace in the party at this point, so be it as long as it is respectfully done! Obomni: GEJ’s traducers are pretending that Tukur is their problem. However, Tukur is not their main problem. Their problem is actually how to remove and replace GEJ, and they feel Tukur is a major obstacle to the actualization of their plan. GEJ shoule take note of this fact. Moses O: Jonathan should be careful of replacing Tukur. He once said his replacement, will make GEJ vulnerable and I sense the remaining aggrieved party members who are yet to defect may be tying their joker card to the ousting of Tukur and in a Chairman they can manipulate to do their bidding. This will make Jonathan vulnerable to in fighting that may leave his PDP ticket swinging like a pendulum. Pheels: To some people GEJ is slow but I believe everybody is important. If he decide to exhaust all avenue to reconcile and treat the dissatisfaction by the stake holders Tukur should be replaced.

Replacement like house boys During OBJ’s tenure PDP chairmen were replaced like house boys. We should appreciate the fact that there is an improvement in our democracy in this regard. Just like LGA chairmen, governors and other elected officers are important, the party chairmen are also important. Agunganga: Okwesilieze Nwodo was speedily replaced by Jonathan. What is wrong in replacing Tukur? He appears not to be popular with a greater number of PDP members. His sack will be a good riddance. Aniwetalu Emmanuel: Tukur is like a wife who is only nice to her husband but not in good terms with her husband’s families. Such marriage will hardly work. My advice to Tukur, is that he should just back down and move on with his life. Source: Vanguardngr.com and Vanguard Facebook

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52—Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

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V anguard Vanguard anguard,, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014 — 53

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Israelis pay tributes to Sharon ahead of state burial today T

HE body of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was laid in state at the nation’s parliament yesterday , where citizens can pay their respects ahead of a memorial service. He will be buried today in a military funeral on his farm in southern Israel. Sharon, a towering military and political leader, died Saturday surrounded by family after eight years in a coma. He was 85 A convoy of cars carried his coffin to the Knesset, where President Shimon Peres will lay a wreath on it. After the viewing, a state memorial ceremony is planned for today. World leaders including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and former British leader Tony Blair will attend the memorial, which will be followed by a funeral procession. The latter will include a stop in Latrun for a special meeting of the Israel Defense Forces that will end with a military funeral at Sharon’s ranch, Shikmim. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described him as a warrior and a political leader. “He was, first and foremost, a warrior and a commander, among the Jewish People’s greatest generals in the current era and throughout its history,” Netanyahu said Sunday. “He was dedicated to the

security of the state from his youth, as a young fighter in the War of Independence, and afterwards as a commander.” “The state of Israel bows its head on the passing of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “Ariel Sharon played a central role in the struggle for the security of the State of Israel over all its years.” The same decisions that made him a controversial figure during his lengthy tenure as a military man and politician were back on display in the initial reactions to his death. These moments include his role as defense minister during the 1982 war in Lebanon. During that conflict, he was held indirectly responsible by an Israeli inquiry in 1983 for the massacre of

•Late Israeli former Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon hundreds of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. He was forced to resign. He also raised ire in the Arab world by encouraging Israelis to build settlements on occupied Palestinian land, but later did an

UN concerns mount over besieged Syrians

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HE UN humanitarian affairs chief has expressed deep concern for communities cut off in Syria by months of fighting between government and rebel forces. Valerie Amos told the BBC she had heard accounts of near starvation, including in the capital, Damascus. Baroness Amos said she had spoken to the government about trying to get humanitarian access. She said the situation in the country was getting

BBC in late December said more than a quarter of a million Syrians are stuck in “besieged or hard to access areas”. Starving an area is a war

•UN Scribe, Ban Ki Moon worse by the day and she had heard horrific tales of suffering. The situation on the ground keeps shifting, but a confidential UN document leaked to the

Mediators meet S/Sudan’s rebel leader

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EDIATORS pressed for a ceasefire in South Sudan as government troops fought for control over the last rebel-held town. Envoys from the United States and South Sudan’s neighbours met on Saturday with Riek Machar, the former vice president who heads the rebel forces that have been fighting government troops for the past month, the rebels said. “The American Special envoy to South Sudan and Sudan, Donald Booth together with [regional] mediators travelled to an undisclosed location in South Sudan to meet Dr Riek Machar,” said a

about-face and pushed for the historic withdrawal from settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, which were turned over to Palestinian rule for the first time in nearly four decades. President Shimon Peres

made an address eulogizing his “dear friend Arik Sharon,” calling him by his well-known nickname. “He was an outstanding man and an exceptional commander who moved his people and loved them. And the people loved him,” Peres said. But Hamas, the Palestinian movement that runs Gaza, paints Sharon with a darker legacy. “We deal with the death of Sharon as an end for the crimes he committed against the Palestinian people,” said Israr Almodallal, spokesman for Hamas in Gaza. “The biggest crime was the Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon, and we deal with Sharon as a criminal person. “We will not forgive Sharon any way or another,” he said.

•South Sudan’s Vice President Riek Machar statement signed by Machar’s former press

officer Miyong G Kuon. There were unconfirmed news reports that mediators would meet President Salva Kiir on Monday. The meeting with Machar comes as talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa appear to be stalling.

crime. In Syria, food is a weapon of war used by all sides as they try to gain ground militarily, says the BBC’s Lyse Doucet.

Pope Francis to appoint 19 new cardinals

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OPE Francis is to appoint 19 new cardinals next month, including churchmen from Haiti and Burkina Faso, reflecting his commitment to the poor. Cardinals, who wear red hats and robes, are the most senior clergymen in the Roman Catholic Church below the Pope. Sixteen of the new appointees are under 80, making them eligible to enter a conclave to elect the Pope’s successor. The new cardinals will

be formally instated at a ceremony, known as a consistory, on 22 February. The three clergymen over 80 come from Spain, Italy and the Caribbean island of St Lucia. They will assume the title cardinal emeritus. ‘Humbling moment’ Pope Francis named his new cardinals during his weekly, Sunday address to worshippers gathered in St Peter’s Square.

Iran nuclear deal to enter into force in January

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N interim agreement to freeze Iran’s nuclear programme will enter into force on 20 January,2014, report has said. The deal, agreed in talks with world powers

in November, envisages easing of some international sanctions on Tehran. US President Barack Obama welcomed the news but said more work was needed to strike a

long-term deal. He threatened new sanctions if there was a breach. The West accuses Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, but Tehran has consistently denied that.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the world powers would now ask the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog (IAEA) to verify the deal’s implementation.


54 —

Vanguard, MONDAY JANUARY 13, 2014

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Agbim...Oh...Agbim

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OR a country that is on the ascendancy in football, one that is getting used to winning, Saturday was a disaster, to say the least. Don’t get me wrong. I am also of the opinion that South Africa may remain a good hunting ground for us. I know a lot of teams who had lost their opening match and had gone ahead to lift the trophy, yet the way I am feeling now as Mali scores their second has necessitated this view point. Agbim puts butterflies in my stomach. Whenever I see him beween the sticks, I lose hope. During the decisive second leg match against Cote D’ivoire in Abidjan, as Agbim let in two goals and was frantically prancing around on the way to conceding a third and throwing us out of the competition, I put a call through to League supremo Emeka Nwani. What Emeka told me then, was what he told me on Saturday. That Agbim is notoriously match rusty, Has never played in the league in two seasons going, yet here he is a regular in Super Eagles squad. As early as the seventh minute, Agbim timed his cross wrongly and we escaped going behind. Four minutes later he prostrated as the Malians came calling and the ball flew into the net. There after, it was the same Agbim I know, one who is very poor at crosses. Agbim is the exact opposite of Enyeama. When defenders mess up, you expect the goalkeeper to cover up. Not Agbim. In our case, when the defenders are brushed aside, it is a goal. Clean sheet does not exist in the Agbim dictionary of goalkeeping terms. The second goal came exactly as the first, from an angle that the goalkeeper is expected to cover. Not our Agbim. Before the attacker let fly, Agbim was already on the floor. When substitutions were being made, I expected Agbim to go, not when Keshi had not taken solid

Agbim puts butterflies in my stomach. Whenever I see him between the sticks, I lose hope

goalkeepers along.He may be captain for all I care. He may have leadership qualities, but not solid goalkeeping ones. If he had, he did not display them on Saturday. This is the goalkeeper that may be considered for the world cup as a substitute? The Eagles did not raise their game. As earlier said, all is not lost. A déjà vue situation is on the cards. We expect the Eagles to bounce back from this very difficult situation by winning their next two matches and qualify for the quarter finals. MIKEL AND THE “FRENCH CONNECTION” This story on the front page of Complete Sports, Saturday led to the sub editor sorrowfully casting the above headline. An in depth analysis of how

Tiote confused at disallowed N goal N

EWCASTLE mid fielder Cheick Tiote revealed he could not understand referee Mike Jones’ decision to rule out his stunning strike in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat against Manchester City. The Ivory Coast international looked to have cancelled out Edin Dzeko’s opener when he drilled home from distance in the 34th minute, but after speaking to assistant Stephen Child, Jones ruled out the goal, much to the disgust of the Magpies faithful and manager Alan Pardew. It appeared that Jones and his official ruled that Yoan Gouffran - who was stood in an offside position when Tiote struck the ball - was interfering with an opponent by distracting Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart. “I don’t understand why the referee didn’t give the goal,” Tiote told Sky Sports. “I think it was Gouffran who was next to the goalie but he didn’t touch it. I

DISAPPOINTED . . . Newcastle United’s midfielder Cheick Tiote celebrates scoring a goal before realizing that it had been disallowed during their match against Manchester City at St James’ Park . Man City won 2-0. Photo: AFP don’t know why the assistant referee decided to give offside. “That’s football, we need to accept it and go forward.

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“I’m so disappointed today but I think we played well and that’s the most important thing. We can take it on to the next game.”

IGERIA midfield er Sunday Mba has sets his sights on playing at the World Cup after making his debut for struggling French Ligue 2 side CA Bastia in their 3-0 home loss to Niort on Friday. The 25-year-old, who scored the winning goal for the Super Eagles at the Africa Cup of Nations in February last year, endured a frustrating time while seeking a move away from his native Nigeria. After almost a year of negotiations Mba completed his switch from Warri Wolves to the Corsican outfit in December. “It was a very frustrating time after the Nations Cup, training hard but not getting the chance to play competitively,” he told BBC Sport. “I feel so much relieved now knowing everything has been sorted and despite a lot of catching up to do. “Hopefully now I can get back on track and get my career going again and just be happy to be playing.” Mba has been criticised by local media and fans for rejecting the chance to represent Ni-

the 41 countries voted, reveals far more. For instance, only ONE (Nigeria) of the English speaking countries of Tanzania, Ethiopia, S. Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Somalia, Ghana, South Sudan, Liberia, Malawi and Sierra leone voted for Mikel. In fact, of the above twelve, EIGHT of them voted for Toure as the best in Africa, TWO voted him as second best, while the remaining TWO had him on the third position. In conclusion, it is rather the ENGLISH BETRAYAL rather than the FRENCH CONNECTION that ruined Mikel! Imagine Somalia not rating Mikel at all, while Egypt gave him 2 points and 10 to Toure. Ghana gave Mikel five points and gave Toure 10. South Africa gave Mikel 4 points and Toure 10. Even the Nigeria voting which was realistic did not favour Mikel in that Coach Keshi scored Mikel 10, Vincent Enyeama 9 and went ahead to give Toure 8. ( If he had known, he would not have scored Toure at all……don’t laugh) Over all, Yaya Toure ran out such a convincing winner with over 100 points over Mikel after coming first on the cards of 28 of the 41 coaches who voted and was second with 9 points on the list of seven coaches. Mikel only won in Nigeria, Sudan,Liberia and Zambia and as argued in the case of Nigeria even those countries made it tight for the Nigerian points wise by making Toure come second on their rating. Overall, I think Mikel did well. The argument that it is an individual award, and the preference for goal scorers did not help his chances. However Nigerians can take consolation on a night when we nearly scooped everything………but the big one. Win some, lose some. See you next week.

Mba resolves to do well in France

•Mba geria at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) to sign for a struggling French side. CA Bastia are bottom of the Ligue 2 table with only nine points from 19 matches and they could be relegated at the end of the season. “I know what is at stake here and that the club could go down but I’m prepared to give my best to help them stay up,” said Mba. “It’s a challenge for which I’m prepared for and no matter what decision you make in life

people are going to find a way to criticise you. “My immediate target is to start playing as soon as possible and to make important contributions that will help our league position.” He also added that he desperately wants regular football to boost his chances of playing at the World Cup in Brazil. “My dream is to play in the World Cup with Nigeria and to fulfil that desire I have to keep playing and regain my confidence, “ he added.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014 — 55

Brazil World Cup: Suleiman Habuba rates Africa’s reps •Speaks on life after CAF

NFF Continued from backpage a fifth World Cup. It is left to be seen if Keshi will recall skipper Joseph Yobo, who has seen limited action at Turkish club Fenerbahce after he fell down the pecking order, and England-based striker Osaze Odemwingie. has had a major fallout with Keshi after he was sensationally overlooked for the 2013 AFCON. It would also be interesting to see some of the other players Keshi is now considering for the tournament.

Continued from backpage Green, Chairman Media Committee of NFF, High Chief Emeka Inyamah were unanimous in banging the door against the WAGs in Eagles participation in the World Cup. “Their presence in the team will be a distraction. It’s not possible. No. They’ll not be allowed near the team in the World Cup”, Barrister Chris Green shot back to the question on whether the WAGs would be allowed when the Eagles battle Argentina, Iran and Bosnia Hezegovina in Brazil. “This is the only opportunity Nigerians derive joy from the Eagles. We should not toy with

Nigeria to lose unsold match tickets by April 1 — Wakanow BY TONY UBANI

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E was given a gold badge to sit on the VIP stage during the Glo-CAF Awards on Thursday night in Lagos. But he preferred to sit where he would interact with many friends including his colleagues in the media. It was the first time Suleiman Habuba would be attending the CAF Awards as an ordinary man. But is he one? The former Director of Communications only resigned last year and had a chance to move to International Olympic Committee but he preferred a private life having served football at such top height for a decade. He is still serving football from a different perspective. He is a FIFA instructor and a football consultant. And with the World Cup going to Russia in 2018 and Qatar 2022 after the expected spectacle in Brazil this summer, Habuba may have his

Brazil 2014 World Cup:

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Globacom Director of Events and Sponsorship, Bode Opeseitan (l) and Suleiman Habuba during the CAF Awards hands tied to football matters. Mustapha Fahmy, the former Secretary-General of CAF hired him as head of communications and Habuba remains grateful to the Egyptian football adminisUkraine-based midfielder Lukman Haruna, Chinedu Obasi, Raheem Lawal and Joel Obi are believed to be among those to be given a chance to fight for a place on the flight to Brazil. Nigeria’s World Cup training camp will open on May 25 most likely in Keshi’s preferred choice of Miami in the United States of America. They take on Mexico on March 5 in a warm-up match in the United States of America. The Eagles are drawn against Argentina, BosniaHerzegovina and Iran in the first round of the World Cup.

Eagles' wives it and distract them with the presence of their wives and girlfriends. Its a sacrifice the players will make for the nation’, Green emphasised. Chief Inyamah added that the Eagles should learn from past experiences when Clemence Westerhof allowed WAGs in their debut in USA ’94. “We paid dearly for it and cannot allow a repeat in Brazil”, Inyamah said. Barrister Green added that not allowing WAGs was part of the Code of conduct which they introduced to the Eagles. “The C Of C is not punitive. It is a handbook of dos and don’ts. It is not new."

trator who is now FIFA’s Competition Director. It delighted many in African football to see Habuba in Lagos. He was busy exchanging banters. And the media men had part of him too. Asked at the red carpet how life is after retirement from CAF, Habuba smiled. “You can see for yourself that I’m from you guys now. I’ll sit with you and enjoy the Awards ceremony without running around trying to satisfy you guys and making sure many other things are put in place. How would Habuba remember his stay in CAF? “It was interesting and at the same time challenging. Meeting people from all parts of the world with different perspectives in the football business, exchanging ideas, trying to build brands, effecting the communications duties were all interesting. You get some things right and err in some and move on from there. That’s life to me.” Habuba holds Mustapha Fahmy in a high esteem and says “the man was my source of inspiration and I wish him well anywhere he is especially now that he is in FIFA. On what he feels about Africa’s representatives at the Brazil World Cup, Habuba says “I expect that they will do well if they prepare well. Note that many African players play in Europe where they play against most of the players that they will meet in Brazil. That puts them in good psychological position. And if they use that and their physical attributes to their advantage they will have good stories to tell in Brazil.” Habuba is now a FIFA instructor and football consultant

IGERIA’s Brazil 2014 World Cup ticketing agents, Wakanow, have said that the country would lose all its unsold match tickets on April 1. World football governing body, FIFA, has allocated 3,000 tickets to Nigeria, which must be paid in the second phase of the ticketing rounds. The Super Eagles are pitched against Bosnia, Iran and Argentina in Group F of the Brazil 2014 World Cup. Speaking at an event to intimate the press on the ticketing procedure for the World Cup, officials of Wakanow, the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) ticketing and travels agent for the Brazil 2014 World Cup, disclosed that since the sale of tickets began in October last year, only 100 of the 3,000 Nigerian tickets have been bought by football fans. According to Wakanow’s Chief Marketing and Products Officer, Stella Obinwa, “FIFA would retrieve all the unsold tickets on April 1 and reallo-

•FIFA President, Blatter cate them to countries, whose citizens still need the tickets. Those tickets would be sold during the third phase of the auction beginning from April 15. “Nigerians like the last minute way of doing things, but FIFA has a time table for all its events and would not wait for any country that decides to do things differently. “The impression Nigerians’ apathy to the purchase of tickets is sending to the world is that we are not interested in watching the World Cup live in Brazil, but I know that is not the case.

Ballon d’Or: Ronaldo favourite

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EAL Madrid forward Cris tiano Ronaldo is the oddson favourite to win the Fifa Ballon d’Or on The Portugal captain, 28, is named on a three-man shortlist for the prize, along with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich. The trio were chosen from a 23-man long list, with the world player of the year to be crowned at a ceremony in Zurich. Winners of seven other

awards, plus the Fifpro World XI team of the year, will also be announced. Nadine Angerer (Germany), Marta (Brazil) and Abby Wambach (USA) are in the running for the women’s world player of the year prize. Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is vying with ex-Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes and Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp to be named men’s coach of the year.

CHAN: Keshi Continued from backpage this type of thing happening but I am certain that they now know that they have to satisfy themselves and have confidence in themselves, because we have lost the opening game and we have to forget that and fight for qualification from the remaining two games.” Keshi said most of the players were playing at the big stage for the first time and it

showed in the manner they played, adding that he has been talking to them and he was sure that the result will show in the second game. The Super Eagles looked a better side in the second half, and Keshi said he simply asked them to loosen up and enjoy their game instead of trying to impress the coach, the fans, the nation and even scouts. “The team will definitely get better.” C M Y K


V anguard anguard,, MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014

CHAN: Eagles succumbed to pressure – Keshi

NFF demands 40-man World Cup list from Keshi T

S

UPER Eagles coach Stephen Keshi pointed to pressure and a lack of big game experience

EPL Results Stoke City Newcastle Hull City Cardiff City Everton Fulham Southampton Tottenham Man Utd

Liverpool Man City Chelsea West Ham Norwich Sunderland West Brom Crystal P Swansea

5 2 2 2 0 4 0 0 0

EPL Table Ballon d'Or WHO THE CAP FITS ••• Ribery, Ronaldo or Messi, who's World's best footballer? See story on page 55

Team Name 1 Manchester City 2 Chelsea 3 Arsenal 4 Liverpool

P 21 21 20 21

NFF slams door on Eagles’ wives in Brazil BY TONY UBANI

T

HE Nigeria Football Federation has

emphatically ruled out Wives and Girlfriends, WAGs, of Super Eagles

PUZZLE

from being part of the Brazil World Cup for the team. Chairman

Technical Committee of NFF, Barrister Chris

Continues on Page 55

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D 2 4 3 3

L 4 3 3 5

F 59 40 39 51

A 23 19 18 26

GD 36 21 21 25

Pts 47 46 45 42

Nigeria to lose unsold World Cup match tickets by April 1

QUICK CROSSWORD

Sudoku TODAY'S

3 0 0 0 2 1 1 2 2

P.555 P.5

HE Nigeria F o o t b a l l Federation have demanded a 40-man list from coach Stephen Keshi preparatory to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The NFF technical committee have asked Keshi to make available a list of players from which he will pick his final 23-man squad for the World Cup in June. “We expect the coach to send through this list at the latest after the CHAN,” a member of the committee informed MTNFootball.com It is expected that the core of this 40-man squad will come from the bulk of the players who featured at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and also qualified the country to Continues on Page 55

•Keshi

after seeing his wards lose 1-2 to Mali in their first group game at the ongoing African Nations Championship in South Africa. The Super Eagles looked discomfited for most of the game as they let in early goals in both halves, although a second half resurgence led by substitute Gbolahan Salami almost hauled them back in it. Keshi said the pressure on his boys was huge, “The pressure was massive and I expected Continues on Page 55

YESTER DAY'S YESTERDAY'S

ANSWERS

ACROSS 3 Stick (5) 9 Entertained (6) 10 Bird (6) 11 Soar (5) 12 Roster (4) 15 Rodents (4) 17 Built (7) 20 Bow (3) 21 Quilt (5) 23 Always (4) 25 Record (4) 26 Old-fashioned (5) 28 Damp (3) 30 Varied (7) 33 Hero (4) 35 Caribou (4) 36 Prevent (5) 38 Physician (6) 39 Language (6) 40 Principle (5)

DOWN 1 Sword (5) 2 Cite (5) 3 Favourite (3) 4 Worshipped (6) 5 Pour (4) 6 Spike (3) 7 Unadorned (5) 8 War-horse (5) 13 Commanded (7) 14 Performed (5) 16 Brief (7) 18 Cheated (5) 19 Marry (3) 22 Weary (5) 24 Knock (3) 27 Swell (6) 28 Breezy (5) 29 Flashlight (5) 31 Rule (5) 32 Strayed (5) 34 Lake (4) 36 Spot (3) 37 Decay (3)

YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS ACROSS: 1, Attest 5, Impart 9, Aroma 10, Rankle 11, Plague 12, Eagle 14, Iced 17, Try 18, Here 20, Dared 22, Rider 23, Fainter 24, Towed 26, Peril 29, Hear 30, Her 32, Date 33, Hades 35, Editor 36, Nudged 32, Lever 38, Dogged 39, Welder.

DOWN: 1, Afraid 2, Tender 3, Sale 4, Treat 5, Imply 6, Male 7, Argued 8, Teeter 13, Granted 15, Canoe 16, Defer 18, Hired 19, Remit 21, Dad 22, Rep 24, Thread 25, Wading 27, Ragged 28, Leader 30, Hared 31, Renew 33, Hole 34, Sure

How to Play Sudoku

P

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: editor@vanguardngr.com, news@vanguardngr.com, letters@vanguardngr.com. Advert:advertproduction@yahoo.com Website: www.vanguardngr.com (ISSN 0794-652X) Editor: MIDENO BAYAGBON. Phone: 01-7742861, All correspondence to P.M.B. 1007, Apapa Lagos.


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