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Missing $20bn: 96 anti-corruption groups, CSO, embark on forensic audit Call for suspension of Allison-Madueke, Okonjo-Iweala BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU, Abuja


S controversy contin ues to trail the alleged unremitted $20 billion, about 96 anti-corruption groups including Civil Society and NonGovernmental Organisations have set up an independent forensic audit to ascertain the level of culpability in the remittance of government funds by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to the federation account. Meanwhile, the 96 anticorruption groups have said that they were mobilizing to embark on what they described as the mother of protests over the alleged missing money. Addressing Journalists yesterday, the Executive Secretary of Anti-Corruption Network, flanked by other members of the anticorruption groups stated that now President Goodluck Jonathan had announced through his spokesman, Reuben Abati the conduct of forensic audit of the NNPC account, there was the need for the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani AllisonMadueke to step aside so as not to use her influence against the probe. Besides, the group also said that if the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala should claim ignorance of not being aware of the non remittance of the subsidy funds in the last three years, she has no business to continue to act as the Cordinating minister. Melaye who was a former member of the House of Representatives said, “The protest is being organized, the organization is at the highest gear and we are mobilizing like never before for this mother of all protests. We shall never be intimidated by the police, we shall not be cowed by the security agencies, we cannot and we will not be threatened by anybody. “What we are organizing is a peaceful protest and it is in consonance with the provision of our

constitution as enshrined in Chapter 2 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended. “I want to use this opportunity also to educate the Nigeria Police that in the case of ANPP versus the Nigeria Police, the Court of Appeal had ruled that the Nigeria Police have no powers to stop any peaceful protest. “That judgment also stipulated that no one needs any clarifications or orders from the Nigeria Police for peaceful protests, rally and processions and that judgment even over rules the public order act. So the police is advised to allow this peaceful protest hold because any attempt to stop us from holding the peaceful protest will be met with stiff resistance. “We are law abiding Nigerians, we abhor violence but we live in peaceful resolution to national issues. Our protest has never been violent, we had never been violent, we will always be peaceful, so the security agents have nothing to fear than to give us protection. “We also want to use this opportunity to call for the immediate resignation of the minister of petroleum, Diezani AllisonMadueke and the Group MD of NNPC. Just yesterday, the President ordered a forensic probe of the NNPC and we are saying he who must come to equity must come with clean hands. “If the NNPC is going to be investigated or audited, the minister of Petroleum in the person of Diezani Allison-Madueke is the Chairman of the Board of NNPC and we all know the popular saying that you cannot be a judge in your own case. “If you are calling for a forensic audit of the NNPC, then the minister of petroleum who doubles as the Chairman of NNPC and the Group MD of NNPC will have to be suspended, excused or temporarily suspended so that transparency and openness will be observed in the course of this auditing. “The minister cannot be sitting, the Group MD of

NNPC cannot be sitting in office while a forensic investigation and auditing is going on. We all know that they will impede on investigation. So it is a natural law of justice that you cannot be a judge in your own case,” he stated. Melaye also disclosed that the anti-corruption groups have started their own independent forensic audit and that in few weeks time, they would make available the results of their audit. “We are also carrying out our own independent forensic auditing of the PPPRA and PPMC and other subsidiaries of

From Right: Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, Gen. Alani Akirinade and Prof. Tony Afejuku during the Itsekiri pre-Confab meeting yesterday to articulate the Itsekiri agenda at the conference. Photo: Akpokona Omafuaire NNPC and in few weeks, we will be making our revelations. “Already, primary investigation has revealed that the NNPC and her sub-

sidiary are colossus for corruption in Nigeria. Our common patrimony has been misapplied, the future of our children and grand children is bleak,

God forbid, never again shall we keep quiet over issues and matter that will determine the future of this country.”

NGF’s retreat tackles corruption •Ribadu, Akanbi, Fashola, others lament BY HENRY UMORU and OLASUNKANMI AKONI


ORMER Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, Justice Muhammed Akanbi; former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; a member to the forthcoming National Conference, Prof. Akin Oyebode; serving governors Adams Oshiomhole of Edo; Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, and others have lamented the high level of corruption in the country. According to them, the move to nip in the bud, corruption which continues to threaten national survival, must be holistic, while no effort should be spared to bring it to the end, just as they urged the Presidency, the Governors and other executive officers to take the fight against corruption as a very serious business. Both Akanbi, Oshiomhole, Fashola, Ribadu and Oyebode spoke yesterday at the Third Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, Retreat held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Justice Akanbi who chaired the session with the topic, “Building Systems and Institutions that Prevent Corruption”

however called for a holistic approach to the fight against corruption, just as he urged the presidency, the governors, political parties to include in their various manifestos, the issue of corruption and how they would eradicate it. The former Justice of Court of Appeal urged the governors to lead by example and also ensure that those who are corrupt under them were brought to book. He however hailed the Nigeria Governors’ Forum under the governor of Rivers State for putting in place a retreat of this kind , adding that the leadership must ensure good governance at all levels in the country. According to him, the commitment and readiness of the political class was critical to fighting corruption in the country. He maintained that until this was done, corruption may persist in the country. “As we move towards 2015, whoever must be the president of this country or as a governor must be transparent”. He said that President Goodluck Jonathan delayed in sacking the immediate past Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah when she was alleged to have been involved in corruption. Akanbi who noted that there was the need for those heading the coun-

try‘s anti-graft agencies to be bold and courageous, said, “ you cannot lead in the struggle to fight corruption when you are yourself corrupt. The challenge is there for our leaders. My challenge to the NGF and the political class is that they should put the fight against corruption in their manifestos”. Also speaking, former Chairman of EFCC Mallam Nuhu Ribadu warned that if Nigeria as a country must get it right, there must be the need for transparency, due process in governance as well as the need for less purchase of private jets, beautiful government houses and beautiful cars. He said that if the president and governors behave well and are prudent in their expenditure, the other arms of government would as well emulate them. According to Ribadu, “the most important thing in successful corruption prevention and fighting is having honest implementers. As is often said, our laws may not be faulty, but operators of the system may not be doing it well. To fight corruption, the umpire has to be clean, honest and sincere. Dishonesty cannot fight dishonesty. If you are

corrupt, you cannot have successful anti corruption campaign.

Having a corrupt person pretending to fight corruption only creates confusion”. In his own presentation, Prof. Akin Oyebode took a swipe at President Goodluck Jonathan for giving an award to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, saying that was encouraging corruption. He said that the problem with Nigeria is not that of corruption, but the government’s inability to punish, throw away, burn and shame those caught.

“ All that is required to save this country from corruption is total commitment of the powers- that be to the fight against corruption by way of requisite body language and full co- operation with the agencies established to carry out the war against corruption.” Also speaking as chairman of one of the sessions, former Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, Prof. Grace Alele- Williams called for a holistic approach to addressing the menace and lamented that corruption has penetrated into the nation’s children as many do not want to read, but want to pass, adding that parents of these children assist them in doing that by buying results.

6 — SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

War in Borno • 207 terrorists killed, 50 others arrested •Jonathan calls for cooperation in fight against terrorism BY EMEKA MAMAH, KINGSLEY OMONOBI, NDAHI MARAMA & BEN AGANDE


CTS of bravado exhibited by hundreds of Boko Haram terrorists who attempted to rescue some of their detained members inside the military barracks in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, yesterday led to the killing of scores of the terrorists during the ill- fated mission/ attack. Reliable sources said that the suspected terrorists succeeded in freeing some of the detainees but the victory was short-lived as most of them were later killed or rearrested by troops who were joined by fighter jets from the Air Force to overpower the invaders. Multiple explosions and sporadic gunshots started rocking the troubled city and environs at

about 7.30 am when the terrorists reportedly invaded the town in an attempt to destroy the Giwa Military Barracks (Air Defence Unit) where the suspected Boko Haram members were being detained since 2009 when the uprising started in a bid to rescue them. It was however, gathered that a swift response from the military led to heavy fighting, during which hundreds of the insurgents died along with few security operatives and civilians who also were killed in the crossfire. Military sources told Saturday Vanguard in Maiduguri that several members of the sect who tried to escape into the town from the barracks were captured at Polo, Sulimanti, and other surrounding wards in Maiduguri metropolis, with the assistance of villagers and members of the

vigilante youths popularly known as civilian JTF. According to sources, no fewer than 207 suspected terrorists were killed while at least 50 others including some Arabs, Malians and Chadians were captured by troops, who also collected their weapons. In the nearby Adamawa State, some suspected terrorists were also arrested by troops in three Toyota Sports cars (with three different colours of red, white and blue respectively). The occupants of the Toyota cars who were arrested at the Belel border in Konkol near Cameroun claimed to have come from either Mali, Burkina Faso and Cote d’ Voire. Meanwhile, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has called for greater cooperation between Nigeria and neighbouring countries in the fight against terrorism.

R-L: Okoli Akirika, the MD/CEO of Neimeth International Pharmaceutical Company; Emmanuel Ekunno, Maxi Ohuabunwa, Gov. Peter Obi, Oselloka Obaze, Maurice Iwu and Thomos Osobu during the flag-off of the construction of the facility of Neimeth International Pharmaceutical company at Awawbia by Gov. Obi.

Speaking at an audience with a Special Envoy of President Paul Biya of Cameroon, Mr. Emmanuel Sadi Rene who delivered a special message from the Cameroonian leader, President Jonathan said that Boko Haram and other criminal groups that operate in the countries’ border regions must be seen as a common threat to them all. The President said that Nigeria and its neighbours must take urgent action to harmonise their strategies and efforts to roll-back the menace of Boko Haram and other violent criminal gangs that operate between their borders. “The issue of Boko Haram remains worrisome. If it is not properly handled, it could affect the security of neighbouring countries. We therefore expect maximum cooperation from all countries within our region to route the sect,” President Jonathan told Mr. Rene who is Cameroon’s Minister of Interior. Saturday Vanguard gathered at Polo Ward in Maiduguri, that about eight of the fleeing terrorists were captured by civilian JTF operatives who later handed them over to military operatives, just as six others were captured at the outskirts of Sulimanti by the NNPC Depot, and handed over to the security agencies. Reliable sources said that the attackers came into Maiduguri from the Sambisa forest en-route Fori village on the outskirts of the town, and reportedly used several Toyota Hilux vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft gadgets, rocket propelled launchers, AK47 rifles and Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, to launch the attack with the aim of destroying the barracks after setting their members free. However,theterroristswere said to have been repelled

by troops from the 7 Division, Nigerian Army even as Nigerian Air Force, NAF fighter jets bombarded them from the air. ”The gunmen were able to destroy some structures at the military barracks using rocket propelled launchers as I saw smoke coming out from the barracks, but thank God that many of the terrorists were killed as I saw their corpses lying close to the Barracks which is also close to where I reside before I fled for fear of being caught up in the crossfire,” the source said. Unconfirmed reports also said that three students of UNIMAD were hit by stray bullets, but it was not known whether the victims were wounded within or outside the school premises, as the university is also located close to the barracks. It was alleged that the university’s Education Trust Fund, ETF, Lecture Hall was destroyed during the mayhem. Two explosions occurred in the university between 7.42 and 8.0am, leading to the destruction of the lecture hall. One of bombs exploded near the River Ngaddabul behind the 202 and 303 Housing Estates. Residents of Maiduguri, including school children and traders were trapped in their schools or houses from 7.30am to 11.35am while the gun duel lasted. The housing estates, according to Ba Modu Fannami, a resident, were some of the areas targeted by theinsurgentsfordestruction. ”Thirty minutes, before the UNIMAID twin blasts, soldiers in their patrol vehicles took cover at the villages of Wadiya, Fori and Galtimari; and behind the housing estate; and clashed with gunmen,” Fannami said. Mallam Shehu Babakura who resides near ForI village said, “sporadic exchanges of fire between soldiers with aerial support of two fighter jets from Yola and

insurgents commenced by 7.35am in the area, and continued for over three hours. The fighter jets bombed insurgents’ escape routes, killing many of them at the villages and on banks of River Ngaddabul by 9.45am.The number of freed insurgents cannot be ascertained, but they are many, but 75 per cent of them were arrested and handed over to soldiers for investigations. At the Water Treatment Plant, 303 Housing Estate, a total of 21 suspects were arrested, while another 19 were also arrested, while they were fleeing across the river that morning hours of attacks and fierce battle that lasted for over three hours. ”Some soldiers that engaged the insurgents while fleeing were also killed, but I cannot tell you the exact number of casualties on side of Military,” he said. Another source said, “ the nine suspects arrested by Civilian JTF in Jidari Polo ward, were killed, after being identified that they are among the freed insurgents from detention at the barracks”. Kaka Bomboy, a member of Civilian JTF that participated in the arrests and repulsion of insurgents said that all the arrested suspects were handed over to the military, adding that the insurgents converged at Fori village, after their repulsion, but that they were also bombed, killing many of them. He said most of the insurgents that attempted to attack the two Housing Estates, south and opposite the University college are foreigners from either Niger or Libya; adding that; “the four arrested and handed over to soldiers could neither speak English or Hausa. If you attempt asking for more information from these insurgents, they keep mute and continue to look into your eyes.”

SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014 — 7

Itsekiri on Confab:

I’ll fight Jemide if... —Rita Lori-ogbebor BY EGUFE YAFUGBOHI


CTIVIST and Igba of Warri, Chief Rita LoriOgbebor has vowed to take it personal with the emerged Itsekiri lone representative at the National Conference , Chief Isaac Jemide, if he fails to speak the collective interest of the Itsekiri at the National Conference which opens Monday. Chief Lori-Ogbebor was reacting yesterday in Warri, Delta State to doubts among Itsekiri whether Chief Jemide’s last minute listing among the Confab delegates was intended as a state delegate or as representative of his ethnic Itsekiri who had challenged their exclusion in the original delegates’ list. At an Itsekiri National Confab she facilitated in Warri to articulate the Iteskiri agenda at the National Dialogue, Lori- Ogbebor said Chief Jemide is duty bound to fly the Itsekiri flag at the Conference irrespective of the circumstance of his appointment. “We were completely left out. We fought together. Now we have Chief Jemide. He is first an Itsekiri before any other identity. I invited him in writing to this conference to fashion out the Itsekiri agenda and he is not here. Go and tell him, if he goes there to undermine the interest of Itsekiri, I will fight him. “I am known to be a fighter for just causes wherever I find myself. But when I fight justly in my own Itsekiri land, I fight with a blunt knife because I fight among my own brothers. But on this Confab, if anybody tries to play with our

lives, our interest, I will fight with a sharp, double edged knife.” Expressing his reservations at the meeting, however, a lawyer, Wilson Alatsa, cautioned that Chief Jemide was not the issue, saying what was paramount was for the Itsekiri nation to rally round him to articulate the common purpose of the Delta ethnic minority. “The credentials of Jemide are not in doubt.

We should even count ourselves lucky he emerged from Itsekiri. The real reason we have been gradually losing our pride and respect in recent time is because we drifted into a generation which allows unqualified persons to represent us in various spheres in the larger Nigerian circle. “Without doubt, if the choice of who represents us was by election, unqualified persons no


Benin High Court yesterday granted bail to the former Secretary to the Edo State Government, Dr Simon Imuekheme and three others. They are being tried for allegedly spending monies allocated for specific projects on other projects contrary to section 22 (5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000. The matter was brought before the court by the

Itsekiri agenda”. The Lori-Ogbebor Itsekiri Committee on National Confab was already constituting the Jemide Support Committee at the time of filing this report.



HE Police Service Commission, PSC, has sanctioned 31 senior

police officers who have displayed conducts inimical to the discipline of the force. As part of the disciplinary action, the Commission approved the dismissal of a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sa’adu Akanbi and two Assistant Superintendents of Police, Ignatius Atta and James Sanio, respectively. Mr. Ferdinand U. Ekpe, the Assitant Director, Press and Public Relations, who announced the development via a statement on behalf of the Chairman, Police Service Commission, said the decision to sack the officers was arrived at the end of PSC’s 4th plenary meeting in Abuja. He explained that the disciplinary measures were awarded to the erring senior police officers because their conducts were unexpected of officers of the law. He said, “in all, the Commission sanctioned

Anti-gay law: Why we won’t sanction Nigeria — UN •Asks Jonathan to tackle corruption, poverty BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI


HE United Nations, yesterday, said it would not relent on its effort to persuade Nigeria to repeal the law that

criminalised same sex marriage in the country, even as it adduced reasons why it would not in the meantime, impose any sanction on the nation. Addressing a press conference at the end of her

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on charge number B/EFCC/1/14 before Justice Esther Edigin. While arguing for Imuekheme’s bail, counsel to the accused, Omoruyi Omonuwa (SAN), stressed that the ICPC act under which the offence was committed was a bailable one, and therefore prayed the court to grant bail to his client. He further countered the application by counsel to the EFCC, Mr Larry Aso which opposed the bail application, asserting that his argument does not

hold water since his client has always made himself available in court since the commencement of the case. “It is the duty of my client to be present in court during the trial and right from when the investigations commenced on the case until the accused was arraigned, he had enjoyed an administrative bail. There is no evidence that he did not present himself while on administrative bail. The man will turn up for trial because he is a man of high integrity,” Omonuwa declared.

The occassion was chaired by one of the high profile South West delegates to National Conference, Gen. Alani Akirinade, who accepted Itsekiri’s desire to fuse with the Yoruba in fighting common agenda at the confab.

PSC dismisses 3 officers, others

Financial Literacy Day 5: GMD/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza; MD, UBA Foundation, Ms Ijeoma Aso; Regional Bank Head, Central, UBA Plc, Mr. Ibrahim Puri with students of Crowther Memorial College, during Financial Literacy Training programme for students, an initiative of CBN, held recently in Lokoja.

Court grants bail to former Edo SSG, three others BY SIMON EBEGBULEM B/City

where near the stature of Jemide would have hijacked the process and imposed themselves on us. What we need now is a support committee to assist Jemide in charting the

four days working visit to Nigeria, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, while advocating for adequate protection of the rights of lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals and transgender, LGBT, yesterday, described the same sex marriage law as “draconian and illegal”, saying “the law already appears to be having other dangerous side effects.” Pillay, who was in the country to appraise human right situations, said the UN would forthwith hold the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, accountable to his assurances that the same sex marriage law was not in any way intended to criminalise individual sexual orientations. According to the South African born UN Chief, “In the twenty years since the office of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights was created, this is the first time any High

Commissioner has visited Nigeria. I am grateful to the government for inviting me.”

thirty-one Senior Police Officers with various types of punishments according to the severity of their offences against discipline. “Three officers, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sa’adu Akanbi and two Assistant Superintendents of Police, Ignatius Atta and James Sanio, were dismissed. “In addition to dismissal, DSP Sa’adu Akanbi and ASP James Sanio are to be prosecuted in court for acts unexpected of Law officers. Also, an ASP was compulsorily retired for unbecoming conduct. “Four officers including a Chief Superintendent of Police, Bethram C. Onuoha were reduced in rank. The Chief Superintendent who has been reduced to a Superintendent of Police is to forfeit seven months’ salary too. “Furthermore, twelve officers were severely reprimanded for offences against discipline. Among the twelve is a Commissioner of Police, Sanusi Rufai. The Commission also reprimanded seven officers and awarded two letters of advice to two officers. The Commission also treated six promotion appeals from officers.

13-yr-old boy crushed to death in Bayelsa BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA, Yenogoa


13-year-old boy identified as Lucky Bassey, was reportedly crushed to death by a commercial bus along the Kaiama stretch of the East-West road in Kolokuma-Opokuma Local Government Council Area of Bayelsa State. The deceased, a Junior Secondary Student of the Universal Basic Education Secondary School in Kaiama, it was learnt, was crushed while trying to cross the the road. Sources within the Kaiama town said the incident occurred at

about 9am on Tuesday. The incident was said to have caused a brief traffic gridlock along the East-West road. “The boy was crushed by the vehicle while trying to cross the road on his way to school. But the driver of the vehicle stopped and reported himself to the Kaiama Police Station to avoid being mobbed. “Most of his school mates gathered around watching the evacuation of the deceased mangled body,” a source said. Contacted, the spokesman of the State Police Command, DSP Alex Akhigbe, said he was yet to be briefed on the development.

8 — SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

Aggrieved workers chase out council boss from office ...Take over LG Secretariat BY BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO, Lokoja


GGRIEVED workers of Yagba East Local Government area of Kogi State have laid siege to the Local Government secretariat in Isanlu since Monday, preventing the Chairman, Alhaji Funsho Ibrahim from entering his office . The aggrieved workers who have been on protest have vowed not to allow the chairman return to office until there is a strong assurance that their January salary will be paid in full. Saturday Vanguard gathered that the protest which started peacefully on Monday turned violent on Tuesday when the chairman, Funsho Ibrahim called security operatives to disband the protesting workers; a development that angered the workers who invaded his office and chased him out of the secretariat. A source said the embattled Chairman having perceived that the work-

ers could not be pacified or intimidated by the security operatives drafted to the secretariat scampered into the bush leaving his vehicle behind. The workers on Wednesday took the protest around Isanlu town, the headquarters of the Local Government, visiting the house of Chief Jide Omokore, the political leader of the axis who was said to have nominated the chairman for the position. The protest also continued on Thursday and yesterday as the workers continued to burn tyres in front of the local government secretariat, vowing not to stop until the chairman issues a word that their January salary and other months will henceforth be paid in full. One of the workers who spoke with Saturday Vanguard on ground of anonymity said, “We have to resort to this because the chairman is an arrogant man that will not see reasons with us. The salary of his aides and coun-

cilors are being paid in full, but can you believe that since May last year when he resumed office, we have been collecting half salary. “Also, he has stopped promotion saying that it’s only on grounds of work recognition that one can be promoted and not by years of service. He has also recalled all workers who are in school on study leave saying that the Local government is not a charity organization. But he has failed to pay us in full or honour the minimum wage. We have been suffering in silence.”

From the left: D.G. BPE, Mr. Benjamin Dikki; Permanent Secretary Ministry of Power, Amb. Godknows Igali; Permanent Secretary Finance, Mrs. Mabel Daniel-Nwaobia and Member, NCP, Mr. Emmanuel Amadi during a press conference after the meeting of the National Council for Privatization chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo at the State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

Sambo, Ekweremadu, govs, Eya, others mourn Uwechue BY TONY EDIKE and AUSTIN OGWUDA Vice President, Namadi Sambo and Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan and Sullivan Chime of Delta and Enugu States

respectively were among eminent Nigerians who mourned the death of former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Ralph Uwechue, 79, yesterday. Uwechue died at the National Hospital, Abuja,

2015: Group begins campaign to ensure votes count at elections ploy all arsenal for elec- space. BY EMMANUEL EDUKUGHO


GAINST the back drop that most of the elections conducted since return to democratic rule in 1999 had been flawed by different kinds of irregularities and malpractices, Democracy Vanguard (DV), a non-governmental, non-partisan organisation founded to promote democratic culture, values and defence of the sanctity of elections, has began a campaign for “One man – One Woman – One Vote.” On Monday, 10 th March, 2014, at Excellence Hotel, Ogba, Ikeja, it launched the campaign and also a public presentation of Voters’ Handbook attended by about 3,000 people including civil society and human rights organisations, representatives of political parties, the mass media, labour, INEC representative, traditional rulers, market men and women, students and academics. In a welcome speech by Mr. Adeola Soetan, National Co-ordinator, Democracy Vanguard, titled

- “Nigerian Electorate Must Assert Their Voting Power To Make Positive Change and Progress In The Country”, he said that ordinarily, election [period should be a festival of democracy, a celebration of democratic values and voters’ fundamental right to choose their leaders in an atmosphere of fairness, issues based campaigns where the choice of the electorate is supreme. “But our recent awful past experiences with elections and electoral processes have shown that in Nigeria, election period is a war situation, where desperate politicians de-

toral battle to come to power at all cost and by all means necessary.” He added that the “Do-orDie” attitude of desperate politicians have really subdued the integrity of the electoral process and undermined the fundamental rights of Nigerian voters to elect their representatives freely and fairly. According to Soetan, this conscious effort of polluting politics, polity and electoral space with the odious and criminal activities of many Nigerian politicians has succeeded in depressing voters and chasing away credible people from the political

The INEC representative praised the one-man-one woman-one vote campaigns and assured that the electoral body is committed to free and fair elections, promising of a beautiful outcome in 2015. it has a strategic plan 2012 – 2016, like a roadmap to give Nigerians a credible election in 2015 and beyond. There is going to be a credible voters register, cleaned up and perfect, will capture those who attained 18 years and above, those not registered before and permanent voters cards will be issued for the 2015 general elections.

Police will apply force to dislodge Fulani herdsmen from Benue state —DIG Operations BY PETER Makurdi



OTHERED by the in creasing wave of attacks on Benue farmers by suspected Fulani herdsmen, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG, in charge of Operations, at the Force Headquarters, Mr. Micheal Zuokumor, yesterday declared that the

Police would apply minimal force to dislodge the herdsmen from the state. He said the Police has the wherewithal to combat the ongoing invasion of parts of the state assuring that the matter would be addressed in the coming days. Zuokumor spoke at the end of a prolonged meeting he held with select

members of the top hierarchy of the force at the Benue state Police command headquarters in Makurdi. He said, “as I speak with you, more policemen have already been deployed to the state; we have enough men and everything would be done to protect lives and property of the people of Benue state and all Nigerians.

Thursday afternoon. They also included the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Secretary General of Ohanaeze, Chief Nduka Eya, his successor, Dr. Joe Nwaorgu as well as Brig-Gen Alabi Isama. The President General of Iziu Anioma, the apex umbrella body of Anioma people among others described his demise as shocking and tragic, saying he would be missed by Nigerians, especially the Igbo. Vice President Sambo said that Uwechue would be remembered as worthy ambassador of the country as he served meritoriously in his assignments, just as Chime expressed sadness at his death. Dr. Uduaghan lamented the death noting that Africa has lost a statesm a n Also, Senator Ekwere-

madu, expressed deep grief over the death, saying that it was a big blow to Ndigbo and Nigerians in general. On his own Chief Eya, described his demise as shocking and tragic saying the great Nigerian icon would be greatly missed by Ndigbo. Uduaghan’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sunny Ogefere in a press statement signed on his behalf expressed sadness that late Uwechue “would have been of immense benefit to Nigeria, this period in our national history when the national conference is about kicking off. The unity, progress and development in Igbo land were testaments of the wealth of experience the late Chief Uwechue brought to bear as President-General of the Igbo SocioCultural Organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15 , 2014 — 9

Four family members die after eating yam flour meal BY DAYO JOHNSON, Akure


OUR out of a fami ly of nine including a mother and her three children reportedly died after the consumption of a yam flour for lunch in Isua-Akoko area of Ondo state. The father of the family Mr Abiloye Folorunso and other children were however saved by providence as the effect of the poison was not much in their system and was immediately flushed out in the hospital. It was gathered that the yam flour was purchased from Isua Market that ill fated morning and was prepared as their lunch before death came calling. Speaking with newsmen, the Information Officer of the Akoko South East Local Gove r n m e n t , M r. A k i n Meroyi said the incident occurred at Ward 7 in the town. Also speaking on the incident, another fami l y m e m b e r, H o n . Adesina Ayodeji noted that the flour was bought from Isua Market by the deceased mother on that same day the incident occurred. Ayodeji told newsmen that shortly after taking the yam flour, all the nine members who ate of it became unconscious. According to him, they were immediately rushed to the Local Government Health Centre by neighbours

L-R: Maj.Gen Olufemi Adeosun, who represented the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-Gen Kenneth Minimah; Mr.Babs Omotowa, MD, NLNG; Rear Admiral Usman O. Jibrin, Chief of Naval Staff; Mr Basheer Koko, Deputy MD, NLNG; Engineer Funso Kupolokun, former Chairman, NLNG; Alhaji AbbaGana, former Deputy MD, NLNG and Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, GM, External Relations, NLNG at a special banquet ceremony to commemorate the successful export of NLNG’s 3,000th cargo, held on Thursday at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hotel, Abuja. where first aid was administered to them. In the process of reviving them, one of the family members reportedly died at the Health Centre. Disturbed by the sit-

uation as they could not be revived, they were taken to the State Specialist Hospital, IkareAkoko. Some of the family members still unconscious were hurriedly

taken to a private hospital in Ikare Akoko where another member died again. Their neighbours who were trying to salvage the situation took some of the unconscious

Murder of Cynthia Osokogu: Trial stalled by absence of defense counsel, 4th defendant BY BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE


RIAL of the four men charged with the murder of Cynthia Osokogu, before a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, was yesterday stalled following the absence of fourth defendant, Nonso Ezike, and first defendant’s counsel, Mr

Victor Okpara. Cynthia Osokogu, post-graduate student of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, was murdered on July 22, 2012 at Cosmilla Hotel, Lakeview Estate, Festac Town, Lagos, allegedly by her facebook lovers. The defendants are Okwumo Nwabufo, 33; Olisaeloka Ezike, 23;

Orji Osita, 33; and Ezike Nonso, 25; who was arrested by policemen at Area E for receiving and selling Cynthia’s BlackBerry phone. At the resumed hearing, the matter slated for continuation of cross examination could not go on as the fourth defendant’s lawyer, Mrs Abia Bassey, told the court that his client was

Warri North group denies APC membership BY GAB EJUWA


EMBERS of the Warri North Eligible Voters Assembly, WNEVA, have denied defection of its members from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressive Congress, APC. Comrade Frank Ekpen Olu, who spoke on behalf of the group yesterday said members of WNEVA are still loyal to the PDP till date, adding that none of its members defected to the APC as being rumoured

members to the Federal Medical Centre[FMC], Owo where they were diagnosed to have eaten poison. The effect of the poison according to investigation was much in their body system and has affected their intestines and kidney following renal diagnosis by medical experts. Family members later decided that spiritual solution should be sought following the report from the hospital. The victims were reportedly transferred to a church in Isua –Akoko where the mother and another child died. Reacting to the development in his council area, the Chairman of Akoko South East Local Government, Hon Olusola Agbi who condoled the family described the incident as unfortunate and sad. The five other family members have been revived at the specialist hospital in Ikare-Akoko and are still on admission.

in some quarters. Olu stated further that the reason why members of WNEVA pledged their support to the PDP was to ensure that the 2015 senatorial ambition of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and Hon. Irene Imilar ’s Delta State House of Assembly re-election bids were achievable. Olu said “the political tradition of Warri North from 1999 to date is committed to the PDP. And the PDP has not failed in its bid to deliver the dividends of

democracy to the people of the council area. I want to re-emphasize that no rival party had ever won election in Warri North since the council was created in 1991”. Secretary of the group, Benedict Princewill and woman leader, Atsenuwa Juliet who also spoke noted that the APC had made several attempts t o woo members of the group over with promises but failed because of the unlimited loyalty of

members of WNEVA to the PDP. Princewill stated further, “it is unfortunate, but I have to reveal it. APC has no structure in Warri North Local Government Area. Our group is a merger group, it comprises of all notable political pressure groups in the council area. So if our members of over 7,000 unanimously agreed to pitch tent with the PDP, how would an APC structure survive in Warri North”.

diagnosed for typhoid and malaria and that he had been on drip. Obviously dissatisfied, the presiding judge, Justice Olabisi Akinlade, pointed out that the adjournment of the matter had always been at the instance of the defense and then asked why she should not revoke the fourth defendant’s bail or issue him a bench warrant. “He should have informed the court of his ailment. Remember the first and the second defendants in custody are not proven guilty yet. Is it because he is enjoying his bail that he refused to show up in court? Let him know that the court has the power to revoke his bail,” Justice Akinlade said. Sequel to the absence of counsel and fourth defendant, the prosecutor, Mrs. Abiola Adeyinka, asked the court for an adjournment and the judge subsequently adjourned the case to May 5 and 20 for continuation of cross examination.

Police rescue kidnapped House of Assembly member BY SUSAN EDEH, Bauchi


HE kidnapped member of the Bauchi State House of Assembly representing Jema constituency, Honourable Yusuf has been rescued by the police. Sadly, a 12 year girl was killed by police stray bullet in the process of rescuing the lawmaker. Yusuf was abducted by gunmen at his house in Zalau village in Toro Local Government Area of the state on March 3rd. The lawmaker had been in captivity since March while sources close to the family who pleaded anonymity said his abductors demanded a ransom of N20m. The Police Public Relations officer of the state command DSP Haruna Mohammed who disclosed this to newsmen in Bauchi said that a joint police/vigilante group carried out the rescue operation and that the lawmaker was in stable condition. Mohammed said,“ there was a fierce battle with the suspected kidnappers and as a result, a stray bullet hit a 10 years old Hauwa’u on her leg.She later died at the hospital while receiving treatment. “The suspects abandoned their sGolf 3 vehicle with registration number MKR 553 AA and escaped into the bush with bullet wounds.The command recovered five expended ammunition of 7. 62 mm”. The PPRO urged members of the public to report anyone with bullet wounds to the nearest police station.



N our publication of Thursday, 6th February, 2014, at page 45, with the headline “Family takes over part of state school in Delta”, we erroneously inserted Mr Moris Ogodo in the place of Mr Jackson Ogodo. The said judgment referred to was secured by Mr French Ogodo and Mr Jackson Ogodo (for themselves and members of the Ogodo family in Sapele). We regret the inconvenience this error has caused to Mr Moris Ogodo. Editor.

10 — SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014


salaries are not increased. That is apart from time wastage.

Moruf Oshuolale

•Our businesses have been shut down — Traders, car dealers •Miscreants, robbers on the prowl •Unban okada now — commuters tell Fashola BY ISHOLA BALOGUN, SAM ANOKAM, KEHINDE AJOSE, OLAYINKA AJAYI, IYABO AINA & ADERONKE ADEYERI


lose to a month now, the Apapa axis from Second Rainbow, a bus-stop along the Mile 2/Apapa expressway down to Tincan Island and environs in Lagos have been witnessing a worst situation of traffic snarl. From Otto Wolff down to Tincan, tanker drivers have completely blocked the road leaving other commuters stranded, frustrated and helpless. Some say it was due to the ongoing road construction while others believe it has to do with non-availability of parking space for tankers. As a result, business activities in the area have been shutdown as traders complained customers no longer patronize them on account of the terrible traffic bottleneck. Some business owners along that area spoke to Saturday Vanguard on how the situation is adversely affecting their businesses.

Emeka Umeh

- Store Keeper, General Marble The situation is just becomin

unbearable. Infact, it is getting out of hands. Ever since these tankers invaded this area, we have not been doing anything. The ball is really in the court of government to do something about this situation. I think the problem is the road construction; if the road is free, tankers would be free to move. There is no where for them to park.


- Air conditioner Repairer Virtually nothing has been happening. There is no customer again. No one would want to drive down here with this kind of traffic. Business is dead. There is no money to feed my family again since this traffic started. The situation is caused by tanker drivers who have to park along the road and a result obstructing others to gain access of the road. Get down to Westminster, it is only one lane. It is tankers everywhere. I don’t think government is doing enough in this regard because once these tankers are on the road, no customer comes here. This whole area is paralysed.

Jackson - Battery Charger This traffic has brought us bad luck. The authorities would have to look for another route for the tankers because they are blocking the roads. We don’t even know if the problem is the tankers or the on-going construction by Julius Berger. They have to be fast because this is a very busy road. We cannot move. We trek to work, we trek home. Those little buses that we rely on in situations like this are no longer coming this way. It is

- Freight Forwarder Without being told, it has negatively affected my business. Whenever our job comes out, we have problem delivering because of movement. It is seriously affecting all of us in this business and it is not funny. Government should help us. Adebisi Abolaji Taiwo – Chairman, Task force, Berger Motor Dealers Association and Chairman, Shola Park As you can see, we just sit down doing nothing from morning till evening, then, we go home. There is no movement. Even if we have a buyer to buy our cars, there is no way for them to get out of this place. We appeal to the government to come to our aid. They should tell them to park in one lane to allow the other lane to flow. There is no area for anyone to go or come in from this place. Somebody said Julius Berger is working at the end of this road, we don’t know how true that is but even at that, there should be a

“It is horrible. It is annoying. I have not seen this kind of thing before. Can you believe I stayed for more than four hours in the traffic? I have been to other parts of Nigeria and I have not seen a place where an important road like Apapa road will be blocked and nobody seems to care. too much. From Apapa to the second gate at Tincan Island, these trailers, carriers, trucks and tankers have blocked the right and left lanes. Going to Apapa and coming back is a big problem. Transport fare has increased. A journey of N50 is now N150 and

way for us to move. These tankers have been here two weeks ago even before the fuel crisis and they are still here and we are not sure if they will leave here in the next 72 hours. Please tell government to come and help us.

Continues on page 11

SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014 — 11

Continued from page 10

Oshodi-Apapa expressway Going through Oshodi-Apapa road, from the second rainbow to Mile 12 down to the gateway to the nation’s ports every day has become a nightmare for road users, as it now takes about six or more hours to ply the road. Saturday Vanguard spoke with some commuters and they expressed their ordeals. “It is horrible. It is annoying. I have not seen this kind of thing before. Can you believe I stayed for more than four hours in the traffic? I have been to other parts of Nigeria and I have not seen a place where an important road like Apapa road will be blocked and nobody seems to care. I hear it is as a result of the fuel scarcity we are experiencing in the country. But something has to be done and pretty soon,” Enoch Okiki who works as a clerk in one depot in Apapa said. Another commuter who simply identified himself as Yemi told Saturday Vanguard that the traffic naithmare on the road has been a usual phenomenon for for two months now, he has been going through the harrowing experience daily on his way to work and as such abandoned his car at home to join commercial bus. “This hold up has stopped me from going to the office in the comfort of my car. I have been having this harrowing experience since two months ago with nobody to rescue me”. He said on a particular day, he got to his office about 12.20 pm and since then, he has stopped going to work in his car. Instead, he uses public transport, which affords him the opportunity to alight at will and take a motorcycle, popularly known as Okada. Mrs Chinedu Okafor, a staff of one of the telecommunication companies at Cement bus stop along the Oshodi-Apapa road ,said she has remained unhappy when she remembers she needs to use the Apapa-Oshodi expressway to and from work. She lamented and said: “When I was transferred to our Coconut branch early this year, I did not reckon with the enormity of the heavy traffic on the road. On several occasions, I arrived the office hours behind schedule, such that the management has warned me orally and just last week issued me a query. It is so demoralizing that I have come to see my transfer to Apapa as a punishment.” As for Ajayi, another commuter, going through the gridlock daily is breathtaking as it is stressful. “The most agonizing part of it is that when one gets to Mile 2, you are confronted by street urchins and thieves who would break your car ’s side glass, steal your belongings and may only leave you unharmed if you are lucky.” Though construction work by Julius Berger has been going on since last year, thereby causing traffic jam in the past, the recent gridlock was said to have been caused more by tanker drivers waiting to load petroleum products at the tank farms located at Kirikiri and Apapa due to the recent fuel scarcity experienced round the

country. Consequently, residents of Kirikiri town, who have been at the receiving end from the activities of the oil depot operators bitterly expressed the pain inflicted upon them by the depots storing and lifting highly inflammable petroleum products in the area. The residents also expressed their displeasure over government’s insensitivity to the dangers posed by oil depot operations in the area which they claimed is residential. A resident, Pastor James told Saturday Vanguard that the community now lives in fear of a possible fire outbreak.

Living in kirikiri town is now terrible and the truck drivers have made it that bad for us. They now park their trucks on the Kirikiri link bridge and block the road for hours without allowing residents access to their homes. He said: “Apart from the traffic jam, we’ve had few signs of what is to come and God is only being merciful to us. Nobody knows when the next big fire will come. We recently experienced one fire outbreak this year and we beg the government to come to our rescue”. Another resident of Kirikiri town, Bunmi Adeyemi said the entire area is completely in a mess as residents now spend hours in traffic if they most go home. “Living in Kirikiri town is now terrible and the truck drivers have made it that bad for us. They now park their trucks on the Kirikiri link bridge and block the road for hours without allowing residents access to their homes. They do this with the backing of the police who usually sit and watch them. “The only time the roads will be free is when Navy officials from the naval base are on ground to free the roads. This is too bad and we can’t

Apapa Oshodi road completely shut down call on anybody for assistance. When you go to the police, they will tell you that they can’t control truck drivers but people who are close to them have informed us that the the police allowed this because NUPENG officials that collect tolls from the truck drivers give back their returns to the police.” Though construction work by Julius Berger had been going on, thereby causing traffic jam in the past,the traffic has graduated to an unbearable level for commuters due to tanker drivers waiting to load their products at the tank farms located in Apapa as a result of fuel scarcity in the country.

Miscreants, robbers on the prowl


s the dust of fuel scarcity begins to settle, many road users expect normalcy to return in our Expressways. Many road users at Mile 2 – Wharf axis still go to their places of work in fear as miscreants, hoodlums, armed robbers take advantage of the situation to unleash terror on motorists and passers-by and robbing them of their valuables. It was however gathered that Julius Berger, the construction company handling the reconstruction of the road has been accused of causing the gridlock. Eyewitnesses told Saturday Van-

guard that miscreants otherwise known as area boys have taken advantage of the area dispossessing pedestrians as well as car owners of their valuables. One of the victims robbed of his valuables, Ogadi Ugochuwukwu said, “ Julius Berger is not making things easy for motorists. They tend to close an ever busy expressway for the sake of constructing drainages along the expressways. These miscreants at gunpoint collected all my gadgets which include my phones and Laptop computer as well as my wallet. I am yet to hear of police in Apapa-Wharf apprehending any of these miscreants on this road. All we see them do is arresting cyclists otherwise known as okada riders who are trying to earn a living by struggling hard,” Ogochwukwu lamented. “A police officer from Apapa division who prefers being anonymous explained that the miscreants most times paired themselves as clearing and forwarding agents. So, it is often hard for the police to identify them. Since the construction project began, lives and valuables of commuters are at risk day and night due to the lingering gridlock ion the road.” In the same vain, Mr. Adewale Aderigba, a car owner further added, “I stopped driving my car to the office because the gridlock exposes me to spending more than 13hours at a particular point Continues on page 12

12 — SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

they were aware they would have

Continued from page 11 without any hope of getting to my place of work and the armed robbers that come regularly to rob in that area. Saturday Vanguard however observed that the drivers and passersby most times passed these routes with the fear of being attacked by the hoodlums who rob both commercial and private vehicle owners. One of the commuters, Mrs. Omolara Omotunde, who trekked from the 2nd Rainbow to Ayorinde Berger yard called for the presence of police and security men in this area. “If Police and the Federal Road Safety Corps can be stationed in this area, traffic congestion would be curtailed to the barest minimum as well as the construction company creating other route options for motorists.”

Badagry expressway gridlock


adagry expressway is a peren nial spot for traffic hold up. Though the expressway is undergoing an expansion to 10 lanes, the ordeals and tales of agony told by commuters and motorists who ply the road is a major source of concern. The Lagos –Badagry Expressway is a utility road that leads to important business centres like Alaba Rago, Alaba International, it also doubles as Nigeria’s door to some neighbouring West African countries like Ghana, Togo Republic of Benin e.t.c. On the flipside, the bitter tale is that this road is riddled with potholes which leads to untold traffic jam, armed robbery attacks, and loss of lives and properties. When Saturday Vanguard visited some parts of the expressway, it was discovered that the traffic gridlock usually starts from Barracks (The Nigerian Army Cantonment), Abule Osun, and then continues down to Iyana Iba.It was also observed that the traffic begins to build up in the morning when people are going to their respective places of work, and continues in the evening when they are returning home. “The road is a terrible time waster. The major source of the traffic jam is simply the potholes and the fact that motorists are not patient with each other. As a nursing mother and a teacher, I have to pass through that road everyday to my place of work at Agboju. I can recall a particular day I left my home at Ijanikin as early as 6.00a.m and got to my place of work at 10.00a.m. Something needs to be done promptly,” says a School Teacher who prefers to be anonymous. Businessmen who transact their businesses along the route have similar tales to tell about the nightmares they experience and how it has caused their businesses multiple losses. Recounting his losses, Mr Akintoye, an Auto dealer says, “The traffic along Lagos –Badagry Expressway has been so terrible for quite some time now. It has really affected my line of business because customers will prefer to go to other parts of Lagos to buy their cars, than to be stuck in traffic coming to patronize us. I will suggest that the government should solve the problem by maximizing the partition intervention. I think partitioning the road from Iyana Iba back to Barracks will be the solution

No road to the daily traffic jam.” For Oyetunji Abiodun, an I.T entrepreneur who lives in Okoko, the traffic jam that occurs on that road is always predictable. According to him,“the traffic is always constant such that you have to add the time you will be spending in traffic to the time you are supposed to get to your destination .It’s really causing havoc coupled with the ongoing maintainenance in some parts of the road. I was scheduled to be interviewed on a particular TV programme recently but lost that opportunity because I was stuck in traffic and couldn’t make the show. I felt like relocating that day.” Even students who have to pass the road to their various schools bemoan the pains caused by the traffic gridlock. In the words of Oluwa Enitan Sophie a student, “As a student and a regular commuter on that axis, I try to explore alternative routes. I learnt this the hard way because I have not only missed a test but I got late to the exam hall as a result of being in traffic on that road for countless hours. It took the intervention of some kind-hearted lecturer to get me into the exam hall.”

Nightmare on Ikorodu road


he traffic on the Ikorodu-Mile 12, road has forced many residents to abandon their homes and seek refuge with friends and family members outside Ikorodu to ease movement from home to work places and business areas. Although many residents who spoke with Saturday Vanguard argued that they knew they would go through some pain as construction of roads in the areas lasted, many opined that the situation should have degenerated to the point of gridlock where commuters and motorists would spend five to six hours transiting from Ikorodu to Mile12, a journey of less than 30 kilometres. One of the the residents who recounted his ordeal on the road told Saturday Vanguard how his wife almost lost her pregnancy as a result of the stress on the road. “My wife and I had set out as early as 4:15pm on that fateful day from our home at Ijede. We had wanted to catch a flight to Abuja by 7:30am but after three hours, we were not even close to Owode let alone Mile 12 at about the time of the scheduled takeoff. My wife was stressed up and I could see the changes on her face.

Mainwhile the airlines kept calling until we missed the flight. It meant we missed our appointment in Abuja. My wife just collapsed. I was confused because there was no okada. I screamed for help. We had to flag down a car going in opposite direction which helped to convey my wife back to Ikorodu hospital for medical attention. I cannot quantify what I lost but I give glory to God,” he stressed. Other residents while narrating their ordeals also argued that the alternative roads to Ikorodu remain the only solution to the incessant traffic jam on the road, adding that the influx of people in the area have put undue pressure on the only road leading to adjoining villages in Ikorodu. Another resident told Saturday Vanguard that traffic usually builds up as early as 5:00 a.m. due to high population of residents in the ancient town. And residents come out in thousands to the bus-stops as early as 4am just to beat the frustrating traffic. Mr Olushola Peter, a regular user of the road said ‘’the traffic on

to bear some ‘pain’ until the project is completed,they still argued that the situation should not be as bad as it is at the moment. They therefore, called on the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency to deploy more officials in the area to help manage the chaotic traffic. Mrs Oluranti Ige said ‘’the people are suffering because LASTMA people are not many on the road. People drive anyhow. The traffic officials are not doing enough. There is no patience.’’ Raheef Tunde , another commuter added that the situation is getting worse. “If you were here on Tuesday when it rained, you would have seen how people are suffering on this road. To get to Mile 12 from Ikorodu which used to take under one hour now takes three hours or four hours.’’ Akin Oshinlowo,who also plies the road often said ‘’since the contractors started work on the road, the potholes have increased. They need to fill it up so that cars can move easily because if all cars have to slow down because of the potholes, the traffic will become heavier.’’ A commercial driver Mr Emmanuel Okonkwo said ‘’the traffic situation in Lagos is caused partly by road users themselves. “Lagos road users are known to be very impatient. Obviously this is not the only reason, but it plays a prominent part. How many times have we seen huge traffic jam simply caused by a driver refusing to give way to other motorists? So, I think the drivers some times are the cause of traffic jam.’’ According to Joseph Olaitan, a banker, “the Lagos traffic is as a result of the ban of motorcyclists also known as okada riders from major routes and this has forced most people to go out with their vehicles.There is traffic in Lagos because of increased number of vehicles that ply Lagos roads. In a situation whereby the husband has a car, the wife has a car, and

The traffic along Lagos –Badagry Expressway has been so terrible for quite some time now. It has really affected my line of business because customers will prefer to go to other parts of Lagos to buy their cars than to be stuck in traffic coming to patronize us. Ikorodu road has been terrible since the the contractors embarked on the road expansion. “This is because the roads are very narrow and it cannot even contain two vehicles. But I believe by the time they complete the expansion, everybody will enjoy the road.’’ Another Ikorodu-road user added, ‘’Each day we face heavy traffic on this road; leaving home for work early in the morning is a nightmare and returning home late in the night is double nightmare. Most

times, the traffic stretches from Ikorodu to Mile 12. So, we spend most of our productive time in the traffic. It is even worst when returning in the evening. The traffic is almost at stand still. We appeal to the state government to please come to our aid and do something about the traffic congestion on Ikorodu road.’’ Although the commuters said

they have a driver that takes the children to school in another car, and everybody goes out at the same time, there is every tendency that there will be traffic jam. So, I urge government to rescind decision on okada ban so that we can make use of the okada when there is traffic gridlock on our roads.” Olaitan suggested that while everybody awaits the completion of the 6-lane project, the state government should talk to the contractors to speed up the work though there is a lot to be done on the road in order to make it passable for road users. He added that Lagosians should always be patient and drive carefully so that all vehicles can move smoothly without hindrance.

Continues on page 17

SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014 — 13

NGF Calls for joint effort against corruption BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI


HE Nigeria Gover nors’ Forum on yesterday said only concerted efforts of all stakeholders could defeat the problem of corruption in the country. This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the retreat of the Governor Rotimi Amaechi- led faction in Lagos. The release,read by Amaechi noted that corruption had a debilitating effect on national development and had adversely affected human development indices. Part of the communique read:”The anti-corruption battle should be anchored on a massive programme of national value re-orientation involving the state sector, private sector and the civil society. ”Also we believe the fight against corruption needs strong political will, moral leadership, certainty of sanction and

commitment of governors to succeed “. The forum also urged stakeholders ,especially federal and state governments to harmonise their different policies to guarantee agricultural devel-

opment. It said agricultural policies should be long-term and should be geared towards tackling challenges militating against productivity and yields. ”In our task to revamp

agriculture,a special focus will be placed on improving post harvest processing plants and stakeholders’ inclusion and participation in agricultural formulation.“

The forum said it would continue to accord priority to education by improving access as well as revamping infrastructure and transforming curricullum. In the communique,the

forum said it would enhance security in the country by pursuing cooperation on security management including sharing of information and placing emphasis on the human security needs of the people.

NEIMETH International Pharmaceutical set to build facility in Anambra The Governor assured the rector of the company, Prof. generate about three hun- would cooperate with the Maurice Iwu said Gover-


OVERNOR Peter Obi of Anambra state has said that his administration attracted over N51 billion Naira investment to the State within this first quarter. Governor Obi was speaking while performing ground breaking ceremony of a Neimeth International Pharmaceutical company at Amawbia. Governor Obi who said his administration placed much importance on promoting conducive environment and encouraging investors to establish in the State, expressed satisfaction that multinational companies already in the State were expanding their companies because of the immediate success recorded.

company that the State government would provide all necessary support and encouragement to actualize the project. The Chairman of the Company, Dr. Bright Orjiakor represented by a di-

nor Obi had demonstrated acumen in attracting investors by promptly allocating land for the project. Dr. Orjiakor said the facility would cost six billion naira when completed and

dred skill labour, in addition to over one thousand support staff and service personnel. The President General, Amawbia Town Union, Chief Dan Maduka assured the community

CONFAB: Delegates yet to get letters, briefs BY HENRY UMORU, Abuja


EN days after President Goodluck Jonathan released the list of 492 delegates that will participate at the National Conference and a day to the inauguration of the conference, strong indications emerged that members were yet to get their letters of appointment.

A source told Saturday Vanguard yesterday that the delegates were not told anything on accommodation, transport and planned monetization of the allowances. According to one of the delegates who expressed his dismay over the lack of information for delegates, “As Iam talking to you, Iam yet to receive a letter from the government appointing

me a delegate to the conference. I don’t even know anything about accommodation and transport. There is confusion already setting in but I am only hearing about the arrangement in the newspapers and television. I only saw my name in the newspaper, but yet to get a letter. Anyway, I will look for a close by hotel and stay on Monday. “

company to make the project a reality. He said Governor Obi had remained responsive to needs of various communities and every part of the State benefited from his administration. In another development, Gov. Obi has presented a certificate of recognition to the new traditional ruler of Igbo-ukwu community in Ayamelum Local Government Area, Igwe Professor Onuora Nwuneli. Governor Obi performed the ceremony at the Governor’s Lodge. Presenting the Certificate, Governor Obi charged the new royal father to use his new office to contribute in the present efforts to make the State better.

14—SATURDAY Vanguard , MARCH15, 2014


resident Ebele Jonathan is easily recognizable, by virtue of his surname, as a Christian. He is also apparently the church-going variety with an appreciably increasing frequency in his public appearance in churches over the past two years, or so. That could be said to make him a Christian President, which could be open to more than one interpretation. But a Nigerian Christian President, if we may go the limit, clearly invites issues. Whereas, a Nigerian President, pure and simple as a title, submits itself to only one description and meaning. That is how most of us would like to see him. His personality embodies all his attributes. His activities are related and, in some cases entwined, with aspects of these elements to varying extents, even when he makes overt nation. The content is, of efforts to isolate some of course nationalistic, from a them, It is impossible for politician’s point of view, him, for instance, to be in soaked in the aroma of a church as just the political party’s flavour and president and not also as spurred on by the a politician if he gives unexpressed but patent vent to opinions. appeal of a prospective Unfortunately, he has candidate for the been rather inclined, on presidency. Go ahead and occasions, to actually try to prove me wrong and avoid divesting his presence in church from the aura of his attendance at a political rally. He is wilfully assisted by the clergy who are sometimes sent into rhapsodies in his company, much as they try to conceal it.

*the lectern as a rostrum *highjacked conference the President. But then the club may soon grow larger. For instance, the practice was earlier within the Pentecostal circuit. In fact, it was published that Cardinal Okogie, before his retirement, would not be drawn into the pastime of creating a space for political involvement in his duties

Echoes: “ (07068715122). That dialogue between Sardauna and Zik may be fictional considering that at 1920 Zik was 16 years of age, and Sardauna was probably was about ten years of age. “ (Reported here last week.) The dialogue was not fictional. But the date, as you rightly pointed out, was misleading. It must have been a typographical error in John Paden’s excellent book on the Sardauna’s life and times.


he presence of the Head of State or Government was officially accepted during the colonial days and even after Nigeria became a republic. It was part of our heritage from our former British overlords whose reigning monarch is constitutionally, or traditionally, accepted as the head of the Anglican Church. The Empire Day or Commonwealth Day which we were made to celebrate as part of the Empire or Commonwealth at that time, preserved a place of prominence for the representative of the British Sovereign whom we pray for “long to reign over us.” But even at that time, the church was still


•President Goodluck Jonathan

We are yet to learn how to understand our differences enough to discuss them


preserved in its dignity and with reverence as “the house of prayer ”. The representative of the British government was only acknowledged with the honour of reading one, usually the first and only, lesson of the day from the Holy Book.


owever, President Jonathan is permitted — probably even urged •—to “say a few words” which usually lean heavily on the state of the

It indeed allows for Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan also, as an ordinary citizen. But President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan ceases to be an ordinary citizen when he rises and delivers a speech as the President — when he is permitted to do so in church.


I will remind you of snide remarks about “letters” that should not have been written as they were decried from the lectern, or was it the pulpit? In fact, once could sometimes confuse the rostrum with the lectern these days. A halt should be called to these proceedings which may soon turn the House of God into a political theatre restricted, for the nonce, to

when he characteristically, but politely, declined to hold a special prayer for President Jonathan. Now Okogie’s successor has joined the procession of worshippers with the President — “with” we said, not “of”; at least, not as of now.


he Muslims are just watching, at the moment. They look at the show of their President totally aligning himself, so to say, with other people of another faith. It could not be better, or worse, than the recognition of one religion to the denial of the other as it was in the colonial days. But they say nothing with regard to this faux pas, for the moment. It should be moderated now. The Constitution does indeed allow for freedom of worship for you and for me.

n fact, the quoted reference to “understanding our differences” should have been the foundation of the National Conference taking off on Monday. To most of the people who considered the proposal to be no more than a massive distraction (among whom I was one - and still am) what was perhaps the most off-putting of the ludicrous aspects was the “no-go” area of the nation’s unity. What else could be the worth of such a conference if it could not touch on the bonds that are supposed to tie us together? What, in the first place, are these bonds? Could one of them be the fact that a man who probably could not tell a Nupe man from an Ijaw decreed that everyone should be called a “Nigerian”, over a hundred years ago? If there is anything of worth that we have learnt about one another during the century it could be nothing more than how we differ from one ethnic group to another. The more we have known of ourselves and resources, the more we have been made to critically valuate our relationships with one another; and the more our various areas of diversity have become highlighted as the functions of the deprivations incurred through the circumstances of our past association. We have to be able to decide whether or not to continue to bear such disadvantages, or how to

make the sacrifices necessary to accommodate them - either by trading them for benefits that might proceed from the relationship in one form or another, or by any other means. But these issues are already soaked with emotional considerations of an ethnic tincture and selfish passions. It would all have a chance of coming out right in the end, all the same, if we had, as a people, developed a sense— say nothing about a culture —of listening to the other man’s point of view. We have all seen into what abysmal depths our common parliamentary debates have consistently been plunged by the outbreak of open violence. If only for that glaring limitation of our ability to sustain a discussion, not even a conference, we should have recognized that we are on a futile mission. We are yet to learn how to understand our differences enough to discuss them. The importance of the actualization of whatever is achievable by way of decisions at the conference continues to be worrisome. Is it the parliamentarians who will have the final say, or would it be a referendum to be conducted all over the country? Or will that be part of the decisions at the end of the conference?


wish this Conference well, with all my heart. I hope I am proved wrong in my pessimistic views. A shining light at the end of the tunnel already shows that the delegates have made up their minds that no one is going to tie their hands behind their backs when it comes to the areas they may or may not trample on. In fact, there may be a certain group that would insist on re-examining the basis of the country’s unity itself. How upsetting that would be for those who convened the confab, and thought the journey was going to be conducted gently down the garden path! It is going to be an exciting week ahead, even more than we have envisaged if the conference is highjacked! Time out.

SATURDAY Vanguard Vanguard,, MARCH 15, 2014 — 15


he first time I visited the hinterland of any Niger-Delta region was for a funeral. It was over 30 years ago, but that visit has been etched in my memory since then. Dusk, and a light shower, were darkening the skies as we got to Warri. But by the time we got to Aladja and beyond, the shower had turned into sleets. So it was on a dark, wet, slippery and lonely road that we were travelling. My growing apprehension was not for fear of being attacked or kidnapped— there was little of that nonsense then— but that we would miss an important turning and find ourselves lost in an unfamiliar territory on a dark, raining day. Fortunately we, myself, spouse and driver, made it to our destination safely to an appreciative welcome by our hosts. The traditional songs and dances at the wake keep were very delightful, especially for a first timer. They went very well with the palm wine and local brew that went round in generous proportions. But what struck me that evening, was how bright the cleared area was; so bright that we could all see clearly without any other source of light. The light was from a gas flare that seemed to be on top of us. The hotel too which was some 20 minutes drive, had its own natural ‘light’ nearby. I had read about gas flares. I had seen some from the air on my way to Port Harcourt or where ever. But I had never felt so close to one. This was an experience my mind has refused to erase. When I complained about the gas flares the following day and the effect of a permanent light on my sleeping pattern, someone took me to a dark, ‘heavy’ body of water to show me what pollution had done to their vegetation and way of life. Not too long after this experience, I had to travel to Abuja to see a retired military governor who had just moved to Asokoro. This area was still in its early stages of development, but the signs of an elitist, up market settlement were there as architectural master pieces were in different stages of completion. You didn’t need anybody to tell you the injustice that was being perpetuated because the money that was developing this place came from the bowels of a ruined, neglected region. It is the kind of injustice that has kept us down as a nation because it negates our attempts at forging unity. Around this time—remember it was about 30years ago— I tried to seek answers to some uncomfortable questions. How could we look away when the ecology and a way of life of a people were being destroyed? How could we allow the oil companies to get away with pre-meditated and sustained annihilation of a people? How could we be so callous— or stupid— as to neglect the goose that was laying such beautiful eggs? And the conscience—or lack of it— that makes us to fill our dinner

tables with generous portions of these eggs. Why could we not develop these areas like other oil producing countries had done? They were questions that led to some uncomfortable truths. I learnt how some local elites in the affected areas lined their pockets and looked away; how people used the region to get good education and threw away the ladder; how they were more interested in using the oil spills as instruments of blackmail than in seeking genuine redress. Many of these people I heard, were on retainership with oil companies, feeding fat on the ruination of their communities. Then the national elites took their cues from the local ones— why should they be holier than the Pope? The civilian and military leaders lined their pockets and diverted funds to develop private estates. So it was easy to empathise with Ken Saro-Wiwa when he started to sensitise the world about the injustice of it all. Or the militants when they took up arms until they criminalised the whole thing and lost people’s respect. On the other hand, it was also easy to understand why the local elites did not take umbrage when Ibori and Alamieyesiegha exemplified the many civilian and military governors who had developed and enriched everywhere else except their states. These are leaders who care more for money and power than the genuine interests of their people. So when E.K Clark and the many South-South leaders advocate the return of Jonathan irrespective of his performance, irrespective of the state of the nation in almost all critical areas


So it was easy to empathise with Ken SaroWiwa when he started to sensitise the world about the injustice of it all



of governance, you can see why. It is more for their continued access to power and the accoutrements of power than a genuine love for their people. Unfortunately, these leaders are so blinded by easy money that they cannot recognise that a once in a life time opportunity is passing them by. And if the President is thinking about the legacy to bequeath to his people, he will have to go beyond shelling money to a few of his praise singers. He has the clout for the moment, to push for national and international awareness on the environmental situation of the region. He has the power, if only he recognises it, to clean up the place. He is in a position, if only he can see, to advance the cause of derivation. And if he wills it, he can make the oil system more transparent and thus generate more money for his region. He has had five years to make his region an investor ’s haven. Five years to encourage and strengthen a true federal system that will liberate his people and stop the feudal system of doles and patronages. Five years to bequeath a true legacy to his people. He is running out of time and a life time opportunity for the minorities is slipping away.

There is always a way A way is what one would normally describe as a route, an avenue, a path through which one can get to a destination whether one is going to school, market, church, office etc,. He/she will definitely pass through a way to get there. For every impossible situation there is an answer and for every problem, there is a solution. In the natural you may not see the way out of your problems, but God said in Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”. God is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last (Rev. 1:11). That means that He is the beginning and the last. There is nothing that He does not know. Remember, He is omniscient (All knowing God). If God says that our way is not His way then we must know that His ways will always profit us if applied in every area of our lives. No wonder majority of people tend to fail in their business, marriage, finances, health etc, because they try to do it their way. Today, you find fellow brethren cheating other brethren in business with ease and say it is the doing of the Lord. No beloved, it is not the doing of the Lord, but the doing of the devil. Our God is not a cheat and so He cannot open doors for you to cheat your fellow brethren. You must desist from such actions. The syndrome of get rich quick mentality must not be your portion in Jesus name. God can open genuine doors for you. Recently a sister came to me troubled concerning a business that she did with somebody, and that she suspects some foul play. I told her not to worry that the good Lord will make a way for her. In fact, as I was praying for her, I had a witness in my spirit that she will not only see the business, but she will enter (meaning that her portion will surely get to her). To the Glory of God, I received her phone


A legacy w or th bequeathing wor orth

call couple of days ago that she was getting more profit than she ever expected from the business. Jehovah God who intervened in her case and made a way for her will also make a way for you in Jesus name, Amen. The King of Kings knows no barrier. The Bible says that He maketh a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:19d). Sometimes in marriages you see spouses quarrelling and quoting the scripture correctly but with a wrong application. In Ephesians 5:22 & 25, the Bible informs us that wives are to submit themselves to their husbands (vs22) while husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church (vs25). Yet you see the wives saying that they cannot submit to their husbands because their husbands do not love them and vice versa the husband. If they continue in this manner, they will end up knowing no peace and may eventually divorce one another. What they ought to do is to apply the scripture that relates to them. The wives should quote wives submit to your husbands and apply it to her marriage while the husbands should quote husbands love your wives and apply it to his marriage. You see, if the wives submit to their husbands, the husbands are bound to love their wives and vice versa. Is your marriage heading for the rocks? Does it appear that despite all that you do to solve your marital problems it is still getting worse? You don’t need to worry. There is a way. Your miracle is in Christ Jesus. I declare to you that your marriage will not fail in Jesus name. Your marriage can still be better. Take time to find out what God has said and apply it and you will receive your breakthrough. In acting according to the scriptures it may seem as though it is not working, but hold on, you will get the answer. God’s word is forever settled in heaven. Do you know that no matter how much you have attained in your life in your way, it is nothing compared to what you can achieve in the ways of God. When God ask you to do something, it may seem stupid, unreasonable, unthinkable, but if you do what He ask you to do, it will profit you in the end. 1Corinthians1:27 says “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”

The syndrome of get rich quick mentality must not be your portion in Jesus name. God can open genuine doors for you


For more details, contact us at Christ Reality Church, beside Gossard Hotel, opposite First Bank Sports Ground, Community Road, Satellite Town or P.O.Box, 3196, Yaba Lagos. Tel: 08023062635 08168955932; 08033378769. Email: Website: Our account details are Pastor Johnson Omomadia, Guaranty Trust Bank, A/C Nos. 0005171407; Christ Reality Ministries, Zenith Bank A/C 1011711622.

Worship with us on Sundays, 1st Service: 745am-9:15am; 2nd Service 9:1511:30am. Wednesdays Word Revelation 6pm. Counseling days Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. 11am-5pm daily or by appointment. Showers of blessing every 2nd - 4th Sat. of each month, 6 a.m - 7.15 am.

16—SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

him as ‘stingy’ but would you blame a governor for reserving funds and investing as much as he can in develop-

Great leadership usually starts with a willing heart, a positive attitude, and a desire to make a difference. Mac Anderson


rdinarily, I shouldn’t be the one writing about the outgoing governor of Anambra state being an indigene of the state and a stakeholder. But on the other hand, I think I’m in the best position to write as the ‘son of the soil’. I happen to be one of those who many have described as ‘lost in Lagos’ but the truth of the matter is that I never really got lost anywhere. I knew my roots like the tip of my fingers until a week ago when I really got lost in my home state. I had attended the March 8th ‘ End of Tenure Event’ by the Anambra Elders Council to mark the end of Gov. Peter Obi’s tenure and that was when the unthinkable happened. There were over fifteen newspaper Editors from Lagos and after boasting as an indigene, I realised I couldn’t point out the exact location of my father’s house when I got home. Before anybody would misunderstand me, I was home in January 2012 and stayed for two weeks and so there’s no ‘Lagos Girl’ syndrome here. What actually happened is that the entire state capital and its environs have been transformed by the outgoing governor and the evidence of this performance litters everywhere. I know a lot of people would prefer to remember the Governor for his ‘stinginess’ but the brotherly love he showered on his people knew no bounds. It is this love that transformed Awka and its environs from sub-urban towns to cities comparable to other cities across Nigeria. And it is this transformation that caused the problem I encountered in the state. The transformation between 2012 when I went home to bury my mother and the present day is so overwhelming that village routes have become expressways! Politicians like President Jonathan talked about having no shoes in their youthful days but if he had been a friend of Peter Obi then, the governor would have taught him how to sell eggs to survive in primary/ secondary schools and he would have been able to afford all manner of shoes; Obi would have taught him how to hawk on ever busy highways to eke out a living, pay his school fees and buy as many shoes as he would have wanted and in the university, he would have taught him how to be a student businessman who could afford the good things life. If Jonathan had known Peter Obi then, he would have also learnt to be conservative with funds; practice zero-tolerance for corruption; have only one wrist watch for 14 years and own a single belt since 1989 which will still be his only belt today. What perhaps, Jonathan

Peter Obi -An uncommon Governor

*Peter Obi

should do is appoint the outgoing governor, a Managing/ Consulting Minister so that the 36 states governors would consult him regularly on how to manage their states’ funds. How many governors’ wives still cook for their husbands? Well, what Peter Obi is doing has rubbed off on his Akwa-Ibom state born wife who is one governor’s wife who still cooks for her husband and still serves him, leaving nothing to the imagination of any househelp! In these days of private jets and political paraphernalia, here is one that flies commercial flights and even economy class without any entourage and nobody carries his bags! One cannot say for sure if his commissioners and aides are happy about this but we are used to governors’ entourage and to see one who travels all the time without one is not in the character of the Nigerian politician especially an elected office holder. How often do elected office holders publicly give account of their stewardship at the end of their tenure? Has it ever happened anywhere in this country? Perhaps, that was the first time a governor in this country would publicly give a report of how he governed his state at the end of his tenure. This is not a biased write-

up but I have a personal confession. I’ve never paid any attention to any governor in the state in the past, but I was converted by brotherly love showered on me in 2012 when I lost my dear mother. I was one of those people

Chief Protocol Officer of the state government and I wondered what business I had with anybody from the state government. He asked me to come outside that he wanted to show me something and briefly, I hoped a miracle was finally on the way; that my mother hadn’t really died. A devil’s voice tried to remind me that ‘look, you are in Anambra state and you could be kidnapped’. But I couldn’t have been sired from a policeman’s loins for nothing. I followed the ‘stranger’ outside and was told he was sent by the governor to come and offer support for my mother’s funeral. I didn’t invite him but all the same, I gratefully thanked the governor through his Chief Protocol Officer. The next day, another ‘stranger’ visited in the midst of events and asked to see me again. This one is a police officer who introduced himself as the Chief security Officer of the governor. Again, he said the governor sent him and I told him about the previous visitor. He said he has come to inform me that the governor was coming. It was then I

As the clock ticks for the final exit of this cat with nine lives from office, the issues in the politics of Anambra State, South-East Nigeria come to mind again who never believed their mothers would ever die until it happened to me. My first reaction was unbelief and then anger! Why would my mother die? So, I set off from Lagos to Anambra state for the burial without any pomp and pageantry, still hoping that I would get home and be told that it was all a joke, that someone only tried to pull my leg to lure me home. I didn’t invite anybody because it was meant to be a family affair. I had never seen Peter Obi before this time except on Television. It wasn’t really my business who was the governor because I’d concluded that Anambra could never be remedied. But I was wrong! On the eve of my mother’s funeral, a strange visitor came looking for me. He introduced himself as the

began to wonder about the man I had never seen before and had never had any contact with or invited to the funeral but who was so brotherly. He must be an unusual governor. I decided to first inform family members and while we were talking, the governor landed. And for a man who hardly moved around with his entourage, Gov Peter obi attended my mother’s funeral with his Commissioners, Special Advisers and Aides of different

categories. It was such an overwhelming brotherly love and he was the first Anambra governor that would impact positively on the life of individuals. He was not seeking another election and therefore his attendance couldn’t have been an electioneering strategy. It is okay to describe

mental projects in the state? People who have been to Anambra state before the tenure of this out-going governor can go back and see things for themselves. Here was a governor that never borrowed money from international organisations or banks and who never sold bonds to raise money and yet, he left the state much better than he found it and left in the coffers of government, $150million and N27billion. The account of his stewardship was laid in the public domain. It was not something reduced to reading in newspapers after he has left office and the man that will succeed him witnessed live, the presentation of this report. Governor Obi’s leadership and public accountability to the people who elected him into office where he held forte for eight years will never be forgotten in a long time. He met Anambra State in a battered condition and is leaving it in prosperity. This is one testimony every school and hospital in the state could attest to. School prefects had the privilege of having his telephone number and contacting him when the need arose. That was why he could trade a N150million meant for a surprise 50th birthday bash organised by friends in Lagos for computers for secondary schools or a brand new wrist watch offered as a birthday gift for three school buses. Few hours from now, Governor Peter Obi will bow out gracefully after serving two terms, a feat he alone has been able to achieve in the politics of the state. As the clock ticks for the exit of this cat with nine lives from office, the issues in the politics of Anambra State, South-East Nigeria come to mind again. The politics of Anambra state has been confounding since the dawn of democracy in 1999 but Peter Obi survived it all. He came. He saw. And he conquered. His mates elsewhere by now would have been parading all manner of traditional and chieftaincy titles but Peter Obi is yet to get one. Even those freely given were turned down by him . He had once explained that it was only after his tenure that a chieftaincy title conferred on him would make meaning because titles acquired while in office may be products of sycophancy. As he moves on to greatness and Mr Willie Obiano mounts the saddle, he will remain one of the greatest and that means Obiano should endeavour to double whatever the out-going governor did for the state. Etre vous voir , Gov Peter Obi. Vous resterez aimé. Bienvenue , Willie Obiano. J’espère que vous ne serez pas déçu .


Vanguard , MARCH 15 15, 2014—17

Stress, long period in traffic increase heart diseases — Ihejieto By Juliet Ebirim

Dr, Justine Ihejieto, General Medical Practitioner speaks on the medical and health implications that arise from spending long hours in traffic. What are the health hazards of spending long hours in traffic? The health hazards affect virtually every aspect of human life – physically, socially, psychologically and mentally. When you’re stuck in traffic, you are exposed to all sorts of health risks that arise as a result of inhaling fumes from vehicles and exhaust pipes and dust on the road. The longer the period you spend in traffic, the more you’ll be exposed to these health hazards. For those who are already suffering from some diseases like asthma, stroke and hypertension, it also worsens their situation especially in emergency situations where urgent medical care is needed. If an ambulance is stuck in traffic, the consequences could be very dire, as it will take the sheer grace of God for a patient or victim to make it. Does it increase the risks of chronic diseases? As roadways choke on traffic, it is suspected that the tailpipe exhaust from cars and trucks - especially tiny carbon particles already implicate in heart disease, cancer and respiratory ailments may also injure brain cells and synapses, the key to learning and memory. To be sure, cars and trucks today generate one-tenth the pollution of a vehicle in 1970. Still, more people are on the road and they are stuck in traffic more often. Drivers annually spend an average of 140 hours, or about the time spent in the office in a month, idling in traffic, a new analysis reported. Long-term stress increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research on the precise level of cardiovascular risk is limited. Does it have a lasting effect on the brain? No one knows whether regular commuters breathing heavy traffic fumes suffer any lasting brain effect. Researchers have only studied the potential impact based on where people live and where air-pollution levels are highest. Even if there were any chronic cognitive effect on drivers and commuters, it could easily be too small to measure reliably or might be swamped by other health factors such as stress, diet or exercise that affect the brain. Recent studies show that breathing street-level fumes for just 30 minutes can intensify electrical activity in brain regions responsible for behaviour, personality and decision-making, changes that are suggestive of stress. Breathing

normal city air with high levels of traffic exhaust for 90 days can change the way that genes turn on or off among the elderly; it can also leave a molecular mark on the genome of a newborn for life. And older men and women long exposed to higher levels of traffic-related particles and ozone are often prone to memory and reasoning problems that effectively reduce their mental abilities. The emissions may also heighten the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and increase the effects of Parkinson’s disease. How does it affect an individual’s productivity and relationship with others? Apart from the physical hazards that they are exposed to, there is also the psychological damage too. A lot of people get agitated, angry and disoriented. Even when they get to work, they can’t perform their duties normally due to the stress they underwent on the road. Long delays in getting to and from work is another result leading to less productivity from employees and family crises. There are more cases of accidents because people become frustrated or angry due to the traffic jams. Pollution in the city centre worsens as a result of car emissions. The stress of waiting in

gridlock can get intense if you’re in a hurry, leaving you feeling frustrated and anxious about the traffic. That stress can translate into deeper health hazards. What can be done to curtail these risks?

There is really nothing much for one to do. You can wind up the glasses of your car if it is air- conditioned and listen to soothing music to help relax the brain and nerves. Also, the government and traffic management authorities should help check and reduce some of the causes of these gridlocks.

18—SATURDAY VANGUARD, MARCH 15, 2014 Aunty Julie, I’m having a self-esteem/ confidence crisis. Recently, a friend of two years who I was getting closer with just dropped me like a rock through a text message. I’m single again, but it’s more than that. I’m 25 and have yet to be in a real relationship. I’m very uncomfortable talking to strange women (and it’s obvious to everyone). I have like this aura around me that tells people I’m single, and seems to tell girls that my confidence isn’t good and I’m uninteresting. The other thing is that it scares me to realize that a women’s interest level can work like a switch and go from on to off if they think someone better comes around. It doesn’t give me much confidence that if another girl falls into the picture, the same thing won’t happen. So my question for you is how can I really improve my self esteem and confidence ? I desperately want to be able to date like a normal person, but I’m scared I’m heading down the road of the 40 year old virgin. Mustapha, Edo Dear Mustapha, Thank you for you letter. Unfortunately, your issue is extremely common. You would be surprised to learn that even people who seem to be outgoing and confident may really be shy inside. Self confidence is something most of us work on our entire lives. It has roots in early childhood and stems from the way we perceived ourselves and the way other people perceived us during our formative years. But I want to ask you the following questions first: What was your relationship with your parents? What was your family life like? What were your early experiences like in term of school, athletics, social life? How do you feel about your appearance? Do you have any skills or abilities you feel proud of? Did your parents have a loving relationship? Do you have a close relationship with your siblings, if any? After you examine these questions, you may gain some insight in terms of why you have these self doubts. I also want to suggest that instead of taking things so seriously, look at your contacts with young women as fun occasions where you

My husband is moody and withdrawn

I don’t trust women can get to know an interesting person, not as do or die situations which will test your attractiveness. Try not to worry how well you are coming across...instead, focus on whether or not she is someone worth your while and if she is an interesting and fun companion.

Third, and I hate to sound so cliché but it’s really true, if you have any consuming interests or hobbies, people tend to have more in common under those circumstances. I think it is important to see yourself as a smart, fun and

interesting young man who likes life and is sincerely interested in

others...Until you gain some more experience with girls to build your confidence, just concentrate on networking, making new friends of both

sexes, and basically enjoying your life. Eventually, the confidence will come so don’t let a few bad experiences get you down. Everybody gets rejected occasionally. All that means is that someone better is coming. Good luck to you.

Aunty Julie, My husband and I have been married for a little over seven years now. I am his third wife and he is 38. I am also 10 years younger than he is. We are very open about what goes on in our lives as far as looking at other people, flirting, etc. We trust each other very much but he seems to go through these moods of some sort. For a few months, things will be good. He will laugh with me, the bedroom will be more active and we’ll be happy. But then, he gets in these ruts, where it’s like he is just so unhappy and bored either with me or our marriage. He doesn’t want to spend time with me doing things. It seems that my needs and wants come after work, friends, etc. When I complain that he never compliments me (which he doesn’t), he says that he does all the time to one of our friends. But he doesn’t compliment me. I have tried to put the spark back in our marriage but he doesn’t go for that romantic stuff anymore. He wants me to keep busy with other things or go out with other women but I am not into women. Please help me, I feel like I am losing him and I am tired of feeling like every other woman in this world is a knock-out worth going after, yet I am nothing but chop liver.

Jumai, Lagos

Dear Jumai, Thank you for your letter. This does concern me. This is your husband’s third marriage. It makes me wonder what went wrong in his two earlier ones. I wonder if he has actually resolved anything, or just gone on to someone else when the previous marriages didn’t work. I am also concerned about his moods. This feels like a psychological problem such as depression and moodiness, which probably have nothing to do with you. If he seems to withdraw emotionally for no reason at all or if outside changes such as job stress cause him to feel extremely down, he may need to get counsel.

I’m in love with two ladies

Dear Julie, I feel really bad having to write this as it’s something I should be able to sort out myself but I can’t. My problem is that I love two ladies dearly and I can’t choose between the two.I met the first about 18 months ago and we had some great times at the beginning but I always found myself wanting more, but never did anything about it and worked hard at our relationship. She’s lovely but always needs someone in her life, she’s very dependent on people. I found myself resenting her occasionally as I too needed attention and found myself always having to give it. She’s so sweet but sometimes too sweet and that frustrated me as she got walked over from time to time. We ended up moving in together and everything seemed okay. Well, she was over the moon and I found myself feeling more and more trapped having to convince her that I loved and cared for her. This took it’s toll on me. We got on really well but were never on that same level you want out of a relationship. I could explain things about work, life, music etc and it went straight over her

Wine and women A woman was sipping on a glass of wine while sitting on the patio with her husband. She says, “I love you so much. I don’t know how I could ever live without you.” Her husband asks, “Is that you or the wine talking?” She replies, “It’s me ... talking to the wine”. She-male A tough looking group of bikers were riding along when they saw a girl about to jump off a bridge. So they stop. The leader, a big burly man, gets off his bike and says, “What are you doing?” “I’m going to commit suicide,” she says. While he did not want to appear insensitive, he didn’t want to miss an opportunity, and he asked “Well, before you jump, why don’t you give me a kiss?” So, she does and it was a long, deep lingering kiss. After she’s finished, the biker says, “Wow! That was the best kiss I have ever had. That’s a real talent you are wasting. You could

head. I never got over the fact that I could come home after a bad day and explain everything to her with no advice back. On the other hand, I always had to be a pool of information for her. One day at work, a lady came to our office. She was working with us on internship. We clicked in so many ways that it scared me. We got on so well from the start. I promised myself nothing would come of it as it was so evident that we really liked each other. To cut a long story short, we ended up kissing on a night out and that was it. She’s such a beautiful lady, listens to everything I say and understands. She always has good advice to give me . We did the usual office fling bit and went for lunches.I ended up moving out of my house with my first woman and moving into my brother’s house whilst still seeing the new perosn.My live-in- lady had no idea what was going on. I never told her I was seeing someone else. I didn’t want to hurt her more than I already had. Now 3 months down the line, I don’t know which one I want to be with. I love both women with the same passion.

I’m so confused. Terry, Port-Harcourt

Dear Terry, You can’t love two people equally, so lets get that straight right now. I don’t think the problem is choosing between two women: I think the problem is that you haven’t really learned to take care of yourself fully in a grown up and adult fashion. My belief is that when we are in a situation such as this, when we cannot choose between two people and feel “in love” with both, that we are not actually in love with either. Both of these women satisfy a different need of yours.I suggest that you may be deeply attracted to each of these women, but that you haven’t evolved fully into your own life to actually make a decision as a mature adult. Further, I haven’t heard you say what you provide for either of these women. You seem way more focused on what they do for you.In a mature adult relationship, we give and take equally. You are taking from both of these women, but what are you actually providing for either or both of them. Here’s my advice. Get your

C O C K - T A L E S be famous. Why are you committing suicide?” “My parents don’t like me dressing up like a girl…..” Death sentence A mild-mannered man was tired of being bossed around by his wife so he went to a psychiatrist.The psychiatrist said he needed to build his self-esteem, and so gave him a book on assertiveness, which he read on the way home. He had finished the book by the time he reached his house. The man stormed into the house and walked up to his wife. Pointing a finger in her face, he said, “From now on, I want you to know that I am the man of this house, and my word is law! I want you to prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I’m finished eating my meal, I expect a sumptuous dessert afterward. Then, after dinner, you’re going to draw me my bath so I can relax. And when I’m finished with my bath, guess who’s going to dress me and comb my hair?”“The funeral director,” said his wife. Second chance The Rabbi in a small town in the old country died. His

own life in working order before you make any decisions!Move out of your brother’s house and get your own place. Make sure your selfesteem is based on your own achievements and that you feel more fully evolved and centered whether that means working things out personally and/or professionally. You didn’t mention your family background but my sense is that there may be some mother issue at play here. You may think you are being good to these women, but, in reality, you are lying to both and misrepresenting your availability.The bottom line is that we can’t really and truly fall in love until we love and value ourselves. Other people cannot complete us or be used to fill up the empty spaces within ourselves. I would work on my own life and feel more loving and complete within myself before putting pressure on myself to choose either of these ladies. After you have grown a bit, you might be able to make a better decision, or, you might actually find someone completely different!Good luck in your search, and please keep me posted as to your progress.

widow, the Rebbetzin, was disconsolate for months until the people of the village decided she should remarry. T he town was so small that it only had one eligible bachelor, the butcher. The Rebbetzin was concerned because she had been wed to a scholar, but this butcher had little education. Still, as she was lonely, she agreed, and soon they were married. After the marriage, on the next Friday she went to the mikvah and then home to light the candles. Her new husband leaned over and said, “My mother taught me that after the mikvah and before lighting the candles, it’s good to have sex.” So they did. She then lit the candles and he again leaned over to her and whispered, “My father taught me that after lighting the candles, it’s good to have sex.” So they did. They went to bed and woke up in the morning. After praying all morning, they came home to rest and again he whispered, “My grandfather taught me that after praying, it’s good to have sex.” So they did. On Sunday she went shopping and ran into an old friend who asked, “So? How is the new husband?” She replied, “Well, he’s no scholar, but he comes from a wonderful family!”


Vanguard, MARCH 15 15,, 2014—19

Ho w tto o kno w when yyour our lo e needs a boos How know lovve-lif e-life boostt


ET’S forget the ruse of an occasional headache to get you out of the clutches of your loved one when sex seems inevitable. Instead, we will ask the explosive question: Why are you trying to avoid sex?! “Hi the last few weeks”, confessed Shade 35, and a seemingly happily married mother of two, “I’ve had five headaches, malaria and a non-existing period. I suppose I’ll have to grin and bear it the next time my husband asks for sex — I’ve run out of excuses!” Judging by a lot of interest sex keeps on generating, how it puts a kick in your step, improves your general well-being by making you walk on air, one would think the average person would be at it the slightest opportunity they have. That is not the case unfortunately. Shade agreed that, “We can talk about sex to our friends, read books about different sexual positions, watch a bit of porn even and tell our husbands, boyfriends or partners how to satisfy us. But all mat is not enough. I used to enjoy making love with my husband but I don’t need it in the same way that he months back, I was in the that sex can be a pleasure — does. If we don’t have sex for group of some men in their not a chore. I believe that as a while, I notice him acting early 50s and ended up long as you and your partner very coldly towards me and he accepting to have a ‘pepper are open and honest with each becomes tetchy and irritable. soup’ date with one of them. other, sex should never become He’s successfully made sex The soup was tasty and he was a chore, whether it’s every into a core. Some controlling even dishier than I thought night, twice a week or once a men consider it their right to and younger. We ended up in month. Why should I miss out demand sex as and when they a motel and it was obvious he just because my husband isn’t want it. Over the years, a lot of old fashioned mothers had drummed it into their grown up children that they should never *deny’ husbands their conjugal rights. It makes me shiver to subject myself to sex interested in making love? I won’t enjoy. As a result, I did this from time to time.’ The Sexual liberation isn’t only for love him but find him very sex was fantastic and a way the young you know? I just feel boring and I don’t see why I of expressing the feelings I’d sad that I wasted all my long should spend what might be suppressed over the years. lives having unfilfilling sex”. my last decade of good health We’ve had more outings and “Sex can be and should be virtually celibate, apart from the great sex, enjoyed and it’s meant to be a “It got to a point where we’ve had joy, pleasure and way of showing your love. having sex with my husband laughter. Young women today Unfortunately the meaning has made my skin crawl. Some are very lucky to be taught gone out of the word and it has



Sex can be and should be enjoyed and it’s meant to be a way of showing your love

orget the pills and pick me up. Never mind retail therapy if you’re feeling down in the dumps, there’s a simple solution. Have more sex! Psychologists have found that women who have sex frequently are less likely to be depressed. Experts now believe that it isn’t lovemaking itself that gives women a lift; it is the feel-good chemicals in a man’s semen. These chemicals get into a woman’s bloodstream and act just like an antidepressant. A study published in the Achievers of Sexual Behaviour reveals how researchers at New York University logged the sexual activities and depression of 30 women.



t could be really exhausting. You hardly have the energy to put your nightie on, let alone take them off again! “A friend told me that after her third child was born, she found it hard to lose her baby weight She felt fat, ugly and tired and the last thing on her mind was sex. Her husband couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to have sex. She explained that it was nothing to do with him, that she still enjoyed sex, but she didn’t have the energy for it for now. He took it personally and they ended up barely speaking. I had to offer to take the children off her for a weekend so that she could spend some time with her husband. Things improved a great deal after that and now they have a reliable househelp, life couldn’t be better.’ Alan blames the death of sex in the marital bed to some wives’ sarcastic remarks, “My wife’s constantly

throwing past mistakes in my face” he said”, he said, “She’d suspected me of having affairs and had caught me with my hand virtually in the cooky jar a third time, but those affairs meant nothing. If I initiate sex, and she’s not in the mood, she’ll reel off names of my supposed axes I could have sex with. A few weeks ago, I felt real pain in my two knees and complained to her. Instead of her being sympathetic, she sneered I shouldn’t do so much kneeling to give my trollops blow jabs? I tell you, with that kind of vitriolic remarks sex will be the last thing on your mind. “Some of my friends have really nasty wives who use sex as bargaining chips. We were at the club the other night when a friend told us he was feeling horny and rearing to go, when at the verge of penetration, his wife closed her thighs. You’ve not given me that cheque you promised, she accused him. He had to promise to cough up immediately the show was over.1 “Sex, especially the marital one, could have lost its spontaneity because of the emotional baggage couples bring into the bedroom. A lot of couples need to retrace their steps and bring back the romance into their relationship. If they have to work hard towards that, so be it. The end result would definitely justify the effort!”

Sex remains the best tonic!

hose women who had sex but didn’t use condom were found to be less depressed than women who had protected sex and those who had no sex at all. The report claims that the vagina absorbs several biological products contained in seminal fluid that can be measured in the bloodstream within several hours. “Our

findings are consistent with the suggestion that semen in the female reproductive tract may play a role in modulating depressive symptoms”. “Semen, the fluid men ejaculate at orgasm, is full of millions of sperms that compete to fertilize a woman’s egg. But now; it seems that fluid may provide health benefits too.



been brought down to a degrading level,” observed Danielle, a psychologist. “Monties and values have gone. Women no longer have pride in their bodies. I applaud the days when it was frowned upon to have a child out of wedlock and would love to see those values returned. Another reason sex usually takes a back seat is when you have young family.

And performing oral sex, although, not everyone’s inclination is also...significant. Hi one study, 41 pregnant women with pre-eclampsia were compared with 44 pregnant women without. It emerged that only 44 per cent of the women with preeclampsia performed oral-sexcompared with 82 per cent of those

Psychologists have found that women who have sex frequently are less likely to be depressed

also be the key to preventing complications in pregnancy. Some Australian experts believe that having lots of unprotected sex with your partner — as much as a year before conception may help avoid problems that sometimes lead to miscarriage and stillbirths — including Pre-eclampsia, a potentially fetal condition characterized by high blood pressure in pregnant women.


without. This finding seemed to support an earlier study which found that a history of condom use, which naturally protects women from coming into contact with semen, increased the risk of pre-eclampsia.


o, how can semen make such a difference? Hie theory goes like this; Sperm is packed with foreign

proteins, so, the woman’s immune system goes on high alert at the first sign of it. But cleverly, sperm also contains components that help the woman’s body accept it readily. The key component is called “TGF-beta”.


his acts like a switch, transforming what would normally be a hostile reaction to file foreign invaders into a friendly one. This means that the woman’s body won’t kill all the sperm or, if she should fall pregnant, her growing baby. But sometimes, a woman’s immune system is not won over and this could explain some cases of infertility and repeated early miscarriage. If the rejection is milder, it may affect only the placenta, but immune rejection may also be the reason that some women develop preeclampsia. It is a controversial theory; but Gustaaf Dekker, a member of the team of reproductive biologists at the University of Adelaide, believes it makes sense.

20—SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014


ost of us have asked this question sometime in our lives. It is a question fraught with pain, confusion, disillusionment and exhaustion. It usually comes on the heels of waiting a painfully long period of time while we hoped a potential partner would find the way to maintain a stable love relationship with us. We ask the question when our hearts tell us that we are deeply loved. The truth repeatedly comes close only to pull away. We question our sense of reality. We ask ourselves if we imagined it all or if it was real. It is one of the most painful and sometimes humiliating experiences that we as humans can endure at the hands of someone we trust with our hearts. Unless your loved one has a physical reason to not be with you, the answer is almost always NO. We all know in our hearts that to continue to wait is probably going to bring us more pain, of which we have typically already suffered enough. Waiting is not natural in life. Waiting is stifling and painful and we all know that we are meant to live our lives to the fullest. So how do we move forward, how do we not give up on someone, yet go on with our lives as a practical matter? The

answer is simple: make plans. Decide that until the person takes action, your life will always move forward. Not waiting doesn’t mean giving up hope, or that you can’t always hold that person in your heart, or love him deeply.

Should you wait for him? It simply means that until your potential partner learns or chooses to take the actions necessary to make a relationship work, you will go forward with your own life. It means staying true to what you want. It means in the midst of pain we remember to love ourselves; this is how we get in touch with our own desires again. We remember that our pain counts , telling us something important about how we arrived at our present location. Our pain is an indicator that this person may not be the right one. Sometimes as women, we become distracted by worries about being beautiful, smart or sweet enough to win over our lover. We forget to consider whether this person’s performance in a relationship meets our own standards. In the process we get lost, get confused and we make decisions to stay in relationships

We fight all the time Ques: I have been married for two years and things have gone steadily downhill. I thought I married my soul-mate but we can’t seem to agree on anything important. When we were engaged, I thought we agreed on everything. Now, even how we like our pasta cooked is a bone of contention. Our biggest fights seem to be about money. I love nice things and a beautiful environment. I think my husband would be happy living in a cave. Whenever I come home with a new dress or an item to beautify our house, he hits the ceiling. He wants to retire at 60 and sees any expenditure beyond bare necessities as taking away from his nest egg. I was raised in a home where money was seen as a way to live better. He

grew up in a poorer home where his family scrimped and saved to provide their children with a relatively good life. Believe me, I am far from extravagant, but I don’t think I should have to defend myself every time I buy something without his approval. I am at my wits end with this. Please help. Ans: Yours is not the first letter I’ve received needing advice on this topic. Issues with money, probably second only to sex, are the two subjects couples seem to fight about most. Actually, I think this has to do with the fact that both of these issues touch on each individuals need to control their physical and emotional environments. You mention that when you met your husband, you agreed on everything. This is not uncommon. You have to remember that, in a relationship’s

It is one of the most painful and sometimes humiliating experiences that we as humans can endure at the hands of someone we trust with our hearts

sun shines and we know joy in day-to-day activities. We flirt with the guy in line at the coffee bar, and we realize that we simply went off course and became temporarily lost on our journey. If it hurts too much and too often,

The great news is that when we focus on our own lives, the answers become self-evident. The pain we carried in our hearts like a ten-pound roast disappears! The

we are probably off course in our choice. Lovers sometimes return, and when they do, we can determine at that time if they are the right person for us. Remember to be the hero in your own life and love story. Often, the greatest love we can experience is the love we give ourselves. No remorse, no mistakes, no regrets. We can simply learn and move forward on our life journey. Be gentle with yourself and always appreciate the gifts already in your life and your heart will be warmed.

beginning phase, there is a high degree of enmeshment which sometimes precludes open and honest discussions where disagreements may occur. At this point, rather than finding out how different we are, couples are more involved with the ecstasy of no longer feeling alone. After living together for a while, couples begin to define their boundaries more clearly, and differences which have been submerged before come to the surface. I suspect this is what has happened here. Since the two of you are fighting about everything, I wonder if there is an underlying sense of having been deprived or cheated of something that both of you may want and can’t communicate. My guess is that this is what is being acted out using money as a convenient pretext. Money issues, more often than not, reflect a lack of emotional intimacy within the context of a relationship. Further, the inability of the couple to communicate about their emotional

needs creates problems which manifest as financial issues. Believe it or not, money and love sometimes symbolize each other in the way that giving, sharing, receiving, and spending are expressed. Forget money for a moment and ask yourself this question: “Do I honestly feel that I am getting enough love and understanding from my mate?” Then, ask him the same question! I would be willing to “put money” on the fact that neither of you is really communicating on the underlying issues of emotional intimacy in this relationship. Then, really talk to each other. Without either of you being defensive, find out what your spouse really feels he is missing. And tell him the same about yourself. If you can do this, I guarantee that your ability to discuss your financial issues will follow suit. Honest communication about deeper feelings and the safety to do this without ridicule or defensiveness is the key to happiness in any good relationship.

that are not in our best interest.

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SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014 — 21


22—SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

I love a man who has confidence in himself

— Patience Erdoo Yisa



ormer beauty queen, Patience Erdoo Yisa has no doubt, made her mark in the modelling world but the pretty lady from Benue State is not done yet in the entertainment industry. She is gradually and steadily making an in-road in Nollywood and has started showing the stuff she is made of by featuring in a movie. She is however set to invade ‘Tinsel’ town with her acting prowess and make a name for herself. Yisa in this interview talks about her foray into the modeling world, her private life and what the future holds for her I got into modeling in the university. Many people kept telling me I had all it takes, so I summoned courage and auditioned for Benue Fashion Week put together by our first lady and I was picked. That’s how it all started. After then, I contested for Miss Benue and emerged 2nd runner-up. I never really thought of being a model, but when I started, I fell in love with it. I had a good upbringing and our home was a happy one before my parents broke up. After then, things got a little complicated and we found ourselves living a confused life. My father wanted us to stay with him so was also my mum. But at the end, my father ’s younger brother took us in. He actually fostered us. But I grew from strength to strength. It wasn’t really easy. We later moved to my mum’s and she took over from there. My career started with Benue

STAYING IN Engage in Recreational activities: Recreational activities are important and you should engage in one this weekend. It has been long associated with benefits to health such as heart disease, diabetes and bowel cancer. So don’t just sit back this weekend , playing table tennis, football, or even games like ludo or chess will add spice to your weekend.

Fashion Week which was a runway show. Then I participated in Miss Benue 2010 and I came second. After Miss Benue, I auditioned for Miss Glo Rock and Rule 2011 and I was among the finalists. We went on stage for the final show and I won. Then in 2012, I won Queen of Culture and Tourism 2012. While I was reigning, I did a lot of pet projects and humanitarian services, ranging from visiting orphanage homes, hospitals, girl child education, to giving motivational talks in schools. During my reign, I won the award of the ‘most achieved queen’ in Benue State and the ‘best queen’ in Benue State University. It feels great, but it didn’t really change much about me. I mean my personality. I love to be me always. I had to learn a lot of things and mannerism, from how to eat, how to talk, when to go out and when not to. A lot of things changed, but it was okay because it made me a better person. But my big plan is to become a top actress because I believe it will be a platform for me to reach out to the world easily. I love to do business a lot too. In fact I think I was born to inspire people in everything I do. So I accept to work on my gift and inspiring through my writings and movies. Currently, I am working on an inspirational book, that will be of big help to people who have problems with making up their minds about what to do in life. Though I have not done much in the field of acting but I have acted as a secretary in a movie titled, ‘Final Say’. It was shot in Makurdi, Benue State capital. I am still single. If I have to search for a man to marry, it will be a man that is humble and God-fearing. He should always be himself. I don’t like pretenders. Tyra Banks is my role model. My mum inspires me a lot too. She is very hardworking and dedicated to whatever she finds herself doing. She gives me reasons to work hard. Her story makes me believe hard work pays. Apart from modelling, I also do interior decorations and I am also a stylist.

GOING OUT Go to the cinema:

Experiencing a movie in a cinema let you see the film on a huge screen with a lot of detail. It gives you the feeling that you are part of the story .Resolve not to sit back at home, you can get someone to accompany you to the cinema this weekend.

SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014—23

Why I am under management company instead of a record label — D’Love

•Ifetoye Olowosagba (D ‘Love)



’Love whose real name is Ifetoye Olowosagba , is a gifted singer and also a graduate of Business Administration from the Lagos State University. To date, D’Love has written as many songs as one hundred and still counting and one of his songs ‘’Ma Joba ‘’ is presently enjoying massive playtime in the broadcast stations both online and on the local stations . His other songs include African Woman, The Lonely Journey, Why We Dance, The Unbeatable and many more D’Love started singing at a very tender age, and his penchant for the art grew unabated as providence brought him closer to the realization of his dream, despite being scolded by his father for choosing to sing rather than working on the farm back home. He said , “I love music but initially, I didn’t really know that someday I will be going into the studio to record tracks for an album. I started out professionally in the year 2009”

He spoke on his debute album which is going to be on the market shelves soon, “We are planning to release my new single titled ‘’Ma Joba ‘’ this

He also disclosed reasons why he signed into a management company instead of a record label “A record label is basically bigger than a management team. A management team can be under a record label but they do almost the same thing. But one advantage of a record label over a management team is that the record label takes care of all your expenses and give you your dues while the management team does not

Michelle Bello’s moments at AMVCA


T was Michelle Bello’s moment to shine at this year’s edition of the prestigious AfricaMagic Viewers Choice Award, AMVCA, which held last Saturday, in Lagos, as she smiled home with an Hyundai car, having been adjudged the winner of the Trailblazer award. The writer of her awardwinning romantic comedy, “Flower Girl”, Jigi Bello equally walked away with the Best Writer in a comedy category. In her acceptance speech, Bello, who dressed in a flowing blue dinner gown dedicated her award to the writer of the comedy, who is also her brother. She said, “I am passionate about film and I really love to do it. I

2F ace, Oma wumi tto o 2Face, Omawumi star in Nollywood movie! By IYABO AINA


year, but all the plans rest with my management team, Homebeatz Entertainment owned by a management company. He said “I think for the fact that I sing circular songs doesn’t mean I should be promoting nudity , my music is about love and I will try as much as I can to put moderation into all I do and to me I think music is about creativity ,inspiration and entertainment”.

usic star 2face Idibia makes a return to Nollywood in a new dance movie titled ‘Make a Move’, which also stars Ivie Okujaiye, Majid Michel, Omawumi Megbele and Bevely Naya. The trailer for the new movie has been released by director Niyi Akinmolayan, the man who directed the widely panned Nigerian Sci-fi movie, Kajola.. ‘Make a Move’ is an exciting world of dance , filled with unique and artistic characters which also stars Eno Ekpenyong, Denrele Edun, Tina Mba and Wale Adebayo.

do not have any particular social goal in film-making. It depends on the story of the film I am interested in. I just wanted to tell the Nigerian story to the world.” “Flower Girl” is a romantic comedy centred on the life of a shy florist, Kemi, desperate to tie the knot with her long-time boyfriend Umar. She finds herself playing desperado when she teams with a popular playboy Tunde Kulani, in a bid to get Umar back, after he dumped her.

The movie addresses the issue of young women desperate for a husband without carefully considering the elements that are needed to make marriage last. It premiered last year, and starred actors like Damilola Adegbite, (formerly in Tinsel), Chris Attoh (Tinsel), Eku Edewor (Studio 53), Bikiya Graham Douglas and Chuks Chukwujekwu, starring for the first time as a male lead.

take care of all your expenses but share in your interest. Why I registered under a management company is because it’s not easy to be registered under a record label. Most of our Nigeria record labels hardly have time for their artistes, especially if you an upcoming artiste without money. So talking about record labels, I think it’s just few of them that have good structures that favour upcoming artistes.



Super rich Nigerian musicians living their dreams W

hile many Nigerian musicians have gained recognition within and outside the shores of the country, the impact was fully felt when Forbes rated seven Nigerian musicians as part of the 10 top richest musicians in Africa. Today, most Nigerian musicians are living their dreams. They live in opulence like their counterparts in other parts of the world. Here are just some of the successful artistes who are living their dreams.



he success story of Dapo Oyebanjo popularly known as D’Banj cannot only be quantified by naira and kobo but in dollars and pounds. Ever since he arrived the Nigerian music scene with his close friend and producer, Don Jazzy, he has been soaring high in his career, dishing out hits after hits. Few years back when he went solo, he revealed how, he and Jazzy made over N3 billion as at then, while they were still together. D’banj also known as the ‘Koko Master ’ is not only an artiste who makes his money from the sale of his CDs alone,

but he is a businessman who has invested heavily in other concerns of life. He was once paid $1m by a cable television for a show called, Koko Mansion. The Ogun State-born lanky musician owns a range of investments which includes ‘Koko Water, Koko Garri, Koko Mobile, Koko Bar. His Koko Foundation is currently working on charitable initiatives for the less privileged. Aside his fleet of exotic cars, D’banj is a powerful dresser who has headlined many national and international events and still counting. His mansion in the US is worth over N300m as well as his other landed properties scattered

across the nation. He has a multimillion endorsement deals with Globacom, an energy drink company, Chris Aire, UAC, among others. He currently has a recording deal with Kanye West’s

G.O.O.D Music. He pockets between N5 million and N7million as performance fee for local gigs; $80,000 to $150,000 for African shows; £40,000 to £60,000 for UK shows; and $50,000 to $60,000 for American shows.


rom when Innocent Ujah Idibia was a member of the defunct Plantazhion Boys, he was making his mark as the lead singer. No wonder, he became a household name in Africa and beyond when he went solo.

The pop star fondly called Tuface or Tubaba has so many awards which has distinguished him among the greats in the music industry. The CEO of Hypertek Records and Entertainment married to Nollywood actress, Annie Macaulay is a heavy investor in the real estate

business. According to him, it's one ‘business that one cannot go wrong with.’ He owns a N200 million Rumours Club in Festac town as well as in GRA, Ikeja with the same name. Reports say, he's worth over N600m. Aside endorsement deals from Guinness, Airtel and N30m from ‘Phat Girls,’ he charges

between N4 million to N5 million per show. He has huge invested in stocks and real estates. The African queen crooner has five multi-million naira houses at the last count in Lagos, Abuja and Benue states. He cruises in states of the art cars.



nown as Mr. Capable, Bankole Wellington is in a world of his own as a specialist in RnB genre of music and he is smiling to the banks for his efforts. The Nigerian American who is CEO, Empire Friends Entertainment (E.M.E) records is instrumental to the soaring careers of multi millionaire musician, Wizkid and Skales. Not much is known about his investments but he is rich enough to

own a scholarship fund which supplies tuition fee, room, board at some universities for brilliant but indigent students. He is on the Board of Trustees of ‘Lightup Nigeria’ which aims at ensuring regular power supply in the country. Banky W who is a lover of automobile is a brand ambassador for Etisalat as well as Face of Samsung in West African countries. He is an accomplished Master of ceremonies.


he ‘Celebrity Youngman’ needs no introduction. His name is Ayo Balogun better known as Wizkid. He is the CEO, Star Youngman Record label, an artistes that has a large following both locally and internationally especially in the UK. Wizkid has headlined major events within and outside the shores of the country with a lot of awards to show for his hardwork. He no doubt lives like a prince. With an eye popping mansion in Lekki, Lagos aside his expensive cars which includes a N15 million Porsche Panamera after crashing the first one, the ‘Caro’ exponent raked in millions with his multimillion naira endorsement deal with Pepsi, MTN. Wizkid also makes money from sale of CDs, shows as he charges N5 million per show, among other benefits.


o many, Michael Ajere is a musician, producer and entrepreneur par excellence. After the collapse of ‘Mo' Hits’ Records, Don Jazzy as Ajere is popularly known, established MAVIN Records, bringing Tiwa Savage on board. The success of D, banj, Dr.Sid,

D’ Prince, K Switch and Wande Coal have the imprint of Don Jazzy. The Delta State-born producer who embraced the microphone at the age of five signed lucrative deals with Loya Milk, Samsung and MTN. He has interest in the oil and gas sector as well as real estate business. He is not someone who loves to show off but a reliable source informed that Jazzy rated as the number one richest African musician lives in a multi-million naira mansion in Lekki and paints the town red in his exotic cars including Porsche Carrera.



Throw on a tie, it makes the difference

eel the difference? It’s a small thing, but small things are the point. When you’re sporting a tie, you can pretty much stroll in anywhere you want; it’s like the jet club card that you wear on the outside. Whether you’re suiting up for the office or laying out a look for the evening, a tie allows you to pull together the disparate elements of your wardrobe with a touch of texture or complementary colour. If you learn to do it correctly — balance the width of the tie against your lapels and shirt collar, find a knot that fits your face —you’ll have dressing right all tied up. More and more guys are wearing neckties not because they have to, but because they want to. It’s a style choice, and a good one (depending on how you wear it).I can’t think of an accessory that can completely change a look more than a tie. The trick is separating a look that says “I have a meeting with my boss” from a look that is more “I just want to wear a damn tie”. Understand the distinction between different kinds of ties so that you choose just the right one. Whether you’re looking at ties to wear for work in the business world or for a formal event, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

•Silk ties

•Chidi mokeme

•Po lyst er ti es

•Uti Nwachukwu


SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014—27



eing a man or woman of class is not just being a rich man and driving flashy cars. It goes beyond that. The kind of drink you take goes a long way to

show your class. A classy man is the man that knows his onion when it comes to having a choice of cocktails. Hanging out with your woman for the first time could be fun if you know the kind of cocktails to offer her because, generally, women prefer cocktails to other alcoholic drinks. Still, men should know about cocktails if they want their women to be a ‘’little” drunk. Here are some popular cocktails around the world.

Mojito Kir Royale T

his is one of the most popular champagnes you can see around. It is popular because it is gives classy men a good taste of their money and the fun they deserve. It contains, creme de cassis, chilled champagne or sparkling wine. It is prepared when you pour, I oz of creme de cassis in the glass, tilt the glass and fill it with your champagne or sparkling wine. Give it a stir with your bar spoon or any long thin object. If you have a cherry, just throw it in your drink.

This is not really a well known cocktail but, it is a drink that can give you the desired satisfaction. It is made up of, a spoon of white sugar, 2 Oz white rum, handful of mint leaves, half of one lime cut into 3 wedges, splash of club soda, 1.5 Oz sweet and sour mix, 8 ice cubes or crushed ice. It is prepared when you muddle the mint, limes and sugar until you actually smell the mint, then add 2Oz of rum, add the sweet and sour mix with 8 ice blocks, then shake it at least 20 times. Double strain into the glass full of crushed ice; then top the drink with club soda. The drink will be ready for consumption.




Cosmopolitan T

his class of cocktail is not very common in Nigeria because of the weather condition of the country but it is very common in Europe because of their cold weather. It contains, 2 Oz citron vodka ,1 Oz orange liqueur ,1 Oz Cranberry Juice ,Dash of Lime Cordial, 8 Ice cubes or crushed ice and lime peel for garnish. It is prepared when you pour the liqueur and vodka to your shaker, and pour the cranberry and cordial to your shaker, then, add the fresh lime juice or just squeeze a half of lime inside. Fill the shaker with ice, stir it up to 12 times and serve the drink in a chilled glass.


28—SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014


o you find yourself attracting the same type of lover or relationship? Things seem to go well, you are getting closer, you are thinking this could be fun and then all of sudden, everything goes horribly awry! Perhaps you find yourself attracting the same type of person. Someone who takes but gives little, is all talk and no action, or maybe he appears to be your knight in shining armour and then suddenly the dream shatters. We must look inward and see what about us is attracting these same type of relationships and people. Maybe there are qualities about ourselves that we choose to ignore that actually mirror the relationships and people in our lives? Chances are there are. One of the first steps to take in manifesting the lover you truly want is to make a list. It sounds simple because it is! List the qualities that you desire in a lover. Loyalty, consistency, adventure, honesty, romance, and so on. List them all and then list more. This is not a list where you consider the physical attributes you desire. Save that for later. This is just a list about the qualities you seek in a partner. So now that you’ve made your list, what comes next? Become those qualities. Every single one of them. Not only do those qualities place you in perfect vibration to attract the same back to you but it also increases the chances that you are going to find the person you are looking for. If you want to attract someone who is adventurous, you certainly cannot do that if you’re too afraid to venture beyond your four walls. Likewise, you will not meet someone who is outgoing and friendly if you are walking around barely talking to anyone and keeping your eyes trained downward with a scowl on your face. Second, be aware of the emotional broadcast that comes from you. We all emit energy, some people do not realize they are picking up on it when they encounter someone but they are. If you dwell on being unlucky and feel we are always unhappy in love, then we are emitting that to everyone who we encounter. Obsessing over being in a

t c a r t ra t a u o Do yyo ? r e v o l t h g i r the relationship instead of just relaxing and enjoying the ride, sends a message of desperation and anxiety. If you do not want to emit desperation, negativity, and other qualities which drive others away in your broadcast then you must embody the qualities you do wish to attract and to emit to others! Third, you must believe and see this person coming to you. It doesn’t matter how, it doesn’t matter where or what this person looks like but you must affirm that this person, the right person is en-route to you. Do not try to place too much focus on the how or where you will meet your

XPERT E S E H T K AS I am a 19-year-old man. There is a 55-year-old woman in my building who allows me to lick her armpits for as long as I like. How can I stop this habit? You’re lucky she is not ticklish. What does it end in? Is it masturbation? How does she satisfy herself? I am 18 years old. I am very particular about hygiene. I pull back my foreskin and clean my manhood while having a bath. But within less than six hours, it starts to stink again. So I clean

match. Love is something you cannot control. The world will decide when, where and how this person comes to you, but you will choose the person. Create affirmations to repeat daily, sometimes several times each day. Be certain your lover is approaching. •A lover who is perfect for me is entering my life! •I am lucky in love and the perfect partner is mine! •It is easy for me to express love and it is easily expressed back to me! •I attract only those who have my highest good in heart! •I am lucky in love and there is always more than enough love being directed to me!

When you get down to it, having the perfect lover and the right relationship is all about what you put out there The important thing is to express your affirmation in terms of already having these things, or this lover. It is not about expressing a future state

it again. This is not always feasible. Please help. If the area is clean, there should not be any stink. Apply Betnovate GM ointment for a few days only. I am a 22-year-old man. Is it a rule that a woman will bleed when she has sex for the first time? No. The hymen just behind the vaginal opening may be absent. Tear by vigorous exercise or masturbation is common. Recently, I indulged in non-penetrative sex with my girlfriend. However, I rubbed my manhood against her private part and inserted my

of something coming towards you, because that simply attracts the state of “coming” not “having”. What you say is as important as what you feel, so feel it too. When you think of being unlucky in love or think you are unloved, it becomes a powerful feeling. Thoughts become feelings, so you must create new thoughts to have new feelings. See yourself with an amazing partner, feel the way you would if you were with them, shopping or spending an afternoon together. Allow those feelings to come over you as you repeat your affirmations. When you get down to it, having the perfect lover and the right relationship is all about what you put out there. Though we sometimes feel that our relationships are dependent upon others, the truth is it depends on what we attract and allow in our lives

finger deep inside, even stimulating her G-spot. She did not bleed after this. But later when she tried to put her index finger into her private part, she could only manage to insert half of her finger. Is her hymen still intact? Unlikely, but why such curiosity to know whether the hymen has split or not. By the way, you must be a master of the art to be skilled enough to locate the G-spot. Perhaps you did not know that though it’s rare, stray sperms can escape during the rubbing of penis on the vagina and lead to pregnancy.

SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014—29


Mo Abudu, honoured! N

igerian born entrepreneur and CEO of EbonyLife TV, Mo Abudu was honoured last Saturday at the Century for African Women Forum and Gala which took place in Manhattan, New York, USA.The event organized by Women Werk, a body co-founded by the alumni of Columbia University was held to commemorate the International Women’s Day. Other awardees included Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala; Former President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton; and Dr. Mehriet Mandefo, President of Truth Aid and winner of a 2014 Sundance Film Festival Award. Mo

Abudu who expressed her gratitude to the organizers, called on the next generation of women to stand up and support the womenfolk towards the realization of their dreams. “This, indeed, is the Century of the African Woman. It’s so uplifting to see the number of African women who are doing really amazing things and who are being celebrated all over the world today. When I look at Moments with Mo for instance and I consider the number of women that we have celebrated on that platform for various groundbreaking achievements, it makes me feel very proud as a woman. Thank you so much for honouring me with the award of Entrepreneur

of the Year. I love being an entrepreneur. It’s what I am. I love taking risks. So, thank you for celebrating what I love to do. I feel so proud to be an African woman and to be recognized in this award,” Abudu said.

Chioma Chukwuka turns 34 S

Yaw to headline judges for KTS A

ce comedian and OAP, Steve Onu, a.k.a, Yaw, has been selected to headline the judges for the Kiddies Talent Show, KTS, billed to kick off on the 22nd of this month at the National theatre complex, Iganmu, Lagos. The comedian will be leading other judges like Ushbebe, Diana Yekini and Raliat Abdulsalam for the show which is being sponsored by one of the Africa’s telecommunication giant, MTN Nigeria. The show is designed to discover talents in children between the ages of 6 and 17 years. Speaking at the unveiling of the show in Lagos recently, the CEO of Kiddies Talent show, Mrs. Raliat Abdulsalam, said, “The show intends to source out talents in children and it is borne out of the passion I have for kids. This show is different from what obtains in our society these days. It goes beyond singing and dancing.” According to her, the audition will commence from the 22nd of March. While the star winner will smile home with N1 million,the 1st and second runners-up will walk away with the sum of N500,000 and N300,000 respectively.

ultry actress,Chioma Chukwuka is indeed, one of the top Nollywood actresses who are scandal free. During the week, the talented actress, turned 34, and was proud to tell anyone who cared to listen. Chioma, who emerged the Best Actress in Africa, in 2007, at the African Movie Academy Award,AMAA for her role in the movie: Sins of the Flesh, has featured in not less than 200 movies. The Anambra State-born actress shot herself to limelight in 2006, after featuring in the movie, The Handkerchief. The Banking and Finance graduate of Lagos State University has featured in films including Red Soil, Double Game, Ass on Fire, Asunder, Desperate Ambition, End of Discussion and Games Men Play among others. She got married years ago and could be said to be enjoying a happy married life.

Breeze drops Apekanuko


ast rising s i n g e r, A s e g b e l o y i n Oluwaseun is on the verge of launching himself fully into the Nigerian music

scene with the release of his hit singles, “Apekanuko and Jem’apelle.” Though the singles are yet to hit the market, they are already every DJ’s favourite. The Ekiti State-born Computer Science graduate of Babcock University, said that his passion for music started right from his childhood. “ I am in the music industry to do a different kind of music. Something that is different from what other artistes have been doing. My love for music started from childhood and I promise my fans a full dose of entertainment before the end of the year, ” he said. The scintillating singer also hinted that he’s working seriously to see if he can drop his album before the first half of the year.

SARTURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014 — 35

30 — SARTURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

Now, it’s bed or bank in

Nollywood —Mercy Macjoe By AYO ONIKOYI


ERCY Macjoe hasn’t been around for more than three years but her profile is so rich, many stand agape wondering how she managed it. Her first appearance in a movie turned out to be a lead role and that’s a record that cannot be found laying around in Nollywood. Her story has a bit of a maverick about it. According to her, she saw an advert on the television for an audition and decided to try out her luck and it came out unstuck. Since that 2011, it has been a shuttle from one location to another for the Akwa Ibom State-born beauty who has featured in not less than 20 movies. She shares the story of her journey into acting with Showtime Celebrity.

How did you find your way into Nollywood? I started acting in 2011. My first movie was produced by Great Movies Production. I played a lead role in the movie. My mum was watching a movie and saw an advert that says if you want to become an actress, you should call a particular number. She got the number and gave it to me because she’s aware of the efforts I have been making to join the industry. I called the number and indicated my interest in becoming an actress. Later, I filled an online form after obtaining their email address. A year later, I got a message from Abuja that they were shooting a movie in Asaba and they would want me to be part of the movie. Immediately, I left Lagos for Asaba. There were lots of wannabes like myself who came from far and near places for the audition. It was actually a talent hunt for aspiring actresses. By the grace of God, I did well, as I was given a lead role in my first ever movie.

*Mercy Macjoe

What do you think made them give you

the lead role? It’s really surprising because I’m not an Igbo girl. When I arrived Asaba, virtually all the people who were invited for the talent hunt were mainly Igbos. Even the producers and organisers were also Igbos. As a result, I had a little chance of making my dream come true. But I tried my best to stand out. I know I am talented and also sure we were selected based on merit. What was the experience like playing the role? There is this scriptwriter who liked me immediately he set his eyes on me. Perhaps, he saw the nervousness in me, and tried to put me through after I got the lead role because I was supposed to act alongside Mike Ezuruonye. Sensing that I was naive and inexperienced, the scriptwriter stood by me and encouraged me. It wasn’t easy at first, but thank God, I made it. Immediately after featuring in the film, we shot another film as I played the lead character again. The same stars that featured in the previous movie were also used in the new movie. It was a back-to-back kind of movie and I played the lead in both movies. After those first two movies, the subsequent jobs you got, did you also play lead roles in them? I’ve never played a lesser role, it was still sub-lead, and good roles. I’m not a lead role kind of person, I believe that whatever role it is, I should be able to do it well. The roles kept coming, most times I play lead. That was then, anyway, now I play lead , because I’ve gotten to a stage in the industry. So, the jobs kept coming, though it wasn’t easy and that was when I went into acting professionally. This is because I realised I have a brighter future in the industry.

An actress without talent will ask a producer, ‘Give me that role and I’ll give you anything you want, if it’s on bed, with money and so on time, he’ll want to work with me again. Which has been the most challenging role you’ve played in recent times? I have done three movies that are very challenging. I did Sugar Sisi; it was the first time I worked with that particular producer, and I wanted to impress him. In that movie, I was raped and I was left

There’s an online report that you’re so desperate you’ll do anything to get a movie role? Don’t mind them. I did a movie in December, last year that was shot in the beach. In that movie, I went to the beach with my boyfriend. We had a love scene because he wanted to marry me. We had some love scenes and I don’t know how the pictures got into the hands of journalists. The next thing I knew was, people started calling me to say negative things.That was the same way I acted like a mad woman in a movie and they said, I’ve gone mad. Don’t you confuse journalists with bloggers? Bloggers are fuckers. Can you have sex in a movie? No, I can’t do it. For what price? But you almost did it while shooting a scene at the beach? It looks like a normal sex scene in a movie. Everybody was there, the guy just climbed on me and that was it. The picture speaks for itself. Even the ‘White’ people who act sex scenes, do it with people present, - the cast and crew, what you did was almost close to it? Nothing happened. He just climbed on me and the movie cut. We didn’t do anything.

Have you ever had to bend the rules or strike a deal to get a role? No. Most of those girls that do give money, sleep around with men in order to get movie roles lack talent. They have to buy it, but the truth remains that talent cannot be bought. What has really changed about you since you came into Nollywood? So many things have changed about me. Even without being in the industry, it’s normal for humans to change. I have grown, I’m living well, I go out, I’m meeting a lot of people. I can’t be pompous because I’ve not gotten to where I want to be. I need the help of everyone to get there. You can have a lot of actresses,musicians out there, but the difference is the talent they have. I’m not saying I’m the best or that I’m too good, but I know that I’m doing very well. And if a producer works with me for the first

with my bra and a very short pair of boxers. It was challenging because I had to use that costume and most of the scenes were not hidden. I was almost going naked on the road. Anyway, it’s my profession and I was paid for it, but I was like ‘God, what am I doing?’. That’s one and there’s another movie I did with the same producer. It’s a very touching movie, Agony of an Orphan;I suffered a lot, I had to sell things in the traffic. I sold so many things, I was under the sun for three days shooting that scene and to make it real, I was running after vehicles. After the production, I broke down because I don’t think I’ve ever stressed myself that much in my life. They are other nice movies that I can proudly tell anyone to go and watch them.

*Mercy Macjoe

How far can you go to interpret a role in a romantic scene? Like I said earlier, the guy I did that love scene with him just proposed to me. We were supposed to do a quickie at the beach. With the happiness that this is my husband -to -be, I had to deliver the role properly. Most times, it depends. But, one thing I’m sure of is, I can’t go naked in a movie and I can’t have real sex in a movie too. I can try as much as I can to make it look real. I can kiss you very well

if you are my boyfriend in a movie. If we are required to have sex, we’ll try as much as possible to make it look real, without really having sex. If you are offered five million dollars to act nude in a Hollywood movie, would you take the offer? I can’t, I’m sorry. I spoke with an up and coming actress sometime ago and she said, there is no actress that will go through Nollywood without encountering one form of sexual harassment or the other. What’s your story? To be sincere with you, I don’t know why people say this. Presently, it’s even the girls that harass the producers. I don’t understand why a girl will ask a producer to play the lead role for a movie and promise to give him whatever he asks for. An actress without talent will ask a producer, ‘Give me that role and I’ll give you anything you want, if it’s on bed, with money and so on. Talking about harassment, everyone is an adult, if a producer wants to sleep with you, it’s your choice. It’s either you say yes or no. It’s not like anybody rapes or forces you to do it. Presently, it’s the up and coming actresses that are making it worse, they’ll ask you, ‘Is it bank or bed you want’? I was on a location recently and a certain girl came there uninvited, saying she is an actress and that she heard that they were shooting a movie, and that whatever it’s going to cost, she’s going to be in the movie. When you see a situation like that, you begin to wonder who is asking who for what? What’s your selling point? I have all the selling points in the world. I have talent and I have God. I also know I’m beautiful and shapely. Have you ever had a crush on any actor in the industry? I appreciate good actors. I like people who know what they are doing. It’s sad that most of our actors don’t know what they are doing, they are just there. I respect most of our actors that are good, I don’t have a crush on anyone. Have you ever been turned on, on set? I can’t be turned on because, first of all, I don’t like you and secondly, there are lots of people out there watching. I can’t be turned on because we are acting. Do you enjoy kissing on set? If I kiss on set, it’s because the script says I should. I don’t enjoy anything. After the kiss, we go our different ways. What’s your opinion on the recently signed anti-gay bill? It’s cool. I don’t see why two women or two guys should have something. But on a second thought, it’s a matter of choice. I feel there is everything wrong about it. It’s bad.


Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014—31

Shoes: Don’t sacrifice comfort for style L

ady Gaga, one of the most successful women on the planet, has one of the worst and probably the unhealthiest taste for shoes. Gaga is well known for her eccentric style and outrageous fashion trends and no right thinking person would want to step into any of her 12-inch mega-heels. Whether they’re skyhigh or mid-heel, wrong size shoes or badly designed shoes are notorious for causing foot problems and even deformities.

whatsoever to keep the feet from functioning optimally and this can lead to knee, hip, and back problems.

because it’s so rigid. Look for a wide wedge or platform that is nearly parallel with the ground.

standing. For unusually flat feet or high arches, an examination by a podiatrist (foot specialist) may be warranted.

Pointy toes

Wrong size shoes Wrong size shoes are more common than imagined. In reality, nine out of 10 men and women are wearing shoes that are too small. They end up with calluses, blisters, bunions, corns, and other problems. Many children are also wearing the wrong shoe size, which puts them at risk for foot deformities as they grow. High heels The heights, styles, and woes of today’s footwear are scary. Heels are getting higher and higher. Podiatrists call it “shoe-icide. The ultrahigh heels force the feet into a position that puts stress on the ball of the foot. All high heels boost the risk of a lateral sprain, which stretches the ankle ligaments beyond their normal length. Toe deformities High heeled shoes push too much body weight toward the toes and then squeeze them together. Over time, the result can be hammertoe, abnormal bends in the toe joints that can gradually become rigid.

•Proper fitting and wearing of shoes is essential.

Low heels Switching to lower heels will help avoid problems with the metatarsal bones. The lower the heel of the shoe, the more natural will be the foot position.

Chunky heels A chunky heel has more surface area and distributes weight more evenly making the feet much more stable compared to stilettos or spindle heels.

Stilettos Although high heels can cause problems, the ultra narrow heels of stilettos

pinpoint all the weight on one area. You wobble when walking and you’re more likely to trip and sprain your ankle.

Ballet flats Avoid these because there’s no arch support

Flip-flops Walking barefoot, or in flimsy shoes such as flip-flops or “slippers” without sufficient arch support, can overstretch, tear, or inflame the plantar fascia. Platform shoes Platform shoes and wedges tend to have rigid foot beds that throw off the biomechanics of walking. The foot is trying to bend a certain way, but the shoe is resistant

Pointy-toed shoes might be stylish, but they squeeze the entire front of your feet together. After time, this can cause nerve pain, bunions, blisters, and hammertoes. Look for shoes that slope to a point beyond the edge of your toes. Choose a softer material, rather than stiff leather. Measure your feet Before buying new shoes, have a professional measure the length and width of your feet at the end of the day, while you’re

Ideal shoes The best time to buy new shoes is in the evening or late afternoon. Never buy shoes in the morning. And wear your new shoes every other day, not everyday. In the morning, your feet are not so swollen, but as you walk around, towards evening, shoes get tighter because all the fluids have gathered in the lower extremities. Proper fitting and wearing of shoes is essential. Make sure the shoe bends at the toe box, but is not too flexible. Don’t sacrifice comfort for style. Ensure sufficient arch support.


Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014



Image is everything when you are in perfect health ROBYN Fenty, popularly known as Rihanna, the pop diva of the red carpet, is not only pretty, rich and famous; she is widely regarded as one of the hottest and healthiest pop stars in the world. Hitting the limelight in 2007 with her blockbursting mega-hit single “Umbrella” – featuring a rap verse by Jay-Z, was a commercial success. It was one of the most played songs on radio in the 2000s (decade) and managed to stay at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart for 10 consecutive weeks - the longest run at No.1 for any single of that decade. Listed on Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, Umbrella is ranked number one on the 10 Best Singles of 2007. Several hits soon

followed – Unapologetic, Loud, Talk-That-Talk, Rated R, etc. Everybody who loves music knows Rihanna can sing. Certainly, the “Good Girl Gone Bad” has certainly come of age. Standing at a noticeable 5feet 8 inches and weighing in at a trim 61 kilos, the 26year-old mega star’s lithe, toned and athletically healthy figure is unmistakable. But her good looks and exceptional health come at a price. A health buff, she works out every day with a personal trainer.

Rihanna favours a healthy diet very low in carbohydrates. Rihanna has distinctive personality and style; her street style is second to none. Her stylishness is

even reflected in her diet and health plan. With more style full of freshness to attend Hollywood events than several of her contemporaries put together, the svelte singer

works out and eats healthy with a passion to maintain her slimming routine. To maintain ideal body weight, Rihanna looks critically at everything she eats, consuming carrots, lettuce, cucumbers and egg whites, and making her snacks fruit-based ones, and drinking plenty of water. Her secret is simple – reduce consumption of carbohydrates. A complete exercise programme focused on thighs, abdominals, arms and legs. Her fitness programme revolves around a great deal of cardio and weight training 2 or 3 times a week. The exercises work specially on the arms with light weight lifting and sets of 12 repetitions. Rihanna doesn’t want muscular arms. Her legs are the main focus. For this reason, she does many cardiovascular exercises (running, Pilates, elliptical machine). Rihanna is a singer, but also she earns money with her image. So, she makes sure to be always perfect with a healthy and balanced diet, and practicing a lot of exercise.

Hydrate, don’t medicate! W

hy should you drink more water? If you don’t drink water, you will not live for long. In fact you will not live at all. Water is THAT important.

glowing and smooth. Gets rid of wrinkles ans is the best anti-aging treatment around!

Increases energy & relieves fatigue The brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. Your energy levels are also boosted!

Boosts immune system A water guzzler is less likely to get sick. And who wouldn’t rather feel healthy the majority of the time? Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, cancer and other ailments like heart attacks.

Promotes weight loss Removes by-products of fat, reduces eating intake (by filling up your tummy if consumed prior to meals), reduces hunger, raises your metabolism and has zero calories! Flushes out toxins Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination; reduces the risk of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Improves skin complexion Moisturises your skin, keeps it fresh, soft,

Maintains bowel movement Aids in digestion as water is essential to digest your food and prevents constipation.

Natural headache remedy Helps relieve and prevent headaches (migraines & back pains too!) which are commonly caused by dehydration. Prevents cramps & sprains Proper hydration helps keep joints lubricated and muscles more elastic so joint pain is less likely. Puts you in a good mood – When the body is functioning at its best, you will feel great and be happy! Saves money Water is very cheap and sometimes free of charge.


Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014—33


nacking will ruin your appetite Actually, snacking can be healthy, as long as you choose wisely. It keeps blood sugar stable and keeps you from getting too hungry between meals. A general rule is going no longer than four hours without eating something, whether a meal or a snack. Tip: Try cutting back slightly on meals so you can have one or two daily snacks between 100 and 200 calories. Good choices include nuts, fruit, yoghurt and vegetables.

Diet Doctor

Diet myths that refuse to die

Finish everything on your plate Not really necessary if you cannot. It is fine to leave a little food. Get in tune with your body to know when you’ve had enough. Tip: As you’re eating, notice how you’re feeling. Are you full? Are you eating just because there is still food on your plate? Be particularly careful when you’re eating out — the food is appealing, the plates are huge, and you may want to eat it all because you paid for it. If there are large portions, ask for half now and save the other half. Don’t eat before exercising or you’ll get a cramp You won’t want to go running immediately after dinner, but eating a little bit 30 to 60 minutes before exercising can help you maximize your workout. You’ll get “a quick boost of energy that helps you optimize the exercise session. Tip: Choose high-carbohydrate, lowfat, low-fiber snacks with moderate amounts of protein in the 100- to 300calorie range, such as a glass of chocolate milk, a slice of toast with peanut butter, or a granola bar. Fruit is also fine, although it won’t have much protein (add a few nuts for that). Hurry up with your meal Did your parents rush your breakfast so you were on time for school? If you still eat in a hurry, you might miss your body’s cues that you’re full. It takes 20 minutes for the brain to register that you feel full. If you eat too quickly, you can swallow down a lot of food in a 20-minute period, and then you feel full.

Tip: Slow down. Take mini-breaks by putting your food and utensils down between bites. You deserve dessert It is not advised to use food as a reward; it sends the wrong message. The wires get crossed, and we no longer eat because we’re hungry; we eat

because we were good and we deserve something. Tip: It’s great to reward yourself, but not with food. How about a movie, a manicure, or time with friends? Soon, you’ll realize that you shouldn’t just eat because you think you deserve something.

Hard facts on soft drinks R

egularly drinking fizzy drinks presents a greater risk for a number of health problems including obesity, type 2 diabetes and even weaker bones. There’s no problem drinking soft drinks now and again, but many children, and adults too consume far too much unhealthy drinks when they should be drinking water. For many, soft drinks have become a completely normal part of life – time for some hard facts! Health risks There is strong evidence that drinking sugary soft drinks is linked to weight gain and type2 diabetes - simply drinking less fizzy drinks and more water can even help you lose weight. Some scientists think that rising soft drink consumption is one of the key causes of the obesity epidemic in the United States. Weaker bones There are concerns about the effect that soft drinks have on bone health. Soft drinks don’t contain any beneficial nutrients, and they are low in calcium. As well as this, when young people consume soft drinks they tend to drink

less milk and this means that they may not get enough calcium. This is an important issue during childhood and adolescence, which is a key time for bone growth and development. Cola drinks may be a particularly poor choice, as they contain phosphoric acid which can have particularly bad effect on bone health. Some studies have linked soft drinks with an increased risk of bone fracture and a reduction in bone mineral density in children. Drinking soft drinks regularly, particularly in adolescent girls, has been linked to osteoporosis in later life. Dental health The potential damage of soft drinks to dental health is quite serious, particularly in children. This is mainly due to the fact that the immature enamel of children’s teeth is more easily dissolved by acids, such as those found in sugary soft drinks. While saliva has the ability to neutralise acid levels in the mouth this ability decreases with more frequent consumption of acidic foods and drinks. Alternatives Ideally, we should encourage drinking of plenty of water and to avoid soft drinks whenever possible.

Having soft drinks occasionally (like at a party) is no harm, but regular consumption is to be avoided. Don’t think that you can just switch to the sugarfree version. Artificially sweetened drinks have been associated with obesity, and may contribute to causing a sweet tooth. Healthy drinking habits Keep a jug of water in the fridge, with maybe a slice of lemon to encourage children to drink water Ask schools to provide filtered water, or to provide working water fountains Ask schools to stop selling soft drinks to students, a practice which is still common Drinking milk is a healthy option Unsweetened fruit juices are healthier than soft drinks, but they still contain a lot of fruit sugars, so are best taken with meals or diluted with water If you restrict access to soft drinks your children will eventually stop asking for them – remember this is for your children’s own good!

34 — SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

I have given life to many people through my ser vices —Blessing Oshua

By Iyabo Aina


igerian- based beautician and oil & gas personnel, Blessing Oshua Ekane had her degree in Business Administration from Auchi Polytechnic and an MBA from Enugu State University of Science and Technology. She is also a wellness coach. She did an online programme from a US-based University before she became an expert in wellness coaching. She started her career as oil and gas personnel and today, she is still doing well in the industry. She started beauty business in 1995 even without going to school to acquire the skill. She’s the CEO DeeBee Beauty Klinik & Spa, a subsidiary of Oshbio Enterprises Limited located Opebi Road, Ikeja Lagos. Recently the gorgeouslooking woman of substance spoke with Saturday Vanguard about her journey so far and how she has influenced the society.

Life as wellness coach The main motive of Deebee beauty Klinik and spa is to give life to people by beautifying them with skin treatment and making them healthy. For example, we have a spa and at the same

Either a celebrity or not, we all belong to God Almighty. Like I said before, it is not about money. I know the number of people I have given life to. One thing that works for us here is that we enlighten people because many are dying of ignorance and one thing that affects our health most is our lifestyle time, we have a gym that can be used to tackle muscular problems and help keep in shape. Running the business I have been in the beauty world since December 1995 and I thank God for his mercy which is sustaining us till this

moment? Life before being a wellness coach I was working in an oil and gas firm and I am still very active in the business. I combine the two businesses. My inspiration My inspiration comes from God who has been my strong backbone.When I see people, I believe in transforming their natural God-given beauty. I enjoy beautifying people. My chosen career It’s a very lucrative and creative business. I am really fulfilled. I thank God for His grace.He has been my strong tower. I use my God given talent to affect the society positively,beautifying beauties. I love beauty. I used to do Mary Kay and I do counsel people especially women that because they have children doesn’t suggest they should look old. You have to be nice at all times and look beautiful. You might not really need to go for an expensive make-up but you have to be good with what one you can afford. My going into wellness business proper will be attributed to the passion I have for it and I decided to put it into practice. Combining two professions Naturally, I am a restless person. Besides, this doesn’t

disturb me as I have trustworthy employees that manage the place when I’m not available. It is God that has been helping us because

it is not easy to combine two businesses together with the homefront.

My clients We all belong to God almighty. It is not about money. I know the number of people I have given life to. One thing that works with us here is that we enlighten people many of whom are dying of ignorance. One thing that affects our health most is our lifestyle. For example, what we eat, time to eat, and what to do after eating. A piece of meat will take three days to digest after eating it and most Africans especially men love eating meat and that is why most of them have big stomachs. I try to educate people about this. I am also into green world, a herbal supplement which works very much. Many do the business to make money or name but I do it to help people’s health . Training on wellness I didn’t go to a beauty school. These things I do are gifts from God. I’m a hairdresser, body massager and skin treatment expert. They are my passion and I read more about them in books.

SARTURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014 — 35

30 — SARTURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

Now, it’s bed or bank in

Nollywood —Mercy Macjoe By AYO ONIKOYI


ERCY Macjoe hasn’t been around for more than three years but her profile is so rich, many stand agape wondering how she managed it. Her first appearance in a movie turned out to be a lead role and that’s a record that cannot be found laying around in Nollywood. Her story has a bit of a maverick about it. According to her, she saw an advert on the television for an audition and decided to try out her luck and it came out unstuck. Since that 2011, it has been a shuttle from one location to another for the Akwa Ibom State-born beauty who has featured in not less than 20 movies. She shares the story of her journey into acting with Showtime Celebrity.

How did you find your way into Nollywood? I started acting in 2011. My first movie was produced by Great Movies Production. I played a lead role in the movie. My mum was watching a movie and saw an advert that says if you want to become an actress, you should call a particular number. She got the number and gave it to me because she’s aware of the efforts I have been making to join the industry. I called the number and indicated my interest in becoming an actress. Later, I filled an online form after obtaining their email address. A year later, I got a message from Abuja that they were shooting a movie in Asaba and they would want me to be part of the movie. Immediately, I left Lagos for Asaba. There were lots of wannabes like myself who came from far and near places for the audition. It was actually a talent hunt for aspiring actresses. By the grace of God, I did well, as I was given a lead role in my first ever movie.

*Mercy Macjoe

What do you think made them give you

the lead role? It’s really surprising because I’m not an Igbo girl. When I arrived Asaba, virtually all the people who were invited for the talent hunt were mainly Igbos. Even the producers and organisers were also Igbos. As a result, I had a little chance of making my dream come true. But I tried my best to stand out. I know I am talented and also sure we were selected based on merit. What was the experience like playing the role? There is this scriptwriter who liked me immediately he set his eyes on me. Perhaps, he saw the nervousness in me, and tried to put me through after I got the lead role because I was supposed to act alongside Mike Ezuruonye. Sensing that I was naive and inexperienced, the scriptwriter stood by me and encouraged me. It wasn’t easy at first, but thank God, I made it. Immediately after featuring in the film, we shot another film as I played the lead character again. The same stars that featured in the previous movie were also used in the new movie. It was a back-to-back kind of movie and I played the lead in both movies. After those first two movies, the subsequent jobs you got, did you also play lead roles in them? I’ve never played a lesser role, it was still sub-lead, and good roles. I’m not a lead role kind of person, I believe that whatever role it is, I should be able to do it well. The roles kept coming, most times I play lead. That was then, anyway, now I play lead , because I’ve gotten to a stage in the industry. So, the jobs kept coming, though it wasn’t easy and that was when I went into acting professionally. This is because I realised I have a brighter future in the industry.

An actress without talent will ask a producer, ‘Give me that role and I’ll give you anything you want, if it’s on bed, with money and so on time, he’ll want to work with me again. Which has been the most challenging role you’ve played in recent times? I have done three movies that are very challenging. I did Sugar Sisi; it was the first time I worked with that particular producer, and I wanted to impress him. In that movie, I was raped and I was left

There’s an online report that you’re so desperate you’ll do anything to get a movie role? Don’t mind them. I did a movie in December, last year that was shot in the beach. In that movie, I went to the beach with my boyfriend. We had a love scene because he wanted to marry me. We had some love scenes and I don’t know how the pictures got into the hands of journalists. The next thing I knew was, people started calling me to say negative things.That was the same way I acted like a mad woman in a movie and they said, I’ve gone mad. Don’t you confuse journalists with bloggers? Bloggers are fuckers. Can you have sex in a movie? No, I can’t do it. For what price? But you almost did it while shooting a scene at the beach? It looks like a normal sex scene in a movie. Everybody was there, the guy just climbed on me and that was it. The picture speaks for itself. Even the ‘White’ people who act sex scenes, do it with people present, - the cast and crew, what you did was almost close to it? Nothing happened. He just climbed on me and the movie cut. We didn’t do anything.

Have you ever had to bend the rules or strike a deal to get a role? No. Most of those girls that do give money, sleep around with men in order to get movie roles lack talent. They have to buy it, but the truth remains that talent cannot be bought. What has really changed about you since you came into Nollywood? So many things have changed about me. Even without being in the industry, it’s normal for humans to change. I have grown, I’m living well, I go out, I’m meeting a lot of people. I can’t be pompous because I’ve not gotten to where I want to be. I need the help of everyone to get there. You can have a lot of actresses,musicians out there, but the difference is the talent they have. I’m not saying I’m the best or that I’m too good, but I know that I’m doing very well. And if a producer works with me for the first

with my bra and a very short pair of boxers. It was challenging because I had to use that costume and most of the scenes were not hidden. I was almost going naked on the road. Anyway, it’s my profession and I was paid for it, but I was like ‘God, what am I doing?’. That’s one and there’s another movie I did with the same producer. It’s a very touching movie, Agony of an Orphan;I suffered a lot, I had to sell things in the traffic. I sold so many things, I was under the sun for three days shooting that scene and to make it real, I was running after vehicles. After the production, I broke down because I don’t think I’ve ever stressed myself that much in my life. They are other nice movies that I can proudly tell anyone to go and watch them.

*Mercy Macjoe

How far can you go to interpret a role in a romantic scene? Like I said earlier, the guy I did that love scene with him just proposed to me. We were supposed to do a quickie at the beach. With the happiness that this is my husband -to -be, I had to deliver the role properly. Most times, it depends. But, one thing I’m sure of is, I can’t go naked in a movie and I can’t have real sex in a movie too. I can try as much as I can to make it look real. I can kiss you very well

if you are my boyfriend in a movie. If we are required to have sex, we’ll try as much as possible to make it look real, without really having sex. If you are offered five million dollars to act nude in a Hollywood movie, would you take the offer? I can’t, I’m sorry. I spoke with an up and coming actress sometime ago and she said, there is no actress that will go through Nollywood without encountering one form of sexual harassment or the other. What’s your story? To be sincere with you, I don’t know why people say this. Presently, it’s even the girls that harass the producers. I don’t understand why a girl will ask a producer to play the lead role for a movie and promise to give him whatever he asks for. An actress without talent will ask a producer, ‘Give me that role and I’ll give you anything you want, if it’s on bed, with money and so on. Talking about harassment, everyone is an adult, if a producer wants to sleep with you, it’s your choice. It’s either you say yes or no. It’s not like anybody rapes or forces you to do it. Presently, it’s the up and coming actresses that are making it worse, they’ll ask you, ‘Is it bank or bed you want’? I was on a location recently and a certain girl came there uninvited, saying she is an actress and that she heard that they were shooting a movie, and that whatever it’s going to cost, she’s going to be in the movie. When you see a situation like that, you begin to wonder who is asking who for what? What’s your selling point? I have all the selling points in the world. I have talent and I have God. I also know I’m beautiful and shapely. Have you ever had a crush on any actor in the industry? I appreciate good actors. I like people who know what they are doing. It’s sad that most of our actors don’t know what they are doing, they are just there. I respect most of our actors that are good, I don’t have a crush on anyone. Have you ever been turned on, on set? I can’t be turned on because, first of all, I don’t like you and secondly, there are lots of people out there watching. I can’t be turned on because we are acting. Do you enjoy kissing on set? If I kiss on set, it’s because the script says I should. I don’t enjoy anything. After the kiss, we go our different ways. What’s your opinion on the recently signed anti-gay bill? It’s cool. I don’t see why two women or two guys should have something. But on a second thought, it’s a matter of choice. I feel there is everything wrong about it. It’s bad.

36—SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

Compiled by

Ephraim Oseji

Inter Milan close to deal for Evra Inter Milan are closing in on a deal for Manchester United fullback Patrice Evra. The Sun says Evra is set to join team-mate Nemanja Vidic at Inter Milan next season. The 32-year-old is out of contract at the end of the current campaign and looks set to leave Old Trafford after eight years with the club. Vidic penned a deal with the Italian giants last week and Walter Mazzarri wants more senior figures to guide the club back to the Champions League.

Arsenal lining up move for the next David Villa Arsenal FC are reportedly scouting young Valencia striker Francisco Paco Alcacer and are expected to make a transfer move in the summer. This has been a breakthrough season for Spanish U-21 international as new Los Che manager Juan Antonio Pizzi has shown a lot of faith in the youngster off late. Paco Alcacer has Valencia’s top scorer in all competition having scored 10 goals in 17 starts and is currently one of the most in form strikers in

Van Persie rubbishes exit talk Robin van Persie has dismissed speculation suggesting that he is unhappy at Manchester United. The Dutch international’s days at Old Trafford have appeared to be numbered in recent weeks, with Juventus, Monaco and his former club Arsenal all linked with moves to secure his services. However, he has insisted that he is happy with life under David Moyes, despite the clubs stuttering form in the Scot’s first season in charge.

Chelsea given fresh hope of landing Hulk


helsea have been handed a huge boost in their quest to bring in Hulk from Zenit St Petersburg after the striker’s agent confirmed that he would welcome a move to the Premier League this summer. The Brazilian international has been a long time target for the Blues with the club’s previous two managers both keen on bringing him to Stamford Bridge. And now Jose Mourinho has been tipped to be the latest to try as he seeks some fresh legs in his striking department. He has been handed a huge boost in his chase now as reports sug-

gest that Hulk has grown unsettled with life in Russia and his agent has given a move to England the green light. Shandor Varga told the Izvestia newspaper that Hulk is ready to push for a transfer away when the window reopens, with English his most likely destination. “Despite the huge transfer fee required to sign Hulk, don’t rule out that he will

Arsenal may sack Wenger Arsenal are thinking about parting ways with club manager Arsène Wenger at the end of the current season. The French specialist’s contract with Arsenal ends in June, but the parties have not yet agreed on whether or not extending the contract.

move to one of the top clubs in Europe this summer,” Varga said. “English clubs still have the highest chance of signing him.” Zenit are said to have slapped a £40m price tag on the former Porto man, but that shouldn’t be a concern for Mourinho, who has been backed significantly in the transfer market.

If the end of the season becomes a failure for Arsenal, there is a great chance that Wenger will be sacked. Everton F.C. boss Roberto Martínez, who is doing a good job with his club, may take over from Arsène Wenger at Arsenal.

style of play he demands – a cultured passing game – and by the way the 40-year-old handles himself. The Daily Star says it is believed discussions have already been held within the

Tottenham T fear Ver ertt onghen eyeing move away

Lukas Fabianksi’s days at Arsenal appear to be numbered after the goalkeeper rejected the club’s offer of a new three year contract, according to sources. The 28 year old has been at the Emirates Stadium since signing from Legia Warsaw in 2007 but has averaged less than eleven games a season in all competitions with Arsene Wenger ’s side.

Sherwood targets Reid

...eyes Martinez as successor Everton boss Roberto Martinez is on Arsenal's shortlist to succeed Arsene Wenger. Martinez has impressed Wenger and the rest of the Gunners’ hierarchy with the

Fabianski set for Arsenal exit

club about the suitability of Martinez as an eventual replacement. He was appointed on a fouryear contract at Everton in the summer after David Moyes’ exit to Manchester United.

West Ham United defender Winston Reid is interesting Tottenham. Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood is leaning towards a ‘buy Britishbased’ recruitment policy. He has held discussions with Daniel Levy this week regarding pre-season plans but results over the next few months could still be pivotal to how those plans are implemented. New Zealand international Reid has been discussed as a potential summer signing.

Chelsea w ant Cour want Courttois to extend contract Nigeria international

ottenham chiefs are unsure of the commitment of Jan Vertonghen. Vertonghen, 27 next month, has two more full seasons left on his four-year contract, worth about £40,000 a week. He is almost certain to be offered a new, improved deal, possibly before the World Cup, but whether he will sign it is another matter.

Chelsea has begun discussions with Thibaut Courtois, so that the Atletico Madrid loanee extends his current deal at Stamford Bridge. The Belgium number one is contracted to Chelsea until June 2016 but has his path to the Blues first team blocked by Petr Cech.Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is also keeping an eye on developments and it is now likely that Chelsea will loan Courtois to Atletico Madrid for another season, for the duration of 2014/2015.Reports say Chelsea will only allow Courtois to go on loan for another campaign if he extends his deal at the Premier League leaders.

SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014—37

Compiled by

Ephraim Oseji

Zimbabwean prophet sues over alleged Liverpool prediction


Zimbabwean prophet has launched a $1.5m legal claim against a South African sports broadcaster over its claim he predicted Liverpool would win this season's English Premier League. Spirit Embassy Church leader Uebert Angel denies making the prediction, which was

reported on Supersport's website in December. Angel feels his reputation will be damaged if they do not win the title. S u p e r s p o r t Communications Manager Clinton Van Der Burg said: "Supersport is aware of the matter. Supersport denies liability and will contest the charges

vigorously." Angel said that Johannesburg-based Supersport published the story under the headline: "Zimbabwean prophet predicts Liverpool to win title." The Herald newspaper, quoted Angel as saying: "Liverpool, I am with you this year and God has shown me he is returning you to your glory days."

Yaya Toure snaps back at Mourinho:

You talk too much! M

anchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has hit out at Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho as the title race reaches fever pitch. Mourinho branded Arsene Wenger “a specialist in failure” earlier this season and has also clashed with Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini. Toure has had enough and snapped: “He must give respect a little bit. He is always talking about everyone and that is not the correct way. “That is why Barcelona always beat Madrid, when Mourinho was in Spain. I think he talks more than before, perhaps because the English press likes it.”

Real Madrid eye move for De Gea

Chelsea keen on Costa Chelsea are planning to pull out all the stops as the look to secure the services of Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa for next season. Blues manager Jose Mourinho is on the lookout for a new forward and has made the 25 year old, who is behind only Cristiano Ronaldo in the La Liga scoring charts this season, his number one target.

Real Madrid are plotting to make a move for Manchester United’s goal keeper David de Gea, according to reports in Spain. Recently, Madrid were linked with a move for Chelsea’s young goal keeper, Thibaut Courtois, who is currently plying trade with Atletico Madrid, on loan. But are exploring other options are well and have kept De Gea on their summer wish-list. The 23-year-old joined Manchester United in 2011 from Atletico Madrid for a reported fee of £17.8m.

REVEALED: 33% of pla playyer erss ge gett divor ced within yyear ear divorced of retiring and 40% declared bankrup I

t's been revealed 33 per cent of players get divorced within a year of retiring and 40 per cent are declared bankrupt within five years of playing their last game. Xpro - a charity set up for the welfare of ex-professional footballers - has released the disturbing findings. While accountants Deloitte estimate that while the average Premier League salary is £23,000 a week, this drops to £5,000 in the Championship. Players who have gone bankrupt include John Arne Riise, Keith Gillespie, Eric Djemba-Djemba, Jason Euell, Carl Cort etc."Footballers fall into a group who aren't as well educated as other rich people around them and have role-models who aren't always the best examples. That leads to some of the problems like Lee Hendrie has faced."

FANS ZONE Are you a Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Barcelona fan and would like to meet fans, male or female from other parts of the country. Then send ur name, age, where you live and the club u support to 0802354-2350. sms only

zEfe, 30, Manchester United wants a female fan as friends.08168770552 zNicholas, 23, Chelsea, needs a female friend. 08067050116, 3335eccc zChuks Obijogu, Lagos, Arsenal wants friends.08033399065 zAmakashe Roland Junior, 35, Edo, Chelsea needs female friends. 07083715771 zAkinwale, Warri, Barcelona, wants to be connected to Barcelona fans. 07068705943 zKing Promise, 25, Chelsea.08096842881 zSamuel, 33, Benin, Chelsea, needs female fans as friends.07035389314, 08052226873 zChristopher Iginagbon 32, Edo State, Chelsea. 08036846311 zAdewale Ayobami, 19, Ogun, Manchester United.08068934571

Quiz of the Week

Who is the coach Chinese Super League side, Guangzhou Evergrande. Send ur answers to 0802354-2350 sms only

Last Week winner

Larry, Abuja

Newcastle chasing Shawcr oss Shawcross Newcastle United are interested in Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross. Reports says Toon boss Alan Pardew sees Shawcross as a possible future mainstay in the heart of his defence. But it could take the best part of £10m to prise the 26 year-old lynchpin away from his spiritual home here at the Britannia.

38 — SATURDAY Vanguard —SATURDAY Vanguard,, MARCH 15, 2014

The battle of the labels BY KEHINDE AJOSE


n recent times the Nigerian music industry has seen the emergence of various record labels .Some of them have come and vanished with a speed of light, while others have maintained their relevance churning A-list artistes, marketing and promoting their brands, and registering their presence in the minds of music lovers. For every M.I there is a Chocolate city , for every Jaywon there is a Kennis music. This report explores the competition among record labels and how they battle to outdo each other in the marketplace


arvin Records Marvin Records headed by Don Jazzy has been instrumental to the mainstream acclaim of Tiwa Savage and Dr Sid .The label boasts of artistes who have clinched endorsement deals, lucrative deals, have hit songs and have been the shelter to consummate artistes who before now are nothing but up and coming greenhorns who needed platforms to showcase their crafts. With Tiwa Savage and Dr Sid in the Marvin team ,the battle for supremacy among labels might just be getting hotter.

Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) Prides itself as leading the urban music revolution and redefining what is considered African music. E.M.E has gradually become the power house for sheltering talents . The label discovered Ayodeji Balogun a.ka Wizkid and helped his music aptitude to blossom, making him clinch awards ,record hit songs, get rave reviews, and become the poster boy for young achievers. In terms of visibility, the •Niyola label is one that has added value to Nigeria’s music.

Another top act on the label is Niyola, who is currently making waves. Storm Records Storm records took Nigeria’s Entertainment by storm. The label has a knack for taking the road less travelled and pushing her artistes to the point where they become established acts. The likes of Naeto C, and Sasha, are bonafide graduates of the Storm school. These days, Storm Records has become a quiet lion in the music jungle. The label hardly boasts of any artiste that has mainstream appeal. The old glory of Storm Records needs to be restored. Kennis Music Let it be known that

Kennis Music is the label that gave Nigerian music a face and a facelift. Kennis Music was a lone voice in the desert pushing for recognition for Nigerian acts. From signing The Remedies , Marvellous Benjy to the present, Kennis Music has single-handedly discovered and nurtured the likes of Tuface Idibia who rules in the Nigerian music landscape today. Jaywon is unarguably the most visible act in the Kennis Music label The label is flaunting him like a mother flaunts chocolate in the face of her hungry child Chocolate City Founded by Audu Maikori, the record label operates as a subsidiary of Chocolate City Group, one of the most vibrant entertainment companies out of Africa. At a time when rap music was a virgin territory in Nigeria, Choc city, as it is often called by the label artistes, made us believe in three Jos boys- M.I, IcePrince, and Jesse Jagz. They pushed these dudes with everything within them and it eventually paid off through endorsement deals garnered. Ice Prince and M.I are one of the new faces of contemporary Nigerian hiphop. The Goretti Company Owned by Clarence Peters

and Managed by Illbliss, the company is responsible for the music careers of Chidinma, Tha Suspekt, and Illbliss. The Goretti Company has relentlessly worked on the brand of Chidinma. She has grown from the fresh faced young damsel who clinched the Project Fame prize to becoming one of the leading female artistes in Nigeria’s entertainment. Perhaps one of the selling points of the entertainment outfit lies in the fact that they also own a video production company called Capital Dreams. Chidinma is like a winning recipe every other label battles to own. Soul Musik Soul Musik is a breath of fresh air in the Nigerian entertainment terrain. Coowned by Darey Art Alade and his wife, Deola, Soul Musik houses the talent of Moeazy, Zaina and Darey himself. One of the strong points of the label is her annual LoveLike AMovie(LLAM) valentine’s concert which has made the label a force to reckon with among her contemporaries. With the publicity the label garners from the show, other labels dream to replicate this feat. Square Records Square Records is the official record label of the dynamic sensational duo – Peter and Paul OkoyePsquare. Over the years, the label has been responsible for Psquare’s music activities-from recording, distribution, performances, to production. Little wonder the twins were

recognized as one of the richest artistes in Africa by Forbes Magazine. Armed with a clear winning formula, The Square Records success story is the dream of every record label Hypertek Records The label isn’t just about hype but has some artistes to boast of. Dammy Krane happens to be one of the talents signed to the label owned by Tuface Idibia. Dammy Krane is a vivacious young dude whose versatility and artistry appears to be his winning edge. Even though he is a new entrant in the industry, he is fast making a name for himself in the crowded terrain, flying the Hypertek flag. It won’t be a surprise if other labels begin to woo Dammy Krane Db Records D’Banj Records calls herself the new wave of creativity set to change the face of music and entertainment in Nigeria. Whether they have started achieving the lofty goal is another story entirely. Apparently owned by D’Banj ,the label in a short time, has been able to push the careers of D’banj and that of his brother Kay Switch. With massive hits, groovy beats, and mouthwatering endorsement deals in her arsenal, DB Records is making other labels cringe.


•DBanj •Darey •Tiwa Savage


SATURDAY Vanguard Vanguard,, MARCH 15, 2014—39

By Ayo Onikoyi

Dencia gets Oprah’s attention


ortune seems to be smiling on Cameroonian-Nigerian pop star, Dencia. Although her skincare product ‘Whitenicious ‘ has become a subject of criticism ,but that is in no way affecting her showbiz brand, rather it is strengthening it. She has gotten the attention of Oprah Winfrey and has been invited by Oprah’s “Oprah Winfrey Network’ (OWN) for an interview on a documentary entitled : Light Girls. The documentary is said to be inspired by a film by Bill Duke titled Dark Girls. With She shared a screenshot from a mail she received from OWN on her Blackberry display picture during the week. According to the mail: “We are excited to announce that OWN , Oprah Winfrey ‘s TV Network, has green lit the documentary film, Light Girls and we’d love to interview you for the special.’

KC Ejelonu


lamide Adedeji simply known as Olamide or Badoo as some of his fans have come to know him is sure having a ball with life and it doesn’t look like he has short supply of fans. His career is on the up and up and as fans are falling over themselves just to get attention of the top act. But it seems one fan has succeeded so well on Instagram and it isn’t all praises for the rapper as the fan who confessed so much love for the artiste slammed his dress sense. The fan who identified herself as C-Duchess wrote : “Olamide, Iove you and I am totally a fan but why do you have to dress like

Fan slams Olamide for dress sense

this? At the stage you are in your career now you should dress responsibly and classy, irrespective of how expensive your dresses are. I am sure everybody has a personal style but I think you should check yours. And please stop sagging – you look like a 10-year old”.This comment followed a picture Olamide posted on Instagram.

going sof softt on Lynxx?

IK Ogbonna



K-returnee actress, Kelechi Ejelonu, who quit her Barclays bank job to try her dream of becoming an actress has said time without number that she is in no romantic relationship with anyone. But a development during the week which led to her posting a message may just be a hint that the beautiful diva may have been struck by Cupid arrows. For KC, love may be looking like hip-hop singer, Lynxx, whom KC openly gushed over in her tweet “ Hehehe, we always clown out and a minute spent with Lynxx has always put smile on my face”. KC has said her kind of man doesn’t have to be dark or tall or something, all she wanted “someone who is Godfearing and educated because I need that person to motivate me. I want to learn new things from that person. I need someone who will love his family” she said.


robbed by policeman!

Peter Ok oye Oko irks fans on Twitter


eter Okoye of P-Square was taught a hard lesson during the week that being a superstar doesn’t mean you are always right and definitely that he has no right to go about bragging that no one has gone through what he has gone through in life. Peter tweeted “ Don’t judge me, you can’t handle half of what I have dealt with. There’s a reason I do the things I do, there’s a reason I am who I am” Instead of getting a flow of praises what Peter saw was a barrage of fire from fans who must have thought the singer was overplaying his hands. Many of them lashed at him and question him if he knows what any other man has gone through in life.

igerian top model, actor and wannabe singer, Ik Ogbonna, who recently signed a multimillion naira deal with Rakkaan Perfume Limited in Dubai for their new fragrance was robbed last Saturday at Ojuelegba, Surulere, Lagos. Ik broke the news on Instagram of how he was gypped out of fifty thousand naira by a man pretending to be a policeman. “On Saturday, 8th March, I was robbed in traffic by this man (he posted an unclear picture of the man) who claimed to be a policeman. He took N50,000 from me. I was able to take a picture while driving off as I had a lot doing and couldn’t allow the foolish, hungry bastard to waste my time. If you are ever around Ojuelegba and you see this man, be very careful. I will report this on Monday but the truth is not every policeman deserves to be called an officer” he wrote.

40— SATURDAY Vanguard Vanguard,, MARCH 15, 2014

s r a t s f o t h g i An ! A C V M at A I

t was a night of glamour, glitz and parade of stars. For those who were privileged to attend this year’s edition of the prestigious AfricaMagic Viewers Choice Award, AMVCA, which held last Saturday at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, the spectacular presentation of the best of African actors and actresses interspersed with pulsating music performances from alternative soul singer Bez, popular highlife sensation, Flavour, Davido, Cobhams and Waje will linger in their minds for a long time. A glamorous red carpet, which stretched for miles, was graced by Nollywood and stars from across the continent. Leading the pack of stars on the redcarpet were Genevieve Nnaji, Funke Akindele, Desmond Elliot, Uche Jombo, Majid Micheal, Rita Dominic, Shirley Frimpong, Mohammed Zain, Jackie Appiah, Hertey Owusu,Yvonne Okoro, Kanayo.O.Kanayo, Joseph Benjamin, Kate Henshaw, Mercy Johnson, Mike Ezuruonye, Yuh Edochie, Aki and Pawpaw, Mr Ibu, Ramsey Nouah, Monalisa Chinda, and other movie celebrities. At the event, hosted by the trio of IK Osakioduwa, Osas Ighodaro and Vimbai Mutinhiri, with Eku Edewor and Denrele Edun on the red carpet, a galaxy of stars took on guest presenter roles. Amidst fast flashing lights and interview-readycamera crews, the polished style, creative flair and breath-taking elegance of Africa’s fashionistas was undeniable. Also in the spotlight on the design front was internationally renowned Vlisco whose coveted fabrics beautifully adorned both of the C M Y K

Ramsey Nouah,

Rita Dominic

female presenters on the night. Visibly excited big winners of the night, who came out looking extremely glamorous, expressed delight over their awards with many expressing gratitude to the brand for giving them an opportunity to be celebrated by the world. Particularly, Osita Iheme’s passionate declaration as he mounted the stage to receive his award as winner of the Best Actor in Comedy earned him a resounding

Monalisa Chinda

Funke Akindele,

Mrs. Biola Alabi,M-net MD

Drama); Funke Akindele (Best Actress in a comedy); Tope Tedela (Best Actor in a Drama; Osita Iheme (Best Actor in a comedy); Rita

Dominic (New Era Award), Michelle Bello who won the Trailblazer award amongst others.


ovation from the audience. “I’m very grateful to everyone who voted for me, and made this a reality. Very special thanks to all the organisers, for giving us something to look forward to. I would like to urge movie producers to use their movies as a voice to fight the vices in our country. It’s time to make a change; let’s do our part to make a change,” he urged. Other winners were Desmond Elliot (Best Supporting Actor in a

Nollywood stars

Vanguard, SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 2014 — 41

42—SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

Vanguard, SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 2014 — 43

44—SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014 — 45


Unending war between Edo Teachers and Edo govt over competency test zSack them if they fail to write the test—Onojie of Opoji zEdo people voted for me to protect the future of our children, competency test must hold —Oshiomhole BY SIMON EBEGBULEM, BENIN CITY


embers of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Edo state who have been at loggerheads with the state government over the resolve by government to conduct a competency test for the teachers, lost their case at a townhall meeting which held at Imaguero hall Benin City last Tuesday, February 25, 2014. The Governor Adams Oshiomhole led administration had insisted on the competency test after the verification exercise embarked upon by government disclosed that some of the teachers falsified their ages. Apart from that, some were found incompetent to teach because they came into the system through one official or the other. It would be recalled that sometime last year when the governor paid an unscheduled visit to some schools, Oshiomhole and journalists were embarrassed when some of the teachers interviewed could not speak English. During the screening exercise for teachers which was conducted last year, one Mrs Augusta Odenwigbe who was asked to read an affidavit she swore to declare her age, to the amusement of all she could not read it. Rather than read “I solemnly”, she said, “one Solomon' to the bewilderment of the governor and other people who were around. And Mrs Odenwigbe had spent twenty years in that school. As a result, the state government insisted on the test with a view to ascertain the number of qualified teachers. But the NUT rejected the exercise saying that it was a ploy by the state government to sack teachers. Several meetings

were called by the government with a view to convince the teachers on why the test was necessary but that effort was frustrated by the teachers who vowed never to participate in the test. Consequently, the state government invited members of the civil society in the state and laid the case before them a month ago. While addressing the civil society members, Oshiomhole explained


God will punish me if as Governor of this state, who has been so favoured by every person in terms of the number of votes I got from the local government areas, that I knowingly dumped the Edo child on teachers who will not impart knowledge

that the proposed competency test for teachers in the state is not meant to witch hunt anybody. He noted that only those incompetent to teach should be afraid of the test and that “any of the problems that have bugged us down, the earlier we identify it and find the courage to fix it, we can still make up for lost time. “I now find that the key element that would define the outcome is the teacher and the NUT is not willing for us to carry out this competency test. The teachers still earn what is called the Teachers Special Allowance. A level 12 teacher earns more than a civil servant. This is in

recognition of the importance we attach to education. We are not getting what we should get. God will punish me if as Governor of this state, who has been so favoured by every person in terms of the number of votes I got from the local government areas, I knowingly dumped the Edo child on teachers who will not impart knowledge”. Executive Director, African Network for Economic Justice, the Reverend David Ugolor who summarized the contributions of the Civil Society Organisations said there was a consensus that the issue of competency test for teachers is very important to reposition quality education in Edo State; that there is the need for the Civil Society organizations to meet with the NUT leadership to get their side of the story and that the Civil society will set up an independent contact group to reach out to the NUT with a view to ensuring an agreement between the government and the NUT to move forward. The Civil society groups thanked the Governor for the opportunity to share with them government’s policy on education. Over twenty civil society organisations were in attendance at the meeting. The civil society groups met with the teachers and they came up with a statement last week Thursday. But reacting however, the state chairman of the NUT, Mr Osagioduwa Uhunmwangho, told Saturday Vanguard that “for now, the teachers are resolute not to write the competency test because it is vindictive. We don’t trust this government. You do test before appointment and not now. As a State Government, it should dawn on them to go on training, retraining and workshop for the teachers to be

productive in whatever they do. If the government wants to look at the issue of certification, the teachers are there to present their certificates while the State Government can go and verify same from the relevant institutions if they are genuine and whether the teachers are qualified for the teaching profession. Sometimes when you people talk about development, you are talking about structures without chairs, no furniture and human capacity building that is not properly taken care off. Most of the furniture are not there, the teachers do not even have a place to sit. In everything we do in life, in every association and parastatal, not everybody working there is competent. But sometimes, the popular teacher that has become a reference point by the Comrade Governor has had a health challenge which the NUT is aware of. Those kind of persons should be asked to go on voluntary retirement. We still believe the State government has its obligation to train, organized workshops for teachers. But for now, we are not ready for the competency test until he fulfils his obligations”. But worried by what he described as an attempt by the teachers to frustrate the efforts being made by the state government to cleanse the educational sector, Oshiomhole held a town hall meeting with stakeholders penultimate Tuesday with a view to lay the matter before them. But few hours before the meeting, the NUT in a communique signed by its chairman, Comrade Mike Uhunmwangho announced that they were boycotting the town hall meeting. It stated, "in place of town hall meetings, Edo state government is hereby urged to organize Education Summit where professionals and other critical stakeholders can make presentations and a formal blue-print developed to help government take the sector to the expected level. And we want to repeat that teachers in Edo state will not participate in the writing of competency test as proposed by the Edo state government as the motive behind the proposal is mischievous." However traditional rulers across the three senatorial districts were all in attendance at the town hall meeting. Some of them include the Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe; Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri; Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Aliru Momoh (Ikelebe 111); Isekhure of Benin Kingdom, Chief Nosakhare Isekhure; Enojie of Opoji, Enojie of Igueben; former Vice Chancellor of the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, Prof.Dennis Agbonlahor and host of others. Oshiomhole in is opening speech, narrated his ordeal in the hands of Continues on page 55



Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

ast Saturday the world celebrated the International Women’s Day with pomp and pageantry. Wonderful; but what about the continued dehumanization and degradation of the womenfolk? What about girl-child discrimination in our society? We are not there yet; the discrimination against women is still clear and present, not as bad as Saudi Arabia or Iran; you would say, but it is there — sometimes obvious, at other times latent. remember when I I was growing up, that the reason

many women (now dead or in their 80s) gave for not acquiring formal education was that their fathers said it was a waste of

Re: International Women’s Day (1) resources. Their parents reasoned that the education of daughters was like investing in another person’s family because the daughters will get married, move to new families and adopt new names. So their parents spent the available resources on educating the male children. The number of women (my mother ’s age) who were educated in the Midwest when I was growing up was so few that I had a cultural shock when I came to Yoruba land, and to

some extent Igbo land, and saw comparatively large number of women ( my mother ’s age) who were well educated, some of them professors and medical doctors.


y first personal taste of the discrimination against the girl-child happened when I had my first child, a girl. I was over the moon as a first time father. Moreover, the girl child had become such a scarce commodity in my father ’s household that we

were all yearning for baby girls. My elder brother had a daughter three months prior to mine, the first in decades. So you now know where I was coming from. I went to the top of NECOM House literally (Still the tallest building in Nigeria) and announced to the whole world that I have a daughter.


isten to the responses: My mechanic said, “e still good.” My tailor: “why you go start with woman? Next time, born boy.” From another: “Na so you lazy?” And yet another, “madam don defeat you.” Generally the responses that greeted the arrival of my daughter were characterized by a monumental lack of

enthusiasm. I am embarrassed to say it, but the final product of this barrage of negative responses was a disoriented and depressed Francis.


was happy to give my parents, who did not have a daughter, a granddaughter, but at the same time I was saddened that the world will not share my enthusiasm over the arrival of my daughter. The negative comments really got to me. There and then, I vowed that next time I will have a son and prove to my traducers that God has given me the powers and I determine the sex of my babies. Those around us (my wife and I) know we naturally planned our family.

(Text Only) The Plough Benefit: Stimulates the activity of the thyroid glands; of great help to those with sluggish digestion as it stimulates the peristaltic movement of the bowels. Also an effective cure for constipation. Fingers to Toes Technique: Sit down flat on the ground; stretched your hands gently to touch the toes. Remain still for a period of 15 to 20 second and repeat thereafter for two or three times. Benefits: This exercise stretches your back muscles and enable you move freely at all times. The shoulderstand Though the classic shoulder stand is executed without a prop, the variant under discussion here is done with the aid of chair. Technique: Place a chair on the practice mat at one end.

Exercise for stress-relief

Lying on your back rather close to the chair, raise both legs and rest them on the chair forming a neat slant from feet to shoulder. Place the hands a little away from the sides. Breathe in slowly, rhythmically and deep into the abdomen. A minute or two will do at the initial stages. Follow that up with the dead man’s pose of lying completely still on your back. Benefits: The shoulder stand affect the thyroid gland which normalizes metabolism and the production of heat and controls the heart rate.

Triangle Pose Technique: Standing with the feet rather wide apart, turn the trunk to the left and lowering it, place the palm of the left hand flat down on the outside uf the left leg while raising up the right hand and straightening it at the elbow. Breathe normally and retain the position for about 10 10 or I5 seconds. Benefits: The triangle stretches the leg, spine, and trunk muscles. It promotes flexibility of the hip spine and legs. It tones the nerves of the spine and the abdominal organs. It reduces pain in the lower back and invigorates the circulation.

Yoga Classes STARTED @ 32 Adetokumbo Ademola, Victoria Island Lagos. 9.00am — 10.00am on Saturdays


Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2013—47

opportunity they need, and I plan to change. Also,we have gotten used to telling indecent and senseless kind of stories in our movies; I plan to change that. I want to do movies that the average Nigerian can relate to. I want to create an Onime Ugbowie era just like Tyler Perry. What challenges are you facing being a movie producer? Raising funds to shoot because for me as a producer I have to raise the money myself. It is very challenging getting investors. However, when you meet some of these people they want to take advantage of the fact that you need them and they start telling you irrelevant things. I thank God because His grace has always been there and most of the people I have worked with have been very supportive. My friends have been supportive as well.

I want to do movies that the average Nigerian can relate to — Onime Ugbowie N

ollywood industry is globally acclaimed as the third largest film industry sparingly highlighting talents and creativity making the Nigerian youths to be recognized as intelligent and distinct. It is also acknowledged that broadcast media’s survival depends more on the quality of products produced. Onime Ugbowie, CEO of Juliet Alfred Productions, a native of Ughelli-South, Delta State is working hard at keeping its survival as an actress, scriptwriter as well as a producer. She had a brief chat with Vanguard Youthful Vibes recently. Excerpts: What is your upbringing like? I grew up in a loving Christian home with a strict father and mother who bring a balance to that strictness. When I used to see the soap opera “Behind the clouds”, I could relate with it that my father wasn’t crazy like “Okonzua”, but he didn’t take nonsense and that I would say put me on the right path from the beginning. I have a very supportive family and we always have something to laugh about no matter the circumstance. I was encouraged to be creative from a very young age. I am left-handed and as usual in Nigeria, my teachers tried to stop me from using my left hand but my dad told them to let me be and to allow me grow up with it. I thank God for that because it makes me unique.I attended Nazareth Private Primary School, Federal Government Girls College, Sagamu and Ambrose Alli University. What motivated you into building a career in the film/movie industry? I have always loved movies; I have been watching movies since I was in primary 1. People who have known me from my high school days are not too surprised that I am into movie production. I am endowed with a creative mind that if I see a movie, I could give you a perfect or near perfect narration of the movie. My friends in school would always beg me to tell them about movies. Hollywood movies have been an inspiration also; I see the unique stories

How does your work inspire and motivate young people to being the change they want to see in the world? I have a friend I met two years ago, when she saw how far I had gone she was very inspired; she knew the challenges I faced but I did not give up and I would never because I’m not a quitter, and anytime I meet young people like myself I tell them the sky is the starting point. I tell them my story and they are inspired.

they tell and I feel like doing same. I like to give life to a story through movies. I recall several years reading ‘Passport of Mallam Illia’ authored by Cyprian Ekwensi and I could imagine it as a movie. You are also into script writing and movie production. What does it take to be a Producer, and why do you write your script? To be a Producer, you must be very innovative, motivated and you must be ready to do a lot of running around, and ready to face challenges. I write my scripts because I love to build unique stories, and I’m good at keeping people engrossed to my scripts. Also, we need better stories in our industry.

How many movies have you produced? I have produced three movies: “Desperately Seeking,” “Strange things” starring fast rising actress Amanda Mike Ebeye, upcoming actor Paul Utomi and another one which I’m working on with another producer. How would you take entertainment to the next level? How do you intend to achieve success in what is not working ? I intend to do TV shows apart from movies and show the different aspects of entertainment. There is so much to offer. There are so many talented people out there who are being deprived of the

What advice do you have for other young people? If you have a vision, you must be passionate about it and you must be ready to fight the good fight of faith because not everyone will understand where you are coming from. In addition, you must set a standard for yourself, be well informed and don’t give up. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? I see myself that I would have produced at least 15 movies, 5 TV shows, worked with Tyler Perry and win an Oscar for the best foreign movie. In the next five years, I want to create job opportunities for so many young people.


Group photo of the US Consul General, Ambassador, Asiwaju of Iperu Remo, Staff of the Consulate and the CYFI fellows.

Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI) Closing Ceremony Lagos State


Isaiah Tobi Owolabi, 2013 CYFI fellow (middle)with Mr Victor Gotevbe, Administration Manager of Vanguard Media Limited and his wife,Mrs Franca Gotevbe.

n March 2, 2014, CYFI, an in itiative of the US Consulate General, Lagos held its closing ceremony under the leadership of the U.S. Consul General, Jeffrey Hawkins. CYFI is a dynamic youthbased initiative that brings together Nigerian youth of exceptional vision to design and implement projects that will have a positive impact in Nigeria. Past CYFI fellows have made meaningful contributions to diverse communities across Nigeria in education, public health, and sustainable development. They have also engaged local leaders

and visiting dignitaries in discussion during CYFI forums and networking events. The ceremony brought together dignitaries such Jeffrey Hawkins, U.S. Consul General; Ambassador Tom Shannon, Counselor of the U.S. Department of State; Mrs, Dehab Ghebreab, Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate; Sir Kessington A. Adebutu, Asiwaju of Iperu-Remo; other Consular staff amongst others. Vanguard Youthful Vibes was also in attendance. The ceremony marked the graduation of the 2013 CYFI fellows and the introduction of the 2014 CYFI fellows.



ander Willemsen, a seasoned hotelier with more than 25 years of experience in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South East Asia; in 2005 founded Willemsen Hospitality Ghana Ltd; a company offering full management and consultancy services for the hospitality industry. His years of experience contribute a lot in the successful management of 5 Star Hotel in Abuja. Excerpts: Having been in the business of hospitality both in Ghana and Nigeria for years now, how is your experience on hospitality in Africa? West Africans are very friendly and understand the concept of hospitality. Knowledge is an issue, however, since most of the staff working in hotels in West Africa have never travelled and do not understand the expectations of the international travellers. A big issue is that most independently owned hotels do not have sound financial management, salaries are usually too low which creates a situation that staff is more concentrating on finding alternative sources of income rather than concentrating on their job. Most hotels have maintenance issues since there is no proper preventive maintenance plan in place and also there are no proper reservations in the budget for replacement of FF&E or Capex. Grant Towers Hotels and Resorts is one of the successful 5 star luxury hotels in Abuja, how have you been able to achieve this and others of its investments? Grand Towers Hotel Abuja is owned by Grand Towers Plc. Willemsen Hospitality manages the hotel on behalf of the owners. Actually the Grand Towers Hotel is the ONLY 5 star hotel in Abuja. The concept of boutique hotel combined with excellent service and facilities has created a positive reputation in Abuja. Strong marketing activities with a focus on online marketing, social media marketing etc has generated the necessary revenues and profits for the owner company. How does Grand Towers offer full man-

African hospit ality requires hospitality quality quality,, knowledge of the indus tr industr tryy — Willemsen

Willemsen:A big issue is that most independently owned hotels do not have sound financial management agement services for independent hotels? Actually it is Willemsen Hospitality who offers the full management services, not Grand Towers. Grand Towers hotels is a brand which we offer. We manage hotels under three

different brand names according to quality level or star rating. Grand Towers Hotels is the 5 star brand, African Spirit Hotels is a brand for 3-4 star hotels offering international standards but maintaining an “African Spirit” and then

there is the brand La Fleur Hotels which is used for smaller independently owned and operated hotels where we mainly provide sales and marketing and consultancy services. W h a t does it take to manage hotels successfully and the challenges you have encountered managing G r a n d To w e r s investments both in Nigeria and Ghana? Hospitality is a specialism and

requires full attention. Long term financial success is based on quality, knowledge of the industry, seeking the constant WOW factor for the guests and sound financial manage-ment. Outsourcing the management of your property to Willemsen Hospitality assures you of commitment, expertise and increased bottom line profits. Hospitality is a way of life... Some of the challenges one faces managing hotels in this part of the world is the availability of skilled staff and also the availability of quality food and oth-

er products. Many items have to be imported because they are simply not available here. *What is your take on hotel business in Nigeria; and your philosophy of management? Nigeria is a country with a lot of potential in the hospitality industry. We are currently building a new Grand Towers Hotel in Ado-Ekiti, a new Grand Towers Hotel in Owerri, an African Spirit Hotel in Port Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos.

OURS magazine launched in Lagos


ecently, the magazine industry got a much-need ed breath of culturally and socially conscious air with the berth of OURS, a bi-monthly publication of artistic and social expression which will deliver an inventive and sophisticated experience to its audience - the enlightened and critical citizenry. The magazine, which is based in Geneva, and was launched in the city as well as in London, announced its arrival in Nigeria via an exclusive cocktail with Nigeria’s captains of industry, power players in politics and arts cognoscenti in attendance. The cocktail held in the halls of Lagoon Restaurant, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island. According to OURS’s editors, the magazine is a game-changer. “We don’t want to simply “feed” you information, rather we invite you to join us in sharing, exploring, and discovering various people, places, creations and ideas. The magazine is dedicated to accepting cultures, sharing talent, challenging ideas and encouraging social examination,” they said in an interview preceding the launch. The magazine’s first issue, now on newsstands, centres on ‘Sustainability’ tackling a most interesting and recently consistently debated topic on the global scene. Every two months, the magazine will continue to address a theme that sparks conversation, with a sharp and studied point of view.

I rejected employment to create jobs with African ttextile extile—Bukky Bello B

ukky Bello is a young female entrepreneur, founder of Bellafricana, a business focused in promoting local content through producing Gift Items, corporate promotional items, souvenirs, interior decoration and office and casual wears in African textile. She is very committed and selfdriven to make an impact in job creation and building local talents for economic drive and growth. Excerpts:

Tell us what Bellafricana is all about? Bellafricana promotes the beauty of Africa through the creativity of handmade African imprint products for Gift Items, corporate promotional items, souvenirs, interior decoration and office and casual wears. Bellafricana uses exceptional African materials such as Ankara, Aso-oke, Adire and many more. We believe that if African Textile can be used for other products such as corporate gift items and incentives aside from the normal clothing, then we stand a chance to create more jobs and build more local talents. We have clients and have supplied companies both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, some of these items to include Notepads, iPad cases, Pen Pots, Chequebook holders, shopping bags and many more all made in African textile. Studied Biochemistry in the University of Westminster and now you are into the business of creativity, using local contents to decorate and design a lot of things. How did you arrive at Bellafricana? Bellafricana came as a result of my passion. Ever since I was young, I have always had passion for creativity. Whenever my parents asked me what I really wanted to do, I have always replied, interior decoration, because I love aesthetics and beautifying things. I love to combine colours and I am always curious as to how things came about. Coming back to Nigeria from the UK made me realise how much I have missed African textile, so I fell greatly in love with African textile again, seeing a large

population every weekend elegantly dressed in African textile. But out of my curiosity, I felt there was something missing; that African textile could be used asides for the popular purpose of ceremonial dress popularly tagged AsoEbi. So I put my brain to work and did some market research and soon realised I was right, we can use it for so many things from gift items to interior decoration. Then through a sense of urgency, I started to experiment my creative ideas and that was how everything started. Africa has so many textiles (Nigerian textiles, the Aso-oke, Adire. Ghanaian textiles, Kente, Akosombo and many more from different African countries), and their potentials are being limited to clothing but I felt more propelled knowing that these textiles can create more jobs and build local talents if used for other things such as gift items, interior decoration and many more. In summary, I can say that I started Bellafricana out of passion, drive and commitment to make a difference and be innovative while creating what my market target wants as well as creating more jobs and local talents in these areas of creative expertise. How did you come about the name Bellafricana? Bellafricana, which means “Beautiful Africa”. Bella came as a result of my childhood name where my father used to call me ‘Bella’ meaning ‘beautiful’ in

Italian and Africana means ‘African’ in Latin. So I thought of joining the two together, ‘Bellafricana’. Considering your area of discipline in the university, would you say it has helped you in establishing a creative business using African Textiles to do so many things? Yes and No! Yes because my course taught me to be constructive, creative and deep in my thinking, and No because I wasn’t taught design with local African textile. I must say that the truth remains that no matter what anybody studied in the university, you have to think of what you take out of the university. Some people think of the first class, second class, but it goes beyond all the classes one came out with. You Bukky Bello also gain skills like presentation skills, organisation skills, problem Before you ventured into Bellafricasolving skills and many more that all adds na’s creativity after graduation in the up to your success. I would not say my university, did you have opportunity to studying biochemistry has gone to waste work? as I have been advised to pursue for jobs Yes! But I turned them down to follow in the pharmaceutical company because my passion. Actually when I moved back there is money in Biochemistry. But I tell to Nigeria, I started NYSC almost them that I can’t do something I don’t love immediately. I was posted to Akure which as there is a difference between you want- was challenging for me but because I also ing money and you loving what you are have an NGO called PUSH Relief Project doing to bring in money. Having a sound which serves as a back-bone for smaller educational background has definitely charities within Africa, so I decided to made me who I am today; it has improved remain in Akure and see what can be my skills and attributes in a lot of ways. done. I concluded my Youth service These are the things put together helping (NYSC) last year October, after which I me today to make Bellafricana a success, was offered two well paid jobs. There I and my mentors, Mrs Abimbola Okoya, Mrs was excited about the job offers, whilst I Bola Adeniyi-Taiwo, Mr. Dokun Ogunba was thinking of what I could do to create and others. jobs for people.

SATURDAY, Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014—49

30th remembrance jamboree for Olu Aboderin



unch newspapers rolled out the drums last Saturday to celebrate the 30 remembrance of their founding chairman, Chief James Olubunmi Aboderin, known simply as Olu Aboderin. The event was a jamboree as society forerunners, from all fields of endeavours registered their presence to honour the memory of the man who has left an enduring legacy in the media realm. Photos by Akeem Salau

From left: Prince Olusegun Adesegun, Dep. Gov, Ogun State, Labara Maku, Minister of Information with Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Chief Micheal Ade-Ojo,Chiarman, Elizade.

From right: Mr Gbenga Adefaye,GM, Publication/ Editor-In-Chief, Vanguard Newspaper,with Mr Lanre Idowu and Mrs Lawunmi Idowu.

From left: Mrs Funmike Aboderin-Ogundana, Mrs Folake Adeleye and Mrs Titilayo Aboderin.


llustrious sons and daughters of Delta State gathered at the Orchid Hotel, Asaba, for this year’s Niger Delta State Awards. Many indigenes of the State who have excelled beyond the ordinary call of duty were honoured for their uncommon contribution to the development of the State.

From left: Mr Tunde Obe, Mrs Wunmi Obe and Mr Dewole Ademosun.

Hon. Mrs Chinwe Monu-Olarewaju (r) displays her Niger Delta 'Woman of the Year Award', presented by Barr. Akpo Mudiaga-Odje.

From left: Pastor Ituah Ighodalo and Princess Adejumoke Atiba-Briggs.

R-L: Barr. Akpo Mudiaga-Odje receiving 'The Legal Icon Award' from Hon. Julius Egbedi, Transition Committee Chairman, Sapele LGA.

From left: Chief Nike Akande with Mrs Olufunso Amosun, First Lady of Ogun State.

Frederick Ogboru marries sweetheart


rederick Ogboru joined the league of the married men recently when he took his sweetheart to the altar, at St. Luke Catholic Church, Idimu, Lagos. Family and friends witnessed the union bet ween the two lovebirds.

The couple, Mr and Mrs Frederick Ogboru flanked by groom’s parents, Chief and Mrs George Egbodor

Niger Delta A wards Aw

Mr and Mrs Frederick Ogboru and relations

L-R: Hon. (Mrs) Chinwe Monu-Olarewaju, presenting 'The Best SSG award to Comrade Ovuozioure Macauly, SSG, Delta State, represented by Mr. Mike Ogwah

Uwangue descendants celebrat e Ne w Y ear celebrate New Year The Jakpa Descendants Union, Lagos branch held its New Year party recently in Lagos. The party featured a display of Itsekiri graceful dances, the best of fashion and cultural extravaganza.

L-R: Mrs. Helen Iwhuridge, Vice Chairlady; Mr. Samson Omatsuli, Chairman; Mme. Eyewu Okpaghoro; Chair Lady, Mr. Tony Eruwayo, Asst. Chairman, and Pa Atuirene Akpiri.


50—SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014


SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014—51

Police nearly tortured suspect to death to sign statement— Defence counsel By BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE & OSAYEMI IBUKUNOLUWA


defence counsel, Mr. Spurgeon Ataene, has told a Lagos High Court, Igbosere, that one Esther Ihedinma was tortured almost to the point of death by the police, in a bid to have her sign a statement written by an Investigating Police Officer, IPO. Ataene raised an objection to a statement that was to be tendered by the prosecution and said to have been signed by Esther, who could read and write. “We apply that this statement be tested and call for trial-within-trial to test the voluntary nature of the statement,” the defence counsel said. The presiding judge, Justice Aishat Opesanwo, in her ruling, held that proceedings would be stood down to enable trial-within-trial and adjourned to April 3. According to the charge, 19year old Esther is facing a twocount charge of conspiracy to commit robbery and attempted robbery. But she had pleaded not guilty to the charge brought against her by the Lagos State Government. Sgt. Ajibade Saka, who gave evidence at the resumed trial, informed the court that the defendant (Esther), while returning from lesson, got initiated into robbery by a gang that gave her a toy gun to rob

a boutique at No. 159A, Akerele Extension, Surulere, Lagos. Led in Evidence by the prosecutor, Mr. Afolabi Sholebo, Saka said the defendant stated that on November 2, 2012, as she was returning from lesson at Jakande Gate, Isolo, she met one sister Joke who introduced her to the said gang. “The defendant stated in her statement that sister Joke took her to Jakande Gate where she met a boy and a girl in a red car. At that point, sister Joke brought out a toy gun and brown cellotape. She handed over the items to Esther and tutored her on how to carry out a robbery operation in the aforementioned boutique,” Saka said. Explaining how the alleged robbery operation was foiled, he informed the court that after the defendant had succeeded in sealing the mouth and face of one Rukayat Abdulsalam, a salesperson, Esther called some people on phone to come in. However, Rukayat was able to remove the cellotape and raised alarm. This attracted the attention of the neighbourhood and police on patrol went in. The defendant was picked up at the scene and the toy gun was recovered from her,” Saka explained.

My anger is that people don’t travel with enough cash

— Robbery suspect arrested with wooden gun laments By CHINENYE OZOR, Nsukka


28-year-old carpenter has been arrested for robbing travelers of their valuables and cash along MarkudiEnugu express way with a wooden gun. The carpenter who identified himself as Uchenna Otingwu, said he hailed from Achara-Ohodo in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area, Enugu State. He also disclosed that he was in company of two others he identified as Dada Ugwuisi and Onowu Agbo, both from the same Ohodo community. The suspect told Crime Guard that three of them have been engaged in highway robbery for quite sometime, but regretted that people do not travel with enough cash as they got about N1000 in their first attempt and N5000 plus in second attempt before luck ran out of them in their third attempt as the Nsukka military patrol team intercepted them while they were flashing torch lights to unsuspecting vehicles.

•Uchenna Otingwu The suspect said that two of his colleagues fled as soon as they noticed the military men while he was caught with the fabricated wooden gun, explaining that the fleeing On-

Family of slain Niger Delta youth leader wants govt to fish out killers By ESTHER ONYEGBULA


HE Family and community members of the slain President of the Niger Delta Youth Movement, NDYM, in Warri South Local Government Area, Comrade Ajulisan Akumagba, have called on the Delta State Government and security agencies to fish out the killers of the deceased. It was gathered that Akumagba was murdered in cold blood by yet-to-beidentified assailants at the notorious Morogun junction, behind Essi College, Iyara in War ri at about 8 pm on Sunday the March 2, 2014. According to the community spokesman, Mr. Billy Ekele, Akumagba was waylaid at the junction close to his house at around 8 pm and brutally stabbed in the heart after

•Comrade Ajulisan Akumagba

•CP Delta, Ikechukwu Aduba

which he bled to death. He added that immediately the assailant discovered that their victim was dead, they escaped through Essi College which had been a notorious hide out for criminals.

Ekele, who described late Akumagba as a very vibrant, promising, resourceful and hard-working young man, said his death has left the family devastated, disorganized and in disarray

as he was their bread winner. He further said since the death of Akumagba, the family members and the community had been left empty as he represented a key factor in the community. He said the family is yet to know the motive for the killing, stating that they have left everything in the hands of security agencies and the state government. Continuing, Ekele called on the state government to come to the rescue of the community, adding that the dilapidated structures and unkempt nature of the Essi college is constituting a security risk to residents of the area. In addition, he recounted that the death of Akumagba, is the fourth in the series of the brutal killings in the area in the last one year.

owu Agbo is a professional casket maker while Dada Ugwuisi is a driver. “I went into highway robbery business because I was not meeting up financially to take care of my needs together with my aged mother. I dropped out of Ohodo Community Secondary School in JS II when my father died and there was no money to continue with my studies. My poor condition took me to robbery together with the other two now at large. We used the wooden gun because we had not made enough money to procure dangerous weapon,” he stated. Confirming the arrest of the suspect, a senior police officer at Nsukka told Crime Guard that the military patrol team intercepted the robbers while in operation at Ohodo off Makurdi-Enugu express way. He said that during interrogation, the suspect confided in detectives that his claim of being a carpenter is false because he has a big provision shop at Ohodo along the express road. Meanwhile, the suspect has been transferred to the Special Ant-robbery Squad,SARS,Enugu for further investigation.


Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

In the past, we have used members of the National Youth Service Corps and students in tertiary institutions as returning officers.

2015 elections will be better —Jega *Professor Attahiru Jega

The Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega last Monday in an interactive session with Editors in Lagos talked about the preparations being made for the 2015 general elections especially the Osun and Ekiti gubernatorial elections . He also spoke on the mistakes made by the commission in the past and efforts being made to avoid repeating them in future. Excerpts: By CHIOMA GABRIEL The mistakes INEC had a new register in the 2011 elections but that posed many challenges and so, we have to put that aside for a new biometric register in 2015 general elections. By September this year, continuous voter registration, CVR, for 2015 general elections will commence. There was CVR before the Anambra gubernatorial election and we are doing same in Osun and Ekiti governorship elections. We couldn’t do continuous voter registration in Edo and Ondo because in Edo, there was a controversy and that required our putting that aside. We have commenced the distribution of permanent voters cards in Ekiti and Osun for the forthcoming governorship elections in the two states. We will also do same in all the states before the 2015 elections to avoid the kind of challenges we had in Anambra. The mistake in Anambra was caused by our staff posted to Idemili North and the case is in court today. For effectiveness in elections, we customized result sheets but things still got mixed up.In some wards in Idemili, there were agitations and people suspected foul play and prevented us from distribution of voting materials. We ended up postponing the election to the next day with the agreement of the people but that also became another issue be-

cause the next day was Sunday and we always try to ensure elections don’t take place on religious days. But we made that mistake and the matter is in court. There was so much media hype over Anambra election and I can tell you that even though there were mistakes on the part of INEC official, the conduct of that election was good enough. Out of the 21 Local government areas in the state, there was problem in just one and even in that one, it was only in three wards. But people had other complaints: • People claimed they were disenfranchised but it was not true because going by my understanding of the meaning of disenfranchisement, what happened in Anambra was not disenfranchisement because it was not willful. •Electoral details got missing because hoodlums made away with them. •Equipment crashed in other places •There were multiple registrations in Anambra. Most of the people whose names were not in the register were those who did multiple registration and hence their names were removed. •Many peoples names were missing because they used cards of 2007 and their names were not in the 2011 register. A new approach But things have changed now. We have cleaned the register. It’s electronic biometric register and compares

It is not impossible to hold all elections in one day, we would be biting more than we could chew.

favourably with others in the world. But we must understand that in terms of multiple registration, there is no software in the world that removes that 100%. We have scheduled the time for continuous voter registration in Osun and Ekiti states and we hope that people would come out to register. We have commenced serial numbering of ballot papers so that in distribution, you’d know what serial numbers are going to a particular polling unit and this approach will

colour-coded ballot papers so that they are not uniform across the states or even local governments. We also plan to do colour-coding by senatorial districts and constituencies. We introduced some unique features too. There are somethings you can only read with infra-red and some which only I as Chairman can read and if tampered with, we know who exactly to hold responsible. We have brought transparency into the collation process. Before, it used to be INEC staff doing everything

We have also introduced colour-coded ballot papers so that they are not uniform across the states or even local governments. We also plan to do colour-coding by senatorial districts and constituencies enhance accountability. All ballot boxes are also serially numbered and we also numbered result sheets. So, you cannot fraudulently alter results or swap result sheets. We have customized result sheets in such a way that every result sheet is specified to a particular polling unit. But in Anambra, the officials made a mistake of randomly distributing result sheets and that caused problems.Before we realised that, it was already too late. We have also introduced

but we are human beings, not machines. We have changed that. Our staff are no longer collation and returning officers. We got Professors, Vice Chancellors and Senior lectures involved and the process of collation is sanitized and complaints of lack of transparency is reduced. For 2015, we want to go beyond these class of people to include members of Nigerian Bar Association as collation and returning officers. We want to involve Engineers and the media too.

New communication policy In 2015, we will come out with a new communication policy. That communication policy will dictate how we will perform better; how we can do mobile education better; the kind of mobile education we can get across. We often hear that elections are costly. But we need these funds because we use them for allowances, logistics, transportation and feeding. We expect an average of three uniformed policemen per polling unit and we pay them allowances. They have to eat and it’s a lot of money. In 2015, we are reviewing the number of the polling units. Some polling units in the past elections had as large as 3000 voters attached to each and we have decided to create more polling units. In future, it would be 500 voters per polling unit and it also means more personnel for the new polling units. After 2011, we did an inhouse review and people from independent organizations gave us recommendations. We want to sieve our personnel to ensure that wrong people are not retained as returning officers. We are rewarding and punishing people at the same time. We are quietly asking people to leave, like the Resident Electoral Commissioner that handled the last Ekiti gubernatorial election. She is no longer with INEC. Others who committed various categories of offences have also been dismissed and some have taken us to court. We have done a lot of restructuring and re-organisation but you cannot remove people arbitrarily or it becomes a recipe for disaster. We have been training and re-training our staff. Our adhoc staff in 2011 were given only a three-day training seminar and there were deficiencies. So, we are giving a five-day training programme for 2015. Our developmental partners are also giving bridgetraining for our staff which will add value to what we are doing. Most importantly is putting to use, the permanent voters cards which are embedded chip cards just like ATM cards. The card reader is battery-operated with a 16hour battery life. So, we don’t anticipate challenges. Sanitizing the system Some of the politicians who buy cards from voters cannot do so usefully again. If they buy the cards, they cannot put them to use because we have taken steps to abort that. We are set to bring remarkable improvement in the voting process. You cannot use any other person’s card to vote in any election anymore because we have put steps to check that. We meet regularly with po

Continues on page 53


Continues from page 52 litical parties. We brief them. They raise questions and we address them and it’s a way of building trust as we go towards 2015. We are meant to complement each other. Again, we said that with good resources, we will be able to get these things done but it will cost money, because we will do radio jingles of about five-minutes programme on prime time. Again, we will also do this in other languages that are not English. We’ll do our best and we believe that other state governments will contribute their best either as social responsibility or as obligation. For example, political parties have an obligation to mobilise the voters. They have to ensure that the voters come out to register and vote. Then, you also have to educate them so that when eventually they come out to vote, they will know how to do so. Otherwise, it will be a wasted time. The thing now is that political parties are asking INEC to give them money to do voter education. They are supposed to do complementary work and all range of stakeholders can express this work and responsibility. We have uploaded on our websites. We have also gone ahead to establish what we call, INEC Citizens Contact Centre. You can now call on us, send an SMS or twitter to say what you want to say about INEC. You can ask any question and you will receive a response. We believe also that this is a way that we can use to enlighten the public, giving them the information about what we do in the commission. We want to make sure this citizens contact centre operates virtually 24 hours so that at anytime, people can send comments and they will be able to see our responses. Of course, again, in order to make information available to the public, in Anambra less than a week before the election, we introduced an express service through which you can actually find out whether your name is on the register or not. Unfortunately again maybe because we introduced it two months to the election, or maybe there was inadequate publicity, many people did not recognise it. We have again introduced it into Ekiti and Osun. Infact,about a month ago, we announced the numbers and we shared it to radio and TV stations. It has been part of our enlightenment campaign. All you need do is to text that number, your state, your last name and the last five digits of your pin number on the registration card. You will automatically receive a response that you have successfully registered. They will tell you where you have done the registration. If you can’t find your name on the register after you must have sent

Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014—53

Having elections in one day not advisable—Jega this, it means we need to come and renew your status of registration. We have to do this in the remaining states so that from anywhere, you can send an SMS or you can go through our website. There is a place you can put your details to know where you have registered. I want to assure you that we in INEC are doing our best and we remain focused.But there are a lot of things out there. Most editorials in newspapers have done a lot of damage by communicating wrong information to the public. The electronic media also do that. One headline put me into a lot of trouble by giving a headline that I said that elections will not hold in the North Eastern states which I never did. What I said was recorded. I don’t know why people would wake up and do such a headline story. And everybody who was reporting the story was reporting from the headline news. They left me in a difficult condition. The governors of these states now reacted. So I have to react not just to the mis-information, but to the anger of these governors and citizens of these states that there was no way I could say such things. Some corporate bodies did independent reports regarding the Anambra elections. I think we are thinking about reforming democracy and in doing this, we don’t have to undermine the electoral process. Let me give you another example, recently, many of you must have heard of the reports from a Human Right agency. I don’t know how many of you read that report. They indicted the judiciary and other people. I don’t know about the other organizations but I took the trouble and read what that report wrote about INEC. All the examples they gave were about the 2007 elections but the way the report was made and presented, it was as if it was about a recent election and the preparations for 2015 elections. They quoted one of editorials which I told you and was saying that something was wrong with 2011 elections. How many people have read that report and how many have observed it? Anybody reading that report will think nothing has changed. How can you use evidence of 2007 in 2014? I am here today I might not be here tomorrow, all I know is to do my best. It is not about Jega, it is about what is good for the country. Turn-out for elections In 2011, the largest voter turn-out was 57% and that was for the Presidential election. Low voter turn-out could be a function of many things: lack of sensitization; lack of choice; feeling of apathy by voters that their votes may not be counted.

The All Peoples Congress, APC, is a merger of existing political parties and they met the requirements for registration but the African Peoples Congress as a new party seeking registration did not meet some of the requirements for registration. But the law is clear and All Peoples Congress met the requirements. The other APC did not meet the requirements and so was not registered. Effect of confab on election We are preparing on the process of existing law and there is a constitution in place. We are asking the National Assembly to be finished with all amendments within six months to the election as stipulated by law. If amendments were not concluded six months to the election, they won’t have effect on the election. But the National Assembly has given its word that amendments in Electoral Act would be concluded six months before the election.

*Jega We have detected a means of detecting multiple registration. We have evidence of detecting that and prosecuting it. We have prosecuted hundreds of electoral offenders but that also depends on the lawyers handling the case; the policemen handling the investigations and the court processes involved. As it is, INEC is automatically joined in every electoral offence. Elections in the NorthEast I have never said there will be no elections in the North East. I was invited to a senators’ forum and a senator asked a question that in view

We have observed that political parties do not comply with the rules about electioneering campaigns. All the parties are guilty of breaking this rule. The specified time for electioneering campaigns is 90 days before the election to end 24hours to the election. Campaigns are meant to start after primaries are conducted and candidates have emerged but we have people putting up posters two years and one year to the election and that is an electoral offence which security agencies should contend with. But political parties can hold rallies. On political parties also, we have noticed that they lack capacity to dispatch credible

Some of the politicians who buy cards from voters cannot do so again. If they buy the cards, they cannot put them to use because we have taken steps to abort that of the situation in the NorthEast, whether elections would hold. I answered that we are planning that election would hold everywhere in view of the hope that the issue would be resolved by that time. I went ahead to add that under the circumstance of the rule of emergency, elections would not hold. But I’m an incurable optimist who believe things would be right by the time elections will hold. I did say that people could be afraid of coming out to vote and these are some of the challenges with conducting election in the North east. Electioneering paigns


agents to polling units and we give agents of political parties copies of results from each unit. We have told partis to bring their agents for training by INEC but till date, no political party has done that. Due to the possibility of the results being changed, polling units and collation centres have what we call stream-lining the results and we have introduced a data base to access results as they come in from polling units. That creates room for people to have parallel tabulation of results as they come in. Why African Congress, APC, registered

Peoples was not

Order of election In 2011, Presidential election was second after National Assembly election. The third was gubernatorial and State Assembly elections. Elections in one day is not feasible because of the challenges involved. It would only create more problems and it’s necessary we avoid that. In Kenya, a smaller country than Nigeria, it posed challenges that they said if they have opportunity, they would not have elections in one day. In Nigeria, elections in one day means five ballot boxes, five ballot papers and with the level of illiteracy in Nigeria, it would create problems. It is not impossible to hold all elections in one day but we would be biting more than we could chew. There are systemic challenges concerning this. We in INEC have the capacity to prepare adequately, conventionally and logistically and to create a level playing ground for politicians and we are doing our best to do that well. The electoral process will be fertile as it was in 2011 and we want to ensure peaceful elections next year. We know that Nigerian politicians are a special breed. We are to communicate to many Nigerians about the attitude with which politicians come for the elections. Our politicians should do something about their language and utterances and about changing the rules of the game.

We will be better than 2011 and we are putting things in place to ensure free, fair and credible elections in 2015. In planning, we stayed away from things that will require legal amendment. There is prohibition on electronic voting and we have stayed away from that hoping that the prohibition could be amended someday because electronic voting has become worl standard.

54—SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

Twins ffor or 30,000 on lip ffiller iller s, breas orkk out £1 £130,000 illers, breastt implants and ttatt att ooed ey ebr ow attooed eyebr ebrow owss


win sisters fork out £130,000 on lip fillers, breast implants and tattooed eyebrows to make them look more similar (and they even share the same boyfriend). A pair of twins born just one minute apart share everything in their life -

a job, a car, a Facebook account and even their boyfriend. But even this bizarre level of closeness was not enough for Australians Anna and Lucy DeCinque, 28, who have spent a fortune on cosmetic surgery to erase any tiny

differences between them that may remain. They have had identical procedures including lip fillers, breast implants and fake eyebrows and eyelashed - at a cost of an astonishing $240,800 (Australian dollars), or £130,000. The women, from Perth, Western

08 116759 759 081 6759759 Australia, spend every waking moment together — and every sleeping moment too, as they share a bed. Anna and Lucy, who live at

Bank robbers kept cab driver waiting outside


ank robber kept unknowing black cab driver waiting on the meter outside while he raided Royal Bank of Scotland branch. In criminal lore, bank robbers always have a getaway car. But one thief in Edinburgh chose a rather unique method

Parents force daughter to abandon disabled boyfriend arents force daughter to P agree she will leave her disabled boyfriend if he does

Suspected ‘U.S. spy’ killed, chained to football post


eft as a warning to others, suspected ‘U.S. spy’ killed by al-Qaeda militants is chained to football goalposts after being shot dead. Al Qaeda militants have executed a Yemeni man accused of being an infiltrator and tied him to a football goal as a ‘ warning’ to others, security officials say. The unidentified man was accused of spying on al Qaeda for the U.S. and was shot dead in the town of Shahr in Yemen’s southeastern Hadhramout province. Security officials say the man was killed on Thursday by a militant firing squad and his body was tied to the goal for public display by the militants. An al Qaeda flier distributed to residents said the execution was in ‘retribution’ for anyone who deals with Americans. The flier claims the man had been placing microchips in cars and safe houses used by al Qaeda members to guide missiles fired by U.S. drones.

not learn to walk within three years (and she has six months left to help him) The parents of a 23-yearold Chinese woman forced her to agree to leave her paralysed boyfriend if he could not learn to walk within three years. Yang Nan was told her parents would only give permission for her to stay with Yan Hongbo, 27, who was seriously injured in a motorbike accident in 2009, if he learned to walk again within the three years. The time however has now passed and Mr Hongbo has not recov-

ered. Her parents have agreed to allow another six months after their daughter begged them to let her stay with Mr Hongbo. She said: ‘I don’t know what to do, I know that he can be cured but we don’t have any money now for medical treatment. We don’t even have enough money to properly get by day-to-day. We need a miracle.’ Mr Hongbo meanwhile, has agreed with his girlfriend’s parents that she should leave him and have a life of her own if they can’t treat his paralysis. He said: ‘I don’t see any future for her with me, she has a bright future ahead of her. If we can’t get my legs fixed I have made her promise that she will do as her parents want if we don’t get things sorted in the next six months.’

home with their mother, also share a boyfriend, which they believe is a perfect situation for a relationship. Though the two have had separate

love interests before, they have always been brothers, or at least best friends. Their current boyfriend is electircal mechanic Ben Byrne, also from Perth, according to news site PerthNow. They now undertake an extensive joint beauty regime to maintain their appearances. Once a week, Anna and Lucy take advantage of infrared saunas, microdermabrasion and skin peels to maintain the mirror image. They also follow the same exercise routine and keep an identical diet.

of escaping from the scene of a crime—he hired a taxi. The black cab driver waited outside a Royal Bank of Scotland branch unaware that his passenger was pulling off a raid only a few feet away. The robber threatened staff, stuffed a four-figure sum of money into an orange Tesco bag and was then driven away in the same vehicle in which he had arrived. A police insider said there was ‘nothing to suggest’ the taxi driver was involved in the raid in St John’s Road, Corstorphine. Yesterday afternoon, the bank’s entrance remained sealed off and closed to members of the public. Investigators are in the process of speaking to the city’s taxi companies in a bid to trace the vehicle used in the raid.

This is dad of the Year A

devoted Chinese father who carries his dis abled son 18 miles to school every day will be provided with government-funded accommodation nearby. Yu Xukang walks the huge distance with his son, Xiao Qiang, strapped to his back in a specially constructed basket. The 40-year-old, from Fengyi township in Yibin county in southwest China’s Sichuan province— 2,000 miles west of Shanghai — refused to give up on the boy now aged 12, despite the fact that both his arms and legs are twisted and his back is hunched. He said: ‘I know that my son is physically disabled but there is nothing wrong with his mind. However, I couldn’t find any school here with the facilities to accept him and was constantly rejected. In fact, the only place where I could get a place for him was at the Fengxi Primary School in Fengyi township in Yibin county in Sichuan province which is a five-mile walk away.’ The father was separated from the boy’s mother nine years ago when Xiao was three years old, and decided to raise him alone. He said he was determined that the boy would not suffer from being raised by a single parent and he wanted to give him the best opportunity.

SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014 — 55

the teachers and informed the participants to look into the issue, adding that he will not hesitate to drop the issue of competency test if the crowd kick against it. He narrated: “In the course of our recent verification exercise, we found that of about 1,300 primary school teachers either got affidavit reducing their age, and because they reduced their age so much, it appeared that they had their primary school leaving certificate before they were born. But for not just the issue of age falsification, we also found out that many of our teachers claimed to have finished primary school and sat for Primary School Leaving Certificate Examination fifteen years after they had started teaching. Many of them purportedly obtained this certificate in the very school they have been teaching over the past ten years. The question is, did they actually sit side by side with their pupils to write Primary School Examination? Why did they have to obtain Primary School certificate after being employed as teachers? We have not dismissed these persons because we want to find out what happened and that requires time. We recalled that in the course of the verification exercise, I had cause to interview a lady who has issues with her affidavit. The original of the affidavit shows she was born in 1957 but the photocopy says she was born 1967, thats a difference of ten years. But in the cause of asking her a simple question, I noticed that she was not able to express herself. This teacher who receives special teaching allowance does not know the difference between 'one' and 'I'. I asked her to read the affidavit and instead of saying 'I solemnly' declare, she said 'one Solomon'. She did not know the difference between 'I' and 'one'. “ She described affidavit as Onitsha prophet. And even the word Onitsha was not on the affidavit but I suspect that was where the affidavit was forged. 'I solemnly' now turned to 'one Solomon'. Yet our mothers will take their children

Royal fathers, market women back Oshiomhole to such Onitsha prophets and every day, we say we produce graduates that are not employable. This is the foundation. Today I am told that primary school pupils, secondary school students are into cultism and it is because of the bad teachers at the grassroot. And we cannot have a future as a state if we decide to turn the other way. And there cannot be upward mobility for the poor if they do not have access to basic education and without education, what happens is a labourer gives birth to another labourer. I have tried to engage the NUT to let them know that we have


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There can be no tomorrow if we do not make the right decisions today. I don’t want to pass this burden to my successor.

teachers who cannot read and write and that is the responsibility of government. "Sometime last year, the teachers agreed at our instance that we should organize a competency test which other governments in some other states have carried out. Their only reservation is that the test should not be used to ridicule teachers and that we should ensure that the test is not covered by the mass media. We agreed because it is not something I want to celebrate. We went on to pick a date but the NUT advised their members not to attend. We called them for a meeting along with the NLC and the TUC. They said they needed time to sensitize their members. But apparently, the NUT leaders went to mislead their members, whereas they told us they want to time to sensitize their members. They went to the meeting to tell

their members that we have abolished the competency test. And inspite of all these things, we have not sacked any of them. I told the teachers that we can review some of these issues but that we must identify those who cannot teach or those who have exceeded 60 years just to say that the entire exercise was not to sack anybody. If it was to sack anybody, we would sack the 1,300 people. Even those who obtained Primary School Leaving Certificate fifteen years after teaching, we have not sacked. We have carried out the verification exercise across the civil service. This is not limited to teachers. People have said to me that you know, elections are coming, this is not the time to make teachers unhappy. But for God’s sake, why should we seek power if our purpose is not for the good of the society? Why should I seek for the governor of this state if I know that I will not have the courage to make decisions that I am convinced that if we do not make, that we will mortgage tomorrow? There can be no tomorrow if we do not make the right decisions today. I don’t want to pass this burden to my successor. But I understand that the conventional politician will just turn the other way, let nobody speak ill of me. But for me, I believe that if I had not enjoyed quality primary education, I would not have been President of the NLC because workers cannot elect you to lead them when you cannot argue their case. So, I do not mind any contradiction in insisting that if there is conflict between the right of our children to quality basic education and retaining an unqualified teacher, I think we will resolve it in favour of our children. When I was sworn in, I did say that for us to make changes in Edo state, we will need not only to step on toes, but that we may have to chop off some toes. This is not the easiest task about people I know 95 per cent

of them voted for me. But again, why did you vote for me? Is it not to provide a credible leadership that will secure the future of this state? There is a saying that a politician with narrow mind thinks of the next election but a statesman thinks of the next generation. I think that it is occasions like this that defines our character, whether we are just mere opportunists in power or we seek office because we believe that we need to do some things for Nigeria to change?” After his speech, the royal fathers endorsed the competency test and urged him to go along and sack unqualified teachers. Tension further heightened at the hall when one of the market women popular known as Madam Blackky described the action of the teachers as arrogant and wicked, asserting that “we suffer to make money in the market to pay school fees for our children, so they want us to be wasting our money by allowing illiterates teach our children? That is unacceptable”. Chief Edebiri said: “No competent teacher should be afraid of competency test. After the incident of the teacher who could not read her affidavit, what has the NUT done to weed out incompetent teachers from its midst? Teachers are not the only people who voted for Oshiomhole. We parents of the children they teach also voted for the governor and the future of our children is of great interest to us. The governor has done nothing wrong so far. The teachers should not abuse their right to strike or demonstrate. They are not the only stakeholders in the educational sector. We are also stakeholders and we say we are in support of the competency test”. Determined to conduct the competency test,Governor Oshiomhole inaugurated a team of six Professors of Education led by former Vice Chancellor of the Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma,Professor Dennis Agbonlahor to conduct the Teachers' Assessment test. In his acceptance speech on behalf of other team members, Agbolahor promised that the team will be objective and transparent in the discharge of their assignment.Other members of the team include Profesor Ikponmwonsa Owie, Professor Noah Musa, Professor Augustine Osunde, Professor Omobude Idiado and Professor Mrs. A. O. Imogie. But the teachers last Monday dragged the Edo state government before the Industrial Court in Akure, Ondo state, contesting that the state government was not competent to conduct the test. They therefore sought for an order restraining the state government from conducting the test. The face-off between the two parties seems unending as government fixed March 22, 2014 as date for the test.

56 — SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014 — 57

58 — SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

Mary Ugele:

Story of another Mother Theresa

She stayed single to take care of children abandoned by others By FLORENCE AMAGIYA


Mary Ugele

t would not be out of place if Madam Mary Ugele is referred to as the living Mother Theresa of our time. Her story is extraordinary in many ways. Stories abound of women who are passionate about taking care of abandoned children and with time, get a place and register it as an NGO or business of some sort. It would eventually evolve into motherless babies homes where good spirited people as well as organizations pay visits oftentimes with gifts and food items but the case of Ugele is different. From the age of nine when she began taking care of her siblings, being the only surviving female out of 12 children after the demise of her mother, she knew she was born to render selfless service to mankind. In fact, she did not only take care of her siblings, but also their children and grandchildren and that is besides the numerous ones she took care of outside her family fold. Without a registered NGO or help from anybody or organization, Ugele explained how it began for her in Port Harcourt. At 69, she is partially blind and helpless. Her story: “I started taking care of children in 1960, then my own friends would get pregnant and they would come to me because they were scared to go home to their parents. I would persuade them to keep the pregnancy because it wasn’t good to kill an unborn child. I would beg these ladies to keep these pregnancies and promise to take care of their children when they put to bed. I was able to take care of these children because I had taken care of my own siblings. I guess the gift was birthed all those years l took care of my siblings after my mother died. I was a child myself, only 9 years old. But l was more knowledgeable than my siblings who were all boys. Today, I am the only surviving child of my mother and father, but I took care of my siblings till they were grown. l have taken care of some of their children and grand children.” Without assistance of any sort from anywhere, how she was able to feed, clothe and generally take care of these children who were increasing by the day would certainly baffle anyone, but mama Ugele explained how she coped at the early stage. “I took care of these children like they were mine. I didn’t register any company or got help from anywhere. At

Continues on page 59


SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014—59

Continues from page 58 some point in my life, l hawked food and snacks to feed them. Eventually, l was able to establish a restaurant in Portharcourt close to Sea-shell Primary School. Along the line, l lost that business and sold fried yam, plantain and all sorts of snacks in front of my house in Bundu waterside.” Her story certainly should elicit tears but she is not done yet with her situation as she made a startling revelation concerning her personal life when asked how she was able to cope with these children alongside her biological children. “I do not have any biological child as l didn’t marry. I didn’t marry because I knew that marriage may not help me achieve the goal of taking care of my siblings. I was the strong one in my mother’s house and a bread winner at that time. My brothers were not so assertive, hence they couldn’t keep any job. I would be the one to get work for us. I guess taking care of my siblings and their children eventually prepared me to take care of other children who were not my blood.” Looking frail due to old age, she recalled how many kids she has raised since she came to PortHarcourt on October 22nd, 1960. “l have raised more than 40 children and I would raise more if l am opportuned. I believe that by taking care of these children who are helpless, l am doing my share of the work of God. The work of God is not only evangelism; you can work for God by taking care of people in need. God instructed us to do that also.” However in 1987, an incident happened that got the attention of the media. It had to do with a boy called Moses and how he found a place in her life and home. She narrates the episode. “In 1987, Moses was named by a Port-Harcourt based television station. His biological mother abandoned him with with an aged woman who was 90 years old. Alice, the aged woman was a member of Assemblies of God Church, formerly at 109a Aggrey Road but now at 107 Aggrey Road, Port-Harcourt, Rivers state. When this young woman walked by and gave her the child to hold for some minutes, she waited in vain for her to return and pick her child. The young woman simply disappeared into thin air. The aged woman who couldn’t understand what happened to the boy’s mother started crying as the child cried. This attracted a crowd of people. "I was at home that evening lying down on my bed when my spirit told me to go to the church. I wondered why l was asked to go to church on a Friday. I didn’t have any business in the church that evening as l wasn’t a teacher of Sunday school and there was preparatory class that evening. I wasn’t also in the choir, but l obeyed. When I got close to the church, l saw a huge crowd and went closer to see what was happening. I heard what was said and saw madam Alice in tears trying to explain to the crowd. I seized the situation and promised to take care of the child. The next day, a Rivers based television station visited my home for a statement and asked whether l wanted help from the government. I told them that l

Mar Maryy Ugele : SSttor oryy of another Mother Theresa

Mary Ugele and the remaining children

wouldn’t be needing any help from the government, that Pharaoh’s daughter didn’t need any help from anyone to take care of Moses in the Bible." Despite her failing health, Ugele is not showing any sign of slowing down. She talks of how she has been managing financially including accusing some of her children of abandoning her. “We have coped! God is taking care of the family. HE saw us through in the past and HE is still seeing us through. Moses is 26 years old already and he is almost through with schooling. And since Moses, other children have joined the family. I am not as industrious as I was in those days. I am getting

father’s first wives couldn’t bear him children like he wanted. l guess that was why he married up to 13 wives. He had only a boy and a girl by one of his wives, only my mother was able to give him a lot of children, but only five survived eventually. The fifth surviving child died also after my mother ’s death. He was only three months old. I cannot actually tell my age but my father told me that l was about six months old when Nigeria experienced her first eclipse. He kept sticks to represent my age and in 1964 when my father died, I had 19 sticks in my possession.” What some of her children said about her


“I do not have any biological child as l didn’t marry. I didn’t marry because I knew that marriage may not help me achieve the goal of taking care of my siblings. I was the strong one in my mother’s house and a bread winner at that time

old, but God is still seeing us through with the help of some good Nigerians and some of my foster children who are now on their own abroad. When asked if the amount of love and care given to all these children by her has been appreciated by these children by way of maintaining her in her old age, she has this to say: “Well I did all for God and I'm still doing all for God. God remembers! I didn’t do this to be remembered or to be paid back by the children. Some of them remember to send things to us while others don’t and we haven’t heard any word from others. But the long and short of the matter is that I do not have any regrets”. Madam Ugele also let us in into her background. “My father is from Ogoja in Cross Rivers state while my mother is from Igede in Benue state. My father was a traditional chief in those days, so he had 13 wives. My mother was the 13th wife. She gave birth to 12 children, six boys and six girls. My

According to Moses, the boy she found in 1987, now known as David :

‘’I was told that my biological mother abandoned me when I was only eight days old. l was 15 years old when mama told me this sad tale. Perhaps, l would have died if mama didn’t pick me up. But l am very happy someone found me and loved me like l am hers. I really wondered what my life would have been if nobody took me into their home and showed me love. "Today, I know that it is not only your biological parents that can take care of you. God can send someone to take care of you when you do not have anyone. I am grateful to God that HE sent someone to me. My advice to people is to show love to anyone you meet. And my advice to mothers is that they should take

care of their children. It is not the child’s fault, so you do not have to abandon the child. I know that it is not easy to take care of a child but with faith , God will see you through. "My prayer to God is that; HE gives me the strength and the will to take care of mama who is my mother today; that God will keep her so that l grow up to take care of her in her old age when she cannot take care of herself. My advice to Nigerians is that they should locate their gifts and calling and work for God like mama is doing. There is a reward for everything we do".

Sarah Lawrence Ugbeji:

Sarah came into mama’s home when she was only a year and seven months old. Today, she is 12 years old and in secondary school. She said that mama has been everything to her; both her mother and her father all rolled into one. She said it was Madam Ugele who put her in school, feeds and clothes her. "I don’t know of any other mother than mama and my prayer is that mama lives long so I would also take care of her in future. I am so happy to be one of her children." Moses Omoregbe, another beneficiary of madam Ugele’s love said he is the proprietor of Mosiac Primary and Secondary School, Bundu Waterside, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. “Mama told me that she took me from my biological mother when l was only seven months old and she nurtured and cared for me until l became a man and l am on my own with my wife and children. She taught me all l know and gave me the reason to appreciate having a family to take care of. No wonder, l am doing school business where l take care of children and impact knowledge. "I know her too well, she was a mother to me. As she kept advancing in age, l know a lot of challenges and factors also must have turned her here and there, but above all, she is still good. I do not regret growing through mama because l am who l am because of her. My siblings didn’t stay long with her like l did because some of them travelled to hustle in other cities. I grew up under mama and l have grown to love her with passion. The distance l want to go with educating children and the youths is still far as l want to run a university of my own. To me, true Christianity is loving selflessly and mama birthed this passion in me. From my childhood till now, mama has trained several children. I have several siblings who are not my biological siblings. Nigerians do not have the spirit of investment and the best investment is in lives. These children are our future; the best investment we can make is training the younger ones for tomorrow. We haven’t taken care of our future and that is why we have political thugs, Boko Haram and militants all around because we have refused to invest in our future”.

60 — SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014

Stakeholders advocate legislation on building control BY PEACE ONYEUKWU


N a bid to reduce the incessant collapse of buildings and promote acceptable buildings standards through eradication of quacks, the Building Collapse Prevention Guild, Amuwo Odofin Cell, has called on stakeholders to advocate for legislation that to ensure that government that implement laws and regulations on building control. The Amuwo Odofin Cell Coordinator, Architect Augustine Otuoke, who spoke at the Stakeholders forum held at Carat Hotels and Suites, Lagos said, while the guild is advocating for bills that will encourage mortgage system that will ease the burden of owning a house, it will embark on awareness campaign to sensitize the public on the importance of building control to prevent further building collapse. According to him, “the objectives of the Building Collapse Prevention Guild is to bring together

professionals to enlighten construction workers and equip them for betterment of the industry; to promote and institute neighborhood alerts on poor construction works and buildings

showing signs of structural failure; to advocate for importance of subsoil investigations through the publication of materials and journals.”

NPDI condemns NDDC liability profile BY ANOZIE EGOLE


HE Niger Delta Patriotic Initiative, NPDI, has condemned the liability profile of the Niger Delta D e v e l o p m e n t Commission,NDDC, saying that it was capable of preventing the newly constituted board from meeting up with its statutory responsibilities. It also called on the Federal Government to address the issue of inadequate funding of the commission. NPDI further urged the board to commence a process of reform, so as to eliminate the shortcomings identified at the commission’s recent retreat in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Briefing newsmen yesterday in Warri, NPDI Convener, Mr. Michael

Tidi, stressed the need for a funding summit for the commission. ‘’We must say we are overjoyed that President Jonathan has admirably constituted an NDDC Board with seriousminded stakeholders as members. We were initially excited when the new board was inaugurated and are even more elated now that its Chairman and Managing Director have admitted the shocking challenges of the commission while upbraiding the shameful practices that have combined to limit its ability to deliver. It is now time for the commission and all other stakeholders to key into the new vision of a truly functional, professional and performing NDDC,” he said.

SATURDAY Vanguard, MARCH 15, 2014 — 61


Anambra stadium project: We’re working according to Master Plan —contractor

World Indoor fall-out: George’s fall due to AFN medical team bungle

*Says firm not officially invited for inspection




OLLOWING the story published by Saturday Vanguard on February 15, 2014 with the headline Anambra stadium project: Contractor shuns inspection team, the Executive Chairman of Paul- B Nigeria PLC, Engineer Enidom Paul, has revealed exclusively that his firm was not officially written and invited by the state’s ministry of sports for the inspection exercise. He disclosed that he was working in harmony with the ministry of works and housing, that sports ministry is only the user of the end product. According to him: “First and foremost, I must say that I’m not happy with the publication. There was no proper investigation before the story went to press. Paul- B is an organization

that has come a long way which has and worked hard to earn her good name among her contemporaries so we did not just start yesterday. And I also want to say categorically that Paul –B Nigeria PLC, was not officially written and invited for the inspection. It is my job and since I was given the contract, there has never been any problem. I have worked harmoniously with the ministries concerned, if there was going to be any inspection, the ministry of sports should have written to officially tell us and there should be synergy between that of works and sports. Also, I have other senior workers who were at their duty post on that fateful day that should have spoken on my behalf if there was need for them to. The state government is happy with the king of professional job

we are doing and they are paying us so if the job is not good they would not be paying. Nobody has come out from the government to condemn the project, and if there are changes they want me to effect, they have to put it into writing and I will tell them what it will take to do. Contractually, we have not contradicted the agreement, we are working with the laid down architectural master plan given to us. So it is naïve for any person or group of people to say that we have deviated from the plan given to us,” he said. The contractor who has executed many jobs in the state and elsewhere said his professionalism on the job has earned him good name, adding that Paul –B Nigeria PLC was totally committed to giving its best at any given situation.

IGERIA was robbed of the chance to win a medal at the last World Indoor championship in Sopot, Poland due to the team doctor ’s poor understanding of the doping rules. Women 400m runner, Regina George was a sure bet for a medal after she posted 51.04 seconds, the fastest time in the heats, but she was withdrawn by the AFN after it was learnt that the accompanying doctor has no history of her therapeutic use exemption (TUE). George didn’t have any medical document stating her use of drugs for cases like asthma and other conditions. “The doctor they took

there failed to manage the George situation very well. She did not have any TUE document. “The AFN was forced to withdraw the athlete to avoid any embarrassment in case of a dope test,” said an international athletics source. Based on her timing the gold was George’s for the taking in the 400m and no doubt also she would have boost the chances of the 4x400m team, which made it to the final but placed sixth. Efforts to reach AFN medical committee officials to comment on the issue proved abortive, but it was gathered that the federation is looking into the issue to prevent a re-

occurrence with regards to future international events. George had to sit and watch with regrets as Francena McCorory of the USA coasted home to win the race in 51.12 seconds, Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer won the silver with 51.54 seconds, while Shaunae Miller was third with 52.06. ‘Coming here, I was hale and healthy, very strong and determined to do well in my individual event and help my teammates so that we could also medal in the relay. I will now focus on my dream of competing and hopefully winning medals at the Commonwealth Games,” said the athlete.

World Cup 2014: Avoid sentiment on team selection, Okocha tells Keshi


ORMER Super Eagles captain and midfield maestro, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha has advised national team coach, Stephen Keshi and his assistants to eschew sentiments when making selections for the team ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Okocha who was speaking yesterday in Lagos, observed that Nigeria has players that can hold their ground at the World Cup, but that will happen if only the best players are selected. He added that most of the players in the squad are first timers and would need a strong mentality to succeed in the tournament. “Most of them are com-

ing into the big stage for the first time and need to be fortified mentally and psychologically to prevent them from being carried away. “They should play to instructions and make fervent effort at making their opponents play at their own pace,” the former Eagles Captain and play-maker stated. “Playing at the World Cup is every player ’s dream. Our players should endeavour to surpass the old record and bring the much-desired victory to the nation,”he said. Okocha, who plied his trade with Eintracht Frankfurt FC of Germany, Bolton Wanderers FC of England and Fener-

bahce FC of Turkey, stressed that fans should not burden the players with unrealistic expectations. On the current level of grassroots football development in the country, the former mid-fielder called on the authorities to grant tax waivers to corporate organisations that were willing to assist. He said that such a step was necessary because of the massive financial commitment that would be required to sustain such a project. “There must be good structures on ground that will give special consideration of tax waivers to corporate entities that are inclined to such ventures.

Dashed Hopes... Regina George leading Jamaica’s Patricia Hall and Margaret Adeoye in the heats of the women 400m. It was George’s one and only race at the world indoor in Sopot Poland.

Okagbare, Fraser-Pryce clash in Jamaica May 3


IGERIAN sprint star, Blessing Okagbare will join other top athletes including Olympic and World Indoor champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica and US born Allyson Felix

to compete at the IAAF Jamaica International Invitational on May 3. Fraser-Pryce, fresh from claiming the World Indoor 60m gold medal, raced with Okagbare in the final of the women 100 and 200m at the

World elite athletes want a slice of Okpekpe


ALL FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: From left Edem Vindah, Walter Drenth, Marketing Director Nigerian Breweries Plc, former Super Eagles forward, Victor Ikpeba, Senior Brand Manager Heineken, Ngozi Nkwoji and Ekanem Kufre, the Corporate Affairs Adviser at the formal opening of the Heineken House on Tuesday in Ikoyi, Lagos.

E C H N I C A L coordinator of the 10km Okpekpe road race, Yusuf Alli has disclosed that there will be an improvement in the organisation of this second edition of the event billed for May 3 in the sleepy town of Okpekpe in Edo State. He added that 35 world elite athletes have indicated their interest to participate in the race, which the Edo government and the organisers are

hoping will become a major attraction in world road race event recognized by the athletics world governing body, IAAF. “We expect to put up a better performance in terms of organisation and performances this year. “Next week we will select the final list of elite athletes that will be participating. Already we have a list of 35 athletes showing their interest to participate,” said the former African long jump champion.

2013 World Championships in Moscow Russia. Fraser-Pryce won both races, while Okagbare settled for bronze in the 200m just as Felix who was tipped to win that 200m race pulled up at the last curve due to a hamstring injury. Also confirmed are Jamaica-born 400m Olympic champion, Sanya Richards-Ross, 100m hurdles World champion Briana Rollins and World Indoor 400m champion Francena McCorory. Silver medalist in Sopot indoor Kaliese Spencer and Stephenie McPherson, have also been booked for the event. 400m World champion, American LaShawn Merritt and his compatriot Curtis Mit-chell, a bronze medallist in the 200m at last year ’s Moscow Championships, lead the male contingent.


LMC bows to Abia Warriors, suspends league matches in Maiduguri T

HE League Management Company (LMC) has finally bowed to reasoning from Abia Warriors Football Club

over the safety of their players and officials as it has announced the immediate suspension of all Globacom Pre-

Wheelchair Tennis team yearn for Liberty Stadium camp BY EDDIE AKALONU


AVING retained the African Championship trophy in a six nation qualifier held in Nairobi, Kenya that now sets them on the road for the World Team Cup billed for Holland in May, Nigeria’s Wheelchair Tennis team have requested to be camped in Ibadan where they hope to have a good preparation for action at the world stage. Nigeria’s two-man team of Wasiu Yusuf and Alex Adewale defeated their counterparts yet again to pick Africa’s sole ticket to the final round in what is known as the Para- athletes own version of the Davies Cup. There is the belief that Ibadan would serve the players well given that they can camp at the Liberty Stadium Hostel and then make use of facilities at the nearby Ibadan Recreation Club. Coach Tarmena said “Despite the fact that players of the other countries had been out their in the world training and improving on their technique and style, we were still able to beat them to pick Africa’s sole ticket to the world team cup. Our win was made possible by the National Sports Commission, NSC that gave the support which enabled us to go to Kenya as well as the strenuous training we put in. I must not also forget the determination on the part of the players to win.”

*Wheel Chair tennis players, Idowu Ajani(l) and Musbau Shittu training for a competition. The national team preparing for the World Team Cup prefer Ibadan as their camp site.


ET on lifting Nigeria’s image high on the world stage, 14 para-powerlifters have increased their activity in an open camp training at the National Stadium in Lagos ahead of the World Championships scheduled to take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from April 5 to 11. The eight male and six females athletes say they are “hell-bent on making it another golden outing for the country and themselves as the event serves as one of the qualifiers for the Paralympic Games. A coach of the Parapowerlifting Federation, Areh Feyisetan said in an interview that he for now supervises a special training for the 14 athletes because they live and reside in Lagos with him. “The federation is still expected to call an enlarged

*LMC boss, Irabor

FG to create 30,000 jobs through sports this year — Sarah Pane *One million children to be trained in eight sports B

ETWEEN now and the end of 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration will create 30,000 career opportunities for youth, professionals and community-based professionals while targeting about one million kids for a

sport career within the next four years. Speaking during a courtesy visit on her, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Development, Mrs Sarah Pane said, “Mr President has always been disturbed on how his administration will make the

future of children and youths be organized and settled. Mrs. Pane said, “we are happy to associate and work with some exinternational sports brands to deliver the Basic Olympic Opportunity Sports Training (BOOST) project. We shall

2014 World Championships: Para-powerlifters step up training in Lagos BY EDDIE AKALONU

mier League fixtures in Maiduguri until further notice. The suspension order was contained in a statement from the Office of the Chairman of LMC which cited current security intelligence as the reason for the decision. “We are constrained to put on hold all Globacom Premier League games in Maiduguri until further notice due to latest security intelligence from the area and the suspended games include this weekend’s match between El-Kanemi Warriors and Abia Warriors”, the statement read. It further advised officials of Abia Warriors not to proceed to Maiduguri for the match but to await further communication from the LMC. “Once again, we want to reassure Clubs that decisions of the LMC at all times will be guided by the need to serve the greater good and hinged on existing realities”,it concluded.

closed camp that will involve athletes from other states whose performance level merit inclusion in a world championship contingent. It is also my very strong belief that those in other states have been training on their own or under the watchful eyes of

their state’s coaches to be in top shape because they know that participation in a national camp enables the best to be picked for the world championships,” he stated. A run down of those involved in the open camp shows a mix of new and old athletes including Commonwealth

and Paralympic Games medalists like Lucy Ejike, Lovelyn Obiji and Jegede Adesakan. Other athletes are Jegede Bambo, Obichukwu ikechukwu, Ifeanyi Nnajiofor, Jubril Malau, Ibrahim Abdulazeez, Tolulope Taiwo, Ijeoma Iherobi and Tasie Eberechukwu.

2014 World Cup: Supporters club mobilises Nigerians in Brazil


S part of its efforts to wards ensuring that the Super Eagles get the desired support during the forthcoming Brazil 2014 World Cup, Nigeria Football Supporters Club has put modalities on ground to mobilize Nigerians in Brazil on the need to give maximum support to the national team during the Mundial. Disclosing this in Lagos, President General of the Club, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo noted that the mobilization became nec-

essary because it has been discovered that out of more than 1000 seats allocated to Nigeria by the world football ruling body, FIFA, only 400 has been subscribed by Nigerians. “The Supporters club is embarking on the mobilization to enable Nigerians living in Brazil know the need to support the Super Eagles during the World Cup. “It is unfortunate that only 400 seats out of more than 1000 seats allocated to Nigeria by FIFA have been booked by Ni-

gerians and 300 of these seats were booked by members of the club which necessitated our embarking on the mobilization.” Ladipo who alongside the Secretary General of the club, Samuel Ikpea travelled to Brazil on Thursday to officially inaugurate that country ’s chapter of the club as well as kick start the mobilization, assured Nigerians that the club is doing all it can to ensure that the national team receives maximum support at the Mundial.

equip kids and children to pick sports of their choice, train them, expose and develop them to become top rate professionals who will rule the world in a couple of years to come.” She thanked the initiators of the project for their painstaking efforts to get the project to this implementable stage. “As a mother, I realize how much this project will bring succor, fame, money and above all create very strong citizens.” Responding, the Chief Executive Officer of the Goldenwings33 Nigeria Limited, Olajide Fashikun said, “we are happy to bring the office of the Special Adviser on Social Development to partner us in taking this project to the Nigerian children.” “Those of us who initiated this project are only desirous of producing Nigerian children who are going to be better athletes who can achieve what we could not achieve when we competed, athletes who will rule the world from here.” The former captain of the national handball team said that 36 primary and secondary schools will be exposed to eight sports with the best of coaches on a sound contract based on performance. The eight sports to benefit from the programme are handball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, table tennis, athletics, weightlifting and badminton.


TODAY’S MATCHES Hull City Everton Fulham S’hampton Stoke City Sunderland Swansea Aston Villa

v v v v v v v v

Man City Cardiff City Newcastle Norwich West Ham Crystal West Brom Chelsea

1.45 pm 4 pm 4 pm 4 pm 4 pm 4 pm 4 pm 6.30 pm

A Nigerian boxer, Muideen Akanji during a bout with a Hungarian opponent. The new sports minister, Tamuno Danagogo has said there is not enough money approved to make Nigerian athletes compete favourably at competitions.

We don’t have enough funds for sports — Danagogo

•Calls for support from firms, individuals •Assures on support for football


PORTS Minister, Tamuno Danagogo has lamented that there was not enough funds for his ministry to take Nigeria’s sports to the desired level. The newly appointed minister made the declaration while defending the N2 billion budget presented by the Nigeria Football Federation for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. “The Federal government has done what it can within the limit of available resources. But it is clear that what has been provided is not enough to get sports to the level we want in Nigeria. “Corporate entities and other sports loving individuals should key into supporting and sponsoring sporting events so

that we can match the enthusiasm of our populace with performance,” said Danagogo in Abuja. However, he stated that everything will be done to ensure that the Super Eagles do not suffer any financial hardship in Brazil. “We must do everything possible, both as a government and sports loving people, to ensure that we provide for the NFF, our coaches and players everything that they need to bring the World Cup to Nigeria,” he said. “We have asked the General Secretary to liaise with us so we can see the possibility of government intervention and also interventions from other corporate bodies and organizations.”

Across 1 Enyimba FC Defender, Uwa – (9) 5 Japanese Currency Unit – (3) 8 President, Nigerian Women’s Football League, Mrs. Dilichukwu – (9) 10 Country in Asia – (5) 11 Italy “Azzuris” National coach, Cesare – (9) 15 minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab – (5) 17 L.G.A. In Kano State – (5) 18 Borno State Capital – (9) 21 Zambian Currency Unit 0- (5) 23 Nigerian Premiership Clubside – (9) 26 Organ of Hearing – (3) 27 African Deciduous Tree – (3) 28 Super Eagles Left-back and AS Monaco Defender, Elderson – (9) Down 1 Akwa-Ibom State Capital – (3)

Brazil 2014 World Cup: Fans shun Nigeria/ Bosnia match


ICKETS for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is selling fast with more than two-thirds of the matches being sold out less than three hours after FIFA opened new ticket sales on Wednesday. Tickets for all Brazil matches were gone in about an hour, as were the ones for all the quarterfinals and nearly all second-round match ups in the June 12-July 13 tournament. Only about 15 matches involving less traditional teams remained available for purchase on FIFA’s website some eight hours after the sales started. The least patronised match is that between Nigeria and Bosnia Herzegovina in the wetlands city of Cuiaba and that of Greece versus Ivory Coast in Fortaleza, which was one of the host cities with the most tickets still available. About 345,000 tickets were available in this stage, which closes on April 1. Soccer ’s governing body said 203,330 tickets were sold in the first five hours of sales, and the five countries with the most ticket requests were Brazil (143,085), United States (16,059), Australia (5,357), Colombia (4,574) and Argentina (3,800). FIFA is expected to release more tickets for all matches in the last-minute sales phase that begins on April 15. Some Brazilian fans complained of the long wait to purchase tickets on Wednesday, saying it took nearly an hour just to access the online sales platform. FIFA said it had to place fans on a virtual line because of the high demand. Of the 3.3 million tickets available for the first World Cup in Brazil since 1950, more than 2.3 million had been allocated before this latest round of sales, mostly to Brazilian fans. All matches for England, Germany and the United States also sold out fast on Wednesday, according to FIFA’s ticketing website.

2 Female Rabbit – (3) 3 Super Eagles Goalkeeper, Austin – (5) 4 Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Ben – (9) 5 Cease – (4) 6 Ghana Football Association President, Mr. Kwesi – (9) 9 Neither – (3) 11 Benin Republic Capital City – (9) 12 L.G.A in Akwa-Ibom State – (4) 13 Linear Measurement Unit – (9) 14 L.G.A in Lagos State – (5) 16 Former Delta State Governor, Mr. Felix – (4) 19 L.G.A in Kebbi State – (5) 20 Cereal – (3) 22 Period of Seven Days – (4) 24 Anambra State Governor, Dr. Peter – (3) 25 Prosecute – (3)

SOLUTION on page 15

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War in Borno