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20 15: Jonathan in consultations with 2015: Emir of Kano, Ooni, Alaafin, Akiolu BY BEN AGANDE, OLA AJAYI, ABDULSALAM MUHAMMED AND GBENGA OLARINOYE


resident Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, launched into what was believed to be consultations with some prominent monarchs in the North and the Southwest ahead of his purported re-election bid next year. Jonathan, who has said he will make public his decision to run or not to run in the 2015 presidential election later this year, visited the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Lukman Akiolu. In Kano, Bayero told the President the unity of Nigeria is nonnegotiable. The Emir said his emirate will work with other members of the traditional institution to ensure that the peace and unity of the country is enhanced. Negotiating Nigeria’s unity as a way of addressing perceived imbalance in the structure of the nation is an issue as the country prepares for a National Conference scheduled to start soon. Speaking in Hausa, he commended the Jonathan’s administration for its efforts at keeping the country at peace despite daunting security challenges. Bayero expressed optimism that Nigeria would not disintegrate despite the hydra headed socio-economic and political problems facing it.The 13th Fulani Emir of Kano said: “Nigeria has come of age, and as a nation state it has survived multi faceted upheavals that as it is today, it would be difficult for it to break up.“Nigeria may be going through hard times peculiar to developing nation states but the pointer remains clear that we shall overcome the travails and become stronger than we are before. “Nigeria as at today is an embodiment of one strong nation and I have not seen anything in the horizon that would divide us.” The Emir tasked the President to float people oriented policies to ginger political and economic stability in the country, maintaining that this is essential for the nation to achieve accelerated progress in our march towards attaining nationhood. He, however, told the visiting number one citizen to run an inclusive government vital to national cohesion, C M Y K

pointing out that such step is strategic to nationbuilding. Bayero further charged Mr. President to appoint credible personalities into his government to achieve set goals, stressing, “Government should, at all times, avoid mediocrity to forestall failure of strategic policies that are of importance to Nigerians”. The Emir commended Jonathan over the attention on terror war, and therefore called on the citizens to extend their full cooperation to achieve lasting and enduring peace in the country. While thanking the President and the Federal Government for the support during his ill health, Bayero noted that nothing could be greater than peaceful coexistence amongst the various ethnic groups in the country and tranquility in the society. He assured the President that his administration would continue to receive support from him and the emirate. Jonathan told the Emir he was in Kano to pay homage and thank the emirate for the efforts at keeping Kano State at peace. He said his administration was open to wise counsel and advice from the traditional institution. The President wished Bayero good health and called on him to continue to guide and encourage the political leadership. Speaking to journalists at the palace after the visit, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and a Kano prince, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said the Emir ’s message was instructive and supportive. ”The position of the Emir is very clear. He is always praying and advising for peaceful co-existence”, he said. ”The Emir said this is one country, one indivisible nation with one President. ”He said they will continue to support the President as he continues to work and create an environment in which every Nigerian will feel he belongs. ”I am sure that message is encouraging and is a message of support, prayers for peace and development and also for the unity and security of this country”.



In Ile-Ife, Osun State, Jonathan met with Oba Okunade Sijuwade behind closed doors. Sources said the issues discussed include the 2015 presidential poll and the governorship election in Osun State scheduled to hold in August and in which

Senator Iyiola Omisore, an indigene of Ile-Ife, is a leading aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. They also reportedly discussed the nation’s security. The meeting, it was gathered, was called by the President to seek the support of the Yoruba race in the 2015 presidential election. Jonathan, who arrived the Ooni’s palace at exactly 3.00pm, was accompanied by the Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide. After introduction of dignitaries who joined Sijuwade to welcome the President, the monarch and Jonathan entered into the inner chamber of the palace where they met for 30 minutes. The President, who left the palace of the Ooni at about 3.45pm, refused to speak with newsmen, insisting that the visit to the monarch was a private one. The Deputy Governor of Osun State, who welcomed the President to the state on behalf of Governor Rauf

UBA CEO Awards 2014 – 10: GMD/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza(middle); Managing Director, UBA Ghana, Mrs, Bawuah Abiola and CEO, UBA West Africa, Mr. Oliver Alawuba, during the Annual UBA CEO Awards organised to reward star performers across the Group, in Lagos at the weekend Aregbesola, was among dignitaries at the palace of the Ooni.


onathan’s meeting with the Alaafin, Oba Adeyemi, during the visit to the Oyo palace was also held behind closed doors. The President later thanked the people of Oyo State for the support he received during the 2011 elections. Addressing the people of

Oyo, he said, “I thank not only the people of the state, but the entire South-west for the support we received in 2011 and I have come to reciprocate the gesture with the hope that things will continue as well. We are one, I remain your o w n ” . Jonathan described the meeting as very private. Before heading to Oyo town, the President was received

on arrival in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, by Governor Abiola Ajimobi, his deputy, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide and some members of the state executive. At the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Akiolu, Jonathan was received by the monarch and his queens before they went into a closed door meeting at about 8 pm.


Don’t label Muslims as criminals —Sultan BY EMEKA MAMAH


he Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has asked Nigerians not to label Muslims as criminals due to the activities of Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, saying Boko Haram was not an Islamic group. Abubakar spoke as the Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, said the claims by Christians and Muslims that nobody could go to heaven except through Jesus Christ, or Prophet Mohammed, respectively, was the major cause of religious extremism or intolerance in the country. They spoke at the first Annual Conference of AhlusSunnah of Nigeria at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, yesterday. The conference was attended by prominent Nigerians including Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo; former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari; Governor Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State; Aregbesola; Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; Sultan Abubakar; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed; Senator Idris Umar, and some ministers. Also in attendance was a representative of the President of Niger Republic. Speaking at the conference, Sultan Abubakar said those who referred to Boko Haram as an Islamic sect were unfair to Muslims as the group comprised of criminals who

*Sambo, Buhari, Aregbesola give panacea for peace

were carrying terrorist activities against the country. According to him, ‘’Those terrorising us are not Muslims. They are terrorists. People should not be referring to them as an Islamic sect. They are agents of insurrection.’’ Abubakar said Nigeria was not a secular country but is a multi-religious society, adding that Muslims should seek to live according to the dictates of their religion. Other speakers blamed injustice, poverty and ignorance as major causes of disunity in the country. They said there was nothing uniting a very poor man with an extremely rich person, as both groups were

in two separate worlds. Aregbesola, one of the guest speakers, quoted copiously from the Q’uran to buttress his point that Islam was a religion of peace. He said that what obtained in Yoruba as regards the healthy relationship between Muslims and Christians should be emulated by people in other parts of the country. Buhari who also spoke, said the panacea for peace included security and good management of the country ’s resources. ’’When Obafemi Awolowo was in the Western Region and Saduana of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello was in the North, there were no religious crises because they

managed the resources well. Awolowo was a Christian and he established the Muslims Welfare Board. May God Almighty give us a leader that can deliver in 2015,’’ the former head of state said. In his remarks, Vice President Sambo said the conference, held under the theme,“Peace and Unity for Sustainable Development”, could not have come at a better time than this period, because of the security challenges facing the country. Sambo said the recent anti-gay rights bill, which was signed into law, has further demonstrated that religion has taken its proper place in the country.

Obadina: Slain Newswatch Editor buried


he remains of the late Assistant Editor, Saturday Newswatch, Oluwatoyin Obadina, has been interred at his Adamo, Ikorodu residence

yesterday, after a short funeral service. The funeral service, officiated by the pastors of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Lagos Province 21, Zone 9, Master Key Parish, was a moment of reflection on purpose here on earth and the hereafter. One of the pastors, Pastor Johnson Osakwe, who gave the sermon, exhorted people to live a meaningful life, mindful of the hereafter. ”Live your life with the consciousness of where you are going to. I enjoin

anyone here that has not accepted Jesus Christ to his/ her live to do so,” he urged. ”He was born in Abeokuta on November 17, 1963 to the family of Mr and Mrs Obadina. He had an OND in Mass Communication and graduated from the University of Lagos in 1991 with a in Mass Communication. He worked in several media houses, the last being Saturday Newswatch, where he was a Deputy Editor. He was married to Abiola, and they have three children,” the brother of the deceased stated. After the body of the late journalist was interred, the Editor of Sunday Newswatch, Mr. Olanrewaju Oyetade, gave a testimony on the kind of man the late

Obadina was. He said: “The following words describe the late Obadina: diligence, gentility and loyalty to the system for which he worked.” ”Our GMD has said he would take over the education of the three children henceforth, up to the university level, and would set the wife up in business. I pray that God

grants us all the fortitude to bear this loss,” Oyetade c o n c l u d e d . The brother of the deceased, Oluyinka, thanked Dr. Ibrahim, and staff and management of the Energy Group and Newswatch Newspapers that attended the funeral, praying that such sad accident would not befall them.


Nigeria’s politicians are dishonest — —Jemibewon BY BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO


Managing Director/CEO, Bank of Industry, Ms Evelyn Oputu (m) assisted by Kano State Governor, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (2nd right); representative of Emir of Kano, Alhaji Abbas Sanusi; and Executive Director/CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, presenting a cheque to one of the 800 beneficiaries of Kano State Government/Bank of Industry loan facility during the trainees' skill empowerment programme graduation in Kano State yesterday.

Nigeria's Ambassador to Brazil- Adamu Emozozo (middle), High chief Jubril Alaba Oshogwemoh(left), Alhaji Ibrahim Izuagbe(right), and the Chairman, Usagbe Club, Abuja chapter at a reception for the Ambassador in Abuja.

AJOR Gener al David Jemibewon (rtd) has taken a swipe at Nigeria’s politicians, saying they are dishonest and materialistic. Jemibewon, who made the declaration in an interview with Sunday Vanguard at his country home in Aiyetoro -Gbede, Kogi State, said the present crop of politicians does not have the interest of the country at heart. “The problem with this country is that Nigeria’s politicians are dishonest. Both the ruling party and the opposition are not honest. You see elderly men, whom you respect before, saying the kind of things they say, you become sad. And worse still is the manner they talk”, the former Minister of Police Affairs said. He continued, “Materialism is another problem with the country. No member of the present crop of politicians has the interest of the country at heart; their personal interest

overrides the country’s interest. No matter how you want a change, some persons will not allow you. Those benefiting from the system are those who do not want this country to develop. They make sure the system does not support the right change. “On the way out, I think there is the need to include nationalism in the educational curriculum; starting from the nursery and primary school. There is the need to review federal character because it has become obsolete. Federal character must be reviewed on basis of efficiency, competence and quality.” The one-time governor of Oyo State said development must start from the state level to reduce the tension at the federal level. “We must develop through the state. Each state should have its own police and, if not feasible now, it can be zonal or regional police. Those saying we can’t leave the police at the mercy of state governors can at least be pacified that no single state gov-

ernor can control a force organized at regional level.” Jemibewon said the wave of defection from the PDP to APC was a result of the insincerity on the part of the ruling party. “Some years ago when some politicians decamped from the then AD to PDP, nobody raised any eyebrow because they moved to the ruling party. Now that people are moving from the ruling party, it has become an issue; that is the insincerity I’m talking about. Decamping of politicians is not a new thing; it’s just the rate of decamping from the PDP to APC that is alarming”. He, however, said the PDP can still salvage the situation if the present leadership of the party can toe the part of truth; “otherwise; it will be a difficult situation for the party in 2015.” He said the furore over the eligibility of President Goodluck Jonathan to run in 2015 is not necessary as the country’s Constitution and the PDP Constitution allow him to run.

27 killed; man, pregnant wife roasted; politician shot dead Continued from page 1 various degrees of injuries as a result of the accident, which occurred at the popular Oji River Wonderful Market on a day Nigerians were marking Valentine’s Day. The truck, descending a hill from the Enugu end of the road, according to eye witnesses, skidded off the road after a brake failure and rammed into vehicles and motorcycles. At least, ten motorcycles and four vehicles were damaged beyond repairs while several shops were also hit. When Sunday Vanguard visited the scene of the accident, yesterday, an operation was in progress to remove corpses under the rubbles of shops pulled down by the truck. Most of the victims were operators of boutiques, medicine stores and provision shops by the roadside. The police, officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission and Civil Defense Corps, who were part of the operation, described the crash as fatal. Eyewitnesses said those who sustained injuries were taken to the Oji River General Hospital while those with critical cases were rushed to National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu. Chairman of the Market Association, Mr Augustine Mba, described the development as “tragic”, stressC M Y K

ing that it was “ a dark day in the history of the market”. ”This is sad. I was here in my shop when I heard the bang and rushed to discover that it was an accident which claimed many lives. There are Okada people, there are traders, there are passers -by among other victims. Goods destroyed are worth several millions of naira. I don’t know the number of persons that died but it is not below eight. This is not the first time this kind of incident is taking place here. Two years ago, we witnessed a similar incident where various traders were killed”, he said. According to him, the incident occurred around 3.00pm when the market was at full operation. Chairman of the local government, Onyebuchi Jideofor, who mobilised to ensure that victims were rescued, was spotted helping to clear the debris. He lamented the loss which he blamed on the inability of some road users to adhere to laid down rules. The Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed that a total of 27 corpses were recovered from the scene. He said that the rescue operation, which began after the incident, on Friday, lasted till yesterday afternoon, adding that investigations had commenced to

determine the cause of the a c c i d e n t . Fatal shooting In Oro, in Irepodun local government area of Kwara State, tragedy struck when a police officer shot dead one Hon. Femi Awoyale, a former chairmanship aspirant of Ekiti local government under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP). The development sparked protests by youths in the town as the police officer, who was about to be lynched by a mob, was taken away by his colleagues from the scene of the incident. Sunday Vanguard gathered that the incident happened around 11:15pm on Friday when fun seekers, including Awoyale, converged in the popular” Topmost Hotel” in Oro for the celebration. Meantime,management of the hotel had invited the police to provide security for the Valentine’s Day fun seekers. An eye witness said the un-named officer, drunk, suddenly woke up from his sleep when he heard noise of trouble makers and fired twice into the air. The tension doused, the drunken policeman rose up again and released another gun shot which, this time, pierced the wall of the hotel and hit Awoyale in the chest where he was said to be having fun. The victim slumped and all efforts made to revive him

proved abortive; he died. The lifeless body of the deceased was deposited at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital(UITH) mortuary. The angry mob at the scene were about to lynch the said officer when his colleagues smuggled him out. This development put an abrupt end to the Valentine Day ’s celebration. The killer police officer has been arrested for interrogation by the state police command. Kwara State Police Command Public Relations Officer(PPRO), ASP Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the i n c i d e n t .

one to get close to the house. The pregnant and her husband were shouting for help because it appeared as if they could not lay their hands on the keys to the door. ”Though they both struggled to the door of the house where they eventually died, efforts by co-tenants and neighbours to rescue the duo was an exercise in futility because we were helpless. ”We must also appreciate the quick intervention of

the state fire service which wasted no time before storming the scene; if not for their swift response, the entire neighbourhood could have been on fire.” A source said the deceased couple were recently married and were expecting their first child before the tragedy struck. Meanwhile, sympathizers were seen trooping to the scene of the inferno wailing after catching a glimpse of the charred remains of the couple.

Trapped in fire

In the Makurdi, Benue State capital, incident, a pregnant woman and her husband, identified as Mr. Avaan, were roasted in a mysterious fire disaster. Sunday Vanguard gathered that the inferno, which engulfed the residence of the deceased persons, located at Akpehe area of the town, may have been started by a surge in public power supply. ”We were woken up at about midnight, on Friday, by wailings from the block of flats and, when we all ran to the place, we discovered that one of the two flats was on fire”, an eye witness said. ”The fire was so intense that it was difficult for any-

From left: Second Secretary, Political Affairs, Human Right, ECOWAS; Mr. Maurice Paulussen, Desk Officer for Nigeria within the Sub-Sahara Africa Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tein Lugtenborg, University of Jos Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hayward Babale Mafuyai and the Kingdom of Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Ambassador John Groffen, when the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria led a delegation to the University of Jos to assess the peace building programme of the institution supported with a grant by The Royal Dutch Kingdom.


Nigeria in war situation —Aregbesola BY GBENGA OLARINOYE, Osogbo


OVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has declared that the Federal Government was waging war

against its citizens with the reduction in the monthly allocations to states and local governments. Speaking, yesterday, in Ejigbo, Osun State, at the commencement of a

retreat organised for members of the state House of Assembly on the 2014 Budget, Aregbesola stated that “any nation that experiences what Nigeria is currently passing through is in

a war situation”. He added that any country that has its revenue reduced by 40 percent consistently was in a serious crisis. His words: “The situation, today, in Nigeria is

Delta PDP leader in reconciliation drive BY FLORENCE NWOSE S part of the moves to woo aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, back to the party, a leader of the PDP in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, Comrade Simon Mudi, popularly known as Mr. Temple, has hosted his Ekakpamre unit and ward leaders at his country home, Ekakpamre. In his speech at the oc-


casion, Mudi thanked the unit and ward executives as well as leaders of the party, adding that their role during the Delta Central senatorial bye-election which PDP won landslide was unquantifiable. He said, “I appreciate all struggle towards the victory of the PDP during the Delta Central senatorial bye-election. I want to thank Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan who directed that all aggrieved members of the

UNIBEN N4GG students hail Jonathan’s style of governance those election. Some BY EPHRAIM OSEJI


tudents of University of Benin Chapter of Network for Good Governance (N4GG) commended President Goodluck Jonathan style of governance describing it as one of the best that has ever happened to Nigerian democracy. The commendation was made on Tuesday by the Coordinator of N4GG UNIBEN Chapter Comrade Jubril Victor during the inauguration of N4GG Executive of University of Benin, Edo State. “Under Jonathan election has been free and fair. Credible gubernatorial elections were conducted in three states controlled by the opposition in Edo, Ondo and Anambra states which they won. Jonathan deserves commendation for not using his presidential might to rig

other ruthless leaders might have used their might to rig out the incumbent governors of the opposition party. Jonathan’s thoughtful approach had strengthened Nigeria’s democracy ,” he noted “Contrary to the shrill political grandstanding of anti Jonathan Northern political elites who have accused Jonathan of lack luster performance in the North, evidence revealed a robust present of federal projects which include Police University a t Wudil, Kano State, remodeling of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport , over 200 model schools f o r underprivileged Almajiri kids, rehabilitation of the Tiga Dam in Kano, and ten new federal universities located atLokoja,Lafia,Kashere,Wukari,DutsinMa,Dutse,Gashua,BirninKebbi,Gusau among others.

PDP be brought back. With that directive, we in Ekakpamre ward were able to bring back all our aggrieved members”. Chief Patrick Okitiakpe, leader of the party in Ughelli South

Local Government Area, in his remark, thanked Mudi for his efforts. He advised the people of Ekakpamre ward against defection, saying dividends of democracy were enormous in the PDP.

likened to a family who lives on N200,000 monthly, but suddenly had it reduced to N120,000. That is the dilemma we found ourselves in today. ”This is the situation Nigeria has found itself in since July 2013. We are in a war situation. This is a national disaster.” Aregbesola noted that since last year, only few states have been receiving allocations that can barely pay their workers salaries. ”The situation in Osun today is that our allocation is not enough to pay workers’ salaries and

pension since July last year”, he said. According to him, the claim in some quarters that Nigeria is in a bad economic situation as a result of oil theft is bogus. The governor, however, disclosed that Osun is among the seven fastest growing economies in the country as a result of his administration’s economic policies. Earlier, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Najeem Salam, said that indications from the last two budgets of the state showed the state was moving forward.

PAGE 6 —SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014 ER.


Bristol Hotel revival: Lagos CBD gets a boost


Lagos and simply delightful. But the years have not been too kind to Bristol and it had become a victim of one atrocious management, after another, until it became a beehive of illegal activities, con men, and dope peddlers. With the demise of Bristol Hotel, Lagos lost its last prestigious hotel in the CBD. And, that unfortunate transformation rendered Lagos CBD the only one without a decent hotel in the whole world. The implications are too numerous to describe. But, let me point out a few. The quick lunch, at a familiar but decent hotel, which saved millions of busy executives from sudden debt on account of stress, was no longer possible — once the high class hotel closed its doors to top class clientele and became a haven for robbers and moneychangers. To have a decent lunch these days, the top executives of UBA, First Bank, Union Bank, CBN, FCMB, WEMA, etc have to get in their cars and head for

Suffering and smiling (2) Every day my people dey inside bus, every day my people dey inside bus Forty-nine sitting, ninety-nine standing,Them go pack themselves in like sardine,Them dey faint, them dey wake like cock,Them go reach bed, power no dey,Them go reach road, go-slow go come,Them go reach road, police go slap,Them go reach road, army go whip,Them go look pocket, money no dey,Them go reach work, query ready” --Fela


WO days ago, Brother Rasaq wrote on his social page to asking if, anyone knew where to procure the old coal filled iron as Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) continue to keep the people of

Dopemu in darkness. I honestly did not think that they still sell these. The last time I used one ,was when I was in boarding school many years ago and these heavy mental iron was always hit and miss as it had no control! That was very much like the present predicament of those left with no power. Brother Rasaq, wrote that he was tired of having to place his clothes under the mattress to keep them looking ironed. What does it take to get power for the people? How long is long enough for people to expect very much of the same of nothing. I received so many comments on the very subject and it seems that more people are experiencing the same power outage problem. Solar power will

V.I – a time consuming endeavour. Similarly, those working late and who must have a quick bite to eat were also handicapped in this way. Staff of the banks and other businesses, coming


“Everything that is done in this world is done in hope”, Martin Luther, 1483-1546, German Reformer. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS). HE regular read ers of this page must forgive me for postponing, once again, the continuation of the series on the INHERITORS – the second generations of Nigerians who allowed great enterprises bequeathed to them to crumble. The next would have been the LAWSON Group of Companies, among which was the ECOBANK, once headed by Mr Kolapo Lawson. The slide down the greasy slope of misfortune for the group started several years ago. But, this is not the time for that. This is the time for celebration, once again, by old Lagos boys who remember when Bristol hotel was the place to go for unparalleled enjoyment. At the height of its fame, it was easily the best hotel in the Central Business District, CBD, of

“Every hero[ine] becomes a bore at last”, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1808-1882. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 90). Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, like most of us who studied in America, and undertook elective courses, must have read about Emerson. When she came in 2003, ostensibly to teach us a lesson that Nigeria as a nation should avoid the debt trap, we believed she was sincere. Even when she overpaid our Western creditors, who we later learnt, foisted her on us, we still gave her credit for helping us to escape the debt trap.

to the 2003 version; they only bear the same name. One might even find oneself indulging in the satanic thought that there might have been some sort of identity theft. Has somebody kidnapped the “ real” Okonjo-Iweala and are we now dealing with an impostor? Just in case you think this is all crazy stuff, please take a look at these graphs and figures representing the

mounting domestic debt situation and the frightening debt servicing burden this country now experiences. Later, I will reveal the external debt situation. And the situation is getting worse. Is this any way to run a Ministry of Finance? Since, as the Chinese say, “a picture is worth more than a thousand words”, there will be no comment from me. Judge for yourself.

The Dr Okonjo-Iweala of 2014 bears no resemblance to the 2003 version; they only bear the same name. One might even find oneself indulging in the satanic thought that there might have been some sort of identity theft. Has somebody kidnapped the “real” Okonjo-Iweala and are we now dealing with an impostor?


from outstation, have also been forced to lodge elsewhere – other than Lagos Island. That meant having to commute to the Island everyday, suffering from the imminent traffic hold-up, while in Lagos. Those days will soon come to an end. Once Bristol re-opens for business, they can lodge in Lagos Island and stroll to their assignments….. MORE ON THAT LAT-

But, “what does corrupting time not diminish?” asked Horace, 65-8 B.C. Today, we have on our hands a Minister of Finance who has been part of the conspiracy to return us to the debt trap. Sometimes, one wonders if the measure she introduced in 2003 was really her own or was either handed to her from the World Bank, or, God forbid, plagiarized from another economic guru. The fact is; the Dr Okonjo-Iweala of 2014 bears no resemblance

be the way to go in Nigeria, and then people can be sure to receive regular and efficient power at all time.

learnt that the Federal Government still holds 45% equity. Would someone relieve us of our burden? Sule Lamido and GEJ “It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.” William Blake I have had the Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido story on the back burner for a while. So if you think it's old news, it is not. This is a story that will run and run and we have not heard the last from Sule Lamido. This man, it seems, cannot be moved or bamboozled into making a

We still Agonise… Kola Animasun The people of Dopemu still agonise over their lack of light. And that means they do not have water and do not go about their duties of grinding their pepper, their corns, and their flour. All others suffering from the power outage problem. held a meeting the IKEJA undertaking Monday and there was


If you pin your hopes on a promise, you are more likely to be disappointed. Friendship built on promises doesn’t last

nothing to believe they will bail us out of the electricity trouble in foreseeable future. What we know is that we would not pay anything to them without giving us light that much they promised would be? Something that came out of our meeting is that we


snap decision. He refuses to jump with the G7, he felt that his place was in the PDP and whatever the melee, that change should start from within. At least you can call him anything but consistent. So things might have come to a boil when the Minister of Agriculture, Dr

Visit: or Visit: Akinwumi Adesina, came to visit the good governor. Something must have snapped and ignited some pent up feelings in Sule Lamido of Jigawa State to articulate his qualms about President Goodluck Jonathan whom he accused of failing to fulfill all the promises he made to him and people of the state in 2011. He said: “I personally asked people of Jigawa State to vote for Jonathan in the interest of national unity, progress and the promises he made to do justice to the people of the state in terms of executing capital projects. The president and the vice president personally promised to continue with Hadejia irrigation project to the extent that over N10billion was allocated to the project in a budget, but, three years after, nothing has been done”. He was passionately angered by GEJ’s failure and was angry that President Jonathan failed to recognize and acknowledge the achievements of the state but that he felt that the FG should do more in terms of matching funding for agricultural and capital projects that would improve the wellbeing of the people of the state, and he said that the federal government has “deliberately abandoned the state”. If given proper investments and commitment, Ji-

gawa can be main player feeding the nation. The state is well on its way as it adopted practical measures to encourage dry season farming, such as making fertilizer, seeds and other inputs more readily available and providing tube wells and pump machines for irrigation farmers. Lamido should take heed with relying on promises; you cannot force people to behave the way you want them to. If you pin your hopes on a promise, you are more likely to be disappointed. Friendship built on promises doesn’t last. Will his people forgive him? I think so. He has worked hard to transform his state; with a working university and a revamped public sector, an airport that could open the state, with colossal agricultural potentials. Did Adesina pass on the message to GEJ? I guess not. He is after all a fan of the Huncho. Adesina, while receiving his Forbes award, said of GEJ: “The results

achieved in Nigeria could not have been possible without the immense support of Nigeria’s President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. His passion and leadership inspires us that we can achieve even greater results. For agriculture was Nigeria’s past and in agriculture – as a business – lies Nigeria’s greater future,”

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 7

APC’s Lai Mohammed has upset me gested that some APC legislators who recently decamped were virtually purchased like goods. What has really distressed me is not just the purchase story but the claim by Lai Mohammed that PDP spent



OR quite a while during the life of this present government, many Nigerianslooked forward with eagerness to the emergence of a strong political opposition to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Thus, the birth of the All Progressive Congress (APC) brightened the hopes of many citizens that better governance was on its way. The APC seems to have done fairlywell so far especially in bringing down the high degree of impunity of the ruling party. Their rather unpopular directive to their legislators to block the passage of the 2014 may have started, even if inadvertently, to refine our crude democracy - a good example being the end of the police control of Rivers State. The vibrant coordination of APC’s publicity by the veteran Lai Mohammed was also quite exciting until a few days ago. Last week however, Lai killed the joy of some Nigerians including this writer when he sug-

suffice. On Thursday, October 04, 2012, Taraba State legislators were “summoned”from vacation to hurriedly impeach the then Deputy Governor of their State, Sani Abubakar Danladi for no

What has really distressed me is not just the purchase story but the claim by Lai Mohammed that PDP spent millions of dollars to buy the legislators. I do not accept the impression the suggestion appears to create that our legislators are expensive to get


millions of dollars to buy the legislators. I do not accept the impression the suggestion appears to create that our legislators are expensive to get. The history of the behaviour of our legislators since 1999 does not lend credence to such undeserved evaluation. A few examples would

just cause. What value would Lai Mohammedattach to the summons which swayed the legislators to act as they did? Much earlier, the former Deputy Governor, of Bauchi State, Garba Gadi was impeached in absentia while on annual vacation leave. In Niger State, the House of Assembly was

PhD, Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos,



N Nigeria, it is cus tomary for people to say that politics is a "dirty game." That negative assessment stems from the fact that since the country began experimenting with modern forms of civilian governance, most key players in the political arena have tended to sacrifice the nobler forms of politicking on the altar of primitive egoism, crude Machiavellism and bulimic materialism. Therefore, description of politics as a dirty game in this country underscores the fact that a typical Nigerian politician is willing and prepared to do virtually anything possible either to win an election or get a lucrative appointment in government. Of course, the most morally reprehensible manifestation of this irrational and immature attitude to politics is recourse to violence and murder by desperate politicians ignorant of the fundamental principles of responsible leadership. If one is genuinely interested in leadership for the common good or is motivated by a burning desire to serve, crude Machiavellism in which the end justifies the means is completely out of the equation. A genuine political leader cannot use violence, force, coercion or any illicit and immoral strategy to acquire power. As Aristotle perceptively remarked, politics is for the

noblest of men (and women). The foregoing provides a robust background for assessing the nature of politics and politicking in Nigeria, especially since the end of the Biafran war; it also serves as a useful tool for diagnosing the ideological leukaemia in the evolution of political parties after series of handover of power to civilians by different military dictatorships from 1979 onwards. Now, inspite of their weaknesses and political misjudgements, the icons of Nigerian politics, notably, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Chief Obafemi Awolowo, worked hard to establish political parties grounded on certain ideological principles that served as a rallying point and paradigm for the formulation and evaluation of public policy and programmes, and their implementation. Thus, whereas Dr. Azikiwe tried to establish and consolidate the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) on nationalist and neo-welfarist foundation, Chief Awolowo, using the Action Group as a political platform, embarked on an educational and economic engineering programmes in Western Region anchored on his version of social democracy. That is as it should be, for the two most influential politicians Nigeria has produced were excellent

political philosophers in their own right, each with cognate cognitive intelligence and experience to lead at the highest level. Unfortunately, with the passage of time the intellectual and moral quality of politicians that emerged afterwards declined dramatically, an ugly trend that worsened during the political gerrymandering of the Babangida era. It is not easy to identify with complete exactitude reasons why later generations of Nigerian politicians have not matched, let alone surpass, the level of selfless-


Reflections on Nigerian politicians (1)

persuaded by someone yet to be identified to replace its Speaker. The legislators said they removed the Speaker who hadbeen in office for barely 72 hours for non-performance. The former deputy governor of Imo State, Mr Jude Agbaso was impeached by the State House of Assembly less than a year ago for an offence which EFCC investigators have since found to be a false alarm. In fact it was difficult to confirm if Agbaso’s impeachment was concluded before his successor was cleared by the legislators. If Lai Mohammed can take pains to investigate what influenced Imo legislators to impeach an innocent deputy governor, he would be better positioned to appreciate the real value of a Nigerian legislator. If the Imo case is hard to handle, may be Lai can try to investigate what turned legislators in River State to jungle fighters as we saw on national televisionwhere one of them repeatedly banged a cudgel on the head of a colleague. So, today, I am pained by the allegation of APC’s Lai which could misleadposterity into thinking that to make a legislator in Nigeria accept to engage in some bizarre acts against his own will is a costly venture. The fact that thelegislators involved in this case moved from APC does not give Lai the authority to exaggerate the amount involved. Suppose the legislators decamped under the promise of a fu-

ture gift, then Lai may find out in due course that he merely jumped the gun. Besides, the movement of legislators to and from both parties has been reciprocal. Again, I am upset because the huge amount which Lai publicized as purchase money for federal legislators has invariably diverted the attention of some of them from ‘quality’ work to probe panels. According to media reports, some legislators who felt they had been brought to public ridicule by the allegation are already asking that a panel be set up to unravel the veracity of Lai’s claim. This is with a view to restoring the appropriate regards Nigerians have had for their legislators. In retrospect, APC should not have raised the allegation at all. After all, we are yet to see the findings ofprevious similar panels. We sure have enough probes in all our arms of government. Enough is enough. The form of political opposition our nation needs now is not the pedestrian type that can at best lead to Pyrrhic victory, what we want is for opposition parties to canvass alternative policies to redress our stunted growth. For us journalists, it is time to listen to the nation’s current leader of our profession- Labaran Maku that ‘allegation does not mean guilt’. For this reason, we should also accept his explanation that the 4 ministers that left office some four days back were not sacked; they were being

released at their own request to face full-time politics. It is futile to continue to probe the departure of the ministers because minister Maku’s explanation has thrown light on the subject. We now know that others retained in the cabinet have no elective political ambition. This is good for the polity as it signifies the end to distractions to good governance at least for now. But because many citizens are not likely to believe that the minister of Aviation, StellaOduah who was fingered in some open corruption allegations was not sacked, a good reporter should now seek to identify her new political interest. These are indeed political times. With the release of the 2015 election time table by INEC, the vagaries of political weather are climaxing. No wonder, our own edo brother, Mike Ogiadomhe erstwhile chief of staff resigned too. He had been deputy governor of our state years back and should be ripe now to contest the next governorship election. Unfortunately not many believe this because edo elections are not due until 2016. Could he have left for thatthis early bearing in mind that edo is not listed yet in the election time table?I am not indirectly asking for a probe because I do not wish to upset anyone as Lai Mohammed’s generous assessment of our law makers hasinvoluntarily done to me in the last few days

its members. It follows that in any society where the political class is underperforming, as is the case in Nigeria, one should consider the kind of values prevalent in that community. It is unrealistic to expect majority of politicians to behave in a manner completely different from the dominant moral atmosphere in a society, especially in the absence of paradigmatic individuals with charisma and gravitas to set the moral tone for other members of the community to emulate. In this connection, although it is important to reconstruct the constitutional architectonic on which Nigeria is currently built, I believe that there is an urgent need for the emergence of iconic and exemplary individuals who

concentrate on economic, religious, ethnic and demographic determinants of political behaviour, and pay scant attention to the psychological aspect of the matter. By so doing, they neglect a key factor that plays a vital role in shaping the political destiny of the country. Thus, while we acknowledge the importance of factors other than the psychological in politics, it is equally necessary to inquire about the desires or impulses that actuate a typical Nigerian politician in order to understand why he thinks and acts the way he does in the political chess game. Like every human being, primary and secondary desires motivate every Nigerian politician. In the first group are desires for the necessities of life such as food, shelter, clothing, and health care. Most human beings would go to extraordinary lengths to secure these things. But unlike other animals who are satisfied once the primary desires are met, a human being does not remain contented after eating a good meal or building a fine house, etc. On the contrary, his secondary desires, which are insatiable, keep him continually restless. According to Bertrand Russell, in Human Society in Ethics and Politics, there are at least four politically important desires that keep people in a state of continuous activity. The first one is acquisitiveness, the impulse or wish to possess as much as possible all the material goods, or the title to such goods. There is no doubt that acquisitiveness is a dominant characteristic of Nigerian politicians, which has beclouded their sense of reasoning. If the politician is from a financially challenged humble back-

ground, his first thought while joining a political party is, "How can I use politics to escape the gravitational pull of poverty?" Assuming that he finally succeeds and becomes a legislator, governor or president, his primary concern would be how to exploit the new position to acquire as much as he could. If the politician in question is from a wealthy home, his primary preoccupation is to expand his family wealth astronomically in the shortest possible time. There is no patina of doubt that acquisitiveness among Nigerian politicians has done incalculable harm to the quest for sustainable national development. Our politicians are so engrossed in the morbid quest for primitive accumulation that they have become increasingly pachydermatous to the worsening existential condition of the "common man." Probably, acquisitiveness is the by-product of fear combined with the desire for necessities. Every human being is acquisitive to some extent, given that everyone has needs and wants that ought to be satisfied. Nevertheless, in the pathological case that characterise Nigerian politicians, it has gone beyond reasonable limits and transformed into an unhealthy psychological condition and lifestyle detrimental to everyone, including the politicians themselves. The acquisitive politician does not understand that acquisitiveness is a slippery slope without limits: however much he may acquire, he will always wish to acquire more. Contentment through acquisitiveness is a pipe dream that can never be actualised. To be continued.

Our politicians are so engrossed in the morbid quest for primitive accumulation that they have become increasingly pachydermatous to the worsening existential condition of the “common man”

ness and commitment to service by Dr. Azikiwe's generation of politicians. Having said that, it is evident that the general decay in societal values nationwide must be taken into account in any serious analysis of the issue under consideration. Now, ethical values or morality constitutes the foundation stone on which a peaceful, progressive, and harmonious society rests, a society in which leaders, on a continuous and sustainable basis, creatively harness both the human and material resources of the community for the wellbeing of


can raise the consciousness of Nigerians, including politicians, to the necessity of making a paradigmshift in their attitude to the geopolitical entity called Nigeria. The reason is that, no matter how well designed a constitution might be, if the operators of that very document are actuated by what I call agbata ekee mentality or self-indulgent materialism, its provisions will either be distorted or totally ignored to achieve narrow selfish purposes by politicians. Most times, commentators on the problem of politics in Nigeria

PAGE 8—SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014


T last the Federal government has committed to hiring independent Forensic Auditors to verify, and get to the roots of the persistent allegation of a missing $20 billion from the oil accounts. This move was announced on Thursday by Finance Minister and the Federal government’s Chief Treasurer, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, at a press briefing following her appearance before the senate’s Finance Committee which had commenced investigations into the alleged missing funds. There has been a back-and forth between Dr. Okonjo-Iweala and Mr. Sanusi Lamido, the nation’s two top fiscal managers on the question of the gap in the NNPC’s accounting of the oil revenue, and it has thus far been a civil and respectful exchange between the two top managers of Nigeria’s public finance who have basically agreed to disagree on this matter. CBN Governor Lamido has persisted in his own account of an unreconciled $20 billion that should accrue to the Federal government from sales of oil, but which by his own records have not be remitted to the federation account. Mr. Lamido has stated that CBN records indicate that national oil receipts available to the CBN show that the NNPC sold $67.8 Billion worth of crude in the past year with only $47.8 billion remitted to the federation account. The shortfall of $20 billion has been the subject of contention. On the other hand, the Finance Minister, speaking for the federal government, the NNPC and the Oil Ministry, has persisted in their own defence, that no such

thing as $20 billion is missing. Basically, that the gap is all a figment of the imagination of the CBN governor. Clear attempts have been made to politicize the CBN governor’s narrative and place upon it the integrity factor. Some have said that Lamido’s knowledge of accounting is rotten; some have said that he is merely bloviating to get on the nerves of the president and the ruling PDP because he has eyes on higher office via the new APC. But what has become clear is that this is a $20 billion worth story that will not go away. Indeed it should not because, aside from the fact that $20 billion is no mere chump change, there is the fundamental question of how Nigeria’s national revenue account is managed. This would not be the first time allegations of huge withdrawals and disappearances have happened in Nigeria’s oil accounts; huge monies that have disappeared in black holes and never to be seen again, except in the hints of private accounts in Switzerland, the Caymans, and such tax havens. What Sanusi’s crusade, if indeed it turns out to be a true crusade and not a hatchet job will do is to open very wide, the nature of this black hole and the dark matter that resides therein. I must say that I personally took a skeptical view of Sanusi Lamido’s challenge initially, at that point when Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, about three weeks ago came to clarify the situation of the accounts and provide its traces. I think that the initial scepticism was largely because the specifics of the CBN Governor’s


The $20 Billion that would not go away

narrative were lost in mediaspeak. It did seem for a while that Sanusi Lamido claimed that $67.8 billion had gone missing. The finance minister’s rebuttal which located and placed the money in context seemed like a credible and reassuring rebuttal. It did seem like the CBN Governor did not have his facts, and was uncertain about what was missing from the accounts. Was it $67.8 billion or was it $20 billion? In any case, if this $20 billion is missing from oil revenue in the last year alone, what

There may yet be no monies missing as might be revealed by the so-called “Forensic” accountants, but there is a great urgency to clean-up Nigeria’s oil business and its accounting procedures and management


about the accounts of the last five years since he has been Governor of the Central Bank? He seemed inconsistent. But as we continue to listen and learn from the parties involved in this unfolding drama, one thing is certain: the NNPC account is a doggone mess. Okonjo-Iweala herself acknowledged this at Thursday’s Press briefing: “The oil account is a very complex business,” she said. “For example, oil is lifted to pay back what is called “carry arrangement “ in which oil is supplied for loans taken by NNPC in the past and is to be paid back in crude oil to those creditors who gave NNPC those loans. So when you look at it, some-

one can say there is a missing x number of barrels which should have been accounted for. But it is used in paying for debt owed by the NNPC. That is why we are asking for forensic audit so that we can have all these things clearly verified. You can’t just look at the balance of payment numbers - you will not get it right. Those are some of the reasons why we said it is a complex issue. Let us get the experts into this and let them give account to Nigerians.” This is startling. What the Finance Minister simply is saying is that Nigeria’s oil account is a primitive system that is bound to yield primitive and inconsistent results. The labyrinth has been in-built to create all kinds of diversions, and within those diversions, all kinds of leakages which has made the NNPC one of the most corrupt institutions in Nigeria’s bureaucracy. It has been called “a government inside a government.” But its day must come, and we must put an end to the massive looting of Nigeria’s national revenue. If the Sanusi challenge must accomplish anything, this is it. So far, officials of the NNPC have failed to give a convincing account about the revenue gap of $20 billion that ought to come into the federation account. The Minister for oil, Mrs. Diezeani-Madueke and the NNPC MD, Mr. Andrew Yakubu have at separate moments tried to fob off the question by insisting that the alleged $20 billion has even in part been applied to kerosene subsidies. This is Sanusi Lamido’s challenge: there may yet be no monies missing as might be revealed by the so-called “Forensic” accountants, but there is a great urgency to clean-up Nigeria’s oil business and its accounting procedures and management. The NNPC must operate within the framework of its role as established by law. It is also heartwarming in one particular sense: Lamido Sanusi’s principled and defiant stance is evidence that we are beginning to rebuild the institutional systems that check governments and help keep their noses clean. We may yet thank Mr. Sanusi Lamido for this, irrespective of the outcome of the senate investigations and the forensic examination of the Nigerian oil accounts.



AGOS State University (LASU) Sen ate has fixed Monday, February 24, to reopen the school, shut down three weeks ago following students unrest.

After several hours of deliberations of the Senate made up of Provosts, Deans and Directors, it was directed that the university be re-opened to allow final year students across all departments to sit for their 2012/2013 academic session second semester examinations.

Olowo clocks 15 on the throne E Olowo of Owo, Oba D.V. Ola T teru Olagbegi, will be 15 years on the throne of Owo kingdom tomorrow. H

Press Secretary to Owo Kingdom Advisory Council, OKAC, Gboyega Amobonye, said a week-long activities of celebration in commemoration of the day has been lined up beginning with a press conference at the palace.

This will be followed by a cultural display at the palace grounds. The following day will witness the final of a football competition among secondary schools, at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic grounds, Owo at 4 p.m. Health talks and free medical services will be provided at the palace grounds on Wednesday.

DTHA: Group rallies support for Oharisi itical pressure group, Ground A Movement, has called for massive supports for the Delta State Deputy pol

Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Comrade Prince Eric Oharisi, aspiring to represent Ughelli North constituency 11 at the Delta State House of Assembly in the forthcoming 2015 general elections. The members of the group which cover the six wards of Ughelli North con-

stituency 11 pointed out that their decision to work with Comrade Oharisi was because of his love for the youths, old and the needy. The Chairman of the group, Mr. Jones Akporugo, Secretary, Mr. John Edegware stated that they resolved to support Comrade Oharisi’s ambition after closely watching his antecedence,expressing confidence that victory will come at the end of the tunnel.



IGERIA’S Uyi Stewart of IBM will this week feature on CNN’s African Voices, a 30-minute magazine program sponsored by Nigeria’s leading telecom company Globacom. Stewart, a computer guru, who moved to Kenya from his New York base, is the Chief Scientist at IBM Research –

Africa, IBM’s first research laboratory in Africa. In his new role which he assumed in August, 2013, from the TJ Watson Research Center in New York, Stewart spearheads innovation for a vast emerging market that is rapidly growing and embracing new technologies.


the sundayTRIBUTE

The man

Anyim Pius at 53 I

t is not for nothing that God Almighty bestowed him with the massive frame he carries about. In fact, it is that frame that helps him tolerate the physical demands of his office. For Anyim Pius, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, he does not need to engage in the demanding task of early morning exercises of jogging or the treadmill. His movement from the office at the Shehu Shagari Complex, near the National Assembly in the Three Arms’ Zone area of the Federal Capital City, FCT, Abuja, which is a beehive of activities on its own, to Aso Rock Presidential Villa, the countless hours used to pour over files, correcting, adding, removing from texts, as well as his sorties between his own office and the SGF’s conference room almost every day – including Sundays – are all more than enough to make him lose weight. Even his involvement in the activities to mark Nigeria’s centenary is enough to make any individual lose weight. And so he carries on. In another 48 hours, Anyim would turn 53 years. His life is one of Nigeria’s classic cases of grass to grace. Not that poverty was in a bear-hug with his family, growing up could as well be described as being under modest circumstances. His meteoric rise, just after his civil service years at the Refugees’ Commission, to becoming a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and, in just a little less than three years, its presiding officer, is the stuff of nearmagical ascendancy. But this son of Ishiagu village in Ivo Local Government Area, LGA, of Ebonyi State, did not over-reach himself. After the spat he had with the then President Matthew Okikiolakan Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo, a spat which was just a subplot in the wider crisis which rocked the latter’s presidency as a result of his seeking re-election, Anyim decided to stay away and out of the limelight. He was not to resurface in the polity again until 2008 in the race for the

chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. And whereas he bowed to party supremacy and stayed back in the party, others moved to other parties. And because only the deep can call unto the deep, Anyim Pius, working with other very eminent and distinguished Nigerians, rose when the occasion demanded that the country be saved from the shenanigans of a view individuals who were attempting to convert Nigeria’s presidential villa into a private estate. It was at a time when Turai Yar’Adua and a few aides of the then President Umaru Musa Yar ’Adua were toying with the sensitivity and sensibilities of Nigerians; a time when the presidency could not enjoy the benefit of deputizing substitute. Whiel Yar ’Adua remained frail on a Saudi Arabian hospital bed, his deputy, one Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, was denied access to him just as he was practically



since the SGF’s office was zoned to the S/East geo-political zone, there has been a preponderance of opportunities for his kinsmen. But that may just be tin air; the typical Nigerian fingerpointing. On a few occasions when the need for the suggestion of names to fill some positions were necessary, Anyim had turned down some of his kinsmen, requesting, instead, for people of substance and quality. Pray, if there is a kinsman whose qualification and qualities for a job tower above others be denied an appointment on account of affinity? Meanwhile, the activities for the

His life is one of Nigeria’s classic cases of grass to grace. Not that poverty was in a bear-hug with his family, growing up could as well be described as being under modest circumstances

barred from acting as or taking over presidential duties. It was the group to which Anyim belonged, a group of eminent Nigerians comprising former leaders of Nigeria’s legislative arms who rose against the perfidy, seeking the transfer of power to Jonathan. They were forceful. And whereas one of the very first appointments made by President Jonathan immediately after being sworn-in, on May 29, 2011, was the appointment of the SGF, Anyim’s choice was hailed as a good choice and also suggestive of a serious presidency. He has since been conducting himself and the affairs of his office with manifest best practices. But he is not perfect. One of the criticisms against him is the insinuation that

centenary celebrations which he oversees, has turned him into a story teller of sorts. He met with stakeholders across the socio-economic and political spectrum between December 2012 and January 2013, discussing, sensitising and explaining the broad objectives of the centenary celebrations. In private and in public, Anyim insists that “the centenary celebrations are about you and I; about generations yet unborn, about our country Nigeria. It is not about any individual or any government. It is about this nation and what we can use this 100-year-celebrations to reignite”. During the launch of the logo and torch, penultimate Monday, inside Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Anyim said the celebration is not only desirable but also

imperative because of the landmark the country has recorded in the last 100 years since its amalgamation. According to the SGF, the celebrations should offer Nigerians and Nigeria an opportunity to rejuvenate and have faith in their country and its potentials. He said the ceremony would be used to replace pessimism with optimism to make the country rise above its challenges. Anyim’s message was echoed by other dignitaries present at the ceremony. According to former Head of State Yakubu Gowon, who had the unique opportunity of presiding over the country during its most trying moments, “Nigeria is a unique nation, a nation of diverse, strong and hard working people” that has remained united despite the challenges that it had faced in the past and was still facing. Anyim’s abiding faith, which is total dependence on God, is expected to see him through in the coming months even as some criticise government’s rationale for the celebrations. He is a family man to the core. Anyim, GCON, is a devout Christian. His marriage to Chioma Blessing, also a lawyer, is blessed with a daughter and two sons. Anyim’s leisure interests are farming, meeting people, swimming, reading and community service. On a jocular note, for a man who loves farming and likes going to the village so as to remain close to his people, just visualise an Anyim, cutlass in hand, a hoe on the shoulder, wearing a pair of shots and a singlet strolling along the bush path in his village! What you have is a village farmer. But all of education, urban life and exposure, which once made Anyim Nigeria’s Number 3 citizen, continue to be relevant as he works hand-inhand with President Goodluck Jonathan and those in the leadership of the country.

PAGE 10— SUNDAY Vanguard,

FEBRUARY 16, 2014


CBN is right in withdrawing N1trillion public sector funds – Prof Ekpo BY UDEME CLEMENT

The new monetary policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) increasing Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) from 50 per cent to 75 per cent for the deposit banks has sparked a row in the financial sector. While some banks expressed the fear that the new policy could force them to retrench in order to cut their costs of operations, some financial experts said that the decision by the apex bank would check constant spike in the demand for dollars to reduce excess cash flows in the economy, even as the implementation of the policy could curtail excessive spending associated with election period. The new CRR policy framework calls for the withdrawal of about N1 trillion public sector funds from deposit money. The CBN explained that increased in CRR became necessary to address the problem of excess liquidity in the banking industry and to encourage the banks to mobilise savings from traditional sources, other than the public sector funds. A memo from CBN dated September 5, 2013 when the CRR was increased from 12 to 50 percent with reference BSD/ DIR/GEN/LAB/06/039, provided further guidance on the reporting requirements. The Director General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), who is also a professor of economics, Akpan Ekpo, spoke on the new policy on CRR and performance of the economy in 2013. The increase in CRR from 50 to 75 per cent and subsequent withdrawal of N1trillion public sector funds from deposit money for some financial analysts would reduce the money available to banks which could also have effect on interest rates in the country. What is your opinion on this?


HE increase in the CRR by another 25 per cent making it 75 per cent is an attempt by the apex bank to mop excess liquidity in the system as part of its mandate to fight inflation. As you are aware, private deposits are not affected. In the short and medium terms, the increase may result in an increase in the already too high lending rates and high lending rates may further discourage investment, which is a necessary ingredient for growth and development. However, since inflation could also be triggered by persistent spending, the result would be a further reduction in the inflation rate. There is the need for caution because too low inflation rate may

have negative implications on the economy as it would kill the profit motive of banks and other businesses. We could see that while the CBN pushed the CRR from 50 per cent to 75 per cent, the liquidity ratio and CRR on private sector deposits are maintained at 30 per cent and 12 per cent. This development is not totally new but a follow up to the monetary policy decision made in August 2013, when the CBN raised the CRR from 12 percent to 50 percent. Since then banks, continued to struggle to source for deposit from private sector and individuals, through increasing interest rate of savings accounts and other facilities. In the last quarter of 2013, the public sector deposits with banks fell about 2 per cent, which represented N3.99 trillion from September ’s N4.06 trillion, stood at N4.02 trillion in November 30 last year. What is the way out? Should the banks experience more challenges in trying to meet the current CRR stipulated by the apex bank? The point is to strike a balance. The apex bank should be more concerned with reducing the lending rates by decreasing the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) since inflation is now single-digit and would remain so in the foreseeable future. In the long-term, banks would adjust. The operators are always ahead of the regulator. Today, lending rates are very high, even as the real sector is in comatose. Sometimes we see the efforts of some technocrats and policymakers trying to move the economy forward, but unfortunately, they are not guided by a working-class ideology needed to radically address the matter of poverty and hopelessness. At the minimum, a developmental state philosophy must drive growth and development in the country. So, we need the visible hand of government to address important issues that are vital, to enhance tangible growth in the economy. As an economics expert, how do you assess the economy in 2013? In assessing the economy, performance must not be limited to economic issues only, but the entire gamut of socialpolitical activities for the fiscal year. Going by such analysis, the growth of GDP for 2013 was about 7 per cent. The non-oil sector that grew by 7.8 per cent in the previous year, declined to 7.4 in 2013. The manufacturing sector grew by 7 percent in 2013 and contributed only 4.2 per cent to the GDP. The agric sector experienced marginal growth of 5 per cent in 2013, compared to 4.5 per cent the sector record-

Prof. Akpan Ekpo ed in 2012. The contribution of oil and gas stood at 13 per cent in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Building and construction grew by 15 per cent in the third quarter of 2013 in contrast to a growth rate of 12.5

would remain the same by 2015. In our case, the perceived satisfactory growth rate has not created jobs for the citizens, especially the youths, because unemployment rate is about 37 per cent for youths

For the economy to move forward there must be a very strong regulatory framework for all the sectors to be stabilised. We should not use false assumptions to measure the index of growth rate per cent it had in early 2013. The sector contributed just 2 per cent to the GDP, which is quite insignificant given the important of this sector to the entire economy. Looking at the economy generally, the macro-economic fundamentals appeared much better in second quarter of 2013. The inflation rate was single digit, which enabled consumers to buy more goods and services, when compared to the first half of 2012. Beyond that, the fiscal deficit was lower than the same period in 2012. The contribution of manufacturing to GDP is about 4 per cent, this was the same contribution half year of 2012, and the forecast is that it

and is still rising by the day. What areas do you think government performed well in 2013? Aside from this, government must be commended for making great efforts in 2013 to unbundle the power sector through privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and subsequent handling over of assets to the private investors. This is quite significant because the previous administrations could not drive the process of privatising the power, which is crucial to economic growth and development. We believe that government will put an appropriate regulatory framework in place to cushion the anticipated burden on consumers, es-

pecially the low income earners and poor segment of the economy. Given the current situation of our labour market, how will you assess the economy in job creation? The unemployment rate in 2013 was 24 per cent, which is very high. This rate is far from the benchmark of 5 per cent. Also, the output loss to the economy cannot be over emphasized, let alone the social consequences of unemployment. It is not surprising that the rate of poverty increased to 70 percent in the third quarter of 2013. If we collapse the inflation rate and unemployment with the poverty incidence, both the discomfort and misery indices increased in 2012 and 2013. Government declared that the economy recorded increase in the influx of Foreign Director Investments (FDIs). What is your take on this? Apparently, the economy attracted more FDIs last year compared to 2012, but portfolio investments dominated about 70 per cent of the FDIs. An economy grows rapidly and benefits when foreign investors build factories to create jobs for citizens, transfer technology and build capacity, because portfolio investments are volatile and not sustainable in the long-term. What will you say are the economic implications of Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio of 21.50? For me, this is still within the threshold, meaning there is still space for borrowing. But the important thing is borrowing efficiently to invest in public goods and capital projects in order to grow the economy and improve the standard of living of the masses. If we borrow inefficiently, it simply means that government is committing the future generation into debt. Aside from foreign loans, government has the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) and other options for loan. What should government do in order to attract the huge informal to the formal sector to ensure holistic growth? At present, the informal sector accounts for 40- 50 percent of the nation’s economy. It is clear that, there is a widening inequality in the system, as the rich are getting richer every day, while the poor are getting poorer. Only a few are growing because they are working hard to cope with the current economic situation in the country. Analysing the states’ GDP is another way to hold state governments accountable, to ascertain if they are performing or not, and then couple with the social indices. This is quite imperative because the Federal Government keeps 50 percent of national revenue, while the states keep the rest, with nothing to show excerpt abandoned projects across the country. What will you advise government to do in this regard? For the economy to move forward there must be a very strong regulatory framework for all the sectors to be stabilised. We should not use false assumptions to measure the index of growth rate.

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 11

PAGE 12—SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014

We are heading dangerously to 2015 – Balarabe Musa *Says Asari Dokubo, others can make things worse BY OLAYINKA AJAYI Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa is the National Chairman of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and the first civilian governor of the old Kaduna State. In this interview, he faults the sequence of the 2015 polls as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, but which means the presidential election will hold before gubernatorial, saying the electoral body allowed itself to be manipulated in a way that President Goodluck Jonathan can force incumbent governors to work for his re-election. He is also dissatisfied that there no new Electoral Act in place ahead of the 2015 polls Excerpts: HAT is your view about the INEC timetable for the 2015 general elections? (Laughing ). If we are truly going to have any election, the timetable coming at the time it did is in order because this is the right time to release it. But the timetable is causing problems particularly on the sequence and the bandwagon effect that can arise. How do you mean? The sequence of the elections is top- bottom; the presidential election holds first. If INEC as an institution is desperate to have public confidence going by the poor con-


duct of past elections in the past and the need to rediscover itself, why would it do such a thing that will raise a high level of lack of confidence in it? Why change the sequence of election? This has drastically reduced the level of confidence people have in the body. That is part of the reasons adduced by the opposition parties in rejecting the timetable. It is not just political parties that should reject it, all Nigerians should reject the time table because the change of sequence without a cogent reason raises suspicion. And before any election, the National Assembly should pass a law on how the election would be conducted. That has not been done yet and it is possible for any of the political parties to take INEC to court claiming the 2015 elections are not being conducted in accordance with the law. You cannot go to court over the sequence of election which is clearly within the power of INEC, but conducting an election without an electoral law is a contravention of the law and any party can go to court to stop the election. But it is believed in some quarters that the INEC timetable is a recipe for free and fair election. How can you have free and fair election when you know the bandwagon the sequence of election can bring in favour

Anybody threatening Nigeria come 2015 can only make the situation worse and who ever is making that threat should know that he can be challenged by others

•Balarabe Musa of Jonathan? It means INEC is being political, trying to help the President win re-election. And with the issue of impunity that is rocking the country, the sincerity of INEC is in doubt. I have raised two issues: The implication of band wagon and the lack of Electoral Law under which the elections can hold. Even if INEC can hold elections without the Electoral Law, for its own credibility, it needs to explain to Nigerians why it needed to arrange the elections in that sequence. The President seemed to have influenced INEC to start with the presidential election

2014: Budget: We cannot be rubber stamp lawmakers – Senator Ashafa BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI


HE opposition party, All Progressives Congress, APC, was, recently, under attack following the directive to its lawmakers at the National Assembly to block the passage of the 2014 Budget, the confirmation of Mr. President’s ministerial nominees and service chiefs. APC Interim National Chairman, Bisi Akande, at its National Executive Committee meeting, directed the party’s lawmakers to block all Executive Bills and confirmation of the President’s nominees to protest what he described as the Presidency’s complicity in the crisis in Rivers State controlled by the party. “In view of the joint resolutions of the National Assembly on Rivers State, and other constitutional breaches by the Presidency, the APC hereby directs its members in the National Assembly to block all legislative proposals, includ-

ing the 2014 budget and confirmation of all nominees to military and civilian positions to public office, until the rule of law and constitutionalism is restored in Rivers State in particular, and Nigeria in general”, the Interim Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated. This statement was condemned by members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which they considered as a threat to democracy. Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, in his reaction to the development, lambasted the PDP. “The move to block executive Bills is a legitimate tool to bring the executive to the table to have a negotiated compromise inorder to go forward”, the governor said. “But let me say here without any shadow of doubt that the three arms of government in the theory of separation of powers recognize the need for every arm of governments, the executive, legislature and the judiciary, as a

to get the governors to help him win the presidency before they get his backing for the gubernatorial election and it is in line with what has been happening in the country which is the bandwagon effect. INEC, even though is called ‘Independent National Electoral Commission,’ you know it is not independent. The President can hold the INEC Chairman and drag him down and there is nothing he can do about it. If he proves stubborn, he can be subjected to the treatment suffered by former PDP Chairmen Bamaga Tukur who was recently

I want to call the attention of the Senate to the justification of how money from the Excess of the Crude Account for 2012 and 2013 had been illegally withdrawn and spent by the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy •Senator


check on the other. In the process of that check, institutionally, traditionally, the legislature has found, as a legitimate weapon, the withdrawal of cooperation from the executive in order to bring a belligerent executive back onto the negotiation table, and, as they always say that nobody can claim to ownership of Nigeria and when appeals and letters fail, the legitimate tool is the use of the power of cooperation or the withdrawal of cooperation”. The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing, Lands and Urban Development, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, also came out stoutly in support of the di-

rective, saying it is in order and in best interest of Nigerians. Ashafa, representing Lagos East Senatorial District, while speaking on the floor of the Senate, after being called upon by Senate President David Mark to make his contribution, during the ongoing debate on the 2014 Budget presented by the Federal Government, urged the lawmakers not to allow themselves to be made “rubber stamp legislators.” “The National Assembly, in line with its statutory functions enshrined in Section 59 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, should critically review this year ’s budget proposal with the

forced out of the office. It was the same thing they did to Audu Ogbeh who experienced humiliation before he was forced out of office. What is your view about Asari Dokubo’s threat if Jonathan is not returned for second term? In the first place, there is no peace in Nigeria; so he can only make things worse if he can. Or can you generally say there is peace in Nigeria? In any case, the security of the nation is negative. Meanwhile what he said is a challenge to others. Anybody threatening Nigeria come 2015 can only make the situation worse and who ever is making that threat should know that he can be challenged by others.

main aim of making absolutely sure that it addresses the plight of the common man that gave them their sacred mandate to be in the positions they are in today, they owe this to them without recourse”, the senator said. “I want to call the attention of the Senate to the justification of how money from the Excess of the Crude Account for 2012 and 2013 had been illegally withdrawn and spent by the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, without reference to the National Assembly in flagrant violation of Section 80(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “Also, there is declining percentage of Capital Expenditure to Recurrent Expenditure in the past three years meaning that there will be continuous reduction in the rate of growth, job creation, development and quality of life for an average Nigerian. “I wonder why we had the the allocation of N10 billion for cassava bread in the 2013 Budget and the bread is not readily available on the streets for the average Nigerian except those that visit the Presidency. “Also, the sharp deviation of the 2014 Budget presented by the Minister from the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) which, invariably, makes the 2014 Budget illegal. My candid opinion is that the 2014 Budget should be returned to sender.”





idelis Duker as a movie producer has paid his dues in Nollywood. He met his wife, Temitope, 17 years ago, while running a professional programme at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) and married her few years later. The couple shared their story.... The husband spoke first. Was I ready for marriage? ot exactly as marriage was not my priority then as we were still dating, but I had made up my mind as a teenager that any lady that got pregnant for me was the person I would marry. As fate would have it, at the time my wife took in, I was already a successful film producer. So wedding wasn’t an issue and, moreover, of all those I was dating then, she was the most humble and very accommodating of me. I could be intolerant but she was and is still a very patient woman. Today, that child we did not abort, even though some friends wanted us to do so, is in the university. How I met her We actually we met in school when I was running a professional programme at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos about 17 years ago. It was love at first sight when I saw her in the school hall. She was initially pessimistic about dating me but my insistence and show of affection drew her closer and I think she liked me but pretended. What keeps marriage going I will say my wife’s patience, tolerance, love, support and determination to see me succeed against all odds has been the motivating factor. I have also loved and respected the sanctity of marriage which has been the reason several marriages have collapsed. There must be mutual respect for each other. She is also a gogetter who, when she sets her mind on something, she goes all out to get it. Did I marry my dream woman? I don’t think I would have lasted with any other woman because we have had our turbulent times like you will find in any marriage, but we have used mutual respect and maturity to surmount them. The journey so far Our marriage will be 16 years in May and we are blessed with three lovely children, two girls and a boy and, like I said, it has not been all rosy. God has kept us going, but I can assure you that the last 16 years has been the most eventful in my life as I have been with a woman who truly loves me and believes in me as her partner. Whether sex improves intimacy in marriage Of course, couples must have sex or rather make love because I don’t seem to like the statement ‘have sex’. To me, having sex is casual while making love is


intimate and cherished. And to a large extent, it has worked for us as we have it as often as any normal couple will have it. It improves intimacy and I see it as spiritual. I shower my wife with love Any man who doesn’t love his wife is not a man. Every woman, not necessarily a wife, wants to be loved; so I see no reason any man will deprive his woman, not to mention his wife, of love. So it is an obligation or rather a responsibility for a man or husband to love his wife and vice versa. Anything short of that is not a marriage or relationship. So I show my wife love 24/7 What marriage taught me Marriage as an institution has taught me to be responsible, more loving, detailed, careful and a very good planner. As a bachelor, I hardly planned but with marriage comes responsibility and you are compelled to plan. Before I married. I don’t think I broke anybody’s heart because I am still very good friends with my former lovers. I parted with them on good notes and they are married too. So what it says is that you must be able to prioritize and define how you intend to end a relationship on a cordial note. I tell people that one of my ex then attended my bachelor ’s eve, another was at my wedding; so it depends on your approach. Fond memories


everal fond memories, the difficult times after my first daughter when we were homeless. The times we had all our children as each of them had its different fond memories. The trying times when things were so difficult after our second child and we slept on bare floor with the baby as there was no mattress

and the day we bought a mattress was like buying a Bentley car for the family. It was all bad I remember when the entire family went on a vacation; it was a beautiful moment seeing the ecstatic children happy. How many kids do you intend to have? We have three kids, the first,

Fidelia, is in the university, the second, Frances, and the last, for now, is Fredrick, the only boy. Don’t ask me for now because we don’t know what God can do. (Laughs). We got married on May 23, 1998; so, in about three months time, it will be 16 years of an eventful journey which is just starting.

He is ‘Mr Nice Guy’— Wife The attraction is simplicity and intelligence. He is also a very kind and lov ing man. Accepting proposal The circumstances of our meeting, which resulted in the pregnancy of our daughter , necessitated my accepting his proposal even though I was still very young at that time. Though I finished school very early, I was looking forward to enjoying my life, but, thank God, the baby came and, today, I am happy seeing my kids grow. Belonging to the same profession with husband It is quite challenging considering the fact that we do same thing almost every day coupled with the fact that we shared the same office for 14 years until two years ago when I got my shop and felt I should do something else. But my husband has respect for our marriage and, by the grace of God, we have tried to be role models to young couples and even established ones.


What I do to make my husband feel loved? Simply support his career path. Respect, love, protect, advice and share always in his joy, sorrow, victory, losses and anything you can think of . I perform my role both in the kitchen and in the bedroom as a wife, mother, sister and lover. What I would have done if I didn’t marry him? It was destined to be and there is no such thing like what would I have done. Ours is a marriage ordained by God. We have been through thick and thin when there was nothing and we remained as one. So, the question of other options does not arise. What I don’t like about him His temperament is one thing I have tried to manage and he is getting over it. He is also very trusting and, most times, he gets hurt by friends but, in all these, it does not take away the fact that he is a very compassionate and nice guy . Sometimes, I sarcastically call him “Mr. Nice Guy” because people often times take advantage of his trust.




Biola Ige has never fallen in love before! I

magine being caught up with a game of Russian Rou lette where the thrust of the game is picking up a date with a dame that pops up in your neck of the wood and you get landed with super sexy and beautiful Nollywood actress, Biola Ige. Isn’t that a rather twisty prospect that could change your whole outlook, especially about love, because this Thespian must have been carved out to be an object of love. But for Biola, love, is not something that has ever come knocking at her door, at least from the opposite sex. Recently in a chat, the actress opened a can of worms when she confessed to Yours Truly she has never been in love with any man in her life. Surprised, I asked her whether the guys were never coming around to woo her or whether she has set a rather lofty standard for herself. But the response I got could only make me gawk. “ Guess the guys that come my way, It is always about the sex” she says. “No time for friendship and all we just do is enjoy each other. I don’t think guys in Nigeria have time for love or to love . Maybe it will happen soon,who knows tomorrow”. She said that is the reason she has never celebrated St. Valentine’s Day in her life because love hasn’t found her just yet. I have always thought only the rich cry, never knew the beautiful ones have their own tears to shed.

s y a s n a r i h K e y i k Ado ” s ’ e n i t n e l a V s she’s “Mis

r le to ge th er ... fo br in gi ng pe op . ys sa e o sh an d Im the sake of Love” e th at in g m us ic st ar Ris ba ss ad or “ I do n’ t re al ly be li ev ab ou t am th ly St at eY ou on is m us t ha ve ne ’s da y es w it h Ad ok iy e K yr ia n rs on al it ie s V al en ti to ex ot ic pl ac gifts or pe g in go e e m ul ti pl iv ns e r person. Sh lovers, buying expe s Day embodied in he on e to o what have you. Valentine’ tim e ve li a ng di is ju st en . sp be ab ou t un de rs ta nd co m pl ic at ed to id he r m um sh ou ld ople who can’t afford to pe sa ly ith w nt y too and Sh e re ce if sh e ge ts a make themselves happ ar e th e r he ll ki ld ou w to ch ur ch to sh at ho lic , yo u ta tt oo , sh e’ s C fa ct di dn ’t go in g love with fellow Christian at e Agap kn ow , bu t th rs and family. ay an y pa rt se em ed to pl to ok a ha lf- membe my Valentine’s Days are of t Mos e I w he n th e di va o sh oo t, sp en t in th e ch ur ch be ca us d ph ot he es fr re na ke d be 0 r 20 0, 00 al w ay s w an t to re po rt ed ly , fo good works and about the Saint’s wrong, I didn’t . po un ds ay ’t get me en tin e’ s D N ow at St . V al the surface all. Don not romantic, In fact did to I’m e y m sa ca e med St. Adokiy r personality I mention? I was nickna ca us e I he ot an ith w n ai be ag ou t he r. Sh e tin e in sc ho ol , ye t un ko w n ab through the V al en bringing people together y in ul was to w ho took Yours Tr essence in cl ud in g m ar ri ed co up le s ry ve e th d an es history m ho is r ei ntine’s Day d issues in th of what St. Vale yi ng St . ha st want to state that the idea sa t, ju I ou ab ex pe ct in g al l is “ Liturgical of gi rl fr ie nd s om th ei r Valentine’s Day on e or m or e ex pe ns iv e gi ft s fr m pl et el y ce le br at io n of co ed Saints nam bo yf ri en ds is . early Christian ow n fo r anathema to me” she says kn .. s. nu ti V al en

Does Cynthia Agholor really prefer White men to Blacks?


IVACIOUS Cynthia Agholor has been in Nollywood since 1996, keeping her head low, seemingly to avoid the blaring light of attention that comes with fame. But fame isn’t a lenient suitor, at least it doesn’t take prisoners and this is a hard fact that has come to stare the curvaceous actress in the face. Soft-spoken, cultured and well-mannered Cynthia has had to grapple with more controversies than she rightly deserved. There was a story that ran her aground that she fought unclad with Cossy Orijiakor, her one-time room-mate, over some flimsy issues in public. As if that was not enough to make light of the actress’ respectable career, another one claimed that she dumped a Ghanaian producer, Elvis Lamptey for one Udofia Ugoo, an international movie producer. But in a recent chat with Yours Truly, Cynthia disclaimed all the reports, saying they were not only false but that she never had any idea of such stories. She claims she doesn’t know any Elvis or any Udofia that goes with a surname ‘Ugoo’. In fact she laughed it off and told me she has told all her friends not to believe whatever is being written about her except when she gives an interview. She did give one recently and that started another round of trouble for the actress. The usually quiet artiste was shocked when she was quoted out of context that she prefers White men to Nigerian men, when what she meant in the interview was that she prefers the White men’s honesty to the Nigerian men trickery in relationships. In fact she asserted in the interview that Nigerian men make better lover s than White men. Cynthia who starred in a new movie ‘Gina and the Fish’ yet to hit the cinemas, once dated a White man and that has since been an issue that continues to haunt her career.


Rita Dominic: R

ita Dominic has stood out for so long as Nollyood leading lady but seemed to have caught up with producing movies rather late in her career. Though her effort ‘The Meeting’ according to reports grossed N25 million at the box office even with a greater claim that the DVD, within weeks of release sold over 50,000 copies.

War of Nollywood queens on big screen I

t wasn’t so long ago when marketers, who produced the chunk of the movies in Nollywood called the shots and wave their wands as far as their whims could carry them. They were so powerful they could ostracise any actor they felt was not playing ball according to their rules. In fact, there was a time they took their axe to town and clamped down on a number of actors they deemed were getting too big for their own shoes. But that was in a distant past now as their powers are waning, not because they don’t have the kind of money they used to wield but for the simple fact that some of the actors have wisen up to the fact that for them to survive they must not only row their boats, they must also oil it and even own it. And oil it they have, as a number of them now produce their films and even market it. Big thanks, to the rebirth of the cinema culture which has come just at the nick of time to rescue the situation, more in favour of the actors who are finding their new identities. The terrain is wearing a new look, and that new look has taken on a new trend which is catching on like a widefire. Every actor now looks forward to being regarded as a producer. At least the producers call the shots and have the biggest bank balances. The Yoruba Nollywood sector was the first to catch the virus and the epidermic it generated affected almost every practitioner in that sector. Every Yoruba actor is a producer or intending to be. Only recently, the English sector of Nollywood was bitten by the bug and the reaction has been quite astounding. The target has been the big screen with the rebirth of the cinema culture. Though not many of them have really discovered this new lease of life but those who have, are doing it with such alacrity that may possibly leave us with more producers than actors. With the exception of people like Desmond Elliot, few male actors have travelled down this road unlike the female who are gravitating towards it like it is some fashion trend. And are they blowing us away with quality flicks!

Uc he Jombo: Uche

When Uche Jombo premièred ‘After The Proposal’ last year that made it her 13th produced movie.The movie, had a mixed assemblage of new and old hands in the industry. Her other films include Nollywood Hustlers, Holding Hope, Damage among others.

Iy abo Ojo: Iyabo

Stephanie Ok erek e: Okerek ereke:


yabo Ojo is another Yoruba actress who has distinguished herself from the pantheon of Yoruba mediocre producers. Her self produced flicks are top class. Among them are ‘Arinzo, Tenbelu, and ‘Silence’ set to hit the big screen soon. Others who have registered their presence in the this landscape include the likes of Chioma Chukwuka, Chioma Okoye, Funke Akindele, Dayo Amusa, Omoni Oboli and a host of others.


tepahnie has been an actress and a director for a long time. Her first and recent effort which is yet to be premièred ‘Dry’ focuses on the fight to protect the girl child. The movie stars Stephanie herself and veteran actress, Liz Benson.

Rukky Sanda: RukkySanda has enjoyed some measure of success as a producer even when she was quoted as saying that her first produced film ‘Lethal Woman’ wasn’t a very good work. Her latest one ‘Gold Digging’ got a glowing review and made so much noise when it hit the cinemas. It was even said the movie shot Rukky into the next echelon in the society ladder. C M Y K

Laide Bak are: Bakare:


mong the Yoruba actors, Laide Bakare is proving to be one of the most prolific quality producers. And to stamp her authority, she has taken her trade to the big screen and has produced a number of highly successful flicks. Among them are ‘Jejere’, ‘Alhaja Tio Common’ and recently ‘Money Bag’



OP MESA soldier goes berserk, shoots colleague, father of four to death over N500 *Widow: I lost two children, husband in a row! *Family demands justice BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA


n the first Monday of February 2014 when many looked forward to the new month with aspirations, tragedy struck at Ayinla Junction in Agbado area of Ijaiye Ojokoro Local Government Area of Lagos: the life of a 36-year-old tricyclist, Richard Samuel, was allegedly terminated by a trigger-intoxicated OP MESA official, simply identified as Mohammed, over the tricyclist’s failure to pay an illegal daily levy of N500.

Events surrounding murder

According to Adegoke Samson, Chairman of the Agbado/Dalemo unit of the Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria, TORA, who narrated the event to Sunday Vanguard, when two OPMESA officials approached him around with vehicle number plate KJA 971 AR and inscription ‘OP MESA 039’ for the usual N500, he summoned Samuel, popularly known as

angry and probably suspicious of Samuel’s intention. “He left and returned later in rage, grabbing Samuel by his trousers and ordering him to enter into their vehicle. He queried him saying: ‘So you don’t want to give me the money? Do you think I am a police officer? I will kill you now!’. Samuel was stunned at his outrage and refused to enter their vehicle. At this time, he had the N500 note and was pleading with the man to collect it. Instead of yielding, the officer suddenly pointed his gun at Samuel at close range and shot him dead on the spot. When his colleague, a fellow officer, queried his superfluous action, he immediately shot him dead as well, ordering a private vehicle owner driving past to stop, at gun point, and dragging the corpse of his colleague into the vehicle whose driver he immediately ordered to drive off. He could not use their vehicle because he had punctured one of its tyres in the course of his shooting-spree. That was how he escaped and left their driver who was later apprehended by officers of Ebenezer Police Station by

OP MESA officials claimed my husband was shot because he was caught smoking marijuana in a marijuana joint. That is blatant lie because a crowd of people at Ayinla junction witnessed how he shot my husband and then shot his colleague who reacted Small Sunday, being their Financial Secretary, to hand them the sum. But there were only N1,000 notes with Samuel and he asked to be excused to go and get smaller denomination of the notes. As reported by Adegoke, while Samuel was away to get the smaller naira notes, another tricyclist in same association came by and acerbically queried why they should attend to the officers who had already collected same amount of money from a neighbouring tricycle unit. Meantime, one of the officers, Mohammed, had become C M Y K

Block Bus Stop in Jankara”, Adegoke told Sunday Vanguard.

Visit to deceased’s home


hen Sunday Vanguard visited the late Samuels’s home, joy seemed to have vanished into thin air for the entire family. From the face of his surviving wife to his four children who repeatedly enquired about the whereabouts of their father and surviving 58-year-old mother who cried incessantly for justice, hope appeared a dream of the night.

Samuel’s widow, Mrs.Rukayat Samuel, a 30year-old housewife who trained as a chemist and auxiliary nurse but was advised by her husband to stay at home to care for their children, couldn’t fight back tears as she spoke. “When a friend called to inform me that Monday morning, I shouted and fainted. I demanded to know my husband’s killer and was taken to Ebenezer Police Station where the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, informed me that the matter had been immediately transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department, Panti that Tuesday morning since it was a murder case. The police at the Ebenezer station tried very well for me. They offered to take me and my accompanying family members to Panti, which they did the following day. There, I saw the OP MESA vehicle used by my husband’s killer.

OP MESA justifies killing

“We were shocked to find out that that same Wednesday morning, OP MESA officials were at Panti to demand the release of the driver of the vehicle. The police, however, insisted Mohammed must be fished out first. We were told the OP MESA officials claimed my husband was shot because he was caught smoking marijuana in a marijuana joint. That is blatant lie because a crowd of people at Ayinla junction witnessed how he shot my husband and then shot his colleague who reacted. Now they want to play trick and cover up the crime to prevent justice. The policemen at Panti later informed us that Mohammed had been detained in their office at PWD, near Oshodi. ”The truth is that my husband never even smoked cigarette, not to talk of Marijuana. I had known him for 17 years. He never smoked cigarette and he never came

The late Samuel and wife children are all in school. The first is 14-year-old and he is in SS1 in a boarding school. The second is in JSS3, the third is in Primary 5 and the fourth is in kindergarten.

Missing valuables

•Mrs. Victoria Samuel, mother of the deceased home late at night. His job has been riding the tricycle for some years now.”


Recollecting memories of her late husband, Rukayat said: “The last moment I had with him was on phone. He had called me that Monday around to greet and know what I would like him to buy for me when returning home. This is so painful because before, now, I had lost two children; one was a stillborn and the other, a three-year-old child. My husband was a peaceloving man and I’m sure he kept no extra-marital affair because he usually called me to meet him at a joint where he always treated me to soft drinks and nice meals. That was how he always relaxed.

Breadwinner gone “My husband was the sole breadwinner of our home and also his immediate family, including his mother. We all depended on him. He was the one paying the school fees of his children and that of his siblings. In fact, he gave a certain amount of money to his mum every week. Our four

“In fact, he had promised to buy a plot of land for his mum by the middle of this month. He even told me that Monday morning that he had part of the money he wanted to use to buy the land in his pocket because he had just collected it from the contribution he was part of. We were to go make part-payment that evening. His younger brother who took his body to the mortuary with policemen said that by the time they got to the mortuary and the attendant there undressed him and cleaned him up, there was no longer money in the pockets. Even his cell phone and I.D card were missing.”

My last moments with son —Deceased’s mum

The mother of the deceased, Victoria Samuel, fought back tears as she spoke, recollecting the memories and her last moments with her first son. Victoria said: “My last moment with him was the day before his death. He was the one feeding me. I never thought he would not live to bury me. I am helpless and lonely now. I just want government to have mercy on me. Get justice for my son and help his family. In my days as a younger person, soldiers lived in the barracks; I wonder why soldiers, now in the name of OP MESA, extort motorists at their parks and even shoot those who do not oblige them on time! Lagos State government and the police should please fish out the killer-soldier, Mohammed. Otherwise, he will go on killing others with impunity. Now he has made my son’s children fatherless and his wife, a widow; no one to take care of us now.”




A shot from the official One Billion Rising documentary. Insets: Youths marking the event in Nigeria in an event organised by Wellbeing Foundation and Children marking it in Philippine last Friday.

One Billion Rising: When women hijacked Valentine's Day worldwide BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA


HILE the world c e l e b r a t e d Valentines Day a couple of days ago, women the world over did something eccentric: wearing a touch of red, they rose, danced, walked out and demanded an end to violence against women and girls. The unifying mantra was “Rise for Justice” though, in various countries, the event tagged 'One Billion Rising' highlighted sub-themes that portrayed the struggles of women in terms of nationality and continent. While thousands of events reportedly took place worldwide with street protests, the global campaign also trended on social media with women and girls dropping revolutionary remarks and uploading pictures of themselves with the one hand ‘I Arise’ signal. One of those tweets that caught Feminista’s fancy was by Toyin Saraki, former First Lady of Kwara State, who wrote: “I rise because #VAW is injustice, I rise because #VAW is discriminatory, I rise because I say NO to #VAW #1billionrising” A year ago, during the first day of action of the campaign, campaigners in 207 countries rose and danced to highlight the widespread nature of abuse, emphasizing the United Nation’s assertion which estimated that at least one in three women is beaten,

coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner in the course of her lifetime. Worldwide, it is estimated that one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape. This year, the campaign has shifted its focus to demand

justice for victims of violence. Eve Ensler, author and founder of the campaign, in an online report, said the campaign was designed to unite local needs with a global support network. She said: “It’s easy to feel alone and isolated. What

a r t X Fem

global solidarity does is to create energy around these campaigns, which are selfdirected and autonomous. This campaign has become “unstoppable”. It started in the community but it has invigorated the women’s movement and brought

coalitions together with a real impact in every direction.” A centre idea behind the choice of date for the campaign, according to sources, is to get the world to stop and think about lovelove and respect for mankind which rationally should include women.

Spain moves to restrict access to abor tion abortion


F a proposed law presently being pushed by Spanish Members of Parliament, MPs, is eventually endorsed, women and girls in Spain will have to either retain unwanted pregnancies or employ the services of quacks if abortion becomes inevitable. The bill which has faced heavy criticisms from women groups in the country since it was tabled last December by the governing People’s party was a couple of days ago voted by the MPs for advancement in a secret ballot initiated by the Socialist Parliamentary Group which sought to abort the move. Widely attacked by women’s groups as a step backwards, the changes will make abortion illegal except in the case of rape or when there is a risk to the physical and mental health of the mother. Any woman wanting an abortion would require two doctors to verify these

circumstances. Last week saw hundreds of Spanish women walk into regional government offices demanding that their bodies be entered in commercial registries, normally reserved for cars and airplanes. Activists explained to confused bureaucrats that they wanted official certification that their bodies belong to them.

From left: Mr Sri Krisman, Ahuja Chief Executive Officer, Sunflag Group, Mrs Joy Chinwokwu,Chief Executive Officer, Best of the World Promoting Fashion & Textile, Mr. Suleman Alhaji Isa, Lagos State Head, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mrs G. K . Adereti, Deputy GM, Sunflag Group , and Mr. Jaiyeola Paul Olarewaju, Director General, Nigeria Textile Garments and Tailoring Employers Associaton,during the Sunflag Group and Best of the World Business Forum curb the patronage of substandard school uniform products in Nigeria, held in Lagos

EU condemns Afghan la w that w ould silence law would battered women


N less than two weeks, women in Afghanistan may face battering with unabated impunity if President Hamid Karzai does not veto a law which would restrict prosecutions for domestic and child abuse. The draft which has been described by the European Union as a backward step

while activists warn there are few days left to stop it from coming into force, is implied in a new criminal prosecution code which will bar relatives from testifying against each other. In effect, this will put justice out of reach for victims of domestic violence, forced marriage or child abuse. A final draft was completed

last week and has been sent by parliament to President Hamid Karzai, according to an international diplomat who is following the progress of the legislation, a report by the Guardian UK says. Under the Afghan constitution, if Karzai does not veto it within 15 days, the law will come into force by default.

PAGE 18 — SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014



N December 14, 2013, reprieve came the way of a former Chairman, Board of Directors, Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, Chief Olabode Ibiyinka George, through a judgment by the Supreme Court which voided the two years jail term which he (George) served after being convicted for fraud by a Lagos High Court on October 26, 2009. The apex court said George was tried under a law that did not exist at the time he served on the NPA Board, hence he was let off the fiveand-a-half years of the albatross hung on his neck. Others freed by the apex court with George, who was military governor, old Ondo State; Deputy National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Director-General of the Presidential Campaign that produced the Yar ’Adua/Jonathan presidency in 2007, were former Managing Director of the NPA, Mr. Aminu Dabo, Alhaji Abdullahi Aminu Tafida, Captain Oluwasegun Abidoye, Alhaji Zanna Maidaribe and Mr. Sule Aliyu. At home in Ikoyi George, a retired Navy Commodore, who was Aso Rock Principal Officer during the Abacha/Diya regime, told Sunday Vanguard that even though his prison experience served as a period of self- rediscovery, the curse emanating from the scheming that took him to prison would never leave those who convolutedly did it unless they seek restitution and pray “God Almighty for forgiveness.” George and time The PDP chieftain, who, it was gathered, has a particular respect of being called ‘Oga’ by President Goodluck Jonathan, has always demonstrated the lessons of his military training as he considers nothing too much to keep appointment so that whoever he so gave one was never disappointed. The Atona Oodua of Yorubaland, who appreciated Sunday Vanguard for allowing him to state his own side of his travails prior to the Supreme Court verdict, had twice flown into Lagos from the presence of Mr. President so as not to ever “disappoint this young reporter.” “Nigeria has invested so much in me than for me to misbehave or mess up with the nation’s image. I will forever be grateful to Nigeria for the kind of military discipline that I have,” said the retired commodore. “I need to talk about the whole experience just for generations coming behind to have the true picture of what actually happened. And I am saying it now so that it should never happen to anybody again. People who have the opportunity to be in positions of power should never use it to persecute. These are wicked people, who thought that they could do what they did to us and get away with it.” Bitterness “I am not a lawyer. A senior lawyer of Yoruba extraction was part of those behind my imprisonment, he was among those who drafted the charg-


First week in jail was tough because I was viciously angry! *’Curse is on those who orchestrated my imprisonment’ *Says he saved lives while incarcerated BY BASHIR ADEFAKA es because he was a consultant to EFCC. And I have said it several times that if he does not ask for forgiveness from God before he dies, he will go through a worse experience. “Now I thank the Almighty God that all those implicated in the matter and I are now back. I am not sick and I am not mentally derailed. Can you imagine the condition under which I was sent to prison on an absolutely non-existing law? There was no law, yet some people said there was a

Lagos State government is the greatest political enemy of our party and me in particular. Some people within our party also conspired and handed us to the enemy law-breaking! Can you imagine that?” On the fiat to prosecute him “And the other side of it that I want the public to know, apart from the jagajaga, rubbish they could not prove, is that Justice Oyewole just felt that we must go to prison even when there was no law that we had broken because, during our trial, our lawyer said that boy, Keyamo, didn’t have a fiat. We wrote to the Ministry of Justice and the Minister of Justice and Attorney-Geneal at that time, Adetokunbo Kayode, said if he was invited to court, he would come to tender documents that Keyamo had no fiat but that, unless he was summoned, he would not come. “So when we came out, our lawyer wrote another letter to the Justice Ministry demanding clarifications about who gave Keyamo fiat. Did the Ministry of Justice know about

*Bode George... Keyamo had no fiat to prosecute me it? Because of the Freedom of Information Act, which has now been signed into law, they now replied. And so we now wrote the court through one of our lawyers that Keyamo did not have a fiat. So, who orchestrated the plot to rail-roll us to court? They used the Attorney-General of Lagos State to bring us before the court of Lagos State. Reading that judgment, in one of the areas, they said they (Lagos State) had no jurisdiction to have done that.” Greatest enemy “Who are we going to sue? I am a member of the party, not even only a very senior member but I was also the Deputy National Chairman. I was the Director-General of the national campaign that brought Yar ’Adua and Jonathan to power. Do I also go and sue

that government who had won election on our own platform? People are considering that should we sue the conspirators within the PDP or should we sue Lagos State government.....? “Lagos State government is the greatest political enemy of our party and me in particular. Some people within our party also conspired and handed us to the enemy. Such characters, are they human beings? Members of the same party, you took your son or your family member to the lion? If they don’t go for restitution, if they don’t ask for forgiveness as it were, the curse on them and members of their families will be unimaginable. I thank God, we went there and now we are out. Supposing we have been executed, what would our people be saying now? It will continue to haunt them. Those

who live in the path of perfidy will die in perfidy. “I am saying these things now because I am a student of history. You cannot do this to others and expect that you would be comfortable and be happy. You can’t escape the wrath of the Almighty God! So, there is need for them to go and, first of all, apologize to their creator and then to us. What about the financial implications: the kind of money we paid to lawyers? For nothing! There is something from Transparency International concerning us. They said they were happy that in a third world country, justice was not only said but seen in action. I am not begging for anything but let the world know the truth so that never again will

Continues on page 19

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 19

INTRIGUING EXPERIENCES Continued from page 18 this happen to anybody in this country.” Supreme Court and hope “What the Supreme Court has done is to rekindle my hope and interest in the nation. Most of us thought that this nation was a charade and that it would collapse. Justice? Yes. That is even one of the laws of nature for human beings. Where there is no justice, there can never be peace. But now that the common man knows he can get justice, there is hope rekindled. Those jurists, men of honour refused to be bought over by those millionaires and decided to remain on the path of honour that justice is deserved. They proved that justice is blind. It does not look at your colour, your tribe but the law. What does the law say? You remember we kept saying, “ what did we do?” Recently I heard Justice Ayo Salami talking about ….justice and all that. It is laughable! Laughable!!” Prison experience “My first one week in prison was tough because I was viciously angry. I thank God because my wife brought a lot of reading materials; my Bible inclusive, and reading those things reduced my anger and it took me to my military training to remember that in whatever situation you find yourself, the first thing you should have is your God, your mind and your reasoning faculty. And you now set out a new routine for yourself. So, on daily basis, you were just sitting down, thinking and just wasting away. Occupying my mind with my Bible, my prayer books and Daily Manna by Pastor Chris was very useful. Everyday with Jesus was also very useful. All those things kept me calm because all you needed was that calmness of mind. You don’t think about what you have been. Yes, I have been at the top level of affairs in the country, but then I was down, which was the situation in which I found myself. And you immediately look at your surrounding and find out what you can do to help the people in there because there were so many prisoners awaiting trial and had been there for a very long time. Some were there because they were just arrested and the investigating police officers had moved on and so, nobody was attending to their matters and so they were just there rotting away. There were some people waiting for people to come and bail them so that they could get out and there were some waiting for amnesty from government. And governors and others were coming to visit me. When they come, I would tell them about certain cases, they would go back and help the detainees out. There was a case of an Ondo person. Inside the prison, every Sunday, he was always in church and, during service, he was always dancing, happy so much so that one wondered why his joy was that much. Ololade

’I saved lives in prison’

were put on the pages of the newspapers; people were calling me names. Some would even query ‘ why should you put him there?’ And then others who need you would come and say ‘ no, stay there. Try and do it your own way. Say something and people would listen’. Even at a time, members of my family would say, ‘Shut down from these people. What did you get from the mess? Why are you going back there? Why are you talking to these people?’ And I would reply them, ‘If you have a mission, God did not say you would not have a tribulation but if you make up your mind, you will get there.’ The era is now five and a half years and it is over. Those who conspired to cause the horrible experience never thought it would end this way. I had tribulations, yes, but I never gave up. And, today, after I had gone to court, I have my freedom to do whatever I want to do. To my family, most of my friends, I will forever be grateful. Of course my wife was solidly behind me. And of course you have some of the people who were just mocking you but they could not do that to your face, they could only do it behind you. I am a man of the people because I know I didn’t do anything wrong.”

*Bode George...I came out of prison at election time was the name; one day I called him: ‘Ololade, what is your offence that brought into this prison because every Sunday, I see you dancing dancing away, singing praises genuinely.’ He said, ‘Oga, I have been on death row for 28 years’. So, every Sunday that he saw that he was still alive, he had to praise God. I asked what his offence was and he said he was a hunter. That he was at Garage Olode in Ondo and that he went to farm one night and saw an animal he thought was an antelope without knowing it was a human antelope. And he brought out his gun and shot at it. But by the time he got there, it was a human being he met. He thought he shot an antelope but it was human that was discovered to have been shot later on, and so he was condemned to death and was on death row for 28 years. After that chat we had together, Governor Olusegun Mimiko came to visit me and I spoke to him about Ololade. The governor went back to Akure and looked into his matter and he sent a government car to come and pick him after which he was rehabilitated him and restored him to normal life. What would Ololade have been today if I did not go to prison? And there were others of different cases

The most appropriate place that people can rediscover themselves is prison cell. In there you do a total retrospection of so many things. And then before you know it, the term is over like that. There was a case of one who had been in prison for five years because he did not have somebody to pay his bail of N50,000. I arranged his bail. So, having been at the topmost place and having been to the worst of the valley, I have no reason not to appreciate the awesomeness of the Almighty God. Inside the prison, I would wake up at 3 in the morning, say my prayers and go back to bed. As the day breaks, I wake up again, say my prayers and start reading my Bible and prayer books. That would be followed by attending to visitors. After that, I would walk around to exercise myself because there was no squash game. I occupied my mind with doing those things so that I did not think about the situation really. That was the time I really rediscov-

ered myself and thought about things that I had done well and those that were not so well. The most appropriate place that people can rediscover themselves is prison cell. In there you do a total retrospection of so many things. And then before you know it, the term is over. After prison Oh, after prison, I came out at the time of election. I went first to give thanks to God for sparing my life and later strategised for the election after putting my supporters together to thank them for standing firm behind me and not rejecting me. Some petty people were saying, ‘ah, how can you allow ex-convict this, ex-convict that’ and all that? That really annoyed me but I had to calm myself because a lot of things

Apex court’s rule A five-man panel of the court, in a unanimous judgment, maintained that at the time the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, charged the former NPA boss to court, the offence of ‘contract splitting’ was not known to the law. The court stressed that the Public Procurement Act, which made ‘contract splitting’ an offence punishable with a term of imprisonment, was enacted by the National Assembly in 2007, long after the appellant had ceased to be a member of the NPA. “The Act was not made to take retroactive effect. Even if this was the case, it would have been contrary to Section 36(8) of the 1999 Constitution,” the court held. Whereas Justice John Afolabi Fabiyi delivered the lead judgment in the appeal by the ex-NPA Chair man, Justice Kumai Bayang Aka’ahs delivered two other separate judgments that discharged and acquitted other Board members of the NPA who were prosecuted and jailed with George. “It has been established that the case of the respondent rests on shifting sand. The charges framed against the appellant in respect of splitting of contracts and disobedience of guidelines in Exhibits P3 is unknown to any written law at the material time. They rest on nothing in the face of the provisions of Section 36(8) and (12) of the 1999 Constitution. They cannot stand as they fall flat,” Fabiyi said.

PAGE 20—SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014 08056402376

Okikiro, a drama to restore societial values opens at MUSON centre

fer a peaceful resolution, restoring peace to their land and justice to the culprits. It is an ideal forum to illustrate ways to bridge the widening gap between youths and the values of our society. peaking about the drama, the creative director/ CEO of Entertainment Bus-Stop, Eki Faith Eboigbe, said that the drama is about change especially on the part of the youths. Eboigbe who is also the NANTAP chair Lagos chapter also stated that “EBS is committed to creating, developing and producing artistically excellent and culturally diverse projects for the public to see and review the state of affairs in Nigerian community.”




•A scene from a previous preformance of the play, Okikiro sential as it explores the effects of a society in which


ll is now set for the pub lic performance of the nationally acclaimed play Okikiro, a stage drama that seeks to draw the attention of people to the perilous times in which youths of today exist. The play which will kick-start the 2014 new season of a theatre outfit, Entertainment Bus Stop Ltd, written by celebrated Nigerian playwright, Eki Faith Eboigbe and directed by Veteran Actor and Theatre Arts Lecturer, Tunji Sotimirin will be performed at Agip Recital Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos on February 22 nd , 2014 at 2:30pm and 5:30pm. In this period, when the core values of life have been discarded as a result of modernisation, morals and responsible behaviours are missing and the link between what is acceptable and what is done can no longer be differentiated, the play tries to remind all of its implication. The re-staging of the play which was first performed at the National Theatre, Iganmu in July, 2010 and in Abeokuta in celebration of Nigeria’s 50th anniversary, October 1 and 2, 2010 is timely and es-

coming generation. Okikiro is a satiric play with a

The coming of the play is timely and essential as it explores the effects of a society in which there are laws but no values and its effects on the ethical beliefs of upcoming generation

there are laws but no values and its effects on the ethical beliefs of the up-


social-cultural, moral theme with lots of messages. The playwright through the play

make a clarion call to Nigerian youths to play their part in restoring glory and honour to their Motherland. It also seeks to re-ignite a sense of responsibility, unity, national pride and moral fortitude in the Nigerian youths. Okikiro portrays the conflict that breaks out in the once peaceful land of Okikiro and the wisdom with which the youths of the land tackled the seemingly many-headed monster to prof-

The last warning to evil doers T

he Bible made it clear that in the last days, perilous time will come...., a look at events in and around the globe confirms the fulfillment of that prophecy as people are swimming in the ocean of evil without fear of the wrath of God. Worse still, many of them are not aware of the consequences because the very people who are supposed to tell them, the so-called men of God, especially Nigerian pastors have abandoned the kingdom message and turned their searchlight on prosperity messages. But in the midst of that, there seems to be some who through their messages still speak the true kingdom message no matter who is involved and one of such persons is Evangelist Gabriel Mete, who came out with a new book that tries to tell whoever that cares that evil doers will end in hell fire. The book is entitled The Devil That Cannot Use You Cannot Useless You. Mete is one of those who are not ignorant of the second coming of Jesus, despite the fact that over 75 percent of churches in Nigeria concentrate their biblical messages on prosperity without considering hell or heaven, hence the book. The coming of the book is timely as it can be seen as his own little way of calling them to C M Y K

order, especially those that are still involved in one crime or the other to stop it before they will be stopped. The 106 pages book published by The Humanitarians’ Evangelistic Outreach, Delta State, is a clear departure from most of the things you hear from men of God these days. It is a general overview of the ills in the society which many attribute to the devil, like robbery, kidnapping, prostitution, homosexuals, smoking/alcoholism, 419, etc. written in a language that many will understand. From the language used and the topics discussed, the book can be seen as a compilation of the series of sermons delivered by the author at different time. This can be seen as a concerted effort of the author to reach a wider audience apart from his followers. egmented into 12 chap ters, each chapter address one topical issue or the other. Some of the topics covered in the book includes: Its a matter of time;The last fuck; The demon that cannot push you cannot punish you; The original you; A good sinner in hell; Weakness for wicked-


The Devil that cannot Use You Cannot Useless You; Gabriel Mete; The Humanitarians’ Evangelistic Outreach, Delta State, Nigeria, 2013; PP. 106 ness; Master bid me come and others. In all the topics, quoting copiously from the Holy Bible, the author used the practical things that are happening in this earth to buttress his point on the need for sinners to come out of their sin and embrace Christ. For example in chapter four, tagged The Original You, the author takes the reader to the beginning, reminding them of whom

they are, that in the beginning it was not so, God created man and saw everything He created us good so if man can go back to his original creation, it will be well with him. As an evangelist, the author has succeeded in using the book to send a message across to many, but one thing that is lacking in the book is editorial touch. The first issue is the title of the book, the title is more than a sentence and is not reader friendly. There is need to choose a title that can attract readers. Another issue is the fact that pulpit message is different from that of a published work, so I advice the author to look for a good publisher that has all that it takes to make something good out of it so that the second edition of the book will not lack the required ingredients like this edition. However, despite some avoidable errors, the book is good for all who want to make heaven, especially those who are still romancing with the devil.

•Eki Faith Eboigbe, creative director of the drama

Reggae artist, Gentleman to thrill Lagos fans By PRISCA SAM-DURU MUSIC


s part of his tour round Africa, world famous reggae artist, Gentleman and his band will be in Lagos where they will treat Lagos fans to good music before gracing stages in Cape Town, Dakar, Abidjan and Addis Ababa. The concert which is dubbed the “Soundsystem Show”, features Tamika and Treesha from Gentleman’s band performing tracks selected by Kingstone Records producer, Rodney. To make the show thrilling and memorable, Gentleman is expected to share the stage with Grammy nominee and Nigeria’s multiple award-winning Afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti. The Soundsystem show to be held in co-operation with the New Afrika Shrine, is billed to take place at the New Afrika Shrine, Agidingbi, Ikeja on Sunday, February 23 at 7pm. Prior to his recent tour of Africa, Gentleman has previously visited Ghana, Gambia and Nigeria, where he featured in an-hour long documentary with the country’s famous female musical export Asa, in Lagos. The documentary, “Through The Night,” was produced by French TV company Arte and broadcast on German television.

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 21 08056402376

Alexis Gallery exhibits Cupid in Career challenges season of love made easy By JAPHET ALAKAM





•First date by Femi Oyewole, one of the works on display


lexis gallery located in Victoria Island is one of the vibrant galleries committed to the promotion of arts and artists in Africa. After successfully hosting series of exhibitions last year flagged off its 2014 exhibition calendar with an exhibition tagged Cupid, a group exhibition of paintings and sculptures. The unique exhibition

schools, and is a way of making them to look beyond their masters to see how they will fair. Displayed were works done in varied media that shows the creative ingenuity of the artists. Which is an indication that they have actually demonstrated that giving the right environment they will make it. Some of the works exhibited include Still Life 1 by Lawal


The exhibition involves artists coming from different schools, and is a way of making them look beyond their masters to see how they will fair

which can be described as a valentine special by the gallery targeted to keep the youths busy during the period opened at the Alexis Gallery, Victoria Island, Lagos on February 15th and will run to 21st. The exhibition which is co curated by George Edozie and Patty Chidac Masttrogiannis features the works of 13 established and upcoming artists, most of them who are still working with their masters. The exhibition involves artists coming from different


Ismail; Uphills by Badejo Abiodun; Self Contain by Emeka Nwagbara, Aspiration by Salako Olajide; Night of Reflection by Akeem Adeleke, Ojuelegba by Owolabi Ayodele, First date by Oyewole Femi and Harmony, a sculptural piece depicting two love birds by Effiong Sunday. Some of the works which are landscape, realistic etc talk about issues in their immediate environments but majority of them portray love an indication of the spirit of the season love. For example the piece titled First Date by Femi Oyewole

ne of the greatest sure that there is a gap you problem facing the can fill in the market. world today, especially NiThe author talks about how geria is unemployment. It has you can plan to make a first so degenerated to the level class or its equivalent, dethat graduates from many velop a Unique Selling higher institutions with good Proposition, USP, develop an grades are doing menial unshakeable self confidence works for survival. Apart from through identifying your pasthat, some of the few work- sion, developing it and being ing can be said to be under- positively challenged to employed, no thanks to the achieve it. Shylock attitude of some of The author looks at the varithe employers who treat them ous aspects of planning for a any how. career, identifying a good job, Worse still, the various ter- planning your entry and exit tiary institutions are bringing in a job, planning a successout graduates every year, in ful business, balancing work such a competitive world, and family, especially for what becomes the fate of such women trying to balance prograduates, how will they sur- fession with family life, idenvive, what is that thing that tifying your passion/desire will make the difference, for self actualization, becomthese questions and others ing successful and wealthy are what this book Career and keeping a level head. Guide to Success written by The book finally looks at the Ima-Mariam Nike topic, what is your excuse for Agunbiade is all all about. failure and states that there Experience they say is the is no excuse for failure and best teacher and it is on that advice that for one to make it basis that, the teacher, author, , he/she must humble, avoid counsellor and someone who pride and arrogance. can be described as a woman areer Guide to Success of many parts, having tried is another contribution her hands in many careers by the author to the chalbefore settling for her true job lenges of career building. using her wealth of experi- Brilliantly crafted and enence came out with this book acted with an ironic poise, the that highlights the various author in a simple and easy steps one will take in order to read language takes the to have a successful life. reader to all that is required As the title goes, Career to be successful in life. The Guide to Success; for SS3 & best thing one can to do is to A level students, Under- read it, it is an invaluable graduates, Graduates, Ca- manual. I recommend it to reer Seekers and Employees, all, especially the youths who the 77 page beautifully de- are on the verge of taking up signed book published by careers in life. Henriz Designs is a complete guide to any one who wants to succeed in life. It opens with the key to a successful career which is taking into cognizance ones area of interest and ability. Many people fail not because they are not intelligent but because they find themselves in the wrong career, so to succeed one have to go for a career which he likes and has the ability to do. After identifying your interest and ability, you look for a good mentor, whom Career Guide to Success; Imayou can look up to or even run to and do a Mariam Nike Agunbiade; Henriz research of your pro- Designs Ltd, Lagos, Nigeria; 2013; PP. spective career to en- 77

who is under the tutelage of Biodon Olaku which depicts a middle aged woman in an eatery, browsing her phone in an unhappy mood. The lady was sitting in a table meant for two, an indication that her partner is not forthcoming. Another work, a sculptural piece by Effiong Sunday titled Harmony showing two love birds, a male and female, The male opened its arm for the female to enter. Love indeed in action. Other works include, Aspiration, a little trying his hands on some objects preferably indicating his desire to be an engineer in future.


ne of the curator, George Edozie disclosed that the show is a way of encouraging the young artists by providing space for them to exhibit their works. “Most of them have not been given that opportunity , but we are doing this to encourage them.” He added. As usual the exhibition is sponsored by Veuve Clicquot, The homestores, Chocolate Royal , Arra Vineyards, Avenue suits, Cool FM, Wazobia FM, Nigeria Info.




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Romance — The great stress buster! (Valentine’s Day special)


O renounce your individuality completely, to see with another ’s eyes, to hear with another’s ears, to be two, and yet, but one, to so melt and mingle that you no longer know you are you or another, to constantly absorb and constantly radiate, to double your personality in bestowing it - that is love” Theophile Gauter. “Few things”, said Alain, a chronic romantic; “can rival stumbling bleary-eyed on the morning mail and finding a letter bearing the handwriting of your beloved. I imagine tearing open the envelope and being caressed by a flow of prose, full of tender compliments, unambiguous sentiment and courageous displays of affection. He misses you; he can think of nothing else or no one else but you. He stumbles to find the right words. He could never bring himself to say it before, but yes, you are his flower, his Venus, his honey pie. He longs to hold you in his arms, to kiss the nape of your neck and caress your eye-brows till the end of time ... “ My God’ Can this be the same tongue tied character who yesterday would rather have climbed Everest than say, “I missed you?” Who would have thought that beneath this exterior lurked a most passionate and sensual wordsmith? It’s St. Valentine’s season once again dear readers. Yes, romance ought to be in the air. This hasn’t been a particularly happy year so far. What with the attermath of political and non-political shenanigans” the ASUU sixmonth strike actions and your stress over how you’re going to pay that huge over draft you wheedled but of your

disapproving bank manager to pay yet another batch of school fees? But optimistic we should be and the year is not ended yet. Who knows what pleasant surprise these adventurers that are our leaders have up their sleeves for us? So cheer up then! I’ve gone through my archives with a tooth comb to bring you few of the best passionate letters that spanned three centuries. So, sit back and enjoy them’ Should take your mind off the seething rage you now feel’ Remember the French warrior, Napoleon Bonaparte and his Waterloo fiasco? Beneath his warring heart apparently beat a very romantic and passionate one: In 1776, he wrote the love of his life, Josephine: “I have not spent a day without loving you; I have not spent a night without embracing you; I have not drunk a single cup of tea without cursing the pride and ambition which force me to remain separated from the moving spirit of my life. In the midst of my cities, whether I’m at the head of my ,army or inspecting the camps, my beloved Josephine stands alone in my heart, occupies my mind, fills my thoughts. If am moving away from you with the speed of the Rhone torrent, it is only that I may see you again more quickly. “Dear Nora”, wrote James Joyce, the author of classics like Ulysses and The Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man, in 1904: “I came in at half past eleven, since then I have been sitting in an easy chair like a fool. I could do nothing. I hear nothing but your voice ... 1 am like a fool, hearing you call me “dear”. “When I am with you, I leave aside my contemptuous, suspicious nature.

I wish I felt your head on my shoulder. I think I will go to bed ... “ Zelda Sayre, fiance of Scott Fitzgeralf wrote in 1919 before they got married: “Sweetheart, please don’t be so depressed. We’ll be married soon and then these lonesome nights will be over for ever - Scott, there’s nothing in all the world I want but you and your precious love ... I would do anything to keep your heart for my own. I don’t want to live, I want to love first, and live incidentally. Don’t ever think of the things you can’t give me; you have trusted me with the dearest heart of all and it is so damn much more than anybody else in all the world has ever had ..” Franz Liszi, whose lover Marie d’ Agoult, left her husband to elope with him wrote her this: “My heart overflows with emotion and joy! I do not know what heavenly languor, what infinite pleasure permeates it and burns me up. It is as if I have never loved!!!. Tell me, whence these uncanny disturbances spring, these in-

expressible foretastes of delight, these divine tremors of love ... All this can only be, is surely nothing less than a gentle ray screaming from your fiery soul, or else, some secret pregnant tear- drop which you have long since left in my breast. “Marie! Mariel Oh, let me repeat that name a hundred times over; for three days now, it has lived within me, oppressed me, set me afire ... Oh! Leave me free. to rave in my delirium. Drab, tame, constricting reality is no longer enough for me. We must live our life to the full, living and suffering to extremes! This is to be! To be!!! “ Another literary giant, John Keats in 1819, wrote his hearthrob, Fanny Brawne: “Even when I’m not thinking of you, I receive your influence and tenderer nature stealing upon me. All my thoughts, my unhappiest days and nights have I found not at all cured of my love of beauty, but made it so intense that I am miserable that you are not with me or rather I breathe in that dull sort of patience that cannot be

all fears of an end,and Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies...Wishing you all happy Val! Chris Onunaku. 08032988826, 08184844015


OUR column to express your loving thoughts in words to your sweetheart. Don’t be shy. Let it flow and let him or her know how dearly you feel. Write now in not more than 75 words to: The Editor, Sunday Vanguard, P.M.B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos. E.mail: Please mark your envelope: “LOVE NOTES"


Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and

I will paint the whole world....

If love could be seen, I will paint the whole of United States with my love for you, if love could be seen, I will paint the whole of Africa, Asia, and the rest of the continent with my love for you. I just want the world to know that I love you so much. Happy Valentine. Kelechi Ndubisi, 08032900530

called life. I never knew before what such a love as you have made me feel was; I did not believe in it, my fancy was afraid of it lest it should bum me up ... I would never see nothing but pleasure in your eyes, love on your tips, and happiness in your steps ... “ Our last letter is from an unknown housewife who coulde compete with the best wordsmith any day. She wrote her husband. “It’s been fifteen years now’since I became your wife. I never got a diamond, but I got a wonderful life. I’ve become a wealthy woman, have riches without price. You’ve given me beautiful children, not just once, not twice, but thrice. “You’re there to boost my ego, and help my confidence grow. I’ve become a better person, with your love for me, I know. Yes, I’m a wealthy woman. I’ve riches beyond measure. I don’t need valentine present. You are my greatest treasure”. Still deliberating on St. Valentine’s Day, do you know that Valentine card originated through St. Valentine, a third century Christian who was martyred on 14th February in AD270? During imprisonment, he restored the sight of his gaoler ’s daughter, and on the eve of his execution, sent her a farewell note, signing it ‘from your Valentine.’ The custom of sending Valentine cards was later revived in 1926 by Lady Jeanette Tuck, the wife of the greetings card planner, Sir Adoph Tuck. She realised that the Victorian lady, no longer young and a little unhappy with the pace of the twenties, would welcome the opportunity to

send a courtly token of affection to someone she loved. The custom has since gone from strength to strength! So, this is hoping that come this Friday, you will all have a lovely celebration of love, (and life, come to think of it!). With naughty smiles on your face remembering that: “Nature couldn’t make us perfect, so, she did the best thing - she made us blind to our faults, just as love is blind to the faults of the one upon whom it is bestowed”. Just How Lucky Can You Get? (Humour) A man walked into a bar and ordered a beer from the very attractive barmaid. He engaged her in conversation. “I bet I can bite my own ear,” he said, putting N500 on the bar. She accepted the bet and next moment, he took out his false teeth and nipped his ear. He picked up his winnings and then said: ‘’I’ll give you another chance. For another N500, I bet I can keep an eye on my beer while I go to the loo.” The barmaid hesitated. She didn’t want to lose any more money but she knew the toilets were outside. “Okay,” she said, “ you’re on.” The man took out his glass eye and put it by his beer and went outside for a pee. Again he collected the money and said: “Listen, I’ll give you a chance to win back all your money. I bet I can make love to you so gently, you won’t feel a thing.” She agreed immediately. There was no way she wasn’t going to feel him. They disappeared into the store room and got down to it on the floor. As he thrust in and out, she declared with glee: “I can feel it, I can feel it!” “Oh well,” he gasped, continuing his humping . . “You win some, you lose some!”

My Dearest Blessing I didn't get a chance to say I love you. You were gone before we got that far. All I know is now I really need you, Yet when I look for you, you aren't there. You said once that you never would forget me. Yet how am I to know without you here? Such emptiness! Like what I feel within me: Neither flesh nor tears, just cold thin air. Sometimes, alone, I feel your arms around me, And all my need for you spills out in pain. Jagged memories of you surround me. I cannot think I won't see you again. Emma Mine Delta State 07051037749



A man who analyses the noises you make with him is unstable!


HAT exactly does the term ‘golden couple’ mean to you? Lovers who are so in-tuned with each other neither of them could hurt the other? Even if there were differences, do they gloss over them promising to love each other for ever. Or do you see the couple as putting up a facade to the world while throwing daggers at each other in private? The day Denike, a niece, showed up at my place with Dauda the boyfriend she’d raved about for months, it was all I could do to voice out my disapproval. Denike works in the accounts department of a bank whilst Dauda was said to be a ‘contractor’, whatever that meant! He was all over Denike, agreeing with most of what she said and virtually shovng food into her mouth from the spread on the dinning table. If he thought I would be flattered by his efforts to show me how much he cared for my niece, he was buttering up the wrong person. People like him, I can read like a book and he looked like bad news to me. For the next eleven months, the affair tottered between strong and fal-

tering depending on Dauda’s mood. When Denike informed me she’d about had enough of him, I encouraged her to kick him out of her life. Before she did, things took a dramatic turn. “I once found out he had no real contract he was into,” she fumed. “Most of the time, he was at my place. He was very thoughtful and attentive at first. He’d come to the office where I worked, and bring me lunch he’d:bought from an eatery. His excuse was that he had a contract he was executing a few minute’s walk from my office and it was convenient for him to pop up with lunch for me. When I insisted on knowing where he worked so I could reciprocate the gesture, he told me he was winding up the next day. It was a close friend of his who told me he hadn’t worked for a long time because he had no real skill nor capital to work with. “He went to the university alright, but failed to tell me he didn’t complete his course. I’d had it and I confronted him when next he showed up at my place. `I thought you wouldn’t want anything more to do with me if I told you I

was looking for work,” he whined. I`l’ve just landed a contractual job and I should be fine now.’ He sounded so upset that I softened. I was in love with the creep and agreed we should give things another go. Unfortunately, my finding out about who he really was had now made him insecure. If I mentioned any man at work, he’d yell at me: ‘It’s obvious both of you are sleeping together.’ I told him not to be ridiculous but his possessiveness continued. “Last Valentine’s Day, I made the effort to make

his favourite food and after we’d had the wine, we decided to end things in the bedroom. As I cuddled up to him after we’d made love, he suddenly shoved me away. ‘You were faking it,’ he yelled. ‘I could tell. The noise you made was different from the one you usually made!’ ‘What are you talking about,’ I gasped, puzzled. ‘Your sex noises sounded different! You’re sleeping with someone else, I could tell!’ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. But he wouldn’t let it rest. Every time we slept together, something was different

or wrong. “I started to avoid sex, but that just made him more suspicious and insecure. Things were now so tense between us I started to wonder what we were doing together. We’d been together close to a year and although I still loved him, I found myself looking forward to the evenings he was either working late or with his mates. “One Saturday, I had a family get-together he didn’t feel like attending because he wanted to sleep off a hangover. When I came home, all the dirty dishes he used were in the sink, the bed was unmade and he was glued to the telly, watching sports. I was livid. ‘Couldn’t you have tried to tidy up your mess’, I yelled, expecting him to make a joke of it. Instead, he leapt at me, grabbed me by the throat and slammed me against the fridge. ‘You’ve been cheating on me, you trollop!’ he bellowed. ‘Who’ve you been with this time around?’ By this time, his hands were tightening around my throat. I couldn’t breathe, never mind speak. He suddenly let me go, but started punching and kicking me, sending me crashing to the lino on the floor.

“I screamed for help, hoping my neighbours would come to my rescue. Somehow, I scrambled to my feet as he flew at me again. This time, my survival instinct had kicked in. I kicked him in the groin, aiming particularly at his tackles then headbutted him. He screamed and doubled up in pain and I seized the chance to escape through the kitchen door. I took a cab to my parents’ house and dad took me to the family doctor. I was badly bruised and as my wounds were being tended to, I wondered how someone who was supposed to love me could hurt me this much. “Dad finally took me home in case he was still lurking around but there was no sign of Dauda. My place had been ransacked and food was strewn across the kitchen, some of my clothes had been cut off and the sides of my black leather bed had been slashed. Dad was furious and got him arrested the next day but his family and friends pleaded and agreed to pay for some of the damages. He gave an undertaking to the police he wouldn’t pester me again. I was relieved - I never want to see or hear from him again. A man who analyses the noises you make during sex isn’t very stable. Why didn’t I realise this until it was too late?”

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Yoga moves – get fit and firm Taut Abdominals: The leg raise ECHNIQUE: Sit on the floor with the legs outstretched in front of you, place the hands just behind waist level and a little away from the body. Inhale and raise both legs up diagonally, forming a ‘V’ with the trunk. Once you are in the posture breathe normally. Retain the position for five to seven seconds, rest and repeat a few more times.


The Triangle: Fir m Thighs and Butt Technique: Standing with the feet apart, bend the right knee to waist level with the toes pointing forward, keep the left knee slanted with the C M Y K

knee locked. Keep the hands at shoulder level and the trunk erect. Count to 10 and repeat legs. Strong Arms: The Bow Technique: Lying on

* The Bow

your belly, bend both knees and with the legs up in the air hold the feet with the corresponding hands. Lift up the chest and stretch out with the elbows straightened out. Hold the pose for a slow

count to 10. Rest and repeat. Front to Back Splits amazing Technique: Standing up straight, turn the trunk to the left and begin spreading out the legs as you lower down the body. As you get closer to the floor invert the left foot and keep the right heel down. You may keep the hands on the floor so you can hold your body up a bit if the stretching effect gets too uncomfortable. As usual, regular practice makes the pose easier and easier.

* The Triangle Pose

Yoga Yoga classes classes STARTED STARTED at at 32 32 Adetokunbo Adetokunbo Ademola, Victoria Island, Lagos, Ademola, Victoria Island, Lagos, 9.10am 9.10am on on Saturdays Saturdays



rational for the choice practitioners made of the choice of vehicle among these three, with the objectives of reach and effectiveness. In those days we commonly heard words like ‘cost per thousand’, too often to not have it guide our everyday thinking when considering media planning. The client must be made to appreciate our professional competence by the way we conjure figures to justify media spend to support effectiveness, reach and penetration. Add to that, just push some volume discount at the client and the story is told in totality. Today, so much innovation has been brought to bear in the practice of media planning and buying. With the turn of the new millennium, the market of media vehicle(s) appreciation and application witnessed tremendous innovative thinking. There was so much of experimentation with new learning; the local environment was literarily struggling to keep pace. The change drivers then could only manage to drag managers of international brands and local brands with international affiliation into the new understanding on the basis of aspiration. Even at that, majority of media buyers at the start of the new media era were only taking chance with their advertising budget. Because the appreciation was very low, not much was considered in terms of relevance, effectiveness and Return-On-Investment (ROI). The ‘big brands’ managed to add to their brand equity in terms of image perception, because those daring moves they made with blind experimentation portrayed them as sophisticated, trendy. Not much was gained in Naira (and such other currency their international offices calculated their financial support). The new trend ushered in the digital media age. All kinds of production technique found their way into the Nigerian advertising practice. South Africa became Mecca to

innovative media experts. To the local industry leaders, the mere knowledge of the appropriate production house in SA to produce the new TV Commercial was enough to demonstrate ‘expert’ professional knowledge to win a good account. In fact, Advertising Agencies started parading all sorts of Oyibo practitioners as in-house consultants. Most of them came in through technical assistance from affiliate agencies abroad. Agency affiliation became a new craze, because it was either the serious agency puts forward an expatriate at pitches, it is likely to lose. We appreciate all of these changes, because they introduce color/ glamour into the traditional way we did our thing. But over time we started noticing the power of raw knowledge. Those who were opportune to be properly trained in areas such as marketing, sales and creative art represented themselves adequately. There was nothing any Oyibo from any


C&A Digest team do hope it will not amount to over simplicity to the extent of offending some of our readers if we state as a matter of fact, that it is important to establish the marked difference between brands management and advertising. But we know that even among some practitioners today, it is common-place to find a mix-up of these two. It is all so important we establish this difference because it forms the basis of our today’s topic. So, here we go! Advertising is only an integral part of INTEGRATED BRANDS MANAGEMENT. Functionally, therefore, a given brands support strategy may totally exclude advertising. I guess that explains the new brand identity of some industry practitioners, deliberately disconnecting with the traditional common reference of ADVERTISING AGENCY. Gone are those days of advertising agency, it is time for holistic involvement (the banks will say “ wholesale banking”). For the purpose of our non-professional readers, advertising is all about marketing communication; it is the process of creating and disseminating advert messages for the purposes of enabling brand’s marketing opportunities. To the extent where advertising is only an integral part of integrated brands management though, it has remained the most crucial single unit impute in advertising over the years. It has been the centerpoint for success measure, analysis and appreciation for both the client and agency over the years. Agency earning comes from media buying, the client or brand’s marketing communication success also depends on media. Over the years, therefore, practitioners have had to pay critical attention to the business of media engagement. The power of media in advertising is based on the impact of its contribution to the advertising process. To the extent where actual communication of brand’s offer is concerned, the media vehicles are the executioners. No matter how beautiful and convincing any campaign materials are, there will be useless without the engagement of media vehicles. Traditionally, media is expressed in the use of radio, newspaper/magazine and outdoor. In those days creativity in media planning and buying started and ended with how well these traditional media vehicles are used/deployed. Plenty of arithmetic and financial accounting created

Conflict in internal workings and between the so-called expatriates and the local practitioners started impacting negatively on the over-all effectiveness. It is this same system pollution that attended our local media with the introduction of ‘expatriate’ ideas without proper consideration. No matter the extent and nature of innovation or change, the basic function and objective remain effective reach and impact. I always asked the question why media independents? Every of the so-called independent media shops are only as independent to the extent that they now exist independent of the traditional advertising agency structure. They do the same thing (even with lesser diligence) compared to the traditional media departments of a standard advertising agency. That is my opinion, and I am open to superior argument. This will form a topical issue for discussion for the future. However, the kernel of this whole position is that such were the questionable changes that filtered into our local advertising industry at the turn of the century. Nobody asked questions. Now we are into another change era, the era of social media in advertising. Social media is peculiar in the area of technological innovativeness. Yes, it is a flexible platform for person-to-person inter-relativity that gives the individual the power to decide when, where and how he or she can be sent information for mass communication. It

Today, so much innovation has been brought to bear in the practice of media planning and buying. With the turn of the new millennium, the market of media vehicle(s) appreciation and application witnessed tremendous innovative thinking.

agency abroad will tell a Unilever-trained marketing person in the area of brands management to cause panic. Yeah, it was all about difference in system. It only took time for this emptiness to reflect in other areas of advertising. Today, the story is changing. Most of those local agencies that went for foreign practitioners under all sorts of guise started sacking them, as fast as they came.


clearly individualizes the target audience. No more can any media planner/buyer can just reel out spurious rationale for media engagement proposal without very careful consideration. More and more, the buyer or advertiser can take part in the consideration of media platform and vehicle effectiveness. It is now truly such a global village, space constraint make no sense. It is the effectiveness of so-

cial media that supported the evolution of Target Marketing in media engagement. With the social media, it is easier to appropriately define the target audience for a given advertising message, with a proper understanding of prevalent social trend and habit, among age brackets and social cultural environments. Therefore, it was easy for the Senior Brands Manager for Magnum Icecream in the US, Mike Hanley, to report 89 million impressions, 83 clicks on posted links and more than 270 replies mention all on April 29, 2011, as a result of the promoted trend he/his brand bought into. In same vein, Zuji Australia, an Australian travels and leisure company, invested in the promotion of online travel reservation, using long-term approach to building awareness, engaged Tweets (specifically, promoted tweets), in May 2011. The results are said to be still coming in, but the company has already more than doubled its follower base in the two months since it started using tweets. These two reports represent many other relatively successful uses of social media as a consumer or target audience engaging media platform, for purposes of advertising. However, the danger inherent in the application of the new media is in the area of efficiency in the face of compatibility and appropriateness. The same brands that posted relative success in the use of social media quickly reported doubt in the impact of recorded success in value terms. In other words, the social media is only effective in awareness and not actual sales. Now, the concern concerning social media ineffectiveness on sales actualization is a joke compared to the many failures social media will face in our environment characterized by high illiteracy rate, negative rating on technology appreciation necessary for emedia, lack of infrastructures for internet social interaction, etc. So, our contribution at MC&A Digest is, unlike we have had to accept changes in the past, practitioners and clients must take time to study the use and implication of social media for advertising to guide against wastage of media spend and blindly shooting in the dark. Whether we talk of old or new media platforms, the above-mentioned remain the over-riding consideration for effective and profitable media engagement, across market segment. We shall continue from here next week.

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 15, 2014, PAGE 25


I am innocent of the murder of my girlfriend 23 years ago — Convict Adepetu ‘Oyo authorities thought clemency appeal letter from Jakande was forged’ “Five out of those who committed murder with evidence were pardoned and their case files have not even gone to the Court of Appeal. It clearly shows that there is political interest in state pardon. I am not against their being pardoned but if some people committed an offense with strong evidence five years ago and they were pardoned, why can’t someone that has been imprisoned of a crime without concrete evidence for 23years be pardoned?” BY OLAYINKA AJAYI


ollowing the circumstances surrounding the death of Miss Ranti Moradeyo , the late girl friend of Olushola Adepetu, which led to life imprisonment of Adepetu, family members of the convict are yet to come to terms with the incarceration of their son 23years after, as the circumstantial evidence used by the trial judge of the High Court in Oyo State was alleged to have been inconclusive and not well investigated by the police, whereas the family of the deceased believes justice has been done.

be drowned in the ocean of injustice. Olushola Adepetu’s cry over his innocence was what drew my attention. I know as a lay man that there are lots of questions surrounding the judgment which I have been trying to probe, after all the essence of publishing law reports is to show public how justice is being done”, Olujobi stated. The pastor added, “When you write a letter for prerogative of mercy, you must agree that you committed the offense and you should be pardoned, but Olushola insists he cannot ask for forgiveness for what he has


In 1979, Chief Bola Ige, as the Oyo State governor then, was misled to sign the execution of two brothers when their judgment was yet to come out from the Court of Appeal

In an encounter with the coordinator for Centre for Justice, Mercy and Reconciliation, CJMR, a Christian prison ministry based in Ibadan, Pastor Hezekiah Olujobi, whose NGO is championing the cause of Adepetu’s freedom, he lamented how injustice in Oyo State for a while has caused the convict to remain in prison for this long. “I strongly believe that there is injustice in this case. If someone is claiming that he is innocent of a crime for over 23years and nobody cares to listen to his own side of the story, I think such person will


not done, stressing that he is a victim of injustice”. The coordinator of CJMR went on, “Going through the judgment even as a lay man, there are so many unanswered questions. When you ask an accused person to write a letter indicating that he should agree he had committed a crime he knew nothing about because he wants to gain his freedom and he insists he will never do such a thing; that means he knows what he is saying. I have known him since 2007; he insists he did not commit the crime”. He said elder statesman, Alhaji Lateef

Olushola Adepetu...I can’t ask for forgiveness for an offence I didn’t commit Jakande, intervened on the issue when he wrote an appeal letter to Oyo State governor on behalf of Adepetu praying for prerogative of mercy in 2009. “Alhaji Jakande, a former governor of Lagos State, wrote a letter to erstwhile Oyo State Governor Otunba Alao Akala in respect of Adepetu. We are aware of Jakande’s letter to Governor Ajimobi as well”, Olujobi stated. “My interaction with the Attorney General of Oyo State, however, revealed that he had a pre-conceived notion that Olushola Adepetu forged the letter of Alhaji Jakande and that he cut the breast of the late girlfriend for ritual purposes. I was so shocked hearing that because he never told me that Alhaji Jakande was intervening on his matter and he never told me that any part of the body of the deceased was missing. “I told the Attorney General that I would carry out my investigation and, without Olushola Adepetu’s knowledge, we went to Lagos to confirm the authenticity of

the letter from Alhaji Jakande. Baba told us that he was the author of the letter and he wrote another letter through us to the governor and the Attorney General. Then we attached our report to the letter and forwarded it to the Attorney General and the governor which was the clearance of the first allegation. On the second allegation, I went to the court registry to obtain the Certified True Copy of the case file which contained the police and doctor ’s reports which never said anything about any part of the deceased missing and the police that evacuated the corpse of the deceased never said that any part of the deceased was missing as well. “After we submitted our findings, eight people were commuted from death-row to life imprisonment in October 2013 and they did not attend to Olushola Adepetu’s case. Also on January 1, 2014, five out of those committed murder with evidence were pardoned and their case files had not even gone to the Court of

Alhaji Jakande (2nd left) with the CJMR delegation

Appeal. It clearly shows that there is political interest in state pardon. I am not against their being pardoned, but if some people committed an offense with strong evidence five years ago and they were pardoned, why can’t someone that had been imprisoned of a crime without concrete evidence for 23years be pardoned? “My findings show that the governor and the AttorneyGeneral are not the problem; they were only acting on information presented to them. If they have been misinformed, it is my duty to let the public see the facts of the matter and it is evident that the governor sometimes can be misled. In 1979, Chief Bola Ige, as the Oyo State governor then, was misled to sign the execution of two brothers when their judgment was yet to come out from the Court of Appeal. When the judgment came, they were discharged and acquitted; meanwhile they had been executed. Where there is proven perversion of injustice, it is my duty to speak out”.

PAGE 26, SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 15, 2014

Ecstasy as Gov. Uduaghan drives car to his village for the first time EMMA AMAIZE, Regional Editor, South-south


HE people of swampy Abigborodo in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State, the countryhome of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, are famous in Itsekiri land for their rhythmic songs, dance and love. You will be tempted when the Olaraja (head) of the community throws an open invitation to pick the damsel of your choice. But it was not dance and love that took Sunday Vanguard to Abigborodo on Tuesday, February 4. It was a visit to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the upto-date claim by the governor that he accessed his community, known to be without road since it came into existence, many centuries ago, with a motor vehicle. Up till last year, the only access to the marshy community was by boat and Uduaghan had been coming by boat to cast his votes during elections. In fact, the Olaraja of Abigborodo, Pa Omayede Ayaomenor, aka Omulesu, and his subjects had practically lost hope of govern-

one of the bridges, said the project was on course and the two bridges were 80 and 90 per cent completed, while construction work was on-going. From the Sapele end to Abigborodo, we observed there was massive construction work going on, particularly as Uduaghan gave the contractors up till the end of this year to deliver. For those whose means of going to Abigborodo before now was by boat, the vehicular movement this Tuesday morning was too good to be real. In about 20 minutes, Sunday Vanguard was at the community, which hitherto took two hours by speedboat. Mrs. Charity Erewa, a housewife, married to an indigene of the community, who drove to Abigborodo in a Mercedes Benz 190 car, said, ‘’This is first day I have done it, I have never before entered Abigborodo driving a car.’’ Mrs. Erewa, who disclosed that she came by boat with her husband to the community 10 years ago to perform part of their marriage rites, said her husband directed her to drive to the community on that day to find out if the governor’s claim was true.


Mrs. Charity Erewa, a housewife, married to an indigene of the community, who drove to Abigborodo in a Mercedes Benz 190 car, said, ‘’This is first day I have done it, I have never before entered Abigborodo driving a car

ment fulfilling their hearts’ desire when he (Uduaghan) drove into riverside location with a team of government officials on January 22. The road project has so far gulped N7.2 billion. Seeing is believing The people could not believe what they were seeing. To them, it was like a dream for somebody to drive to Abigborodo in a vehicle. From Sapele, which is the nearest city to Abigborodo, on Tuesday, the reporter saw a tarred stretch of the 11.5 km road with two completed bridges. The tarred portion was about a kilometer or less, but the engineer overseeing the road construction, Habib Awfour, and consultant, Osazuwa Leslie, who Sunday Vanguard met inspecting C M Y K

Her words, ‘’I am happy seeing the road, they should expedite action to complete it because the rain will soon come.’’ Henry Ekeocha, a bread seller from Owerri , said he used to come to Abigborodo by river transportation, but all that changed with the construction of the road . ‘’The road is not finished yet but we can drive on it to Abigborodo. Before it took a whole day to get here; today, I got here in about 30 minutes driving my bus,’’ he added. Inside Abigborodo There is already an internal road network in Abigborodo, a relatively small community, but why successive governments in the state did not deem it neces-

sary to construct a road from Sapele to the community beats the imagination. The town is a typical riverine community with cement and mud houses. The imposing town hall was recently renovated by government A polytechnic, amodel primary and secondary school are among the on-going projects, courtesy of Uduaghan. Abigborodo will witness some transformation by the time they take off. Sunday Vanguard stood before a simple bungalow building with a dilapidated soundproof machine at the corner, which a villager said was the governor’s residence. The reporter did not believe and asked his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Warri, Mr. Linus Chima, who confirmed that it was, indeed, the governor ’s abode in the village. We noticed a detachment of soldiers on the waterside. Perceptibly, they had been in the community for quite a while to provide security and they warned our photographer, Akpokona Omafuaire, who was busy with his lens not to snap them. Lifestyle 95-year-old Olaraja, Ayaomenor, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard through an interpreter, said, ‘’I cannot say exactly which year Abigborodo was founded, but it is many centuries ago.’’ ‘’We used to tie clothes, put on Ikemeji (native dress) and beads, our delicacy here is Banga soup, pepper soup, yam, plantain and coco yam. We make starch to join yam and pepper soup. Our main occupation is fishing, native salt production and farming, we kill periwinkle and fish. Nightlife ‘’There is no electricity in Abigborodo, we have solar street light. In the night, it is on and we enjoy only the solar street light for now, otherwise, the means of electricity here is generator, which many people cannot afford.’’ Pa Ayaomenor said the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, was yet to complete the electricity project it initiated in the community since 1993, but for water, he stated, ‘’We have good water in Abigborodo, but they have not piped it to go round to

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan

the people.’’ On the new road, he said, ‘’I am happy that road came to Abigborodo in my lifetime. If I want to go to Sapele now, it does not take me time. Like I said earlier, we use canoe and boat before. Sometimes, it would take two days to get to Sapele with hand-pulled canoe. We pass through Arowun, Ubamago, Ajagbodudu, Ajujugho and Ogharefe to get to Sapele”. The eldest man whose first name Omayeyede means ‘You do not change the world’ asserted that he was speechless when he saw the governor arrive Abigborodo January 22 by road. ‘’We , the whole village gathered in the town hall to rejoice, we never believed it would be possible in our lifetime, but we were all alive to witness it, they drove in and I, myself, I have driven on it to be sure I am not dreaming,’’ he disclosed.

‘Why we like Uduaghan’ The Olaraja told Sunday Vanguard, ‘’Ah, we are enjoying him because of the infrastructure he is bringing to the community. At times, every year, he used to bring Christmas gifts to the people and, whenever he comes to town, he comes here (house of the Olaraja) and everybody will gather to see him”. He, however, confessed that the people almost lost hope of anything good coming out of Nazareth when Uduaghan as Commissioner and Secretary to the State Government, there was nothing to write home about the community. ‘’It was like he was there but nothing was happening to us, but last year, things began to change, we are feeling him now,’’ an indigene, Mr. Tuoyo Ayirimi, interjected.

Continues on page 27

Completed section of Abigborodo road.

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 27

Storm over security staf f slain by soldiers Family demands probe

BY EMMA AMAIZE, Regional Editor, South-South Deadly call HEN Mr. Friday Udal or, a casual security staff of Alert and Protection Security Company Limited, Ughelli, Delta State, deployed to Nigeria Gas Company, NGS, Ekpan, also in the state, told his pregnant wife, Mrs. Faith Udalor, on return from work, April 10, 2013, that he had to return to the office because his supervisor called him on phone, she smelt nothing and reflected that he would return soon. Approximately a year after Udalor left for the NGC, where he was a kitchen personnel between 2002-2009 prior to his engagement as a security staff by the firm, he has not not returned. Instead of the welcome kiss she intended for her husband on return, Mrs. Udalor, who dozed off while she was waiting for him, was jolted by a bad news in the early hours of the next day. The Udalors were expecting a third baby, who turned out to be a girl, Miss Ann Udalor, having been blessed previously with twin boys, Master Peter Udalor and Master Paul Udalor. Friday did not live to see the birth of his daughter. Shot dead he family solicitor, Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi, who is also the national coordinator of the Forum for Justice and



Human Rights Defence, FJHD, Warri, Delta State, said, in a petition to the Inspector General of Police, dated, February 7, that his client, ‘’Mrs. Faith Udalor, waited for her husband, Mr. Friday Udalor, to return until she slept off only to be woken the early hours of the next day by a relative and was told that her husband had been shot dead by a soldier attached to the 3 battalion of the Nigerian Army, Effurun deployed to guard the premises of the Nigeria Gas Company.’’ According to the petition against Alert and Protection Security Company, NGC and Nigeria Army alleging the murder of Udalor, ‘’Mrs. Faith Udalor and her relations tried to find out what happened to the deceased only to be informed at the premises of the Nigeria Gas Company that a soldier deployed to guard the premises of the Nigeria Gas Company shot the deceased and the corpse of the deceased was carried to the Nigeria Police Station, Ekpan by staffers of the Nigeria Gas Company and the army subsequently took the corpse of the deceased to the morgue of the General Hospital, Ekpan.’’ Unidentified caller kimi said: ‘’At the death of Mr. Friday Udalor, his telephone could not be recovered but, surprisingly, on the 29th day of April, 2013 by 3.27 pm, an anonymous caller used the deceased telephone


number, i.e. 08060181750, to call Mrs. Faith Udalor and, when she picked same, the caller was saying `hello, hello’, pretending to be disturbed by network problem before the caller eventually switched off and never called again. ‘’Mrs. Faith Udalor reported the above matter as explained above at the Nigeria Police Station, Ekpan, but each time Mrs. Faith Udalor went to the said police station, she was always asked to go back to ei-

Ecs Ecsttasy as Go Govv. Uduaghan drives car to his village ffor or the ffiririrsst time Continued from page 26 Chieftaincy title The Olaraja conferred with the community leaders who were around during our visit before he answered our question as to whether the community was considering a chieftaincy title for Uduaghan for his contribution to the growth of the town. He said, ‘’It is the Olu of Warri that installs chiefs in Itsekiri land. As someone we hold in high esteem, we have a bigger plan, which is to give him land when he asks for it to build whatever he wants in the community”. With the present state of things in Abigborodo, he said he was very hopeful that God had started a new thing in the life of the people and God, who started it in the life of Abigborodo people, using their son, Emmanuel Uduaghan, as a vessel, will complete it. Modest man, modest home Legal Adviser to the commu-

nity, Pa David Omamara, also shared the same sentiment with the Olaraja on Uduaghan and the new road to Abigborodo. ‘’I am happy with Uduaghan and the state government over it,’’ he said. ‘’The road in particular, even though not completed, has brought changes to Abigborodo and neighbouring communities. We now have quick access to Sapele and all the nearby villagers who pass Abigborodo to Sapele by boat do is to keep their canoe here and go to Sapele by road. They return and take their canoes back home.’’ ‘’The house opposite his house is his father’s house. He is a modest man but he has been given a larger land to build his own house. You are asking me why his house is simple, maybe when you come again, he may have started his new house in Abigborodo.’’ ‘God has remembered us’

them to book as we believe that the late Mr. Friday Udalor was gruesomely murdered unjustly.’’ Conspiracy! digwe, had, in a letter, dated May 13, 2013, addressed to the Managing Director, NGC, Ekpan, suggested that games were being played over the murder of Udalor. His words, ‘’Therefore, it is surprising that his death is being covered up with allegations of stealing, which is

not in the character of the deceased, else he would not have been in Nigeria Gas Company since 2004 until the 10th day of April, 2013.’’ He demanded for the sum of N50 million being damages from the NGC and Alert and Secuirity Company for the wife of the deceased and the children. Employer disclaims employee ut Udalor ’s employer, Alert and Protection Security Company, Ughelli, in a letter, dated May 21, by its solicitor, O.M. Agube Esq. practically washed its hands off him, saying, The deceased was a casual staff of our client, foisted on our client by Ubeji community, the host community to Nigeria Gas Company in 2009, as one the community slot.’’ According to the firm’s solicitor, ‘’As security staff, the said Friday Udalor resumed afternoon duty from 2 pm and closed by 10 pm on the 9th day of April, 2013. Our client’s supervisor to Friday Udalor did not at any time recall him to work, as no such exigencies existed on that day.’’ e continued: ‘’Our client was shocked and surprised when the news came through the supervisor that the said Friday Udalor was shot dead at the company premises by the Nigerian Army at about 4 am on the 10th day of April after he had closed from work.

happened before.’’ ‘We need light’ A trader, Mrs. Roli Awala, said the women were happy with Uduaghan because the road has made life easier for them in terms of going to other parts of the state. She, however, stressed, ‘’There is no electricity, whenever night comes, everywhere is dark, we need light in Abigborodo.’’ Finishing strong As Sunday Vanguard left the quiet Abigborodo community,

which the Olaraja said was famous in Itsekiri land for its peaceful disposition, singing, dancing and loving, it was apparent that Uduaghan’s mantra of finishing strong, which has seen him embark on massive road reconstruction works in Warri, Effurun, Asaba and other parts of the state, has extended to the riverine. But the beauty of it is that rustic Abigborodo may be turned to another tourist destination in the state with the way Uduaghan is going.

ther the Nigeria Gas Company or the Alert and Protection Security Company Ltd and no investigation was carried out’’. Pointing out that no proper investigation was carried out on an earlier petition on the matter by Augustine Odigwe Esq. to the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Friday Udalor Mrs. Faith Udalor Delta State, dated May 16, 2013, the lawyer requested the Inspector General of Police to ‘’order a comprehensive investigation into the above complaint of Mrs. Faith Udalor with a view to unmaskMaster Paul ing the culprits Master Peter Udalor Udalor and bringing

Despite the challenges of electricity and lack of potable water, Tuoyo Ayirimi, said: ‘’Life is sweet for now. In the sixties, if you want to go to Sapele, you will look for a partner to join a canoe; today, God has remembered us, we hear like others that our son is the governor of the state, but we were not feeling anything until now. If it is only this road, I can tell you that God has used him. ‘’We spend so much to go to Sapele to buy things and those who bought sell them at very high prices, but now you can even go to Sapele on your own. And many other things are coming to us. We thank God. With what the governor has done for us, we now see him as God’s instrument for the liberation of Abigborodo.” Ayirimi said transport fare to Sapele used to be not less than N2,000, but now, you can go to Sapele and come back with N1000, adding, ‘’You can see motorcyclists carrying people to the town from Sapele, it never




Delta community gets police station ELTA State Commission er of Police, Mamman D Tsafe, has approved the request

for a police station by the leadership of Ughoton community, Okpe Local Government Area, Delta State In a speech by the community, the Chairman/Unu-Amua, General Secretary and Assistant Secretary of Ughoton Community Executive Council, Mr. Andrew Agbi, Mr. Godwin Omaku and Mr. Freeborn Emakpor, respectively, said the request became imperative because of the largeness of the Ughoton and its surrounding communities. Responding on behalf of the

Delta State Commissioner of Police, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ughelli Area Command, ACP Awoshola Awotinde, said when the community wrote a letter to the CP for an approval of a police station, he was directed to come and inspect the place and that while they were coming, he told the Divisional Police Officer, Orerokpe, that the area was due for a divisional police station considering the distance between Orerokpe and Ughoton,advising the community to give his men a conducive atmosphere to carry out their work effectively.


PAGE 28—SUNDAY, Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014

Ne w lo or Ese and Ola yink a New lovve song ffor Olayink yinka


ormer Miss Eseoghene Okpurhe, daughter of Chief and Chief (Mrs) Sonny Odogwu Okpurhe and her heart-throb, Olayinka Adeooye, son of Pastor and Mrs Oluwole Adeoye, opened another chapter in their lives when they were joined as one at a traditional wedding ceremony at the bride’sth residence in Festac Town, Lagos on Thursday, 13 of February. The ‘White’ wedding held yesterday at the Civic Centre Waterfront in Victoria Island, also in Lagos. Photos by Biodun Ogunleye.

UNILA G’s V C holds UNILAG’s VC Fidau pra or mum prayyer ffor


he Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, UNILAG, Prof. Rahaman Bello penultimate weekend held a 8th-day Fidau prayer for his late mother, Alhaja Fatima Bintu Abeke Bello at Iboro, Ogun State. Many dignitaries from the academia and beyond honoured the Professor with their presence. Photos by Biodun Ogunleye and Wumi Akinola

L-R: Chief & Mrs Sonny Odogwu Okpurhe, bride's parents and Chief John Aluya,Chairman, Crystall Glass with wife. L-R:HRM Oba Sesan Oguntayo,The Ajalorun of Ijebu Ife, Prof Rahaman Bello and sister, Mrs Falilat Opakunbi.

The new couple; Mr & Mrs Olayinka Eseoghene Adeoye cutting their wedding cake.

L-R: Roland Oseahweke, Silver Eshemiton, Daniel Oghoyone, Prince Erhirhie and Stephen Ogefere. Raham Bello and wife, Alhaja Momudat Bello.

Parents couple: Chief & Mrs Sonny Odogwu Okpurhe and Mr and Mrs Olayinka Adeoye

Macpherson’s wedding


on. Onoriode Emesone and friends attended the Macpherson’s wedding which held at Dsc, Delta State.

R-L:Mr Mike Emewakeme, Hon. Onoriode Emesone and friends C M Y K

Mrs Foluke Adeoye (c), mother of the groom, flanked by her friends.

Burial ceremon ceremonyy


on. Baro, High Chief Newton and friend got together at a burial ceremony in Effurun, Delta State.

L-R: Prof. Babajide Alo, DVC, Academics, Hon Kunle Elegbede and Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye

L-R:Hon Henry Baro, High Chief Newton Agbofodoh JP, Usiavre of Ekpan.

L-R: Prof. Toyin Ogundipe,Director, Academic Planning, Dr Taiye Ipaye, Registrar and Prof Folasade Ogunsola, Provost, College of Medicine, all of Unilag.

SUNDAY, Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 29

e Aja yi degoke Ajayi Roluga holds Abuja spellbound for son’s wedding Adegok celebrates ‘double’ rominent media man, Adeoye Roluga, and General Dzarma have now become in-laws. Their children;


Ibiyemi Roluga and his bride were joined together as husband and wife recently at National Christian Center, Abuja. It was a high-profile event which parades some of the most powerful people in the country. Photos by Gbemiga Olamikan

L-R: Father of the bride, Gen. Dzarma, groom’s mum, Mrs. Roluga the new couple; Mr. and Mrs. Ibiyemi Roluga, groom’s dad, Mr Adeoye Roluga and bride’s mum, Mrs. Dzarma.

L-R: Former Lagos State Administrator, Gen. Buba Marwa, Deacon John Dara and groom's dad, Mr Adeoye Roluga.

R-L: Bride's dad, Gen. Dzarma discussing with Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badah.

R-L: Mr Adeoye Roluga, groom's dad, chatting with MD/CEO of FCMB, Ladi Balogun.

L-R: Dep. Gov. of Nasarawa State, Dameshi Luka, SSA to Nasarawa State Gov on Public Private Partnership, Engr. Solomon Machibo , Chief of the Air Staff , Air Marshal Alex Badeh and bride's dad


he National President, Nigeria Professional Photographers and Video-graphers Association, Chief Adegoke Ajayi was a toast of high th society as he celebrated his 70th birthday and 50 in photography. The celebration took place at Iworoko Community Primary School Playground, Iworoko-Ekiti. Photos by Abayomi Adesida

Chief Adegoke Ajayi being congratulated by the Chairman House Committees on FCT and MDGs, Hon. Bimbo Daramola.

The celebrant, Chief Adegoke Ajayi surrounded by some traditional rulers from South-Western Nigeria.

R-L: Chief Adegoke Ajayi receiving the keys to a gift of an SUV from his children at the reception

UNAAB’s media ge t-t oge ther get-t t-toge ogether

THE Maiden Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, get-together and luncheon party in appreciation of the media held at Inter Scholars and Resources Centre, Alabata Abeokuta. Photos by Wumi Akinola

L-R: Comrade Wole Sokunbi; Ogun State NUJ Chairman, Professor Olusola Oyewole, VC, FUNAAB and Mr. Tobi Joseph of Rock City FM. C M Y K

L-R:Prof. Kola Salako, DVC, Development, Comrade Niyi Ogungbola, former State NUJ Chairman and Comrade Soji Amosun

L-R: Head of DPR Emi Alawode discussing with her boss, Professor Olusola Oyewole

PAGE 30—SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014


Nigerians’ notoriety in China is unprecedented — Ambassador Onadipe

•Says some Chinese underestimate us to their own detriment BY VICTORIA OJEME, who was in China


mbassador/Deputy Chief of Mission in the embassy of Nigeria in Beijing, China, Ambassador Shola Onadipe, in this interview, speaks on his mandate. What is the state of the relationship between Nigeria and China? I think generally the state of bilateral relationship between Nigeria and China in diplomatic balance could be said to cordial. We are good with China and the fact that Mr President was here in July last year attests to that. A high level official from China after Mr President’s visit has equally been to Nigeria. Mr. Dejing, the Speaker of the Chinese parliament, paid a courtesy call on Mr President. Senate President David Mark was supposed to be here before the president visited in July; unfortunately the visit was stopped at the last minute but that invitation is still pending. The Chinese ministers of state for agriculture and commerce and the vice foreign minister have all been to Nigeria after the presidential visit; so now we are on a higher level in our bilateral relationship as attested to by these high profile visits to Nigeria and, of course, from Nigeria. The bilateral relationship between our two countries is not without hiccups. We have our own teething problems of coordination not only C M Y K

concerning China but also probably concerning a lot of other countries. So, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may not be able to do much in enforcing this collaboration or coordination but we would continue to say that there is the need for inter-ministerial collaboration to develop a common strategy to deal with all these countries that we have a lot to do in common. How about people to people relation? It is going on well but a lot of Nigerians have problems coming to China, not because they are not qualified to come but I think a lot of obstacles are deliberately put on their way. China visa regime is a little bit tough, you are expected to have a letter of invitation; so for a business man who is coming for the first time, it is really difficult. The categories of business people allowed to invite foreigners to China, the ordn iary

traders in Nigeria, even the middle level business people, don’t have access to them. I don’t know why a typical trader in Guangzhou, for instance, cannot send a letter of invitation to another trader in Nigeria to come to China, but that letter is not recognized. And when they go to the Chinese embassy or consulate, Nigerians are subjected to all sorts of ridiculous treatment. We hear all sorts

of stories about how agents are fleecing Nigerians to get them visa; some end up paying as much as N250,000 to N350.000 and they still don’t get the visa, so how do we solve the problems? It is not in our hands, Nigerians need to find out what is going on in the Chinese embassy. These agents are not faceless; they are human beings, not spirits. We have cleaned up our acts here in the last couple of months. Definitely, in any society, you will find bad eggs, but I think the days of indiscriminate issuance of Nigerian visas for peanuts is gone. The process of visa issuance is now open and transparent. If you don’t have any business in Nigeria from China, you cannot go there. We do a lot of dictations documents are being forged, people

are desperate to go to Nigeria because they believe it is a place where opportunities abound. So, they resort to all kinds of sharp practices, forging documents. We are nipping those problems in the bud by being extra careful. We have seen candidates for visa posting interpreters who can’t even say two, three, four words of good English, so one wonders what kind of interpretation that would be capable of doing in Nigeria. The belief of many Chinese is that Nigeria is probably a place where there is no civilization and so they think they are capable of having it their own ways in Nigeria, but then when they get there, they are surprised at the vibrancy of the country and its peoples. Culturally, the Chinese government encourages people to people relationship, the reason we had the second Nigeria cultural week in the city of Nanjin, about two months ago. Last year, it was in Beijing, and the Minister of Culture was present. He was again here this year with all members of his parastatals and ministry officials. We are doing what we can to promote Nigeria here,. There has been the establishment of the Nigerian Cultural Centre, the first of its kind by an African country, though a lot still needs to be done at that centre. By and large, those who are going to Nigeria from China must be properly watched because it is hurting Nigerians too. I was in Balogun Market (Lagos) in July and I could feel some resentment on the part of the market people who believe that their retail trade had been taken over by the Chinese. So, how do you tackle that? Somebody must listen to them. This could be a serious issue, so we don’t find ourselves confronting each other over our people to people relationship. With the recent development of China picking interest in trading with African countries, do you see this as a welcome development? Yes, it can work, because if we get our acts together and know exactly how we want to trade, it is not a haphazard things. It has to be an organised documented trading. Go to Guangzhou, you will see a lot of furniture being shipped from there and we say furniture abound in Nigeria, so, where are they taking them to? You Continues on page 31

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 31

`Some Chinese underestimate Nigerians’ Continued from page 30 see an average of a hundred containers every day from Guangzhou alone, going to Nigeria, that is a huge quantum of trade. But are they recorded? Your guess is as good as mine. So what type of trade is that? It has been reported in the media in Nigeria that many of our people are being sent to jail without trial. How correct is this ? That is not correct, China does not just pick somebody and put him in prison. There must be a reason for that and you know our people, that is one big problem that we have been facing even before I came here. When I was director of Asia/Pacific, I remember in 2009, we went to Guangzhou to do a consular seminar. If not that we are in democracy, I would say there are a lot of Nigerians who are living outside the shores of Nigeria who don’t have any business outside. Invariably these are the people who find themselves in trouble here engaging in nefarious activities. A lot of people want to leave Nigeria by all means in search of greener pastures; so they can afford to pay any amount for visa. They put only $50 or $100 in their pocket and board the plane. By the time they get to China, the story changes. China does not give more than 30days visa to anybody; so after 30 days, you are an illegal resident as you have already run foul of the law. What the law requires you to do is either seek for extension or go out and renew your visa and come back, but what do you see in China, Nigerians, those who have overstayed for three, four, five, six years, go and open shops, buying and selling. Most of them are not paying tax, most of them use fraudulent means to run the shops, and they say they don’t do retail, that they are only selling to their customers in Nigeria but that is not true. Would the Chinese authorities fold their arms and watch the foreigners, coupled with the fact that a lot of them are notorious for nefarious activities with hard drugs. Dragon Hotel was raided in August, last year, and majority of the black people picked up in that hotel were Nigerians. Those carrying Nigerian passports were more than 50, while those carrying other national passports were equally there, and some of them were having as much as $1 million equivalent cash on them, half a million, $600,000. As an embassy, how do you tackle such a thing? You are already operating from a very weak position, so when the law enforcement officers do C M Y K

*Amb. Onadipe ... Nigerian drug courier executed two months ago their job, 1,000 police men marched to that hotel and before then the hotel had been under surveillance for months. The Chinese police didn’t just wake up one day and went to raid the place. After this, we started having complaints from Nigeria, ‘my brother went there, he didn’t know anything about drug, he was only staying there, he was unlucky’. Another will say, ‘my brother was just passingby’. We have the right to allow the Chinese authorities to do their investigation. Those who were actually found not wanting were released and those who had cases to answer are still there: drug infringement carries a very heavy penalty here, death sentence, depending on the quantity of what you were caught carrying. One was executed about two months ago, he came into China with about five kilogram of heroine, how do you spare such a person? There are many of them there and with that notoriety about Nigerians, and you know they are very loud, they will be smoking marijuana openly in another man’s country, that is ridiculous. They drink heavily, they are notorious in that area. The Cote’Ivoire people, the Ghanaians, Camerounians, the French speaking African countries, they have their own sector, the police don’t go there to harass them. So, why is it the Nigerian sector only? Virtually, all those shops are closed now. I went there last month to meet with the authorities of that province, and I told him that I was there not because of those criminals but because of those honest Nigerians making an honest living, obeying the rules and

regulations of their laws, but who are now suffering from the sins of their brothers. For those ones, they have nothing to worry about even though some of them were condemning the manner of the arrests, they were being chased with dogs and all sorts of things. You know we were not there, we wouldn’t rely on hearsay. Yes, normally if you want to apprehend criminals, you probably have to use force for effective discharge of your duty. I don think that should be an issue, they just want to whip up sentiment for themselves or favor themselves, it is a big problem

hawking jollof rice illegally in the night and at the end of the day he settles down at night, and start smoking marijuana openly with a bottle of beer in his hand, releasing deep smoke into the air. Can they do that in Nigeria? I can take you to somewhere here in Yanshun, in Beijing, when you get there and you will see them, they will approach you, Nigerians holding tiny patches in their hands. One was stabbed to death in that vicinity early this year, why? He said another person encroached on his territory, it became a fight and they started stabbing each other.

The notoriety of Nigerians in Guangzhou is unprecedented and I think some of them are crossing the line for us but we are doing the best we can in these circumstances. We don’t want the problem to overwhelm us. Every week, somebody must go to Guangzhou, why Guangzhou? The notoriety of Nigerians in Guangzhou is unprecedented and I think some of them are crossing the line. I have seen them in action in the night after the day’s job, you look at somebody who could not find a job in Nigeria or probably he got a job in Nigeria and thought that the job is below him, he spends so much money to get visa and then get to Guangzhou

Some Chinese guys killed one Nigerian early this year too. They wanted to buy cocaine and he sold them heroin instead. So instead of smoking, the guy injected and that was the end. They came back on reprisal attack and that was the end for him. This is not why we are here, but once it starts happening like that, you just have to face it. We know that there are Chinese who are equally evil. If the Chinese are implementing their own laws, that retail business cannot be undertaken by any foreigner, it is left to us not to allow such things to be done in Nigeria,

but when we are complacent, what do you do? They would have filled them in. So you will find them baking bread or selling Ankara in the streets, operating shops like inside Wuse Market in Abuja. How many documented immigrant Nigerians are currently living in China? Very difficult to say because they don’t register. I remember when we came to the consular in 2009, we got less then 100 Nigerians for the two days we were there, because some of them thought we came with a plane to kidnap them. Virtually all of them had overstayed, so it was only on the second day we could get the hundred. After we had negotiated and the Chinese authorities agreed that they would look the other way, and then the mandatory 5000 RAM that you pay, when you overstay, was increased to 10.000 RAM, which is about $1,600 fine. Now when they could not pay 5000 RAM, they are kept in immigration detention until such a time that they are able to pay, or their people in Nigeria are able to secure them ticket to go back. Chinese government does not deport, if the Nigerian government is not ready to deport, the family of the people must be prepared to get the ticket and their relative will be allowed to go. We can only give you an estimate of Nigerians in Guangzhou, but then maybe 90 percent of Nigerians in China are there. There are other pockets of cities where there are Nigerians too, maybe about 200 living in Beijing, apart from the professionals, I mean those who are working with the United Nations and oil companies and other professionals. One was held about a month ago. This guy had no job, he rode in a Porch car, robbed ladies of their hand bags, got them drunk, and after robbing them, he would go and drop them off somewhere. The police here will not jail you on unsubstantiated evidence, they investigate thoroughly. I will say they investigated this guy and he bagged only 10 years. These are disgraceful acts. When we get to know about it, we talk to them but, to them, you are talking nonsense. You know that they don’t have any visible means of income, how are they surviving, riding Porch cars, patronising the best night clubs and restaurants? Of course, let us be realistic, would we allow such things back in Nigeria? So why do we think that as Nigerians we have the audacity to come to another man’s country and be smoking drug openly and be drinking and making noise. Things we can hardly do in Nigeria, you are doing it in China. It cannot be for a long time, they are bound to react one day and now it is reflecting * Continues next week


08023145567 (sms only)

BEWARE ...of false prophets By SAM EYOBOKA


ENERAL Overseer of Lord Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministry, Pastor Lazarus Muoka has contended that there were signs of growing indifference towards God’s Word because of worsening economic conditions in the country. He further contends that the worsening economic conditions had also given rise to false prophets who are devising various unorthodox means of surviving in the midst of squalor. Apparently disburbed by growing activities of false prophets as captured by several depictions including; Nigerian churches and the rising influence of marine spirits (Parts 1&2); My hero pastor is a false prophet (Parts 1&2); New style prophets and their visions of phone numbers, bank details and ladies

underwear; Backslidden pastors and the patronage of a Port Harcourt-based occult woman among others, Pastor Muoka warned Nigerians to be wary of fake pastors who now masquerade in different garbs to lure innocent people into their fold and attract filthy lucre. Addressing a mammoth crowd of worshippers at the closing ceremony of the just concluded 2-day annual revival crusade tagged "From sorrow to joy," at the national headquarters, the pastor said "what the devil uses to capture people these days is false prophecy. "Beware of prophecies and false prophets. Some will tell you even your bank details and your phone numbers and how much you have in your pockets. But, I say to you, beware of false prophets, so that it will be well with you." According to Pastor Muoka,

who drew inspiration from several Bible scriptures, "not every voice is recognised in Heaven. At the time of revival such as this, do nothing but just allow the Holy Spirit to operate and you just follow." The pastor who mounted the altar at about 4.09 p.m. to preach the only sermon of the day to an expectant crowd of worshippers who had defied the mid-morning torrential rain, maintained that a sinner cannot be a Christian, just a Christian cannot be a sinner, stressing that whosoever is born of God does not commit sin. The sermon which lasted for one hour and about 10 minutes was interspaced with songs of victory in line with the theme of the programme; 'From sorrow to joy' especially the special theme song; Sorrow bye bye, Bye bye; Sorrow bye bye; I belong to God." Typical of Lord Chosen's

*Pastor Lazarus Muoka services, the crusade began with a long session of testimonies by persons who claimed to have received one breakthrough or the other during previous services and testifiers came from various nations of the world including Malaysia, Canada and many other nations. Lord Chosen which is just 11 years old is said to have presence in 138 nations of the world. During the ministration, another set of persons who received instant healings as the pastor prayed were given an-

other opportunity to testify of the goodness of God. "Pastor, for the past nine years this Mama could not walk but at your prayer the affliction was roled away." And immediately, the crowd would roar in ecstacy in acknowledgement of the wonders of God. Eight year stroke; 10-year stroke; 12-year deaf and dumb; 21-year deaf and dumb; endless calls of diverse divine interventions were announced as the pastor often broke in to lead the congregation in singing; "Sorrow bye bye....I belong to God".

Northern CAN denies report of backing Atiku's defection By SAM EYOBOKA


HRISTIAN Associa tion of Nigeria, CAN, in the 19 Northern states and Abuja has disassociated itself from a report endorsing the erstwhile Vice President Atiku Abubakar's defection to All Progressives Congress, APC, saying that the publication is the figment of the imagination of certain evil minded impostors. In a telephone interview with our reporter, Public Relations Officer of Northern CAN, Elder Sunny Oibe said CAN is an umbrella association of Christians in the country and not a political party and therefore has no business endorsing people who abandon their political

party for others in search of political fortunes. Said he: "Our attention has been drawn to a publication in some media houses purportedly with the caption; 'Northern CAN backs Atiku', and we say that Northern CAN does not back any politician or political party. As a religious organisation we have the responsibility of praying to God to institute God-fearing leaders who will reduce the suffering of the masses in the country." According to the Northern CAN spokesman, the publication was embarrassing and in bad taste "as the author, Mr. Jonathan Sambo is not an executive member of the North East chapter of CAN, and cannot therefore speak on behalf of the chapter. He

claimed to be the PRO of the chapter but after consultation with the leadership, it was revealed that there is not such position in the chapter." Elder Oibe therefore warned politicians to stay clear of impostors who are out to extort money from them on behalf of different organisations ahead of the 2015 elections. He also cautioned journalists to cross check information made available to them by unscrupulous persons who are desperate to plant stories in different houses, either for their pecuniary benefits or to satisfy their dubious political pay masters, stressing that the Northern CAN has totally disassociated itself from the publication in its entirety.

Speaking in a similar vein, chairman of North East CAN, Rev. Ryal M. Shauibu described the publication as "most absurd for anybody to claim that a Christian body like CAN will endorse the defection of Atiku to APC. In 2011, Atiku met us at the CAN executive council and we confronted him with the plight of Christians in the North East zone and we asked him what all the past political leaders had done about the religious persecution in the region." According to him, Jonathan Sambo is speaking for himself and not on behalf of the chapter, noting that "the report is false, falsely fabricated and we deny it in its entirety. Its evil for anybody to say CAN North East backs

Atiku's defection, because we are not a political organisation. Politicians owe this nation good governance and must rule with the fear of God, not forgetting that every citizen is equal before the law." "Why should the North East CAN celebrate the advantage of APC giving its religious coloration which tinted towards one direction," Rev. Shauibu said, noting that as the nation approaches another election year many politicians would deploy all manner of impostors to act their clandestine scripts. He therefore warned politicians and journalists to beware of such deviants in the society in order to avoid such embarrassing publications.


I WAS having lunch at Sweet Sensation, a fastfood restaurant in Lagos, when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I looked back to see a gentleman grinning at me from ear to ear. “Dr. Aribisala, how are you doing?” he asked expansively. It was one of my former pastors. As a young believer, I was so hungry for God I juggled several churchmemberships simultaneously. I grew up in the Anglican Communion. But when I finally had an encounter with Christ, I switched to the Baptist Church and then to Pentecostal Assembly. Even then, I also attended mid-week services at Zoe Ministries, before ditching both for several branches of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. When the Lord formally called me to a healing ministry, I decided to establish a Christian fellowship of my own with a handful of people in Lagos. Within five years, it metamorphosed into a full-fledged church.

A repentant pastor My former Zoe pastor was genuinely glad to see me and I readily changed tables to sit with him. He told me he was no longer with his old church but was now coordinating a small prayer-group. He wanted to know what I was doing. When I told him my office was just five minutes away, he insisted on seeing it. So after finishing my lunch, I took him back to my office complex and showed him the different features of the building. When we came to my

WHY PASTORS DON’T GO TO HEAVEN (1) office, I sat down behind my desk and he sat in front of me. He looked at me with a curious intensity. Then he said: “So you are now a pastor?” It was a question and yet not a question. I had shown him the churchhall, the Christian video and book libraries, the prayer-room, television room and the counselling cubicles. I had also come clean and acknowledged I was then a pastor. Nevertheless, he felt it necessary to ask the question again, as if he was trying to confirm it to himself. He suddenly became very quiet. He seemed to crouch a little bit in his seat. He stared for an embarrassingly long time at his finger nails. Then, out of nowhere, he started to apologise to me. His apologies were all the more intriguing because we never had any noticeable differences in the past. But there in my office that afternoon, he just felt the need to apologise and I understood exactly why. In a rambling manner, he told me how sorry he was for “all the rubbish we were doing in those days.” Somehow, he just knew that by now I would have come to know they were rubbish, even if I might not have realised it at the time. I remember one occasion when Zoe president, Patrick Anwuzia, was visiting the church, we were

Cleric tasks Nigerians on humility is total obedience to His By Olayinka Latona ENERAL Overseer of Life Transformation International Chapel, Apostle Victor Udoh has called on Nigerians to humble themselves, trust and have faith in God, for the peace and progress of the country. Speaking during the church annual covenant themed: “By this time tomorrow”, Apostle Udoh said that only total obedience to the will of God would re-store peace and pro-gress to the country. In his words: “One of the things that can link us to the blessing of God


word. We should obey any instruction given to us by God and until we do that God will not intervene in our situation. “When we are talking about obedience, there is need for us to be in total obedience with our Creator. If Nigerians obey, trust and love one another and trust God we will not be experiencing various challenges we are experiencing now. “It is a pity that most people at the helm of affairs are not obedient to God, that is why people are selfish, accumulating wealth to the detriment of the masses. Despite various mineral resources that God gave

The “gospel” is now a product marketed with razzmatazz by mega-pastors and televangelists required to raise a “love offering” for him. But then the pastor insisted it had to be in either dollars or pounds sterling. He asked for public pledges but when nobody responded, he called people up at random and dictated pledges for them. He told them what they had to contribute irrespective of whether they were so disposed or not. In those days, he often came up with imaginative ploys to extract money from us. No less than three offerings were collected every service; one for the Father, another for the Son and a third for the Holy Spirit. Church business When Jesus was only 12 years old, he went with his adoptive-parents to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. But on returning back home, they discovered he was missing. They spent an agonising three days searching for him and finally found him in the temple, engaged in discussion with the teachers of the law. His mother chided him us in this country, majority of the masses are still wallowing in poverty,” he said. Describing covenant as an agreement between God and man, Udoh said covenant goes along with obedience and sacrifice, noting that man ought to learn the art of giving without grudging. The cleric urged Nigerians to live righteously, to attract God’s intervention in solving the nation’s problems. He said: “We must not relent in our prayers for the nation; we should say no to ethnic bigotry and corruption, and we should learn to co-exist together peacefully. Genuine peace and true progress come to nations which put their trust in God.”

for his insensitivity. She said: “Son, why have you done this to us? Look, your father and I have sought you anxiously.” (Luke 2:48). But Jesus was unapologetic. He said to them: “Why did you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?” (Luke 2:49). A similar anomaly applies to pastors. Precisely what is the Father’s business and to what extent are pastors engaged in it? The Father’s business is supposed to be the preaching of the gospel in order to usher men into the kingdom of God. But make no mistake about it; today’s churches are far more interested in your money than in your soul. The single, most important, objective of today’s pastorate is the collection of money from churchgoers. House of merchandise Folusho Aribisala told me about a banker colleague of his whose church applied for a loan from his bank. He was dismayed to find in the application projections By ETOP EKANEM HE Light of the World Bible Col lege and Theological Seminary, LOTWBC, recently held its fifth anniversary and graduation ceremony with a call on the graduands to preach undiluted gospel of Jesus Christ. At the event which took place at The Holy Church of Zion Church, Ikate, Surulere, Lagos, 17 students graduated at masters and bachelor in Theology, diploma and certificate levels; 10 others matriculated while one was ordained an evangelist. Speaking at the occasion, the rector of the seminary, Dr. Emma Dan, urged the graduands to emulate the life of Jesus and be obedient to the leaders they will work


about anticipated increases in the amount of tithes and offerings that would be collected over the next few years. The man was disgusted that his church was not only targeting his current income, it was already making plans about his future earnings. Jesus’ gospel is addressed to the poor. (Luke 4:18). James insists it is the poor that God has chosen for his kingdom. (James 2:5). But the primary focus of today’s gospel is the rich. Pastors are ever reaching out to those better able to pay fat tithes and give big offerings. Some even give commissions to church-members who invite them to church. In some cases, special seats up-front are reserved for them. Pastors have become get-rich-quick tipsters who offer keys, not of the kingdom, but of financial prosperity. We organise special programs for businessmen, promising to give them the power to get more wealth. Like Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas (USA), we offer our parishioners "your best life now;" an infinitely more appealing proposition than Jesus’ "take up your cross and follow me." Marketing Jesus No wonder, many now see church-going in eco-

nomic terms; deeming it invaluable for making business connections. Bankers come to church in search of depositors. Traders come to church in search of customers. That nice gentleman shouting “hallelujah” across the aisle from you is likely to button-hole you after the service, give you his complimentary card, and inform you that he services generators; just in case you are interested. The “gospel” is now a product marketed with razzmatazz by mega-pastors and televangelists. Bishop T.D. Jakes of Potters House, Dallas, Texas organises a lavish annual religious jamboree called “MegaFest.” The 2005 edition in Atlanta, Georgia was sponsored by Coca-Cola; GlaxoSmithKline; American Airlines and Ford Motor Company, among others. But how can the gospel of a kingdom not of this world be obligated, at the same time, to corporate America? Inevitably, there is conflict, as the message is punctuated by the obligatory “word from our sponsors.” It is not a surprise therefore that, according to Annette JohnHall of the Philadelphia Inquirer, during the kickoff of the 2005 MegaFest, T.D. Jakes mentioned his corporate sponsors more times than he mentioned God. In effect, pastors are no longer engaged in the Father’s business. Mary and Joseph have been looking for us in all the right places, but to no avail. Someone needs to tell them we can be found in the supermarkets and flea-markets, putting Jesus up for sale. (Continued).

LOT-WBC graduates 17, matriculates 10 under, noting: “As long as you are working under someone, you should uphold the vision of that person. Be submissive to your leader and by doing so, your ministry will grow and you will excel.” On the recently passed anti-gay bill, Pastor Dan commended President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly for passing the law, saying homo-sexualism is against Bible injunction. According to him, “Nigeria is a God-chosen nation. So, there is no way we can allow this type of immorality to exist in this country. Let me use this opportunity to thank President Jonathan

and the National Assembly for the passage of the law.” Also speaking, Apostle Asuquo Uyio, General Overseer of The Holy Church of Zion, Lagos and Apostle Emma Akpan, college adviser of the seminary, advised the graduands not to adulterate the gospel of Jesus Christ in the course of their ministry, noting: “What leads to the problems we are experiencing today in churches is that some ministers of God are practising occultism in the church in the name of religion whereas that is not what Christ commissioned them to do,” he maintained.

PAGE 34— SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014


‘The vain moves to dethrone me!’

•Obuzor of Ibuzor says Africa’s greatest problem is inferiority complex •JSS II students in my community were unable to read ABC’

• Obi (Prof) Nwaboshi, the Obuzor of Ibuzor


HE Obuzor of Ibuzor, Oshimili North Local Council, Delta State, Obi (Prof.) Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi, spoke to Sunday Vanguard against the backdrop of his alleged dethronement. He described the allegations against him as the handiwork of his opponents. The monarch also spoke on other issues. Excerpts: As an academic, a professor, you seem not to have been involved in local politics of Ibuzor. How were you made the Obuzor? On the approval of Obuzor of Ibuzor stool on May 20, 1995 by the then Delta State governor, Group Captain Ibrahim Kefas, the first Obuzor was zoned to my ruling house. At that time, I was lecturing at the University of Ibadan. Immediately after the announcement, I was inundated with calls and visits from friends and relations informing me that the youths and elders of my community had resolved that I should be

the one. The call to be the Obuzor of Ibuzor was essentially unanimous as captured by a correspondence between my ruling house, the Otu Odogwu, and Ibuzor kingmakers: “That although the guidelines specify that four candidates will be presented to the kingmakers, we the entire members of the Otu Odogwu citizenry accepted to present only one, unanimously elected, in the person of Prof. Louis Chelunor Nwoboshi, an Nkpalor titled man. He is ready to take the Eze title during the process of enthronement.” The subsequent election of the kingmakers in which 25 out of 26 voted for me with one abstention is another testimony. Soon after your coronation, there were some challenges, criticisms and attempts to unseat you. How did you cope, given the difference between the university system and the traditional way of doing things? I was most welcomed by the community. Even the then state governor marveled at the una-



The only challenge which reared its head on the 12th day after the coronation came from those who were benefiting from the gerontocratic system, surrogating for the Diokpa, the oldest man in the community nimity of the community. The only challenge which reared its head on the 12th day after the coronation came from those who were benefiting from the gerontocratic system, surrogating for the Diokpa, the oldest man in the community. The proceedings of the commission of inquiry, which preceded the creation of the Obuzor institution, showed that some of them had been in opposition to the proposition to have the Obuzor system replace the Diokpa sys-

tem. One of them punished members of the committee that sent the proposal to government. He followed that up with a counter petition to government not to create the new system. He wanted to retain the gerontocratic system where the traditional ruler was the oldest man to the next oldest person in the community. I later came to understand that he had since 1985, when he was the spokesman for his uncle, made a proposal to Bendel State gov-

ernment to approve for him the position of Okwuluoha (spokesman-general) for all senior Diokpas, irrespective of the ruling houses from where the traditional ruler may come from and so replace the then situation where each new senior Diokpa selected his spokesman. He argued his position at the inquiry but was credited with only 7% as against 93% of the proponents of the change to the new Obuzor system which sought to reduce the age of succession to the traditional rulership. With this result, the government answered the prayers of Ibuzor community that the age of the traditional ruler be reduced and that the erstwhile traditional ruler or senior Diokpa position be converted to a traditional chieftaincy position with some defined functions. On board As I said above, the call was unanimous from all the sides and shades of opinion of my ruling house and was also ac-

Continues on page 35

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 35

’JSS II students were unable to read ABC’ cepted by Ibuzor kingmakers. Unrelenting, however, the Diokpa spokesman vowed to see that the new institution was brought down; before it took root as was done to the first king of the community, Ezesi. Exploiting the emotion of the masses, he dished out accusations on what the Obuzor had done wrongly in his 12 days of reign. However, I remember that during my acceptance speech, I had, more or less, prophesized that I was engaging on a social re-engineering that was not going to be an easy task and, on the coronation ground, the governor had warned: ‘I am engaging on a seriou experiment which if successful would pave the way for those communities in Delta State that are still using the gerontocratic system to move on to something much more modern.’ I therefore was determined not to engage in rhetorics with him but to attempt to lay a solid foundation through documentations so that the gimmicks he is using today would not be repeated by people like him to my successor. As a result of his action, I have written a book entitled: Obuzor Dynasty - the birth and the teething problems, emanating from his antics. I have also gathered, for the interest of those who care to read, about 20 different tissues of lies and falsehood, he used to orchestrate his so called Obuzor crisis,as there was no crisis other than what he was generating and answering, to carry the people along, in Obuzor Crisis: Matters Arising. In addition to the documentation, the case was taken to court and was decided at the Supreme Court in favour of the new institution. Today, based on his antics, we have got about eight documents in the Obuzor institution. With them these detractors will not only be known to the present but also to future generations of Ib’uzor community as guides to avoid such distractions. Away from traditional matters, how do you feel leaving the university environment and what’s your view on the current educational system vis-à-vis graduate unemployment? My opinion is that every conceivable problem we have in this country today is attributable to education, bad or wrong education. On arrival in my community, I was shocked to find 110 out of 180 pupils in JSS II in public schools were unable to read ABCD to Z let

alone form two or three letterwords. But after two to three weeks of remedial teaching they could not only read ABCD but could spell any word that was properly pronounced. This indicated that something must be wrong somewhere in our school system. Our small demonstration also showed that the fault was not with the pupils but in the manner in which they were taught. My studies in the last one or two decades here appear to show that the lack of reading habit as well as the exam malpractices in our schools are symptoms of the wrong systems of child upbringing or education. Here in Nigeria we confuse literacy for education; are they the same? Literacy is the ability to read and write, the symbols that represent sounds, be it in English, Greek, Arabic or Chinese language. On the contrary, education is a learning process through which the basic knowledge of the environment, skills and habits that influence the development and welfare of group of people are transferred from one generation to another by teaching, apprenticeship or by self-tutoring. Education conveys wisdom while literacy is a vehicle to acquire education but not education itself. Education is also not an English upbringing process. It is universal and used in every culture to learn the life support system, the history, traditions and human re-

• Nwaboshi...Literacy is different from education

1914 involved inculcating in the child, right from birth, a good dose of knowledge in humanity, supremacy of God, the father and the various components of life support system, their work-


Continued from page 34

Education conveys wisdom while literacy is a vehicle to acquire education but not education itself. Education is also not an English upbringing process. It is universal and used in every culture to learn the life support system, the history, traditions and human relationship in one’s environment lationship in one’s environment or life zone which are basic to acquisition of more global scientific and technological education. Nations that equate literacy with education have already scripted their life history, their life support system and processes before they could rely on reading as a means of learning and it is only in such countries that their children can learn about their environment and their life history through books. Nigeria is not yet one of them. Oral traditions in Nigeria show that upbringing before the advent of schools or before

ing processes and management systems through association or apprenticeship. The youths then learn how to interact with people, how to grow, and harvest, process, transport and market useful components for their welfare. This was the form of upbringing or education Africans had from time immemorial to about 1900. With this method, the youth, by the time he is ready to start his own life, has become well equipped with sufficient ideas on how to get on with life in his environment. Today, youths produced from our school system have not found

their feet, they are mainly groomed to weigh and measure, buy and sell. They are ill-equipped with little or no ideas on the production, processing and transportation of what they are marketing. We are producing youths that have global perspectives with little or no foundation in our life zones be it marine, forest, savannah, grassland or the mountain, in our country. Lamentations of how our leaders are pleased to see the nation floating while other nations come in to tell us what we have in our backyard and how to exploit and make use of them or dump whatever pleases them on us, all because of the wrong upbringing or system they have adopted, is the subject of my recent publication entitled, ‘Awake O Africa, Your Skyscraper is an illusion.’ This call through Awake O’Africa is limited to education and youth upbringing, bearing in mind that education policies are products of political ideology. How do you rate politics and political development, democratic and Africans democratic consensus in Nigeria? My constituency is more in education than in politics and as I said earlier all our problems including political ones

are hinged on the quality of our education. More specifically, your question on politics and political development, democracy versus Africans democratic consensus is wonderful. In as much as I am not a partisan politician, I know that polity in our own context in the Nigerian nation and the states and local government areas are sub and sub-polities of this great nation. Politics also is the scramble for power to manage the resources of the polity at any of these levels. The scramble is based on some ideological strategies on how best to achieve the development of that polity. Today I do not need to be an expert to see that the politics of this nation is not based on any ideology that people will base their choice or preference of one group compared to the other and there is no way a nation will entertain over three dozen different ideological strategies. So, real ideological party politics is yet to start in Nigeria.In similar vein, we have adopted democracy in place of oligarchy or dictatorship as our form of government system. Democracy is said to be government of the people, for the people, by the people, which in the Nigerian context should mean the laws (government) of Nigeria made by Nigerians and for the welfare of Nigerians. Again, we are yet to have this. So far, we have been copying the laws developed under the British or the American experience and trying to tinker with them to suit our situation simply because we misunderstood what adopting Western education means. The lack of originality of our Constitution has reduced it to a subject of constant review. At the age of 40 years in 2000, the Nigerian Constitution had been reviewed five times or at eight yearly intervals and, thereafter, it has been pastime with every regime of government. The British Constitution, derived from their own life experience, has been there almost from time immemorial with little or no major amendments, which underscores the fact that until we have a Constitution that is indigenous to us derived from our own experiences, constitutional instability will continue to be our watchword. What we have is called Western democracy in contrast with what existed in Africa and still exists at the traditional institution called the African Democratic Consensus. The Western democracy is a majoritan government as the majority wins and the minority views are lost. In African democracy, there is no victor, no vanquished on any issue as most issues are concluded by a compromise solution between the majority views and the minority views.

PAGE 36—SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014

All letters bearing writers' names and full addresses should be typed and forwarded to: The Editor, Sunday Vanguard, Kirikiri Canal, P. M. B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos. E-mail:

Which party can make the difference? Dear Sir,


HE formation and the eventual registration of the All Progres sive Congress (APC) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was a welcome development and was roundly applauded by many people. People look up to the party as an alternative platform which came at a time when the political space in Nigeria yearns for visible, viable and vibrant opposition to the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP. The PDP having ruled for more than 13 years with little or no impact on the socio-economic well-being of the people needs more astute opposition parties that will redefine Nigerian politics and square up with the ruling party on critical national issues that would ordinarily receive the usual PDP bandwagon effect. With APC, an alternative platform for ventilating political ideas is veritably established. Also, with the defection of five state governors and 37 members of House of Representatives to the party and planned defection of more politicians especially in National, State Assemblies and Local Councils, the stage is set for strong political realignment of strange bed fellows come 2015. Even though in politics, politicians do not have permanent enemy but permanent interest, how long will this realignment endure? APC as an amalgam of various parties with unique shades of opinion is not quite different from PDP and other parties that will soon begin to jostle for our votes come 2015.With this marriage of convenience, sooner than lat-

er these shades of opinions will start manifesting. For instance, those who dumped a certain political party for another with the intention of grabbing positions will soon be disappointed and leave if their expectations are not outrightly met, or worse still, create problems and overheat the polity. Political party formation throughout the world is driven by the desire of a group of people to influence, direct, or entirely perform government policies; usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to vote them in political offices. Parties engage in electoral campaigns, awareness outreach, or protest actions. Parties often and most importantly espouse an ideology or vision, expressed in a their programmes, bolstered by a written platform with specific goals, forming a coalition among disparate interests. Can party politics in Nigeria be said to have the above kind of distinctions? Political parties in Nigeria lack this defined ideology which commonly drives politics worldwide. All political parties in Nigeria could be likened to carnivorous animals; they all eat flesh and so are one and the same. The three political parties that metamorphosed into APC cannot be said to have differed and respected internal democratic norms, values and principles. Politics in Nigeria is all about selection, sharing and allocation of positions of authority. We play politics without conscience. So far, it is not yet uhuru as neither APC nor other parties can make any remarkable political difference or be said to have been immuned or insulated from the viruses afflicting PDP.

The confusion which is the order of the day in other politic parties will soon visit APC or is already in the party. It is a matter of time. Faction is to party what the superlative is to the positive: party is a political evil and faction is the worst of all parties - Henry St. John Bolingbroke (1678 - 1751). APC seems to have made tremendous progress in the area of awareness and political membership mobilisation of disenchanted members of other political parties, mostly PDP. But how was the leadership of APC bamboozled into believing that politicians who have been active members of a political party for more than ten years and have occupied political positions in that party are genuine and can abide with them without skirmishes? They left their parties not because of

the overriding interest of their constituents, states or Nigeria but to feather and sustain their political relevance and most laughably, that of their aggrieved political godfathers. Before now some of them are known political prostitutes who had moved back and forth on the same political voyage, vilified people in their former political parties and still went back. APC and other parties whose hands are widely open for decampees should beware! If the aim of forming a political party as it were here in Nigeria was simply to grab power at the local, state and federal levels, then woe betide politics.

Sunday Onyemaechi Eze PHCN Samaru Business Unit, Zaria (

On National Conference Dear Sir,


want to state categorically that the forth-coming National Confer ence will be an exercise in futility and a waste of resources, if the delegates to the said conference do not jettison this our foolish and expensive presidential system of government that has been of tremendous benefit to those in the corridors of power, but which on the other hand, has been detrimental to our country’s development and the welfare of its citizenry, for the less expensive parliamentary system of government of the 1st Republic.

This is the only option that will save our country from turning into a failed state when our oil dries up, as we have not been saving for the future, neither have we diversified our economy or when alternative sources of energy are discovered and by then we shall be forced to drink our oil, period! A word is enough for the wise and to be forearmed is to be forewarned!

Ifeka Okonkwo Plot 44, Ahocol Housing Estate, Phase II, GRA, Awka

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 37

Oil sales and NNPC’s remittances

Remittance of oil proceeds to the Federation Account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), has been enmeshed in controversy. Central Bank Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, raised the alarm that a huge sum of the proceeds had developed wings without any trace in the Federation Account where it is supposed to be domiciled. But the management of NNPC came up to say no single kobo was missing. This led to the Senate Committee on Finance to approve a forensic audit of the receipts from oil into the Federation Account. This report captures what transpired at the public hearing by the Senate Committee on the alleged missing fund. BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU


t has been an issue of accusation and counter accusation since the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, opened the Pandora Box that $49.8 billion being oil proceeds was missing. This alarm prompted the Senate, on December 11, 2013, to mandate its Committee on Finance to begin a fullscale investigation into the alleged missing $49.8 billion from the coffers of the Federal Government. This followed a Point Of Order raised under Matter of Urgent Importance by Senator Olubunmi Adetunbi, APC Ekiti North, who relied on the Senate Order 42, not only to draw the attention of the upper legislative chamber to the allegation but requested that it carry out an indepth probe of the alleged missing fund. The money, said to be the value of crude oil export and proceeds from the NNPC, was expected to be lodged in C M Y K

the CBN. Adetunbi had alleged, “There has been a raging debate on the issue of missing money from the coffers of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Today, all papers carried the report on $49.8 billion that has not been remitted to the Federation Account.” He further explained that the nation’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had written on the account from January 2012 to July 2013, urging the Senate to carry out a holistic investigation on the matter. But, on December 18, 2013, the CBN Governor reversed himself Instead, he said $12 billion was the amount discovered not to have been remitted to the account within January 2012 and July 2013 just as he regretted that his communication to President Goodluck Jonathan was leaked to the public. However, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, countered the CBN Governor’s position, saying: “I just wanted to add that we found about $10.8 billion. He mentioned $12billion.”

Insisting that the letter was meant for the President to launch an investigation into the issue, Sanusi told the Senate Committee Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi: “I repeat, Mr Chairman, that we did not see the letter as a conclusion of our investigation but an invitation to investigate. So, the conclusion that $49.8billion was missing was wrong even though we had the allegation that it was unremitted.



owever, in another public hearing, Sanusi came up with another figure that he said had not been remitted into the Federation Account which, he said, was $20 billion, explaining that out of the $67 billion crude oil sales that was supposed to be remitted to the Federation Account, only $47 billion was reconciled betweenCBN and NNPC. But Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Makarfi, cautioned the CBN Governor over making wide and unsubstantiated allegations without concrete and specific

figures to back up the allegations. Sanusi, while making a new allegation, stated, “All we have said as CBN to which there is no disagreement is that NNPC shipped 67bn dollars worth of crude they have repatriated or we have established that N47bn dollars has come back to the Federation Account. There is a $20bn dollar that has not come back to us. The burden of proof is on NNPC “We have made suggestions that can help to answer some of the explanation and we believe that even some of that which they (NNPC) claimed were shipped by NPDC does not belong to the NPDC but to the federation.” He said that some of the issues were subject to investigations which, according to him, had to do with whether NNPC was repatriating money due to the Federation Account or not, adding that it was necessary to investigate the issue because the NNPC had given a number of explanations for why money had not been remitted.

Accounting system

His submission did not go down well with the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, who accused Sanusi of being ignorant of accounting system. Yakubu said, “We have made submissions but this meeting was not of detailed discussion of the submission. We came here for the Chairman brief us on the programme and agenda on the detailed reconciliation that we are doing. “As you were told in the meeting, we are reconciling at the point of conclu-

Continues on page 41

PAGE 38 — SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014

z Jonathan




NNPC responds to remittances and subsidy questions T

he exchange between the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over oil funds has generated interest in the polity. This is hardly surprising since the bulk of the money that sustains the nation comes from oil. GENESIS Sanusi triggered the exchange when he wrote President Goodluck Jonathan to allege that the NNPC failed to remit some $49.8 billion into the Federation Account. The NNPC took him up, saying he got his facts wrong. A subsequent reconciliation meeting involving the Federal Ministry of Finance scaled down the money to $12billion and then $10.8 billion part of which was said to have been spent to service kerosene and petrol subsidy. The impression thus created was that the issue would be ultimately resolved. But the CBN Governor raised fresh dust at a public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Finance when he insisted that out of $67 billion crude lifted, only $47 billion has been remitted, leaving a balance of $20 billion. Sanusi C M Y K

did not stop there. He alleged that the money illegally and unconstitutionally withheld, diverted or spent by the NNPC is in excess of $10.8 billion. The CBN Governor went further to say that whereas the NNPC stated that a major component of the $10.8 billion was spent on kerosene and petrol subsidy, he had evidence of a presidential directive stopping kerosene subsidy and therefore declared that the subsidy (on kerosene) was illegal and that whatever

*The facts, the fiction, the fallacy epileptic performance of the refineries. On the divested assets of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Sanusi claimed $6billion was diverted to two



Indeed, sources said the swap transactions regime saved the country huge sums of money, when compared to the Open Account regime had been spent should be refunded to the Federation Account. He raised concerns on the Offshore Processing and Crude Oil/Products Exchange (OPA), otherwise known as swap transactions, initiated by the NNPC to make refined products available in the country in the wake of the

private companies. The allegations, coming from a top official of government as the apex bank governor, are bound to ruffle feathers in a country where the people don’t trust the leaders with public funds. KEROSENE SUBSIDY eanwhile, Sunday Vanguard findings


showed that Sanusi did not appear to get his facts right especially on the issue of kerosene subsidy which he claimed the NNPC continued to service where as the late President Umaru Yar ’Adua removed it as far back as 2009. Actually, Yar’Adua did issue a directive that sought to remove kerosene subsidy “taking into account that subsidy payments by government on kerosene do not reach the intended beneficiaries.” It was understood that whereas the directive was not communicated directly to the NNPC but to the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr Rilwan Lukman, the implementation immediately ran into a hitch. The then president added in the directive that public announcement of the kerosene subsidy removal “should be avoided.” The clause in the directive that public announcement should be avoided, it was learnt, meant it could not be

gazetted. In the meantime, the only authority empowered by Section 6 of the Petroleum Act to approve petroleum products prices is the Minister of Petroleum Resources doing so through a gazette. Sources said Lukman could communicate the kerosene subsidy removal directive to the NNPC following this challenge while the national oil company continued to import the product at N150 per litre and selling at N50 to the end user, implying N110 subsidy. Consequently, it was learnt that President Yar’Adua set up an inter-ministerial committee (Presidential Implementation Committee on Downstream Deregulation), comprising of the Minister of Finance (Chairman), Minister of Petroleum Resources, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Economic Adviser to the President and GMD, NNPC, to develop strategies on implementing the deregulation of the downstream sector. The outcome and subsequent directive to the NNPC, it was learnt, was that it should delay kerosene deregulation and ensure the supply of the product to the market due to the withdrawal by other marketers and also a strategic action to win the public over in implementing the ultimate objective of deregulating the downstream sector as a whole. There were also two intervening factors, according to Sunday Vanguard sources. The first was the House of Representatives resolution of July 2011 which backed the continuation of subsiding kerosene while the second came via a court judgment of March 19, 2013 in the suit filed by Mr Bamidele Aturu against the

Continues on page 39

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 39

Continued from page 38 Minister of Petroleum Resources. Delivering the judgment, Justice Bello of the Federal High Court, Abuja granted an order restraining the authorities from deregulating the downstream sector including removing kerosene subsidy. The judgement, it was gathered, remains in force. On the volume of kerosene supply to the system by the NNPC, sources put it at an average of five vessels per month as against four-six given by the CBN Governor to fault the national oil company’s subsidy claims. One of the sources said, “The fact of the matter is that there was a presidential directive

NNPC responds to remittances and subsidy questions stopping kerosene subsidy, but the language of the directive did not make it implementable. Therefore the fiction peddled by the CBN Governor is that the directive was implemented. Arising from this and the others interventions from the House and the Abuja High Court against the kerosene subsidy is the fallacy, also peddled by Lamido Sanusi, that a component of the $10.8 billion was not spent on kerosene subsidy.” OPA/SWAP ARRANGEMENT The CBN Governor raised concerns over the Offshore

Processing Arrangement (OPA) initiative of the NNPC. Sunday Vanguard was made to understand that the arrangement stemmed from the inadequacy of the Open Account Import system previously adopted by the national oil company to bring petroleum products into the country. A source narrated the events that led to OPA. He said: “Our operations of the domestic refineries have been very epileptic due to un-planned equipment failures as well as consistent acts of vandalism on the crude oil supply pipeline to the refineries.

“Even when the refineries are fully operational, they cannot meet up with the petroleum products requirements of the domestic market, especially PMS, whose domestic daily requirement is now put at 40 million litres. The domestic refineries at full capacity can only produce about 19 million litres of PMS while the balance 21 million litres is sourced through import. “Therefore, in order to guard against products shortages and guarantee steady availability of petroleum products for domestic consumption all year round, NNPC engages in the importation of petroleum products to augment local Refineries production.

“The importation of petroleum products by NNPC, which started in the 90s, was carried out under the Open Account System, through open tender process from reputable oil trading companies with proven track record of performance and strong capital base. “However, along the line, NNPC started witnessing default in deliveries where most of the supply companies failed to perform, especially around the winter period. The trading

Continues on page 40

Last week, Okonjo-Iweala, Sanusi Lamido, Andrew Yakubu and Allison-Madueke spoke at the Senate hearing. JIDE AJANI presents their positions

‘We sue for independent ‘$20billion is audit of $10.8 billion’ unaccounted for’ Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy’s statement at the Senate Committee hearing


et us focus on oil finances. What is being said and done here is that it i s being made to look as if in this country there has been no accountability. But that is not the case. For two steady years, federal allocation after federal allocation committee meetings, the Ministry of Finance chairs a process that reconciles these accounts. And every single commissioner of finance in this country has a folder that shows exactly what we’ve done. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance is doing its job. It is because of that reconciliation that we came to the amount of $10.8billion. That is the figure everybody is now talking about. When the

Central bank of Nigeria, CBN, mentioned $49.8billion, we were the first to say that we did not think that the figure is correct. You can ask the CBN governor – he’s right here. After we had done that work, it was proven that ‘no, $49.8billion is not the amount’ He had to courage to admit and accept that. It is that $10.8 billion, that is the Ministry of Finance’s process that brought it to light. Without the steady work we’ve done to account for the resources of this country, we won’t be talking about $10.8 billion. Now the issue comes, where is that money? How is it going to be accounted for? We have led the process. We asked NNPC and PPPRA to produce the accounts and they did. They produced the papers, certified and that is why we have been talking about the $10.8 billion. What we have said is that we want an independent audit in addition. It is precisely because of what the distinguished senator is saying that we want his independent audit. These are extra-ordinary times and a lot of accusations are being made in this country. The only way Nigerians are going to be satisfied is to have an independent opinion on these accounts. Regarding the question put forward by the distinguished committee chairman on the issue of kerosene subsidy, in the budget we’ve submitted, we have not covered kerosene subsidy.

What Lamido Sanusi Lamido, Governor, CBN said at the Senate Committee parley


he Finance Minister has explained her own part. Out of the $20billion, there is $6 billion that NNPC says was shipped on behalf of NPDC. There is $2 billion, on third-party finance. That comes to $8 billion. The balance of $12 billion from our books and even from NNPC’s submission is what is outstanding from the domestic crude of $28billion that was exported by NNPC. As far as the CBN is concerned, the most important point to establish is that there is a difference of $20billion between what NNPC shipped and what it repatriated. Last week, we did raise, obviously based on NNPC’s public comments and reservations they ’ve made, reservations about some of the submissions. We did present documents from PPPRA and from the Presidency to indicate that in our view, there is no subsidy on kerosene, first of all. And that the payment of kerosene subsidy is in violation of a written presidential directive. We’ve also asked questions not on the entire $6 billion from NPDC. Mr. Chairman, our position was very clear. We asked questions about a specific part, relating to the oil produced in blocks under strategic alliance agreement with Atlantic Energy and we did indicate that our concern is not so much whether NPDC is a

subsidiary or not but whether the revenue that was transferred into Atlantic Energy is revenue that legitimately belongs to the federation account. C M Y K

PAGE 40— SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014

NNPC responds to remittances and subsidy questions companies’ perennially gave the reasons of high cost of products and high cost of vessels freight, for their nonperformance hence the demand for increased premium. Rather than deliver cargoes based on their allocations from NNPC, they would insist on spot cargo offers. This resulted in severe scarcity of petroleum products witnessed especially around 2009 and 2010 with the attendant negative consequences to Nigerians and the economy. “The open account import exposed NNPC to certain variable market conditions, especially the demand for high premium by the suppliers. This demand in most cases was predicated on NNPC’s inability to fulfill its payment obligations as at when due. The delay in making payments for the cargoes delivered

delayed payment for cargoes delivered by the suppliers increased the exposure of NNPC as additional costs that are not covered under the subsidy template. “The Open Account Import provided for NNPC to pay interest to suppliers in default of payment after 45 days of cargo arrival as a contractual

The offshore processing and crude oil/products exchange provided NNPC the opportunity and flexibility to control the supply and availability of petroleum products into the market

where the banks were willing to finance NNPC imports, the finance risk cover became very expensive there by making deliveries by trading companies almost impossible. “Therefore, the cost of finance risk cover on NNPC imports in addition to the high interest on

provision, regardless of any operational exigency that may arise or prevent payment. Sustainability of products supplies almost became impossible occasioned with periodic interruption in supplies with the attendant scarcity around the country due to the

vagaries of the open account regime. “In order to mitigate the open account import challenges of price vulnerability, supply disruptions and also guarantee steady supply of petroleum products to the market, NNPC explored the option of offshore processing of the refineries’ unutilized crude oil, as well as the exchange of same crude oil for petroleum products. “It was on this grounds that NNPC sought and obtained the approval of the late President Yar ’Adua to enter into this arrangement pending when the refineries would be turned around for optimal performance.” According to the source, the offshore processing and crude oil/products exchange provided NNPC the opportunity and flexibility to control the supply and availability of petroleum products into the market. “This arrangement also

liberated NNPC from the necessity of making monetary payments to the suppliers as required in the Open Account Import regime and interest on delayed payments. The economics also provided more volume of products delivered in comparison with the Open Account regime”, he added. “Under OPA, NNPC delivers crude oil to a refinery for processing at a contractually agreed yield pattern and processing fee. In return, NNPC evacuates the refined products that are needed most. The OPA provides NNPC the opportunity and flexibility to exchange products grades based on domestic need and immediate requirements. As a result, NNPC can request the refinery to make available for evacuation more of PMS and kerosene that are required most in exchange for Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) out of the products yield.

Continues on page 41

‘NNPC not sitting on any money’

‘There is no removal of kerosene subsidy’

The presentation of Andrew Yakubu, Group Managing Director, NNPC to the Senate Committee

The address of Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister to the Senate Panel


ou recall that we started from $49.8billion. And after the inter-agency reconciliation in December, it came down to $10.87 billion. This amount of $10.87 was described as unremitted funds and for emphasis, I want to tell all Nigerians – because after this episode, the impression all over the place is that $10.8 billion is seated C M Y K

deteriorated to over 1,000 days in default. The debt owed by NNPC at the same point in time was about $3.2b. “In view of the long delay in making payments, and the huge outstanding debt, most International financial institutions became reluctant to cover NNPC imports. Even


Continued from page 39

in he four towers of the NNPC. And my staff and I have been portrayed in very bad light. I want to state categorically today that no such $10.8 billion is seated in NNPC or anywhere within our control. What we are talking about today and which we have gladly emphasized on is to account for this amount. The $10.8 billion after a series of discussions and presentations of documents and reconciliation meetings was traced to the four major items being discussed today. Those items are the subsidy that we have discussed extensively. We’ve discussed about legalities and other issues. We’ve discussed about budgetary provisions. But the reality that I found on the 26th of June, 2012, when I resumed was that the subsidy on kerosene was still there and it is still there as we speak. So the total amount based on our reconciliation is $8.76 billion. And we also did a detailed material balance of crude oil and product inventory and arrived at $.76 billion for the losses that we encountered because of the very harsh business environment.


or years, the issue of the presidential directive given by His Excellency, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, has been brought up again and again. There was a presidential memo written in 2009. At the time, an interministerial meeting was held and both ministers of finance and ministers of petroleum at that time participated in the meeting. And during that meeting a decision was made to stay action on that memo. There was a very simple reason. Kerosene is a very fundamental product for every Nigerian and most of us here and on both ends of the table may not deal in kerosene daily but a majority of Nigerians do and there was a reason that government originally put a subsidy on kerosene and put a sealing of N50 per litre. It is true that while even today NNPC supplies it at that amount, the landed cost is N150, it may not get to a lot of Nigerians at that price. The sabotage of our

product lines means that we cannot inexpensively move this product across the country. The GMD at that time wrote two memos asking the minister of finance for clarification on the stay of action on the presidential memo, no reply came. The GMD after him also wrote a memo – we have those memos – no

clarification came. And hence the subsidy remained. The issue of deduction at source, very sensitive and it has been brought p again and again, is one that I think for the sake of the Nigerian polity, I need to say this very clearly. If you land a product at N150 and you sell it at N50, there is a N100 gap. Somebody has to cover that N100. If it is not budgeted for and NNPC is not able or was not able to retrieve that amount – in this case based o the first line charge in the appropriation act which is there clearly – it means that NNPC would have gone down or gone under a long long time ago just under the weight of that subsidy gap. On the issue of subsidy on kerosene and budgetary allocation, luckily for us all, the distinguished committee is sitting on this issue and a lot will bother on what this distinguished committee decides. I was not in office in 2009 when the presidential order was given.

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 41

Oil sales and the controversial remittances Continued from page 37 on the reconciliation process

with the various agencies. It is at the end of this that we will submit our detailed reconciled position which the committee will study and then commence detailed review session. That is where and what was reported is exactly the true position of things. “As you are aware the major chunk of the amount in question over 80 per cent of it is in the subsidy for both PMS and kerosene. “The issues that were raised are not new at all. You see we came out in details because we don’t have anything to hide and we gave a detailed breakdown of the so called $49billion and we came out clearly to state the various streams that are associated with what he was talking about. “Now, we also made it clear that NPDC, if we had anything to hide we would not have made it clear that NPDC was part of the stream, because NPDC which is NNPC’s upstream operation, is a limited liability company registered the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) to do upstream business just like any other independent company”. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Makarfi, cautioned the CBN Governor for making what he described as gross allegations which he said were the same allegations he made in his

zDrilling for the black gold submission, saying that there was nothing new in what he had said. In view of the inability to come to terms with the actual financial position of NNPC as regards the remittance of the subsidy proceeds, on Thursday, the Minister of Finance and the Senate agreed agreed that there was the need for independent forensic audit of the NNPC account. Besides, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs.

‘Spending without appropriation has implications’ The statement of Senator Ahmed Makar fi, Chairman, Finance Committee at the public hearing


e have agreed to see how we e n g a g e technical experts to determine which part of these, if any, belongs to federation account. The question which is settled is that it is not all of it but a part of it. The question is which part of it. If there is no provision for subsidy payment in the 2014 budget how does the NNPC intend to continue to fund the subsidy. Do you intend to submit a supplementary request to the national assembly to cover subsidy payments for kerosene or what? Petroleum Resources minister, will you continue to pay subsidy on kerosene without appropriation or what? There are implications for spending money that is not appropriated. That is what we are talking about here regarding the subsidy on kerosene. The whole world is hearing this and I don’t want us to joke about this. All agencies that have spoken have said it to the whole world that this money has not been appropriated.

Diezani-Madueke, called for court interpretation on the legality of kerosene deduction, saying there was no gazette that authorized withdrawal of subsidy on kerosene.


he Finance Minister and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said going by the controversy that had surrounded the remittance of the oil fund, there was the need for external auditors to carry out

a forensic auditing of NNPC accounts. She said the services of forensic experts were needed to verify data submitted by the NNPC which the Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, had certified to ascertain whether the claim was true or not as only the PPPRA and the Ministry of Finance alone could establish the veracity of the claim. According to her, with the services of external forensic auditing, it would certify not only the ministry, but also all Nigerians that matter. On his part, Makarfi corroborated the position of the Finance Minister over forensic auditing of the NNPC accounts and gave the minister one month to carry out the auditing. He said, “The CBN said part of the NNPC transaction, though it was not in a position to know the exact amount should be lodged in the Federation Account. We have agreed that, that will be sorted out on technical grounds. “Our own forensic examination of the document will make us take a decision as to whether the document support the expenses incurred. The expenses are part of the accounting for the money”. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, said there was no record of gazette where authority was given on the withdrawal on kerosene subsidy and that there was the

need for legal interpretation.


lison-Madueke said, “For years, the issue of the Presidential directive given by Yar ’Adua had been brought up over and over again. At the time, an inter ministerial meeting was held both ministers of finance and that of petroleum at that time, were parties to that meeting and at that time, a decision was taken to stay action on the memo because kerosene was very crucial to Nigerians. “ The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Yakubu, said no subsidy fund was missing and that the CBN and the Federal Ministry of Finance were clearly aware of the outstanding amount and the issues relating to its nonrealization. According to him, unpaid petroleum products was $8.76 billion, crude oil and product losses was $0. 76 billion, $0.46 billion was for national strategic reserve holding, while pipeline maintenance and management cost $0.91 billion.He said, “We don’t have any problem with forensic audit but what we are saying is that there is a procedure that had been put in place through bodies like the PPPRA, DPR to cross check our data and certificate them for payment. So we have no problem. In the upstream industry, we have five agencies that oversee our business, so we are used to interacting with the agencies.

NNPC responds to remittances and subsidy questions Continued from page 40 “Furthermore, all other products such as propane, butane, vacuum gas oil and fuel oil that are not necessarily needed for consumption in Nigeria are sold by the refinery on behalf of NNPC at the prevailing market price and proceeds remitted to NNPC. “The process allows NNPC to request for pre-delivery of petroleum products in the event of tight supply situation in the market or due to the inability to lift crude oil as result of operational constraints at the crude oil terminals or in the event of Force Majeure declaration. Such pre-deliveries helps NNPC bridge the gap in supply situation and forestall products scarcity in the country. In return, an equivalent value of crude oil will be allocated at a later date for the products per-delivered.” Sunday Vanguard learnt that OPA enjoys presidential approval and, while the operation is governed by contractual agreement, it was recently subjected to scrutiny by the House of Representatives Committee on Downstream with a verdict of clean bill of health returned.


ndeed, sources said the swap transactions regime saved the county huge sums of money, when compared to the Open Account regime, as OPA stabilised the average premium paid on petrol at $81.28 per metric

ton, from 2011 when it was initiated up till last year. Under the old regime (Open Account), while $70.02 was the average premium paid for the petrol imported into the county in 2007, the figure went up to $85.14 in 2008, $87.50 in 2009 and $116.50 in 2010. And whereas the total cost of premium in 2010 under the Open Account regime, at $116.50 (almost five billion metric tons was imported) was over $582 billion, the total cost of premium between 2011 and 2013 (under OPA), at $81.28 (about 5.5 billion metric tons was imported annually), was about $441billion annually. The difference is about $141 billion saved for the county annually. The source said: “Contrary to the concerns raised by the CBN Governor, OPA/swap has availed the NNPC the opportunity to sustain the market, guarantee the security of supplies and keep the entire country wet with petroleum products even when other marketers were reluctant to perform due to non-payment and/or delayed payment of subsidy by government. “The process also reduces the cost of NNPC’s importation by way of reduction and stabilising the premium paid under the Open Account regime. Also the situation whereby traders will gang up and decide on the premium to be paid by the NNPC for the deliveries has been eliminated.”


Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014


The North cannot override the Constitution — Ex-Gov Mbadinuju *’How I forgave Obasanjo after he aborted my second term bid’ *Says APC is acting like military dictator Former Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju of Anambra State made history in 2002 when he became the only Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governor to lose the party’s ticket to return to office for second term, no thanks to the then President Olusegun Obasanjo. Today, Mbadinuju says he has forgiven Obasanjo for wronging him. In fact, the former governor waxes biblical, preaching the gospel of Christianity; his statements supported with quotes where applicable. Mbadinuju, in this interview, also speaks on the purported second term aspiration of President Goodluck Jonathan, and the opposition by a section of the North to it, how the new PDP National Chairman Adamu Muazu can get it right and the tenure of the outgoing Governor Peter Obi of his home state. Excerpts:


ith the takeover of the PDP leadership by Adamu Muazu, what are your expectations from him as a veritable first step towards uniting the fledging groups in the party? Former Governor Adamu M’uazu has gone through the mills. Politically, he has seen it all; in terms of governance, he successfully administered Bauchi State with less acrimony compared with some other States of the Federation. I was his close colleague while I was governor of Anambra State and we sat side by side at Federal Cabinet meetings. He appeared to be a quiet one but cracked lots of jokes. Adamu also appeared shy but responsibilities made him look more serious. As friends, I visited him once at Bauchi Government House. Socially, he was Sir Emeka Offor’s bossom friend, he was also an Obasanjo man to have made available a duplex for Obasanjo’s Campaign Organization during the first PDP convention in Jos, way back in 1988. We were all together at Jos as governors-elect. My expectations as Adamu takes over the mantle of leadership as National Chairman of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are nothing more than hardwork, and lots of political intrigues which he is obviously familiar with. This is because he knows how C M Y K

many National Chairmen have come and gone in quick succession. The National Chairman is responsible to the leader of the party, in this case, the President who doubles as Chief Executive and works with the National Assembly and the judiciary. So, Adamu must work with the President as party leader with all humility. As Chairman, Adamu must also work well with the National Working Committee (NWC) just as he heads the National Convention of the party. This is a enormous responsibility placed on the shoulders of anyone who accepts to be National Chairman of the party. The experience Adamu gathered in office as governor will surely lead him as he begins this arduous journey to bring together differing groups till the PDP party achieves strength and homogeneity. And I believe it will not be an impossible task. Be it as it may, this new National Chairman has promised to right the wrongs of party members and supporters, and he must not forget to apply the usual choruses of democracy, rule of law, equity and fair play to all and particularly those who have come under the PDP umbrella. The result we get is not necessarily the responsibility alone of the President, or his Chairman, nor governors, but rather it will call for all hands being on deck. The polity has been grossly heated up by the defection of some PDP

members to the APC to the extent that the APC has directed its members in the NASS to truncate all executive bills including the 2014 Budget. What do you make out of this? The activities and utterances of the newly formed All Progressive Congress (APC) leave a lot to be desired. It is either the group is immature in handling delicate political issues or it is just being naïve or diabolical in its approach to sensitive issues of national importance. I’m happy about the national reactions to APC’s call to withdraw their National Assembly members from further participation in the screening of new ministers and four top military officers as proposed by Mr President. The APC would not



and win the 2015 presidential election? Nigerians were sometime ago treated to a banquet at the Villa during which President Jonathan showed a mammoth crowd of his supporters a booklet containing a catalogue of his achievements in office of about two years out of his constitutional tenure of eight years. Nobody since then has gone to court to challenge the contents of the book, or say that there was no truth in what Mr President told the crowd of people. But apart from what is in the book published, Nigerians are not blind to see the achievements: the bridges, the railway, the roads, water, aviation, power, youth empowerment, peace and security achieved in North-east states of

It is either the group is immature in handling delicate political issues or it is just being naïve or diabolical in its approach to sensitive issues of national importance

also have their members join in considering the 2014 National Budget. It seems to many that the APC’s actions and utterances are just preparation for anarchy in the system. Many do not know which law and Constitution the APC derived their power and authority to issue their decrees as in a military fashion. Having condemned the actions and utterances of the APC in this matter, political pundits are now saying that what is left for APC is for them to withdraw their party members from voting in the 2015 elections. Could it be that APC has already thrown in their towel even before the game starts? If APC is that afraid of PDP and could not stand ordinary defeat in a National Assembly debate, how then can they stand the PDP’s onslaught in 2015.The die is cast. Looking at Jonathan in the last three years, do you think his achievements qualify him to contest

Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Now, Boko Haram is no longer what it used to be. But you still find Nigerians being very critical of their President and his administration. But apart from infrastructural developments achieved in two years, what we know that mostly qualifies the President to contest the 2015 election is the Constitution. The President is entitled by the Constitution to have two terms of four years each. In Jonathan’s case, the 11/2 years he completed of late President Yar’Adua tenure does not count. The Constitution makes it clear that if a President dies in office, his Vice completes his remaining tenure. After that, the President, if he wants, can take his first term of four years as President (not Vice President). He could indeed go further and seek for another four years, to make eight years in office

Continues on page 43


Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 43

‘How I forgave Obasanjo after he aborted my second term bid’ Continued from page 42


*Mbadinuju ... Yar’Adua’s tenure does not count for it, if you mummur, you perish (Numbers 14 :9-12); if you tell lies, it is not better than armed rebellion, liers shall perish (Rev 21:8). The Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We recognize that corruption is both a disease and sin. But as we fight corruption, let us not forget to fight those corruption equivalent to more serious sins as we are warned in the book of Galatians 5:19-21. What are your critical assessments of Gov. Peter Obi’s administration in Anambra State? Governor Peter Obi has succeeded


as President. Nobody anticipated that our late President Yar’Adua would die in office, yes, nobody would have known except he is God. We really sympathize with the North whose son died in office. But Yar ’Adua was not just son and President of the North. He was a product of the Nigerian Constitution which it could be anybody from the North or from the South. The North should not take this rotation personal. They should allow the Constitution to rule and reign. Jonathan, by God’s ordination, may have exceeded his eight years in office. But we must differentiate between what the Constitution says about the Vice-President, and what it says about the President. It is only someone who wants to create confusion and crisis in the land that will continue in the confusion they created for themselves. Otherwise the Constitution is clear on the subject. Finally, if you assess Jonathan from the point of view of infrastructural achievements in Nigeria, you will also not forget that it is during his tenure in office that our football teams decimated other countries, making us here in Nigeria look like kings and queens. God ordained Jonathan to be President of Nigeria, and the same God urges that Jonathan be supported and be allowed to continue. Anybody who has doubt about this should read the book of Romans chapter 13:1-5. The opposition has inundated us with allegations of corruption and malfeasance against Jonathan’s government. Do you think the President deserves such criticisms? God Himself, even our Lord Jesus Christ, dealt with this issue of selfrighteousness as he urged any innocent man to cast the first stone against an adulterous woman. No one was able to cast the first stone (Jn 8:7). Not that our Lord condones evil of adultery, but why stone a woman and leave the man free? Is it not double standard? It further shows that every human being on earth is a sinner, although we know that no one should continue in sin as in Romans 6:1. The Anglican Morning Prayer portion says: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us: but if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 Jn 1:8-9)”. These Bible portions tell us we are all sinners, whether of corruption, or adultery, or even the so-called “small lies”. Because everyone has sinned and come short of the glory of God, the remedy is for us to confess and forsake those sins that so easily beset us, to the extent that in Revelations 2:5, God urges us to “remember therefore from where we have fallen and repent;” and, finally, Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that our salvation is by the grace of God through faith, and not works, lest any man should boast. So corruption or no corruption, no man is saved except he listens to God. If you are corrupt, you are in

means we should redistribute what He has given. Indeed, it is not just Gov. Obi alone, all rich men in Anambra State have continued to give to those who already have. I don’t know what they gain from that. And myself too, I was grateful that my governor gave me a car without a driver and without back-up vehicle. This his one car has helped me. Though I have to drive myself from my house to the office, it was a good help and good exercise. I have requested my governor to add another car for me but it has not been forthcoming even though when I paid him a courtesy visit he showed

The North should not take this rotation personal. They should allow the Constitution to rule and reign

beyond one’s wildest imagination. His successes did not come in a platter of gold. It is not everyone that will have the grace of God to continue with the streams of court cases from tribunals, to High Court, Appeal Court, and finally the Supreme Court. God also blessed him with good lawyers without which he wouldn’t have gone far. But God was with him at those initial days when he was humble and greeted everyone that crossed his way. But as we know, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and Governor Peter Obi cannot be the exception. He deals well with friends and tramples upon his perceived enemies. The governor of a state should be liberal, and should not keep giving those who already have, and deny those who are not in his good books. When God gives us he

me an array of cars of different makes not less than a thousand vehicles parked. When my governor eventually finishes his tenure next year he will come home to join me with his fleet of Jeeps, and one day their convoy may push me out the road which are the same roads both him and I built. My governor also was kind in paying my pension but the amount is not yet settled for almost 10 years. I’m still receiving only N110,000 though my governor promised that he would pay me the same amount he himself would receive after his tenure. So far, we are not even talking of gratuity which comes with pension. It should be noted that I was the first governor to explore and tried to exploit the Anambra oil and procured the certificate for drilling. But today drilling is going on and oil business in Anambra is again limited only to the rich. But you may hear what the

gospel says in Luke chapter 1 verse 53, that “God did not send the poor away”, rather it is “the rich that He had sent empty away”. Rivers State has not known peace since the defection of Gov. Rotimi Amaechi to APC. What do you think has been rightly or wrongly done in that state? No it wasn’t the time Governor Rotimi Amaechi defected to APC that peace eluded Rivers State. It was earlier than that. There was a time Governor Amaechi was trying to snatch from Her Excellency, Dame (Dr) Patience Jonathan the microphone which the First Lady was using to speak in a public rally. The incident created a scene. Another occasion was when Governor Amaechi came together with an array chiefs and traditional rulers and elders to meet with Mr President to discuss the issues of Rivers oil which the Rivers government alleged to have given to Akwa Ibom and Cross River States. If this were so, was it impossible for Governor Amaechi to have met with President Jonathan alone to discuss details of this vexatious oil issue for a possible qui pro quo? In my similar experience at Awka, I took up the same issue of Anambra oil and pleaded with the then President Obasanjo to allow my state exploit the oil which is in commercial quantity. He refused, insisting that Anambra oil was in the category of strategic reserve. As I said earlier, I was the governor to have started work at the site of Umuleri and Aguleri but the powers that be ruled us out. We didn’t go to fight with the President or to force him to oblige Anambra State to exploit their oil until President Jonathan, in his wisdom, came to our rescue and, after inspection, he proclaimed Anambra as an oil state. So what Obasanjo could not do Jonathan did it for Anambra without confrontation with anybody. As we did not fight over our own oil, Governor Amaechi could not have gone on the crusade to change what the Federal Government had done in their wisdom too. No one directs the oil in the ground where it should flow to or flow from. Oil has no driver to show the oil underground which way to go. Even when our experts told us that the oil underneath of Anambra flows to Delta State, Rivers State and even to Kogi State, we didn’t worry that much because oil by nature is always free to flow to anywhere it wants. If oil can be claimed anyhow, Anambra State would have the largest oil flow in Nigeria by virtue of our geography. In any case, there is no need to have unnecessarily antagonized a President of a country the way this has been done. The President of a nation must be accorded full respect as the leader and if he did anything wrong and you bring it to his attention, he would be obliged to reason together as people with common destiny. I would have urged Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State to approach President Jonathan in a civilized manner and discuss the oil issue with him. This is the type of thing I did in the case of Obasanjo who obviously wronged me and stopped my second term bid, yet I went to his house twice, and preached the gospel in his chapel twice, and thereafter we reconciled, hopefully, and avoided further rift.


Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014



F all the policies and programmes of the three and a half-year-old administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, the new education policy has undoubtedly become the most controversial and most criticized by a section of the public. There is no doubt that Aregbesola, on assumption of office in November, 2010, pledged to promote all the three major religions in the state viz, Christianity, Islam and traditional religions. This has made the state unique among the states of the federation as prayers are said in all the three religions at any public forum. There are, however, early signs that all may not be well with the new policy as students of Baptist Girls High School, Osogbo and Fakunle Comprehensive High School, also in Osogbo, protested the merging of the schools, leading to breakdown of law and order before government intervened. Just as the dust raised in the schools in Osogbo are settling, a Principal at Baptist High School, Ejigbo was beaten black and blue by students suspected to be Islamic fundamentalists over the alleged stand of the head teacher on the use of hijab by Muslim female students. The matter, however, last week, took a different dimension as students of another Baptist High School in Iwo appeared in different clothes with some appearing as masquerades while Christians appeared in choir gowns and Muslim students in hijab all singing songs that correlated with their faith. The Old Students Association of the school kicked against the use of hijab by female Muslim students. President of the association, Professor Oyesoji Aremu, who spoke at a press conference in Iwo, said the use of hijab by female students would kill the legacies of the school, noting that the school, founded by missionaries, has great legacies which could be tampered with if female students are allowed to use hijab. Speaking in the same vein, the Old Students Association of Ilesa Grammar School, Ilesa, advised Aregbesola to review the policy of his administration on education as it affects the change in the nomenclature of the schools. ”Ilesa Grammar School is a unique school with a unique history that should not under any guise or circumstance be tampered with or C M Y K

The Osun Trinity! •Three religions, one education reclassification challenge

Aregbesola’s model school to be commissioned on Thursday. mutilated in any form. Established 80 years ago, the school has a place in history as the first grammar school in Ijesha land and the first of its kind in the present Osun State. How and why on earth should we toy with the idea of committing such a monumental chapter of history and heritage of the people to the dung-hill?”, the association said. ”If Oxford University and Harvard University could be allowed in that clime to survive the vagaries of modernization and civilization over centuries, why can’t we borrow a leaf from there and situate Ilesa Grammar School in the same bracket”. However, in an attempt to resolve the situation and bring sanity back to Baptist High School, Iwo, the state government invited the

Those sowing the seed of discord in our schools and community and inciting one religion against another, as we have said in the past, government did not at any time approve the use of hijab in any school, before the matter went to court parents of the students to a peace meeting and also set up a panel of inquiry to investigate the cause of the crisis in the troubled school. But, the Baptist Conference in Osun State, which claimed to be the founder of the school, directed all Christian students to contin-

ue to wear religious garments to the school, saying the decision had the backing of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). The Osun Baptist Conference directed parents and guardians of 92 students of the school believed to be the masterminds of the crisis in the school to appear before a disciplinary committee set up by the state government to look into the crisis. The state governor’s spokesperson, Semiu Okanlawon, had, in a statement, said the decision of the government to invite the parents of the students was to find amicable solution to the problem, adding that the panel of inquiry would comprise of representatives of the All Nigerian Conference of Principals of Schools (ANCOPS), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and community leaders with the officials of the state Ministry of Education. Aregbesola stormed the troubled school and declared that his government neither approved nor disapproved of the use of hijab in any school, saying that his government, being a product of the rule of law, is guided by law. ”We are a product of the rule of law and this has guided all our actions. As we have said in the past, we have not approved the use

of hijab in any school. Let me repeat this again to the hearing of mischief-makers who have been working tirelessly to bring religious war to our state”, the governor said. ”Those prompting chaos and conflagration in our state; those who have well established antecedent of violent behaviour; those sowing the seed of discord in our schools and community and inciting one religion against another, as we have said in the past, government did not at any time approve the use of hijab in any school, before the matter went to court. It is the court’s position that the status quo ante be maintained until the case is determined. It is the court’s position that the status quo ante be maintained until the case is determined. ”Yoruba people have a tradition of accommodation and inclusion; that is why our families are interwoven around all religions. Some people, goaded from hell, however, are working to break our bond of unity by beating the drum of religious war. They will fail and only they and their families will dance to that evil beat.” Rev Bayo Ademuyiwa, who spoke on behalf of Christians at the occasion, said, “We are in support of programmes and policies of government on education since the last three years. We also express our disappointment over the crisis playing out in Baptist High School for sometime. We want to tell government that we are lovers of peace and we abhor disunity.” Alhaji Idris Magaji, on behalf of Muslim parents, said the three religions have the responsibility to fight indecent dressing and promote love and unity among students regardless of faith. Mr. Ifawole Anifalaje, who spoke on behalf of the traditional religious worshippers, prayed peace to reign in the community and that the vision of the Aregbesola administration for quality education be realized. With the visit of the leader of APC, Senator Bola Tinubu, to Osogbo, last week, it is expected that the issue will be finally laid to rest.

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 45

Our school reclassification agenda on course — Aregbesola T

HE efforts of Osun State government on education may have started yielding results with the massive school buildings built in all the 30 local government areas of the state. Governor Rauf Aregbesola, though faced with controversy on the education policies of his government with the schools reclassification programme, the achievements recorded in the sector may have given his government a new name before those criticising the policies. The story of the Baptist Elementary School, Ilare, Ile Ife is illustrative of the massive transformation ongoing. From what would be hard to call a school, what now stands solidly at the same premises stuns those who had watched events in the education sector in Osun. From what was a rotten compound littered with human wastes, Osun government has brought what can arguably be called the best academic environment in Nigeria. The governor, who said his programmes and policies on education were the products of the education summit convened shortly after his inauguration in 2010, said his commitment to the rebirth of education in the state occasioned the huge sums of money invested in it, saying the state education system would, in a few years, be copied by other states of the federation with the results it would achieve. ”The first thing we did was to

convoke an education summit which was attended by eminent stakeholders in education, including Prof Wole Soyinka. The reforms we have carried out emanate from the summit. We realized that there was shortage of teachers and, as of now, we have employed 10,407 teachers in all categories of schools. We now have a total number of 12,715 teachers in primary schools and 7,848 teachers in secondary schools. This is 54.8 percent more than we inherited. We have also employed 564 non-teaching staff in schools”, Aregbesola said. The governor also informed that “the salaries and pensions we consequently pay every



The total grants to schools stand at N856 million against N122 million recorded for previous administration. We have also paid N400 million for WAEC fees against N38 million paid by previous administration


year is N16.8 billion for primary school teachers while N10.3 billion is expended on same in secondary schools. So, on salary alone, we are spending a total of N27.1 billion. For the free school uniforms we gave to pupils, we

One of Aregbesola’s model schools equipped with the state-of -the-art facilities. have spent N900 million. For the free school feeding programme, we commit N3.6 billion every year.” In an address delivered by the governor on the education policies of his government, he said, “For the furniture supplied to the schools, we have committed N2.5 billion. Before we came, no school had instructional materials and again, on this, we have spent N503 million. The total grants to schools stand at N856 million against N122 million recorded for previous administration. We have also paid N400 million for WAEC fees against N38 million paid by previous administration. ”We have spent so far N1.2 billion on Opon Imo, and this includes the delivery of 50,000 units of the tablets, some of which will be distributed in this school today. We have spent N14.4 billion on capital projects so far for the construction of brand new 13 elementary

schools, 14 middle schools and 12 high schools. Work is ongoing. We have also spent N1.6 billion on school renovations and will continue until all our schools are all centres of excellence.” The education policy of the Aregbesola administration has given birth to three different schools which are elementary, middle and high schools and the trio, according to the governor, are sufficiently funded by the government for the betterment of the students and their future. Elementary School Under this new system, pupils between the age range of six to nine years are to be in elementary school. Aregbesola stated that daily academic activities come up between 8AM and 2PM and the infrastructural facilities at the elementary schools have been designed to accommodate 900 pupils. Presently, we have 13 completed in different locations across the

OSUN: At a time like this… W

ITH the 2014 governorship poll

close by in the State of Osun, we have ample opportunity to examine critical issues to serve as a guide or compass for the electorate and Nigeria citizens at large. It is necessary to consider these factors so that we are not misled into decisions that once placed the state on a tip overlooking a cavernous pit of no return. We got to that point in the regime of ex-soldier, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, after the progressive era of Chief Bisi Akande. In nearly eight years of that government, the state witnessed what may yet be described as a massacre: the PDP government inflicted policies and measures that made the people lie prostrate, deprived of all manner of humanity and respect. This ancien regime pulled down the structures of good governance and the dividends of democracy put in place by Bisi Akande. The government that followed that of the current National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) proved it was truly not the one voted into power. For if they were, they would not destroy the future of those who gave them the mandate. Their actions exposed them as impostors. They destroyed education and let schools run into decay best suited for the Dark Ages. They reminded us of the Barbarians who ruined the Roman Empire and feasted on the carrion. They didn’t improve on agriculture



The communal peace arising from the policies of a government that is not leaning (or seen to be leaning) on any religious prop is making Osun a haven of tourism, with the government now working out a scheme that would earn the state a whopping N15bn from tourism in 2015


and allowed the roads, industries, hospitals, civil service etc to run aground. Insecurity reached a frightening peak as the state became a killing field. Miscarriage of justice came along to compound the situation. The worst victim of these killer blows was the citizen. He reeled left and right under each heavy punch of the government he did not vote into power. This was the biggest tragedy: to seek to destroy the spirit of the citizen. Any government that attempts to chain the soul of a people as the PDP sought to do through its policies under is clearly the arch enemy of the society. Truly, PDP’s regime initiated moves that were a direct antithesis of progressive governance. To be sure, it was

really an unusually low period for Osun, and era that should never be allowed to return. It would have been unfair and cruel of nature not to have brought a breather for the citizens through a benign intervening administration. That intervention came in November 2010. Nature, applying all the levers of the democratic process including the people’s power and the legal system, did step in to sweep into office Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola. He has since instituted unusual governance that is steadily obliterating the deadly effects of the unusually poor governance that preceded his era. The governor in less than four years has put a commanding stamp on every facet of life in the State of Osun such that it is as if he’s been at the helm for a decade. He has brought farreaching changes to the critical sectors: education, arts and culture, the citizen’s way of life, transportation, civil service, agriculture and religion, where he has become the only governor in Nigeria who has offered constructive and disinterested balance on the question of religious arbitration. The communal peace arising from the policies of a government that is not leaning (or seen to be leaning) on any religious prop is making Osun a haven of tourism, with the government now working out a scheme that would earn the state a whopping N15bn from tourism in 2015. The indisputable upshoot of this revelation is that there’s abundant life without petrodollars if you have the right leadership with visionary policies.

state. Middle School Pupils and students in the middle schools have the age range of 10-14 years. Daily academic activities come up from 8am to 3pm. This is what was known as primary 5, primary 6, JSS1,2 and 3 in the past. Infrastructural facilities are now designed to have capacity for between 900 and 1,200 pupils/ students. High School Students in high school have the age range of 15 to 17. And this category is currently known as SSS 1-3 but with the new policy of the state government they are known as Grades 10-12. The governor hinted that modern facilities have been designed to accommodate 3,000 students. In all, Aregbesola disclosed that government is poised to commit N30billion to the building of 100 elementary schools, 50 middle and 20 high schools in the school infrastructure upgrade under the first phase. Reasons for reclassification The governor gave reasons for classification as the modern trend in the global education system, saying: “The new education system is the global trend and approach to modern education the world over, for effective teaching and learning. Under the new system, pupils of same age brackets are grouped together in classes with fewer students to be taught and prepared for examination. With this arrangement, government will be able to provide necessary tools and teaching aid required for different categories of pupils.”

The State of Osun under Rauf Aregbesola has proved the veracity of this assertion many times over through its unique mode of governance and service delivery in its 40 months in power. The questions to pose: what was the missing link all along in the ancien regime that made the State of Osun to stagnate and lose its place in the community of men and women of integrity? Why is there now such a massive outburst of potential and passion to work and rebuild the state? Are there now a different set of citizens who were not available in the past to do what is being done at the moment? What was absent all along during the displaced regime was a caring, committed and disciplined leadership. We also hold the view that the huge popular verve to serve now which the state did not enjoy in the past must be linked to the presence of a leader and his team whose knack to serve selflessly is legendary and infectious. We also do not see the replacement of citizens to take the place of those who inhabited Osun in the days of PDP. What is making the difference in the State of Osun these past three years and, half is the unusual governance of the man Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola. He is proving the point that when you have a disciplined leader, you would also raise a disciplined followership. When you have a frugal and forwardlooking government committed to nothing but altruistic ideology, you would bring forth citizens determined to follow in your footsteps of integrity (Omoluabi generation).

*Barr. Kunle Oyatomi is the Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, All Progressives Congress (APC) State of Osun


bosses, Senator Bassey Eta-Henshaw and Barr. Bassey Dan-Abia, to deliver on the commission’s mandate. I consider it shameful that an agency set up to correct the quasi-genocidal neglect of Nigeria’s cash cow is both insufficiently provisioned and even more unconscionably starved of what paltry funds it is statutorily allocated. An all-stakeholders funding summit for the commission is urgently required at this stage. The main and counterpart funders of the NDDC must commit themselves to adequately, honestly and properly provisioning the agency. The era of fiscal rascality and a palliative approach to the Niger Deltan problem must be wound down and immediately replaced with an unfaltering commitment to the concise development of the region. Our disordered approach to nation-building must be discarded forthwith and replaced with a determination calibrated by justice, equity, fairness and forthrightness. The NDDC, on its part, would do well, both for itself and the rest of us, to make the best of what it currently receives while

relentlessly insisting on what is statutorily due to it. Projects must be faithfully carried through and judiciously concluded. What the new board requires is imagination and an unwavering fidelity to its mandate. Only thus will it deliver a new dawn for a region too long trapped in the darkness of an intolerably extended night of dehumanising pathos. One of the highpoints of the Nigerian Civil War was the currency of a propagandist slogan powered by the Nigerian state. It insisted that to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done. The civil war has come and gone but the Niger Deltan problem is still very much with us. A solution to that problem is by every means a task that must be done. The Federal Government, the states, the petroleum industry and all other stakeholders must key into that effort as the law demands. It is their duty and they do us no favours by following the law. The neglect of the Niger Delta is both heinous and intolerably morally reprehensible. The problem of the Niger Delta is a Nigerian problem and not a Niger Deltan problem. If a Nigerian solution is not found to it, a Niger Deltan solution will increasingly become attractive to the long-suffering people of this long ill-treated region. *Onokpasa, a legal practitioner, writes from Warri

tenure in Ondo was brief, just nine months, it was eventful and filled with landmark achievements, some of which are enduring and are still visible today. It is on record that he constructed the Oba-Ile and Ijoka Roads in Akure, the state capital and renovated some others, thereby giving the historical town a facelift. He had a good working relationship with and mutual respect for the Obas and Chiefs who played a complementary role in the dissemination of information about government actions and activities. In appreciation of their important role at the local level of governance, Colonel Mike Torey ensured that the first-class Obas were allocated befitting and fuel-efficient cars to ease their mobility and enhance their status. These cars were maintained and serviced at state expense during his short tenure. When Colonel Torey was redeployed to Enugu State in 1994, he took along his vision and mission of a benevolent military governance imbued with some goals that included the empowerment of the womenfolk in areas such as self-employment and governance including leadership roles. Indeed, he appointed Barrister (Mrs.) Justina Offiah, the pioneer female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN), as a State Commissioner. He also brought on board diminutive but brilliant Laureta Ukeagbu, daughter of late Justice Aniagolu, who was always glued to her laptop, as Economic Adviser. At the local government level, he encouraged a female contestant for the chairmanship seat of Nkanu-West Local Government Council to be focused and positive about her aspiration. The female contestant won overwhelmingly in the council election which was held on zero-party basis across the states of the federation. A consummate political strategist, Colonel Mike Torey (in his two areas of posting) developed a working rapport with the polit-

ical class and tapped from their positive experiences in the general interest of the people. It is to his eternal credit that he was able to identify, nuture, mould and utilise the innate but dormant leadership and administrative qualities in many of the aides he recruited in his quest to assemble a performance-oriented A-list team and turn over the fortunes of the state, positively. As a complement to this, Colonel Torey built a formidable rapprochement with the elder statesmen and women in his area of administration. A prime example was his close interaction with Chief Jim Nwobodo; Chief Christian Chukwuna Onoh and Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, who were former Governors of Enugu State and other prime political juggernauts like Senator Ben Collins Ndu; Chief Gbazuagu Nweke Gbazuagu; Chief Hyde Onuaguluchi; Prince Arthur Eze etc. A traditionalist to the core, Colonel Torey knew the place and role of the traditional institution especially in Igbo land in the entrenchment and sustenance of peace and harmonious co-existence in all the component local governments of the state. He established a cordial relationship with the traditional ruling class which he held in high regards. At his behest, regular interactive meetings were held to find a common ground on thorny issues that his administration had to contend with in the day-to-day governance of the state. Colonel Torey’s relationship with some of the Igwes like Igwe Edward Nnaji, Igwe Charles Abangwu and Igwe Mamah cemented the peaceful tenure he enjoyed before he was redeployed to purely military duties. As we celebrate the life of a man who placed selfless service and commitment to noble ideals above other considerations, my heart and feelings goes to his wife, Olushola and their two children, Yomi and Deji. May God grant his amiable soul eternal repose! Amen.

Towards a better funding of NDDC By JESUTEGA ONOKPASA VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF The need for the Niger Deltan solution IT could be maintained that the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is yet to deliver on its mandate. Needless to say, any human being with even a bare minimum of a sense of justice should be utterly aghast at the execrable treatment of what is undoubtedly the most important component of the Nigerian commonwealth. Nevertheless, while several commentators have blamed this sad situation on managerial ineptitude and a lack of vision on the part of the NDDC, it is arguable that the commission’s poor score-card may also be interpreted from the prism of poor funding. That the NDDC is poorly funded is not news. Indeed, the commission has never been invested in any given year with the

requisite funding prescribed in its enabling law. While this serial breach of the law is lamentable enough, even more alarming is the fact that what is usually voted for the commission is hardly ever entirely released to it. From a moral compass, therefore, it becomes arguably untenable to write off the efforts of an agency not adequately provided for in the first place. I was recently presented with the opportunity of assessing the commission at close quarters in the course of a visit the Niger Delta Patriotic Initiative, NDPI, paid to Engr. Tuoyo Omatsuli, the NDDC’s Executive Director, Projects. Omatsuli turned out to be extremely engaging, homely, and down to earth, coming across as rather well-grounded on the expectations of his office and altogether both realistic and optimistic. He honestly laid bare the embarrassingly monumental challenges of the commission and its alarming liabilities. I had expected him like the typical Nigerian official to hungrily cling on to these as an excuse upon which no one should expect the NDDC to deliver. On the contrary, he



I consider it shameful that an agency set up to correct the quasigenocidal neglect of Nigeria’s cash cow is both insufficiently provisioned and even more unconscionably starved of what paltry funds it is statutorily allocated


seemed quite determined to make a difference, effusively assuring us of President Jonathan’s commitment to spearheading a renaissance in the Niger Delta while reiterating the new board’s preparedness to justify its appointment by doing things uncommonly. I came out of the encounter rather impressed by his confidence in the ability of his

Goodnight Col. Lucky Mike Torey BY DELE AGEKAMEH TRIBUTE IN BRIEF A gentleman and army officer passes on


HE Nigerian Army has produced a good number of officers whose overall contributions during and after their sojourn in the service have continued to withstand the test of time. Many years on, these officers and gentlemen have continued to forge ahead at other levels of the society doing things that the discipline and orderliness associated with their earlier engagements, aptly, prepared them for later in life. A prime example of one such officer and gentleman that was nutured and honed by the Nigerian Army was Colonel Lucky Mike Torey. Torey or LMT as he was fondly called died in November 2013 after a very brief illness. He was buried in Ekpan near Warri, his home town on Friday, January 24, 2014. I had known LMT for many years even before he came to public office. He was a member of the 11 th Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy and later an officer of the Nigerian Army Armoured Corps reputed to be one of the elite corps of the Army and its combat arm of decision. What surprised me so much was the manner of his death. We had always been in constant touch together. A week before he died, we spoke on phone for some time and he was full of life. He did not betray any illness as we joked and remembered old times. That day, he told me he was planning a reception slated for December in Warri. We ended our discussion with a promise that we were going to talk again to finalise arrangements for the reception. That was the last time we spoke until a week after when the news

Late Col. Lucky Mike Torey of his death filtered into town. The news was broken to me by his former Aide-de-Camp Brigadier-General Benson Akinroluyo, a very fine, respectful and unassuming officer. At the time Torey left Enugu as governor, Akinroluyo was a Captain. He was then popularly known as Captain Benson. I am sure he was promoted a General shortly after the demise of his former boss. With Captain Benson at that time was Lieutenant Azeez Feruke who was the Chief Security Officer, CSO. Both Benson and Azeez were like Siamese twins who worked hand in hand with mutual respect for one another. Azeez retired as a Lieutenant-Colonel and now works with the United Nations in Ethiopia. That Sunday morning when Benson called me to break the sad news, he was on his way to his station in Bauchi after attending the burial ceremony of the father of the immediate past, Chief of Army Staff, General Azubuike Ihejirika. I could not believe what I heard. But that was the truth. LMT was dead. I later called the wife who had relocated to Abuja from their base in Jos in the wake of the sad development. She confirmed the news and kept on muttering the word: “Let’s thank God.” Whenever I pose a question to her in a bid to know the details of what happened, she ended whatever explanation with “let’s thank God.” I

later reached out to some of our mutual friends who were equally dazed by the news of his sudden death. We will never see LMT in the physical sense again, but he would be gloriously remembered by those who came across him while his earthly sojourn lasted. A core Armoured officer, it is to Colonel Torey ’s credit that he took part in military exercises in various parts of the country even when the trappings and administrative requirements of office as a Military Administrator tended to slow him down. He was never deterred by this as he was variously involved in the ones carried out under the aegis of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu where he served last as a Military Administrator before he



We will never see LMT in the physical sense again, but he would be gloriously remembered by those who came across him while his earthly sojourn lasted


was posted to the Infantry Corps and School, ICS, Jaji, Kaduna State, as Training Team Leader in September 1996. Also during his tenure in Enugu, he hosted and provided logistics support for the Lieutenant to Captain Examination that was held in Enugu. Before he was posted to Enugu in September 1994, Colonel Mike Torey served for nine months in Ondo State as Military Administrator between December 1993 and September 1994. He had earlier served at different times as Acting Military Governor of Plateau State between 1989 and 1991. Though his

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 47

*Abuja hot spot for drugs. Inset: Rohypnol

Lethal drugs on the streets of Abuja BY LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU They stand like other people along the road, their look unsuspecting. They pose like passengers waiting to flag down buses, taxis and cabs going to Kubwa, Zuba, Suleja, and other suburbs of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Yet they are no intending passengers. But that is only the first phase. They have another technique that gives them cover: Hawking of fuel otherwise called black marketing. In their numbers, they stand at short distances, each person with a Jerry can of 10 liters of fuel, sometimes 20 liters. There is a gas station nearby to give credence to their pretense of hawking fuelThe pretense is only a shield to a bigger business which is done clandestinely. Now, who are they? In simple answer, they are drug merchants; a group of young boys, mainly from the North, who peddle all kinds of drugs ranging from Codeine to Refnor, Rohypnol, Tramandor and Marijuana. The list is inexhaustive. The drugs are stimulants- raw stimulants. In the parlance of the sellers, they "high" anyone who takes them. "High" here means to stimulate the person. Yet, there are other kinds of drugs sold here- sex enhancing, etc. Interestingly, while some of these drugs are unethical and controlled, some you can also buy- off-the-shelf from pharmaceutical outlets. But you can bet that many



buja, the Federal Capital Ter ritory (FCT), means different things to different people. To virtually everybody, it is the seat of power. But to some people, it's a place where you have unrestricted access to lethal drugs. Sunday Vanguard, in an undercover mission, unveils the black spots where drugs in the FCT are sold.

A drive from Central Business Area through Wuse 2 to Banex Junction brings you face to face with the merchants

prefer picking them up from the streets, in fact, from the boy hawkers rather than going into the pharmacy. Selling point A drive from Central Business Area through Wuse 2 to Banex Junction brings you face to face with the merchants. Banex Junction is a very busy area. It is the western end of the everbusy Ahmadu Bello Expressway that links Gwarimpa, Wuse 2 and Mabuchi depending on where one is coming from. At the junction, a tall building with a billboard clearly announces the selling spot. There, in the front of a filling station, you always find the boys. How they operate They know their customers and their customers know them. A whisper sets them running after the customer. But for a new customer who comes in a car, stopping in the front or a little after the station brings them to your car. And in seconds, the deal is sealed and the customer zooms off with the boys retreating to base under a shade provided by a tree in front of the fuel station waiting for another customer. Any other place?

Yes, it is delusional to think Banex Junction is the only place the business is done in Abuja. Indeed, there are other places where the business thrives. Investigations showed that Area 2 shopping plaza is another safe haven for the drug vendors. There is where you usually find a group of youngsters who flock around any car that stops or enters the parking garage. At first, you may mistake the boys for traffic task force officers coming for unauthorized parking. But a deep look around tells you that they are not agents of government. Like the ones at Banex, the boys at Area 2 plaza also have a cover: Big bottles for water dispensing machines which litter the place. With this, another impression that comes to mind is that the boys are calling for customers or, better still, they are laborers intent on helping customers load the bottles in the boot when they are bought. But again, that's not their business. Drugs are. Then enter the parks and gardens that litter the city of Abuja. While some gardens are drug free, many are spots for all manners of drugs. It takes an investigative mind who also understands some sort of esoteric languages or sign languages to follow suit.

No hidden business Selling is done in broad daylight. No inhibitions. No police. The boys conduct their businesses without qualms. They don't need to know whether first time buyers are police officers or not. Their business is to sell the goods. That was how, Sunday Vanguard, during an undercover mission, got two tablets of Rohypnol/Flunitrazepam from Banex Junction. The intention was to buy some wraps of marijuana to ascertain the reality of the business. But unsure of the code name and the fear of being identified, the writer preferred anything that was available without further questions about other items. The items have coded names and the buyers are expected to know the business without asking neophyte’s questions. Now armed with the drugs, the writer zoomed off yet completely ignorant of what was in his possession. But then, there is an alternative always available to every curious journalist-research. Swiftly, a punch on the IPAD showed the result below from google. What is Rohypnol? Rohypnol is the trade name for Flunitrazepam, a drug that acts as a sedative, muscle relaxant, hypnotic, and antidepressant. While Flunitrazepam is called Rohypnol when marketed by Roche, it is also sold by other companies under the names Darkene, Flunipam, Flunitrazepam, Fluscand, Hipnosedon, Hypnodorm,, Ilman, Insom, Nilium, Silece, and Vulbegal. What does Rohypnol look like? Rohypnol is available as a pill, though the pill may be crushed and mixed into food or drinks or it may be

Continues on page 48

PAGE 48— SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014

Lethal drugs on the streets of Abuja Continued from page 47 dissolved in liquid and injected. The present form of the drug is imprinted with 542 and supplied as a 1-milligram dose in an olive green, oblong tablet which contains a blue dye that is supposed to be visible if the drug is added to a drink. Before that, Rohypnol was sold as a white 2-milligram tablet. How is Rohypnol used? Rohypnol may be taken as a pill or the pill may be crushed and snorted or added to a food or drink. Why do people use Rohypnol? As a prescription medication, Rohypnol is used as a pre-anesthetic medication and as a short term treatment for insomnia. It may be used to treat the depression resulting from the use of cocaine, methamphetamine, and other stimulants. As a recreational drug, Rohypnol (roofies) may be seen at nightclubs, parties, and raves. The drug has been used in connection with rape and robbery to incapacitate the victim and prevent him or her from recalling the crime. Rohypnol may be used to commit suicide.

istration and may last for over 12 hours. Symptoms associated with use of Rohypnol include drowsiness, lowered blood pressure, muscle relaxation, headache, visual disturbances, dizziness, slurred speech, poor reaction time, confusion, memory impairment, upset stomach, retention of urine, tremors, and nightmares. One side effect associated with Rohypnol use is retroactive amnesia, where the person who took the drug can't remember events that occurred while under the influence of the drug. Although Rohypnol is a depressant, it may produce excitability, talkativeness, or aggressive behavior. Overdose of Rohypnol produces sedation, impaired speech and balance, respiratory depression, and potentially coma or death. Is Rohypnol illegal? Yes, in the United States of America, Rohypnol is classified as an unethical drug. But it is yet to know whether the Nigerian laws tolerate it.

Why is Rohypnol illegal in the United States? It is illegal to manufacture, sell, or use Rohypnol in the United States because taking it can produce physiological and What are the effects of Rohypnol psychological dependence and benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome. The use? The effects of Rohypnol use may be drug is legal in other countries (e.g., felt within 15 to 20 minutes of admin- Mexico) and is smuggled into the US through the mail or other delivery ser-

*Hawking drugs? vices. Bottom line Investigations revealed that most Nigerian laws forbid some sensitive drugs to be in the possession of unauthorized individuals even if they are knowledgeable about drugs and medicines. Now, if that is the case, why should touts, stark illiterates be allowed

to sell these sensitive drugs on the streets of Abuja? For one, it is still very difficult to place why Rohypnol as lethal as it can be is allowed to be in the hands of the gangsters like the ones at Banex Junction. Many Nigerians are of the opinion that if nothing is done to arrest the situation, it could escalate to uncontrollable stance. It may be just a matter of time before Nigeria becomes another Columbia.

NYSC, a new DG and the challenges of 2014 BY CALEB AYANSINA


or the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), 2013 could best be described as a redemptive year from the battered image sustained from the previous year (2012). 2013 kicked off on a turbulent note as antagonists of the scheme, in conjunction with some victims and relatives of the 2011 post-election violence in the North, renewed their call for the scrapping of the NYSC. The serial bombing in some parts of the North was obviously complicating the issue for the NYSC, as some corps members, who were posted to the North, stood their ground against government, asking why they were posted to volatile states. The scheme was battling with principle of equitable distribution of corps members across the federation, while the corps members were struggling for survival and protection of their future ambitions. Although the service is essential, there is no gain saying that only the living serve their father land. Those who had their share of violent attack by the dreaded Islamic sect, popularly known as Boko Haram, did not take the back bench in the struggle to kill the scheme. The agitations put to test the managerial acumen of the leadership of the scheme under the former Director General, Brig-Gen. Okore-Affia.

Undeterred by the challenges, OkoreAffia focused on the implementation of some programmes the NYSC introduced in 2012 like martial art, entrepreneurship programme, and establishment of Distress Call Center to restore the confidence of all stakeholders. The introduction of skill acquisition programme into the orientation course content, received double attention in 2013, to raise an army of entrepreneurs that will drive the economy and not job seekers that will trudge the streets in search of scarcely available jobs. The projects designed to be implemented within the framework of camping exercise (in-camp) and the service year of the corps members (post-camp), cascaded down to states and LGAs. The in-camp component of the project focused largely on creating the entrepreneurial and self-reliance spirit, helping corps members explore income generation opportunities available, with a view to identifying the one that best suits their personality/circumstances and professional training, some sort of hands-on training, as well as development of business plans. While the post-camp component provided the platform for a more rigorous training of interested corps members, with a view to equipping them with the necessary technical/vocational skills, as well as business competence needed to start-up business; this would be carried out by various partner organizations with cognate competence and experience in

*Corps service of their fatherland the identified skills sets. According to the scheme, there were about 10 skill sets, which cut across various sectors of the economy. NYSC, in partnership with the Office of the Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Student Matters, in 2013, unveiled a model called the ‘Micro Enterprise Pack Model’, to address the issue of startup capital. The issue of dressing code at the orientation camp also took a center stage last year when one Miss Damilola Ekundayo, a graduate of zoology from Lagos State University, was ejected from Sagamu Orientation Camp because she refused to wear the service kits including trousers. The NYSC said Ekundayo’s action contravened the law regulating and prescribing the dress code for members of

the scheme. Ogun State Coordinator of NYSC, Mrs. Theresa Anosike, said Ekundayo’s refusal to wear the kits, including the khaki trousers at the camp and her insistence on putting on only skirts for the compulsory one-year programme, contradicted Section 3 subsection (h) of the scheme’s 2012 bye-laws. She was reported to have been sent away around 7pm, without fair hearing, but the scheme debunked the claim, insisting that Ekundayo was first reprimanded and brought before a panel before she was ejected. The Service also cleared the air on the reason it could not mobilize some graduates for 2013 Batch ‘A’ orientation exercise.

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 49


Alleged $1m bribe-for-defection tears House apart


he allegation that five mem bers of the All Progressives Congress, APC, collected $1million each to defect to the PDP, last Tuesday, has split the House into two camps. The two warring camps comprising of APC and PDP Reps however did not exchange blows, it was a conotative war. The Interim National Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had alleged, in a statement, after the Reps defection to the PDP that the defected members collected $1m each before dumping APC. PDP Reps however did not consider this a joke; they saw it as a grand design to rubbish them. Armed with a copy of one of the tabloids that published the Mohammed statement, Hon Kingsley Chinda, PDP, Rivers, moved a motion on the floor of the House on Wednesday. Chinda brandished the newspaper where it was alleged that lawmakers

that defected on Tuesday were given $1million each to dump APC. He said:”The integrity of all lawmakers of this assembly before the electorate is at stake if the statement credited to the Interim National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr Lai Mohammed, is not investigated immediately. “There is need to get to the root of the matter by the Ethics and Privileges Committee and whoever is found guilty should be sanctioned. “This was how the governor of Nasarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura, last week, alleged that the lawmakers in his state that defected to PDP were bribed with N50m each”. The Rivers lawmaker went on: “It will be shameful if this matter is not investigated immediately as it will adversely affect all the good things the 7th Assembly has done. “ Ruling on the issue, the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, mandated the Committee on Ethics and Privileges to probe the matter and submit its

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

head of the 11 defectors in the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, is a former governor of Kwara State. Ditto some of the other defectors. So, Mark should be ready to face more battles ahead though he is also a former governor under military rule.

Between the Senate and ex-govs


HE crisis threatening to tear the once united Sen ate apart could be traced to the increasing number of former governors in the upper chambre. In fact, the situation might become worse after the 2015 elections as more governors may find their way to the Senate. Already, some of the current senators intent on coming back to the red chamber have been placed in the bad books of their governors, while the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Adamu Muazu, may face a serious battle from both the federal lawmakers and serving governors. Against the backdrop of what is happening in the Senate, the membership of former governors has remained a big threat. The arrow-

PDP in chamber, APC outside 11 senators now wear the tag of PDP for about three hours a day while in the chamber and the rest of the day APC senators. While in the chamber, they remain with the PDP going by the Standing Rule of the Senate on sitting arrangement and, should they decide to do otherwise, they should be ready for the consequence.

APC in breach of the Senate tradition The ongoing defection drama in the Senate has become a threat to the unity of the Senate. Last week, when Senate President David Mark was entering the chamber for plenary, APC members refused to file out as has been the tradition of senators to welcome the

findings within two weeks. However, Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Hon Leo Ogor, said the money for defection allegation levelled against the defected lawmakers was “a complete nonsense as there was nothing like that. “ He said, “First and foremost, it is very alien that APC is crying wolf. ”When 37 members of the House defected to the APC, what happened or are they saying that they were bribed too? ”It is very unfortunate that APC today is singing a different tune”. ”They are now finding themselves where they actually belong. ” Secondly, I think it is important that their so-called political grandstanding is taken outside the National Assembly. ”They are not helping the electorate that elected members of the House to come here and represent them. ”And when they came, they swore to an oath of allegiance. ” Their oath of allegiance is to defend the Constitution and serve the Nigerian people, not serving interest of some political parties. ”The talk of people being influenced is absolute nonsense and nobody in his rightful mind will want to make such comment. ” There was nothing of that nature, let he or she that alleges prove. You know that he that alleges is saddled with the responsibility of proof. ”The question I ask is, the other people who defected from PDP, which is still a subject matter before a competent court of jurisdiction, are they saying they were also bribed? Or is it because the reverse is the case that they are now crying? ”They were the ones celebrating and busy trying to take over the House. I

principal officers; instead, they chose to engage in exchange in banters with the Minority Leader, George Akuma. On Tuesday, immediately after the APC senators in the chamber saw that the principal officers were about to enter the chamber, they disappeared only to resurface after the principal officers, led by the Senate President, had taken their seat.

Bola Ige echoes in chamber It was drama and confusion on Thursday when one of the ministerial nominees was told to swear with the Quaran if he did not know anything about the death of the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige. “I want to say, once again, before man and God that I, Abduljeli Oyawale Adesiyan, know nothing about the assassination of Chief Bola Ige, I am innocent,” the nominee said. After he mounted the podium, Senator David Mark, who presided over the screening session, told senators to ask him questions, thus prompting Senator Ehigie Uzamere to stand up to lead in the question and answer session.

tell you one thing knowing the person of President Goodluck Jonathan, he won’t give you a dime for anything, I can swear on that. He believes in transparency, due process and respect for the rule of law. ”Those defecting from APC have realised that if they stay in APC, they won’t win election and every politician who wants to be relevant must win election. Those allegations are totally unfounded, nobody can substantiate them. At the moment, they are more like people losing a battle, they are drowning in the middle of the ocean.” Also, the National Unity Group, NUG, comprising of APGA, LP and ACCORD members, have vowed to tackle APC with all legal means they could lay their hands on. In the statement by the leader of the group, Hon Bitrus Kaze, PDP, Plateau, NUG threatened to deal decisively with the matter. Kaze said,”We are not surprised at their desperation but we are determined not to allow these weighty allegations to be swept under the carpet. We have since raised a breach of privilege on the floor of the House and the matter has been referred to the House committee on Ethics and Privileges the report of which is expected in two weeks”. He however stated that the group would follow up on this matter to its logical conclusion, adding that while Nigerians have become used to the regular doses of untruths by the APC spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, “we are shocked, dismayed and disappointed that the governor of Nassarawa State, Alhaji Tanko Almakura, will condescend to such a despicable level to lie on a national television that the members from Nasarawa State were financially induced to defect to PDP.” APC members however held a meeting, on Thursday, apparently to checkmate the onslaught of the NUG members. This development could be a pointer to another round of battles on the floor of the House.

The senator said, before he asked his question, the nominee must first be served a copy of the holy Quran to swear that his hands were clean in the death of the late Bola Ige. He said: “Mr Nominee, you just mentioned Mr Bola Ige that he was your mentor, before I ask you this question, with the kind permission of Mr Chairman, can you swear to the Quran that you did not kill Bola Ige?” This sparked off loud shouts of “no, this is Senate chamber, not a shrine”. The confusion thrown up as a result of this development lasted several minutes before the Senate President intervened by ruling that the issue be brushed aside.

Kaduna as ‘oil producing’ state To Senator Nenadi Usman from Kaduna State, it will be wrong for anyone to think that Kaduna is not an oil producing state. The amiable senator told her colleagues in the chamber that it will be unfair not to include Kaduna State in the league of oil producing states because her state produces groundnut oil. After all, oil is oil, whether crude or groundnut oil.

PAGE 50—SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014

Factors fuelling Boko Haram in North-east, by Hon Gujbawu

conspiracy theories are! What of the assertion that others make that the Insurgency is a creation of the North to make Nigeria ungovernable for President Goodluck! For Allah’s sake, why should my people set out to kill their kith and kin and destroy their land just to make Nigeria ungovernable for short term political gains? The insurgency saga is not the conventional battle that we all know. So for you to hold the government responsible over an issue that has not come to a manageable level is unfair. We should be objective. I knew that certain people were against the proclamation of the state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa by Mr President some 8 or 9 months ago thinking it has political undertones. I had a strong misunderstanding with some of my good friends on the other side of the political divide.

•2015: ‘North/South south

alliance favours Jonathan’



on Kaka Kyari Gujbawu is a member of the House of Representatives representing Maiduguri, the hotbed of the Boko Haram insurgency. In this chat, Gujbawu speaks on how to restore peace in the North-east and other national issues. E x c e r p t s : What is your take on the decision by 37 members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives members to decamp to the APC? Let me make it abundantly clear that I remain a PDP member today and forever. It is unfortunate that my colleagues had to decamp to the rival All Progressive Congress (APC); it was a process that commenced quite a long time ago. It would have been worse, but the act of statesmanship exhibited by President Goodluck Jonathan and some of our very good friends reduced the number of those who would have defected. Yes it happened under Bamanga Tukur, yes it happened under the watch of President Jonathan, but don’t forget that the PDP as a party is more than 14 years old. When President Jonathan and Bamanga Tukur came in some three years ago, there was anger and displeasure that had been building up long then and imploded. So I don’t believe in the blame game going on. Of course when we lose relationship, as humans, we regret it because the defectors are our friends. I am sure they are not happy they decamped to the APC. We regret the loss of material things not to talk of fellow lawmakers. Like I told a friend, in a relationship, it is normal to quarrel, fight, separate and it could even lead to divorce; thereafter, we can reconcile our differences. You can see that the forces that bind us together far exceed what divides us and we have come a long way as PDP members. Wherever the defectors are today, they won’t be as happy as they were when they were in the PDP, because that is

the House they built and it enabled people like us to come in and develop our political career. I assure you that you would see most of them coming back into the PDP which is their natural place before the 2015 p o l l s . When they were announcing their crossing over to the APC, I was one of those who stood up to renew their loyalty to the PDP, to express their passion for the PDP and we were shouting and hailing PDP because the party is still alive, and remains the strongest party not only in Nigeria but in Africa. It was agonising to see our members decamp but that is democracy for you and, as humans, everything is dynamic. But let me make this abundantly clear again. Just as today you saw the other side of the divide clapping, happy that they got some of our colleagues to their side, I am very sure that soon we will be the ones to laugh, and he who laughs last-laughs best. As I am talking to you, a lot of members of the so-called APC are discontented; totally displeased with the way the APC is run. Don’t forget that PDP is the only party in Nigeria that is not owned by a person or a few persons. It is not a sole proprietorship company or a limited (asset?) corporate outfit. But if you look at the APC, two or five proprietors came together and they dictate to everybody. You don’t find that in the PDP. Our party remains the only party that can flaunt internal democracy. What do you make of the assertion by the National Chairman of the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, that elections may not hold in the troubled states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe in 2015 if the Boko Haram insurgency persists? We should not politicize security issues even as I will not want to join issues with my very good friend, Governor Kashim Shettima. But I am compelled to


do so for the sake of the nation that I am part of and for the sake of the constituency that I represent at the National Assembly. What Jega said was very clear. He said if the status quo, what is obtained today as per the security situation continues unabated; there is nothing he can do about holding election there. We are in a state of emergency and I am from Borno State. today there is no Borno indigene that would tell you that he can traverse the twenty seven local government of the state without the fear of being kidnapped or get killed; not even fifty percent of Borno State. That is the situation today and it is a fact. A lot of our brothers and friends are being kidnapped as I am talking; they are being killed as I am talking and so how do you think of going to conduct election in that place? Do we want to expose the poor people to risk simply because we want to remain in office? I don’t want that to happen. As Mr. President, Goodluck Jonathan would always say, ‘I don’t wish for a single drop of blood to be shed for me to remain in office’, I align myself with this political philosophy. I don’t wish a single blood of Borno indigene or any person to be shed so that election should be held for me to continue in office. But, certainly, our ardent desire, and that’s what we all are working on, in collaboration with our governor, to ensure that Borno reclaims its enviable epithet of “Home of Peace”; to ensure that elections are held in 2015 and our people’s voices are heard and

choices made, without being disenfranchised. But there are those who think that the assertion is politically m o t i v a t e d ? I tend to get passionate when the issue of my constituency is politicised. I know of very close friends who are like brothers to me that have been killed by the

A lot of us still say that the patriotic Maiduguri youth, aka Civilian JTF, who collaborate with the JTF, have brought almost 80 percent peace to Maiduguri that was then known as the hub of the Boko Haram insurgents. What brought about this active collaboration that it would take an unarmed civilian to go and arrest a well-armed Boko Haram member and the law supports it? It is because of the state of emergency. What do I mean by that? If not for the state of emergency, these guys are sophisticated; they could go to the court of law to halt the activities of the Civilian JTF because they can argue that under our existing laws, no civilian is empowered to arrest them and the court would give the verdict in that order It takes a sagacious leader like Jonathan who knows that this crisis is unusual that requires an

The North-east of Nigeria, sadly, by all indices of human development according to the UNDP, is the most lagging behind; where the worst forms of poverty, illiteracy, poor infrastructure, unemployment etc have all conspired to make the North-east zone “ the sick man of Nigeria” insurgents. Every household in Borno, particularly in Maiduguri, has one story or the other to tell about such things and you politicise that? Ninety nine percent of the insurgents that have so far been arrested are from Borno State with support and engineering from foreigners. What has the PDP or President Goodluck got to do with that? Will he not be the greatest loser if this nation collapses under his watch? How funny the claims of such

unusual approach. For him to do that, he had to suspend the laws to proclaim the state of emergency. This problem to a large extent is a civilian issue. There is a Hausa proverb that says “ Da dan gari akechin gari” freely translated as” you require the support of the son of the soil to reap the full benefit of any town you go to”. So for the military to succeed

Continues on page 51

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014, PAGE 51


Week of the long knives W

hen they walked into the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa for the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting last Wednesday, there was no indication that that would be their last day as members of the Council. Elder Godsday Orubebe, Captain Caleb Olubolade and Dr Yerima Ngama were all in high spirits in the unusually crowded Council Chambers that day. But, by the end of the meeting at about 1.30 pm, only Ngama could muster courage to speak with reporters when the news of their sack was broken by President Goodluck Jonathan. Even then, it was done in Hausa! Olubolade and Orubebe sneaked out of the Council Chambers and out of the Presidential Villa.

The removal from the cabinet of four ministers- Stella Oduah of the Ministry of Aviation, Orubebe of Niger Delta Ministry, Ngama of Finance and Olubolade of Police Affairswas the high point of one of the most audacious decisions taken by Jonathan since he assumed office as President. It began with the completely unexpected ‘resignation’ by the Chief of Staff to the president, Mike Oghiadome, on Monday morning, to pursue other ‘political interests’ within the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Though the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, who confirmed the resignation of Oghiadome, pooh poohed the insinuation that the former Chief of Staff was sacked, there were ample indicators pointing to his forced exit. For

instance, he attended meetings on the morning before he resigned; there is no up coming governorship election in Edo State where he hails from that one would say he is interested in. Even the National Assembly election that is due in the state in 2015 would not have forced this man to resign in the event he was interested in contesting. For a man who is said to have consistently lost even his local government to the opposition party in almost every election, it would be foolhardy for him to leave his very influential and powerful position as Chief of Staff to the President to take such avoidable risk. Strangely, the confirmation of the removal of Oghiadome elicited a sense of excitement, even if subdued, from some officials in the Villa. It was reported that even his kinsmen in Fugar, Edo State were jubilant on hearing the news of his removal. Though the down fall of a man should not be celebrated by any rational person, what happened in the case of the former Chief of Staff was a pointer to the fact that his popularity both within and outside the Villa was sadly at its nadir.

The sacking of Oghiadome sent a clear signal that the President was going to take very tough decisions. Oghiadome was not only one of the most powerful officials of government but was also a personal friend of Jonathan whose friendship dates back to their days as deputy governors. In fact, the axed Chief of Staff was said to have boasted that ‘ we came to the Villa together with the President and we will leave together’. It was never to be. If the sack of Oghiadome surprised Nigerians, the removal of Oduah as Minister of Aviation came as a rude shock to many. While some Nigerians see the President’s action as a clear message that impunity in government cannot be tolerated, others see it as unnecessary pandering to whims of powerful Nigerians who were affected by the Minister’s pacesetting reforms in the aviation sector. Oduah’s entry into government was as controversial as his actions in government. After launching the highly successful Neighbour2Neighbour campaign that massively mobilised Nigerians to vote for Jonathan, her rare combination of brain and brawn earned her a place in government where she embarked on an aggressive transformation of the aviation sector through the remodelling of the nation’s air-

ports, strictly enforced standards in the problem prone aviation sector and frontally took on the rich that believe their deep pockets would insulate them from obeying laws. Her bold initiatives attracted applause from both critics and supporters of the government. But just when she was at the peak of her achievements, it was revealed that one of the agencies under her ministry (NCA) bought two bullet proof cars for N225 millionwith her approval. The lesson here is that no matter how sterling your performance in government may be, one day you have to leave. For the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, his removal was long over due. For a man who lived all his life in the Niger Delta region, his appointment as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs was a rare opportunity for him to write his name in gold. Instead, he was said to have relegated the task of implementing government programmes to alleviate the hardship of the people of the region to the background and was more interested in feathering his personal nest. His removal may have sealed his hope of ruling his home state of Delta. Though it is within the purview of the president to hire and fire, the removal of the ministers was a clear message to both his supporters and critics that it can no longer be business as usual. There is no better way to send this message than to start with those who are considered by many Nigerians as too powerful and untouchable. It is a message that will certainly reverberate in the cabinet.

‘North/South-south alliance favours Jonathan’ Continued from page 50 within the very heart of the city of Maiduguri, they need the cooperation of the civilian. I speak the mind of almost all Maiduguri indigenes that it is almost like a miracle that in Maiduguri today, we can gather to celebrate either a wedding ceremony or naming ceremony. Just about four weeks ago, former President Babangida was in Maiduguri for a wedding, just to underscore the level of peace that has returned there. So if you say that the president is not doing well, you are not being fair to him. We must acknowledge the fact that all the crises have not been solved is not the fault of Jonathan because it didn’t start with him. He inherited them. Tackling terrorism is a huge challenge across the world. Even the United States with their level of sophistication are still learning the art of counter terrorism not to talk of a country like Nigeria. The issue of human life is too important for us to politicise. We should try and divorce politics from the sacredness of human lives. What is the update on the idea of recommending the Civilian JTF to President Jonathan for national award? I am more convinced than ever before that we are going to make the recommendation because that is the desire of my people and I think they deserve it. I think they deserve not only national

award, but a comprehensive rehabilitation and empowerment. Even the president acknowledged that they are the new heroes of Nigeria. And as you well know, the president’s speech is tantamount to a national policy. We await the execution of that policy. I would like to commend the effort of Governor Shettima in this line by employing about 2,000 youths of Maiduguri. Our people are in dire need of a lot of support. Our economy is in shambles, our social life has been disorganised, and our psyche traumatised. The fact remains that the whole of the North- east as I always emphasise requires the Marshal Plan or do I say the “GEJ Plan”. Recall the Marshal Plan was a blueprint by the former President Marshal of USA to rehabilitate Europe after the 2nd World War. Currently, the North-east of Nigeria, sadly, by all indices of human development according to the UNDP, is the most lagging behind; where the worst forms of poverty, illiteracy, poor infrastructure, unemployment etc have all conspired to make the Northeast zone “ the sick man of Nigeria” ( apologies to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia) What happens if the tenure of all elective office holders expires assuming elections do

not hold in the states under emergency rule? I pray, we never have to arrive at such situation. I don’t want to dabble much into this, because my purview in matters of law as a politician is limited to lawmaking, I am not an interpreter of the law, which is the responsibility of the judiciary arm. However, The constitution as extant now has foreseen such

I urge my people to give President Jonathan their complete support to get second term in the spirit of upholding the 60years of unbroken political alliance between the North and South/ South a scenario for the whole nation. There is a provision that if election are not held due to unforeseen circumstances, the tenure of office holders can be extended by six months just like the state of emergency. If elections are eventually held, it is okay. Else, the tenure is

extended by another six months. So the issue of unelected officials taking over the offices or vacancies existing does not arise. Now assuming God forbids that the security situation remains unabated in my area till when election are due to hold, is there a lacuna, certainly there is. But certainly when we reach the bridge, we would definitely cross it. Still, our prayer is that we never arrive at such scenario, and wish and work for an enduring peace to return to our state and nation. What do you make of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s claim in his letter that President Jonathan has a responsibility to respect his commitment to serve a single term of four years in office? In 2003, going back memory lane, Obasanjo said he was arm-twisted to sign an agreement to serve only one term. There was an agreement that was duly signed, but yet Obasanjo served two terms and he even wanted to change the Constitution to continue a third term. In this case, we are yet to see an agreement that was signed by Goodluck to serve only a term in office. The Constitution allows him not just to continue but to seek second term. After presenting his score cards to Nigerians,

it is left for Nigerians who enjoy the franchise to decide to give him another chance or not. I think Nigerians should be allowed to decide President Jonathan’s fate on this matter and not former President Obasanjo or any individual for that matter. As a politician of northern extraction, I urge my people to give President Jonathan their complete support to get second term in the spirit of upholding the 60years of unbroken political alliance between the North and South/South initiated and consummated by our founding fathers- Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Chief Festus Okotie Eboh, Chief Melforf Okilo; and consolidated in the 2nd Republic by President Shehu Shagari, Chief Joseph Wayas, Alhaji Maitama Sule, Chief Melford Okilo, Chief Edwin Clark, and currently sustained by the dual mandates of the late President Yar’Adua, President Jonathan & co. I admonish my brothers to bring to bear the dictum, “ one good turn deserves another”. If there are issues my northern leaders have with Mr. President, and, of course, there are valid ones, they should work it out with him through sustained dialogue. We have come a long way in this political alliance that we owe future generations to pass on to them the inestimable political legacy of their founding fathers.

PA GE 52


Ways to seek true love by Yetunde Arebi


ccording to the Holy Bible in 1st Corinthi ans, 13: 4-8, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude. It is not self seeking. It is not angered. It does not keep record of wrong done. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects. Love always trusts. Love always hopes. It always preserves. Love does not change”. These may best describe the type of love that we all seek and long to have but is often ellusive to us. The truth is that these qualities best describes a Godly love and can only be found in truly loving relationships. The possibility of attaining this type of love has continued to diminish as time, society and individuals progress. Thus, the reality on ground about achieving true love is quite different from the type of love we hope for and usually find among couples today. it is even a far cry from what the ideal love ought to be. One of the key problems with achieving true love in our lives is that, often we do not look for these ideal characters mentioned above, but rely on our own devices and intuitions which often do not help us to achieve our desired goals. As humans, we often look more at physical appearance,

sex with someone you do not love, just as having sex with an individual will not make you fall in love with the person. Sex is a beautiful gift from God recommended under defined boundaries and has been researched to possess many health and therapeutic benefits if the boundaries are observed. Engaging in sex in order to achieve true love does not always work. In fact, the possibility of it failing is higher than if you abstain from sex. Pre-marital sex, or sex to induce marriage is not likely to find you true love. Most times, it brings hurt, heartbreak and disappointment when the relationship breaks. You will therefore be doing yourself a big favour by keeping your body for the spouse that will honour it and you.

financial status, popularity, family background, or even profession, forgetting that these are ephemeral things and are not likely to last the test of time. None of these characteristics touches on the heart of the individual that you are in a relationship with. When the chips are down, you will not be living with his family and his professional acumen will stay back

to play but ought not to be the only criteria for love. Over the years, we have been exposed to teachings that sex and love are the same. If you love an individual, then you will have sex with the person. Or we need to have sex with our partner to prove that we are in love with him or her. Therefore, sex is love and love is sex. This is far from the truth. Sex is not love. You can have

at the work place, and that is even for as long as the individual thrives in the profes-

sion. True love is achievable where there is devotion matched by

action. Love is not just about how we feel towards the other person. Emotions have a role

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In seeking true love, you may be wise to look out for these three things among others. The heart: This is where the real individual is and not in the appearance or other ephemeral things. Your spouse must know and have the fear of God in him or her, either as a Muslim, Christian or whatever religious beliefs he or she may profess. This is very important for life’s journey. God epitomizes love and only Him can guide the attainment and sustenance of true love. Honesty: It is important that we are honest to ourselves. You must identify what you want for yourself and from your spouse right from the beginning of your relationship.This does not necesarily imply that you must insist on declarations of marriage and "for ever after" as soon as you meet. however, there is need to set standards. Maintain the standards and don’t compromise the things that will compromise and undermine your person. Remember, love builds and not destroy. Honesty will bring about openness and trust on both sides as the relationship progresses. Commitment: This is very important in achieving true love and forming long-term relationships and marriages. There must be conviction that each spouse is committed to the relationship and prepared to make sacrifices to ensure its success. Commitment is built over time and as couples overcome their various challenges. When commitments and sacrifices are made only by one of the spouses, there is need to appraise ones involvement in such a relationship. above for a sweet and romantic relationship. 08175653600 •Jane, 25, average height, from Delta state, but, resides in Benin, needs a handsome, dark in complexion, God fearing, employed, understanding and caring man, for a relationship that can lead to marriage, aged 28-30.07032386744 •Lisa, 25, sexy and fun to be with, needs a tall and handsome employed man aged, 3845 for a relationship. 08108196130, 08069404887 •Vicky, 27, sexy handsome and undergraduate, from Delta state, needs a pretty lady from Delta, Bayelsa or Anambra, that is financially stable for a serious relationship, aged 2338, pin 21E7004C, 08064371876 •A lady, who is a single parent and a nurse, needs a God fearing man as a husband. 08180263285, 07030091672, 08056185344 •Rita, slim and sexy, needs a good, loving and caring man, for a serious relationship. 07064054442, 08073290108

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Cheyenne, Tiger Wood’s niece takes Ladies golf by storm C

HEYENNE Woods, niece of 14-time major winner Tiger Woods, is fast stepping into her uncle’s shoes as she recently claimed the first major title of her career by winning the Australian Ladies Masters. The 23-year-old American shot a final-round four-under-par 69 at Royal Pines on Sunday to finish on 16 under overall and win by two shots. “This is a huge accomplishment for me,” said Woods, who finished with five birdies and a bogey. “I’ve been pro for two years and, for the majority of it, people just think of me as Tiger Woods’s niece so now I have a game of my own and I have a title now, a win, which is exciting. “It’s nice now to say to people that I can play and I’m not just a name. “Growing up with the last name of Woods, there’s a lot of expectations and pressure and spotlight on you but I always knew that I was able to win.” Woods won a minor event in the United States in 2012, but this was the biggest of her career so far and earned her a two-year exemption into Ladies European Tour events. “I always knew I’d be able to compete with these ladies so now it’s kind of a weight off my shoulders because now everybody knows, not just me,” she added. Born to Tiger’s older half-brother on July 25, 1990, Cheyenne first picked up a golf club at age two. Ironically she was guided by her grandfather, Tiger’s father, during her junior career and has won more than 30 tournaments as an amateur. Her first professional win was in August of 2012 at LPGA International before Sunday’s win of the Australian Ladies Masters, her first major title.


Orubebe set to restore Sapele’s lost glory with golf tourney T

HE Orubebe Invitational Golf Champion, OIGC that will be held in Sapele, Delta State is about to shape the way things are being done in Sapele. A city once regarded as the most famous in the Niger Delta Region. Sapele is an ancient city that is enveloped in several levels of memories ranging from Port Services, West Africa’s most popular Wood Industry, AT & P, Sapele Athletic Club and others too numerous to mention. Sapele is a city that is

strategically located in a place that most road trip travellers must have to visit the city. It is a peaceful, rich with culture and awesome place to stay. The OIGC is set to bring about change in the city while focusing on restoring its lost glory and bringing hope and aspirations to the good people of the land. It is indeed the turn of Sapele with the wind of transformation in Nigeria to experience its own portion of transformation and progress. This event will bring

Johnson leads in California A


MERICAN Dustin Johnson holds a one-shot first-round lead at the Northern Trust Open in California. The 29-year-old shot a five under par 66, which included six birdies. “I’ve been playing pretty good all year, so the game’s right where I want it to be,” said Johnson. He leads a group that includes Italy’s European Ryder Cup star Francesco Molinari and Australian Matt Jones as well as Americans Jimmy Walker, Robert Garrigus and Scott Stallings American veteran Jim Furyk was a further shot back after firing a 68, joined on that mark by

compatriots Keegan Bradley and Rickie Fowler. South Africa’s 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel, England’s former world number one Lee Westwood and South Korean KJ Choi all finished their opening rounds on two under, one ahead of US Open champion Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan and former Open champion Ben Curtis. Ian Poulter had a disappointing day as he shot a one-over-par 72, while Darren Clarke endured a tough 78 before withdrawing because of a chest muscle injury.

thousands together to enjoy the game of golf and also investors to tap into the potentials in the land. Sapele Athletic Club where this event will be held was originally known as SAPELO GOLF CLUB, it was started in 1898 by a coterie of resident European sailors and captains of ships who traversed the Atlantic Ocean from the United Kingdom down to River Ethiope which has its source from Umuaja, a village in the present Ukwani LGA of Delta State. In 1913, a major and spectacular event took place which marked the turning point in the history of the club. The Management of Elder Dempster Company Ltd. donated a giant trophy to SAPELO GOLF CLUB to further boost the interest of member in the game. That singular event was later to become a watershed in the developmental history of the club. The present site of the club was originally conceived as a golf club. It was originally named “SAPELO GOLF CLUB” as is evidently inscribed on the trophy of THE ELDER DEMPSTER CUP, donated by Elder Dempster co. Ltd. for the first golf tournament in 1913. The tournament was held subsequently from 1914 with the names of the competition winners engraved on the trophy. The relic

•Orubebe of the trophy is still in the archives of the club till date. This is a dream that Elder Orubebe is bidding to reinvent in Sapele. A land which many have neglected and abandoned is a land that Elder Orubebe has seen her potentials and has decided to champion a history cause for Change and Transformation. and the rare attributes of ORUBEBE who sees beyond the present state of the once famous city of SAPELE hence the choice of SAPELE Golf Course in commemoration of the centenary celebration marking 100yrs of NIGERIA’S Unity and SAPELE been the first Golf Course in Nigeria since 2013.


A case for indigenous coaches BY EBERE NWANKPA FANS like me realize that coaching is a professional discipline with a vast body of knowledge that has evolved and modernised right along with the game. It is a discipline that is now data driven and in which the role of technology has become more and more pronounced. Its practitioners now earn certifications not just as a means to an end but as a matter of course. For many these days, such certifications are integral to the qualification of a person to coach. In this context, coaching is a matter of serious academic study and a subject of intellectual endeavour to rival other well regarded disciplines. Most would readily acknowledge the centrality and importance of good coaching to successful outcomes. In that equation, it is a constant among many variables. Indeed, it is eminently arguable that the right coach can make world beaters out of teams made up of players lacking the individual distinction we readily applaud, admire and even idolize in star players. This value-added dynamic is at the heart and foundation of coaching. It is the quality that underlines the recent (now hopefully past) Egyptian dominance of football at the continental level. It is also, I believe, the single most important factor in our recent continental triumph after close to twenty years of relative mediocrity. Suffice it to say, it would be difficult to overstate the singular, strategic and emphatic importance of the art. To be sincere, my thinking regarding this subject has not always been this categorical. I was (and still am) by disposition, pragmatic, sensible and well intentioned. The germ of my opinion then was that, the best man (or woman) for the job, be he or she foreign or indigenous should be given the job, and allowed to do it. In so thinking, I was mindful of the need to develop local coaching talent and give befitting exponents of the same the opportunity to coach our various national teams. However, I did not think of it as an empirical imperative. Like most fans, I was more interested in the players than I was in the coach. I certainly did not subscribe to any philosophy, tenet or theory of coaching. Of course, my passion for our football included a keen interest in the coaches of our national teams and particularly, in their playC M Y K

•Eguavoen er selections and strategic and tactical bent. Even so, it will not come as a surprise to many that the most successful countries in the game are those that have painstakingly, systematically and methodically developed a continuous and sustainable coaching program and continuum. The assertion is as basic as it is foundational and apt. The obvious extrapolation therefrom, that the strength, depth and systematic application of coaching expertise correlates directly with championship success is hardly arguable and should be a given. Apart from a membership in the elite pantheon of coaching, there is an altogether more striking similarity that all these men share. None of them is a foreigner to the country they coached to world cup glory. All the world cup winning coaches since the inception of the World Cup without exception are indigenous to the countries they coached. To this rule there is no exception. Not even one that proves the rule.The empirical exclusivity of the data-set is absolute and invariable. Having recourse to the foregoing, it would seem logical to assert that teams coached by non-indigenous coaches start from a significant position of disadvantage as far as winning the World Cup is concerned. The odds are certainly long at the very least. A fact this conclusive, ipso facto,ought to inform hiring decisions to a substantial and perhaps definitive degree. Whereas, the dominant idea undergirding a philosophical preference for indigenous coaches is the building of elite coaching capacity incountry, with an aim to gradually raise collective standards by mere continuous accumulation, application and growth, the imperative asserted by the exclusivity of the dataset above cuts to the chase in a far more direct and confrontational manner. It is about winning, and indigenous coaches rule the

•Siasia roost.It would seem then, that the idea successfully runs the gamut of the long and short terms with aruthless utilitarian essence. A bit of further inquiry would reveal one of the strategic pillars that prop up the phenomenon. To wit, of the 19 times the World Cup has been contested, three countries have won it a combined total of 11 times. Brazil with 5 wins, Italy with 4 and Germany with 3 accounts for more than half of the total victories on record. It is on the strength of this historical dominance of the game that these countries are regarded and acclaimed as its super powers and best exponents. Lesser know however, is a singular and particular similarity that the accomplished triad share. None of them have ever employed a foreign coach. Never in the football history of Brazil, Italy or Germany has a foreign coach been hired. The fact of this is understandably incredible and surprising to those of us reared in the recent past on a diet of Troussiers, Milutinovics, Vogts and Lagerbacks to name a few. And mind you, this represents approximately 306 years combined, when you add up the number of years the three countries have kept coaching records, of indigenous coaching. The successful outcomes of relative stability and continuity in hiring within as it were, going back a hundred years apiece is apparent. It would seem then that the bright idea of foreign coaches has only occurred to those countries further down the success scale and prestige pecking order. One wonders too, if this idea is that old and successful, why some nations are just catching on. There is however an often overlooked home grown corollary that is of particular instructive value to this debate. With the victory of the 2013 generation of Golden Eaglets in the United Arab Emirates just a few months ago,

•Keshi Nigeria entered the record books as the nation with the most FIFA Under17 World Cup triumphs with four wins to date. The first triumph in 1985 was achieved under the guidance of Sebastian Brodrick-Imasuen, the second in 1993 by coach Fanny Amun, the third in 2007 by coach Yemi Tella and the fourth by coach Manu Garba. Arguments about age controversies and age grade level coaching aside, Nigeria’s football history at this level in which she has outperformed every other nation speaks eloquently to the viability of Nigerian coaches on the world stage. In Stephen Keshi, the reigning African Coach of the Year, the case for indigenous coaches has its best advocate yet. A brief iteration of Keshi’s achievements to date is pertinent. Just over a year after taking over a team that did not qualify for the previous edition of the African Cup of Nations, Keshi’s Super Eagles won the tournament soundly, beating the acknowledged favourites for the title Cote d’Ivoire, enroute. He became the first ever indigenous (Nigerian) coach to win the title, the first Nigerian to win it as both coach and player and only the second African to win as player and coach. In the World Cup qualifying campaign which ended late last year, Nigeria under Keshi were the only African country and one of very few in the entire world to complete the qualifying series without losing a game. Before the loss to Uruguay in the Confederations Cup last year, Keshi’s team had gone on an 18-game stretch without losing a game, the longest such streak in the history of Nigerian football. Other historic feats such as qualifying Nigeria for its first ever African Nations Championship, the homebased equivalent of the African Cup of Nations, and going on to win bronze in that competition, as well as being the first and only coach to

qualify neighbouring Togo for the World Cup in 2006, a tournament Nigeria incidentally failed to qualify for, exist merely to round off his achievements. The value of Keshi’s contribution to Nigerian football can also be measured in pecuniary terms. In a hasty agreement to coach Nigeria for about five months in early 2010, Coach Lars Lagerback was contracted for the whopping sum of $1.5 million amounting to about $300,000 per month. Keshi by comparison is paid N5 million a month or about $31,000, almost exactly one tenth of what Lars Lagerback was paid. It would take Keshi another 2 years and a total of 4 years all told, to earn as much as Lagerback earned in 5 months! After digesting the mind boggling disparity and the obscene affinity and gross overvaluation of all things foreign it unequivocally portends, Keshi’s Return on Investment is just massive, perhaps the best in the world. As a matter of accidental fiscal prudence, Keshi is a historic bargain. However, the real value of Keshi’s appointment is in his deep and abiding patriotism and his protestant work ethic. To the latter assertion, readers should be reminded that in just over two years, Keshi has successfully completed three qualification series and competed in three tournaments. Approaching the matter of patriotism from the periphery, it is a matter of recent widely publicised vintage that Keshi was owed for seven months immediately following his historic African Cup of Nations triumph. It should not be forgotten also that he was owed for four months leading into the same tournament. Only a patriotic commitment to one’s nation can surmount being owed almost a year’s wages cumulatively over a period of two years. So, while being owed for roughly half of the time he has been in charge, Keshi has worked harder, for far less, than any foreign coach Nigeria has ever had. And he has been arguably more successful to boot. But then, Keshi’s commitment to Nigerian football goes farther than mere remuneration. His determination to source players with international potential from the local league has given the league a rare fillip and boosted the confidence of players therein. Hitherto, the senior national side was the exclusive province of Nigerian’s playing

abroad, while many deserving young men plying their trade on these shores were largely ignored. Keshi single handedly changed that by taking as many as eight locally based players as part of his twenty-three man playing staff to the African Nations Cup in South Africa. The exploits of players like Sunday Mba who scored Nigeria’s winning goal in the final of that tournament and Godfrey Oboabona who provided a large measure of Nigeria’s defensive mettle is an enduring testament to the skill and graft of locally based players and their ability to deliver big performances in big games if given the opportunity. Such is the enthusiasm and confidence amongst locally based players who now joyfully realize that playing in Nigeria is not a disqualification from representing Nigeria at the senior level and that such opportunities are eminently realizable. Of course, the contribution of this factor to making the local league more viable and attractive should not be taken lightly. In spite of all this, rumbles of the likely appointment of a foreign coach in the guise of a Technical Advisor and lately in that of a “Technical Assistant” persist. It is to the great credit of the Honourable Minister of Sports who has pronounced categorically on the issue, saying that no Technical Advisor will be appointed except if Keshi requests one. More recently, in comments attributed to Paul Bassey, a Spokesman for the Technical Committee of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Keshi demurred on the offer of a foreign Technical Assistant. Also in the news is the report that the NFF is making plans to extend Keshi’s contract to 2018, beyond the World Cup in Russia, a rare vote of confidence and an acknowledgement of his historic achievements. It might also have something to do with reports that certain African countries are sniffing around in a bid to poach Keshi at the slightest opportunity. Should the mooted contract extension pan out, the NFF would be deserving of some plaudits for strategic and forward thinking. If his recent antecedents are anything to go by, Coach Stephen Keshi in short order is about to become Nigeria’s most successful coach at the senior level and perhaps ever, and therefore the reflexive need for foreign expertise in our football has been rendered redundant and should never arise again. •Mr. Nwankpa contributed this from Abuja.


Delay of league kick-off not helpful, says Heartland coach BY BEN EFE


EARTLAND of Owerri coach, Kelechi Emetole believes that the delay in the resumption of the Nigeria Premier League was dangerous and it could undermine the efforts of Nigerian clubs at continental soccer contest. The league management committee on Thursday last week announced the postponement of the NPL resumption from February 23 to March 7 2014. According to Nduka Irabor, this was to enable the clubs meet up with their financial and registration obligations and also upgrade their facilities. The League was originally meant to kick off on December 2013, but was shifted because of Nigeria’s involvement in the CAF African Nations Championship. Mr. Irabor averred that the March 7 date will be the final postponement adding that the league will start with clubs, which only met the requirements. However, Emetole who is making a second return to Heartland submitted that the Clubs and the management committee should strive to avoid future delays in the resumption of the league. “The late resumption of the league is not helping our clubs. We are supposed to start as early as January 3 so that our clubs competing for continental titles will not be match rusty. “The CAF champions league has started yet our league is yet to resume. Those in authority must put everything in place to see that that we have an early start, because frequently postponement of the

commence is not healthy for us the coaches and the players,” said the former Nigerian international. Kano Pillars and Enyimba of Aba are the Championships League,



final and narrowly missed winning the trophy after the two-leg tie ended 2-2 aggregate in favour of TP Mazembe of Congo DR, stated that he was still studying the situation at the

club. “I am yet to settle down with Heartland. But I am looking forward to working with them and hoping that my work will speak for itself in the long run.”

Wenger given open cheque for new signings A RSENAL chairman Chips Keswick has told Arsene Wenger he is free to splash the cash in the next transfer window after the Premier League club revealed cash reserves of over £120 million ($200 million, 147 million euros) in their latest financial results. The Gunners’ parent company on Friday published figures covering the six months up to November 30, 2013. Although those results showed there was a group loss before tax of £2.2 million, Arsenal’s sound financial footing was clear to see. Gunners manager Wenger is often cautious about spending large sums on players, but he did shatter the club’s record transfer fee with the £42.5 million purchase of Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid in September. And Keswick says the north London outfit remain fully committed to taking the club forwards with further significant investment in Wenger’s squad once the transfer window reopens at the end of the season. “While youth development continues to be an important focus, we fully recognise the importance of getting the balance right between youth and experience,” Keswick said.

Calabar carnival spoils U.J Esuene Stadium tracks BY BEN EFE

ROSS River state government is in a race to complete the refurbishing of the U.J Esuene Stadium tartan tracks, which is in bad shape. The yearly Calabar Carnival was partly responsible for the damage. Of late the stadium became a destination for athletics as the Cross River State government embarked on an aggressive develop-ment of athletics talents in its locality and also its decision to sponsor the All Nigeria track and field championships for three years running made the stadium a beehive for athletics activities. In addition, the U.J Esuene hosted the Super

while Warri Wolves and Bayelsa United will play in Confederations Cup. Speaking on his return to Heartland, Emetole who led the club to the 2009 CAF Champions League

•Imoke Eagles and the Golden Eaglets in their respective qualifying matches for the African Nations Cup and World Cup. Cross River commissi-oner for sports, Mr. Patrick Ugbe disclosed that work was fast progressing, adding that before the athletics events spread to Calabar this season, the tracks would have been ready.

•Arsene Wenger

‘Keshi needs no technical assistant’ BY EDWIN EZE


IGERIA is a country where policy makers have no reference to records, nor applaud excellent performance exhibited by indigenous experts. In football circles, in particular, because of the way we pick our admi-nistrators, our sports development suffers and that ultimately ridicules our performance in international sports meet. In the year 2013, Nigeria’s Super Eagles clinched the highly coveted African Nations Cup trophy in South Africa. The nation hailed the players and the officials who led our National team to lift the trophy for the third time, having previously won it in 1980 and 1994. Our sports administrators, the NFF in particular came down heavily on our coaches by dropping some of them and reviewing their salaries downwards. As if that was not enough, the NFF refused to pay the salaries to the coaches for so many months, yet the NFF always jumped at the offer of friendlies because it afforded them the opportunity to tour the world and swell their estacodes . Our football coaches bore the high handedness of the NFF with equanimity till the federal government intervened. When Stephen Keshi was given the assignment to tinker our National team to the just concluded CHAN competition, no adequate logistic support was given to him, like camping the players enough for the com-

petition, taking the players on training tour to at least three African countries. Furthermore , the coach was given the tall order to lift the trophy. Keshi complained from day one that the players assembled had not trained enough for the competition and also stated that it will be a miracle for him to lead a hurriedly assembled team like the CHAN team to lift the trophy. We all saw how the team performed in the competition . The issue of playing against a Ghanaian 10man team and conceding defeat which the NFF views as technical deficiency shows how technically unsound members of the NFF present their logic. In the game of football which I have played at the amateur level and followed professionally as an administrator and a coach, the most difficult team to defeat is a team depleted by a red card. The reason is simple, and it is logical too, the remaining ten players put in extra efforts knowing fully well that one of their positions is leaking. Impliedly, the team plays as if it has twenty players. In the course of covering the leaking position every player makes extra effort, all geared towards covering up the depleted position. It takes some element of luck like we had against Zimbabwe to defeat such a team.. The Ghanaian team we lost to in the semi final approached the match with ruthlessness from the onset, inflicting injuries on our apparently youthful

players who took fright, panicked and abandoned their fast flowing system of soccer. When they were depleted through the red card given to their most ruthless defender, the Ghanaians naturally whittled down their attacking forays, fortified their defense line and played towards possible penalty shoot out which worked for them. That our players did not convert their penalty kicks should not be blamed on the coach. Based on practical experience in the game of football , the foreign technical adviser who the NFF is clamouring for would come to Nigeria few months to the World Cup and take us to the final and possibly clinch the cup. He must be a magician but I am afraid such foreign wizard is not yet born . If there is one existing , white people would have discovered him and engaged him many months back. My personal experience from Nigerian coaches is that they know how to fight themselves and run down their colleagues, especially when they see one amongst them trying to make history. If the NFF has no hidden agenda, there is no way it will think in terms of foreign technical adviser few months to the World Cup when it: (1) failed to recall Sylvanus Okpala who worked well with Keshi to win the AFCON Cup in 2013. (2) failed to address the issue of incessant default in the payment of salaries to indigenous coaches.

•Edwin Eze is the former Sports editor of Satellite Newspaper Enugu.

Champions League: Enyimba ready to finish off Anges de Nosta


IGERIA Premier League champions, Enyimba of Aba are hoping to seal up their qualification to the next round of the CAF Champions League when they play against Togo’s Anges de Notse in the second leg first round tie competition in Lome. In the first leg in Aba, Enyimba killed off the hopes of Notse securing a draw as the Zachary Baraje led side kept it late in securing a 3-1 win much to the relief of their fans. But this afternoon according to assistant coach Imama Amapakabo, Enyimba will not have to suffer for long to wrap up the game. “We struggled against them in the first leg because we knew little about the Togolese side. But now we have more details we know what to do. They will be the side under pressure as they aim to upturn the first leg result. “We are not underrate them. But I am optimistic we will go through even as it won’t be an easy ride,”said the coach. Enyimba will miss the services of Gwar Sibi who scored two goals in the first leg and CHAN bronze medal winners Ifeanyi Ede and Bright Esieme who are out on account of injuries. “No doubt we will miss these players, but we are not worried. We were prepared for this. “We had a wide squad with quality players, those available are equal to the task with same quality.”

Man City humble Chelsea


ANCHESTER City defeated Chelsea to advance to the last eight of the FA Cup, courtesy of goals from Stevan Jovetic and Samir Nasri. Manuel Pellegrini’s side dominated the match to avenge their recent Premier League loss to the visitors. Jovetic, who had earlier hit the bar, gave City a first-half lead with a low finish off the inside of the post. Nasri, making his return from injury, completed victory when he rifled home after a neat one-two with David Silva.

SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 16, 2014

Wenger given open cheque for new signings —P.55

Orubebe set to restore Sapele’s lost glory with golf tourney —P.53

IT’S A GOAAAL.. Chelsea goalkeeper, Petr Cech watches helplessly as Stevan Jovetic’s strike goes into the goal for Man City’s first goal yesterday. Man City won 2-0.

World Cup: FIFA warns Brazil over venues ahead inspection F

IFA general secretary Jerome Valcke has issued a warning to host cities of the 2014 Brazil World Cup ahead of a key visit to the nation. Valcke will arrive in Brazil today in or-

der to assess the readiness of venues for this summer’s tournament. His trip will include the city of Curitiba, where work on the Arena da Baixada is well behind

AS Vita shock Pillars out of Champions league *As Enyimba, Anges de Nosta clash


IGERIA’S football suf fered a big blow yesterday as the country’s Premier league champions, Kano Pillars Football Club were bundled out of the CAF African Champions League by AS Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo on a 4-3 goals aggregate. Pillars who had a two goals deficit from the first leg last week after losing 1-3 to the visitors needed two goals without conceding any to move into the next round of the competition but they met a brick wall as the Congolese took the battle to them very early in the first half. The game was barely five minutes old when the visitors took a surprise lead to send cold shivers down the spines of the teeming Pillars supporters who thronged the Sani Abacha Stadium to cheer their team to victory. The goal unsettled the coach Okey Emordi-tutored Pillars as

they struggled to equalise, missing chances at will until the end of the first half. On resumption of the second half, AS Vita brought in Louvimbu Nzinga for Mubele Ndombe to hold on to their lead as Pillars desperately searched for the equaliser which however came via a header from substitute Kabiru Umar in the 66th minute. Rabiu Ali made it two for Pillars off a corner kick but the visitors continued to frustrate the Kano side who needed two more goals to sail through when they pulled out Emmanuel Ngudikada for Mabele Bawaka to beef up their defence who held on till the final whistle. With Pillars’ crash, Enyimba FC of Aba, the country’s second team in the competition will carry on as they carry a 3-1 advantage to Lome where they take on Anges de Nosta of Togo today.

schedule. “None of the 12 cities can afford to sit back and relax,” wrote Valcke in his column on the Fifa website. “There’s still plenty of fine-tuning to be done,” he added. The World Cup begins in Brazil on 12 June, but five of the 12 host stadiums are still under construction, including the Sao Paolo venue due to stage the opening match. Fifa is known to be exploring alternatives to Curitiba should its stadium fail to be completed on

time, and Valcke said a final decision on the city’s involvement will be made on Tuesday. The likeliest alternative would see the four matches scheduled for the Arena da Baixada shared around Brazil’s 11 other host venues. “We are closely monitoring the works in Curitiba in order to assess the situation there,” Valcke

said. “We will communicate the final decision to the teams, as promised, on 18 February when the Team Workshop starts in Florianopolis.” England begin their 2014 World Cup campaign in the northern city of Manaus, where they play Italy. The Group A fixture will take place on 14 June at the Arena da Amazonia, where the construction has also been fraught with disaster and delay. Three workers have died in the building of the stadium, which is now due to be completed at the end of February after missing previous deadlines.

FA CUP RESULTS Sunderland Cardiff Man City

1 1 2

S’hampton Wigan Chelsea

0 2 0

CROSS WORD PUZZLE ACROSS 1.W. African country (7) 4.Verify (5) 6. Galt (5) 7. Igbo boy’s name (5) 8. Blastoma (3) 9. Motorbike taxi (5) 10. Nuns (7) 13. Go (3) 15. Baked food (3) 17. Meditate (8) 19. Decrees (6) 22. Brings up (6) 24. Divert attention (8) 26. Farm tool (3) 27. Perfect (5) 29. Trails (7) 32. Range (5) 33. Muslim clerics (5) 34. Command (3) 35. Sum (5) 36. Roof part (5) 37. Derive from (7)

DOWN 1. Stairs (5) 2. Serious (5) 3. Eko city (5) 4. Flower part (3) 5. Weird (5) 11. Nigerian state (3) 12. Simple (5) 14. Animal doctor (3) 15. Arrogance (5) 16. Fishes (4) 17. Infant Lion (3) 18. Bowl (4) 20. Sour (5) 21. Solidity 23. Colour (3) 25. Bovine animal (3) 27. Fool (5) 28. Endures (5) 29. Fashion (5) 30. Greek market-place (5) 31. Gush (5)

SOLUTION on page 5

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Valentine's Day Tragedy: 27 killed; man , pregnant wife roasted; politician shot dead  

Vanguard Newspaper 16 February 2014