P AGE 2, SUNDAY Vanguard , JUNE 16 , 2013
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SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013 — PAGE 5
I have forgiven all
Traffic chaos in Port-Harcourt
– Ado Bayero, Emir of Kano
… as Dame attends antiAmaechi lawmakers wedding
BY ABDUL SALAM MUHAMMED
BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME & BRIGHT OGUNKILIDE
IFE of the president, Dame Patience Jonathan, has assured that she would continue to promote peaceful co-existence among the people of Rivers State. Speaking yesterday in Port Harcourt at the wedding reception of a member of the state House of Assembly, Hon Evans Bapakaye Bipialaka, Mrs Jonathan said the divisive coinage of upland and Riverine people no longer existed. The visit by the Nigerian First Lady caused traffic chaos in the Rivers State capital. While commending the Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, Mrs Jonathan noted that he made her come to the state. She further commended the Minister for the rousing reception accorded her, adding that this was the first time she was so honored. The groom, Hon Bipialaka, who is one of the five anti-Governor Chibuike Amaechi lawmakers in the state House of Assembly, was reportedly a former aide to Mrs Jonathan. Rivers State government was represented at the occasion by the deputy governor, Engr Tele Ikiru. Meantime, the visit of Dame Jonathan caused heavy traffic in the state capital as several roads leading to the venue of the wedding reception and the church service were blocked by security operatives. Motorists were stranded as most of them residing around the area of the events were forced to abandon their vehicles and trekked home.
Gas leakage in Bayelsa
he riverside Ogboinbiri community in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa State was Friday thrown into panic following a gas leakage from an oil facility owned by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company NAOC. Ogboinbiri is host to an Agip flow station and the oil major operates several oil wells within the environ. Sunday Vanguard learnt that the incident occurred at about midnight at a facility identified as Integrity Rig in when the natives had retired to bed.
Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (right); Ogun State ACN Chairman and father of the groom, Alhaji Tajudeen Bello (left); his wife, Alhaja Surajat Titilayo Bello (2nd left); the groom, Mr Taofeek Bello; and bride, Miss Sekinat Bello; during the Nikai ceremony in Lagos on Saturday
lhaji Ado Bayero, the emir of Kano, says he has no cause to harbour grudges against anyone.“I have forgiven all,” the monarch declared yesterday at a durbar to mark the golden jubilee of his ascension to the throne.He was turbanned as the 13th emir of Kano at the age of 33 while serving as the Nigerian ambassador to Senegal.Bayero escape death last year when his convoy was attacked by gunmen in the ancient city. Thousands of horses took part
CONTROVERSY OVER ALLEGED BOMBING IN ABUJA
We exploded two fuel tankers in FCT—MEND *It didn’t happen — NNPC, POLICE
BY EMMA AMAIZE EMMA UJAH & NOEL ONOJA
HREE weeks after it called-off what it described as planned attacks on mosques and related institutions over the bombings and killing of southerners in the North by Boko Haram insurgents, the Movement for Emancipation of the NigerDelta, MEND, claimed it struck in the early hours of yesterday in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja. The militant group said it secretly attached portable military limpet explosives on two articulated petrol tanker vehicles outside the NNPC depot in Abaji, Abuja, at about 5.00 am and detonated the devices. Sunday Vanguard could not verify the claim at press time while the Police and the media manager of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidy of the NNPC, Nasir Imodagbe, denied the bombing claim. MEND, in an electronic mail statement by its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, stated that its field operatives carried out the
purported Abuja explosion on two oil tankers, demanding, among other things, the release of its leader, Henry Okah, and his brother, Charles, both of whom, they alleged, were set up as scapegoats by the Federal Government on the October 1, 2010 bombings in Abuja. According to the group, “Hurricane Exodus’ resumed at about 00:05hrs on Saturday, June 15, 2013, when field operatives from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (M.E.N.D) stealthily attached portable military limpet explosives magnetically to two (2) articulated tanker vehicles laden with petrol in a queue outside the NNPC depot in Abaji, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.” MEND continued: “The devices were timed to detonate simultaneously several seconds later. The outcome was predictable.. “This segment of Exodus codenamed, ‘Operation Touch and Go’, is targeted at the soft underbelly (downstream sector) of the oil industry in Nigeria. “From today (yesterday), every tanker vehicle we find distributing petroleum products, including propane gas, has become a legitimate target in our war against injustice, corruption, despotism and oppression. “Drivers of tanker vehicles continue to drive them at their own risk.”
Warning The militant group warned, “The public is hereby advised to maintain a safe distance from such vehicles as they can explode anytime and anywhere. Harassment on these tanker vehicles would be sustained until the following demands are met: zHenry Okah, his brother, Charles, and other innocent persons set up as scapegoats and held over the October 01, 2010 twin car bombings in Abuja be released unconditionally. zThat an unreserved apology be tendered by the Nigerian government to MEND for presenting a forged email letter threatening the South African government purported to have originated from us and used as evidence in the sham trial and conviction of Henry Okah.” The Police Commissioner of Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Femi Ogunbayode, yesterday dismised claims by the MEND that it bombed two fuel tankers at Abaji in the Federal Capital. According to him police officrrs were detail to Absji snf they did not ser any such scene. His words, when the issue was brought to our notice, I sent my officers who combed everywhere in Ababji. They did not see any explotion at any facility nor burnt tankers. Abaji residents who also spoke to our reporters said there was nothibg of such in the area. Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android
in the special durbar to mark the emir’s golden jubilee. The colourful ceremony, conducted amidst tight security, saw major roads leading to Bayero’s palace cordoned off by security while only accredited personalities were allowed into the arena.Bayero, 83, entered the arena to flag-off the durbar amidst chants of Allahu Akbar (God is great). Addressing the audience, Bayero declared that he holds no grudges against any one and has forgiven all those who must have offended him one way or the other. The octogenarian monarch stressed: “Today marks a special day in my life for attaining unique years of 50 on the throne. It is indeed a day of great happiness for me. I want to use this unique opportunity to seek for forgiveness from all and sundry whom I may have offended directly or indirectly. I have forgiven all”.. Bayero called on his subjects to be God-fearing and abide by religious injunctions in all their activities. In an address delivered at the occasion, President Goodluck Jonathan tasked Nigerians, irrespective of political or religious inclination, to avoid acts capable of causing violence in the country. Jonathan, represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, noted that the call was necessary because it was only in the atmosphere of peace and harmony that any society could achieve economic growth and development. Jonathan stressed: ‘’Let me at this juncture enjoin each and every one of us to promote peace and peaceful co-existence and eschew any act that can destroy peace and harmony. “We must also respect the rule of law in whichever situation we find ourselves as it is the only platform for achieving meaningful development”. The president, who described the emir as “an embodiment of peace and peaceful co-existence”, prayed God to grant him good health to enable him serve his people. In his remark, Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, urged the people of the state to continue to pray for long life for Bayero to enable them to continue to tap from his wealth of experience. The ceremony was witnessed by General Muhammadu Buhari, General Abdulsami Abubakar, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Sultan of Damagaram from Niger Republic, governors of Kaduna, Sokoto and Bauchi States, among others. Meanwhile, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has congratulated Bayero, on the 50th anniversary of his ascension to the throne. The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, described the emir as a bridge builder and a committed figure to the unity of the Nigerian federation.
Why North should wait until 2027, by Ogbemudia Continued from page 1 would have completed eight years, and the South-east taken its turn of eight years. He acknowledged that South-west set the precedent when former President Olusegun Obasanjo, from the zone, did eight years at Aso Rock Presidential Villa. The Professor Ango Abdullahi-led Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has been at the forefront of the agitation for power to return to the North in 2015 on the grounds that the region was shortchanged when President Umaru
Musa Yar ’Adua, who assumed office in 2007, died midway into his tenure, and President Goodluck Jonathan, his deputy from the South-south, succeeded him. Jonathan not only completed Yar’Adua’s tenure as president but also secured re-election in 2011. The bone of contention now is whether he should proceed on second term in 2015 or power should revert to the North. Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State claimed there was a gentleman’s agreement with the
North that Jonathan will serve one term only to enable the region return to power in 2015. “The South-west came in, in 1999 and served for eight years. The Southsouth should also do eight years. And the truth is that the South-east is also entitled to the presidency when the South-south must have finished its eight years,” Ogbemudia contended. The former governor and leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spoke in an interview with Sunday Vanguard. Interview at pages 26 -27.
PAGE 6 —SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013
Stampede on 3rd Mainland Bridge BY BOSE ADELAJA
Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, middle, flanked by Virgy Etiaba (right), former Deputy Governor of Anambra State and her son, Echezona Etiaba (left), during the Governor's visit to her school, Bennett Etiaba Memorial School, , where he presented a cheque of N1million to the school .
HERE was panic, yesterd ay, in some
parts of Lagos State, following the claim that a commercial bus and a private car plunged into the lagoon after being involved in an accident. The news filtered in around 8am, making some commuters and motorists to abandon the Third Mainland Bridge while there was stampede on the bridge as those plying it at the time of incident scampered for safety. People made distress calls
to relatives, media organisations, law enforcement agencies and emergency bodies as the news spread for hours until the intervention of relevant agencies restored
Rights group seeks succour for Boko Haram victims
N appeal has gone to the Federal Government to provide succor to Nigerians who have been forced to flee abroad following the violence unleashed on
Tinubu’s mother, Abibatu Mogaji, is dead P
RESIDENTG E N E R A L , Association of Nigerian Market Women and Men and mother of former Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, is dead. She passed on, yesterday evening, in her home in Ikeja, Lagos. She was 96 years. Family sources said she will be buried today at Vaults and Garden, Ikoyi, Lagos at 11am. The burial will be preceded by prayers at Lagos Central Mosque, at 10.a.m. Governors Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Senator Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State paid glowing tributes to the deceased, describing the
passage as a “great national and personal loss.” A former governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Segun Oni, also commiserated with Tinubu, praying God to give the family the fortitude to bear “the irreparable loss.” In a condolence statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, Fashola said the mother of his predecessor in office and the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Tinubu, “throughout her life time, was a forthright defender of the people and their right to economic empowerment” adding that “this trait has been imbibed by anyone, who has had the opportunity or
privilege to fall within the ambit of her influence”. According to the governor, this peculiar trait is evident in the personality of Tinubu, “a leader with the love of the people at heart”. He said Mogaji was a frontliner in the commercial development of Lagos State, particularly Lagos Island, which was formerly dominated by the Lebanese and Greek merchants. “She was one of the pioneer traders, who ventured into the capital intensive and risky business venture of importation of consumer goods, thereby breaking the monopoly previously enjoyed by the foreign
tradesmen and her business acumen attracted the attention of MultiNational Enterprises operating in Nigeria then, who had no option but to register her as a business partner and distributor of their consumer goods in Nigeria, Fashola said.” Describing the late Iyaloja-General as a great matriarch, the governor said she did not limit her business and social networking to the confines of Lagos State alone, as she was always seeking for the welfare of market men and women as well as ways of opening up more business opportunities for them. “This attribute of hers must have informed the unanimous decision of all
GE breaks ground for $250m manufacturing and assembly plant in Calabar F
OLLOWING its announcement last year that it intends to invest $1 billion in Nigeria, General Electric (GE) has scheduled the groundbreaking for its $250 million manufacturing and assembly plant for Tuesday in Calabar. The ceremony will be performed by Vice President Namadi Sambo. When completed in the next three years, the facility will be the biggest in Africa and will have an additional operating expenditure of about $1 billion in the next
ten years. Besides, it intends to make Calabar the hub of its manufacturing activities in sub-Saharan Africa. Expectedly, Calabar is agog with various activities just as economists have been listing the impacts GE’s arrival will have on the economy of Cross River State in particular and Nigeria as a whole. Prof. Ndem Ayara, the Economic Adviser to Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, said, “The biggest infrastructure gap we have is in the energy
sub-sector. The expectation is that they are coming to close that gap between energy that is available and the energy we need. They are going to provide energy that will support other sectors of the economy.” Ayara said apart from creating employment opportunities by stimulating investments in other sectors of the economy, thus creating a multiplier effect, Cross River as the host state will become the cashment area or primary beneficiary of direct employment from GE. “Cross River as the hub,
will have the advantage of being the immediate market. Indigenes of the state will benefit from employment, especially if what GE seeks is skilled labour.” Speaking in a similar vein, the head of Cross River State Investment Bureau, Mr. Gerald Ada said “the investment by GE will add approximately 2500 skilled jobs and several unskilled jobs in the supply and distribution chain. “There will be various opportunities triggered from this investment as GE suppliers will follow suit.”
normalcy. Emergency agencies like National Emergency Management Authority, NEMA, state and federal fire services mobilised to the bridge only to discover the story was untrue.
commercial traders regardless of ethnic, religious or political persuasion to select her as the pioneer Iyaloja/PresidentGeneral of Nigerian Market Men & Women. A position she has handled with utmost responsibility and diligence”, he said. Fashola said the deceased would be sorely missed, noting that he would personally miss the motherly guidance and affectionate of the deported matriarch of the Mogaji Family.
them in the North by Boko Haram insurgents. A human rights group, Human Rights Imitative, made the appeal through its President, Barrister Philip Emetulu, who said Nigerians, who were forced to flee to other West African countries as well as Europe and America, are facing difficult times in their attempts to start a new life. Emetulu said the Federal Government should liaise with other West African countries on bilateral and multilateral basis to find solution to the plight of these Nigerians. He cited the ordeal of the family of Chukwunyem Uwajeh from Delta State which fled from Kano State where they resided after they were attacked and almost wiped out when the Baptist Church and his property and residence including his wife’s shop were razed.
NDDC contractors abandon project
HE 23km Agbarho internal roads project in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, awarded by NigerDelta Development Commission, NDDC, have been abandoned by the contractors. For close to four months, the contractors, it was learnt, have been away from site leaving behind one heavy duty equipment (roller machine) under the pretense that work is going
on. Residents in Agbarho fear that the damaged roads turned into ditch in some streets may pose danger to children plying the roads to school during the raining season. A community leader, Chief Samson Ogugu, said he did not know much about the road project but the story was that the project had been abandoned.
Edo ACN carpets PDP over Ize-Iyamu BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Edo State, yesterday, carpeted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over its comment that the South Vice Chairman of the ACN, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was the Secretary to the Edo State Government during the administration of Governor Lucky Igbinedion, misled the government. The party, in a statement
by its Publicity Secretary, Elder Dan Owegie, insisted that Ize-Iyamu was right when he declared that godfatherism destroyed the PDP in Edo during the Igbinedion administration which eventually led to the poor performance of that administration. Owegie added that state chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, and Publicity Secretary, Matthew Urhoghide, were not members of the PDP then, and, therefore, not qualified to counter IzeIyamu’s account on that g o v e r n m e n t .
Crisis brews in Delta College
HE Mosogar Elite Forum has advised Delta State government to call the Council of the state College of Physical Education, Mosogar to order over alleged attempt to impose officers on the college now that the college has its indigenes at the helm of affairs. “While we are not against others occupying ranking positions in the college, we detest any state-managed
scheme to relegate our indigenes.The Council once manipulated a Mosogar indigene out of contention in the Bursar ’s interview. They are on the same path”, the group said. Monday Odaka, president of the group, and Lucky Okorugbo, secretary, noted that the community loves peaceful co-existence but would resist being shortchanged.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013 — PAGE 7
Jang dares Amaechi, summons NGF meeting BY HENRY UMORU
HE Governor Jonah Jang-led faction of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) appears undeterred by the legal moves against it as it has scheduled a meeting for tomorrow in Abuja. The meeting will discuss issues surrounding the Federation Account and Excess Crude Account, according to a letter of invitation by Jang, the governor of Plateau State. A member of the NGF and governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, had dragged Jang to court to compel him from parading himself as the NGF Chairman. The Governors Forum had broken into two factions one led by Jang and the other by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State – after a controversial election which saw Amaechi emerging winner by 19-16 votes. Fashola belongs to the Amaechi group. Confirming the Jang faction’s meeting to Sunday Vanguard, yesterday, the sole administrator, Osaro Osaro-Onaiwu, The meeting, described as emergency, it was learnt, would enable the governors loyal to Jang strategize and come up with a position that will be presented to the Committee headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. Anyim’s Committee was set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to, among other things, suggest how to stem the crises rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP which culminated in the suspension of Amaechi and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aliyu, from the party. Fashola, who filed his suit at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, in his capacity as a member of the NGF, asked the court to declare that Jang was not competent to be called the elected chairman of the Forum. Apart from the Plateau governor, other defendants in the suit are the Director-General of the NGF, Asishana Okauru; the sole administrator appointed by Jang,
Osaro Onaiwu; and the Registered Trustees of the NGF vested with the power to administer and manage the trusts of the NGF. In the writ of summons filed by a former Lagos Attorney General, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), and former President, West African Bar Association, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), Fashola maintained that 35 governors participated in the election that returned Amaechi as the NGF chairman.
Conciliatory moves Attendance at tomorrow’s meeting, according to analysts, last night, will signpost how well the reconciliatory moves which Jang told journalists on Friday he had initiated have gone. The Plateau governor, at a session with journalists, said he was doing everything to bring every governor to his side. Said he: “I never knew that the NGF was of
much importance until the last controversy among the governors. I never knew I will be the chairman of the forum; the NGF forum is the same thing obtainable in America, we operate the same system, and we all agreed that at the chairman’s expiration after two years, the deputy chairman takes over. ”Amaechi himself was selected by Bukola Saraki in Ilorin; it was a thing of consensus candidate, so Ameachi rising up to re-contest was not part of the agreement. At the election they said 16 governors voted for me, but the next day I held a meeting and 18 governors were in attendance. ”The fact remains that, in NGF we go by consensus candidate and as the ruling party the PDP picked me as their candidate and presented me to the NGF that I have been selected. Amaechi is a son to me, so why should we be enshrouded in misunderstanding with him?”
Emmanuel O Ehimika (Preacherman), President, Fruits Integrated and President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor after a successful discussion about the Most Unifying Christian Experience since Pentecost – THE JESUS DREAM (TJD) 2013 holding June 30, 2013 all over the world.
Wahab Dosunmu’s body arrives, to be buried today BY BASHIR ADEFAKA
IGHT days after his death in an American hospital, Dr. AbdulWahab Olasehinde Dosunmu’s remains, which departed America abroad a Virgin Atlantic Airline’s plane at noon, yesterday, were expected to arrive at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja in the early hours
of today. Dosunmu, a Second Republic Minister of Science and Technology, Minister of the Environment and one-time Chairman, Board of Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), would lie-in-state at Eko Club, Surulere, the Dosunmu family compound on 21 Oshodi Street Epetedo Area of Lagos Island and the
PDP governors may defect to APC BY HENRY UMORU
TRONG indications have emerged that some governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, plan to take over the yet-to-be registered All Progressive Congress, APC. The governors are said to be planning to use the crises rocking the PDP to move to the APC, just as the leadership of the coalition of opposition political parties was expecting 23 governors as its members. It was gathered that the planned defection would be actualised once the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, registers APC as a political party ahead of the 2015 elections, just as this would constitute a new challenge for the APC against the backdrop that a new power base in the new party will emerge. A source at the APC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, however, expressed the fear that should the plan scale through, the defecting governors would outnumber the founding governors of the APC leading to their overbearing influence in the running of the party’s
affairs. According to the source, there was the likelihood that the PDP governors share same feelings and that will in turn lead
them to think in the same way which may be different from the feelings of the original members of the APC. “That is why we be-
lieve that great care must be taken in accepting the PDP governors whose mission is yet to be clearly defined.,’ he added.
Scrapping govt agencies will worsen unemployment — Owie BY SIMON EBEGBULEM, Benin City
ORMER Senate Chief whip, Senator Rowland Owie, yesterday, appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan not to scrap governments agencies as reportedly proposed, warning that the action could deepen unemployment in the country. While commending the president for the effort to resuscitate the Ajaokuta Steel Company, Owie warned Jonathan to be wary of those who may be working for the opposition inside his government, positing that it would be evil and anti-people if people around the president are suggesting policies that would further impoverish the masses of the country, which, according to him, will be an advantage for the opposition.
“ I wish to appeal to our son and brother, President Goodluck Jonathan, not to listen to those agents of doom that are pushing for the scrapping of over 200 government organizations by his government. The argument of these agents of IMF and World Bank is that you must scrap these organizations to free resources from recurrent expenditure in favour of capital expenditure. What an evil argument? “A Bini parable says `It is the balance of feeding money that is used to build a house’. The first priority of good government all over is the welfare of the individual human being, created in the image and likeness of God. The development of infrastructure comes after food has been put on the table of Nigerians. As at today, hundreds of Nigerians that were staff of NITEL, Nigeria Airways, Aladja Steel, Itakpe, Alu-
minium Smelting, Oko Ibokun and Iwopin Paper Mills, Bacita Sugar Industry, Ajaokuta Steel, etc to mention a few, have been dying daily because of the bad policies of former President Obasanjo. “Your government of compassion can’t afford to take Nigerians through the same road. The same agents of foreign institutions that gave SAP poison to a benevolent government of IBB are around. Pushing also for a total deregulation of the petroleum industry, Mr President must resist them. Don’t be lured to scrap the blue print of the yet to be born APC. “Supporting budget deficit and these fifth columnists around you are asking for scrapping of organs with over 300,000 Nigerian workers. I wish to congratulate you for reclaiming Ajaokuta Steel Company for Nigeria and see what you can do to revive the place”.
Yoruba Tennis Club, Onikan before being taken to his Ado town, Ajah residence where he was expected to be committed to mother earth at 4 pm today. Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN; former Inspector General of Police, Mr Musiliu Smith, and former Minister of Communications, Major-General Tajudeen Olanrewaju, are among eminent Nigerians expected to grace the burial.
NURTW wades into Ondo chapter’s crisis BY DAYO JOHNSON Akure
HE National Secretar iat of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has waded into the crisis in the Ondo State chapter saying the tenure of the current executive will expire in 2015 and not this year. A faction of the union in the state had accused the executive, led by Chief Obayoriade Oladutele, of refusing to step down despite the expiration of their tenure in April 19 this year. Ir in a statement by Mayowa Olofinniyi, secretary of the Peace Movement in Akure, written to the national secretariat of the union to dissolve the executive and Governor Olusegun Mimiko to intervene to avoid blood letting. But General Secretary of the Union Comrade, Clement Wetkur, who spoke with newsmen in Akure, disowned the peace movement faction and said the tenure of the executive will expire in 2015.
PAGE 8—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013
SSUMPTION is the basis for eve ry presumption. It is taking a position based on information that is not altogether backed by facts. We assume that A is B because its been proven in the past or it is an idea supported by personal taste or religious or cultural bias. Assumption presupposes that a stand is taken after which actions and reactions begin. Our instincts are responsible for a lot of the things we assume. Most people tend to lean towards the familiar. They think its reliable and its safe. We've been taught about good and evil and our moral compass causes us to make a lot of assumptions. It comes as no surprise to find people heartbroken and shell shocked when kindness begets wickedness and people repay our good with evil. At one point or the other all of us are guilty of the crime or sin
of presumption; motivated by goodwill or even sentiments we get on the wrong side of God and the law. The consequences are no less dire than any other crime or sin and from a religious perspective, I have concluded that while God is all good, not all (seemingly) good is Godly. This same month 18 years ago, my mother lost her battle with cancer and I will never forget the world of regret I saw in her eyes as she mournfully but quietly warned me about presumptuous sins! She said she had done good but was paid back with wickedness and death. I prodded and begged her to tell me more but she said I didn't have the maturity or even sense to be told! "I am already dead; if I tell you and you get killed as well, I would have died twice". I was inconsolable when she passed and looking back she was right; I would
have gone barging into danger to make anyone pay if I thought they were culpable in her death. I didn't have the sense or conviction to recognise that revenge in itself is presumptuous. I had always assumed her big heart and open arms put her in that position. In that regard I am nothing like her, I don't open my home to everyone and I guard my privacy jealously. I have lost count of the house helps that she adopted and trained; I still get calls from all over from these siblings. She just really loved people and her presumption was that they all loved her. It turns out that being a hermit of sorts is no safeguard from evil, no one is immune from it. My natural instinct is to help people in trouble especially if I care for them. I have found that my heart is just as large as my mother's and I will jump to the defence of
The sin of presumption
loved ones and even anyone getting a raw deal. I have always believed it is the human calling to be of help to one another. If you asked me last week, I would tell you that love is my expression and kindness my language. This week I would amend that to love is my expression but wisdom my guide. Being a Christian, I assumed doing good works gets one a free pass but that's missing the wisdom part.
prayerfully navigating is how to balance goodness with Godliness. Walking the narrow road to one's salvation is not without its challenges. The truth is never fully exposed and I have found that people will take advantage of love and kindness again and again. A few years back, I had given a sizeable amount of jewellery to a friend who had been robbed. She claimed she had lost everything and since I didn't
Walking the narrow road to one's salvation is not without its challenges. The truth is never fully exposed and I have found that people will take advantage of love and kindness again and again
In everyday life, even when you take religion out of it, any act done without full access to facts devoid of sentiments can actually make one culpable for a crime or a grievous sin. Imagine lending a stranger a knife who then sticks it into someone's heart or worse still yours! The moral and spiritual conundrum I am
really wear that much I had shared mine with her. My opinion of her changed when I started seeing the pieces she claimed robbers took years later. I felt I had been taken advantage of. I felt so foolish. Years later I find myself in a similar position and this time the stakes are a lot higher. I can't say I have not been warned but loy-
alty, no matter how misguided, is an attribute of mine and I am reminded of my mother. Dead at 48, full of regrets and suffering from the wickedness that was the dividend of presumptuous kindness. It's been a difficult week, I miss my mom still. Time has not healed this wound but I soak myself in prayer. Mostly asking for forgiveness and mercy. By my own words and confession I am guilty of presumptuous sins. Being a new creature should have meant I asked God for wisdom and direction in any and everything. Just like a little child who insists on petting every dog, I have been bitten severally but only because I kept God in a box and still did things by my own leading; same mistake that caused king Saul in the Bible his throne. I want to be better, to do better, to live better and submit all to the Most High. I am His vehicle, so I let Jesus take the wheel. I end with a prayer that has sobered me up this past week. It has new meaning now; I finally get it. Psalm 19:13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
Tinubu, Adeyemi and the Dubai drama O
rdinarily it was a wedding ceremony, but it was also a gathering of the Nigerian political heavyweights in far away Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ambassador Azeez Musa was giving the hand of his daughter, Faisat, out in marriage to the son of oil mogul, Chief Jide Omokore, Tosin. No fewer than 20 senators stormed the ceremony held at A.W. Marriot Hotel, Dubai to underscore the high profile of the couple’s parents. The cream of Lagos was led to the occasion by former governor, Ashiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu, and some red cap chiefs. A former FCT minister, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, and erstwhile Lagos State commissioner for information, Mr Dele Alake, were also in attendance. Governors present include Chief Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State and his wife, as well as Captain Idris Wada (Kogi). Also, there were a former military governor of Oyo State, General David Jemibewon; a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP), Senator Ahmadu Ali; a former governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris; and Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Segun Aganga. There were about 15 bank managing directors and their chairmen; chairmen of companies; top civil servants, including per-
By Lekan Bilesanmi
broadcaster, reeled out the long list of the high and the mighty in attendance. He started by recognizing Tinubu as the landlord of Omokore in Lagos. According to him, the former Lagos governor and national leader of the A C N had shown himself as a
It was not the first time Adeyemi was lashing out at those he blamed for truncating Nigeria’s democracy in the past
manent secretaries, ambassadors, members of the diplomatic community, and players in the oil and gas industry at the occasion. Overall, no fewer than 1,000 top Nigerians were present at the wedding. A drama played out as the wedding got underway. It all started when the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Smart Adeyemi, mounted the dais to welcome the dignitaries on behalf of the groom’s family. The senator, a former
good landlord and that he was proud of his political prowess. He stated that looking at Tinubu’s attainments, he should not be seen as the Ashiwaju of Lagos but the Ashiwaju Kaaro o ojiire (Yorubaland). Tinubu must have been elated seeing a key opposition politician eulogising him to high heavens. But after reeling out the ACN’s leaders accomplishments, the senator put the question, ‘Why would Tinubu be deploying his democratic credentials in service of un-
democratic elements?’ The hall went into deep silence. Many of the dignitaries who had applanded as Adeyemi reeled out Tinubu’s credentials must have been shocked at the twist. But the Kogi senator went on, “Tinubu should be seen as leading the change towards democratization of the country rather than promoting those who have truncated democratic growth of the nation in the past”. This statement was in apparent reference to Tinubu’s A C N’s romance with Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s CPC to form the mega party, APC. Adeyemi said that since Tinubu should be seen as the Ashiwaju of the Yoruba race, he is inherently a democrat because Yorubas are democrats. He added, however, “As a democrat, you cannot be seen to be aligned with a dictator. “I admire Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He is the landlord of the groom’s father in Lagos. A good landlord he is and he has honoured his tenant here today. I looked at his accomplishments in politics and his political anteced-
ents and I say that this man should not just be the Ashiwaju of Lagos but the Ashiwaju of the entire Kaaro oojiire(the Yoruba race). “Senator Tinubu sir, I am however shocked that someone of your pedigree will be devoting his political acumen for the service of a non-democrat. Someone who truncated democracy in the past….
want to assure you Ash iwaju that there is a president in Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, who has fought more battles than any other Nigerian leader in the name of terrorism. “In 2012, the budget for security is N900 billion, that money is enough to dualise all major roads in Nigeria; it is enough to equip our universities. If that money had entered some African countries, it would cripple the economy but it was committed to security because of terrorism. “Goodluck Jonathan can be likened to a pilot, who took off and suddenly entered into turbulence. With patience and perseverance, he weathered the storm. Today, he has reached the cruising lev-
el and he is cruising towards 2015. I believe you should be with this president as a democrat and not with a dictator. The hall momentarily went into pin-drop silence; then erupted in a huge applause for the Kogi senator. The senator moved a motion and put the question as it is done in the Senate. He put the question saying “those in favour of the solemnization of Tosin and Faisal here today say ‘aye’…… the ayes have it.” It was not the first time Adeyemi was lashing out at those he blamed for truncating Nigeria’s democracy in the past. During a debate on the remunerations for past presidents and heads of state, he rose on the Senate floor to announce that Nigeria should place a ban on anyone who had truncated democracy in the past. He insisted that anyone who had been seen to act negatively against the growth of Nigerian democracy in the past should not be allowed as partakers in the current politics adding that punishment for such persons should be life ban from partisan politics.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 9
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: email@example.com
Why talent is not enough Dear Sir,
NE of the ways to succeed in life is to be talented. If you are talented, it will open doors of opportunities before you, thereby making you succeed faster. But you will agree with me that to succeed in life, you need more than talent. If talent is all you need, then why have all the talented people not succeeded? We have talented and educated derelicts who have not been able to use their talent and education to better their lot. We have so many talented people roaming the streets and who have not been able to achieve anything for themselves. Can a talented person who is not passionate about his talent achieve anything with such talent? Have you ever seen a lazy talented person succeed just because he is talented without working hard to accomplish such talent? Success is achieved not merely through talent but through a dint of hardwork. If you've got talent without hardwork then you've got nothing. If you've got talent without an optimistic mindset and perseverance, then you've got nothing. The fact is that you need a combination of all these to succeed in life and not just talent. Then comes the big one: courage! With courage you can do anything to accomplish your dreams. With courage you will achieve success faster than you can ever imagine. A courageous man can move a mountain with his courage! It is not for the feeble-minded but for those who have the heart to dare and to dream big. All great men you hear their names today have at one
time exhibited acts of courage that helped them accomplish their dreams. Born on July 18,1918, Nelson Mandela grew up to behold the segregationist Apartheid regime in South Africa where the white rulers held sway against the blacks who were not only perpetually politically oppressed but were also haunted, brutalized and relegated into second class-citizens in their own country. The political landscape in South Africa was tense for decades and it seemed as if nobody could successfully challenge these white oppressive rulers to their game until the advent of various Black Activist Movements one of which was spearheaded by Nelson Mandela. Having lost his father at a tender age of 9, he was entrusted unto a distant
relative who ensured he got the right leadership training which he harnessed in later years. He was so courageous and fearless in everything he did because he knew from the onset that talent alone could not see him through. He fought the South African government to a standstill and in 1963, he was arrested alongside other activists and charged for treason. Despite having been tried and initially jailed for five years, he was later retried and sentenced to life imprisonment. While in prison he did not give up. Several overtures were made to him by the government that he would be released from prison on the condition that he renounced armed struggle but he blatantly refused and stuck to his
guns. That is courage! He was later released from prison on February 11, 1990 after having spent 27 years behind bars! In 1993, he won the Nobel Peace Prize and in 1994 at the age of 76, he became the first black President of South Africa being the first time in over 300 years a black man rose to power in South Africa. If this feat is merely achieved by being talented then every talented person out there would have achieved it. Talent alone cannot do the magic. You must harness all other elements to drive the talent in order to achieve your dreams. Tayo Demola, Public affairs analyst sent this from Lagos. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ubah's memorable visit to Ogbunike town in Anambra State Dear Sir,
HE large turn out that greeted Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, aka Ebubechukwu Uzo Nnewi, a governorship aspirant in Anambra State's visit to Ogbunike, the home town of former Senate President, late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, is seen by political watchers as a sign of better things to come for the people of of the State. He was actually mobbed by wellwishers as more than 5,000 people followed his motorcade and converged at Committee of Fathers' Club headquarters, Ogbunike to give him a tumultuous welcome. For ten minutes the crowd at the club stood and
screamed his adulation. When Dr. Ubah mounted the rostrum to address the people, he told the audience that as soon as he is elected in the state, kidnapping would be a thing of the past, armed robbery would be eliminated. He promised to pay minimum wage to civil servants and promised to beautify the cities and villages and to clean up the mega messes that abound everywhere in the state. Chief Ubah further promised to look into the plight of the homeless by looking into their housing needs, by assisting them to move from shacks, shelters to permanent houses. The lesson, I would want our politicians to learn from this visit, is that they should learn to base their
campaigns on issues rather than attacking individuals or political opponents. Throughout his speech, he never attacked anybody but promised to better the lot of the state. That is how politics should be played. With the calibre of dignataries such as Chief Dan Ulasi, one time governorship candidate for Anambra, Chief Gabriel Chukwuma, the Chairman, Gabros Football Club of Nigeria, some lawmakers, and members of civil societies that were in his campaign train, one could read inbetwwen the lines that Ubah is accepted by Anambra people. Mr. C.C. Okereke, a political commentator writes in from Anambra State.
PAGE 10—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013
With deepest gratitude – for support and lesson learnt M
the entire Sobowale flock – who took over the arrangements leaving me a lot of time to go “begging and borrowing”. After God, those two remain the only beings on earth to who I give the highest regard. I also owe a great debt of gratitude to Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, CFR, who has been a benefactor and role model in many respects. I cannot forget my in-laws Ambassador Dapo Fafowora and Honourable Dele Obadina, who are always there when needed. Members of WAKA CLUB 1945, particularly, our Chairman, Professor Abisogun Leigh, OFR; the Agbe-Davies Family, as well as one special benefactor who does not wish to be mentioned. I must not forget all those well-wishers who called and sent goodwill messages and prayers. We appreciate you all. Then there is Uncle Sam, who, inadvertently, forced me to learn a lesson in resolving ethical dilemma, at this late age. In late March, I had gone to see Uncle Sam to tell him about a consultancy contract involving a national issue and from which I stood to make millions. Uncle Sam simply said to me: “Dele, don’t work for them”. And I replied: “O.K Sir ”. In two sentences, we had disposed of an assignment from which I would make a lot of money. But, without realizing it, temptation was on the way to test my
We can stand together "Democracy is not something you put away for ten years, and then in the 11th year you wake up and start practicing again. We have to begin to learn to rule ourselves again"-Chinua Achebe E D N E S D AY 12, June 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of a free and fair election to have ever taken place on Nigerian Soil. That day, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola was the anticipated winner of the presidential election as figures coming in showed that he was in overall lead in fourteen states. The world was watching and the Nigerian populace was eagerly awaiting a real change to take place in Nigeria. The Military regime under the command of IBB put an abrupt stop to that and it cited "manipulation of elections" of the primary
result by the presidential candidates. International and national election monitors confirmed the contrary that it was the most free and fair election in the country's history. The public outrage was intense and it immediately created mass unrest across the southern part of Nigeria. Of course, Chief MKO Abiola was equally and rightfully indignant that the election was transparent and fair so there was no reason to have annulled the election. He was convinced that common sense would prevail and that in time, he would be handed the mandate. Instead, he was arrested, detained, charged and with treason against the state. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all in-
resolve. Two weeks after my discussion with the Publisher, my daughter brought her fiancée and they asked to be married urgently on account of plans I cannot disclose. I had five weeks to organize a wedding. Time was short;
“I hate ingratitude more in a man than lying, vainness babbling drunkenness…” William Shakespeare, 1564-1616. AY 2013 will remain a particularly blessed month for the entire Sobowale family and, especially, for me. On May 8, one daughter and I celebrated our birthday as usual. I was 69. Two other daughters followed on May 9 and 17. And, to cap it all, the May 8 girl got married on May 11 giving the two of us a befitting birthday present. It was also the twenty-third year I would become the Head of Family in a family in which no male child had reached 60 until now. Like Bolt, I am left to break my own record in terms of longevity. The 23 years before 1990 were disastrous for our family. In those 23 years, eight brothers passed away, before 60, leaving me as the only survivor of our generation. I had no hope of making 60. But, in the last 23 years, we lost only one male child. Now we have more male Sobowales racing towards 60, 70 …. My thanks go, first, to my entire family, especially, Professor B.K. Ogunmodede, who, when told about the hastily planned wedding, instinctively knew that I needed financial support. He willingly gave me money. Then, our Mummy in the family, Mrs Victoria Olayinka Sobowale, a sister-in-law who became a worthy Mother to me and
aware of the betrayal. In the end, I turned down the offer and went on depending on friends to provide the money needed. As it turned out Uncle Sam spent most of that rainy and beastly day with us at the ceremony. Only God knows how remorseful and ashamed I would have felt if we had a bigger ceremony and if it was made possible on account of disloyalty to my great benefactor. I write this because about three years ago, a young man had sent me a text message, after I wrote on ethical dilemma, asking me how much money it would require for me to do the wrong thing. I sent back a message saying
Nigeria as a nation is too complex for any individual no matter how intelligent, experienced or honest that person is. Needless to expect miracles in this circumstance as we are
cash was even shorter. So, I begged and borrowed. The temptation to “steal” came two weeks after. My prospective clients called again. They had assumed that the offer they made was not good enough; so they were prepared to add more millions. The ethical dilemma was here. My daughter deserved the best wedding possible from me and here was money begging to be taken. But, outside my own family, Uncle Sam had been my greatest benefactor on earth by opening the pages of his paper to me weekly and opening doors for opportunities as well. Accepting the offer would provide enough money for a bigger wedding and a luxury car with change to spare. But, it would all have come from betraying Uncle Sam – even if he was not
I had been tempted before but not enough; so I had no answer then. I hope he is still reading SUNDAY VANGUARD because I was tempted enough this time. Now I have an answer and this is it. No amount; at close to 70, and at death’s door, I am free of that temptation. So my second to the last appreciation goes to Uncle Sam. I learnt a lesson about myself that I might not have learnt if my Oga was not involved in the matter. Now I know nobody can tempt me with money anymore. Finally, I thank God. He has made it possible for me to be the first male child to be within sight of 70 in my family. For most families, reaching 70 is taken for granted; for us in our family, it will be a minor miracle - if I make it. My family would have broken
directly. - MLK. The powers that be made him a deal that they thought, he wouldn't refuse; to accept the annulment and stop stoking the flame that he was robbed of the mandate. As a wronged Egba man, he refused and so he stayed in detention. During that time, his wife,
their brother, friends lost a friend and the country, well, we will never know, we weren't given the chance to. "They have not always elected the best leaders, particularly after a long period in which they have not used this facility of free election. You tend to lose the habit."- Chinua Achebe
When are we going to get out of the doldrums and actually ensure and recognise that Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola was wrongfully denied and abysmally treated?
Kudirat, campaigned tirelessly and bravely for the release of her husband and for that, she was assassinated. MKO Abiola was placed in prison by Sani Abacha, who succeeded Babangida. So, for four years in detention, MKO was resolute and had faith that justice would prevail and he would be vindicated; he believed that Nigeria was worth fighting for and that was what he did to the very end. He was poisoned a day before he was to have been released. His children lost their father, siblings lost
Democracy, in the true sense, died that day, 20 years ago. Not only was the victor robbed, imprisoned and died but, millions of Nigerians were robbed by the government. As at present, Nigeria is still living with the dire consequences and enmeshed with crisis worse than it has ever been in the history of the nation. And we do not seem to be about to start. Rather, we are pilling all undemocratic things like; injustice, riggings, assassinations, corruptions and other unsavoury crimes to
the jinx forever. To God be the glory. STOP BLAMING JONATHAN FOR GOD's SAKE. “It requires wisdom to understand wisdom; the music is nothing if the audience is deaf ”. Walter Lippmann, 1889-1974. American political commentator. Lippmann’s column and articles were among my “must read” pieces during my ten years living in the United States. He, along with James Reston and Mike Royko, wrote political commentaries that were so insightful and predictive that it was my wish to be like them. But, at the time, I was racing towards collecting my undergraduate degree and my MBA with the objective of working for a large consulting firm in New York City. The last thought on my mind was a career in the media. God knew better. Last month, President Jonathan completed two years of the four during which he promised to transform the nation and to bring in a breath of fresh air – whatever those jargons mean. I didn’t vote for GEJ and I “shouted” on the pages of this newspaper that nobody should vote for him and the PDP. I was ignored by the majority of voters. Jonathan won by a landslide – even in Lagos, Oyo, Edo, Ogun and Imo; not to talk of Kano, Sokoto and Rivers. My reasons for rejecting President Jonathan were clearly stated at that time. Any one who did not have enough hands-on experience in an executive capacity should not be expected to deliver – as is the case now. Furthermore – and all Nigerians know this - each time he got the job, it had always been because the men, Alamieyeseigha and Yar ’Adua, he served as number two, fell - the first to EFCC and the second to
the Grim Reaper i.e death. I also wait for anyone to argue that President Jonathan could have been elected President in 2007 – if he ran on his own. Nigeria as a nation is too complex for any individual no matter how intelligent, experienced or honest that person is. Needless to expect miracles in this circumstance as we are. What my Fellow Countrymen did, in 2011, conformed to Peter ’s Principle; we promoted a man, to the highest office in the land.... Why blame him now instead of ourselves? After all President Jonathan did not follow us into the polling booths and forced us to vote for him. It was his good luck that he had Nigerians, as the electorate. Incidentally, one of his sharpest critics, these days, is Obasanjo, who as Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, BOT, did not allow Yar’Adua to be laid to rest before bellowing “Jonathan, you must run; don’t tell me you won’t run next year ”. The folly entailed in that announcement should have been sufficient to silence OBJ for life. The second reason was part of the series of “Adventures In Prophecy”. I had written in 2009, shortly after Yar’Adua took his second and final trip for treatment abroad, that, two names should not be on the ballot in 2011 – Yar’Adua and Jonathan. Yar’Adua, I was certain, would not last the distance. I even said he would be returned to Nigeria “in a box”. The rest is history. As for President Jonathan, the reason was simple. I wrote that if he used the power of incumbency to remain President, beyond 2011, “a disaster will follow”. We are still witnessing events as they unfold - just wait. V i s i t : www.Delesobowale.com
hold on to power and greed. What we have, is a veneer in guise of a democracy, all you need to scratch the surface and the rot is deep and in need of restructuring right down to its foundation. Nigeria needs to mend and desperately in need of restorative justice. And gradually they're beginning to recognize the fact that there's nothing more secure than a democratic, accountable, and participatory form of government. But it's sunk in only theoretically; it has not yet sunk in completely in practical terms. Wole Soyinka Very heartening that Nigerians in the Diaspora are demanding that the nation should retrace its political credibility by declaring officially and posthumously that Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola won the much celebrated June 12, 1993, election. And Lagos State Governor Fashola and the State House of Assembly have maintained that they will commemorate June 12 every year as Democracy Day for Nigeria. "Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them." - Frederick Douglass So this yearly commem-
oration of the annulment of the 1993 presidential election should be more than a piece meal, it should be a time to reflect on justice and nationhood. We seem to be far away from being transparent and democratic. The government still doll out positions like they are allocating cement. Nepotistic attitude is de rigeur; in fact, we oil the national machine by it. More so the pity. When are we going to get out of the doldrums and actually ensure and recognise that Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, was wrongfully denied and abysmally treated? About time that MKO, is accorded a long overdue state apology and restitution to his family. "It takes a jaundiced view of the much-vaunted glorious past of Africa. And I suppose since then I've been doing nothing but the dense macabre in this political jungle of ours"- Wole Soyinka Those in the know, can attest albeit privately, that most of these criminals remain at large without a shred of remorse and they remain free to go about their pointless lives, still creating terror, civil mayhem in a seemingly, endless greed fest these power mad leaders.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 11
As Professor Pat Utomi opined at a public lecture last week, unless Nigeria moves to a situation where people speak through the ballot box, we cannot have
the kind of legitimacy we need. Utomi was talking about the absence of free and fair elections- a subject everyone inwardly knows to be true but which only a few openly admit. In our elections, many people are disenfranchised; some are dissuaded by the overwhelming presence of armed security operatives in voting centres just as the centres are deliberately located near people’s houses to make malpractices easier notwithstanding that public schools are opposite or adjacent to such centres. At the end, some candidates score high votes in low turnout elections. Through election petitions many judges now find their reward close to their courts leaving the authorities to handle dry disciplinary cases relating to their conduct Every election in Nigerian is now fun. In Ondo State for instance, there are fears now that law and order would break down shortly. This is because, a faction of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the State is threatening severe consequences if their election of a new executive is further delayed. It has sent a letter to the state governor Dr Olusegun Mimiko who is not their member to act fast. What the governor would do is hard to predict in view of the standard set by Governors in their recent chairmanship election. Will he caution that no one should imitate Governors as the Deputy Speaker of Rivers State House of As-
sembly, Mr. Leyii Kwanee, did last week? Kwanee had told a delegation of Niger Delta Students Union Government, which visited him, that he was disturbed by how the younger generation would perceive democracy, judging by the outcome of the Governors forum’s recent election. So, who are those celebrating our democracy? I was almost tempted to say Senators considering the strong speech their President made in far away Prague until I ran into an interview by Senator Ali Ndume, Chairman, Senate Committee on Millennium Development Goals (MDG) where he claimed to be unable to find anything to celebrate. If democracy is our promised land, it seems we are far away from it because the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins also suggests that “all we have been receiving over the years have been more of promises than action. The result can be seen in the large number of jobless youths, dwindling basic infrastructures of inadequate power supply, insecurity and general ineptitude in the system” Put differently, many people are yet to see the dividends of democracy in our clime. Prof Abubakar Momoh underscored this last week when he asked Lagos State which is generally believed to be working to borrow a leaf from Lateef Jakande and build houses that the people can afford. Those who rule must never oppress or fool the peo-
ple. Thus, if legislators are the people’s representative, it appears strange that a frontline lawyer is now asking the Judiciary to compel the National Assembly to tell the same people they purport to represent how much legislators earn as salaries. The executive branch is also expected to follow not only the letter but the spirit of the laws of the land as well; because democracy is premised on the rule of law. No one should remain in office when he is ill and unable to discharge his duties. The silent murmurs which followed the absence for awhile of Governor Imoke from his desk in Calabar became much louder when Governor Chime of Enugu was away for a much longer period. Now that Danbaba Suntai of Taraba will soon celebrate one year of being away from his office in Jalingo, what is the nature of Nigeria’s democracy and its rule on the tenure of political offices and succession? This is a question that 16 persons, led by Senator Saleh Usman Danboyi, are now asking the Judiciary to answer because the supposed democrats in Taraba State who are empowered by the constitution to do so are still under military rule. Those who may not accept this view should just take a look at anywhere a security operative is seen standing behind a leader in any gathering; what they would find is that the VIP concerned is a Nigerian ‘democrat’.
rians generally. How can any reasonable person criticise President Jonathan for working to liquidate an organisation that has caused death and destruction for no good reason? However, beyond stepping up measures to end the Boko Haram terrorism, government must provide enabling environment for job creation and broaden opportunities for both academic and vocational training. The major causes of insanity disguised as devotion to a noble cause, aside from religious fundamentalism, are ignorance, poverty, and unemployment.
leaving the vast majority in the slough of despond, so to speak. It is now time for the youths from northern Nigeria to make their voices heard by taking measures to end the continued oppression and marginalisation of the underprivileged. Sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution, when interpreted holistically, guarantees all Nigerian citizens the right to protest. Educated northern youths should lead the fight for the intellectual and economic emancipation of the masses. Going back to our appraisal of Jonathan's administration, it is ironic that the President and his lieutenants gave themselves high marks for their handling of the country. This is hardly surprising, considering that, as the Igbo would say, no one would say that the soup prepared by his mother is not delicious.
cerely believe that our economy is in good standing when electricity supply has plummeted, when the real sector is contracting due to very harsh operating environment, and when unemployment and inflation are increasing rapidly? It is bad enough that the government is underperforming; it is wicked to cook up fictitious figures to deceive people that "it is well with our economy". Millions of Nigerians, including myself, are working so hard to earn legitimate income. Unfortunately, it is hard to make ends meet because of persistent hyperinflation. Of course, for highly placed politicians, business tycoons, top traditional rulers and extremely wealthy benefactors of Jonathan and others, the economy is doing well. Millions, and in some cases billions in both local and foreign currencies, are rolling into their bank accounts: they are also acquiring expensive properties in different parts of Nigeria and abroad. Hence, President Jonathan and his cohorts are right, the government has done well because rich people are actually benefiting from our democracy of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. What we have said thus far about the federal government is equally applicable in the states and local governments. Even in comparatively rich states where there is a semblance of infrastructural development, such as Akwa Ibom and Delta, the governors and legislators would have achieved more by eliminating unnecessary extravagant and frivolous spending. Judging by the financial recklessness of our leaders, it is fair to conclude that
they are genetically incapable of financial discipline and prudent management of public funds. Any venture managed the way Nigeria has been governed since 1999 would collapse quickly. Similarly, most countries would have experienced serious social upheaval given the depressing state of affairs in our country. We have managed to avoid bankruptcy because of increases in the price of crude oil, and complete breakdown of social order due to the amazing capacity of Nigerians to endure suffering with stoic equanimity. Nonetheless, it would be foolish for Jonathan and other members of the ruling elite to remain complacent and pachydermatous to the anguish of suffering Nigerians, especially those who cannot afford the basic necessities of life such as food, shelter, clothes and jobs. Democracy, like the Jewish Sabbath, is for people, not people for democracy, as has been the case in our experiment with democracy. Thus, Nigerians must begin speak out more vigorously and engage in non-violent activism to force government to take their welfare seriously. We must wake up from the theological delusion of believing there is a big brother somewhere in fictitious heaven that will miraculously solve our manmade problems. The way I see it, government does not really care about us. Life is damn too short for any sensible person to wait for supernatural or divine intervention. Together we have what it takes to force a positive change in the way people in power handle our affairs. CONCLUDED.
Is military rule over in Nigeria? become perhaps the most popular understanding of the word, democracy. It is however a word that has been thoroughly subjected to misuse as totalitarian regimes and dictatorships alike are known to seek popular support by pinning democratic labels upon themselves. But the truth is that democracy is not a matter for claim. Rather, it is a set of ideas and principles with a set of practices and procedures designed to
N far away Prague, Czech Republic, Dav id Mark, President of the Nigerian Senate and a retired Brigadier General in the Nigerian Army affirmed a few days back that Military rule in Nigeria was gone forever. The affirmation appears heartwarming especially if it is binding on Mark’s successors in the military. If however, our Senate President was suggesting that Nigeria is now a democracy, not many would agree with him. Although those in government today do not wear military uniforms, democracy should never be identified by the dress code of its practitioners. In Nigeria, there are many non-uniformed political leaders who through their acts and utterances are quite distant from the attributes of democracy. We can only pray that anti-democratic forces particularly those outside the military would allow Nigeria’s democracy to grow. ‘Government of the people by the people and for the people’ – a phrase credited to former American President Abraham Lincoln- has
and fair elections. Democracy is about majority rule but it guarantees minority rights. It neither accommodates arbitrariness nor does it provide room for militancy and sectoral threats as we have in Nigeria where activists in different parts of the nation threaten to bring the nation to a halt if their preferences do not prevail. Democracy is premised on the free will of the people without which it lacks legitimacy.
Democracy is about majority rule but it guarantees minority rights. It neither accommodates arbitrariness nor does it provide room for militancy and sectoral threats as we have in Nigeria
institutionalize freedom. In short, democracy entails the sovereignty of the people where the government is based on the consent of the governed through free
PhD, Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos,
Corruption in Nigeria is not restricted to the executive branch alone; its destructive tentacles reach all institutions of government. For instance, the legislature is a very important arm of democratic governance saddled with the responsibilities of making good laws for national development and oversight on the executive. Our shamelessly parasitic National Assembly is a Mecca of legislative rascality and corruption, to the extent that Nigerians no longer expect it to function as an effective check against abuse of power by the President and his cabinet. In fact, both the executive and the legislature are working together to despoil Nigerians. The judiciary is also part of the decay in the system: the number of cashand-carry magistrates and judges has risen tremendously in recent years. One does not need to be a lawyer to know that Nigerian laws and their judicial interpretation unabashedly favour the rich and powerful. From the foregoing, it is fair to conclude that Nigeria's democracy is standing on a rickety institutional tripod that will not stand the test of time. To repeat, Nigeria has not made meaningful progress since the restoration of civilian rule in 1999. We have al-
ready alluded to the recurrent problems of epileptic electricity and senseless corruption. One of the basic functions of government is to provide security for the citizens and foreigners within its borders. The security situation in Nigeria has deteriorated especially since 2010. Boko Haram insurgency is the greatest security challenge facing the federal government right now. In addition, armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes are on the rise some pessimists liken the situation to the hypothetical Hobbesian state of nature. As already indicated, Jonathan inherited most of these problems, but Nigerians are concerned whether his government has effective strategies to neutralise Boko Haram and reduce violent crime in all its ramifications to the barest minimum. I believe that the renewed onslaught against Boko Haram is commendable and should be supported by everyone, for it will be a gross act of irresponsibility for government to appear weak while a group of fanatics unleash violence on the people. Northern leaders critical of Jonathan for confronting the terrorists more decisively this time around are enemies not just of the President but also of peace-loving Nige-
Criticism and the growth of democracy in Nigeria (3)
The major causes of insanity disguised as devotion to a noble cause, aside from religious fundamentalism, are ignorance, poverty, and unemployment
Poverty and ignorance are two of the greatest handicaps confronting ordinary Nigerians, particularly in the north. It is disheartening that, although northerners have dominated the highest political office in the country the north remains relatively poorer and vastly more educationally underdeveloped than the south. Therefore, collectively northern leaders are a complete disgrace to the people there, because they used their privileged positions for self-enrichment,
We have already noted that the situation is actually worsening in the areas of electricity supply, corruption and insecurity. Moreover, the fundamentals of the country's economy, namely, the petroleum and manufacturing sectors, infrastructure, and agriculture are shambolic. Yet magicians in government conjured figures purporting to show that our economy is growing. It is easy to manipulate to prove almost anything. Still, how can anyone sin-
PAGE 12 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013
Writing the Advertising Brief: How and Why
brief. The importance of a good advertising brief is simply enormous and cannot be narrated simply. To start, let us appreciate the importance of THE BRIEF from the standpoint of the fact that advertising is all about telling a brand’s story. Simple! Now, this story could be towards persuasion, enlightenment, reward, developing or consolidating friendship (relationship), forming an opinion or simply planting an idea - in someone’s mind. Again, that is why advertising is about the human mind. Decision taken on account of an advert message is resultant and in fact consequent upon the impact the given advert message had on the mind of the target recipient of the advert message. If we closely follow with another fact that there is no good story without pieces of information and a plot, we can then begin to appreciate the importance of background information, properly gathered and arranged, set in a plot for a good and impactful brand story. That sets the tone for appreciating the importance of an advertising brief. The advertising brief helps in determining the scope and extent of strategic and creative work, creates and shapes the plot, guides the creative process and helps in profiling the target audience. In addition, the brief helps in revealing the brand’s competitors, guides the agency towards properly investigating the possible threat areas including the competing brands, investigate own-brand for proper and appropriate protection from
harm, and channels the use of scarce resources. In effect, therefore, a brand’s communication or advertising campaign is only as good, effective and impactful as the brief that originated the entire process. That explains why professionally managed brands pay utmost attention to advertising brief development. I still find the Procter & Gamble outstanding
HIS piece is in keeping with our commitment to helping compliance to the standard professional practice of brands management and advertising, by bringing to notice, those basic and functional elements more commonly undermined in the face of present day quick-fix approach and system compromise due to impatience and inadequate training. We must also quickly add here, that more and more, professional training and proper and induction are lacking in the advertising industry. Consequently, quality of service delivery is dropping with time. It has become alarming. On the one side of the divide in this case, are the practitioners on the client’s side, and on the other are the professionals on the agency side. We must also state here that practitioners on both sides are equally tasked on the provision of world standard professional service delivery. It is to that extent of expectation and responsibility that we have always made the case forappropriate human resource consideration through an unbiased selection process, when there is the need to engage people for brands management and advertising functions. It also applies in the process of engaging advertising agency for a brand. The consequence of compromising this process of human resource engagement is simply too costly to be undermined. But because the consequence of mediocrity in brands management and advertising build up rather slowly, most systems wish it away. But unfortunately, it tells on the brand, its competitiveness, market performance and the value of its equity in the long run. May we also state here, that in most cases, the benefits of professional brand management are not measured in sales figures? Suffice, therefore, that a brand may still be enjoying good level of consumer engagement and shelf off-take but losing out on consumer perception in so many ways. The danger in a case like this is that owners of such brand will assume all is well since the sales figures remain good, not knowing that potential competitors are waiting to take advantage of the negative market perception of that brand to attack. It is that simple. One of those critical points in the process of developing effective brand communication commonly undermined today is writing the advertising
the intellectual and mental ability of all those put forward by the agency were rated during this process. At the end of the interaction process participants are scored on the bases of alertness, appreciation and internalization of the P&G process. It is when they are satisfied at this point that on the job interaction begins. Then, it is assumed that
A brand’s communication or advertising campaign is only as good, effective and impactful as the brief that originated the entire process.
(if they still do so now). Way back when I worked in the team that introduced Vicks Lemon Plus and EuroPampers brand into this market, P&G system required that all those chosen to work on their brands from the Agency side go through a period of orientation within their system. The aim was to adequately intimate the agency with the global practice standard and method of handling the P&G brand. Their system is so thorough
everybody on the brand know what to do for the brand. Not to mention the advertising brief from then on; a brief from P&G clearly spells out the given brand’s personality, value-essence, its target market, a history of its market performance up till the time of briefing, its challenges, strength and weaknesses in the face of market expectation versus competition, the marketing objective in volume and value terms, the immediate and long
term projection for the brand, in terms of market performance, perception/ image and market position. Of course, and that is what makes it all the more interesting, the brief from this team is extensively supported by current figures. The figures they supply are open to independent verification. In fact the agency is expected to consider information contained in the brief as hypothetical until verified through independent market study. It was quite engaging and exciting because by the tradition of the practice environment then (which is the tradition with my team now), the next step after reading a client’s brief, is conducting a research. Agencies’ research helps in either confirming or substituting client’s information or claim based on empirical studies. Such extra work on the agency ’s part helps the strategic planning and creative process which in turn ensures a effective endproduct in form of advertising campaign. A good advertising brief assures all of the above. The challenge, however, is that a good brief can only come from a properly trained person/professionally matured personality. Writing a good advertising brief requires intelligence, commitment, dedication, professionalism, attention to details, knowledge and hard work. All of these are considered too problematic by over 75% of brand managers on the client’s side in today ’s environment – not to mention “corporate affairs managers” and “corporate communications” managers of today (mostly journalists and PR people by training). Improper job description and personnel engagement, therefore, have added to the confusion. By and large, we must put the importance of writing an advertising brief in its true perspective. There cannot be a good and effective advertising or campaign with potentials to optimize returns on advertising spends without a good brief. So, it is important that clients engage professional brand managers in their system and these persons are constantly trained and retrained for optimal efficiency – starting with ability to write a good advertising brief. …as captured above!
SUND AY SUNDA
Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013, PPA AGE 13
Nigeria’s Shadow Democracy
By JIDE AJANI
part from crude oil, Nigeria also exports ridicule! The type of image we portray of ourselves can be very damaging. As we complain about the common streetwise fraudsters, so do we also complain about the crass ineptitude of our leaders! Nigerians know how to follow a leader – for good or for ill. To understand how crude and indisciplined a people can be, check their driving culture. On almost all Nigerian roads, you are seconds away from witnessing a traffic infraction. Once a motorist attempts driving against traffic, in no time he has a team of co-violators driving behind him. Lead-
ers: that is what Nigerians are looking for in whatever circumstance. It runs rampant in almost all things Nigerian. Including politics and political culture! The world acknowledges that democracy is good for a people. But are Nigerians good for democracy? Think about that for a while! 20 years after the annulment of an election that was considered the freest and fairest, a good segment of the country’s leadership insists that it is a watershed event but that the country has moved on. It was one fraud that sent the wrong signal about who we are as a people. Yes! The country has moved on. But it has moved on in the
wrong direction, doing the wrong things and relishing them. Shall we begin to dwell on what happened? It might be helpful but not too important. So, on the past we must dwell in some ways if only it would create an inner awareness to learn useful lessons. Therefore, what is the past? What constitutes the past? Is the past just the mere sum total of all that happened yesterday or in yester-years? Of course yes! Mind you, the past could also be any semblance of yesterday’s failings or successes. If we agree on that, then the past is already here with us. The past pokes fun at us, reminding us of how we think we can escape it.
The past makes a mockery of Nigerians especially its leaders, . So, we ask: Why would a people feel comfortable in the very cold embrace of folly? Why would a people accept a destiny, one concocted and that is at best unproductive and at worst short, poor, brutish, nasty and mean? Why would a people cringe in utter helplessness in the face of deliberate injustice? It is because we are Nigerians, a resilient people and our leaders take advantage of that. So, 20years ago, defying the elements, Nigerians went to the polls to elect a president of Muslim religion extraction, not minding that his runningmate, a northerner, is also of the same religious faith. But
the leaders of the time conjured some reasons to annul that election. Nigeria has not recovered since then. Worse, still the reasons adduced for that annulment now peter into insignificance in the face of what Nigerian politicians do to win elections today. Yes, we have civil rule. But is it the same as democracy, where vote, real votes count; where there is transparency in the nomination process and where the might of the incumbent does not determine who controls what? Like a sub-standard gauge, Nigeria has been practising shadow democracy since the nation lost that golden opportunity to build on the gains of June 12, foreign interference, compromise of the process, et al
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Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013
JUNE 12 ANNULMENT
June 12 @20
How far has democracy taken Nigeria? By CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, Deputy Political Editor
It has been two decades since June 12, 1993 presidential election which has been described as the country’s freest and fairest poll, and which apparently ushered in the present dispensation of democracy in Nigeria. On the anniversary of the epochal election, a pertinent question takes the front burner: How far has democracy taken Nigeria?
Different celebration However, the 2013 anniversary of June 12 was a departure from the past, with activities held in other parts of the country apart from the South-west where Abiola hailed from. Indeed, for the first time, the Federal Government took part in June 12 activities. President Goodluck Jonathan, in a way, celebrated the day in Aso Rock, Abuja while the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, participated fully in a ‘Democracy Audit’ organised by the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, to mark June 12. Maku’s participation made the 2013 edition different from past events where pro-June 12 activists had a one-way traffic lambasting the Federal Government for not honouring Abiola and failing to develop the country without a response from the latter. In 2013, complaints of lack of development, prevalence of flawed elections, and call for Abiola to be immortalized dominated proceedings but government concurred, for the first time, and promised to honour Abiola, the revered symbol of democracy in the country.
Accross the land Across the country, 15 events such as lectures, symposium, democracy walks, rallies and conferences were held. The activities include: * President Jonathan acknowledging June 12 while inaugurating the chairman and members of the re-constituted Police Service Commission, PSC, in Abuja. He described June 12 as a unique day that changed the political history of the nation, saying that though the Federal Government was yet to recognize the day as a public holiday, some state governments had done so. “We appreciate what happened on this day; that you are being inaugurated on this date, I think is a unique date,” he told the PSC members. The Niger Delta Peoples Salvation Front (NDPSF) rally in Warri, Delta State with Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo calling for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference and prosecution of past leaders of the country who masterminded the annulment of June 12. The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) rally in Ota, Ogun State. Lagos State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists forum at Airport Hotel, Ikeja where participants called on Nigerians to stop reducing every anniversary of the annulment of June 12 presidential election to a day of lamentation. The National Association of Nigerian Students NANS rally. Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) event at Excellence Hotel, Ogba, Lagos. Ogun State Government Democracy Day walk in Abeokuta, which terminated at Abiola’s Oja-Agbo family house, where the head of the family, Mubashiru Abiola, exonerated former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, from complicity that led to the death of Abiola in government’s custody. He said since Abiola’s death, Babangida had been a pillar to
•Late Chief MKO Abiola
INCE the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presi dential election won by the late business mogul, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, never has the historic poll been commemorated like the 2013 version. Between 1994 (the first anniversary) and 1998, June 12 was mainly marked in Lagos while the remaining five South-west states joined in 1999. At previous anniversaries, leading politicians and activists gathered at various locations to reminisce and commemorate the poll adjudged the freest and fairest in the annals of elections in the country. They also showered tributes on the heroes and heroines of June 12, especially Abiola, who died in government detention while struggling to reclaim his annulled mandate.
President Goodluck Jonathan, in a way, celebrated the day in Aso Rock, Abuja while the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, participated fully in a ‘Democracy Audit’ organised by the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, to mark June 12.
the family. He called on government to immortalize Abiola and pay the debts it owed the late politician. Lagos State Government in collaboration with the June 12 Coalition symposium at the Blue Roof Hall of LTV 8, Agidingbi, Lagos Osun State Government symposium at Freedom Square, Osogbo, where Governor Rauf Aregbesola asked the Federal Government to explain to Nigerians what led to Abiola’s death. At the same event, former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, said the annulment of the June 12 election cost Nigeria an opportunity to be a big player in global politics. Ekiti State Government symposium at Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado-Ekiti. June 12 Movement with leading activists and politicians including Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Governor Godswill Akpabio
event at Abiola’s Toyin Street, Ikeja residence, where they also laid wreaths on his graveside and that of his wife, Kudirat. Ondo State Government symposium in Akure, where Governor Olusegun Mimiko called on the Federal Government to elevate June 12 to a panNigerian event Save Nigeria Group Democracy Audit at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos At the various events, participants, among others, urged government to immortalize Abiola by doing any or combination of these: Naming Aso Rock after him, naming Abuja Stadium after him, declaring Abiola as posthumous president of Nigeria and hanging his portrait beside those of past presidents and heads of state. Prominent Nigerians, who honoured the late politician Abiola and urged government to pursue policies that would provide
basic amenities and eradicate poverty, were former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Mimiko (Ondo); former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu; founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, Dr Frederick Fasehun; former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba; Convener of Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Dr Tunde Bakare; Chief Frank Kokori and Femi Falana (SAN). Others include Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Chief Ayo Opadokun; Prof Fagbohun; Prince Dayo Adeyeye; President of Nigeria Guild of Editors, Femi Adesina; Mr. Abdul Oroh; Abiola’s first son, Kola; Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin; Ms Ann Kio-Briggs; Mr Jimi Agbaje; Mrs. Modupe Adelaja and Hon Dino Melaye. Nigeria worse in 2013 than 1993 – Bakare At the Democracy Audit organized by the SNG at Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, participants lamented that little or no improvement in the welfare of Nigerians had been achieved since 1993, adding that poverty among the citizenry had worsened. Convener of the group, Bakare, said since the historic election, Nigeria had remained impoverished and the problems Abiola promised to tackle remain unsolved. He spoke as Information Minister, Maku, at the event, coun-
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SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013 â€” PAGE 15
JUNE 12 ANNULMENT BY FEMI FANI-KAYODE
MBASSADOR Susan Rice was up until recently the American Am bassador to the United Nations. Her long-standing aspiration of becoming the Secretary of State for her country was dashed when the Republicans in the Senate started sharpening their knives in anticipation of her formal nomination for that position by President Barak Obama. Sensing that her nomination would not scale through the Senate and that she would not be confirmed as Secretary of State due to the role she played in the cover up of the Benghazi affair in which the American Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other American citizens were murdered by a group of islamist terrorists, her nomination was withdrawn. Instead of Secretary of State, President Obama has now nominated her for the position of National Security Advisor which is a job that does not require Senate approval or confirmation. I wish Susan Rice well in her new assignment but I am constrained to ask the following questions and the people of Nigeria would like to have the answers. What was put in the tea that was served to Chief MKO Abiola on July 8th 1998 just before he died? She was one of the last people that saw him alive, Abiola coughed violently, collapsed right in front of her and her team and one hour later he was dead. What was in the tea? Was it Abuja ''green tea'', Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Lipton or some other more exotic brand? Abiola was the winner of Nigeria's freest and fairest elections. That election took place on June 12th 1993. The following day it was annuled by General Ibrahim Babangida. Shortly after that, as a consequence of the sheer outrage that was generated by the annulement, Babangida was compelled to ''step aside'' and hand over power to Chief Ernest Shonekan. In what was clearly a strategic manouver he left General Sani Abacha (his own Chief of Army Staff) behind to be the Minister of Defence for the incoming administration. A few months later Abacha toppled the Interim National Government of Chief Ernest Shonekan which he had served and seized power for himself. Abiola was arrested and detained. He was never granted his freedom again. Four years later Abacha himself was murdered by forces that are yet to be identified and General Abdulsalami Abubakar took power. Exactly 30 days after Abacha was killed, those same forces that killed him murdered Abiola as well in an attempt to ''balance the equation''. These are the facts and sequence of events. One thing is self-evident and cannot be denied no matter which side of the divide one may have been on in the June 12th saga- certain questions must be answered. And some of those questions are as follows. Who killed MKO Abiola? Who killed Sani Abacha? Who sent the respected Chief Emeka Anyaoku (the SecretaryGeneral of the Commonwealth at the time) and Mr. Kofi Annan (the Secretary General of the United Nations at the time) to meet with Abiola and ask him to relinquish and renounce his mandate if he wanted to be released? What was their response when Abiola refused to do so? What role, if any, did officials of the Abubakar administration play in the murder of both Abacha and Abiola? What role did the CIA play and exactly what transpired in the room when Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice (as she then was), Ambassador Thomas Pickering and two other faceless and nameless officials from the American Embassy met with Abiola on that fateful day. For how long did Ambassador Pickering give him mouth to mouth resuscitation after he collapsed? Sadly instead of being revived and released that day Abiola died in what can only be described as mysterious and questionable circumstances. This is all the more so because Abiola's security officer and the man that was charged with looking after him and pro-
MKO Abiola, the missing one hour and a deadly cup of tea
The many unanswered questions on the death of the winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential poll secured his safety and that he had grown familiar with over the entire four year period of his incarceration was with him. It was during that ''missing hour'', when he was all alone and very vulnerable, that he was poisoned. Sadly by the time Zadok, who was undoubtedly loyal to him, returned to the scene Abiola was already dying. The question is who gave the order for Abiola to be brought to that meeting? Why did they keep Al Mustapha in the dark about it? Why was Zadok sent to bring another vehicle that was obviously not needed? That one hour, and what transpired during it's course, holds the key to everything. It appears that Abiola was lured into a trap by a group of smiling strangers who did not wish him well and who had sinister plans for him. It was like leading a lamb to the slaughter.
MKO Abiola and Susan Rice were friends before the former died mysteriously when the latter came calling Panel by Major Hamza Al Mustapha, who was General Abacha's Chief Security Officer, from the first day that Abiola was arrested right up until the day that he was murdered he (Al Mustapha) was in charge of his (Abiola's) security. Each time Abiola was moved from one safe house to another he had to sign for it. Each time Abiola ate his food or drank anything, his men tasted and drank it before-hand. He went as far as to say that each time Abiola went to the toilet he was made aware of it and that nothing happened around Abiola or to him without his direct permission and the involvement of his most loyal men. After Abacha was murdered and Abdulsalami Abubakar became Head of State, Al Mustapha was still in charge of Abiola's security and he still maintained direct responsibility for his life, his well-being and his welfare right up until the minute that he was murdered.
Sani Abacha: Also died under mysterious circumstances tecting him throughout the time that he was incarcerated (an honest, upstanding and courageous police officer by the name of ASP Zadok) told the Oputa panel in 2002 that Abiola was ''hale and hearty'' and in ''very high spirits'' just before going into the meeting with the Americans. He went further by telling the panel that as he was about to enter Aguda House (the premises where the meeting was scheduled to be held) with Abiola he was asked to leave his principal, to step out of the premises and to go and pick up another car from somewhere else by one of General Abdulsalami's security officers. He promptly obeyed the order but half an hour later when he came back he found Abiola in a terrible condition, coughing violently, writhing all over the floor in pain and breathing his last breath. Thirty minutes later he gave up the ghost. Another question that needs to be answered is the one that the respected columnist Mr. Gbolabo Ogunsanwo has dubbed as ''the question of the missing one hour''. Permit me to explain. According to the testimony that was given to the Oputa
hen Mustapha appeared before the Oputa Panel he exposed the fact that in the entire period of four years that he and his team watched over Abiola it was only in the one hour that he was killed that they had no knowledge or control of what was happening to or around him. According to him, Abiola was removed from the guest house that he had been staying without his (Al Mustapha's) signature or knowledge and without anyone seeking his permission. Simply put he was kept in the dark about the whole thing. Secret orders were given to keep him out of the loop, to take Abiola to a destination which he knew nothing about and to ensure that none of the usual trusted food tasters and minders were with him. The only person that accompanied Abiola from the old guard of those that had watched over him for the previous four years was ASP Zadok and when they arrived at Aguda House (the venue of the meeting) he was conveniently sent on a meaningless errand by General Abdulsalami Abubakar's Chief Security Officer and told to leave. Hence for the first time in four years Abiola was left completely on his own and he was surrounded by a coterie of strange faces and professional spooks who had no genuine affection or empathy for him. He was with them for one hour and during that hour not one of those that had watched over him, that had
he other issue that has generated con siderable controversy was the issue of the aut opsy. Two autopsies took
place. The first consisted of a panel of international and foreign pathologists who were flown to Nigeria to conduct the exercise under the auspices of the Federal Government and some foreign governments. They returned a verdict of ''death by natural causes'' occassioned by a ''heart attack''. The result was predictable given the fact that the panel was made up of five foreign doctors without one Nigerian making any input or being on the team. The family smelt a rat and they rejected the results on the grounds that they were not represented in the panel of pathologists that had conducted the exercise and because no Nigerian doctor participated. They felt that they were entitled to make an input and to have either their own doctor on the panel or at least one or two Nigerian doctors on the team. As a consequence of their concerns a second autopsy was conducted which also returned a verdict of ''death by natural causes'' and which also concluded that Abiola died from a ''heart attack". Ordinarily this would have brought closure to the whole matter until one considers the fact that it was the Federal Government itself that organised the second autopsy as well and that the team of doctors that carried it out was led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar's personal physician whilst the British and the Americans sent one doctor each to ''assist the process'' and to ''protect their own interest''. The question is whether these people could have been trusted and who were they really working for? Dr. Ore Falomo, who was Abiola's personal physician, was also present at the second autopsy but he was only there as an ''observer'' and not a participant. The question is why this was so and why would anyone expect a team of pathologists that were assembled and chosen by the prime suspects in a murder case to do an autopsy on the remains of their victim and come out with any verdict other than one of ''death by natural causes?'' To confirm our suspicions Falomo told Sunday Punch in an interview on June 9th 2013 that he believed that ''the United States of America killed Abiola'' and that
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Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013
JUNE 12 ANNULMENT
tered that some improvement, even though little, had been made, saying government was making progress in the areas of power supply by commencing the building of 10 power plants, stopped fertilizer racketeering to boost agriculture, delivered 32 roads in 2012, saved N118 billion from ghost workers among others and urged the citizenry to support the government in the effort to develop the country. Maku said the military designed June 12 to fail ab-initio, adding that history had already placed Abiola in a position of honour. Asked if FG had any plan to give M.K.O a post-humous honour, the Minister disclosed that government was interested in immortalizing him. He said: “History will continue to immortalize Abiola, because he died fighting the cause for true democracy, which we are all enjoying today. I can say that the fact that I’m here today, representing government, shows that we are still looking at better ways to immortalize him, even though, there was public outcry when President Jonathan renamed the University of Lagos after him. In a speech entitled: “From Hope ’93 to 2013: How Far Has Democracy Brought Nigeria?”, Bakare said though some gains like freedom of speech had been recorded, they were not enough as the problems of poverty and flawed elections among others persist. His words: “The 1993 MKO Abiola vs. Bashir Tofa election, conducted exactly 20 years ago today, is popularly termed the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria. It was Nigeria’s first
How far has democracy taken Nigeria?
Continued from page
•Late Chief Abiola taste of a renascent democracy after so many years of military rule, coups and counter-coups. It was an election whose callous annulment shook the nation. Since then, the country has witnessed a lot of changes - for better, and for worse. However, none of those occurrences have left the country exactly the same… “One other feature of Hope ’93 we are not likely to easily forget is the campaign song. The ‘MKO-is-our-man’ jingle. That catchy tune was a song of lamentation from a figure that symbolized the aspirations of many Nigerians, and we shall call him/ her Citizen X for the purpose of this piece. In mathematics, X stands for the unknown and will here represent millions of faceless Nigerians who remain impoverished under the deteriorating Nigerian structure. In that jingle, Citizen X aptly articulated the manifestations of the many problems bedeviling Nigerian in a way that facts, figures and data graphi-
Do we now have better employment indices? Is there food security through the length and breadth of Nigeria? Is our housing problem a thing of the past? Do we have potable water in our cities and rural areas? Is there regular and uninterrupted electricity supply?
cally represented on endless bar charts and pie charts would never appropriately convey. Citizen X’s lamentation captured the agonizing conditions of Nigeria using the best rubric - human indices - in a way that all of us could - and still can - relate to his angst. “He sings: ‘no work, no food, no house, no light, no potable water, no viable means of transportation’. He laments that there are neither functioning schools nor resources in our hospitals. The entire country, in short, was dysfunctional. This jingle, though a campaign message for a candidate who was seeking the highest office in the land, spoke factually to the Nigerian situation of 1993. Now, let us fast forward to the year 2013 and ask
how things are different. Are we better off as a nation? If so, how far have we traveled from the point of Citizen X’s lamentation? Do we now have better employment indices? Is there food security through the length and breadth of Nigeria? Is our housing problem a thing of the past? Do we have potable water in our cities and rural areas? Is there regular and uninterrupted electricity supply? Do we have improved transportation facilities? What of education? Do we have more and better schools? Are our hospitals any better? “The country remains impoverished by many indications…In the 20 years between June 12, 1993 election and today, Nigeria has earned enough money to create a Dubai in each of the six geo-political zones and make our citizens some of the most prosperous people on earth, but what we have instead is collapse of infrastructure, deepening poverty (70% rate from 45% in 1999), social dislocations, high unemployment rate and violent crimes.” According to the SNG Convener, Nigeria’s democracy has not been without its gains. He said, “For a moment, I will look at the bright side and express some gratitude that the stranglehold placed on the nation by various jackboots is no longer there. What strangles us these days is poor leadership. There are certain gains that democratic rule in Nigeria has afforded us and they must be acknowledged despite all the shortcomings of Nigeria’s ver-
sion. For example, we have freedom of speech far better than we did in the past. There is also a much freer press than we had in the past. The recent case of Leadership Newspapers vs. Federal Government shows us how far we have come. Some 20 years ago, that would have been a totally different story and a totally differently outcome from what we have now. To an extent, too, there is a judiciary that still manages to serve as the last hope of the common man. Once in a while, a public official even manages to get sent to jail for economic crimes. These are the gains of democracy in Nigeria and though they might appear insignificant or inadequate, they still constitute a step forward compared to where Nigeria traveled from to arrive here. We have even progressed enough to have the Freedom of Information Bill signed into law. The relative freedom Nigeria currently enjoys is worth its weight in gold. Despite all that Nigeria has been unable to achieve, we can comfortably gather here today to talk of June 12 because we have a semblance of democracy. For that, we should be grateful to those who sowed their blood for this freedom. “Despite these gains, there is a still a lot missing in our governance. We still haven’t come sufficiently close to free and fair elections; a lot of people are disenfranchised by poverty and illiteracy; we are largely excluded from the governance of our own country; and, very critically, we lack good governance. Nigeria is far behind in almost every index that signifies progress and only takes the lead in the ones that signal retrogression.”
Unanswered questions on Abiola’s death Continued from page 15 he believed that Ambassador Pickering was ''a CIA agent that had questions to answer''. He also made the interesting point that there are certain drugs that can be administered to an individual that would simply cause that individual's heart to stop beating and that this would lead to death in a matter of minutes. He argued that such drugs would not leave any traces of poison. He went on to say that he believed that it was one of such drugs that was administered to Abiola and that it had been placed in the flask with which they had used to pour him tea at that fateful meeting. Falomo, who is obviously a deeply courageous man, is right and the veracity of his assertions cannot be denied. It is generally accepted that when the more sophisticated intelligence agencies such as the CIA, MOSSAD, M16, MI5, FSB, FIS and others are involved in such ''wet operations'' in which they use poison to eliminate a target, the type of lethal substances that they employ and administer are untraceable and undetectable. A good example of this is a substance known as sodium fluoroacetate which, when administered, causes an instantaneous heart attack but which is very difficult to trace and, more often than not, cannot be
traced at all. No autopsy will be able to detect such a substance and neither will any trace of it remain in the blood of the victim or in his body parts. No intelligence agency worth its salt, including the CIA, leaves any trace or evidence of foul play when they choose to kill somebody of significant importance. I believe that the poison that was used to exterminate Abiola was the same type that was used to take out Yasser Arafat (the former leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation) in November 2004, Robin Cooke MP (the former British Minister for Foreign Affairs and Leader of the House of Commons) in August 2005 and Boris Berezovsky (the Russian billionaire and oligarch) in March 2013. The first was killed by MOSSAD because he had become an unbearable thorn in the flesh to the State of Israel, the second was killed by M15 because he was about to reveal the truth about the murder of Princess Diana and the third was killed by FIS (the Russian foreign intelligence service) because of his consistent criticisms and opposition to Putin's government. In all three cases the autopsies revealed nothing suspicious and returned a verdict of ''death by natural causes'' occassioned by a ''heart attack'', and in the case of Arafat, by ''a massive brain haemmorhage''. How convenient this was. Who is fool-
ing who? Given these circumstances I have no doubt that Abiola's death was a case of premeditated murder but the question is whose call was it and why did it have to happen? What was the motive? Was it done just to ''balance the equation'' as some said at the time or was it done in an attempt to pave the way for an Obasanjo Presidency one year later? Could General Olusegun Obasanjo have been released from jail and elected President if Abiola had lived and if he had insisted on claiming his mandate? The Nigerian people have a right to know the truth and it is about time that those that have wielded power in this country for the last few decades told them.
he powers that be must ap preciate the fact that they cannot sweep things under the carpet forever and that one day, no matter how long it takes, they will be held accountable by God and the Nigerian people for the morbid, secret and oftentimes homicidal choices and decisions that they made. Yet the truth is that the military operates like a cult and we may never get an honest answer from any of them about what really happened. This is because there are very few Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar's in the Nigerian military. Very few of them are prepared to break ranks with the leadership and break the ''omer-
ta'' code of silence like Abubakar Umar did over the June 12th election. Very few of them are prepared to call a spade a spade, speak the truth, expose the lie and damn the consequences. Most of them continue to spin the yarn and tell the lie that Abacha and Abiola's deaths were both from natural causes and that it was just a coincidence that one dropped dead on June 8th 1998, just 4 days before the 5th anniversary of June 12th, and the other droped dead exactly one month later on July 8th 1998. As they say ''the secrets are embedded in the sequence of events, the numbers and the dates'' and, in this case, the sequence of events, the numbers and the dates really do tell an interesting and revealing story. Yet no matter how hard they try to cover her up and silence her, truth is stubborn and she cannot be drowned. She is like a pack of straws that are held together and pinned down by an all-powerful hand at the bottom of a river. As long as she is held at the bottom of that river she cannot be seen or heard. Yet one day, in the fullness of time, that all-powerful hand that seeks to supress her forever will get tired and let go and at that point Lady Truth will happily float to the top of the water where she will be seen and heard by all. It is in the same way that one day, in the fullness of time, the pernicious and perfidious verdict of "death by
natural causes" or "act of God" that the powers that be have claimed are the causes of Abiola and Abacha's deaths respectively will be exposed for what they are. The fact of the matter is that until these questions are answered and justice is done Nigeria will not know lasting peace and she cannot possibly achieve her fulll potentials. It is a spiritual thing. Abiola gave his life that we may have a better tomorrow yet we refuse to acknowledge it or to bring his killers to justice. We are repaying his good with evil and the consequences of that are set out in the Word of God. Whatever anyone may have thought of him as a person, the fact remains that had it not been for Abiola's sheer resilience, courage, steadfastness, sacrifice and gallant refusal to bow before the Nigerian military and give up his 1993 Presidential mandate we would not have democracy in Nigeria today. He was faithful to his cause to the very last. In return for that the least we could do is to ask the relevant questions, demand the appropiate answers and expose the bitter truth. We owe MKO Abiola, his wife Kudirat (who was also murdered) and all the other June 12th and NADECO footsoldiers and martyrs that much. *Fani-Kayode is a former minister of aviation
SUND AY SUNDA
Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013, PPA AGE 17
‘Prof. Onwuliri … found intact with his scapular, rosary, crucifix but without life’ By PALANG KASMI
ust like the winds, time has passed but it is still like a dream, the passing away of Prof. Celestine Onyemobi Onwuliri, who died in the ill- fated Dana Airline crash of June 3, 2012. He was one of the passengers on board the Dana Flight 0992 with 152 others on board, that crashed into a residential building at Ilu-Isaga, Lagos State last year, and it is now a year after his exit. It still pains, his sudden exit but this is just one of the mysteries of life. Prof., as he was popularly called, “came, saw and conquered”, He will be remembered for many things. He was an all-round student, renowned scholar with brains and integrity that left a remarkable record of distinction; the number. 1 Knight of St. John (KSJ) in Nigeria, the Supreme Subordinate President. Onwuliri distinguished himself in many spheres: a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science (FAS); Fellow, Parasitological and Public Health Society of Nigeria (FNSP); Fellow, Biotechnology Society of Nigeria (FBSN); Fellow, Civil Institute of Democratic Administration (FCIDA); Fellow, Solar Energy Society Of Nigeria (FSESN); and Fellow, African Scientific Institute (ASIF). He served as consultant to several national and international agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO), Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Carter Center/Global 2000, African
Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) and the Federal Ministry Of Health (FMOH) is gone. One year after his exit, the memories of a man so dear to the hearts of many is still fresh like flowers that blossom in a garden. Prof. Onwuliri lived well and will be remembered for many things too numerous to mention. First, faith. When desperately, helplessly, fervently and anxiously, his wife, family and friends prayed, hoped and prayed for his safety on the news of the crash, the follow-
at Community Grammar School, Amuzi Ahiara where he served as senior prefect 1970/ 71. He proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he earned his first and doctorate degrees with distinction winning the Vice Chancellor ’s prize as the best overall graduating postgraduate student and the first student to receive honors from the university.
or a man who had his first degree in 1975, and PHD in 1980, Onwuliri had over more than three decades of ex-
For his wife, Prof. Viola Adaku Onwuliri, Nigeria’s Minister for State Foreign Affairs 1, whom he was married to for 33 years, the loss is still a shock ing day, he was found intact with his scapular, crucifix and rosary, unfortunately without his life. He was a rare breed, a successful, God-fearing, motivating, humble and humane person who has played his own part in the journey of life. Prof. Onwuliri was a scholar, an administrator, a deeply religious man, a rare gem, and worthy knight. Born on February 17 1952, at Umuokazi Amuzi town, Ahiara, Ahiazu-Mbaise Local Government of Imo State, the professor of zoology was first son and second child of Mr. Adolphus Elihe and Mrs Rosanna Ihemegbulem Onwuliri. He started his educational career
perience in teaching, research, administration, and community service in six Nigerian universities and many others abroad. At some point, he gave himself to serve in the public service as Imo State Commissioner for Information, Culture, Youths and Sports ( 1997-1999); Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources; Chairman, NYSC Board of Directors; Chairman, Imo State Broadcasting Corporation and Chairman, Imo Sports Council during which he hosted the 11thImo Sports Festival tagged Imo 98. In the church, Onwuliri rendered services in many capac-
ities. He was not only a member of the Knight of St John ( KSJ) but the Number One KSJ in Nigeria, the Supreme Subordinate President. He trained priests, sisters and built churches.After his passage, Most Rev Ignatious Kaigama, Catholic Arch Bishop of Jos, described him as a personal friend, a committed Catholic who put so much time and energy to the service of the Lord especially the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos.” For his wife, Prof. Viola Adaku Onwuliri, Nigeria’s Minister for State Foreign Affairs 1, whom he was married to for 33 years, the loss is still a shock. She said she would not forget in a hurry his supportive role in her life coupled with mentoring, advising, friendship and bond, which they shared, which is responsible for her success in life. “He had humble and modest beginnings, shattered every possible records on his path to greatness, garnering immeasurable acclaims and respect from superiors, peers, direct reports and all that came in contact with him directly or indirectly”, she said in a tribute. “It feels like eternity and eerily hollow, through thick and thin of building our careers, family and contributing to our community and society, never a day went by we did not talk…I have started to miss those persistent phone calls from you that vibrate often while I am in the middle of a meetings, presentations, or events, moments that I can at least afford distractions, in your effort to ensure that I have the most brilliant
new ideas, and plans to perfect my contributions, input or output….If I had known, the last hug would have been tighter, kisses more passionate and more than three, touch more loving and hands held much longer to make you miss your flight….Your accomplishments are what legends are made of…” His family members say they will remember him for his family daily rosary prayers. Apart from being a prayerful, caring, a disciplinarian father, his first daughter and only girl among five children, Dr. Mrs Ijeoma Dozie, remembers her father as a man that demanded and gave excellence. “ He was a voracious reader, our home was full of books; An English Maestro who loved correcting any piece you gave him with his red pen; a prayerful man, Marian Catholic; Photographer, loved to take pictures of special moments like birthdays, developmental milestones; a domesticated man, used to cook meals for us; a connoisseur of food and good looks, would always tell you whether your clothing was good or not; loved giving nicknames; and a man who loved giving people second chances or more no matter their wrong because of his belief in peoples capacity to change for the better even when some of them deserved to be arrested” she stated. A special remembrance mass was held in his remembrance on June 2, 2013 at St. Jude’s Catholic Church Amuzi, Mbaise and University of Jos Chaplaincy on June 9.
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facilities provided by the government for the training of those found by both the coaches and the AFN worthy of grooming for future sporting events? What about their education? Do we have government scholarships, like they do in the United States of America, for promising sports people to go to the appropriate Colleges? If we don’t, I think we’re enthusiastic about Sporting activities enough to establish this. This is the 21st century and we live in a competitive world. We must move along with the rest of the world, according to our means. We may not realize it, but in sporting activities, our country matters on the international scene, especially in football. Nigerian footballers are playing for notable clubs in Asia and Europe. The government seems to focus more on football than on other sporting events. It’s like our concentrating mainly on oil as our major source of revenue; a thing financial analysts say is unhealthy for the country. I think government should pay much attention to Athletics too, and fund it well.
Helen Ovbiagele Woman Editor
SPORTS: Encouraging W hunters of talents doing well’ the right things. After our dismal outing at last year’s Olympics, I wrote a piece suggesting that we should emulate the Chinese government who is always on a serious hunt for promising athletes.. They like to catch them early, so, they scout for them all over the country.
early, and the primary and secondary schools are good search grounds. Parents or guardians of promising athletes, and the heads of their schools, should be told about their ability, and their permission got before coaching begins. Their regular education should be
C M Y K
n this country of ours where, sadly, many important things are handled shoddily, or, totally ignored, it’s heart-warming when you read or hear of something that actualizes your own thoughts. When I saw the headline ‘Ogba commends coach Osagie’ on the Sports page of the Vanguard, I was curious and got drawn to reading the piece. Who was Ogba and who was Osagie, the coach who was commended? A coach being commended in Nigeria? Strange! Usually, we throw verbal bricks at our coaches at the least opportunity. It turned out that Mr. Solomon Ogba is the president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, while Isaac Osagie was listed a grassroots athletics coach. ‘President of the AFN, Solomon Ogba, has commended grassroots athletics coach Isaac Osagie, who has been fishing out budding talents from primary and secondary schools, to train. Coach Osagie and his wife, Edem, a former Nigerian International, were spotted at Kermbo Schools annual interhouse sports competition where they stayed the entire duration of the event. At the end of the event, they said they picked three athletes. Ogba said he was encouraged by efforts by people like Osagie who, on their own have initiated similar programmes. “With efforts like this, the sky will be the limit for Athletics in Nigeria,” Ogba said.’ Well, like I always say in this column, we are never found wanting when it comes to the authorities saying the right things and signing the right documents relating to national and international issues. Our problem is ‘doing and
When those with prospects are found, the government puts them in hostels and takes over their education and training. I didn’t know that there are individual coaches here who, on their own, go to sporting events at grassroots level on talent-hunting. This is good news for those Nigerians who want our sports men and women to bring home lots of worthy medals from international sporting events; especially the Olympics and the Commonwealth games. It is very important that we start
about wrestlers in the village squares across the country? And the fast swimmers and divers, and the canoe people in the riverine areas? Their prowess is awesome! All they need is good nutrition and intense training by experts so that they can perform according to laid-down rules in these sporting activities. You’d be surprised about the height to which they can rise. That said, now that the head of the AFN is aware that there are talent-hunters at grassroots level, and he’s impressed by their activities, which is the way forward in our quest to have quality athletes who will do us proud? What can be done to help these coaches so that they can travel far and wide in the country in the search of promising athletes? Will there be adequate funds and
What can be done to help these coaches so that they can travel far and wide in the country in search of promising athletes? Will there be adequate funds and facilities provided by the government for the training of those found by both the coaches and the AFN worthy of grooming for future sporting events
taken into consideration, so that their studies are not neglected. Proper legal agreement should be drawn up to protect all the parties concerned. I suggest we shouldn’t limit our search to educational institutions. What about those young men whose dash to sell wares in traffic must be faster than that of Usain Bolt? What
e need to change our fire brigade approach to the Olympic games; of inadequate preparations of the participants, and then making last minute decision of who to appear for what event, and also the delay in releasing funds at the appropriate time. We the masses are onlookers from the outside, but these are complaints we read about in the papers. If there are misrepresentations of facts, the public has a right to know the truth. After all, the disgrace of our troupe returning from the Olympic games without even a bronze medal, is disgrace for all Nigerians. So, when there are complaints, the government officials should tell us their own side of the story, and it should be the truth. We need to be carried along. Personally, I think Nigerians are too tolerant, and don’t show enough interest in the way the country is run. Many of us would rather pay more attention to how to make it on our own in life, than insist on the government doing their appointed duty of serving the citizens well and honestly. This our attitude encourages the half-truths and lack of accountability that we’ve been getting from our rulers over the years.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 19
At 70, men still run after me — Most Revd Margaret Idahosa ‘I feel fulfilled because my children are serving the God of their father’ Narrates how husband died after returning from crusade
She looks so much younger! ‘A rare gem flying her husband’s flag even after his death’, that’s the description that best suits her. Fifteen years after the death of Archbishop Benson Idahosa, Margaret Benson-Idahosa, the Archbishop of the Church of God International, has remained a symbol of grace and her strides have remained a proof of the power of faith. In this interview, Archbishop Margaret Idahosa who was in Lagos for her annual Christian Women Fellowship InternationalCWFI meeting with women, shares memories of her husband and childhood amongst sundry issues. She turns 70 on July 29.
OW does it feel to be seventy? You look younger than that to
me.. I feel the same on the inside of me. Although I cannot jump, dance and move like I used to, I know all of that come with age. One thing I know has been the secret of my peace is the fact that I do not hold grudges against anyone. When you offend me, I open up to you and forgive you. You see, forgiveness is not loss of memory but memory without want of vengeance, and that’s what I have on the inside of me because I’m preparing myself for heaven. I’ve been through a lot in this life and cannot afford to miss heaven. Fifteen years ago, your being handed the mantle of leadership of your husband’s church attracted a lot of criticisms from all sides; how have you managed since then? One thing my husband taught
BY ALEX KOLA FOLORUNSO & JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA
I took him as a brother because I had none. I even went as far as trying to choose a wife for him amongst my friends... me to understand is that people will always talk about anybody as long that person has the breath of God in his or her nostrils. But he always told me: “If you talk back to them, it means you’re on the same level.” So, whatever anyone says, I commit to God because He put me in this position. When my husband died, I had my own agenda. I have four biological children and three others whom I adopted. I understood I was living in a man’s world, so, I began planning how I would manage my life after my husband’s funeral. My first plan was to go spend three months with my son in the UK, spend three months with my first daughter and then with my third child before returning to Nigeria because my fourth child was still schooling at home. My plan was to travel round to my children’s places and maybe come to Nigeria once a year to see my mother and others. The ministry was not in my agenda. So, when I was put in this position, I cried to God about how timid I was and how male dominated the world was, but God did not answer until I had made up my mind. He said to me: “Margaret, I’m not moved by tears or your needs, but by faith. If your faith says yes, I God will not say no”. I therefore began building my faith by reading books, praying, acting and all. One day, He spoke to me again, saying, “If I made the appointment, I will release in you the ability to perform and excel”. That he has actually done all this while. If you look at the Church of God Mission, you’ll find that I’m not the best preacher. There are some that are fire-brands and whose sermons could make the heaven kiss the earth. But God has been gracious to
Most Revd Margaret Idahosa....I feel fulfilled because I’m not copying anybody. their fees. Two days after, I was told me. he passed-on! It was a big shock! At this point, do you feel fulfilled? Early in that year however, I feel fulfilled in the sense that I’m sometimes in January, he told me: doing what God asked me to do. I feel “Margaret, I now live for posterity, fulfilled because I’m not copying not prosperity, because I have all I anybody. I feel fulfilled because my need. Now, I live for people and children are all in the ministry. I have what I can be remembered for.” I was seen some pastors praying for their child dazed and advised him to go on to come to God, but I look at my children vacation for a rest. In February which and glorify God because they discovered was his 40th year into the ministry, God on their own; not because of whom he called me and said: “Margaret, I their father was or what I have done. think I have finished everything They discovered God by themselves, God asked me to do”. I argued with and that’s the most precious thing God him that one does not finish the work can do for a preacher; for the children of God, but later in February, he to discover the God of their fathers and repeated it again, and I became more stand firmly to defend that God. I’m worried because I believed God confident that even when I’m no longer promised old age. He was supposed here, they can stand until Jesus comes. to be 60 in September that year and I didn’t want to agree that he was What went through your mind when going to leave at that age. He your husband passed-on; didn’t you passed on March 12. It was when I feel like suspecting anyone because of came to terms with the news of his the suddenness? Continues on page 20 We both went to the United States but on our way back, he told me to go visit the children in the UK and take care of
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'At 70, men still run after me' Continued from page 19 death that I remembered he had said it earlier. What do you miss about him? Everything; his care, concern, love, messages, standing for people and the nation. I miss everything about him.
C M Y K
Most Revd Margaret Idahosa multiply. You can multiply by the Word of God or biologically. It is religion and tradition that relegated the woman. The mind of God is that men and women work together amicably. Before God ,there is no difference but, traditionally, we have difference. If a man can fulfill the gift in him from
Women to be seen but not to be heard is an old adage. We let women know that they must be seen and they must be heard. However, I am not asking women to usurp authority of men because God made the man the head of the home
What attracted you to him? I’m an only child and I was always fighting in the streets and at school. My mother made new uniforms for me almost every month because my uniforms always got torn after every fight. I actually stuttered and because I could not express myself, I got used to using my hands(fighting). My husband was living in the neighbourhood and would always come to settle my fights and counsel me against fighting. But as time went on, I took him as a brother because I had none. I even went as far as trying to choose a wife for him amongst my friends; but he told me he didn’t want a wife. I actually didn’t see anything in him; he had only a bicycle and was living in a rented room and parlour apartment. But I just liked him because he stood by me as a brother(I actually referred to him as bro), especially whenever I entered into trouble on the streets. He came eight years after to say he wanted to marry me, and when I finally accepted, we settled down. At that time he was a deacon. You were relatively young when he passed on .What effect did it have on you? My husband departed this world when I was 55 years old. Today I am 70 years. God has helped me since my husband passed on; I have never lust after any man. I had my husband and enjoyed him. It is now time to focus on God’s assignment than re-marrying. There have been men who wanted my hand in marriage, but I declined. Some would say, ‘Mama, you are looking good’. I always tell them, ‘thank you’, and that the way they see me has been through the backing of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that rejuvenates me. If you believe in the Holy Spirit, He will rejuvenate you. You are the Chancellor of Benson Idahosa University. How have you been able to successfully run the university and manage church affairs Running a university is not an easy task. When my husband died, the university was not fully accredited then. We had to work on our programme. We were able to comply with rules, regulations and policy of the National University Commission.The university was approved by the Federal Government in 2002. For a state to even run a university, it is not an easy task, not to talk of an individual. We thank God that the foundation of our university is based on God .When God gives a vision, he will also make the provision. We want to thank God that the foundation of our university is based on God. Is it Biblical for women to lead a church the same way men do? God is not mad at men and women according to Gen.1:28-29,men and women were created by God ,God gave both of them authority; not the man alone, to go and dominate and
the foundation, why can’t a woman as well? God has called the man and the woman. So, God is not mad at the man preaching and the woman also preaching. The Restoration Center ,which is the Christian Women Fellowship International, was ordained by God. If God gives you a vision, He will bring people around to provide for the vision. God has been very faithful. When He gave us the name, He did not tell us the ups and downs on the way. Everyday when we come together as a body to worship, God opens a little more about the vision. We have trained many women and empowered them.
What informed the establishment of Word of Faith Group of Schools? How do you react to the opinion on the establishment of schools by churches as an avenue to make money? It is true that Word of Faith Group of Schools is owned by us and it is a fact that money is coming in from it now. But don’t forget that before we established it, funds were injected into it. We spent money to build the school, paid teachers and provided incentives to the management in one way or the other. We laboured to put the school in shape. It is just now that money is coming. But the purpose of establishing the school is not to make money but to train children from the cradle. Benin was not what it is today. At that time, it was called the City of Laws. If a native doctor told you to fulfill an appointment by 2pm, you had to be there. When the real gospel came, we let men and women know that God is not a killer. God wants you to give your heart to Him and He will protect you and your children. We have seen a lot of changes. Then, I looked at our children and told myself that, in 20 years time, our children should be able to contribute their quota to the development of the nation. This informed my vision to establish Word of Faith Group of Schools. I think it is better that we have the spread of schools than spreading the gospels of Sango, Ogun, Orunmila. When a child is developed mentally, he or she can become anything in life. So, our school is Christian-based. Whatever comes from the school is invested in the ministry. One can see you functioning as a full-time minister of the gospel and a mother at home, two poles apart. How have you been able to cope especially as a widow? I am able to function because I work with a team of men and women who believe in the vision that God has given to us. As you said, we have churches, schools, a university, a Bible school, a hospital and international leadership institutes. By the grace of God, any moment from now, the churches will have different bishops. I have one of the bishops seated with me here. He is in charge of our finance and budget. So, I don’t have to disturb myself on
that. He is specially trained for that purpose. The bishop in charge of administration is also here. He directs the affairs of the church. We have different bishoprics; so I don’t have much to do. It is once every two, three months that we come together to rub minds on our strengths and weaknesses and how to improve and move to the next stage. I believe strongly in team work. Everything we have today is as a result of team work. I have an office in the church. I do my work; when it is time to go home, I go and do domestic things. For example, I have a baby who is my seventh grand child. When I was ready to come to office for this interview, the mother, my daughter, came and said she brought the three-month-old grand child to play with me. I told her I was going to office for an appointment with journalists. That is why I came a little bit late. And soon as I am through here, I am going back home to attend to the grand child. So, you can now see that when I am home I am a mother and grandmother. I don’t allow the work of the ministry to bog me down as a mother at home. What do you cherish most as birthday gift? Last month, we had a Council of over 300 pastors meeting. I overheard them making big plans for me but I told them I would be 70 years. Number one, I don’t need a husband. I had one, I enjoyed him. Two, I don’t need biological children again. God gave me seven children. I don’t need a house because I live in a palace. To maintain the house per month costs more than 50,000 naira. One thing I want as birthday gift is how to move Benson Idahosa University from the temporary site to the permanent site and I believe with the support of all of you this will be achieved. There is a saying that women are to be seen and not to be heard. What is your opinion and what really equipped you as a successful female minister? Women to be seen but not to be heard is an old adage. We let women know that they must be seen and they must be heard. However, I am not asking women to usurp authority of men because God made the man the head of the home, if the head of the home is acting in terms of the provision, caring, educating, etc, there is no need for the woman to usurp his authority. But that which God has embedded in you is important. God put you there for your home the and others around you in the community to enjoy you. Don’t die with the gift which God has given you. Do your bit at home, do what your husband loves you doing. But do not die with the gift which God has given you. Myler Monroe said there is a place on this planet earth that is very rich which is the cemetery, retains gift that were buried and songs that were never sung. The source of my success is God, the Holy Spirit. The first thing I do every moning is to sing love songs to God. He rejuvenates me. It is not that I don’t have challenges but I don’t allow the challenges to weigh me down. So I preach to women, don’t let problems overwhelm you, dominate problems.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 21
He fondles me to test if I can be aroused! Dear Rebecca
am a lady of 28. When I was 18, I was raped by my boyfriend, and I swore not have sex with any man until I am married. I was approached by a christian young man in my compound recently. He is caring and I’m beginning to like him. However, he touches my private part with his penis and asks me to fondle him through his trousers. He says it’s because he wants to find out if I can have sexual feelings, and to prove that I am not frigid. I don’t like this at all even though I like his interest in me. I tell him that it hurts me and he apologizes. Though I love this guy, the issue of sex hurts me. Since he began to show interest in me, my life has improved because he encourages me and tells me that I can make it in life. He shows me love even though I’m not brilliant. Please, what do I do? A Lady, Lagos.
REPL Y REPLY
’M sorry about the rape that took place in your teenage years. Try to put it behind you and allow responsible men into your life. All men are not like that boyfriend who raped you. Even though most men would demand sex from their girlfriends, many would not force them to have it. Rape is a terrible thing which can damaged a girl psychologically for life, for apart from the violence and pain involved, there is the violation of her body. Some girls who were raped hate intimacy all their lives even though they may get married and have children in order to satisfy what our society expects of them. A few, in order to conquer the fear of sex,, may indulge in indiscriminate sex with men who approach them.. I’m glad you didn’t react this way. However, you shouldn’t have cut off dating men totally, as dating doesn’t have to include sexual intercourse. Since it is
your desire to marry, allow friendship with several members of the opposite sex, so that you can interact with them and understand them well. Ordinary friendship with men takes care of romantic longing which many people (male and female) have. You chat, you laugh together, exchange novels,etc. And you feel that these people like you, and you too have the opportunity to like people. None of
them may actually become your boyfriend, but that interaction makes you feel good and you begin to appeal to some other man who may want a romantic relationship with you. Avoiding men would discourage those who would have liked to come closer. I know you feel grateful that your neighbour is interested in your welfare, but that doesn’t mean that you have to repay with your body. His fingers can bring infection to your
private part, and while trying to rub his organ on your private part to ‘find out’ if you are alive there, he might ‘accidentally’ push it in! Bingo! Intercourse has taken place, and you would now be fretting about venereal diseases, unwanted pregnancy, likely abortion, single motherhood, etc.; things that could mess up your life. The most cherished thing a girl has should be her body, and a man who claims to love you
should respect your body. He should not touch it anyhow unless you give him the permission. Even if you think you’re the dullest and ugliest person on earth, I don’t think you should make your private part a ‘play play’ thing for any man who speaks kindly to you. His words of advice and encouragement are not worth the price he’s subtly demanding from you. Don’t let people take advantage of you. Frankly, I think he’s a slippery fellow. I think the love you think you have for him, is gratitude that he’s showing interest in you. You didn’t say that he said he loves you. So, switch that ‘I love him’ to ‘we are friends’, and remove your private part from the friendship. You said he’s a Christian? If that’s so, his lust for your body makes him a disgrace to the church of God. He’s not worshipping God. At 28, you must believe in your ability to do well in life, by the grace of God. I hope you’re gainfully employed about your means of livelihood.
Obstacles to our cyber-dating Dear Rebecca
AM a 24-year-old guy, in love with a girl of 18 who I met through the internet early this year. Ever since we met, I have discovered that she always wants things done her own way. During one of our chats on internet, I told her to send me a mail and her personal picture since we have not met before. But she refused and demanded that I should send mine first. This I did before she sent hers. With what I saw on the photograph, I knew she possessed all that I need in a woman. She is a beautiful girl and since then, I have made up my mind to marry her. The first time I called her on phone, it was her mother that picked it and later gave it to her. The second time I called, the mother also picked it but warned me to stop calling her daughter. In order to avoid trouble between my girl friend and her parents, I decided to stop calling her on
phone. Since I have not seen her before, she wanted me to come to Lagos where she lives so that we can see face to face. But I don’t know how to go about it because I live in port Harcourt. Now we are having this barriers of distance and also her mother’s warning that I should leave her daughter alone. These are preventing us from knowing each other. Should I continue or call it quits with her? Please, tell me what to do. I am confused and worried. Christopher. Port Harcourt. REPL Y REPLY
HE internet has opened up a new world for human beings but I don’t consider it the ideal way of dating and getting a marital partner, especially when distance and funds are barriers to your meeting face to face frequently. I’ve met a couple who got acquainted through the internet and they are now husband
and wife, but these are middle -aged professional people who had been too busy to meet, date and marry people of their choice. So, they used a dating agency on the internet; giving details of themselves and what they want in a partner. The internet then matched them up. They met, liked each other and then the real courtship began, leading them to the altar. So, physical interaction is very important. You have been communicating with this girl by internet, and then on telephone. How do you know it was really her picture that was sent to you, and it was her mother who told you to leave her daughter alone, and not a friend of hers who she called in to join the game? I wouldn’t advise that you fall in love with a picture on the internet and voice on telephone. Wait until you see her and interact with her before declaring yourself in love. What you see when you meet may be different from what you’ve
been dreaming of. The way she talks, walks or even smells may put you off. So also may be her mode of dressing, or her outlook on life. On the other hand, she may meet up to your expectations. There’s no way of knowing without your meeting her. As for her asking you to send your photo first when you asked for her’s, it’s normal for girls to expect the men to take the lead in a relationship. I don’t think that means she’s stubborn. Besides, there’s some growing up to do. Since she’s just 18, if you can conveniently go to Lagos to meet her, do so. You’ll know what to do further about the relationship after you’ve met. HOWEVER, REMEMBER THE CYNTHIA CASE WHICH BROKE IN JULY! She was 26, a postgraduate student/ boutique owner who struck up a relationship with a man through the internet. She came down to Lagos from her Nasarawa base on a business trip and also to
meet her internet boyfriend for the first time. She was met at the airport by him and his cousin and they took her to a hotel in Festac. They drugged her so they could collect her money. When they found that he had no money in her possession, they went wild. They raped and then killed her. They vanished, and the boyfriend later phoned the hotel to tell them there was a corpse in their hotel. Luckily, the police traced and found them and they confessed the details above. The boyfriend said he sent an airticket to her to come down to Lagos, and a fight broke out about money and she died. The chemist boys who sold the drug they put in her Ribena drink were also arrested, At present, we don’t know what the fate of these young people will be. You already know this story, I’m sure, and you’re laughing and
saying you’re a guy and this can never happen to you. But beware! Beautiful girls have been used to lure men into being kidnapped, robbed and killed. This is a common occurrence all over the world. However, if you must come meet her in Lagos, make arrangement for a friend or relation to meet you at the motorpark or airport. Arrange your own accommodation. Meet the girl at an eatery, or any open place, and have someone with you. Remember that many entertainment points in big cities in the country have CCTV these days; you can be traced through your calls and the internet you use, etc. So, mind your steps in Lagos. Don’t go to her house since her mother disapproves of you. If you do, they could raise an alarm that you’re a r o b b e r ! I suggest you leave this girl alone.
•All letters for publication on this page should be sent to: Dear Rebecca, Vanguard Media Ltd, Kirikiri Canal, P.M.B 1007, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. E-mail: email@example.com
PAGE 22—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013
Is your man due for the services of a sexual surrogate?
ITH many of our men com plaining of different types of ‘accidents’ in the bedroom, it is no surprise that the help of what is now termed a ‘sexual surrogate’ could come in handy. The average ‘sexual surrogate’ is not a prostitute but a trained psychotherapist who acts as a surrogate for men suffering from a variety of sexual problems which are hampering their ability to have a normal physical relationship. Padma Deva is currently a highly successful surrogate based in the UK. She said she’s never had a negative experience with a client, and far from feeling in any way degraded by her work, she finds it emotionally fulfilling. According to her: “It is wonderful to witness the transformation my clients undergo, and knowing I have played a part in that is rewarding. During an initial consultation with a new client, I recommend a client sees their doctor to rule out physical causes for their sexual problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure.” If surrogacy is deemed appropriate, she asks her client to take a sexually transmitted disease test before hand. Only then can the surrogacy work begin. To start
with, both client’ and surrogate may remain fully clothed, focusing on exercises such as touching each other ’s hands, arms,shoulders and face. As the therapy advances, the client and the surrogate may build up to removing their clothes, engaging in genital contact and, if necessary and appropriate, full sexual intercourse. According to Padma, almost all of the clients she has seen for premature ejaculation issues have been able to improve the duration of their love-making from a typical 30-60 seconds initially, up to and beyond the male average of five to ten minutes. Similarly, she says 90 per cent of her erectile dys-
function clients have learned how to gain an erection without relying on medication such as viagra. ‘Every client I’ve worked with has left the programme with newfound confidence,” she said. One of such clients is Alan, a 28-year-old clerical worker, who decided to see her because he was a virgin with no confidence around women. He says his life was miserable because of his lack of sexual experience, which he thinks results from shyness. “It also made me think of myself as worthless,” he explains. “I once dated and fell in love with a lovely girl who seemed to be attracted to me. I remember her writing to me to make the first move sexually, but I
didn’t have a clue what to do, so I made up some weak excuse and went home. I once read about the Mughal era in India, where they would send young boys to specialised prostitutes who would educate them in the art of love-making. I remember wishing something like that had been available to me.” To date, Alan’s had three sessions with Padma. She has talked to him about relationships and female anatomy, and introduced sensual touching into their meetings. “A session usually starts with Padma explaining the theory behind the exercise,” he says, “then we move on to the physical acts. In one session, we covered the naked body, hugs and sensual
touching of the back. I had a breakthrough moment during the massage exercise, when at first I went into panic mode, worried about my performance. We stopped and did some grounding breathing exercises then tried again, and I enjoyed it.” Alan says his confidance has grown immeasurably and he is now so optimistic about the future that he has signed up to a dating website - something he would previously have been too nervous to do. As to be expected, some goody-two-shoes are turning up their nose at sexual surrogacy despite the veneer of clinical respectability. They see it as a deeply controversial practice. Critics, perhaps understanding, have dismissed it as morally reprehensible, degrading, and, at the very least, of dubious therapeutic benefit. Some have even questioned its legality, although there are no laws specifically prohibiting it. Sexual surrogacy may sound a bit suspect but it is based on the clinical work carried out in the fifties by sex researchers William H. Master and Virginia E. Johnson, who embarked on an 11-year study involving 510 married couples, 54 single
men and three single women. They recruited 54 carefully - screened women volunteers to work as surrogate partners with the singles. Before then, sexual problems were treated by psychotherapy or psychoanalysis, with low success rates. But Masters and Johnson developed a two-week treatment programme they claimed was 80 per cent effective. The success rate for the single men who worked with surrogates was 75 per cent. In this neck of the woods, a lot of you guys have confessed you would for ever be grateful to older women in your village, most of whom were second or fifth wives, who put you through your paces when they deemed you ripe for the picking. A lot of you have nostalgic tales to tell of how such women, your dads’ native wives inclusive, blew your brains out with raw sexual encounters. Now that sexual surrogacy is a possibility,both partners could benefit immensely with no guilt feelings. “To the sceptics”, says Padma who’s made a tidy sum from her ‘consultancy’, “I would say that it is giving me a chance to have a life I could only dream of - and what’s wrong with that?”
other side. Benefits: This posture gives lateral flexibility to the spine. The kidneys
are favourably affected and the inmards are also massaged. This pose also aids elimination.
Get going on the exercise path
OU’VE come to understand that the lack of a fitness programme in your life has not done you any good. You have decided to reverse the trend of things. Good. Well, once you get going try not to give up along the way. Read up about the successes of others on the exercise path. That should keep your etnthusiasm burning. The truth is that it would be long when you’ll begin to look forward to exercising upon rising every morning. Let’s go into the following breathing exercises and postures. Press-Up Breathing Techinque: Lying flat on your belly arrange your palms next to your shoulders. Take in a deep breath and raise the body horizontally. This position C M Y K
should find you on your palms and toes. Duration: Stay in this posture between 5 and 10 seconds. Return to the original position of lying flat down, rest awhile and repeat twice or thrice more. Benefits: This exercise expands and aims the lungs. Tree Pose Technique: Stand with feet together. Now, place the sole of your right foot up against your inner thigh with the help of your right hand. Now, proceed to place your plams together. Try to be as still as can be. If you sway a little, don’t worry. After all trees sway! Breathe normally. Duration: Stay in this posture between 10 and 13 seconds. Repeat with the left foot up against the right inner thigh.
Benefits: This exercise instills a some of calmness and improves a shoopy posture. Half-Plough Technique: Place a chair at the head of your practice mat. Place your head halfway underneaththe chair. Now swing both legs and place them atop the back rest of the chair. Duration: Stay in the plough pose for about 10 seconds. To return to the original position, first bend the knees and gently roll down flat back onto the gastric fire is improved and constipation dealth with. The Seated twist Technique: Sit upright with feet close thogether clutch the left thigh with the right hand while the left hand holds the top left corner of the chair. Sit right and turn the trunk
leftward. Duration: Stay in this position for a slow count to 15 and expect on the
* Half Plough Pose
Yoga classes at 32 Adetokunbo Ademola, Victoria Island, Lagos, 9.10am on Saturdays
SUND AY Vanguard , JUNE 16 , 2013, P AGE 23 SUNDA
When the mistress is more than a bit-on-the-side!
USTAPHA and Adun had been married over for 15 years and had four children when Adun said she began to notice personality changes in her husband. Mustapha, a seasoned banker, got a plum general manager’s job in a relatively new merchant bank some few years ago and since then, money problems became a thing of the past. “The rent on the house we lived in, was paid for by the bank so were things like domestic helps and the furniture. Life became more bearable and interesting for a while. Then things changed,” recalled Adun. “Mustapha started to come home late and when I asked him about it, he claimed to have been working late in the office. This was understandable because of his new responsibilities at work. On some occasions, I got a phone call from the principal of the school our two oldest children attended, asking me to come and collect the kids as their dad hadn’t come for them. This really upset me as Mustapha never used to joke about the welfare of his children. He always looked guilty about the children and that gave me the strange impression that his mind was no longer in his family’s affairs. All these went on for a while until the cat was let out of the bag, albeit inadvertently, by one of my husband's staff. He was at another friend’s house and was talking about a graduate receptionist they had who had the GM under her thumb. He then mentioned my husband’s
name. I went really cold and my friend looked embarrassed. The guest had no clue who I was. It was then I had to admit to having this strange impression that lately he was there in body and not in spirit whenever he was with us at home. “At that juncture, it would have seemed obvious to most wives that a husband behaving like that must be having an affair. Maybe I suspected but was scared to face a confirmation. I was now pushed to the wall and knew I had to confront my husband about his new mistress. Ifhe denied, I resolved, I was really going to tear into him. But he didn’t even bother to deny anything. He was in love with the receptionist, Angela her name was and might even marry her, he said. I stared at my husband in total disbelief: unable to take in the implication of what he had just said. The next six months were a nightmare. Now that I knew, Mustapha thought he should be open about his affair. He spent nights with her and they went to functions together. I was at a family friend’s party when he arrived, a bit later than me. I was about to go to him when I saw to my honour that Angela was in the car with him! Seeing them together made me want to attack her physically and I refused to stay at the same party with him and Angela. He left with her. “A few weeks after this incident. I had a heartto-heart talk with my husband. I spoke as if my life depended on it. I told him I was not going to let
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Please mark your envelope: “LOVE NOTES"
Your beauty overwhelms me
him go; that he was my husband and the father of my children and that my marriage meant more to me than my pain over his affairs. Surely, he could give Angela up to save our marriage? He promised to think about all I said and simply carried on seeing her. Out of desperation I did what no self-respecting wife should do. I went to see Angela at the office when I knew Mustapha was out of town. She looked a .bit flustered to see me but when we finally settled down to our little “talk” she told me flippantly that I should be talking to my husband, not to her as she didn’t make a play for him. He did the running. Angela must have told Mustapha about my visit because a few days later, he brought her to our matrimonial home. It was a Sunday and the kids were out with their friends. As soon as they came in, Mustapha wore a serious look and told me Angela had something to say. I
was mad with anger, I could have struck her across the face and beaten her to the ground for daring to take my husband and still have the cheek to stand there and try to talk to me, but some instinct warned I should hear her out. “She said she’s talked with Mustapha and come to a decision. She was going back to her boyfriend who would soon be home from abroad. I was greatly relieved. I was also angry and resentful but like I reasoned, maybe it was going to be all right after all, `my children were not going to lose their father and I had won my husband back’. How naive can you get? Our sex life, I soon found out, was not what it used to be and it later got to a stage where I didn’t care if Mustapha made Angela a second wife. I knew he was still seeing her despite her hollow prom-
As I wrap my arms around you I press your softness tight Great passion fills my inner being Cent Obama email@example.com +2348061379003
Unhappy without you
There is no where too far to hide from you. Although, most times I may sound and look so happy, inside me, I'm totally unhappy without you. In your smile I find true happiness,
ise and I gave up caring. I threw myself into my work and widened my own circle of friends. I spent more on clothes than on buying things for the house, then I discovered that I was flattered when men admired the new me. I started having social outings too and was actually enjoying them. ‘Mustapha was a bit relieved at first that I was no longer hounding him to return to his family. Then he had the nerve to tell me to stay home more because of the children. I simply ignore1him. Who was he to give advice? - I heard Angela’s man was in town but her affair with my husband still continued. I marvelled at how an affair can turn a husband you thought you knew into a stranger. What happened to his sense of responsibility to his family? I had done everything I could to repair my marriage. Even the children sensed the
tension and were bewildered. Then fate stepped into the whole mess. Unknown to Mustapha, Angela had been processing her travelling papers with her visiting fiancee. They both had a secret wedding in their home town so that Angela could get a visa as a wife. She left without letting my husband know. “1 just noticed that, all of a sudden, he started staying home more. 1 made discreet inquiries from my “mole” in his office and learnt the truth. 1 was very jubilant Mustapha was really hurting. He no longer took that much notice of what he wore, he ate less and was helpful around the house. In a pathetic way, 1 almost felt sorry for him. But this was a man who’d caused me so much anguish in the past. Let him stew in his own juice. He was only sorry because he was unceremoniously dumped. Family’s wonder cure? (Humour) BRENDA and Steve take their six-year-old son to the doctor. With some hesitation, they explain that although their little angel appears to be in good health, they’re concerned about his rather small penis. The doctor examines the child. “Just feed him pancakes. That should solve the problem,” he declares confidently. The next morning when the boy arrives at breakfast, there’s a large stack of warm pancakes in the middle of the table. “Wow, Mum!” he exclaims. “Are they all for me?” ‘\Just take two’, Brenda replies. “The rest of them are for your father.”
in your love I found life. So, tell me, what is my life without you? I love you. Omorville Umoru Omorville@gmail.com, 08062486549
You are my treasure
I do not mind at all whatever the population of women is in Nigeria. I chose you as my soulmate because you parade a credential which illustrates in fine strokes your journey in the world of love. Orator Etavwiare Ejovwoke, Agbarho, Delta State. firstname.lastname@example.org 08026750330
PAGE 24—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013
RIBADU’S SPEECH THAT ANGERED ASO ROCK
Political Engagement: A New Approach anyone who could come and contribute to the city or state, they welcomed anyone who desired to be a citizen. So why these unnatural and suddenly insurmountable walls of ethnic exclusivities? We live in the saddest form of self-deceit, that this or that region of Nigeria favoured by someone or the other would remain one if we allowed the secessionists and ethnic irredentists get their cartographers working against our country’s map. There is no country in this world whose borders simply surrounded a people of the same identities, wishes and desires. Our ability, in spite of the divides, to come to a consensus or sacrifice a cause or compromise a stance, is what makes us a nation. But we have chosen to play the politics of exclusion where the trust of the people is first for their kinsmen or religion before alignment with the nation. This dangerous departure from patriotism, which saw to rise in ethnic advocacy, nepotism, bigotry and militancy, has been used by enemies of change to subdue and destroy any quest for the Nigeria of our dreams—a Nigeria where we abandon our bloodline in our service to the nation. Who we are in a democracy is not ambiguous; it is a single identity vested with the same rights for all, rights of equal citizenship! We are citizens, just citizens, not Hausa-Fulani, not Igbo, not Yoruba, not Jukun, not Ijaw, not northerners, not southerners, and no matter our protests, no matter our influence and affluence, we all must have just a single vote in a participatory democracy.
BY MALLAM NUHU RIBADU
Extracts from a public lecture at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria under the theme, “Youth: The Fulcrum of Every Society”
Nuhu Ribadu...Our youths have lost hope
S philosophers teach, everything changes. So we don’t need a political philosopher to spell out that there is dynamism in our politics. Our politics is an interpretation of who we are, what we are and the things we stand for. The presently unclear phase of our political disharmony is the issue we must reflect on today—and that we must do together. The dynamism of modern politics is one further excited by the reality of the internet and a consequent increased participation of the youth in political and civic matters. But the place of the youth in our democratic space is jeopardised when the elite in our State decide to model our government after a gerontocracy—a government by the old and for the elderly. Ours is a system in which new and modern ideas are denied a chance to grow and mature. The tragedy of our democracy is that it is one in which the yearnings of the youth are stamped down in order to perpetuate a tyranny of interests. Tyranny it is when a certain slim range of people impose their private interests on the majority; tyranny it is when the agents of change are left on the cliffs of unemployment, poverty, insecurity, substandard education and, worse still, policies destroyed by our heritage of corruption. It is, however, understandable that our youth have lost hope in the leadership of this nation; a sane society is known by the opportunities it provides for the youth. But I must offer that the youth should not allow themselves to be drawn into any campaign that attempts to colour the internal borders of our country. We are doomed as a nation the moment the youth get hoodwinked by the bickering of bitter politicians who ride to relevance on sentiments that only inspire distrust among citizens. My experience so far in politics has taught me that age does not guarantee maturity to responsibly play the role of a patriot in an atmosphere of tensed political antagonisms. Thankfully, this is the Age of the Internet; borderless interactions in and out of cyberspace have opened a new door of social and political influences for the youth and the oppressed. This age of information has revealed that no people can ever be entirely wrong at the same time; the evil among us are so because of certain disorders in their superficial orientations, education or even mental state. That Boko Haram insurgency was launched in the north does not incriminate the entire northerners or Muslims; neither is kidnapping and the previously ill-famed militancy in the south crimes of the entire people of Niger-Delta. Similarly, the recent massacre of our security officers by certain elements of the largely good-natured Eggon people of Nasarawa State must not be adopted in interpreting the ethnic identities of these people. There is no man on this earth who smiles at the injuries on his body. And these militants, kidnappers, extremists and other agents of exclusion among us are injuries on the collective body of the nation. These events only call out loudly for
The biggest illusion we have lived in as a people is believing the cry from various corners that Nigeria is an unnatural entity coerced together—a sort of Frankenstein state
careful and people-centered leadership. This is our call, and we must be fair to our history. Who we are… in democracy The biggest illusion we have lived in as a people is believing the cry from various corners that Nigeria is an unnatural entity coerced together—a sort of Frankenstein state. I have no doubt that this is a very, very inaccurate judgment. The truth is far simpler—there is not a single region in what is now Nigeria that was home to just a single ethnic group living all by themselves before the coming of the colonialists.
Exclusive ethnic identities are inventions of our political advocacies and relevancies. Nigeria was a stretch of land hosting many city-states and cosmopolites, where in the south-west the Ijebu and the Egba people didn’t consider themselves as one, talk less of as Yoruba. In the southeast, it was a taboo to infer that the people of, say, Arochukwu and Onitsha were one—none accepted identification as Igbo. The Hausaland too was not monotonous as today ’s Hausamen from Kano and Katsina would rather identify with their city-states than with any corporate ethnicity. But while they each had their distinct identities, they also welcomed
What we are… in democracy What are we? We are Change! We are the scattered, and mostly unfamiliar and unrelated citizens, in who lie the same purpose, in who lie the hunger for a functional society, in who lie the dream of a new Nigeria. Change, in this time of political anarchy, is the wisdom to see through the propagandas designed to destabilise the country. Change, in this trying time, is the strength to stand together despite the blowups of bombsper-meter-square in our land. Change, in this time of distrust, is the maturity to disregard the theories of stereotype artists who heap the failure of a nation to a particular region or people, to an “other”, a “someone else” who is not “one of us”. Change, in this era of internet evolution and revolution, is the maximisation of the privileges offered by the internet in which every man with a laptop or tablet or mobile phone has a valid voice that must be heard. The debate has always been that online representations of Nigeria in cyberspace do not capture our social realities in the actual world. While I agree that cyberNigeria is not our absolute portrait since our non-literate fellow countrymen in their teeming millions have been left out of its political exchanges and interactions, we must recognise the power and influence of the internet users on the psyche and struggle of the nation. Globalisation is not just a word, and as slow as it is in Third World Nigeria, it has interposed unimagined twists of events we have only been reading in foreign tabloids in Nigeria. Globalisation is a teacher of the good and the bad, and today the influences are no longer passed just through the privileged bourgeoisie. The increase in internet access enhances the speed of dispersion of ideas. It happened in Tunisia. It happened in Egypt. It’s happening here… But, we must be devout apostles of change to realise our dream of Change!
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SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 25
Political Engagement: A New Approach What we stand for… in democracy Democracy loses its allure when it is perceived as a forte of the rich—through oligarchic eyes. With such a mindset, the people themselves make democracy expensive and destroy it. The moment you task your candidates with paying to earn your votes, you lose your moral right to question his excesses. I agree with the Australian political theorist, Professor John Dryzek, when he explains the essence of democracy, thus: ”Democratization… is not the spread of liberal democracy to ever more corners of the world, but rather extensions along any one of three dimensions… The first is franchise, expansion of the number of people capable of participating effectively in collective decision. The second is scope, bringing more issues and areas of life potentially under democratic control… The third is the authenticity of the control…: to be real rather than symbolic, involving the effective participation of autonomous and competent actors”. To democratise Nigeria, we must understand the powers we refuse to explore. The “tyrants” in democracy are actually individuals from amongst the people, but when they become agents of electoral malpractices and political dishonesty, the dice turns up against the people from which they have come. When I say “people”, I don’t mean just the voters. The electoral officers who comply to rig a fair election abuse their chance at creating a saner nation while damaging the trust and hopes of an oppressed people of whom they are members. Politics is not magic; it’s a calculation of the good and the wrongs we do in the quest of power. Here is where we need to come together to make our democracy work; let us drop any form of identity that introduces us as something other than “citizens”, and let us drop any citizenship that asks for anything other than “Change” for the better. Let us destroy any institution that preaches divisions and exclusions. Unless we put our patriotism away from greed and any undemocratic advocacy, our collective struggle to install a popular government will remain a mission impossible. Approaching the modern democracy Traditional political engagements were, until the coming of the internet revolutions, carried out largely by the civil societies and opposition political groups. But the internet has introduced a medium not only for instant dissemination of information and broader based interaction, but one that has also offered us a new space for the gestation of political ideologies, mobilisations and revolts. The trigger of this internet-based political revolution is, perhaps, the suicide of Tunisia’s Mohamed Bouazizi, a young vendor whose singular act to protest repeated harassment by the local police punctured the overstayed dictatorship of that North African country. Bouazizi’s death would not have been noticed without the internet, and social networking sites from where cell phone photograph of the dead vendor stirred up the anger of fellow citizens. The defeat ofBen Ali by the protestors sent a message to other similarly oppressed people, a message that went beyond the North Africa territories. What has this got to do with Nigeria, you ask? The Bouazizi Effect is not only an instigator of Arab Spring, it taught disgruntled citizens worldwide a way to take their anger beyond cyberspace. It taught the loudest way to condemn antipeople policies. It taught Bahrainis to demand for a freer political clime… It taught the Egyptians to demand for a new president… It taught the Libyans to take up arms against their president whom they not only overthrew but killed… It taught the Yemenis to oust their president. And, welcome back home, it inspired Nigerians to take to the street in their revolt against the removal of fuel subsidy in January 2012. While the decision to challenge C M Y K
unpopular policies is laudable, absolute orderliness is not expected from angry young men on the streets. This is where we must rub minds, like family, to find a way out of this mess; how do we end this reign of corruption and insensitivity to the plight of the common man without subjecting any of us to the bullets of those asked to send us back to our houses in which we find miseries and hopelessness? How do we tell our political leaders that a thing is missing without getting shot? I use “ we” because I’m just as passionate and concerned as you and YOU! I use “ we” because if we allow ourselves to be divided into “Us” and “Them”, the possibility of winning this war is null. The exclusionists who invented “them” to stop us from forming a formidable political “ we” are the people we must fight, and there is just one way to achieve this: Citizen Engagement! Political engagement My commonsense understanding of engagement in a democratic polity is the realisation of one’s rights, having studied and understood the deficiencies inherent in a system from which expectations of satisfaction have been unsatisfied. Political engagement is inspired or justified by one’s decision to discharge his or her constitutional responsibilities in an attempt to either react to an unpopular reform or policy or merely embark on a personal quest to contribute one’s quota to a government found wanting. In our response to the dynamism of present politics, the traditional engagement that tasked the civil societies and opposition parties with engaging incumbent governments and their reforms or policies, we must pander to the non-
Continued from page 24
Nuhu Ribadu...We must be apostles of change mistakes of yesterdays, but while we struggled with this, our democracy has become modelled into an avenue where sentiments are highlighted by pro-exclusion politicians to corner the votes of their kinsmen because they
This is a time of anarchy. In a time like this, we should have no identities other than ordinary citizen. We are citizens of a world challenged, a people confused and abused, a nation whose resources is misused by leaders whose major worry is the amount of dollars in their bank accounts
violent form of citizenship mobilisation popularised by Bouazizi Effect. Mind you, I do not mean setting oneself ablaze to register a grievance. I mean exploring the power of our numbers, from the internet to the physical landscape, to investigate and challenge a political injustice; I mean defying attempts by exclusionists to tear us apart in our campaign for an ideal candidate; I mean understanding that for achieving impact, an engagement in cyberspace is not enough until it is propounded and taken to the actual world. Here again, we have a task before us: Citizenship Mobilisation.
Nigeria: Engaging the modern politics In 1999, we welcomed democracy with a hope of building a civilian government in which every citizen is an active participant. A decade later, our democracy was led into chaos where the “Who” and the “What” of our identifications are colourfully worn to pronounce our differences and divides. This is a masterfully orchestrated bang that opened the Pandora box we have tightly secured since the unfortunate events of the Nigerian Civil War—in fact, since before then! We have existed as a nation struggling to forgive itself of the
cannot do so on grounds of their individual reputation or records. This careless stratagem is a pathway to selfdestruction begging for our collective, and very immediate, effort at snatching our future from the hands of those who ride on such ethnic and religious and regional sentiments towards selfenrichment. The challenge ahead is enormous. The challenge is for us to form networks that will engage and destroy the evil missions of the exclusionists and agents of anarchy among us. In a time of anarchy, everybody is a politician. This is a time of anarchy. In a time like this, we should have no identities other than ordinary Citizen. We are citizens of a world challenged, a people confused and abused, a nation whose resources is misused by leaders whose major worry is the amount of dollars in their bank accounts. The situation is one of psychological abuse, existential abuse. My antidote for this monstrous reality is also psychological: First, while it has become really difficult to set aside our ethnic identities in discharging our civic responsibilities, we must know that in a democratic space, our only identity especially when we gather around ballot boxes and in the service of the nation is our citizenship:
“Nigerian”. We must be conscious of this identity, it defines a patriot. Second, always have in mind that politics is not magic. And that people are responsible for the governments that happen to them. If the electorates wear their patriotism to vote in a popular candidate, the electoral officers too must know that their manipulation of figures is a betrayal of trust and their fellows awaiting them at home. No candidate can rig an election without complicity of the people. Third, offline and online political engagements are compulsory ventures of every citizen of a troubled country. Though, I have always maintained that Nigeria is a Third World country and, for this, we must not be carried away on the social media. A percentage of Nigerians who have no internet access is important. In every decision, and agenda, we aspire to pursue, they must be in the know. Fourth, membership of social and political groups and networks including community volunteerism is the surest way of fixing our weakened bonds and salving our rivalries. The more we meet to discuss personal and public issues without pandering to the designs of the exclusionists, the more we understand and forestall propagandas fashioned against us. The new Nigerian, irrespective of his origin, must be a part of any network that analyses and tries to influence public policies or government. Lastly, let us have in mind that we are now in a sinking ship in which we alone understand, and can reestablish, the hydraulics of our statecraft. Let us have in mind that we are all politicians in this storm. Conclusion The reality of modern Nigeria is one that challenges us to drop any other identity aside from that of Citizen in our effort to rescue the ship of state from this stormy sea of chaos. All the destructions in the guise of inter-ethnic, inter-religious and inter-regional clash are traced to politics and this supports my earlier declarations that every citizen of a troubled country must become a politician. A politician is a conscious citizen of a country, a politician is first known by his citizenship, a politician is young and old, a politician is poor and rich, a politician is a thinker and volunteer, a politician is employed and jobless, a politician is a humanist and patriot, a politician is a teacher and student, a politician is you and I. *Ribadu was the presidential candidate of the A C N in the 2011 polls and a former Chairman of the EFCC.
Vanguard , JUNE 16, 2013
Why North should wait till 2027, by Ogbemudia Says Jonathan has power to resolve governors’ impasse ’Oshiomhole shunned our plea to join PDP’
r Samuel Ogbemudia, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, is an old war horse in politics. The time- two former governor of the old Bendel State has been abroad for medical check-up and broke his silence on political issues to Sunday Vanguard last Wednesday. While declaring the support of the leaders of the South-south for second term for President Goodluck Jonathan, the former military tactician explained why the North is not entitled to the presidency until 2027. And contrary to the statement by the PDP that Governor Adams Oshiomhole begged to join the party prior to the 2007 and 2012 governorship election in Edo State, Ogbemudia disclosed how he led some PDP leaders to appeal to Oshiomhole to join the party, C M Y K
SIMON EBEGBULEM, Benin City
If we talk, four years will not do any harm to anybody; the matter can be resolved
but the plea was turned down by the former labour leader. He spoke on other national issues. Excerpts:
While you were away, Nigeria celebrated Democracy Day. How do you assess our democracy so far? The assessment one can give is that it has been smooth, in the sense that everyone in Nigeria today appreciates democracy. Democracy means freedom, but freedom has its own obligations. I am enjoying democracy. We have made tremendous progress. But Nigerians are worried that despite our resources, government is unable to give us steady power supply and employment opportunities for the youths among other basic things?
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Vanguard , JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 27
Why North should wait till 2027, by Ogbemudia Continued from page 18
Nigeria Governors Forum crisis The Governors Forum, according to experts, is not in the Constitution, but, as far as I am concerned, whether it is in the Constitution or not, it has come to stay. When five people come together to form a group, it may not be in the Constitution but they feel it is the right thing. The governors are the custodians of the democratic votes, they are the ones running the states, they are supposed to be the chief security officers of their states. So if you want their cooperation, you implore them to help you, talk to them like brothers, talk to them like friends, talk in a way that will encourage them to help you the more. But if anybody has succeeded in intimidating someone to do what he likes, I don’t think the Governors Forum is the one that can be intimidated to do what game they want them to play. So it is through negotiation, Nigeria has developed a language called dialogue, so they should dialogue. The President should be the arbiter, he should not support any one. He should call the two warring factions together and settle the problem. I expect the President to C M Y K
Yes, those who are worried are people who do not know the problems government faces. To lay one line that will carry eleven KVA from Delta to Sokoto or Maiduguri costs fortunes, and it is more than anything a state can produce. So one must first of all appreciate the enormity of the problems facing the Federal Government and then try to encourage it to do more. I know that the purpose of opposition is to pressurize the government to do more, but sometimes they get it wrong. Once in a while, they should say, ’Yes, the President is trying in some areas but can do more’; that will encourage him.
The governors are the custodians of the democratic votes, they are the ones running the states, they are supposed to be the chief security officers of their states
settle the issues so that the governors don’t break into factions, otherwise the 2015 elections will not be smooth.
What is your position on Chief Tony Anenih’s call for automatic ticket to PDP governors and the President? Well Tony Anenih has spoken his mind. It is left for the electorate in each state to decide whether the governor has performed to deserve a return ticket. You cannot come from Edo State to tell the man in Kaura Namoda that his governor has done well. He will not believe you if he has not performed well. State of emergency in three states I think the logical conclusion is that the state of emergency is necessary. But my personal view is that if the governors have been allowed to perform their functions as chief security officers, there would not have been need for the state of emergency. They don’t have the apparatus available to the Federal Government, if the Federal Government had allowed the governors to do their jobs and given them all the facilities they needed, this emergency would have been unnecessary. So I expect the Federal
Government to allow the governors to function effectively as the chief security officers of their state after the emergency. The governors should get all the powers that accompany being their respective states chief security officers. But some people attribute the insurgency to the tussle for the 2015 presidency between the North and the South. My view is that we in the Southsouth want Jonathan to continue in power beyond 2015. The North is equally interested in the presidency. We should sit down and talk. If we talk, four years will not do any harm to anybody; the matter can be resolved. The South-west came in 1999 and served for eight years. The South-south should also do eight years. And the truth is that the Southeast is also entitled to the presidency when the South-south must have finished its eight years. Does that mean North should not think about power returning to them until sometime around 2027? Absolutely Message to Nigerians We have come a long way from 1914 to 2013; during those years, we passed through thick and thin and the lesson that we ought to have learnt is that we needed to work together as a team with all hands on deck to achieve our ultimate goal. It is still not late, the people should cooperate with the government of the day, four years in the life of a nation is nothing, but, in the life of a person, it means a lot. For this nation to survive, we all need to put all hands on deck and we should all support the government of the day.
Back to Edo, you have been passionate about a Benin man becoming the governor after Oshiomhole. Is that where you still stand? I belong to the group that strongly supports the Benin agenda, I also belong to the group that wants the candidate picked on merit to serve at Osadebey Avenue, to continue the good job Oshiomhole has done. So if a Benin man is the one that will do it, so be it. But all Binis are interested and want a Benin man to be the next governor because they think they are not receiving their due share, they are being marginalized and I hold the same opinion and we should meet and again talk at a round table, there will be no hidden agenda. Your party, the PDP, has been in trouble in the hands of the Adams Oshiomhole- led ACN in the state. What is the way forward for the party? The PDP requires no advice now because they already know that united they stand, divided they remain where they are. So they are working towards bringing everybody on board. That is why I led a delegation of Senator Oyofo, Dr Willie Ogbeide and three others to persuade Oshiomhole to come to PDP and he told us that if he joined PDP, his friends in the media will kill him. I was therefore embarrassed when I heard that the PDP said he came to them and they rejected him. The answer to the PDP challenge in Edo lies in the leaders coming together, embrace internal democracy and re-organize their management of victory.
PAGE 28—SUNDAY, Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013
Thoughts on Africa
L- R : Prof. Anya O. Anya , the Author Dr. Agwu Ukiwe Okali, Brig. Gen. Ike Nwachukwu , Chairman of Occasion and Mr. Jean Ping.
L- R:Prof. George Obiozor, Former, DG, NIIA and Senator Felix Ibru .
L- R: Mrs Dame Carol Nwazojie and Prof. Bola Akinterinwa , DG. NIIA
t was a gathering of African leaders of thought at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, NIIA, Victoria Island, on Thursday when Okali Seminal Ideas Foundation for Africa, OSIFA, was inaugurated. Also at the top of highlights of events was the public presentation of a book titled “‘Of Black Servitude without Slavery, the Unspoken Politics of Language’, written by Dr. Agwu Ukiwe Okali. Speakers at the event posited that Africa has remained under-developed because of lack of belief in the ideas of its people, amongst other reasons. Taking similar stand,Founder/Chairman of the foundation, Dr. Okali, also said he regretted that Africans do not receive corresponding respect for their intellectual competence and abilities, despite the fact that they can hold their own in any task anywhere. The book “Of Black Servitude without Slavery: the Unspoken Politics of Language” is the first volume of OSIFA’s Africa Seminal Ideas Series. Photos by Diran Oshe
L- R: Prof. Oguba Oche and Prof. John Amoda
Legend people in Dubai
Tom Madaki, Wilson Prince Osah, Folashade Omoleye,Sunny Odomoke, Okotie Oritsuwa, Ozioko Bethran Ikechukwu, Emuejevoke Oputu, winners, with Emmanuel Agu, Marketing Manager, Gulder, Legend & Life, NB Plc., James Nweke, Aghedo Cyril Sadiq Ehinoria and Ishalaiye Ayodele, other lucky winners, at the Deira Shopping Mall, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The winners surrounded by officials of the Deira Shopping Mall, after shopping C M Y K
The Legend Museum
n Friday, May 31, 2013, the second batch of consumers who emerged winners in the on-going Legend Real Deal National Consumer Promotion, were flown to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The 10 lucky consumers, during their 3-day stay, were taken on a tour of exciting sites and landscapes in Dubai. They also got to shop for items worth N1 million at the Deira Shopping Centre, Dubai. They returned to Lagos on Monday, June 4, 2013.
L-R:: Folashade Omoleye, Ozioko Bethran Ikechukwu, James Nweke, Tom Madaki, Okotie Oritsuwa, Emuejevoke Oputu, Aghedo Cyril Sadiq Ehinoria, Sunny Odomoke, Wilson Prince Osah and Ishalaiye Ayodele
The lucky Legend consumers while on tour
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013 —29
A dieu, FFatai atai R olling Rukevwe @ 43 Rolling Dollar he 43rd Birthday party for Dr (Mrs) Rukevwe
L-R: Hon. Temidayo Adeyemi, former Secretary, Agege Local Government,Hon. Lateef Ibirogba, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, representing Lagos State Governor, Mrs Zainab Olagunju Fatai, window and Jamiu Olagunju, son.
t was a glorious final moment for the deceased Highlife maestro, Fatai Olayiwola Olagunju a.k.a. Fatai Rolling Dollar as his colleagues, eminent personalities and members of the public gathered at his Militon Estate, Oko-Oba residence, Agege for a Fidau Muslim prayer for peaceful repose of his soul. His remains were later laid to rest at his Ikorodu residence site. Final burial ceremony announced by the family is slated for Thursday, June 20th. Photos by Akeem Salau
Ugwumba, Special Adviser, Health Monitor ing To Delta State Governor held in Asaba last Weekend. Even after the merriment the beautiful lady continued her call of duty as she received an award on behalf of the First Lady of Delta State. Photos by Nath Onojake
R-L Rev. Father Charles Okeke, Dr (Mrs) Rukevwe Ugwumba, celebrant, Barr. Andy Odum and Mr. Napoleon Okwelum
L-R: Apple Spinners, Ayo Balogun, President, AJUMN, Chief Segun Adewale, Mr Folly Peperempe and Admiral Dele Abiodun.
Dr (Mrs) Nwokocha, presenting award to Dr. Rukevwe Ugwumba, on behalf of Her Excellency, Mrs Roli Uduaghan Flanked by Dr.Ejiro Umueri (R) and Dr. Modupe Abiola (L)
L-R:Ebenezer Obey with Hon. Jubreel Abdul Kareem, Chairman, Agege Local Government and Mrs Olagunju, wife of the deceased.
L-R: Omas Lance Perry, PMAN, King Waleman, PMAN, Hon. Hajia Oluremi Amina Dangaji, PMAN and Sir Kareem Ayinde Olomide
goes Album `In The Name Of Jesus’
BURIAL ceremony for Madam Eyareko held at Ekrerhavwen-Agbarho. Many important dignitaries graced the occasion.
Professor and Mrs Akpotor flanked by Sir and Lady Okeya
BRIGHT GAIN , bass player, jazz composer and gospel artiste launched his latest album “In The Name of Jesus” at the pool side of Eko Hotel and Suites on Thursday. Photo Biodun Ogunleye
L-R:Mr Bright Gain, Mrs Sarah Boulos, President, Society for the performing Arts in Nigeria, Mr Ayoola Sadare, and Amb Mokgethi Monaisa,Consul General of South Africa
Wedding bells ffor or Aminat and Shola FAMILIES of Chief Jubril Aminat of Oto Awori and Chief Olabintan of Ipokia LGA, Lagos rolled out the red carpet for their children, Mr. Shola Olabintan and his bride, former Miss Aminat who tied the knot at Chief Jubril Aminat’s residence, Ijanikin, Lagos
Mr. and Mrs Shola Olabintan
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C M Y K
SUNDAY VANGUARD,JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 31
PAGE 32—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013
ANOTHER TALE OF ALLEGED EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLING
The soldiers asked my son to run...then shot him dead on the back — Widow ’My other child watched in horror as they executed his brother’ don’t know if it is a plot to wipe out my family. My son was ill and for two days he never went out until that day. He graduated from a computer school and our prayer was that when we had money he would attend a higher institution. After the death of his father, I enrolled him in the computer school. And since he completed the computer programme, he had been going out to work as a bricklayer, assisting builders. He was a very obedient son and was never a thief or a cultist. I am appealing to Nigerians to help me demand for justice.
BY SIMON EBEGBULEM, Benin-City
rancisca Nkemcho, a widow from Ota Orhionmwon local government council of Edo State, is not a happy woman. Reason: The alleged extra-judicial killing of her 25-year- old son, Chukwudimedi Nkemcho, by some soldiers in Agbor, Delta State, penultimate Wednesday. The deceased was said to have been paraded as an armed robber by the soldiers and shot dead hours later. The body was taken to the police station in Agbor but, when the family rushed to identify the corpse, they were told it had been buried in an unknown grave. Madam Francisca, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard on her sick bed, insisted that her son was never a criminal or a cultist. She cried for justice, saying that as a widow and sick, she had not been able to petition relevant agencies on the issue. The widow, from Ogwashu Uku in Delta State but married to an Edo man who died in 2007, said it would be unfair if she was not able to get justice. This is the second time allegations of extrajudicial killing are being levelled against security agents in the Southsouth. Mid last month, a DPO in Edo State was accused of killing an innocent student of University of Benin. The case is under investigation by the police. The widow in the latest incident narrated her story to Sunday Vanguard. “The incident happened on Wednesday, 8 of May, 2013 in Agbor. My son went out between 2pm and 3pm. Before that day, he had not been able to leave the house because he was ill. I still have the drugs he was taking with me. So I was happy that he was able to go out that day. He did not come back at about 6pm and we called his number but it was switched off ”, the bereaved mother said. She continued: “So I called his siblings and told them to go and search for him. But they all assumed that he might be charging his phone somewhere. When at about 9pm he was still not back, I went to bed because I was not feeling fine. Early the following day, I sent people out to look for him. I was really down so I could not go with them. So my other son and others took Okada to look for him. But on getting close to the army base in Agbor, my son said he noticed people running towards the place and he tried to find out what was happening. Somebody now told him that soldiers were parating C M Y K
Mrs Nkencho and her deceased son Chukwudimedi
The soldiers said they were criminals while the police branded them unknown cultists. My son is not a robber or a cultist; we have been managing together since the death of his father and he never stole some armed robbers. He rushed to the place but the crowd was too much and because of the crowd he could not get closer. But from where he was, he was able to see his brother and two others whom they said were armed robbers. But the soldiers later asked one of them to leave, my son and one other boy remained. “To the surprise of my son
and others who were there, they said the soldiers ordered my son and the other boy to run and they were shot from the back in the presence of the crowd. My son said he wanted to shout but because of fear that he may also be arrested, he ran away and went somewhere to call us. He could not even speak on phone, so he decided to take Okada to run back home. Some persons who were there saw my son; so they started calling us. They took the pictures and sent to us. We were told that after they shot them, they took the bodies to the police station. At about 5pm, we went there but could not find the bodies. The soldiers said they were criminals while the police branded them unknown cultists. My son is not a robber or a cultist; we have been managing together since the death of his father and he never stole. He was my first son out of the four children I have”. While demanding for justice, Mrs Nkemcho stated: “They have no right to murder my son like that. All the allegations were untrue. Let the public know that my son was murdered by the soldiers innocently. I am even afraid to come out because I
he soldiers cannot kill my son and go scot free because we are poor. His spirit will haunt them and God Almighty will never forgive them. Look at me, a widow, how do I fight this cause? People should help me. After killing my son, the police went to bury him in an unknown grave, they did not even give us the opportunity to see him for the last time before they buried him. This is injustice, this is wicked. I am appealing to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, the governor of Delta State, to help me ask the soldiers what happened to my son. The IG of Police, President Jonathan, please give me justice”. When contacted, the DPO at Agbor police declined to comment but a top police officer there explained: “The police have no hand in the killing. What happened was that some soldiers brought two corpses to the station and asked that we should bury them but the DPO insisted that he must know the cause of death. The soldiers said they were killed during exchange of fire with robbers and that they were found with an AK 47 rifle”. The DPO was said to have asked the soldiers to produce the gun before accepting the corpses, but they declined, saying `Soldiers don’t surrender guns to the police; that the gun was in their custody”. The police officer further told Sunday Vanguard: “It was after the argument that the DPO now said they must give him a report on the cause of death, so the officer that led the soldiers wrote a short report and they left. So people should not drag the police into this. Only the asoldiers what happened”. Meanwhile a lawyer, R.O Okpiavbe Esq., on behalf of the family. In a petition to the Inspector General of Police, the family accused the army of extra judicial murder and called for thorough investigation.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013—PAGE 33
BLACK SUNDAY IN INYIMA
5 dead, 300 houses razed, 5,000 displaced BY EMMA UNA
ross River State annual ly experiences natural disaster portfolios such as flood, wind storm, acid rain and hail stones which cause devastation. But what wreaks more havoc are conflicts among communities in the state. One can, on the fingers of one hand, count the number of communities in the state that have not engaged in one form of intra or inter-communal conflict at one time of the other with consequent loss of lives and destruction of property. These conflicts are sparked by trivial misunderstanding or squabble for land for agricultural activity particularly during the planting season, January to June. Though the state is blessed with, large expanse of fertile land, this is hardly considered enough as communities
village in ruins
seek to acquire more by encroaching on that of neighbours and this often leads to confrontation and then “war”. To stem the high frequency of conflicts, Governor Liyel Imoke sometimes wields the
big stick against traditional rulers and political leaders by sanctioning or suspending them from office. In one of such recurring conflicts in the Central Senatorial District of the state, on Sunday, 2 June, five
persons were reportedly killed, 300 homes set ablaze and about 5,000 people rendered homeless. The attack was said to have been masterminded by aggrieved youth from Adun village who alleged that a man, Akani Azugo, from Inyima community, stole cassava tubers from a farm belonging to an Adun man and was arrested by the police, but the youth were not satisfied and felt that the Inyima people had undermined their “superiority” and dared them by stealing their cassava.. The attack left Inyima, located about 200km from Calabar, in ruins as virtually every building was either burnt or demolished. The assailants did not spare the newly constructed and fully equipped primary health centre built by the Cross River State Government in the community as it was destroyed along with its
facilities including beds, drugs and solar panel. House hold property was burnt and domestic animals such as goats, fowls, dogs were killed. The animals carcasses littered the village. Public institutions like schools and churches in neighbouring villages have been turned into refugee camps with majority of them at Assiga Old and New Towns, Igbo-Imabana, Nko and Assiga Beach. The atmosphere in the village was one of gloom. A few men were seen in the village when Sunday Vanguard visitedwhile women and children trickled-in to salvage whatever property was left which they could take to the refugee camps. The Cross River Deputy Governor, Efiok Cobham, who visited Inyima two days after the conflict to see things for himself described the destruction as barbaric
Continues on page 34
Amnesty Phase Three: ‘Ex-militants should take case to Jonathan’ BY FESTUS AHON
eneral’ Kingsley Muturu is the Chairman of the Amnesty Phase Two in Delta State. In this interview, he speaks on the implementation of the amnesty programme, President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and other burning issues. Excerpts: How would you assess the implementation of the amnesty programme since it was put in place by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua? The amnesty programme is going on very well. Timi Alaibe was the first amnesty Chairman before he handed over to Kingsley Kuku who hav been in the system. He has been working closely with us one on one and we are satisfied with what is happening. I know there have been pockets of criticism from some disgruntled elements over his handling of some issues concerning the programme. But it is not out of place for those occupying political offices to be criticized by those who think things are not going their
own way. Criticisms bring the best out of anybody, but, by and large, I think Kingsley Kuku is doing a fantastic job with the amnesty programme. Most the people criticizing Kuku are not members or beneficiaries of the amnesty programme. It is those of us who are part of the programme that are in the best position to complain about any problem arising from the implementation and give advice on areas that should be improved upon. Who specifically do you mean by people outside the amnesty programme? The people outside the programme
that are opposing him are his political enemies, some of his old friends who, at any little opportunity, mobilize and begin to protest. In the amnesty programme, we have Phases One, Two and Three. We gathered that the implementation of Phase Three has not been as effective as one and two. Ex-militants in Phase III, particularly those from Urhobo and Itsekiri, say they are marginalized. What is your take on this? The problem with the Phase Three is that the slots approved for it are not enough. Ex-militants in Phase Three are far more than those in Phases One and Two and only about 3,000 or so slots were approved for them by the Federal Government. The slots are not even enough for Phase Three ex-militants in Delta State let alone other states in the Niger Delta region. There is this erroneous impression among the Phase Three ex-militants that it is Kingsley Kuku that is holding back the slots that they feel was due to them, hence they are directing all accusations and blames at him. Those aggrieved exmilitants who are not included in Phase Three should direct their protest to the Federal Government and not Kingsley Kuku because he was not the one that made the approval. They should appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan to look into the matter. President Goodluck Jonathan is from the Niger Delta. How would you describe his attitude towards the amnesty programme?
We are satisfied with what he is doing. Since Phase Two was approved in December 2010, we have been receiving our monthly salaries regularly. As I am speaking, we preparing to go for training and I am the one compiling the list that would be submitted at the Amnesty Office. Obviously there is a time frame for the amnesty programme. When it finally ends, do you think the youths would have been empowered enough such that they will not go back to the creeks again? The amnesty is coming to an end in 2015, but if it ends without empowering the youths adequately, the crisis that will come up will be more terrible than the one that came before. So I will advise the government to package them well before that time. Some persons have been writing petitions against the Amnesty Board headed by Kingsley Kuku, that the man is not doing well, that he is using the programme to favour the Ijaws mostly, that other ethnic groups are being neglected; even some Ijaw youths are also complaining that they are not being carried along. How do you react? I am the Phase Two chairman of the Amnesty Programme in Delta State and I know how many Urhobo youths that are benefiting. I know how many Isoko youths, Itsekiri youths that are benefiting.
PAGE 34—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013
Labour, journalists awards for Gov Shema
BY GBENGA OLARINOYE, OSOGBO
sun State governor,Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Monday, recorded another first with the launch of the much awaited innovative elearning device tagged Opon Imo, tablet of knowledge, amidst showers of praises for the ingenuity of the Aregbesola-led administration as the state government is expected to save N8.4 billion from the purchase of text books for senior secondary public schools in the state. It was the creme-de lacreme in Nigeria that unveiled the device at the Zainabab Half Moon Resort, Ilesa. Dignitaries who graced the occasion include former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Aminu Tambuwal; Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; a former FCT Minister, Mallam Nasir el- Rufai; retired General Alani Akinrinade; Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; and Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Gabriel Aromolaran. In his address, Aregbesola said Africans would no longer accept the tag of a continent without hope or future, insisting that with the launch of Opon Imo, Nigeria and indeed the entire black continent has sent a signal of its arrival on the world stage of development. In the speech entitled: “Opon-Imo Enters the Stage,” the governor said there could be little argument that Opon-Imo is a veritable tablet of knowledge that levels the learning playing field for all students from different social backgrounds. He added that the tablet will
*Opon Imo ... new dawn for pupils
The day of the ‘tablet of knowledge’ in Osun allow students to learn at their own pace, wherever and whenever they choose, saying that it provides robust and uniform learning content for them, offering a feedback mechanism for monitoring of their performance. According to him, “this little device will greatly facilitate our free education policy by saving the state a lot of money that would have had to go into procuring text books on annual basis. Indeed, the saving is humongous. ”Were the state to engage in the physical purchase of hard-copies of textbooks for the 17 subjects taught in our public schools, hard-copies of 51 audio tutorials, hard-copies of JAMB and WAEC past questions and answers for all subjects for a period of 10 years, it would cost a whopping sum of N50.25billion.Very much like other such computer devices, Opon-Imo contains both hardware and software components,” Aregbesola said. The governor pointed out that the tablet provides three major content categories viz: elibrary, virtual classroom, and an integrated test zone. ”The virtual classroom category contains 63 e-books covering 17 academic subjects for examinations conducted by WAEC, NECO and JAMB as well as
non-academic life-enriching subjects such as History of The Yoruba, Sexuality Education, Civic Education, Ifa on ethics and morals, enterprise education, hints and tips on passing SSCE and ‘How to live a Healthy and Happy life’.” He also noted that, in the integrated test zone of the device, there are more than 40,000 JAMB and WAEC practice questions and answers dating back to about 20 years, adding that the tablet also contains mock tests in more than 51 subject areas, which approximates to 1,220 chapters, with roughly 29,000 questions referencing about 825 images. Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, in his goodwill message, described the Opon Imo as a grand-breaking initiative worthy of emulation. Soyinka said with this new e-learning device, students in Osun have all the reasons to be proud and celebrate the digitalisation era the government has just exposed them to. The UNESCO Director General, who was represented by the Country Director, Professor Hassana Alidou, said the world education and cultural organisation is ready to partner with any government like Osun, which puts education on the front burner.
Citing purposeful leadership in Katsina State, the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Zamfara State Chapter honoured Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema, last week, with an award. About an hour later, Nigeria Labour Congress, Katsina Chapter, came calling and Shema got another award. The NLC at the national level earlier honoured him as the “most labour friendly governor in the state”. The Zamfara NUJ says the infrastructural development he brought to Katsina could only be compared to what is happening in Lagos State. Shema, while accepting the honour,thanked both bodies for recognizing his modest contributions to the state but more importantly adding value to the state civil service.
A cry of help for orphanages By Gabriel Ewepu The General Manager, GM, of Big Events, Ms. Esther Okugo, wants public-spirited people to support orphanages to give inmates a sense of belonging. She spoke at the Divine Wounds of Jesus Christ Orphanage, Kubwa, Abuja, where children from three orphanages were assembled for the Children’s Day celebrations. “Children in orphanages need the love, care and support of the society. I urge all wellmeaning members of the society to assist them by providing their needs and given shoulders on which to lean,” she said. The other two children’s homes that participated in the event were: Ark of Refuge Orphanage and the Kubwa Divine Orphanage. The GM said that the her company , an outfit with business concerns in events management and party handling, especially for the children, organized the celebrations as part of its social responsibility. “Our works of mercy and concern for the poor and weak demonstrate our organization’s social responsibility for the larger society to ensure a better world”, Okugo added. The Coordinator of First Choice Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, NGO, Chief Austin Arah, said his organization was at the function as a demonstration of the ways it reaches out to children, especially orphans and the helpless. Care-givers of the various homes at the event expressed gratitude for being remembered by First Choice Foundation and Big Events Managers.
5 dead, 300 houses razed, 5,000 displaced Continued from page 33 and a slap on civilization. “It is pathetic that the state government’s lofty programmes of providing social amenities such as roads, hospitals and schools are being derailed by dastardly behavior such as this”, Efiok lamented. He promised that the matter would be investigated and culprits brought to book and urged the victims to volunteer information to enable the authorities apprehend the assailants. The Director-General Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr. Vincent Aquah, who also visited the displaced people
in their camps, assured them of government help. A victim, Mr David Agbo (51), told Sunday Vanguard that the villagers were roused from their sleep that Sunday morning by the attackers who invaded the village in “large numbers armed with sophisticated weapons and shooting sporadically, burning and demolishing houses with explosives”. He said the attack came as a surprise and caused so much panic that the villagers fled in different directions mostly through bush paths to neighbouring communities. Agbo narrated that some days before the attack, an
Inyima man, believed to be insane, was alleged to have been spotted harvesting cassava belonging to an Adun person and was arrested and detained by the police. He said that, on Friday, which was their market day, women, who went to their farm to harvest cassava for sale in the local market, came running back to complain that the Adun people armed with dangerous weapons drove them from their farms and that they were matching towards the village. Another victim, Mrs. Caroline Solomon (38), who sat mournfully by her demolished building, said she was in the company of other
women in the farm when suddenly the assailants came from the bush and drove them away. “I saw one of our boys who was with us in the bush caught up and surrounded by the assailants attacking him with machetes. He must have been killed”, she stated. Meanwhile, Honourable Moses Abeng Onor, the leader of the Cross River State House of Assembly and member representing Obubra 2 in the Assembly, along with four other Adun community leaders were arrested and detained by the police at the police headquarters in Diamond Hill allegedly in connection with the incident.
One of the victims of Iniyima/Adun crisis
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 35
Short sightedness is killing the economy – Rasheed Gbadamosi, ex-National Planning Minister Mr. Rasheed Abiodun Gbadamosi is an economist. His credentials include being minister, National Planning, Chairman, National Committee on Industrial Development for the Industrial Master Plan project, Chairman, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Chairman, Governing Council, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) and member, Nigeria’s External Debt Rescheduling team. He speaks, in this interview, on the state of the economy in the last 14 years, the initiative by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make cashless monetary policy a universal phenomenon, privatisation of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and the need for government to harness the resources potentials in agriculture.
IGERIA has just cele brated 14 years of un interrupted democracy. How has democracy impacted on the economy? To start with, I do not like this exultation about democracy. It does not mean that if we do not have democracy we won’t have relative prosperity. Economic indices were positive even in nondemocratic governments. There may be some methodological extrapolation of cost and economic growth. 14years of uninterrupted democracy, the economy is not too glorifying, considering the number of people queuing up and begging for alms. You can see the phenomenal rate of beggars on the streets. Millions of youths are looking for jobs and they can’t get. They have hope of being gainfully employed but their prospect is not realised. If there is tangible economic prosperity, there should have been reduction in the rate of unemployment and abject poverty in the country. The statistics on economic growth may be high on paper, as we have seven per cent economic growth rate currently. Does it impact positively on the standard of living of the people? May be I am prejudiced because I am not getting any younger. Data from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that over 20million youths are currently unemployed. Can you tell us why our economy is growing at seven percent without creating jobs? Well, call it jobless growth if you like. The truth is that we can have economic growth without development. For instance, we can have growth in the oil and gas sector but we face the issue of exploitation, which causes anger among the public. If we have oil boom and increasing exploration of mineral resources for example, there could be few good roads, but we need improvement in electricity in order to move away from over dependent on crude oil to harness the enormous resources in agriculture and improve our economy. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can spring up in various places across the country if power is not an issue. Running businesses on generators impact highly on the cost of pro-
duction. Also, our borders are opened and there is influx of the same goods manufactured locally in Nigeria flooding our markets from other countries. Beyond that, development is not about happenings in the urban centres. Realistically speaking, since independence in 1960, there is lopsidedness in the economy and events in the urban centres as people are still looking for development. For example, during the regime of the late Sani Abacha, some youths were brought to Abuja . When they saw how the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had been transformed with the money realised from the natural resources in their region, militancy began in the Niger Delta region. So, you can see the lopsidedness in the type of federalism we practice in Nigeria . Until we practice true federalism, we are still going to face enormous challenges in achieving wealth creation and tangible economic development. Some financial experts said recently that the recent move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reverse the monetary policy on polymer naira notes is a clear case of policy inconsistency. Do you share that opinion? Of course it is policy sommersault because they are trying to change their minds on what they said initially was the best. The cost of printing the note is so high. Aside from that, paper notes are expensive because there is a big competition for paper money globally. Another thing is the need for protection from being easily forged, which may pose some challenges. In this case, monetary policy designers have a role of coming together to view the system to fashion out the way forward. We are more concerned about the value, which gives effect for money as a medium of exchange. Also, it is common in Nigeria to see people abuse the naira by throwing the money on the ground during parties. Some traders also rough handle the currency during transaction. Considering the fact that most places, particularly rural areas in the country, are un-banked, do you think the initiative by the CBN to extend cashless monetary policy to other states in Nigeria will yield positive results? The policy on cashless economy is very good and I must give the CBN kudos for this insight. It means we can do business without carrying large amounts of cash about. It has also reduced the rate of armed robbery attacks on people travelling for businesses with so much cash. This is a good policy, which shows that economic development is not about the quantum of cash in transactions. Also, there are some challenges, while small medium transactions can’t be done as beneficiaries can’t access it, with time, we will get it right. The cashless regime has legitimacy though small transactions are suffering but we will get use to it. Once the economy is growing and needs increase in investments, we have to be innovative like the advanced economies. Since the incidence of robbery has reduced with the cashless regime, making it a universal phenomenon is a laudable initiative but
Mr. Rasheed Abiodun Gbadamosi requires time for smooth implementation. The policy will help the banking sector and the economy at large when it is universalised. Are you in support of the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)? The Federal Government must open up the economy. This is something we cannot run away from, because we don’t have sufficient resources to pay for these things to happen. I saw great efforts in repairing Ikorodu Road and it is costing us much money. Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is a
BY UDEME CLEMENT
vestment in education is a veritable tool for development. Efficient medical care and education are as important as building roads and bridges around the country. Enlightenment of the masses is about fostering aspirations of people on what they can achieve in life. So, aside from transacting businesses and domestic consumption, we need electricity for the agricultural sector to produce the desired result. For instance, Nigeria is the largest growing cassava country in the world. From Lagos up to Taraba, the country
The Federal Government must open up the economy. This is something we cannot run away from, because we don’t have sufficient resources to pay for these things to happen
nightmare. Nigeria is not just an investment destination, we have coastline from Lagos to Calabar. So, if privatisation will solve some of these problems, then government must not hesitate to embark on it. Infrastructure is also about enhancing development, building a functional railway system, moving people and goods to open up the economy for greater productivity. Promoting development implies that the waterways must be developed to foster inter-state, inter-communal wealth creation. Government should prove to people that they can move around to make wealth for the economy to thrive. In doing this, the health sector must be in good shape because health is important to development. The citizens need good and affordable medical services to ensure sound health. Education of the populace must also be of paramount concern. In-
can grow cassava to serve as feeds for cattle in China and other countries that will import the product. Cassava chips have nutrients that human and cattle can eat. We have enormous potentials in Nigeria , but we are not harnessing and utilising the resources adequately. For example, the Chinese begged Nigeria on the issue of cassava but we could not grow enough to make chips from the outer layers, even if we wanted to use the inside for garri. Do you know that cassava layers can be fermented for spirit drinks? They are just waiting for us to light it up, but without constant electricity, these things cannot work and we cannot achieve much growth and development. Do you know that we searched for maize to make products to be fermented for molasses because the Chinese were willing to sell the technology to us but we could not guarantee them power supply? The project requires high level of
energy consumption. What is molasses? Molasses is a thick brown liquid product obtained from raw sugar cane and sugar can be made out of it. Molasses can be refined to get concentrated liquor for producing gin and wine. The Chinese were willing to sell the technology to us because they were looking at getting this product for a population of about 1.2billion. You can see that erratic power supply has always been the major factor militating against economic development in Nigeria . At present, South Africa is producing about 50,000mega watts (MW) of electricity, while Nigeria is producing just between 4,000 and 5,000mw. What we have in Nigeria is not even sufficient for a village. We are jokers. There ought to be incremental inflow of foreign investments for power project because it is capital intensive. Government should privatise the sector if such action will foster inflow of investments, which is the only solution. What are those things needed that make power sector so capital intensive? There are three segments in the electricity generation, such as generation, transmission and distribution. These segments need huge sums of money to light up the rural areas. If we do it right, people will even get money than what obtains now. But few individuals are just sitting on the limited capacity to impede the process. The reality is that we do not have the technical man-power to even run the generation and distribution to move the sector forward. The people needed to run the process are not there because few people sat on the whole project. We are killing the economy with short sightedness. Is Vision 20:2020 still realisable with the high level of poverty and unemployment in the country? The concept of Vision 20:2020 was borrowed from the Malaysian model to give long-term perspective planning for the economy to enhance production. The reason being that, we have to invest, gather the resources and bring modern technology to achieve the Vision. For instance, the issue of electricity I mentioned earlier requires massive investments. A dam alone can take five years before going into actual production. It takes a long construction period because you have to look at the people, the geography of the area where the dam is sited and the agro-technical imperatives. It is such a big project. In doing it, World Bank can be involved and other countries experienced in building a dam. You must also look at the manpower in terms of training people to divert water from the dam. This type of project is not about one government. It can take about three succeeding governments. 2020 is just few years from 2013. So far, are we on track? To be on track, we must keep the Vision that we want to achieve in a given period.
PAGE 36—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013
The gains of SURE-P, by Uduaghan, Wogu, Gulag BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu addressing the stakeholders at the town hall meeting on SURE-P CSWYE in Asaba during his sensitization and appraisal tour of the projects in South-South providing stop-gap employment opportunities to women, youths and people with disabilities in their various communities,” the Minister stated.” He said the project was designed with unique features that ensure direct impact of the benefits on vulnerable members of the society who form the majority of the core poor, unskilled and unemployed Nigerians, noting: “The project is designed to transfer part of the wealth saved from the oil subsidy directly to them seamlessly, thereby empowering them economically. In Delta State, for example, 426 beneficiaries were recruited under the pilot scale and 3000 under the first
HE event was a Sensitization and Appraisal visit to Delta State on Community Service, Women and Youth Employment, CSWYE, a project of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SUREP, of the Federal Government. While the venue was Asaba, the state capital, a rendezvous for stakeholders from the South-South geopolitical zone on CSWYE, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, led other top government officials to the meeting. Those who accompanied Wogu during the special programme were: the Minister of Infor mation, Mr. Labaran Maku; the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Ali Gulak; the Director General, National Directorate of Employment Mallam Abubakar Mohammed; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Clement Illoh; and a former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Emmanuel Imasuan. Others were Project Director, CSWYE, Dr. Martina Nwordu; and Director, Productivity and Measurement in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Teresa Braimoh. Also in attendance were over 20 traditional rulers, led by the Ovieof Uvwie Kingdom, Abe I, Emmanuel Sideso, and the Akugbeneof Meino Kingdom, S. P. Luke Kalanama. The visit started with a meeting with Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and his team before a town hall meeting with the traditional rulers, the beneficiaries of the programme and, later inspection of work sites. Participants commended President Goodluck Jonathan for the SURE-P projects and vowed to support his reelection in 2015.They acknowledged the positive effect of the SURE-P, especially CSWYE, anchored by the Ministry of Labour. Speakers recalled last year ’s fuel subsidy removal and the protest that trailed it; the argument that the money that would accrue from the policy would not be deployed for the benefit of Nigerian masses and concluded that the president had fulfilled his promises. Meeting with Uduaghan Meeting with Uduaghan, Wogu stressed the importance of the programme and his sensitization and appraisal visit to the South-South, saying the visit was the first step in the series of activities planned for his official working tour of the zone. “The purpose of my visit is to sensitize the general public on what we have done and are still doing to fulfill the promises of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to Nigerians when he promised to use part of the savings from oil subsidy to alleviate the impact of the partial oil subsidy removal on the vulnerable members of our Society. The President promised to deliver these benefits through the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), which as you know has many subprogrammes, including the Community Service, Women and Youth Employment (CSWYE) Project, one of the project components under the Social Safety Net Programme (SSNP). As the name of this project implies, it aims at
the CSWYE alone and solicited for the state support and partnership with the Federal Government. Responding,Uduaghan said the programmes of the SURE-P were well thought out to alleviate the effects of the partial subsidy removal. He said: “So far, we have seen that a lot is being done from the savings accrued as a result of the partial subsidy removal and Community Services Women and Youth Employment Programme (CSWYEP) is just one of the very many programmes, of the very many things that are being done by the Federal Government with the savings.”
Nigerians were not opposed to the removal of fuel subsidy but were concerned about what would happen to the money after the removal
Ramp-up phase, making a total of 3426 Deltans. This is made up of 1,610 males, 1,816 females and 256 disabled persons, who have been deployed to 256 project sites, spread across the three senatorial districts and 25 local government areas in the state.” Wogu explained that the sum of N82, 656,750.00 had so far been utilized from the oil subsidy savings, from the Federal Government’s own allocation, covering monthly stipends to beneficiaries, basic hand-tools, and other minor project management requirements. According to him, other states of Bayelsa, Cross River, Edo, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers, in the South-South had each engaged 3,000 beneficiaries, while the annual target was to recruit 5,000 beneficiaries per state. The minister added that collectively, the geo-political zone had benefitted to the tune of N337, 937,650.00 from
Dialogue At the meeting with traditional rulers and the beneficiaries at the Event Centre, Asaba, the team listed the details of CSWYEP, its importance and all government had achieved under SURE-P. According to Gulak, Nigerians were not opposed to the removal of fuel subsidy but were concerned with what would happen to the money after the removal. The presidential adviser said: “President Goodluck Jonathan is different; he means what he says and says what he means. He did promise Nigerians that he will come up with programmes that will alleviate whatever will be the fall out of the partial removal of subsidy and one of the programmes is the Community Services Women and Youth Empowerment Project. Women, youth and the disabled persons in our various
communities are now gainfully employed. Today, what we are witnessing is a testimony of Mr. President’s promise. Presently, we have more than 3,000 beneficiaries in each state of the federation with more to come. “Today, Lagos-K ano railway is functioning, we have seen the EastWest road, and we have intervention and improvement in power supply. We have seen clearly that Mr. President is sincere, committed and hungry for development. God willing he will take this country to the next level of development. Should Mr. President declare he wants to run for second term, he has not told us, he has not said so, he says in 2014 he will make his intention known. But should he make his intention known that he wants to go for second term, what is wrong with that? He has the constitutional right; he has the right to contest. Why should the Niger-Delta be short changed, why shouldn’t he be allowed to serve out his second-term like others? What crime has the Niger-Delta committed to be short-changed? We will not agree.” ”The office will not change a man who is truthful, that an office will not blur a man’s vision who is sincere and truthful, his humility knows no bound, his commitment and sincerity knows no bound. Mr. President and his team are so committed and if you give them the opportunity you will see changes in Nigeria. I am from the northern part of the country, and, to be specific, the North-East geo-political zone where the insecurity problem is more pronounced. But Mr. President has taken the bull by the horn, he has declared state of emergency and the emergency rule is yielding positive results. I tell you here today that in the next three, four months, this will be a thing of the past. Endorsement On behalf of the monarchs, the Ovieof Uvwie Kingdom, Emmanuel Sideso, and the Akugbene Meino Kingdom, S. P. Luke Kalanama, said the traditional institution was not involved previously in the programme because they were not carried along. They expressed support for the SURE-P programme. While expressing support for Jonathan, they, however, demanded that the traditional rulers be integrated into the programme in their various communities, advising that more funds should be made available to sustain it. Among the SURE-P beneficiaries who spoke were Kasikoro Ebin from Homone Local Government Area, Keene Odili from Delta North, Grace Everest from Akwa Ibom, Vincent Ogas from Rivers State, Dickson Game from Delta Centre and Otono. I. from Edo State. They lauded the programme, the Minister of Labour and Jonathan for giving them a means of likelihood. ”We appreciate what President Jonathan did for the less privileged people, we shall continue to pray for him,” Keene Odili said, while to Grace Everest, “President Jonathan is the father of the fatherless, he has done what my father cannot do.” Ogas said: “Rivers State people are happy for this programme. We are Happy with the President and the Minister of labour. For staying at home and getting our alert as at when due, even though we are working, we appreciate it, and this is despite the political problems in Rivers State.” And to Otono, “We appreciate the President of Nigeria for what he has done in Edo State. Widows, disables and other youths have benefitted immensely from the SURE-P projects.”
SUNDAY VANGUARD,JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 37
Nexim Sealink Project and intra-ECOWAS trade
BY CHINEDU MOGHALU
was established on May 28, 1975 as a regional trade organization comprising countries in the West African sub-region. The aim of setting up the Community was manifested in its original treaty. According to provisions set out in the Treaty of Lagos, and later, the revised treaty in 1993, the objectives were to promote co-operation in economic, social and cultural activities towards a desirable establishment of an economic and monetary union through the total integration of the national economies of member-states. Inherent in the letter and spirit of the Treaty were the ideals to raise the living standards of the ‘ECO-citizen,’ maintain and enhance economic stability, foster relations among member-states and contribute to the progress and development of the African continent in line with the principal provisions of the African Economic Community (AEC) Treaty under the African Union. Within four years of the operationalization of the treaty, it became clear that as laudable as it sounded, the goal of achieving total integration of national economies of the constituent countries would require more concerted effort and commitment. Hence, the 1979 Protocol relating to free movement of persons, goods, services and right of establishment was conceived as an instrument to enable free movement of ECOWAS citizens within the sub-region. Loaded into the protocol were the goals of institutionalizing a single regional socioeconomic space, providing ECO citizens with opportunities in memberstates, including the utilization of arable land by indigenous agriculturists, access to coastal areas by landlocked member states, employment of English and French language experts and, most significantly, unfettered access to natural resources by member-states. In a nutshell, the Protocol was intended to create a ‘Borderless West Africa.’ Leveraging Nigeria’s Commitment No other economy within the sub-region has been weighed down more than Nigeria from a disconnected West African market. Given the huge size of its population and GDP, the various Administrations in Nigeria had demonstrated ample political will to ensure the Community thrives. Indeed, the country has been the galvaniser of the ‘ECOWAS dream’ and has doggedly deployed human and material resources to keep the trade bloc together in the face of recurring political, economic, sociocultural upheavals since the days of ECOMOG till the current intervention of its military in the Malian crisis. What is lacking, according to international relations experts, is for Nigeria to lead the process towards realistically breaking down the trade walls under the Free Movement Protocol and unleashing the potential of free exchanges of goods and services as have been witnessed in similar trade regime under Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) or the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement (NAF TA). Understandably, the implementation of most of these agreements is being spearheaded by the various export credit agencies of the constituent countries. Hence, it behoved Nigerian ExportImport Bank, (NEXIM Bank) - the trade policy bank of the Federal Government of Nigeria - to facilitate the process for the establishment of a dedicated sea link within the ECOWAS region. This is borne out of concerns by the current executive team of NEXIM Bank led by the MD/CEO, Mr. Roberts Orya on the partial
Beyond making business sense, the project has some inherent accruable national benefits that further justify its implementation
Mr. Roberts Orya realization of ECOWAS’ intra-regional trade facilitation and operational objectives, high intra-regional freight costs and shipment delays, which make cargo delivery within the sub-region to take an average of 45 - 60 days. At the recent sensitization and preinvestors’ forum on the Sealink project on Wednesday March 27th, 2013 in Lagos, for the entire council and executive of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (NACCIMA), Mr. Orya provided an update on the initiative and invited its membership to invest and partner with the Bank and other stakeholders in the SPV and Regional Maritime Company. He stated the Bank is facilitating the establishment of a dedicated Regional Sealink project as a means of overcoming the challenge of road infrastructure as well as absence of rail links within the region which has perpetually bedeviled intra-regional trade. The appeal for a sea link is further strengthened by the comparative low budgetary cost and short implementation timeline for a sea link-project vis-à-vis either a regional road or rail project.
HE Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
equipment, office space and other infrastructure and $24 million for working capital to cover general and administrative costs to be raised through equity and debt financing respectively. Beyond making business sense, the project has some inherent accruable national benefits that further justify its implementation. These include unlocking opportunities in the maritime sector through effective indigenous participation, thereby stimulating maritime-related employment as well as localizing some of the maritime freight payments of an average of $5 billion annually from import / export tonnages. It will also facilitate the realization of the various Maritime-related laws like the Cabotage and MIMASA Acts and the implementation of the National Shipping Policy; stimulate and attract private sector funding for the development of key maritime infrastructure with the national benefit of improving the level of intraregional formal trade, thereby enhancing contribution of trade/exports to GDP. Also, it will assist in palliating the disastrous effects of road/rail infrastructural deficit challenges that
No other economy within the sub-region has been weighed down more than Nigeria from a disconnected West African market. Given the huge size of its population and GDP, the various administrations in Nigeria had demonstrated ample political will to ensure the community thrives
According to Mr. Orya, the availability of a maritime vessel will significantly reduce the high transportation costs and excessive transit time which make intraregional trade non-competitive, with West and Central African transport and logistics costs identified as one of the highest in the World. According to available statistics, these have resulted in low level intraregional trade at less than 12% and 10% for African and ECOWAS trade respectively, compared to other regional blocs such as European Union (EU) and ASEAN whose intra-regional trade flows are respectively at 50%, 40% and 25%. Why Embrace the Sealink Project? Inviting the NACCIMA to invest in the project, Orya stated that the funding requirement for the regional sealink project is $60 million out of which $36 million will be required to purchase vessels,
affect regional integration and a major cause of the muted growth witnessed over the years in intra-African and ECOWAS trade levels. Most importantly, it will enhance competitiveness of Nigerian exports, thereby improving the contribution of manufactured exports from the current level of under 6%, and enhancing local industrial capacity utilisation and attracting new investments. Additionally, the project will enhance Nigeria’s status as a maritime hub for West and Central Africa with attendant benefits of facilitating Atlantic short-sea trade and development of pool of talent / manpower for the industry. Furthermore, it has the immense potential to stimulate multimodal transport development to cater for nonlittoral regional member countries; hence
it will facilitate growth of hinterland haulage business as the market segment is not yet targeted by major shipping lines, thereby offering a huge opportunity to the proposed Sealink Project. The Transformation Agenda The Sealink project is in line with the Transformation Agenda of the Government which projects investments in roads, railways, inland waterways, ports and airports development in collaboration with various stakeholders to evolve a multimodal, integrated and sustainable transport system, with emphasis on rail and waterways, through an effective PublicPrivate Partnership arrangement. This aims to create synergy and ensure an even and nation-wide distribution of gains from the Administration’s investments in the key sectors, termed ‘main growth drivers’ such as the manufacturing, agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing, services, trade and commerce, etc. Affirmatively, the Sealink Project will take the gains of the Transformation Agenda beyond the shores of the country. It will immediately open up our shores and immensely contribute to Nigeria’s march to become the premier economy in Africa through creating a seamless export platform for movement of Nigeria’s manufactured/semi-processed goods, services, and personnel with a certainty to boost competitiveness and productivity across these sectors. Specifically, it will spur more private sector initiative and innovation, enhance the development of the key sectors’ value chain, create/sustain more Nigerian jobs as the ECOWAS Markets become one and Nigeria’s products and services are brought to the world. Sponsorships/Collaborations The project has been endorsed by the Government of Nigeria. It has also been adopted and is being sponsored by the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI) with other endorsements/collaborations by the ECOWAS Commission, the ECOWAS Parliament, various multi/bilateral institutions including the Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), strong private sector support through various trade associations and heightened expression of interest by potential investors (locally and internationally). In his remarks, the National President of NACCIMA, Dr. H.A.B. Ajayi lauded Mr. Orya for the patriotic zeal which moved NEXIM Bank to come up with the Regional Sealink Project and the vigour with which he is pursuing its realisation. He also concurred that the ECOWAS market is huge and has not been fully tapped as a result of logistical challenges being faced in movement of goods and persons, especially due to the absence of a direct shipping line for the West and Central African corridor. In this regard, NACCIMA, as a member of the FEWACCI, will like to join forces with NEXIM Bank and other progressive entities in actualizing the project. According to him, “…as the apex business association in Nigeria, NACCIMA is supporting the setting up of the shipping company as we did during the establishment of ECOBANK Transnational which has become a household name in all the West African
States and beyond. We would like to also stress the need for chieftains of industry here present to take ample opportunity by participating in the raising of the $36 million that would form the equity capital for the setting up of the transnational shipping company.” *Moghalu is Head, Corporate Communication, Nigerian Export – Import Bank
PAGE 38— SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013
Benin, kingdom of the sky-kings
This piece is in response to Femi Fani-Kayode’s article,’ Who Are The Yoruba?’ By AMBROSE OSAWE
ENIN, once known as Igodomi godo, was the kingdom of rulers who regarded themselves as skykings, those whose divine rule is derived from the sky – Ogiso. At the eclipse of this dynasty, there was still no authentic heir to the throne, Owodo; the last of the Ogisos was desperate for a successor. His only heir, Ekaladerhan, being the son of an unfavoured queen (Arukho), had little or no prospect of succeeding his father as he was entrapped in a web of palace intrigues with the sole aim of depriving him succeed his father. A plot purported to be the wish of the gods was eventually hatched to eliminate h i m . The executioners, sensing intrigue and betrayal, spared his life. He secretly sojourned westward into a community the Binis called Uhe (Ife). At Uhe (Ife), he assumed the title of Oduduwa (I have sought my path of prosperity). Back home, the last of the Ogisos died without producing a heir to his throne. During the period of interregnum, a republican called Evian as administrator of the kingdom was succeeded by Ogiamien who became overzealous and ambitious. He wanted to perpetuate Evians hegemony in Benin. In order to sustain the age old tradition of primogeniture, the elders resolved to set up a search party to trace the whereabouts of Ekaladerhan, the only surviving heir of Ogiso Owodo. The elders, headed by Oliha, who were opposed to the overbearing nature of
Ogiamien, were resolute to invite Ekaladerhan home to take over his rightful position as heir apparent. It became evident that the system of succession (father to son) had been the culture of the Binis since inception. It is therefore obvious there was an existing kingdom under the rule of the Ogisos before the establishment of Eweka I dynasty. It is also beyond doubt that this practice had been with the Binis before the establishment of the present dynasty of which Erediauwa is the 38th Oba in an unbroken succession since Eweka I in 900AD. A delegation of nobilities, under the leadership of Oliha, eventually arrived at IleIfe and implored Ekaladerhan to return to Benin. At the time the emissaries
ders’ invitation could be subject to many interpretations. Firstly, he must have become so old that he felt it unreasonable to move to Benin. Secondly, he had adapted himself to the culture of his new environment that he would prefer to remain. He was, in fact, the leader of the community as a result of his ingenuity and prowess in all aspects of community enterprise. Thirdly, he probably wanted to abide by the pledge he made that he would not set his foot on the Benin soil again. However, Ekaladerhan entrusted his son, Oranmiyan, into the care of Oliha who had promised to ensure his protection. Oranmiyan’s reign in Benin was shortlived. His departure from Benin was dic-
Nevertheless, Yoruba influence in Benin is more in areas of worship of deities: Shango, Ogun, Sonpona, Orunmila which filtered into Benin over the years including Ogboni cult which is still very vibrant in Benin. reached him, he yelled in excitement, ‘Ewore ka,’ meaning the nucleus or the source, heart or soul of the flow will never go dry. He was assured of his safety and the hope of making him the ruler of the kingdom. The aged prince refused the invitation and promised that he would rather delegate power to one of his sons. Ekaladerhan’s refusal to honour the el-
tated by two factors. One, he was greatly embarrassed by the opposition of Ogiamien and his adherents. Two, Oranmiyan’s cultural background was in conflict with the custom and tradition of Binis. On his way back to Ile-Ife, Oranmiyan had a short stay at Ego where he impregnated Erhinmwinde, the daughter of the Enogie.
This affair resulted in the birth of Eweka 1 . Femi Fani Kayode’s write up in Sunday Vanguard of May 26, 2013 at pages 2021 entitled, ‘Who are the Yoruba People?,’ was quite interesting. But while discussing the Ife-Benin relationship, like some others before him, he too fell into a similar error by referring to old Benin Empire as one of the kingdoms established by Oduduwa’s progeny. He also wondered how the name Yoruba came about. Mr. Femi Fani Kayode, a lawyer and former minister, is probably influenced by a vengeful clique of revisionist theorists and court jesters commissioned to deliberately rewrite the history of the Yoruba vis-à-vis Ife/Benin relationship to assuage the hurt ego of some monarchs in search of contemporary political relevance. History has today, therefore, become an intellectual pawn in the pen and armour of ethnocentrics as forerunners of empire builders and irredentist adventurers. I would, therefore, proceed by avoiding historical pitfalls which has become the lot of some bubbling Afrocentrics who seize every opportunity to re-invent myths as favourable facts of histor y. YORUBA is not originally a Yoruba word. Rather, it is a corruption of Iyoya rruoba (I have gone to pay my homage to the Oba). It is a Bini word corrupted into Yoruba which Fani Kayode queried. He wrote “yet the fact of the matter is that the word ‘Yoruba’ has no meaning in our language or any other language that is known to man.… For all we know it could even be a deep and ancient insult….” Ife sources are founded on a mythology of
Continues on page 39
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 39
Continued from page 38 how Oduduwa descended by the use of a chain from the sky and, dispatched his seven sons to found the various Yoruba kingdoms including that of Benin but they are not able to prove whether they are talking about Orunmila or Oduduwa (Ekaladerhan).Benin was never a kingdom created by Oduduwa; rather, the kingdom had existed long before the coming of Oranmiyan who impregnated ERINMWINDE, the daughter of Enogie of Egor, and gave birth to Eweka 1, the founder of the present dynasty in Benin. On Erediauwa, Professor Jacob Olupona, in his book, ‘Ile-Ife: City of 201 gods’, launched on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at the Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, wrote, in part: “The story established the sacred origin of Benin kingship …a kingship relationship between Benin and Ife kingdoms”. Benin later took on a more radical form of a sacred kingship than that which exists in Ile-Ife. Benin became an obsolete monarchy, with the first son of the reigning Oba named as the heir apparent. This was not a later development, it was for this purpose a search party went to look for Oduduwa. Benin does not owe its origin to Oranmiyan. Benin (Beny) is a Portuguese name after which was named the Bight of Benin in view of its political, economic influence and value by the Portuguese on trade missions. “Ile-ibinu, the land of anger,” that Prof. Olupona claimed had become Benin’s permanent name is in no way applicable. Oranmiyan was not taken to Benin to change any of the existing traditions. He was in no position by any stretch of imagination to change the name of the kingdom from Igodomigodo to Ile-Ibinu. However, no parent would abandon a dangerous and turbulent project and request his son to take over. A transplanted Bini/Yoruba origin in transit, whose grip on the social/cultural life of the people was fragile, could not suddenly assume the position of a magnificent ‘patron saint’ whose imprecate profanity becomes an insignia for a rooted kingdom that flourished centuries before. And what is the existing anthropological support for adaptation of a foreign name for an unconquered people of a different culture who speak a different language? The same concept is applicable in the choice of name by Oranmiyan’s son who later assumed the title of Eweka. Eweka I was now a product of Benin socio-cultural environment which means he was able to speak in his mother tongue. He was never brought up in the Yoruba environment. It was more likely his utterance was in Benin language, EWOREKA, which his father chose for him instead of a foreign word, Owo mika, adulterated as Eweka that is more relevant in meaning to the circumstances of his choice as Oba. Nevertheless, the Yoruba influence in Benin is more in the areas of worship of deities, Shango, Ogun, Sonpona, Orunmila which filtered into Benin over the years including Ogboni cult which is still very vibrant in Benin. Binis culturally practice ANCESTRAL worship. Worship of deities was borrowed from the Yoruba. Ancestors are the gods they serve. During the reign of Ewuare the Great in the 13th century, the city was renamed Edo. The Portuguese, during the reign of Esigie in the 15th century, called the city Beny (Benin) (Papiva da Beny) which in Portuguese meant broad road of the city of Benin. Papiva was corrupted to Akpakpava, the road that once housed the Catholic Cathedral established in the 15th century, now known as Aruosa Church where the Oba occasionally worships. Professor Olupona raised a pertinent issue when he asserted that “…the institution of sacred kingship ….is part of the royal cult of Benin mysticisms, indeed more than any other kingship system in
Benin, kingdom of the sky-kings
The kingdom of the sky-kings was Igodomigodo. During the era of the warrior kings, it became Edo and later Benin Empire expanding as far as Republic of Benin, Lagos to the west and across the Niger to Onitsha in the east Nigeria. Benin rituals, art and ideology of kingship demonstrate the importance of sacred power for the preservation of kingship.” He continued “…part of Benin’s continuing enigma is that the city’s centre cannot be unfolded, especially by outsiders, a dilemma that caused Oranmiyan (an outsider) to vacate the throne and replace himself with a son born of a Benin woman (an insider). The inherent tension in the “insider-outsider” conflict remains part of Benin’s identity today”. The professor’s remark merely confirms the fact that at no time did the Binis make the mistake of transplanting an outsider for such an important assignment after a long history of the practice of primogeniture (of a son succeeding his father). In actual fact, it was in sustenance of this tradition that a search team was dispatched in search of Ekaladerhan who later assumed the title of Oduduwa. Still, on the Ife/Benin relationship, the American-based professor of history wrote “…… a kingship relationship between Ife and Benin, although Benin later took on a more radical form of sacred kingship than that which exists in Ile-Ife. … Benin became an absolute monarchy with the son as the heir apparent whereas in Ile-Ife the kingship rotates among its ruling lineages…” If in Ile-Ife the kingship rotates among its ruling lineages, it means it is still passing through the traditional crucible to attain a later, more acceptable monarchical system where the throne passes from father to son as practiced in Benin and parts of Europe like Britain, Netherlands, Spain etc., as relics of absolute monarchy.
Every system has its checks and balances. Benin system, for example, allows the heir apparent to be one of the seven kingmakers, while the Ezomo is third in the hierarchy after the Oba, and the Iyase, with his kingdom at Uzebu, doubles as the general officer commanding the Benin forces at Obadan. This was a form of a diarchy which Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s first president, was proposing in 1974 as a system to curb military incursion into political power. In my rejoinder to Zik’s proposal for which he was grateful, I reminded him that diarchy had been in our traditional system as far back as the 13th century during the reign of Ewuare and that it was not an innovation. I also reminded him that military incursion had been in our traditional system of governance. I told him of how at the death of Atiba, Alafin of Oyo, in 1859 and was succeeded, contrary to custom, by his son Adelu, the crown prince, the powerful Are Onakankanfo of Ijaye, in defence of the tradition and constitution, rose to defend the constitution as a war general. In the true sense of it, this was the first attempted military coup in Africa and it was in Yoruba land. The powerful Are of Ijaye refused to recognize Adelu as Alafin for he ought to have committed suicide on the death of his father in accordance with tradition. This eventually compounded the Yoruba wars similar to the 30 years of the war of Europe of the 17 th century. Africa, indeed the black race, has its history of origin, empires, kingdoms and nation-building before the coming of the white men. Recently, Professor Wole Soyinka was at the palace of the Oba of Benin in pursuit
of his project : The meeting of two empires (powers): Benin and Portugal, in the early 15th century when the pope, by the Papal bull of demarcation, divided the world between Spain and Portugal, the then two world powers. This act enabled them discover other empires and founded new settlements in their imperial and mercantile quest to conquer the world of the astronomers. Benin, which fell within the axis of the Portuguese, was the first place within what is now Nigeria, in Africa to be visited by any European in 1478. Ukuakpolokpolo Erediauwa the Oba of Benin in his book: ‘I remain, Sir, Your Obedient Servant’, wrote in chapter 36, at page 205: “…Before the advent of Oranmiyan, the ‘kings’ that ruled the people who became known as Edo or Benin were called ‘Ogiso’ derived from the description Ogie n’ oriso (meaning king in heaven). This is to confirm that the old Benin Empire had long flourished ever before the recall of Ekaladerhan. This was the situation that led to the relationship between Ife and Benin in which Oduduwa a Benin prince once known as Ekaladerhan had to send his last son Oranmiyan as his successor to the Benin throne, having established fully his roots and tentacles in Ile-Ife … Ife people today perform a ritual festival that re-enacts the events that caused the original settlers including their village head to flee from Ife when Ekaladerhan (or Oduduwa) became the head of the community”. In 1897, the British conquered Benin, dethroned the monarch and exiled him to Calabar. The monarch, Ovonramwen, later settled into normal life. He had additional children partly of Efik descent. If back home there was probably no resilient traditional institution to recapture the past when he died in 1914 and a team was dispatched to search for his children, though of Efik cultural background, would it be correct or proper to record that the Binis had asked the Obong of Calabar to send them a prince to rule over them? This analogy would draw a parallel in Ife/Benin relationship and assist contemporary historians of ethnocentric bias a more acceptable view of the origin of the Benin monarchy. When Femi traced the Yoruba route of migration from Egypt/Saudi Arabia through Bornu to the present day Western Region of Nigeria, the abode of the Yoruba, little perhaps did he know about the recent discovery of Igbale Aiye. This community, located in Akpotoku Ketu (commune de ketou), Republic of Benin, is said to be 450,000 years old. It is also projected in significance to host the first inhabitants of the planet earth “ where the builders of the pyramid of Egypt came from”. The success of this project, sooner or later, will reverse all existing Eurocentric views about Africa as the “Black continent”. The kingdom of the sky-kings was Igodomigodo. During the era of the warrior kings, it became Edo and later Benin Empire expanding as far as Republic of Benin, Lagos to the west and across the Niger to Onitsha in the east. The Oba of Benin starting from Ogiso dynasty was known as Ukuakpolokpolo Omo n’ Ogie, i.e., the anointed, processed and purified. The subsidiary kings were known simply as Ogie … of this or that. After the amalgamation and the creation of provinces, the traditional rulers of Western Region generally were referred to as Obas for the administrative convenience of the colonial masters. Bight of Benin was descriptive of Benin’s political and economic influence in pre-colonial Africa. The Oba is still referred to as Omo. Benin pre-historic events are on display every year at the Oba’s yearly Ugie festivals. Since it is a yearly traditional ritual, it is a living history to which all are always invited. *Osawe, a journalist and historian, was a member of the House of Representatives in the botched Third Republic.
PAGE 40—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013
BY HENRY UMORU
ROM Monday to Wednesday, Senate President David Mark and his team were guests of the government of Czech Republic especially the Senate of the country to share ideas on how to improve on the relationship between both countries as well as build on Nigeria’s legislative system. The visit was also designed to romance the Czech Republic knowing its strategic role in the European Union where it helps to champion the cause of Africa continent and, to a very large extent, that of Nigeria. Mark and his team were exposed to the old city where the preservation of the peoples historical life and structure remained cherished by the government and people of Czech Republic. With the Senate President on the visit were Senate Leader Victor NdomaEgba, PDP, Cross River Central; Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Domingo Obende, ACN, Edo North; Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Senator Chris Anyanwu, APGA, Imo East; and Chairman, Senate Committee on Inter- Parliamentary Affairs, Senator Abdulaziz Usman, PDP, Jigawa North-East. On ground to receive the team was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Nigeria to Czech Republic, Ms Catherine Okoh. The first meeting after the team was received at the airport was with the President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Mr. Milan Stech, and other principal senators of the legislature where Mark told his host that Nigeria would work to sustain her democracy. The Senate President, who marked Nigeria high in democratic values, also told his Czech Republic counterpart that the Nigerian government was working hard to end the nation’s security challenge, especially with the declaration of state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. Mark said, “The operation is being handled well and, sooner than later, terrorism will be part of our history. ”We are conscious that fighting terror is difficult because of factors that dwell on human rights and collateral damage. But the operators of emergency that has been introduced in the area will bring it to its end. ”We appreciate the commendation of the international community on the 2011 elections as free and fair. We will continue to build on our democratic institutions and, with the success recorded and democracy in place, military rule has gone forever in Nigeria.”
Mr. Milan Stech (left) with SenatorMark
Lessons for Nigeria from Prague, by David Mark ’How Mali, Niger, Libya troubles fuel terror in our nation’ While inviting the government and people of Czech Republic to come and invest in Nigeria, the Senate President noted that Nigeria had played the role of ensuring stability in Africa and still playing same role. He said, “This trend Boko
the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Stech, who sympathized with the Nigerian government over Boko Haram, promised that his country will partner with Nigeria in the areas of education, economy and culture as well as security.
‘’You know that they also passed through a process when the defunct Soviet Union stayed longer than they were expected and they had difficulty engaging the current democratic system Haram terrorism became escalated by the situation in Mali, Niger, Libya and Chad but the Federal Government tried to curtail this through appeal and carrot approaches but this did not quite succeed until the introduction of emergency rule.” He told the Czech parliamentarians that the National Assembly will continue to create legislative instruments that will deepen Nigeria’s democracy. In his remark, the President of
Mark and his team also had talks with the Chairwoman of the Inter Parliamentary Friendship group for Sub- Saharan African Countries, Ms Dana Vahalova; Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Ms Miroslava Nemcova; first Deputy Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mr. Karel Schwaizenberg; Vice President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Mr.
Premysl Sobotka; Nigeria Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Ms Catherine Uyok Okon and Nigerians living in Czech Republic.
ne event Mark and his team will not forget in a hurry was the visit to Wallenstein Palace, the seat of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. There , the people showed the need to preserve history through structures, documentation, pictures, signatures, handwritings, souvenirs, among others. The palace was built by Nobleman Albercht Wenceslaus Eusebius Wallenstein in the years 1623 to 1634. The palace, which has museum, gardens, pictures as well as paintings, is adorned with sculptures like Hercules with Centaur; Neptum, Horse with Snake; Bacchus; Hercules fighting with Dragon; Appolo; Adonis and Venus; Nymph fighting Satyr; Laokoon and his sons; Venus with Amor, among others.
oved by what he saw, the spirit of having a Museum for the National Assembly where the past will be reproduced for today and tomorrow, the Senate President promised that the project will
soon come on board. According to him, plans were on by the Senate to reclaim Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos and turn it into a museum for the National Assembly. Ndoma- Egba, Obende, Anyanwu and Usman expressed some concerns on the need for Nigeria to preserve its yesterday and ensure the spirit of maintenance culture. Mark, who said Senate Leader Ndoma –Egba heads the committee on immortalization of senators, stressed:‘’Luckily the Senate Leader is here, the chairman of the committee on immortalization of senators and they have worked very hard, visited a number of places, they have been to India and, seeing this place today, I think that heightened the desire to make that committee come out with its recommendations as quickly as possible. We are even going well beyond what we are seeing now to look if we will be able to technically reproduce the voices of the various past leaders of the National Assembly.” On reclaiming Tafawa Balewa Square, he said, ‘’We have written a letter asking the President to let us take our parliament house in Lagos where the National Assembly used to sit, it is in a poor condition. We will gradually repair it and bring it to what it used to be. Luckily we have a number of Chairmen and Presidents of the Senate and Speakers who are still alive. We will be able to benefit from them and get some of the things we will put into the museum.” Speaking on the lessons from the visit, the Senator President said, ‘’You know that they also passed through a process when the defunct Soviet Union stayed longer than they were expected and they had difficulty entering the current democratic system. Their democracy really took off in 1996 and ours started in 1999, so we are not too far apart. ‘’To have seen them at this level, there are lots we can learn from them. ‘’I think one of the lessons from this visit is that people who are determined, they can preserve things and keep them, most of the buildings here are very old buildings, but going into them, you will see how they have managed them and kept them. ‘’If we also develop the same attitude of maintenance and preservation and very simple respect for rule law, a lot of things will improve. You can see that it is a small city in terms of space, but you see how very orderly the whole place is; people move on the path designated for movement on foot and those who drive cars on road, nobody is driving and meandering through the difficult places.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 41
Nigerian Prof. makes history in US, heads Ivy League school BY JOSEPH OMOREMI
T was encomium galore when Provost Ilesanmi Adesida was honored at the Urban-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois, United States where NigerianAmericans gathered to celebrate his elevation as the first African to head an Ivy League school in the country. Speakers at the occasion urged him to use the position and knowledge to effect changes in the developing world. “You’ve ser ved with great integrity and brilliance in all the positions you’ve held in
Prof. Ilesanmi Adesida the United States for the past 26 years,” Dr. Abiola Akanbi said while urging him to direct his energy, knowledge and his current unique position to effect dramatic but positive changes in Nigeria and the developing world.
Friends listed Adesida’s trailblazing exploits in the US to include, among other things, assisting Howard University to build its nanotechnology center, left indelible foot prints at Cornel University where he taught briefly, opened doors of opportunities for many Africans across America and turned the engineering department at the Urbana Campus of University of Illinois to one of the best in the world. His arrival at UrbanaChampaign more than 26 years ago turned things around for blacks in the university as Africans foray, once
limited to the Department of African Studies, expanded to engineering and other studies including the nano-technology center which he used to launch the university as one of the leading nanotechnology learning centers in the world. “He became a role model for all of us. He made us better teacher and parents and assisted in whatever way he could help us attain greatness in our fields,” said Eyambe Bokamba, a professor of African Studies at the UrbanaChampaign campus. Dr. Tayo Akinwande, a professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, said most people take him to be Adesida because of the things they have in common in many ways which earned him a break because of his trail blazing attainments in electrical engineering and leadership. Chief Rotimi O g u n m o d e d e , Adesida’s classmate at Imade College, who came for the ceremony from Nigeria, described him as a star right from high school. Adesida was overwhelmed and speechless as the accolades.poured in. Instead of responding, he walked round the
Civic Center, venue of the celebration, and danced with his wife of 35 years, Dr. Patience Adesida. Professor Adesida beat Ruth Watkins, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to become the new provost. Phyllis Wise, the Chancellor of the Urbana campus and a university vice president, said the school is counting on Adesida’s global experience, expertise in innovation, and leadership in public and private partnerships to move the school to the next level.
SURE-P: ACN chieftain berates Delta PDP
chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Mr. Ojie Ogwu yesterday, at Aboh, headquarter of Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State berated the Delta State Government for allegedly hijacking the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme in the state. Ogwu who said that the SURE-P programme is people oriented programme and not mainly for PDP, expressed shock how the transition committee chairman of Ndokwa Local Government Area has hijacked the programme meant for the entire state. Condemning the act, Ogwu said the SURE-P programme has no party colouration, adding that it is programme for all Deltans and should be evenly shared for all and sundry in respective of party affiliations. “The SURE-P is not PDP affairs but for all the people who are suffering from this subsidy remover ”.
Group congratulates WRPC MD
ELTA Intelligence and Transparency Group, yesterday congratulated Engr. Paul Obelley, Managing Director, Warri Refinery and Petrochemicals, WRPC, on his birthday. The group in a statement by its Secretary, Mr. Clement Umukoro, said: “We join Nigerians and the people of Niger Delta to celebrate a dynamic leader, Engr. Obelley, who has contributed immensely to human development in Nigeria”. It also commended Engr. Obelley for the ongoing reform in the Warri Refinery, pointing out that Warri Refinery presently being managed by Engr. Obelley is now working effectively.
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Obadare may be buried in $25,000 casket B
By SAM EYOBOKA and OLAYINKA LATONA
ARRING last-minute changes in plan, the body of late Timothy Obadare, a renowned evangelist and founder of the World Soul Winning Evangelical Mission, WOSEM, who died on March 21 after battling an undisclosed ailment, will be interred in a $25,000 gold casket. Obadare, the blind Akure-based evangelist, the second officially recognized Apostle by the Christ Apostolic Church, CAC, after Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola noted for his monthly Koseunti Crusade, until his death devoted most of his time teaching the Bible and winning souls for the Kingdom of God. He was in ministry for about six decades, eagerly committed to soul winning. Addressing newsmen in Lagos during the week, the son of the late evangelist and the general overseer of WOSEM in America and Europe, Pastor Paul Obadare, the WOSEM founder will buried in his hometown, Ilesha, Osun State on August 17 in a 14-karat gold plated coffin like the one used for the burial late popstar, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. According to the son who had relocated to Nigeria to rebuild the father's ministry "we want the world to know that the best is given to the one who has done his best for the gospel. If the world can celebrate a carnal man, the world should be able to celebrate a spiritual man better," adding that "these people have planted seeds into people's lives and touched lives positively. Not just ordinary lives, but people from the top to the bottom. "Why can’t the whole world, our nation Nigeria, put all their resources together and say he (Prophet Obadare) is our own, we are going to give him the best?" he asked. The gold casket used for the burial of late Michael Jackson was manufactured by the Batesville Casket Company of Indiana and it was the same model used for the funeral of Jackson's
hero, James Brown. It was said to have cost $25,000 while that of Whitney Houston was put at between $10,000 and $20,000. As the world's largest casket maker, Batesville's products have been used in many celebrity funerals, including those for Farrah Fawcett, Bob Hope, Wilt Chamberlain and Fred Astaire. Giving details of the burial plan made by the several committees set up by WOSEM, CAC and the sons of the prophet, Pastor Obadare said the ceremonies would commence on August 15 with a service of songs in Ilesha, Akure, Ibadan and Lagos as well as a lying-in-state at Ilesha and an interdenominational wake keep service on August 17 preceding the interment at a mausoleum currently under construction at WOSEM Conference ground along Ilesha-Ife Expressway in Ilesha. He therefore appealed to Christians, governments, public-spirited individuals, church leaders and believers to join hands with the children to give the fallen evangelist a befitting burial. He acknowledged that the Osun State governor, Ruaf Aregbeshola had promised to accord him a state burial and had actually begun the construction of the road leading to Baba Obadare's home in Ilesha. Speaking on his recollection of the fallen Prophet Obadare, the younger Obadare said: "Baba would always say to you, I live my life to save some. He could not save the whole world, he was not perfect. But he reached out to as many as he could. That was his passion. He doesn’t care about life like that. Building houses, to him was nothing, having flashy things to him was nothing. He said to us that I don’t have inheritance here; I’m not giving you one. But I have inheritance there, if you can enter into that kingdom, you have made it.'" According to him, the late prophet also desired to see the whole Church of God to be one. "You will never see Baba criticizing any minister. He would say they may make mistakes but pray for them and don’t allow anybody to know that they are weak. He wanted
L-R: Pastor Paul Obadare, vice chancellor, Litoral University, Prof. Reuben Gabriel Akindele and Pastor Ladi Thompson during the media parley.
especially Christian leaders to come together. He believed that achieving spiritual goals in life cannot be done individually." To this end, Pastor Paul Obadare is also committed to the reunification of CAC and promised to work assidously to ensure the manifestation of
*Late Prophet Timothy Obadare
that dream. "I foresee it coming with a lot of prize to be paid. Meaning that the present leadership on both sides will have to give way. So the old people will give way to the young ones;" just as he assured that the his late father stood for will kept alive. "We have been told even before he demise, that we should deviate from the calling, or else ewe want to go under, 'but if you don’t, you will excel.' We don’t want to go under, we want to go up and the only way we can do that is to get ourselves away from all the teething problems and face the real call of the ministry," Obadare stated. Also speaking at the occasion, founder of Living Waters Ministry, Rev. Ladi Thompson outlined some of the hidden legacies of the late prophet, saying that about "30 years ago I was an enthusiastic but extremely wary Christian and I was extremely skeptical about spiritual communications especially the issue of dreams because I had seen many good Christians destroyed by demonic dreams because they were not cautious to differentiate between the genuine and the counterfeit. "You could imagine my surprise when I began to have a persistent recurring dream centered on a pastel blue Mercedes (flat booth). The details of the car were so clear and the voice kept telling me it was my car! I kept ignoring this recurrent dream until I drove my Peugeot 305 to Surulere one day and saw the same car live! Out of curiosity, I went to inspect it and was told by the mechanic that it was for sale. I observed a strong unction coming from the car and began to question my sanity until I discovered it belonged to Prophet Timothy Oba-dare! "By the time I called him by phone to make an offer the prophet told me the car was no longer for sale, however, he threw some unnerving questions at me and mentioned a new church in the UK. He concluded by telling me that the Lord had told him that
some young men would be sent to assist him in ministry. This was the beginning of a cherished relationship and I spent many weeks in his Akure home by invitation mostly filled with fasting, prayers and instructions. After a few little errands things moved on in life but I kept his strange instructions in my heart. "I finally met his eldest son, Pastor Paul Obadare at a convention in the Ukraine in 2009 and we exchanged testimonies about life with his Dad. I did not know that it was all by divine arrangement because the situation that his father had briefed me about almost 30 years before unfolded rapidly. The instructions now made sense after 30 years and I moved swiftly to render the assistance required. "It involved a trip to the USA where I was hosted by Pastor Obadare and ushered into the Prophet's presence the very next day. I spoke with Baba as he is fondly called and concluded everything needed to execute his thrifty year old instruction. I spent only four days in the USA and returned to Nigeria to execute the mandate on the prophet’s behalf in a very sensitive issue. "It is still amazing whenever I consider the ministration that transpired to serve on a mission with a 30-year old instruction. My closeness to the family is based on this prophetic encounter and I have since discovered that there are others like me who were bonded to the prophet by divine instructions. There is still a residue of such prophetic dealings that the modern church hardly understands but experience has taught us how accurate spiritual dealings can be. "The prophet was larger than life in stature and reach of his ministry continues to amaze me. I believe he was the last of the titans that served under the revival started in the early 1900s with Joseph Babalola and others. The fact that his handicap was no obstacle to his success is also mind-blowing when you consider the African setting," he stated.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 45
Where is God? BY MORAK OGUNTADE
HEN you lose your faith your allowance to go through rituals becomes an unnecessary ticket to join in communal time wasting. What’s heaven going to be like? Don’t say it can’t be imagined because that’s just being silly. We can imagine anything, why we have a mind. So let us try and visualize individuals first. Will old people be young looking? People who died very old who used to look at photos of their younger self may not prefer to spend eternity sporting deep wrinkles. Little children who lost their lives will be what teens? Disabled people will be healed? What about a person who was cared for till they died---learning difficulty, autism or down syndrome for example---will they become clever as brain surgeons in heaven? Most could not make decisions when they were on earth, perhaps will now probably be great chess players. Will there be plenty of virgins for Islamic terrorists and murderers in the name of Allah, if so where are they coming from? When you confront a believer with that question they say God can do anything. So yes, you’ll have your quota of pale skin, big bosomed belly dancer blonde and brunettes once you get the stamp of approval. But wait, isn’t that idea just what a Middle Eastern man would consider heaven? He lives in the near desert arid region and the most pleasant position he’d wish to find
himself would be just that. What about a person who’s idea of eternal bliss would be something else? Sayan ancient South America Indian who’d thought heaven was just like the jungle he’d lived all his life only this time the animals would be easier to catch and there’d be no nasty parts to dispose of before preparing it for a meal? Would clergy still have to shout in microphones in front of audiences to talk about God? That would really be strange because they’d have been sitting next to you now in the congregation. Will they feel superior? Would you still have to go through them to chat to God? Would the angels take over this role? Please don’t tell me not to question this. I am a thinking man. I was equipped with a brain that’s never ending in its questioning. It cannot be helped. If God created me with that brain then he must expect me to be inquisitive. Would it be reasonable to condemn me for asking? I think not. So back in the second century there was a general picture of heaven---Glory Glory Halleluiah, trumpets long robes white wings, temple---like monuments bright little baby
There is no heaven...it cannot be imagined even by the most fertile mind
angels carrying harps, airy cathedrals with glittering stain glasses? These images are just reflections of what the Greek and Italian painters put on walls and ceilings and some of them from Hollywood movies. These days, however, some people’s views of what constitute heavenly state are different. We now have a heaven with high powered home or outdoor entertainment---like structural massive speakers, 3D holographic equipment. High definition broadcasting and viewing have been installed to keep the heavenly population continually mesmerized by God's glory forever. So in the next 150 years when ugly people can afford to get facial surgery on the cheap, there’ll be pills to restore age-related hair loss, we can wear glasses that’ll deliver CNN and MTV to our inner vision due to chips in our retinas. In short when technological advancement has gone beyond what we can postulate now, then we can expect that heaven would probably take on a definition with which we cannot recognize today. Visions of meeting up with long dead individuals in heaven for many include these people wearing clothes. Cotton material may hold out better and survive death as opposed to leather. It is worth thinking about. Then there’re those who claim there would be no such thing. Everyone would be in spirit form. They will be one with God and be able to see his face. Souls will be able to drift in space and float to the ends of the universe just by wishing so. Galaxies and solar
systems would be the playground of spirits that used to be bound to earth by flesh. Whoever seriously considers this to be the eternal activity of his soul as reward for a life of piousness is a person who probably never does any serious thinking. This contrast with those who say it would be just another earth only much more improved. Some even say it exists in layers or levels. That can only be reasoned in terms of the grade between the very rural residential areas up to the most urban. There is no heaven. It cannot be imagined even by the most fertile mind. I have this sneaky feeling that every adult who can open his/her mouth to describe heaven knows that they’re talking nonsense. They’re just playing the game everyone else is playing. Heaven is a man-made construct stationed in the realms of imagination. A place that helps many people deal devastating proposition that life sometimes comes to an abrupt end for everyone. It is comforting to be told that the precious life just appears to stop here---it in fact continues elsewhere--in heaven. This poorly thought out fictional eternal life will rub you of purpose. So why not make the most of it while you still have it. You know it is very fleeting indeed. I find the draconian faith-based regimes that hold men in imaginary for the duration of their lives very sad indeed. *Mr. Ogunyade wrote in from Lagos. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
SEE Inspirations Magazine repackages
EE Inspirations Magazine, a non-denominational magazine, dedicated to the encouragement of those struggling with addictions, bondage and negative habits, the brainchild of an educationist who had written several inspirational books for all ages, Mrs. Lawretta Sam-Ogrih is repackaging with the commencement of a six bi-monthly publication per year, reports SAM EYOBOKA. Addressing newsmen at a recent Inspire The World Benefit Dinner organised by See Inspirations Magazine at the SEE Centre in Lekki, Lagos, the visionary/ chief editor, Mrs. Lawretta Sam-Ogrih said SEE Inspirations Magazines which had started two years ago as a soft sell publication is transiting to become a not-forsale magazine. Mrs. Sam-Ogrih who
said she was inspired by the testimonies of others and was motivated into writing her own testimony in a book titled Treasures from the dark, noted that the vision is actually to inspire the world as the magazine is strictly an evangelistic tool. Asked how she intends to sponsor the distribution of the magazine free, she said: “God who has brought us thus far will sustain us,” adding that partners and advert patronage powered by God will see the publication through, noting that it has recorded amazing testimonies of Christians across divides over the years. Mrs. Sam-Ogrih explained further: “We are just in God’s hands. From the word go, He was the one that ordained this publication. We believe He will bring testifiers, adverts, support and all resources we
need as at when due. We are not worried but settled knowing He is in charge.” Asked to speak on the major challenges she had faced in the last two years, she said funding, adding “in this part of the world, we have a lot of things that come cheap. It doesn’t come cheap to get that kind of magazine; we need a lot of financial assistance. We’ve been doing it in our own little way. We have to go into the market place like other magazines.” According to her, the magazine is one of a kind, since it features stunning testimonies of ex-robbers, ex-cultists and all that, pointing out that “beyond advertising your business, you are using one stone to kill two birds. You are sowing treasure in heavenly account when you help to encourage the magazine.
L-R: Mr. Sam Ogrih, Mrs. Lawretta Sam-Ogrih, Richard and Tonye Ntan at the occasion. “When you sow this testimony into someone’s life and that person gets born again, you are part of that foundation testimony and you are sowing treasure in heavenly account. People don’t know that it is beyond them just advertising their businesses, they are actually advertising God.” The dinner featured live performances by Asu Ekiye, AITY DennisInyang as well as some hilarious jokes by some comedians of the Federal Republic as distin-
guished guests danced excitedly in the Lord’s presence to commemorate the second anniversary of the magazine, which has become a leading voice in the Christian community. Testifying to the impact of the two-year-old magazine, Mrs. Comfort Ukpong described it as the “Bible of our time,” pointing out that reading the stories of ordinary people whose lives God transformed has imbued her with vigour and inspiration to pursue her dreams.
AITY, an accomplished gospel minister, described the magazine as a must-read for those who believe in the wondrous acts of God, saying it is not just a publication but one that stands out among the crowd. The G.O. of Household of Love Church, Lekki, Lagos, Rev. Yinka Yusuf, who preached the short sermon at the occasion, solicited support for the publication, maintaining that an investment in it is tantamount to investing in God’s kingdom.
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PAUL: THE HYPOCRITICAL PHARISEE
ESUS warns his disciples: "Be ware of these Pharisees and the way they pretend to be good when they aren't. But such hypocrisy cannot be hidden forever." (Luke 12:1). This warning certainly applies to Paul. Paul declares: “I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee.” (Acts 23:6). Moreover, his hypocrisy, hidden in his days, is now evident to all in the bible. Paul is double-tongued in his epistles. He says one thing here and another thing there. He does the exact opposite of the righteousness he proclaims. The discrepancies between his words and his actions belie his highfalutin pretensions to lofty Christian morality and values.
Double-standards Paul warns the Galatians: "If you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing." (Galatians 5:2). And yet, Paul himself personally circumcised Timothy. Luke reports that: “Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.” (Acts 16:3). Paul counsels the Romans: "Do not be wise in your own opinion." (Romans 12:16). Then he
No Christian genuinely seeking the righteousness of God should imitate a man like Paul says opinionatedly to the Galatians: "I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine." (Galatians 5:10). He declares in Galatia: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28). Then he contradicts himself in Corinth by proclaiming discrimination between men and women: “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak.” (I Corinthians 14:34). Paul asked: “When one of you has a grievance against a brother, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?” (I Corinthians 6:1). But then, confronted by Christian antagonists, Paul chose to go to law before “the unrighteous:” “If there is nothing in their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.” (Acts 25:11). He says: “no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed.” (I Corinthians 12:3). Then he himself declares that Jesus was accursed: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law
by becoming a curse for us.” (Galatians 3:13). Paul writes to the Romans: "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." (Romans 12:14). But he then goes on to curse his opponents, even including angels from heaven: “If we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8). When the high priest ordered someone to slap him, Paul replied angrily with a curse: “God shall slap you, you whitewashed pigpen.” (Acts 23:2-3). Paul insists Christians should not boast: “What, then, can we boast about? Nothing!” (Romans 3:27). “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (I Corinthians 4:7). But he then boasts repeatedly; claiming he prays more, labours more, and suffers more than everybody else. (II Corinthians 11:22-27). He says it is unwise to compare oneself with others. (II Corinthians 10:12). Then he declares
that he is superior to the 12 apostles: “They say they serve Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder.” (II Corinthians 11:23). He says: “Christ is the end of the law.” (Romans 10:4). Nevertheless, he performed Nazarite sacrifices according to the law even after Jesus’ resurrection. (Acts 21:26).
Congenital liar Paul says to the Colossians: “Do not lie to one another.” (Colossians 3:9). And yet, Paul himself is not committed to truth. Instead, he justifies telling lies to the Philippians: “The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached.” (Philippians 1:18). Paul claims his lies promote the gospel: “My dishonesty brought (God) glory by pointing up his honesty in contrast to my lies.” (Romans 3:7). He even openly boasts of being a deceiver to the Corinthians: “Crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery!” (II Corinthians 12:16). Paul is so unabashedly duplicitous, he admits to being guided by the shady principle of telling people whatever they want to hear: “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible
means I might save some.” (I Corinthians 9:22). Accusations that he was a liar trailed him everywhere, ensuring that he often resorted to swearing in self-defence: “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.” (II Corinthians 11: 31). But Jesus expressly cautions against this: “Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:34/37).
Mean-spirited Paul is so malicious; he wishes those who persecute him would castrate themselves. (Galatians 5:12). Responding to his critics, he insists their “mouths must be stopped.” (Titus 1:11). Jesus delivers sinners from Satan (Luke 4:18); but Paul delivers them to Satan. He says: “Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.” (I Timothy 1:20). And yet, this same Paul moralises to the Galatians: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.” (Galatians 6:1). He counsels the Romans: "Repay no one evil for evil." (Romans 12 :17). But instead of forgiving those who offended him, he asked God to punish them: “Alexander the coppersmith has done me much harm. The Lord will punish him.” (II
Timothy 4:14). While Jesus advocates non-retaliation in Christian conduct: “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:45); Paul preaches it for malevolent reasons: “for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” (Romans 12: 20). Paul says: “Each man's work will become manifest; for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire.” (I Corinthians 3:13). The “fire” Paul lit led to the burning of innocents at the stake. (I Corinthians 5:5). He was the father of the Inquisition, whereby hundreds of thousands were hanged, beheaded and stoned to death. His tenets were used to validate slavery (Ephesians 6:5-6); discriminate against women (I Corinthians 14:3436); as well as provide biblical authority for antiSemitism and the Nazi massacre of six million Jews. (I Thessalonians 2:14-16). Jesus expressly warns us not to be hypocritically pharisaic like Paul: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” (Matthew 23:2-3). But Paul contradicts Jesus by asking Christians to be hypocrites just like him: “I urge you to imitate me.” (I Corinthians 4: 16). However, no Christian genuinely seeking the righteousness of God should imitate a man like Paul. Paul’s spirit is a monstrous imposition on the Spirit of Jesus, and his word should never be mistaken for the word of God.
Oritsejafor is a defender of faith, says Prof Emeka By SAM EYOBOKA
ENERAL Super intendent of As semblies of God Church, Prof. Paul Emeka described the National President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor as an astute defender of the faith, adding that his fearless disposition has saved the Nigerian Church several embarrassment. Preaching a sermon at the grand finale of this year's Men Alive convention at the Word of Life Bible Church, Warri, Delta State, Prof. Emeka who doubles as Enugu State CAN chairman, said members of the church describe the cleric as their pastor, "but we know him as the defender
of our faith. "When people attempt to shot his mouth, he speaks louder. When people say he should keep quiet he has a way opening up the more. That is why we call him the Lion of Africa, because some of the privileges the Church is enjoying today can be traced to his boldness to address issues affecting the Church in Nigeria," the cleric stated. Continuing, Pastor Emeka said most Christian leaders in the country are particularly grateful to his charismatic leadership of CAN, arguing that because of the unique leadership qualities of Pastor Oritsejafor, he recently broke the jinx of a single tenure of CAN when he
was re-elected president of the august body. The cleric argued that contrary of popular belief among enemies of the
Church, Pastor Oritsejafor bold and fearless disposition about things concerning Christians in the country may have informed by
certain decisions by the Presidency. "It is obvious that he is the single voice dreaded by the Islamic fundamentalists in the c o u n t r y, " E m e k a stated, urging all Nigerian Christians to pray for him at all times for God's guidance and protection. On his part, Pastor Oritsejafor admitted that *General Superintendent of Assemblies of God Church and there are guest speaker at the just concluded Men Alive Conference of some shortWord of Life Bible Church, Warri, Professor Paul Emeka shar- c o m i n g s ing some thought with National President, CAN, Pastor Ayo within the Oritsejafor at the occasion. Pentecostal
Movement in the country but appealed to all Nigerians to be patient with the Movement which, he argued, is the latest move of God across the world. The former PFN president acknowledged that "there is some madness out there", but he assured Nigerians to appreciate the fact that the movement is young in this part of the world compared to earlier Christian movements. While congratulating the leadership of Men Alive Fellowship for organising a most successful convention, the CAN president maintained that with time all the teething problems militating against the movement will fizzle away just as it happened with the earlier moves of God.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 47
PAGE 48 —SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013
Afe Babalola, Balewa and Ekiti lawyers whisppered to me as he was being introduced by the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association that he was a BY SESAN AKINOLA medical doctor, my immediate reaction was, is this person VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF competent to address and do The son of Nigeria’s late justice to thevery topical prime minister and his Yoruba question of insecurity connection threatening to tear our country apart and already shaking our
T was on the fifth day of the programme designed to honour our own illustrious and highly esteemed Aare Afe Babalola that this gentle and selfeffecing Nigerian arrived the magnificent multi-purpose hall of Afe Babalola University, Ado -Ekiti to deliver his spell-binding lecture. On the eve of the historic lecture and while we were rounding-off the programme for the fourth day which was the Bench/Bar Forum, an exciting interactive forum for judges and lawyers to freely exchange ideas in arelaxed atmosphere this man looking like a mullato in his striking handsomeness was ushered in by some members of the planning committee of the law Week and, when someone
articulated lecture for which he received a standing ovation at the end. Before he began his presentation, I spared a few minutes to persue what the planning committee of the NBA described in the programme brochure as he “abridged citation”; it covered two full pages. I went through
The self-evident truth is that this fellow is deep, very deep such that my immediate reaction to what they said was an abridged citation was how many pages of his academic and scholarly accomplishments would they have inundated us with if it were not an abridged citation?!
country to the very foundation? It did not take time before I was proved wrong. The following day, this “son of the soil” as we later learnt his mother is Yoruba, took practically all the quests andn our colleagues by surprise, pleasantly ambushing us in the process by delivering a well-researched and
it and had nothing but reproach for the cynicism of the preivious right when I dismissed him that he might be incompetent to do justice to the topic. The self-evident truth is that this fellow is deep, very deep such that my immediate reaction to what they said was an abridged citation was how many pages of his academic and scholarly
accomplishments would they have inundated us with if it were not an abridged citation?! Among his string of degrees are an MBBS from University College London in 1979; MSC (Encymology) University of New York at Buffalo 1980 and PH.D (Nuclear Chemistry) University New York Buffalo 1982. That he did justice to the topic of the lecture is an understatement. He delyed extensively into the historical perspective of the topic with the quiet eradition and uncanny thoroughness of a professor of African history with ...Nigerian pre and postcolonial history. He made very profound and brilliant suggestions not only to help move Nigeria forward but to also arrest the degenerating and very pinearous security challenges confronting our nation. By the time he resumed his seat after a thundering ovation, I asked myself how come this genius went and hid himself in a foreign country all those years thereby denying us his countrymen of the benefit of his wisdom and profound intellectual
accomplishments? My admiration for him soared when it was revealed by Aare Afe Babalola that he speaks about five languages fluently and, when he himself disclosed in his introductory remarks at the lecture that his mother is Yoruba from Ibadan and was infact inerspersing his lecture with Yoruba proverbs and wisecraks, I was intoxicated with joy as I enthused, thank God, he is a ‘son of the soil’. An advice for Dr. Jhalil Balewa, the Dan Ma Tafawa Balewa , you have had enough of foreign sojourn! Please stay here and don’t let anything entice you away from us anymore. We have drunk out of your deep well of wisdom and erudition and, like Oliver Twist, we shall always ask for more if you must leave this country for any reason, do not leave for two long so that we can continue along with other patriotic Nigerians to assiduously seek solutions to the multifarious problems bedeviling us as a nation. *Akinola is a legal practitioner and lives in AdoEkiti
Uduaghan, party man delivering on mandate BY JAMES EDOREH VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF The need to encourage the Delta governor to do more
EMOCRACY is fun when your representative is getting it right. The greatest beauty of democracy is that you have access to your representative. In Nigeria, democracy is celebrated in different forms. Two years to another general elections, people are coming together to form political parties, some are merging while some are just bent on engaging in destructive, inciting criticism. But, that is the greatest joy of having a government where you can freely express yourself in place. In Delta State, since the inception of this democratic dispensation, the message has been very clear and loud, there is only the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The situ-
ation is even made more challenging for other political parties to penetrate because the government has always performed beyond the expectations of the people in terms of making them to be part of governance and delivering projects that will make meaning to their lives. Also, it is only the PDP that can be consistent as a political party. Most politicians may not remember that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN ), which is seeking to merge with other political parties and have APC as its new name, was once AD, AC before becoming ACN. Such changes do not show seriousness and most voters may be confused with the regular change of names and acronyms which will make them to vote for the PDP that has been consistent. Delta State has become a case study and reference point for those seeking to know where government is meeting up with the aspirations of the people. Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony
Anenih, stated this much when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan recently in Asaba. During that visit, Anenih observed that Uduaghan is a politician who has done so much in terms of delivering democratic dividends without blowing
Also, the National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Sam Sam Jaja, described the developmental strides of Uduaghan’s administration as a clear manifestation of the successes recorded by PDP governors across the country.
Most politicians may not remember that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN ), which is seeking to merge with other political parties and have APC as its new name, was once AD, AC before becoming ACN. Such changes do not show seriousness
his trumpets. The respected politician, who marvelled at the quality of work done at the new Government House which the government moved into in January, noted too that the airports and network of roads constructed by Uduaghan’s administration were working.
Jaja, who led zonal, state and the federal capital territory PDP secretaries to Delta for a two-day retreat on a facility tour of projects, stated that from what the governor has done in Delta State, “PDP governors cannot be matched in the area of project execution.” “The airport shows that Gov-
ernor Uduaghan has class and this is a window of what other PDP Governors are doing in different states of the country,” Jaja said. To us in Delta State, are we encouraging Uduaghan to do more? All that he deserves is appreciation and doing things the right way. Despite the commendations, Uduaghan sees what he is doing as normal. Speaking during the Democracy Day celebration in Asaba, the governor said he does not lay emphasis in the commissioning of projects but executing projects for people to use. Uduaghan’s case is that of one who believes that he was elected to serve the people not for people to sing his praises. His administration has touched a lot of lives positively, especially in Delta. That is why his party, the leadership of the PDP are relaxed that the governor, as a performing PDP man has made Delta a smooth sail for them ahead of 2015.
James Edoreh lives in Oleh, Delta State
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SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 49
Watching the mighty fall: A Nigerian phenomenon BY DELE OLOWU VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF Draining integrity from the public service
HE continuing shrinkage of viable business models, along with the fragility of Nigeria’s private sector, means that the only safe havens in the land are public offices. In truth however, even public offices do not guarantee eternal bliss! Yes, these offices have huge discretions and often contain significant windows for offering patronage. But the competition for public offices is heartless, and the winner of the prize is often expected to cope with the animosities of fallen opponents, until the incumbent himself falls from grace. The public office environment in Nigeria is therefore a universe of agony. Not surprisingly, a great amount of public office careers often end in controversy, litigation, humiliation and outright disgrace. This trend is beginning to establish itself as a tradition and the Nigerian public appears to have developed a robust appetite for feeding off the flesh of disgraced officials. The greatest challenge faced by public officials in Nigeria is that of corruption, and allegations around this theme have often provided a basis for bringing their careers to grief. In many instances, the corruption smear tends to hold and several incumbents have been tragically undermined by them. One unflattering consequence of all this, is that public offices in Nigeria have become a byword for corruption. This itself cloaks a lot of the idealism and integrity, which the Nigerian service retains. And equally important is
the reflection that, in spite of our residual goodness, opportunistic allegations of corruption are sometimes invoked in damaging otherwise sterling careers. Most narratives about corruption in Nigeria often create the impression that the worst forms of this phenomenon became extant only in modern times. And yet sleaze in public offices has a fairly long history in our country. Perhaps the volume and intensity of our current experience of this social ulcer encourage the belief that it did not exist before now. Indeed sometimes it creates the extreme determination that the past was a golden age, in which public servants operated in a sinless world. Nothing can be further from the truth. Any attempt to romanticize the past will collapse under scrutiny. The First Republic, in spite of all the hopes and optimism it inspired, had its own blemishes. Corruption and it’s traveling companion called nepotism were an important feature of the First Republic. And frequently they provoked public outrage. The regions made steady progress, and competed and sought to outpace each other in the provision of social infrastructure. There were Liberty Stadium, the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, the Niger Dam, the Niger Bridge and others. This notwithstanding, society was driven by clamor and dissension. A sense of crisis was pervasive and, between 1964 and the first coup in 1966, there were over 200 strike actions. But on top of all this was a growing sense of outrage produced by corruption and public sleaze. One of the very instances was the case which involved the purchase of equity by Zik’s firm in a bank, the African Continental Bank. In 1962 also, Adegoke Adelabu was forced to resign as Council Head over charges of inclement conduct, while Chief
Obafemi Awolowo seemed to have been indicted by the Coker Commission. These were important failures but the stridency of the anti-corruption vanguard often gave the impression that the phenomenon was more corrosive than it actually was. We may not have a similarity between the current outcry and the outrage expressed during the First Repub-
This Republic has had it’s fair share of public scandals and there has been no shortage of efforts to fight the evil of corruption
lic. I once discussed corruption with Peter Enahoro, an influential writer, who, at 26, edited the reputable Daily Times in the 60s. He remarked that Lagos and Nigeria were at one time scandalized by the news that our Prime Minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, had built a palatial house in his hometown, Bauchi. Everybody was sure that government money had been siphoned to produce this piece of vanity. Not until Peter Enahoro himself visited Bauchi was he humbled by the fact that the palatial house was a simple home. In many ways, talk of corruption, though not always idle is often overstated. And it’s invocation is an important feature in the armory of opposition parties or coup makers. Not
surprisingly Major Nzeogwu’s coup speech dwelt on the corruption theme. ’The aim of the Revolutionary Council’, he said, ‘Is to establish a strong united nation free from C O R R U P T I O N ’ . The need to wipe out corruption has remained an enduring dream not only for coup vendors but also for settled governments which truly wish to endear themselves to their citizens. So all through our history, most of our governments have sought to challenge this cankerworm with varying amounts of success. This Republic has had it’s fair share of public scandals and there has been no shortage of efforts to fight the evil of corruption. As always, the anti-corruption vanguard is on overdrive and the EFCC and ICPC have their hands full. Whatever our anxieties, we must admit that the process for apprehending public office offenders is firing on all cylinders. At the last count, over 50 public officers are facing legal action because of infractions committed when they served. They include Ayo Fayose, a former governor, Ekiti State; Joshua Dariye, a former governor, Plateau State; Saminu Turaki, a former governor, Jigawa State, Orji Uzor Kalu; a former governor, Abia State; Jolly Nyame, a former governor, Taraba State and Farouk Lawan of the National Assembly. Corruption is a huge problem in Nigeria and it’s impact may account for a huge part of our development. It is important that government continues to take decisive action against those who abuse public trust. The process requires to be properly vetted so as to avoid legal malingering. It seems that many of the cases that have been taken to court are allowed to fester with no prospect of a rapid determination. Nigeria may well be populated by sev-
eral self-servers. But there must be some people who are capable of expressing idealism through their conduct and public service. One of the tragic consequences of the attack on public service in Nigeria is the evolving dearth of idealism and the ruse of cynicism. Public service is now mixed interchangeably with corruption and corrupt conduct. And nowhere in our calculation do we create any room for men and women of service. So as more and more accused are docked by the conveyor belt of the anti-corruption agencies, the public has learnt to applaud in accustomed glee. Yet in a more service-driven environment, people are bound to express dismay at the ease with which people in high offices soil their hands. And is it not entirely the case that some of these anti-corruption agencies, rush to prosecute, merely to feed the public appetite for gore? A few of us must be somewhat challenged by the antecedents of some of those who have been hounded out or docked so far. I will raise here, only two examples, both of them from the Nigeria Police, arguably our country’s most maligned institution of state. Nuhu Ribadu became famous when he was posted to head the EFCC. He brought passion and an unusual amount of strident advocacy to his charge. The harvest was bountiful. He procured several high profile convictions including that of a serving Inspector General and Ex Governor Ibori. Even though Ribadu attracted criticism for his selective prosecution and filibuster, the abiding verdict on his term was that he was cyber effective. Watching the big man fall from high office has come close to being a spectator sport in Nigeria. *Olowu is a public affairs analyst.
Azuya, Ibusa and Delta BY EMMA FEJOKWU TRIBUTE IN BRIEF Philanthropy and youth empowerment to stem crime
IS apostolic zeal on the delivery of tasks both for government, individuals and corporate organizations has no doubt lifted him up to the level of an economic missioner and community developer. Chief Tony Azuya hails from Nkpanyala Quarter of Ibusa in Oshimili-North Local Government Area of Delta State. He is the C.E.O of Technocrime Securities, a fire-brand security outfit. Azuya is not necessarily the regular Nigerian, rather, he is an unusual Nigerian interested in sustaining the age-old
perception of the citizen as being representative of all. The man who made his wealth through hardwork and honesty brought his vocation to bear on his national calling as he made his name popular not only as a philanthropist, but also as a personality who braved all odds and has continued to contribute towards the overall development of his home town, lbusa, other areas in the state and the nation. Some of these include the employment of many Nigerians in his establishments, empowerment of youths, women, including widows, men and extension of his philanthropic gestures to traditional rulers and various communities as well as award of scholarship to over N5,000 students across the country. Azuya’s feat followed his exemplary records while in school and while he served in the Nigeria Police.
TRIB UTE TRIBUTE
Azuya is not necessarily the regular Nigerian, rather, he is an unusual Nigerian interested in sustaining the ageold perception of the citizen as being representative of all
He inspires work ethics through leadership by example. This is visible in his Techno Crime Securities headquarters in Lagos. A politician of note, his track record has given cause for the clarion call by a section of the
Chief Tony Azuya people of the area and, in fact, Deltans, urging him to contest a political position as it is believed that will further spur him to bring more dividends of democracy to the people. Azuya recently purchased an 11-5 transformer and stepdown to be delivered to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) for Ibusa
where residents have over the years suffered from poor power supply. It was jubilation galore as indigenes both within and in Diaspora and visitors alike trooped to the community to see things for themselves. Azuya, in an interview, said he acquired the transformer for use by Ibusa people out of his burning desire to ensure constant supply of electricity to the town and sustained businesses affected by epileptic power supply.. Those who spoke, including community leaders in the area on the new transformer and step down worth millions of naira, stated that it was the first time in the history of the community such a gesture was being witnessed and nicknamed Azuya as the Omekokwu of the community. *Fejokwu, a media consultant, lives in Asaba, Delta State.
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PAGE 50 — SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013
Nigeria has the means to defeat terror —Albert Horsfall BY ADEOLA ADENUGA
Chief Albert Korubo Horsfall, an Ijaw leader, spent most part of his career in the security services of the public sector. He was a pioneer member of the National Security Organisation (NSO); the first Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and DG of what is now known as the Department of State Services, DSS. Horsfall shares his perspectives, in this interview, on the security and political situation of the country. Excerpts:
Chief Albert Horsfall...The problem with us in this country is that we enjoy sensationalism and hyperbolism. terrorism would have become endemic in Nigeria. We pray not. Having taken the bull by the horn, the correct and wise thing for Mr. President to do is to chase the terrorists out of wherever they may infiltrate into, in parts of this country. We must not allow them any breathing space nor respite. Any such lack of relentless pursuit will allow them to find a foothold somewhere else in this country and continue to threaten national security, integrity and sovereignty. The state of emergency must be pursued fully and relentlessly. Therefore this is a time for all Nigerians to rally round the leadership of the President and ensure that our country is rid of this threat to the national sovereignty. We must equally rally round our armed forces, the police and the security services. NATIONAL SECURITY The threat of insurgency has become a major factor in our national politics. Let us take those of the Niger Delta which ended a couple of years ago. Apart from the few truly nationalist elements among those militants, a lot of criminal and self-seeking elements took advantage of the genuine demands of the Niger Delta militants and destroyed human and material properties. Such is the consequence of these acts of insurgency and terrorism once started. Sometimes, the consequences which flow from such acts are based on political, ideological or religious differences as we have seen. We have also seen that many times such security threats are started by political agitation and encouragement and pronouncement of a few vocal self-seeking elements within society but once the fire of insurgency has
HAT'S YOUR GENERAL ASSESSMENT OF THE STATE OF THE NATION? Nigeria is going through a period of severe political and security stress. Clearly, not many people realize that the apparent ambition of the Boko Haramists, for instance, is to mount a territorial claim on Nigerian sovereignty and integrity. From all indications, the terrorists intend to stay in this country, establish themselves and then pursue a political agenda. In the past, we have dealt with such terrorist elements like Maitatsine. The ambition of the earlier groups appears limited compared to the present Boko Haram insurgency. The Boko Haramists have clearly been heavily infiltrated by outside forces and external terrorist groups whose objective is to take over parts of Nigeria as they seem to have done in Mali before French forces flushed them out. No country worth it sovereignty will allow a terrorist gang to occupy its territory and thereby diminish the sovereignty and territorial authority. I did say in a lecture to Catholic Men’s Organization in October, 2011 that Gaddafi’s guns from Libya will extend radical and extremist insurgency to West Africa including Nigeria. The current development in parts of northern Nigeria is clearly the manifestation of such threats. The terrorist cells and organizations ousted from different parts of the Middle East and North Africa, in particular including Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, etc., are all now busy looking for places and territories to occupy and carry out their nefarious activities. It is, therefore, important for all concerned to realize the magnitude of the threats which the country faces from those terrorist armies and co-operate to defeat the terrorists and not play politics with these truly dangerous events. STATE OF EMERGENCY The declaration of the state of emergency by President Goodluck Jonathan did not come soon enough. But thank God Mr. President has now decided to take the bull by the horn. The declaration had indeed become inevitable. Either the commander-inchief did so now or allow the terrorists to settle down and the issue of
All that the judiciary needs to do is to designate special courts or judges to fast-track and deal with these cases and those of fraud and corruption expeditiously and punish the guilty and free the innocent! Why can’t our judiciary produce such innovation if we can smuggle plea bargain into our law
been lit, these elements who ab initio started the agitation find themselves incapable of putting out the fire. Such is the case in parts of the country at present as was the case of the Niger Delta militancy. Therefore, whilst addressing the cases of Bornu, Yobe and Adamawa, government should equally and quickly look into the disturbances in Nassarawa, Taraba, Benue and particularly Plateau which has lingered for too long. The defence and security forces should also be directed thereto as soon as their present task is done to flush out the seemingly endemic disturbances in those states. POLITICAL CRISIS Side by side with the security threat raging in parts of the country, we have
to contend with the number of political issues which have kept the polity in high gear. Yes, politics is about argument, discussions and sometimes quarrel but some of these like the one between the Presidency and the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) are clearly avoidable. They are avoidable because the NGF is not a constitutional organ and having started by doing some good jobs they seem to have now constituted themselves – with permanent secretariat and DirectorGeneral – into a parallel political group which tends to rival or checkmate the Federal Government on national issues. The truth of the matter is that each of the 36 states governors has a territory to administer within his constitutional authority. They are not independent states; therefore their limits are clearly defined by the constitution and the law. For them to constitute themselves into a parallel national political organ to check-mate the Federal Government and to make pronouncements especially such that go against the Federal Government’s authority, subvert the constitution and create avoidable friction within the polity. Such situations are uncalled for. State governments are to operate within their constitutional boundaries and the Federal Government should similarly stay within its constitutional authority. It will be wrong for one or the other to encroach or cross these boundaries. It is my firm opinion that the problem between the Federal Government and the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) is as a result of this clear encroachment by the NGF into federal territories. CAN THE JUDICIARY DO MORE TO RID THE COUNTRY OF CORRUPTION AND TERRORISM? The problem with us in this country is that we enjoy sensationalism and hyperbolism. Almost every issue that threatens security at present had been tackled and highlighted in my previous lectures and interviews. But the responsible persons and institutions do not appear to pay heed. The main reason is that I am not one of those hyperbolic presenters of issues and narratives. Rather, I am an expert and I present the issues in their true perspectives. There are already a number of Boko Haramists and other insurgents held in our prison custody awaiting trial. One or two of them are taken to court from time to time and for one technical reason or another are returned to the cell, their cases having been further adjourned! When will these cases be dispensed with and justice done? What about consideration for the morale of the officers and men who labour tirelessly, and risk their lives day-in and day-out in an attempt to bring these alleged culprits to book? All that the judiciary needs to do is to designate special courts or judges to fast-tract and deal with these cases and those of fraud and corruption expeditiously and punish the guilty and free the innocent! Why can’t our judiciary produce such innovation if we can smuggle plea bargain into our law to favour the rich and the privileged? We must plead with our judiciary to address this issue of special courts for
Continues on page 51
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013, PAGE 51
Anambra 2014: Between Uba and other contenders
HE advantage Senator Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba, also called Andy Uba, has over other contenders for the Anambra 2014 gubernatorial election appears to be widening as the countdown to the crucial poll continues. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was sworn-in as Anambra governor after the 2007 election, but removed days later through a court order which faulted INEC for conducting the poll in the state when incumbent Governor Peter Obi’s tenure was still running. The tenure expires next year. And by what is likely to become an Obi-to-Uba; Obi-to-Uba race, the senator from Anambra South constituency seems to have everything going for him right now. He is not deterred by the setback of 2007. Only recently, while making known his ambition to run for the coveted office inside Enugu Sports Club, Uba was quick to put the matter straight to the doubting Thomases. He told reporters: “In 2007 when I ran for governor, I had a vision for Anambra State. Within the few days I stayed in power, people got an insight into my plans, my vision was to change the face of Anambra. I was pushing for a plan to transform Anambra; unfortunately, it didn’t work”. Almost immediately after,
youths, under the aegis of Omambala Youth Forum, announced their resolve to support the governorship ambition of Uba. They did so at a meeting in Otuocha. The Forum, comprising youths from four council areas of the state namely, Anambra East, Anambra West, Ayamelum and Oyi, said their decision to support the aspirant followed his record achievements in public office. According to the Forum chairman, Innocent Offordile (Eselu Aguleri), who presided at the meeting, though Uba represented Anambra South in the Senate, youths in the four local government areas in Anambra North would always remember him for his assistance during last year’s flood disaster. Said he: “We have declared support for Senator Uba because he has told us officially about his governorship ambition. He has done it before and we believe he can do it again, even better. Of all the people jostling for the state’s top job, the youth of Omambala believe that he is the only one with the right credentials to move this state forward.” Also, in a write-up, vibrant commentator, Emeka Oraetoka, recalled the saga that heralded the sacking of Uba from office in 2007 vis-à-vis Governor Obi’s position on zoning, preferring his successor to emerge from Anambra North. “Specifically, the plethora of solidarity and support coming Uba’s way arising from the good-
Has justice been done to the zone or possibly the local government area where Andy Uba hails from? Which out of equity and justice ranks higher in order of priority? From the point of view of politics, what constitutes equity? Is Peter Obi implying that all registered political parties in Nigeria must cede their governorship position to Anambra North come 2014? Is he as well saying that Anambra North has no electable
Andy Uba will he has purchased via Peter Obi’s blunder on zoning would not have been if Anambrarians have not been offered the opportunity of juxtaposing Peter Obi’s position with the injustice done to Andy Uba in 2007. Possibly, Nigerians may have now realized that opposition to Andy Uba’s quest for justice after his removal from office was, infact, borne out of sentiment and inferior argument in the first place. Events after 2007 in Nigeria have made people to conclude that injustice was actually done to Andy Uba”, Oraetoka said. “On the issue of governorship election in 2014, the questions the people of Anambra State are asking Peter Obi are: As he wants the governorship election in 2014 zoned to Anambra North based on his interpretation of equity, what happens to the fellow that was asked to vacate office 17 days after swearing-in, for an offence he did not commit?
BY DENNIS SAMI
And by what is likely to become an Obi-toUba; Obi-to-Uba race, the senator from Anambra South constituency seems to have everything going for him right now
candidate[s]? Or is the governor saying that the people of the zone are weak in all ramifications and therefore cannot compete politically in the state?” Uba, recently, organised a town hall meeting for the constituents in the seven council areas that
make up his senatorial district to explain his activities in the Senate. “I believe that the people you represent at whatever level must come first in what you do because it is not by accident that they entrust their mandate in your care. The mandate one holds in trust for the people is sacred and the product of a collective conviction that he is worthy both in character and ability to represent their interests,” the senator said, adding that no leader worth his salt should take the people he leads for g r a n t e d . The senator said that apart from sponsoring four bills and co-sponsoring 12 motions, he had attracted not less than N16million projects to the area. According to him, all the projects were executed under the 2012 budget. Ahead 2014 The 2014 race in Anambra has thrown up several aspirants apart from Uba. They include Comrade Tony Nwoye, Paul Odenigbo, Chukwuma Soludo, Nicholas Ukachukwu and Emmanuel Anosike, Dr. Obiogbolu, Mr. Obidigbo, all from PDP fold as Uba. Those from other parties include Senator Chris Ngige, ACN; Senator Annie Okonkwo, APC: Ifeanyi Uba, Labour; and Hon. Uche Ekwunife, APGA. The list is sure to be longer as the countdown continues.
Nigeria has the means to defeat terror this brand of serious crimes and criminality which have come to threaten our national sovereignty and integrity. THE NGF, STATE GOVERNMENTS, AND THE REST OF US The posture of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) on matters of national security and governance is sometime rather shocking. On 14 May, 2013, the NGF released a communiqué after one of its regular/emergency meetings advising or rather warning the Federal Government not to issue a state of emergency in any of the North-East states where Boko Haram was operating. Later that night, the Federal Government broadcast the state of emergency statement. Did members of the NGF have prior hint of the impending Federal Government’s pronouncement or merely anticipated it? If it was the former – that they had prior hint – then they could be accused of divulging official secret which they are sworn to protect! If it was the latter – then they might have been expected to send their advice through official channels to the Federal Government or expose themselves to consti-
tuting the NGF into a hostile pressure group by offering such negative and contrary advice on a matter touching the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation. It must be observed that each of the governors is responsible within his constitutional limit, for a chunk of Nigerian territory. But the Federal Government is responsible for protecting the entire territorial expanse of Nigeria. The NGF is not a constitutional body. It is sadly promoting its affairs and activities as if it is an organ of government created by the constitution. Were it not for its negative posture, the face- off between Gov. Amaechi and the Presidency needs not, to have happened in the first place. President Jonathan is Gov. Amaechi’s political leader. All I think Jonathan needs to do is to invite Amaechi to a chat and talk him out of the NGF confrontational stance or, if that failed, use the Party Whip to call the governor and the rest of the PDP governors in the NGF to order or ask the party to withdraw the PDP governors from the NGF using the Party Whip. IN THIS POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY DEBATE, ON WHOSE SIDE
ARE YOU? AMAECHI’S OR JONATHAN’S? Amaechi and Jonathan are my ‘sons and brothers’. Jonathan is my Ijaw brother and Amaechi is my Ikwerre brother! I am not taking sides. I am rather on the side of the nation and treating the issues
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National security is not a matter of theory or simple economic argument or academics. It is the duty of the defence and security services to protect and preserve the territorial integrity of the nation
involved as an elder statesman who should speak forthrightly and truthfully in national interest. As a young SB officer of twenty-five years, I fought to maintain the secu-
rity and unity of this country. I recall that under the leadership of Alhaji M. D. Yusufu, I established all the security stations and establishments of what is today ’s Rivers and Bayelsa states and the neighbouring states. Thereafter, I made major contributions in building Nigeria’s first security service, the NSO. I single-handedly set up the nation’s Intelligence Service following its establishment by law; after which I was returned to the internal security organ, the SSS, when it fell under severe stress to revamp it into the solid service it is at present. I therefore feel not only qualified, but duty bound to speak up not only for myself as an elder statesman and non-partisan politician, but perhaps also speak the minds of other elder statesmen who have contributed to the rebuilding of this country following the civil war. I have to address issues frankly in the manner that will ensure the continued unity and indivisibility of the country and not to take sides with either party in this matter. After all Gov. Amaechi has done some marvelous job in stemming the tide of insecurity in Rivers State and in terms of devel-
oping infrastructure in the state which is a big boost for his party the PDP. WHAT ABOUT THE CBN WARNING TO THE FGN ABOUT NOT SPENDING TOO MUCH MONEY ON THE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS? National security is not a matter of theory or simple economic argument or academics. It is the duty of the defence and security services to protect and preserve the territorial integrity of the nation and I believe this requirement should assume priority, side by side with the welfare of the people. The soldiers, police and security officers, fighting to protect the sovereignty of the country are equally Nigerians and need to be properly equipped and welfare to do the job! These two necessities must be fully taken into account in any economic argument. In this context let me say that good as the reported presidential order that suspects recently arrested under the emergency should be released may sound, care must be taken of the need for proper screening and re-orientation by the appropriate Islamic religious authorities in effecting such release.
PAGE 52—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013
APGA: INEC’s recognition of Umeh is a nullity — Nwobu Alor BY MOSES NOSIKE
Chief Sylvester Nwobu Alor is the National Coordinator APGA National Stakeholders Forum. In this interview, he speaks on the conflicting judgments and issuance of restraining orders by the courts, saying the situation tends to create confusion and lack of confidence in the judiciary. Excerpts: PGA has been facing challenges which affect its activities. Having been on ground for over 30 years in Anambra politics and as one of the founding fathers of the party, how can the two factions of the party be reconciled? Every political party in Nigeria has its own challenges except that, in most cases, such challenges border on tussle over leadership. But in the case of APGA , the struggle is about party restructuring, consequent upon gross management deficiency. Naturally in a situation of this nature, there is going to be those for and those against - this is what you call “faction”. There will be no arbitration to reconcile the factions. As soon as you complete the restructuring and there is stability and cohesion in the party, the opposition will
inevitably return to the fold and I can assure you they will be accommodated. With the attitude of the factions, do you think the party can know peace? The primary purpose of our restructuring programme is to ensure peace, transparency, internal democracy and justice in the party. Once these conditions are put in place, peace shall automatically return to the party. Two courts delivered different judgments on the same matter. Has the judiciary helped in finding lasting solution to the crisis? I agree that conflicting judgments and unnecessary restraining orders or injunctions do not make for sound justice delivery. Rather it tends to create confusion and lack of confidence in the judicial system. We asked the then National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, to vacate the seat because his tenure expired in 2010. He refused claiming his tenure will expire in 2015. We therefore took him to court for legal interpretation. The court agreed with us and he was sacked. Umeh went to court on appeal and, in addition, asked the Appeal Court to grant him a
The primary purpose of our restructuring programme is to ensure peace, transparency, internal democracy and justice in the party
“stay of execution” of the judgment of the Enugu High Court. As his request was not granted at that time, we went ahead and conducted ward, local government and state party congresses and national convention strictly in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. Thereafter, the Appeal Court granted a “stay”, that is after the judgment of the Enugu High Court had been executed. The contending issue is the judgment of the Enugu High Court removing him from office. So far, no court has delivered a contrary judgment. He therefore stands removed until it is
Chief Sylvester Nwobu Alor otherwise decided by the Appeal Court or Supreme Court. There is therefore no conflicting judgment over the issue. With the crisis, what are the chances of the party come 2014/ 2015? By divine grace and based on available political indices, coupled with the ongoing restructuring, the APGA as a party shall win in Anambra State in 2014 and in Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu and Abia in 2015. How do you see the future of Anambra politics? Politics in Anambra State is not in any way different from politics in other states of Nigeria. Nigerian politics is full of
intrigues deceit, name calling, fraud and dishonesty. However, APGA is doing everything to make the difference. APGA is not here just to win elections. We are here to change the ills of society at the political arena and to imbibe the tenets of democracy, justice and transparency. INEC says they recognize Victor Umeh as national chairman of APGA based on the stay of execution judgment of the Appeal Court. INEC’s recognition of Victor Umeh as national chairman of APGA based on the stay of execution judgment of the Appeal Court is wrong, inconsistent and a travesty of justice. INEC witnessed and supervised the authentic conduct of relevant congresses and convention of APGA before the emergence of the so-called “stay of execution”. Surely, APGA had completed the execution being stayed before the order to stay. A “stay” cannot affect an action that has been completed. To the contrary, INEC ought to have recognized MAXI OKWU as the national chairman being a product of legitimately and legally conducted convention. Fortunately this will not meet equity requirements of the Supreme Court.
My problem with ghost workers, by Kogi council boss BY BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO
Olorunfemi Otu Funsho is one of the chairmen elected on May 4, 2013, to pilot the affairs of Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area of Kogi State. In this encounter on Democracy Day in his office, the chairman bared his mind on local governement administration in the country. Programmes I want to key into the transformation agenda of both the federal and state governments in the area of infrastructure, education, agriculture and mostly in tackling the level of poverty in our area. I have just informed widows and women to go and form a cooperative through which I will reach out to them because I have a programme for them. Finance I held a meeting with the management team towards looking at the screening report done before I became chairman. Because of inadequate resources to the LG while I was Liaison Officer, I could not pay staff salary and they used that to campaign against me. So I have set up a committee to look at the IGR. The local government relies extensively on the federal revenue and this is not good enough. We muost make sure that we improve on our IGR. If we improve on our IGR, it will complement what we get from the Federal Government. The committee will be head-
I want to key into the transformation agenda of both the federal and state governments in the areas of infrastructure, education, agriculture and mostly in tackling the level of poverty in our area
ed by the treasurer and another technical committee will be set up to fine tune the area to look at the administration of the money generated. Screening The wage bill of the LG is actually on the high side which necessitated a screening before I came on board, and the state government has also set up a committee to look into the adaptation of the report. The problem of the local government is because we are not sincere to ourselves. They are only shouting that government did not pay them their money, or paying only 50% but most of these workers are not genuine, they have also
Olorunfemi Otu Funsho over – blown the salary. How many staff are genuine? Most of the staff are not here, yet their names are in the voucher. That is why I addressed the staff an asked them to be truthful. They know themselves and know those who are genuine workers. Many of them have no schedule. The LG has turned to a center where national cake is being shared. They are not here to work but they believe in just coming at the end of the month to come and take their share of the national cake. Here, you will see the father, the mother, children and grand children on the pay roll. Many of them who have no schedule will be the one making noise that salary has not been paid. So, we are waiting for the outcome of the committee set up by the state government. Autonomy
Local government autonomy is a sensitive issue. The problem of the LG is not autonomy. This country has good policies but bad implementation. There was a period when the LG was autonomous, taking money directly from source, what happened then? What happened to teachers salaries? The teachers were reduced to second class citizens; that was why the then Federal Government decided to float the National Universal Basic Education Commission, NUBEC, later change to UBEC, Universal Basic Education Commission, with each state having its own SUBEB, State Universal Basic Education Board. They now deduct this money from source to the state to pay teachers. The problem now is if the LG become autonomous, teachers are afraid what will be their fate. NULGE feels if teachers are under the LG, they will be able to know where their money is being diverted to. Even though teachers are staff of the LG, they want to know exactly what accrues to them, not in this form that it is deducted and put in the state account. There is variance, so, the issue of autonomy may affect teachers. That is one of the reason I cannot make a
categorical statement concerning LG autonomy. Agriculture and security I want to appreciate Governor Idris Wada, especially on rice farming by this administration. I enjoin every body to support this project. The governor is trying to encourage entrepreneur through the provision of abundant food. The rate at which we are going now, the state will soon be exporting rice. Kabba is a swampy area, the only crop that we will key in is cassava. And the cassava processing zone is located in Agbadu, which is in this LG. There is also the 500-hectare of land reserved for cassava production located in Ayanga, Obete, Okebukun and Agbadu. So, everybody will soon be busy unless you don’t want to work. They say an idle man is the devil’s workshop. By the time these companies finally come to stay, I can tell you it will reduce criminal activities in the state. Also, the commissioner of police is working hard, and he has provided a special squad to monitor the two major routes to the LG; will support the squad. I also want to appeal to the public to give information to security agencies. It’s these young boys and girls that are involved in criminal acts. That’s why we thank the Federal Government for establishing the cassava grazing zone which will help to take them away from the streets.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16 , 2013, P AGE 53
C M Y K
PAGE 54 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013
Soundspiration: Balogun’s visual look at sound and musical performances artist, his ability to use the various discarded materials to come out with something meaningful, thereby helping to keep the environment clean. Each separate component - the tyre, musical
By JAPHET ALAKAM VISUAL
FTER series of events in the first quarter of the year, the famous Omenka gallery opened its exhibition for the year with a solo exhibition by one of the most exciting sculptors in Nigeria and a lecturer at Yaba College of Technology, Mr Adeola Balogun. The exhibition tagged Soundspiration, an exhibition of sculptures and sound installations which was held recently offered the artist another opportunity to examine the wide variety of media which he manipulates. Balogun who belongs to an exceptional generation of artists firmly establishing themselves on the Lagos exhibition circuit with their embrace of unconventional media and techniques, and their interrogation of the larger society in this exhibition, looked at human forms in musical performances. In it, Balogun’s exploit takes the built sculpture to an intriguing level, which involves a fusion of casting, construction, assemblage as well as repurposing of found objects. He also devised new ways of using traditional materials and techniques to give the viewer aesthetic and emotional experiences. The body of works featured largely contorted forms of musicians and dancers who handle real musical instruments such as the violin, saxophone and talking-drums in (simulated) performance, underscoring the artist’s enchantment over the years with music as
Apart from creating forms, his exploits with musical instruments in this show highlight the beauty in good sound as well as drawing attention to the dangers in sound or noise pollution
instrument and sound, contributes layers of meanings to establish several possibilities in interpreting the works, which on first impression seem almost folkloric. Some of the works include: Roses for them; Inner Sanctum 1&2; I want to know; Self Healing; Ever green Re-mixed; Diva;
Sculptor Adeola Balogun working in his studio the vehicle of thoughtful reflection. It also featured hanging sculptures in relief, embellished with paint that blurs the boundaries between painting and sculpture betraying the artist’s mastery of both genres. The show which featured about 32 works can be described as a visual interpretation to the musical instruments and musicians. Going through the works
displayed at the gallery, one will be captivated by the various musical instruments, the musicians, dancers and others that takes one back to the good old days when music comes from the people that matters and heals the soul. Apart from creating forms, his exploits with musical instruments in this show highlight the beauty in good sound sound as well as draw attention to the dangers in sound or noise pollution. Also of special interest is the creative ingenuity of the
Vestiges of Dad’s gramaphone; Without Wings and others. Speaking about the works, Balogun who disclosed that the project started since 1995 when he came across a broken trumpet horn and decided to look on it said that it is about sound and what sound can do. Sound according to him is God because the world was created with sound and is the greatest of all the senses hence he tries to present it in
The Joker behind the Book...reviewing Julius Agwu
HAT do you know about Julius Agwu? Agwu, though a famed comedian, actor and musician has written an autobiography to give the public even more insight into his life. Rainbow Book Club (RBC), through its book-of-the-month series, is highlighting his book: Jokes Apart – How Did I Get Here? for the month of June. The public is invited to buy the book, available for purchase at the Rainbow Book Club office, and to attend a discussion of it at Le Meridien, Ogeyi Place, at 11am on Friday, June 28th, 2013. Having made his living in the entertainment circuit for
many series as the greatest. The first series deals with the musical instruments while the second deals with the performers and its impact on human form. “Just look at music on the ground or the type of music we listen to in our society today before the lyrics
well over a decade, hosting comedy shows, acting, making comedy albums, etc., Julius Agwu celebrated his 40th birthday on April 7, 2013 with a launch of Jokes Apart, which documents his life as a child, his coming of age, and his realization of a major gift he has: the ability to make people laugh. The book, edited by award-winning poet and writer Toni Kan, is jampacked with funny segments in tandem with sobering parts. Readers thus have a chance to look behind the scenes to better acquaint themselves with
the acclaimed funnyman. The former University of
Porharcourt Theatre Arts student is married with a daughter. Mr. Agwu is one of the guests expected at this year ’s Port Harcourt Book Festival (formerly known as Garden City Literary Festival) that will take place on the 21st to the 26th of October. The Port Harcourt Book Festival draws hundreds of literary enthusiasts to the Garden City yearly to participate in this event which comprises a book fair, writers workshops, diverse literary forums, a symposium, drama performances and other cultural displays.
have moral values but now it is just sounds with out any message.” Continuing, he stated that “it is just about being conscious of the sound, we just allow the music to penetrate into our mind and through that most of us are influenced by what we hear. Some are very inspiring while some are not. The decibel level and arrangement of a sound will define it as noisy or musical. Deafening sound is continuously generated in our environment, which inflicts serious health hazards on people. It is imperative and pertinent to reduce noise in whatever guise for a saner society,” he added.
2013 Personality Awards: Nomination begins
HE nomination for the 2013 Delta Personality Awards have begun with Deltans expected to nominate candidates who have contributed massively to the development of the state. This was made known to newsm en by Mr. Kennedy
Odubu, Event Director at the unveiling of the Delta Personality Awards in Warri. According to him, “nomination is on for the 2013 edition, we want nominations for few deserving Deltans who have contributed massively to the growth of the state.” He explained that the award is meant to spur Deltans to doing greater works, aimed at taking the state to a new level. ”If we want to achieve the Delta of our dreams, then all hands must be on deck to contribute our quota and people should be encouraged,” Odubu stated. He added that nomination of worthy personalities should be based on positive contribution to development, and not on sentiments.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 16, 2013 — PAGE 55
Guinness brings Confederations Cup live to Nigerians A
S the FIFA Confedera-tions Cup begins, sponsor of the Super Eagles, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, has concluded broadcast sponsorship arrangements to bring matches from the match venue in Brazil, live to Nigerians throughout the duration of the tournament. The leading stout brand recently signed a partnership agreement with Optima Sports M a n a g e m e n t International (OSMI) to ensure Nigerians do not miss out on any of the action from the tournament which kicked off yesterday. Announcing the partnership, the Managing Director /
Chief Executive Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Seni Adetu said the partnership typifies Guinness commitment to providing unforgettable football experiences for fans of the Super Eagles and African football. He further said this partnership with OSMI will bring the Confederations cup action to Nigerians on the following channels, Silverbird Television (STV), African Independent Television (AIT) and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). Explaining further, Adetu said "When we launched the Fly with the Eagles Campaign, we promised our esteemed consumers
Warri Relays/CAA Grand prix:
Records tumble, Nigerian 4x400m men pick Moscow 2013 ticket BY BEN EFE
WO national records were shattered at the Warri Relays and CAA Grand prix Friday at the Warri Township Stadium in Delta State, just as the Nigerian men 4x400m put up a spectacular performance to grab a qualification ticket for the IAAF World Championships August in Moscow, Russia. Women hammer thrower, Queen Obisesan heaved 62.98m to erase Funke Adeoye’s mark of 61.75 set in 2006. Obisean who has been training in Germany was challenged by Athletics Federation of Nigeria technical director, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama to justify her trip to Germany and Obisesan worked at it in the AFN Golden League, and finally nailed it inon Friday. In the men’s steeple chase, Sudi Hamajam thrashed Zacharia Fwangfur ’s life long 8.58.56 seconds, when he coasted home at 8.55.78. seconds. However, the thrill of the evening was when Noah Akwu anchored the Nigerian 4x400m to a respectable 3.04.26 to beat the 3.05.00 world championships qualification standard. They calmed the nerves of athletics officials who had watched the men 4x100 fall short of the qualification time of
39.20 seconds. They ran 39.25 seconds. “They could have beaten the time. But there wasn’t a strong enough opposition to push them to do it. “Certainly they have shown what they can do and I am sure at the All Nigeria/Cross River Championships they will run it,” said former sprinter Uchenna Emedolu. That notwithstanding, home boy Ogho Oghene Egwero ran his season best a 10.16. It was a fraction of second shy of the 10.15 world standard. Junior athlete Harry Chukwudike took the second the position with his 10.47sec while US Matthew Pritchest returned 10.50secs. In the 100m women, US based Gloria Asumnu (11.34secs) beat junior athlete Peace Ukoh (11.41secs) while Mariam Bassey (11.60 secs) to
and fans of the Super Eagles, our continuous support for Nigerian football, particularly the
Super Eagles. We are bringing these matches live to Nigerians to further reiterate our
commitment in this regard. We are really proud of this partnership. We wish the fans
happy viewing and hope the Super Eagles get to the finals, probably winning the Cup.
Cyclefest: 250 cyclists jostle for N1m prize BY JACOB AJOM
HERE has never been anything like what we are planning to stage in Lagos this Sunday(today),•h Inyang Effiong, Team Principal CycleShop told Sports Vanguard team about the Cyclefest Race holding today in Lagos. N1 million has been set aside as prize money. No fewer than 250 cyclists drawn from 16 states of the federation and some private clubs will be jostling for honours at the event which will see the cyclists cover 270 kilometers within Lagos metropolis. There will be four categories of competition: the men professional and women professional categories and men amateur and women amateur categories. The event has been sanctioned by the Nigeria Cycling Federation and the Lagos State Cycling Association. According to Effiong, •gthe course starts from the National Stadium and will go through the Island and end up at the National Stadium covering over 110km for the professional men,
70km for the women and Recreational Men Cyclists, while Recreational Women Cyclists will ride over 30kmh. Not surprisingly, the corporate community has jumped at the opportunity of associating with the event. Lucozade Sport, the world leading sport drink has teamed up with Cycleshop Limited. Benola, a cerebral palsy initiative has also identified with the programme which is expected to produce Nigeria’s flag bearers in
the forthcoming African Cycling championship in Egypt and the West African Cycling Tour in Dakar, Senegal later in the year. That is the motivation, Effiong said, hoping that the thought of representing Nigeria internationally could spur the cyclists to returning good times. He further disclosed that not all the cyclists that will be competing are Nigerians. •gSome of them are foreigners, so this will give the event a global outlook,
he reiterated. The Nigeria Cycling Federation and the Lagos State Cycling Association are partnering the organisers with the provision of technical aid. Officials from both organisations will officate during the race,•h he said, adding that LASTMA, FRSC and the Nigeria Police have all pledged their readiness to control traffic in order to safe the cyclists from running into moving vehicles and human traffic.
•Edward Osim, National Sports Festival sprint champion, one of those expected at the race.
Owerri Mayoral Games get December date BY EDDIE AKALONU
LANS have been concluded to give school children in the Owerri zone of Imo State an opportunity of participating in organised sports competition, starting this December. Known as the 1 st Owerrri Mayoral Games, it will involve pupils of primary schools and those of Junior secondary schools. Mayor of Owerri, Dr. Kachi Nworga who disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Saturday Vanguard sports, said, •git is billed to be a sports festival for children in primary schools and, if possible, Junior Secondary Schools in the whole of Owerri zone. It is an avenue to make it possible for a child to specialise in one game or the other. Activity chart
for the Games shows that the pupils are to compete from December through the whole school calendar to the 2014 long vacation period when it is expected to be concluded. The Mayor who said that athletics, 5-Aside football,
table tennis and handball for this maiden edtion added that, like to encourage pupils to take to any of the track and field events, table tennis and any team sport of choice, including football and handball. Dr. Nworga added that
with the coming of the Mayoral Games in the zone, we will be pushing for sports to be made compulsory in schools not only in Owerri but also in the whole of the state given overall benefits there are for children.
NBB of C orders Abe to defend his title BY JACOB AJOM
HE Nigeria Boxing Board of Control has threatened to strip the reigning national heavyweight champion, Adewale Abe of the title which he last defended on 17 th November, 2006. In a terse letter signed by the President, Dr Godwin Kanu and General Secretary, Aboderin Remi, the board of control noted, Please do be notified that your defense of this title is long overdue, and it is pertinent you
defend this title against your challenger Onoriede Ehiwareme in July. But facts emerging from the boxing board of control have it that the champion has been evasive and has refused to put up his belt for defense without a warm-up match. The NBB of C has already agreed to the champion’s term and in the said letter, proposed that Abe should agree to a challenge. If according to your statement you do not want a title fight, the
board has appealed to the promoter to make it a 10-round challenge against the same opponent so as to give you the warm up match you are clamouring for. The board, however, made it clear to the pugilist that he would be stripped of the title if he fails to take any of the options. •gYour failure to take any of the two options will leave the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control with no choice than to strip you of the title and allow other interested boxers compete for the title.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 16, 2013
Eagles land in Belo Horizonte N C O N F E D E R AT I O N S C U P :
IGERIA’s Super Ea gles are expected to arrive Belo Horinzonte, the venue of their opening game in the 2013 FIFA Confederations’ Cup this morning after they touched down in Sao Paolo, Brazil yesterday night. The Eagles traveling
We won’t take Tahiti for granted– Efe Ambrose S
UPER Eagles de fender, Efe Ambrose has said they would not want to take any chance against Oceania champions, Tahiti considered the weakest team in their group at the Confederations Cup in Brazil and therfore will concentrate fully when both sides meet in the secoud match of the group in Belo Horizonte tomorrow. “It is a match we know we need to win and, to do that, we need to be fully concentrated. We cannot afford to take any chances. Big shocks have happened before in these kind of tournaments and we don’t want to be the victims this time,”Ambrose told fifa.com. The encounter is coming behind that of world champions, Spain who tackled Uruguay late last night in the group’s first game. Sixty three years ago, the Brazilian city was the location for one of the biggest upsets in footballing history, USA’s win over England during the 1950 FIFA World Cu. Should Tahiti emulate that result, shockwaves will be felt across world football. Eddy Etaeta’s Tahiti have been in Brazil since June 7, a clear five days before the Eagles took on Namibia in 2014 World Cup qualifier in Windhoek.
The Eagles however were held down while protesting a slash in their bonus and touched down eight days later. But will the extra preparation time benefit the islanders? Only 90 minutes on the pitch will judge. Nigeria will be looking to take an early lead at the top of Group B by giving their goal difference a significant boost against a team who are 107 places below them in the FIFA/CocaCola World Ranking. With Uruguay and Spain lying in wait, Stephen Keshi’s side will be looking to put their part-time opponents to the sword. Tahiti meanwhile are daring to dream. This is the pair ’s first meeting at international level, although they did square up at the FIFA U20 World Cup 2009 in Egypt. Nigeria prevailed 5-0 on that occasion, a firstround match held in Cairo when Obiora Nwankwo, Ibok Edet, Kehinde Fatai, Nurudeen Orelesi and Daniel Adejo were on target. Nigeria are one of two undefeated sides in the FIFA Confederations Cup, the other being Denmark. The then under the tutelage of Shaibu Amodu, went unbeaten in their previous participation in 1995, earning one win, two draws and losing only on penalties to Mexico in the match for third place.
World Cup qualifiers Cape Verde Zambia Congo Gabon Uganda
1 1 0 4 2
S/Leone Sudan Burkina Faso Niger Angola
0 1 1 1 1
TODAY’S MATCHES Mexico Spain
Italy 4 p.m Uruguay 11 p.m.
TOMORROW’S MATCHES Nigeria
plans were thwarted on Thursday, after the players embarked on a striker to demanding for the payment of outstanding match bonuses. FIFA spokesman, Pekka Odriozola confirmed that Eagles arrived late on Saturday in Sao Paolo and they were immediately flown to Belo Horizonte, north of Rio, ahead of Monday’s match against Tahiti. It was gathered that the Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi intervened in the crisis. “We are most grateful to the (sports) minister for his intervention in the matter, which means the team can now travel to Brazil on Saturday and arrive in Belo Horizonte before the first
•Mikel match against Tahiti on Monday,” said Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) general secretary Musa Amadu.
HOT CHASE.. Super Eagles defender, Efe Ambrose in a hot chase for the ball during a match. He says the Eagles will not take minnows, Tahiti for granted when they meet tomorrow in Brazil
CROSS WORD PUZZLE ACROSS 1. Nigeria’s neighbour (8) 4. Nigerian tribe (4) 6. Bird of prey (5) 7. Geometrical shape (8) 8. Shaft (4) 9. Tidy (4) 10. Turncoat (8) 11. One (4) 12. Within (2) 13. Boxes in training (5) 15. Tub (4) 18. Looked at (4) 21. Nigerian state (4) 23. Notion (4) 25. Sports field (5) 27. Above (2) 28. Image (4) 29. Lowers (8) 30. Emblem (4) 31. Hausa boy’s name (4) 32. Dared (8) 34. Barrier (5) 35. Friend (4)
36. Gently (8) DOWN 1.Bed (3) 2. Enugu soccer team (7) 3. Maiden name (3) 4. Planet (7) 5. Chosen by vote (7) 9. After this (4) 10. Knock (3) 14. Nigerian Grammy Laureate (3) 16. Hatchet (3) 17. Hello (2) 19. Still (3) 20. Mathematical constant (2) 21. Anambra city (7) 22. Cancel (7) 24. Extinct flightless bird (4) 25. Sowed (7) 26. Lettuce (3) 32. Animal doctor (3) 33. Twelve hours (3)
8 9 10
SOLUTION on page 5
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