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SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013 — PAGE 5
Physically challenged son kidnaps mother *Demands N20 million ransom
*Detains her for 10 days BY EMMA AMAIZE
physically –challenged barber, who abducted his mother, Mrs. Kate Emienor, in Benin City, Edo State and detained her for 10 days at a hideout in Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State, while demanding N20 million ransom to secure her freedom , has been nabbed by the police . Commissioner of Police, Delta State, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, who confirmed the incident, yesterday, said, “It is true, both the son and mother that was kidnapped are in our custody.” Sunday Vanguard learnt that the barber, suspected to be a hardened criminal, allegedly abducted her mother, February 5, in Benin City, where he operated a barbing salon, and whisked her to a hideout in Ogwashi-Uku. He reportedly alerted his elder brother, based overseas, that their mother was kidnapped and the abductors were demanding N20 million ransom to release her. The ransom was later reduced to N10 million when his brother could not raise the N20 million. Meanwhile, unknown to the son, the police were alerted about the purported kidnap and they put in place strategies to track the abductors. Sunday Vanguard gathered that the suspect might have brainwashed his mother into agreeing to be abducted in order to obtain money from her son living outside the country. Aduba, who expressed concern about the involvement of family members and insiders in kidnapping, said, “The suspect who arranged the purported kidnap of his mother was busy holding meetings with other members of the family on how to release their mother, whereas, he was responsible for the abduction.” The police boss disclosed that the suspect held a meeting with other members of the family 24 hours before he was arrested at about 4.00 pm on February 15, adding that no ransom was paid to rescue Mrs. Emienor. His words, “The scourge is getting worrisome as kidnap cases are not abating with idle youths turning their energy negatively to
From left: Mrs. Funmi Giwa, late Dele-Giwa’s wife; Mr. Soji Akinrinade; Mr. Ray Ekpo; and others during the burial of Madam Elekhia Giwa, mother of the late founding Editorin-Chief of Newswatch, Mr. Dele Giwa, yesterday, at Ugbekpe, Ekperi, Edo State. Photo: Barnabas Uzosike.
From left: Evang, Elliot Uko, founder Igbo Youth Movement, Sen. Ben Obi, Special Adviser to the President Jonathan on political affairs flanked by others, during the 14th annual convention of Igbo Youth Movement . Photo: Hill Ezeugwu
the detriment of the larger society”. Recalling the case of a man who arranged the kidnap of a friend, he said, “Hard time awaits kidnappers in Delta State; they will be smoked out and made to face the full wrath
“His game of blackmailing notwithstanding, let him prove his innocence in court, not before native doctors cum spiritualists. “I want to assure Deltans that with their cooperation, there is no hiding space for sponsors of crime in the state; once they are
Continued from page 1 Jonathan from seeking a second term as there was no constitutional provision barring him. “I recall that at the time he was going to declare for the 2011 election, all the PDP governors were brought together to ensure that we were all in the same frame of mind,”Aliyu, the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, said. He went on: “And I recall that some of us said that, given the circumstances of the death of President Umaru Yar ’Adua and given the PDP zoning arrangement, it was expected that the North was to produce the president for a given number of years. “I recall that at that discussion, it was agreed that Jonathan would serve only one term of four years and we all signed the agreement. Even when Jonathan went to Kampala, in Uganda, he also
caught, no compromise”. A police source told Sunday Vanguard, last night, “It is likely the suspect will be charged to court for the kidnap of his mother, but the mother will be used as a key witness since it was obvious she fell for the trap.”
‘We had pact with Jonathan for single term’
of the law, including their sponsors, who always lurk around”. According to Aduba, “Recently, a so-called human rights activist and lawyer was nabbed pants down trying to pervert the course of justice shamelessly in Warri.
said he was going to serve a single term “For now, President Jonathan has not declared a second term ambition and we must not be speculating based on those who are benefiting from the campaign. “I think we are all gentlemen enough; so when the time comes, we will all come together and see what is the right thing to do”. Answering a question on the merger of four opposition parties on the platform of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), the Niger governor stated that it will engender a situation where strong parties will challenge one another. “I pray for the success of the merger because I want a situation where we will have parties that will challenge one another properly so that we don’t take it for granted that, because you have been winning elections, you can do as you wish,”he pointed out. “There is a purpose for elections. There is a purpose for setting up government. You set up government for the competence and efficiency of running an administration. “You don’t set up government so that a group of people can enjoy to the detriment of the majority of the people. So, to me, the success of the merger will look like what is happening in developed countries where one party does it for a period of time and another party does it for another period of time. “We should encourage a situation where our party become rational and very organised and where our party has democracy within because that is the foundation of a democracy of a nation. “A situation where a party is allowed to handpick candidates and put them up for elections should not be encouraged”. He described the prediction that Nigeria will break up in 2015 as a result of normal intellectual research after looking at the variables and concluding that if our situation
continues to degenerate, there is the likelihood of a breakup. Aliyu, however, reminded proponents of disintegration that Nigeria did not fight a civil war to break up, adding that majority of Nigerians will fight to ensure that the country remain as one. “Let us understand that a break up is not going to be as neat as some people think because I recall that when we had the civil war, there were some people who said if you allow that group to go, we will also go. “Majority of Nigerians don’t want a break up. Only a few individuals are calling for a break up. And you don’t call for a break up simply because you have something today. “We have gone to Mali to help them fight off what is becoming a civil war. So if it starts in Nigeria, I don’t think the world will stand by and watch. We will ensure that we stay as one nation
to enjoy the benefits of what we have been fighting for ”. On his purported ambition to run for president in 2015, Aliyu said if it is the will of God for him to contest, God himself will create the proper avenue for him to do so. “But I have not said to anybody that this or that is what I want to do in 2015. We will cross the bridge when we get to it”, he said. ’Neither APC nor Panadol can stop Jonathan’ Meanwhile, the Presidency, yesterday, lashed out at those campaigning to stop Jonathan from contesting in 2015, saying that the campaigners were either ignorant of the law or were doing so out of selfish political interest to intimidate Mr. President out of the contest. According to
Continues on page 44
10,000 surveillance cameras for roads BY CHRIS OCHAYI
O stem the violation of road traffic regulations by motorists and other criminal activities in the country, the Federal Government has concluded plans to collaborate with a safety organization to install surveillance cameras in all the major highways across the country. To this end, a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, would be signed this week between the government and the firm, Risk and Accident Prevention Society of Nigeria, RAPSON. The move will bring about the installation of 10,000 units of smart cameras and 13,000 sets of memory censors on the nation’s highways. Disclosing this to newsmen in Abuja, Chairman of
RAPSON, Mr. Ben Koko Odohofre, said the organization was set to employ 300,000 personnel to work on the project. The RAPSON is an organization with the objective to save lives and reduce the toll of injuries and death resulting from accident and violence on roads. Odohofre explained that a committee comprising the State Security Service, SSS, the Nigeria Police, Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIO, and Federal Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Works, Ministry of Justice and Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, would work with the organisation. According to the Chairman/ CEO, they, as a private sector concern, would source the funds while government would enforce the project.
PAGE 6—SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
I fed on eba for 2 weeks – Kidnapped Edo lawmaker BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
FTER spending thirteen days with kidnappers, the member representing Esan Central in Edo State House of Assembly, Mr Victor Edoror, yesterday, regained his freedom. The lawmaker was abducted on 3 February, 2013 by armed men suspected to be kidnappers, after he attended a meeting at his constituency in Edo Central. It was learnt that the suspected kidnappers request to the family to pay ransom in dollars delayed his release. Edoror, who thanked God for his life, told journalists in Benin City that his abductors abandoned him at a village close to Abraka in Delta State, disclosing that he fed on eba without meat during his captivity. The lawmaker narrated: “I went to my constituency. As I was coming to Benin that Sunday, I was abducted by the kidnappers. The abductors came in a Jeep and a car and took me and my driver. I was blindedfolded immediately. I don’t know where I was taken to . I was driven in their own car while my driver was taken in my own car. “They tied me with rope until today which is about 14 days I was blind folded. At the time they were taking me, they were about eight, fully armed. I had a licensed double barrel gun with me but what could I do with it in that kind of situation?”, he said. He added: “I was hu-
miliated, beaten, and kept in a cubicle. They said they had been monitoring me; they trailed me all the way from Irrua. They said they were sent to kill me but, because of what they saw in me, they decided to spare my life. “I fed once a day on miserable ‘eba’. But all
the same I needed to eat to stay alive. Initially they demanded N90 million, but they knew there was no way I could provide that money. I pleaded with them and it got to a point where I was ready to die because my family is very poor and could not raise such money.
Court action against me, laughable, Akume of our land with impuni-
HE Senate Minority Leader, Chief George Akume, yesterday ridiculed a court action seeking the nullification of his election on account of presenting forged certificates to the Independent National Eletoral Commission (INEC). One Philip Agbese reportedly filed a suit at the Federal High Court,
Abuja, to the effect that the certificates presented by the Senator for the purpose of contesting election were forged. Reacting to the allegations in a statement yesterday, Orpin Beckie, Special Assistant on Media to Senator Akume dismissed them as laughable,and wondered why some citizens “are allowed to abuse the laws
NIMET to 12 states residents: Prepare for heavier rains this year BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
EAVY rains that caused devastation in different parts of the country and claimed scores of lives last year may still occur this year, even heavier in some parts of the North West, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, has predicted. The agency also said Yobe, the northern part of Cross River and many parts of the South West are expected to witness prolonged rainfall. The North West and South West are homes to 12 states six apiece. Nigeria, in 2012, recorded unprecedented floods that affected 27 states resulting in loss of over 300 lives and displacement of over two million people from their homes. The floods destroyed farmlands, livestock and other means of livelihood for millions of rural dwellers. The Director General of NIMET, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, who disclosed this at the 2013 Season-
al Rainfall Prediction, SRP, in the country, in Abuja, on Friday, said that based on the prevailing conditions at the time of producing the forecast, it was predicted that, this year, the rainfall pattern in most parts of Nigeria was likely to be similar to that of 2012. Anuforom said that in some parts of the North West, which also fall within the catchment area of River Niger, the total rainfall predicted for 2013 may exceed that of 2012. “We have just released the rainfall prediction for 2013. The summary is that based on the conditions that were prevalent at the time of making the prediction, we are predicting that the amount of rainfall for the North West areas of Sokoto,
Kebbi, Niger, Kwara and environs is likely to be above normal in comparison to 2012,”he stated. “Relevant authorities are advised to use NIMET’s updates issued regularly to control possible adverse impact. “In 2013, the length of rainy season is predicted to be normal in most parts of the North and South, however, longer than normal length of the season is likely for most of the central parts of the country and over parts of Yobe, northern Cross River and parts of the South Western states.” According to the prediction, rainfall onset dates in 2013 will vary between first week of March in the southern part of the country and late June in the far northern part while most
parts of the country are expected to have normal onset with the exception of Niger, Cross River, Anambra, Delta states and the South West. “These areas are predicted to have early onset about one week. The chances of late onset of rains are low. The rainy season is predicted to end between mid October in the North and mid December in the South. The cessation period is expected to be normal in many parts of the country except for parts of Ondo, Delta and Cross River states where an early cessation is expected,”it stated. “However, parts of the South West are likely to experience late cessation. In 2013, the length of the rainy season is predicted to be normal in most parts of the North and South. In the extreme North (12’N14’N) of the countr y, rainfall amount is expected to range from 400 to 100mm, while in the South, it is expected to be between 1500 and 3000mm.” .
ty.” His words: “This allegation is a classical case of a smear campaign on a thorough breed and it is capable of casting doubt in the minds of wellmeaning citizens and may have the possibility of denting the reputation Distinguished Senator George Akume has built over time. I therefore set out to clear the air as follows. “The Distinguished Senator has an unquenchable taste for knowledge and in spite of his modest background his parents enrolled him in L.G.E.D Wanune at a tender age. He thereafter gained entrance into the then Government Secondary School Otobi now Federal Government College Otobi as one of the pioneer students and graduated with Aggregate 21 in 1971. These records are still there in the school as well as with the examination authorities for any doubting Thomas who cares to check. It is this excellent showing that propelled him to pursue a higher certificate (HSC) at St. Louis College Jos in the then Plateau State. “That he gained admission into the Premier University of Ibadan (Jos Campus) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1978 and a Master of Science in Industrial Labour Relations from the same school in 1986 is not in doubt. His mandatory one year national assignment took him to Advanced Teachers College, Akwanga, and he has a discharge certificate.
Soyinka relives Dele Giwa’s mother of founding assassination •As Editor-in-Chief of Newswatch is buried BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
ADAM Elekhia Giwa, mother of the late Founding Editorin-Chief of Newswatch, Mr. Dele Giwa, was, yesterday, buried beside her son at Ugbekpe, Ekperi, in Etsako Central local government area of Edo State. The burial was attended by Dele Giwa’s associates among whom were Mr. Ray Ekpu, Mr, Yakubu Muhammed, Mr. Dan Agbese, Mr. Nosa Igiebor, Mr. Soji Akinrinade, Mr. Kayode Soyinka and Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi. Funmi, Dele-Giwa’s widow, was also there. Speaking at a funeral service at the Church of God Mission, Ugbekpe, Ekperi, which preceded the burial, the officiating Priest, Rev. Abraham Ikpotokin, extolled the virtues of Madam Giwa who passed away at the age of 87.
Ikpotokin said: “Whatever you sow, you will reap; our mother lived a good life”. Speaking to journalists, Mr. Kayode Soyinka, who was the London Bureau Chief of Newswatch, and was with Dele Giwa when he was killed through a parcel bomb on October 19, 1986, said it was an honour for him to be at Dele Giwa’s mother ’s burial because of his closeness to the late founding Editor-in-Chief of Newswatch magazine. “When I heard of the date of the burial, I made it a point of duty to come to Ekperi”, said Soyinka who was having breakfast with Dele Giwa when the killer parcel was delivered to him. Relieving his experience on that fateful day, he said the only difference between him and his former boss was that Dele Giwa died while he (Soyinka) survived.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013 — PAGE 7
Iwuanyanwu knocks FG over scientific institutions
From left: Head of Sales, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Olumide Ojo; Samsung Electronics West Africa’s Hand Held Products Marketing’s Ms. Olajumoke Okikiolu; Samsung Brand Ambassador and star musician, Mr. Olubankole Wellington (Banky W), and Business Head, Hand Held Products, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Emmanouil Revmatas, at the unveiling of the new Samsung Galaxy Grand dual-SIM Smartphone and launch of musician and Samsung Ambassador, Banky W’s ‘R&BW’ album , at Civic Centre , Lagos.
member of the Peo ples Democratic Party, PDP, Board of Trustees, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has condemned the alleged plan by the Federal Government to merge or scrap some scientific institutions in the country, describing the move as ridiculous. Iwuanyanwu, who spoke at the 11th Raw Materials Research and Development Council Techno-Expo and 25th anniversary of RMRDC in Abuja, said that instead of contemplating to merge or scrap any scientific institution, the government should rather encourage and improve on their capacities. He said that for the country to be reckoned with as one of the great-
Terrorism, kidnapping: Army to raise special task force — Ihejirika BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI
HE Chief of the Army Staff, Lt General Azubuike Ihejirika, at the weekend, disclosed that the Army is to set up a Special Task Force to confront emergency security challenges in the country, particularly ‘terrorism’. Ihejirika made the disclosure while speaking at the graduation ceremony of the ‘Basic Counter Terrorism Course’ at the Nigerian Army Training Center, Kontagora where a total of 2094 young soldiers -1869 males and 225 females- graduated. According to the Army Chief, the Special Force, once established at the Army Headquarters, would not be involved in peace keeping operation or internal security operations but specialize in training and confronting any case of emergency whether within or outside the country. His words, “The Special Force is important to both the Army Headquarters and the nation in the sense that, if there is a situation whereby there is an emergency, we have a force you call upon and deploy immediately whether it is internal or external.” He explained that about 600 counter-terror soldiers would form the base while some senior officers would be posted to form the force properly, adding, “They are not likely to be committed to the peace keeping operations and internal security but to be trained for attending to emergency cases.”
Recalling that the establishment of the Army Training Center was based on his vision “to transform the Nigerian Army into a force capable of meeting contemporary security challenges”, Ihejirika listed the emergency special security challenges the force will be deployed for as terrorism, armed banditry, kidnapping and criminal activities perpetrated in the form of armed robbery, il-
legal refining of petroleum products and pipeline vandalism. To the graduands, Ihejirika said, “With the completion of your training, you will be deployed into the field. As you go into the field, you must put into practice all that you have learn’t during the training so as to reflect the hard work which your instructors have put into the training. Tackling current security challenges in-
deed requires competent soldiers in all aspects of internal security duties. “It is imperative therefore that you utilize all the combat proficiency skills you have acquired during these few weeks of intensive training to exhibit high sense of professionalism in the conduct of your assigned tasks. In doing so, you must adhere strictly to the rules of engagement”.
Nigeria is becoming a failed state — Nwabueze BY TONY EDIKE, Enugu
ORMER Secretary General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, SAN, yesterday, raised an alarm over the poor state of affairs in the country, saying “Nigeria is fast turning into a failed state.” Nwabueze, who spoke at the 14th annual convention of the Igbo Youth Movement, IYM, in Enugu, said the country was already displaying all the attributes of a failed state. According to him, “This country is on the verge of becoming a failed state, there are so many failed states in Africa and Nigeria is on the verge of getting that status of a failed state. ”Before now, we didn’t know about kidnapping, but it has become a way of life. Did we know about bombings before? But today, churches, schools, offices are being bombed on daily basis, the worst
is that the bombers are not coming from outside the country, we are bombing ourselves. ”A nation that cannot provide a credible election for her people is a failed state; in 2003, 2011 we had no credible elections, yet we are talking about
democracy. ”A country that cannot secure social and economic rights for her people is a failed state. Read chapter 2 of Nigeria’s constitution and you will understand what I am taking about, they are not leaders but looters”.
est economies in the world, it should invest on scientific institutions and urged the Senate Committee on Science and Technology and the Minister of Science and Technology to talk to the government on the disadvantage of the planned ac-
Yakassai, others want national dialogue before centenary
HE National Sum mit Group (NSG), led by elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, has canvassed for a national dialogue to hold before its centenary anniversary, noting that it will help foster unity in the country. It also appealed to the Nigerian Governors Forum to actively and visibly support the group in its advocacy and enlightenment crusade towards “enhancing Nigeria’s democracy, unity
HE train of the National Good Governance Tour led by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, will today (Sunday) arrive Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, in continuation of tour of projects across the country. A statement by the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Markson Fefegha, said the team made of journalists and civil society groups will tour eleven federal projects in the state and a
number of projects carried out by the state government. Mr. Fefegha, said the 3day tour would afford the present administration, which only clocked one year last Thursday, the opportunity to give stewardship of its programmes and activities as gains of democracy. Among the federal government earmarked for the visit include the ongoing construction of the International Cargo Airport along Amassoma road, the drainage and land reclamation structures in Otuoke, Federal
and federalism, premised on mutual understanding, justice, equity, rule-of-law, and non-violence.” In a statement by its Executive Secretary, Mr Tony Uranta, the NSG noted that holding the dialogue, was an imperative task as it remained the most fundamental strategy to protecting the unity and stability of the Nigerian nation, for the next hundred years.
Utuama, others for Conference on African Resources
N international con ference under the theme, ‘Beyond the Resource Curse, Exigencies and Promises’, holds 2830 October 2013 in Florida, United States to discuss the dramatic upsurge of violence in Africa as a result of unequal distribution of resources. The conference, according to the convener, Professor Victor Ojakorotu, Head of History, Politics and International Relations, North West University, South Africa, is providing an international
platform for the discussion of African natural resources crisis and examining the factors that precipitated conflicts in the continent with a view to proposing appropriate solutions. Participants expected at the conference include Professor Amos Utuama, Deputy Governor of Delta State; Professor Uwafiokun Idemudia, York University, Toronto, Canada; Dr T.O Akinbobola, Department of Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University, IleIfe.
ICSAN signs MoU with Babcock University
HE Institute of Char tered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) has signed a Memorandum of Under-
Good governance train enters Bayelsa BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA, Yenagoa
tion. Also speaking, Chairman Senate Committee on Science and Technology and chairman of the occasion, Prof. Robert Boroffice, said the issue of scrapping and merging institutions in the country was a serious issue.
Secretariat complex in Yenagoa and the National Integrated Power Plant, NIPP, in Gbarain.
Others are the electrification project in Peremabiri-Ogbokiri, the Federal University, Otuoke, construction of Skills Acquisition Centre, Otuoke and the shoreline protection project in Ekeremor. Among state projects to be visited by the team are the on-going three Senatorial roads, expansion and dualisation of Isaac Boro Expressway in Yenagoa, the diagnostic centre in Yenagoa and the referral hospitals across the state.
standing (MOU) on ICSAN/Degree Linkage Programme with Babcock University. This is to prepare Babcock students for work place as they will be graduating and at the same time professionalizing in Company Secretarial Practice. The decision is informed by the fact that most graduates do not have the necessary skills for the labour market. The President of the institute, MR. OLATUNDE BUSARI, said at the signing ceremony of the MOU that the agreement would be mutually beneficial as ICSAN would attract more membership just as the University would make a difference in skill’s acquisition for its students. He emphasized that education and professionalism formed the bedrock of social and economic development of any nation.
PAGE 8â€”SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
"Christy! Don't believe all what you hear, believe half of what you see".
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Planned relocation of Hausa traders from Onitsha Bridge head Dear Sir,
OR quite some time, the Governor of Anambra State Mr. Peter Obi has been hammering on relocating the Hausa traders at Bridge head market to NkwelleEzunaka by pass, a town near Onitsha. These traders who deal mostly on sheep, goat, fowls, cattle, turkey and assorted types of grains have been stationed at the bridge head market for nearly 50 years. The present location, ideally is suitable for their trade in that most people who pass through Niger bridge to Imo, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa states stop over to buy their products. It serves as a centre for their regional trade often burstling as most commuters find it convenient to shop there. In the past when there was a scuffle between most of these Hausa traders and some natives, most of these Hausa traders relocated to Asaba end, across the river Niger. They have remained there and refused to come back even after the end of the hostility. When the threat to evict the traders assumed a new dimension, the Sultan of Sokoto on seat then sent emisaries down to plead for the traders at Awka. When people of diverse cultures are living and trading harmoniously, such action like this would affect the entente cordiale that has existed between them. I see no humour in the present action at all. We must look at the nuances of this present action. To send the traders to an obscure place would not only affect their volume of sales but
their children who attend schools within and around head bridge market. Nkwelle by pass will serve only commuters passing to Enugu State. Beautifying the gate way to Anambra State is good but not at a huge cost to a community that has stationed there as a trading post. The market could be made to look better than Kings Cross Station in London if the government has the wherewithal to make it look very
glamorous. What is government doing about Ziks / Borromeo round about which has become an eye sore? The bridge head market could be made a world class trading post without the traders losing their occupation of the place. We are still nursing the wound caused by their colleagues departure to Asaba. Has government considered the inconvenience people would encounter to go to Nkwelle-Ezunaka by pass? Even soon after the
announcement, the surface friendliness that has existed between the governor and the heads of Hausa community in Onitsha had varnished. Unyielding as the traders seem, they are still sending emisaries to Awka to plead their cause with the authorities.
Cletus Okereke, Political Activist, writes in from Onitsha
Tasks before governors of oil bearing communities in N-Delta Dear Sir,
HE on-going competition amongst the oil mineral producing states in the Niger Delta in delivering development projects in the respective States, has attracted my attention. In this club of major oil producing states that have received hundreds of billions of naira as 13% derivation from the Federation Account from 1999 to date are AkwaIbom, Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta. The press is awash with cut-throat competition amongst these states to build five star hotels, airports and flyovers to mention a few. Governors of these states have argued that they are embarking on these grandiose projects to prepare for their states beyond oil. My point of departure from this chain of thought is that these development initiatives, some of which should have been private sector-driven have not
taken cognisance of environmental sustainability in the oil bearing communities in the respective states that are mostly located in the coastal and riverside areas of the states. Communities like Kula, Soku, Old Sagama, Ke, Bille, Krakrama, Obuideinde, Ekerekana, Okujagu, Ofiomina-ama (alakiri) and Orubiri in Rivers State, Egbema Angalabri, Peretorugbene, Ekeni,Sangana, Brass, Ogbolomabiri and Bassambiri in Bayelsa State, Ogulagha, Odimodi,Obotobo, Sokebulou, Kokodiagbene, Jakpa, Tisun, Bateren, Ugborodo, Okerenkoko, Kokodiagbene, Ogidigben, Ojobo, Tsekelewu(Polobubo), Alagbabri, Inyi, Obikwele, Afor, Olota, Ederie-Araya and Enhwe (Isoko) in Delta State, Amadaka, Kampa, Alile and Amazaba, Atabrikang, Ntafre, Opolom, Okorutip, Okposo 1 and 2 in Akwa-Ibom State which account for over 70% of the 13% derivation funds received by these states remain inaccessible by road.
If this state of affairs persists until the oil gets exhausted, these communities cannot be part of the dream post-oil economy which is expected to be driven by mechanised agriculture and industrialisation; no tractor can move to any of these communities. It is therefore my counsel that oil rich states of the Niger Delta should compete not in building five star hotels in non-oil producing state capitals but in linking up the criminally alienated oil bearing communities in their states which have borne the excruciating pains of the destruction of their ecosystem for so many years. Failure to heed to this advice will certainly place the governors of these oil bearing states on the wrong side of history. Pastor Power Ziakede Aginighan,
founding Secretary of Ijaw National Congress and former Ag Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 9
Enough of noisy politics in Nigeria ural that he should pitch his tent with the party and that he was fully committed to its cause. Oshiomhole has since been named the coordinator of the South South zone. Governor Peter Obi of Anambra had distanced himself and his own group of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) from the merger arrangement. This has been countered by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State who says “the real members of APGA are with APC and Nigerians are aware of
HE issue of the moment in our clime is obviously the coming together of opposition political parties to wrestle power from the dominant ruling party- the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The activities of the opposition in this respect have been many and perhaps exceedingly loud. To start with, leaders of four of the parties after a meeting the week before announced the birth of a new political association - the All Progressive Congress (APC). Barely a week later, ten governors under the platform of the newly formed group met again and picked zonal contact mobilization coordinators for the country. The only senator elected on the platform of the Democratic Peoples Party has joined the fold thereby bringing the number of parties that constitute the union to five. The merger is waxing strong. Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State who was absent at the earlier meeting of the group has publicly stated that given the intent and purpose of APC, it was nat-
the new opposition group which veteran political party administrator and former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, affirms was formed to restore Nigeria’s dignity. On his part, Governor Yari of Zamfara is optimistic that the brains behind the merger would offer a better political option to what the nation has witnessed since1999. Governor Amosun of Ogun State is sure that as the modalities for the merger unfolds, “a lot of other people will come on board once they see
Many political leaders in the parties that are seeking to form APC are notorious for not upholding the tenets of internal democracy
that.” With the speculations that the APC may field the popular Senator Chris Ngige in the forth coming Anambra gubernatorial election, the party may not have to worry much about the South East In earnest, it is generally difficult to write off
our sincerity ”. Former Kano Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau is happy that his colleagues are determined to subsume their personal interests to make the project succeed. If these assurances are for real, it means Nigeria is about to witness vir-
PhD, Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos,
Turning point in Nigeria’s historical evolution: A critical interpretation (2) economic and political environment cease every opportunity to condemn corruption in the very bad system they helped to create. Similarly, it is ironic that expiring (or expired) corrupt politicians who managed to avoid jail time due to deliberately shoddy handling of corruption cases by anti-corruption agencies rail against corruption as if they were saints. It is now fashionable for these undesirable elements, in a desperate search for political
OST Nigerians would agree that although a few of the VIPs that address our man-made problems from time to time are sincere and genuinely concerned, others are just grandstanding to create the impression that they really do care about the country and millions of suffering compatriots. The solicitude of pretenders is bunkum. Just as it is virtually impossible for a giraffe to pass through the eye of a needle, it is extremely difficult for pseudo leaders created by our corrupt system to muster the kind of compassionate imagination, altruism and enlightened disdain for opulence needed to really feel the pains of poverty and, more importantly, to do something about it. These days, political leaders who combine the three character traits mentioned above are rare because it requires years of hard work towards self-discovery and spiritual discipline to cultivate them. Having said that, it is somewhat quixotic that wealthy politicians, retired top military officers and highly connected business tycoons who benefitted immensely from the distorted socio-
their ethnic group to support it. The irredentist allegation by a cabal from Yorubaland that Yoruba people are marginalised by the current administration of President Jonathan; the clamour for a President of Igbo extraction or for continuation of Jonathan in 2015 by a few prominent Nigerians of Igbo and Ijaw extraction, respectively, instead of insisting that the candidate with the best proven qualifications should lead; the fundamen-
It is disheartening that a critical mass of Nigerian youths has imbibed bad qualities of the “old breed”
relevance and avenues for primitive accumulation, either to rejoin the ruling party which they abandoned earlier or spend a lot of money to form new political parties and, consequently, strut around as financiers and national leaders of such ad hoc and ideologically barren political formations. Again, some of them formulate narrow ethnic political agenda or cause and rally members of
talist agitation by archaic Northern politicians that the presidency must return to the North at all cost in three years’ time – all these opportunistic ethnic shenanigans prove that Nigeria is still a fractured and sick geo-political entity. Moreover, they indicate that so-called Nigerian leaders have learnt nothing from our chequered political history since independence. In my view, fixation
ile political opposition which is a veritable feature of democracy. Painfully however, what looks like bold and good talks from APC may just be noise again in Nigeria’s cyclical political drama. We watched it in 1964 when the opposition parties allegedly fused as United Peoples Grand Alliance against the ruling Nigerian National Alliance. History repeated itself in 1983 when the so-called 12 progressive governors of four different parties-the Unity Party of Nigeria, Nigerian People’s Party, People’s Redemption Party and the Great Nigerian People’s Party reportedly arranged to contest the general elections of that year under the banner of the People’s Progressive Alliance. The effort was fitful. Against this backdrop, it is pertinent to note certain observations of those who are familiar with the terrain. One of them is Chief Sam Nkire, National Chairman of the Progressive People’s Alliance, who has predicted the failure of the proposed merger. Nkire insists that the most workable arrangement would have been for the parties involved to keep their structures and field one candidate during the presidential election. According to him it would be difficult to ask a Nigerian political office holder to step down for another and become an ordinary member and expect 100 per cent loyalty from the person. A
chieftain of APGA, Chief Uche Ejike, also predicted that APC would become history in a matter of six months because the mega party in his own view consists of strange bed fellows. These may just be pessimists. But if the APC does not want more Nigerians in that fold, then it needs to educate us all about the differences between it and other politicians. This is because, many people know as of fact that all Nigerian politicians are the same. Indeed they are all members of the same PDP. Those seeking to form the APC right now are probably on sabbatical leave and would be back to base shortly. A look at APC’s policy thrust confirms the point. APC’s priority programmes according to the party are “agricultural development, job creation, free education, affordable healthcare, infrastructural development, adequate power supply, eradication of poverty and corruption, rapid technological advancement and industrialisation”. What the APC did not add are such modalities as to whether or not its agricultural policy for example would be premised on equipping farmers with telephones. Again, we may have to cautiously observe the preparations of APC for 2015. Will the party for instance field candidates in every polling booth in the whole of Nigeria? PDP has made the point and correctly too that it
is the only party that does that. If as usual, APC will also not have agents in all polling booths, then it should save us from its current noise. Many political leaders in the parties that are seeking to form APC are notorious for not upholding the tenets of internal democracy. Although they publicly over-dramatize the one man one vote slogan, they often organize sham party primaries that are skewed in favour of their nominees to the discomfort of other members of the same party. Are those the people seeking to now take control of a democratic government? Will they not vote against their own Presidential Candidate as some of them did to Nuhu Ribadu in 2011? On that score, what is the purpose of the current noise? Are we sure that some APC leaders in search of ministerial appointments in an emerging government of national unity (GNU), will not abandon their Presidential candidate at the election tribunal as some of them did to General Buhari in 2007? If they do, how will the present noise in the political landscape be understood? Every African nation is in dire need of development- light, good education, health care delivery, security etc. If APC can deliver, all well and good to Nigeria because those are the things we really need now; not noise.
on ethnic agenda especially at this time when the fundamental pillars of Nigerian unity are tottering, except in response to clear and concrete danger like the pogrom against easterners living in the North In the mid-1960s, is bad and must be strongly discouraged. Remember, the most powerful, ethnically diverse, nations in history attained greatness through transcending ethnicity. Therefore, it is important that Nigerians should be deeply suspicious of local champions parading themselves as leaders of opinion from different ethnic nationalities whose stock-in-trade is to whip up ethnic hysteria based on exaggerated cries of marginalisation. More often than not, those who continuously recycle such claims either had their hopes of political appointments dashed or were schemed out in the distribution of lucrative contracts by government. I, an Igboman to the core, do not care about the place of origin of an elected President, as long as the person chosen through free and fair election is sound in body and is the best morally, intellectually, and emotionally among the candidates. Thus, if we are serious about moving the country forward, if we really desire to inaugurate a paradigmshift from pernicious corruption and greed to sustainable development anchored on selflessness, discipline and patriotism, then we must be prepared to make the necessary sacrifices required for national transformation. As I argued
earlier, Nigerian youths, “the leaders of tomorrow,” cannot rely on their elders for the kind of moral-spiritual transformation which the country needs right now. The elders have failed repeatedly to lead by example. As political leaders, top military officers, civil servants, captains of industry and financial institutions, academics and clergy etc., the older generation is neck-deep in bulimic corruption, greed, indiscipline and hypocrisy. Enjoying “the best of all possible worlds” in morally warped and shambolic Nigerian environment, a handful of them shamelessly pontificate on the need to fight social ills plaguing our society, whereas they are the ones responsible for the mess we are in presently. It is disheartening that a critical mass of Nigerian youths has imbibed bad qualities of the “old breed.” Rapid negative changes in the sociology of many families, typified by the increasing phenomenon of single parenthood, and steep decline in the capability of our schools as agents for inculcating positive values and appropriate mental habits into children, have aggravated the problem. But then, we cannot wait until everything is right before attempting to reconstruct Nigeria on a solid foundation of zero tolerance for corruption and indiscipline, integrity, and compassion for the suffering masses. Just as the courageous act of a vegetable hawker in Tunisia triggered what is euphemistically called the Arab Spring, so too a simple act
of pure self-sacrifice and defiance of the current unjust system by a street hawker or market woman can ignite the revolutionary consciousness of Nigerians. The turning point in the historical development of any society is invariably launched by a tiny minority of resolute, committed, visionary and sincere patriots who are willing to stake even their lives for the betterment of society. Our country, Nigeria, is not an exception in this regard. Consequently, Nigerian youths should look in the mirror individually and begin the process of change from images reflected on it. They should stop lazy armchair murmurings or episodic and short-lived demonstrations against bad policies of government and get to work by boldly and creatively engaging with people in positions of authority and power in a sustained manner capable of replacing the old order with a new and better system. It is only by tapping into their inner reservoir of creative moral energy that young men and women of Nigeria can truly intervene in remaking history. Our people are steadily getting to the saturation point when all their latent energy for absorbing hardship would be exhausted. If care is not taken by government to alleviate suffering, poverty and frustration quickly, explosion of pent-up anger by the masses will generate a socio-political tsunami capable of destroying the country. A stitch in time saves nine! Concluded
PAGE 10—SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
FG Vs Ezekwesili: Two sides of the same phoney currency-- 2
Credit where credit is due... "We shouldn't be looking for heroes; we should be looking for good ideas." --- Noam Chomsky
HE world was reeling from the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI
had announced that he would step down at the end of the month. It was a seismic announcement where I was and there all manners of conspiratory theory abound among which is; he is going to make a confession or was there an inside job in the Vatican? My Italian friend, tells me that the Italian people had seen this coming. Meaning his frailty in the last couple of mass leading to Christmas has deteriorated markedly but they did not think he would step down. I mean, no Pope had stepped down in the
last 600 years. So now the speculations are mounting ; who is to replace the pope? In living memory, the Pope could be an African, a Nigerian and a Ghanaian- two cardinals of African descent- Cardinal Peter Turkson and Cardinal Francis Arinze are rumoured to be on the short list. So if Cardinal Arinze were to succeed the Pope, it won't be a first, according to Catholic encyclopedia. There have been three African popes : Victor (around AD 183-203), Mechiades or Militiades (possibly AD 311-314), and Gelasius (AD 492-496). The Cardinal's background is impressive: he was ordained 1958; consecrated bishop (Africa's youngest) 1965; first black archbishop of Onitsha 1967; called by John Paul II to Vatican in 1984;
els. From the records available to us, none had lived up to the reputations they had established on Patitos Gang. Indeed, if Utomi were to call his gang together again, he might need armed policemen to keep them from murdering each other. Nigerians, meanwhile have been sold false gold. Now Fani-Kayode calls Abati a liar; and Abati tells us that Femi is one of “ yesterday ’s” men;
A government accused of squandering trillions of naira cannot exonerate itself merely by stating that “we had less money than alleged”; to gain the people’s confidence
who failed to discharge their responsibilities as public servants – when they had the chance. As it turned out, they are both right; as far as the mutual accusations are concerned. However, since last week was devoted to car-
ment’s spokesman had released the foul ordour on its behalf. Let me point to two out of several self-admission of irresponsibility and lack of patriotism. First, the response to Dr Ezekwesili was bi-focal; she was accused of
elevated cardinal 1985; president of Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue 19842002; prefect of divine worship and discipline of sacraments, 2002 to date. He wrote several books: Sacrifice in Ibo Religion, 1970; Answering God's Call, 1983; Alone with God, 1986; Church in Dialogue, 1990; Meeting Other Believers, 1997; Holy Eucharist, 2001; Religions for Peace, 2002. Arinze said on family: "In many parts of the world, the family is under siege, opposed by an anti-life mentality as is seen in contraception, abortion, infanticide and
communicate in simple language. And that he has a great sense of joy""It has been a meteoric rise, who this week published a book of interviews with the cardinal, called God's Invisible Hand. Moreover, Cardinal Francis Arinze shows his character in his own words:" I will not manoeuvre, I will not do politicking, I will not try to arrange my future." And the pope, in the past had welcome the ideas that "electing an African pope "would be a positive sign for the whole of Christendom". After all, the majority of Catholics are in the de-
untrue in some respects and unpatriotic in others. First, let me take on the matter of cowardice. In a full page article, Abati, a formerly courageous columnist and opinion maker leveled accusations at various individuals without having the guts to name a single person. Only a man without balls engages in shadow boxing; real fighters enter the ring with known opponents. Second, he published some deliberate falsehood; and to prove that, permit me to call, as my first witness, a former close associate of Abatis – Chief Femi Fani-Kayode; ex-this, ex-that. Once upon a time, and it looks like light years ago now, Femi Fani-Kayode and Reuben Abati, were comrades in arms. They were card-carrying members of Patito’s Gang led by Pat Utomi who was also the host of the TV programme called by that name. Most of the erudite and we thought idealistic guys who were contemptuous of government officials, at the time, had gone on to serve governments at Federal and states lev-
“Conscience nurtured by truth”, Guardian Newspaper’s motto. OR years, Re uben Abati, the President’s Senior Special Adviser on Media, was the Chairman of the Editorial Board of the paper which was the self-proclaimed “Flagship” of the print media. As such, it was generally expected that he would embody the spirit of that paper; he was, at least we believe, expected to have a conscience and to uphold the truth at all times. And for a long time, most people reading the Guardian, thought he fulfilled the two conditions. Now, we are not so sure. Today, many of us shudder when we read statements issued by Abati, some of which are deliberate fabrications, so much so, we wonder if someone’s conscience has not gone to bed. I will present the evidence based on his latest piece sent to all the print media houses – Hypocrisy of Yesterday’s Men. For now, it is merely sufficient to call that stuff illadvised, cowardly, very
peting a “ yesterday’s” woman and her supporters, this week will be devoted to roasting “today’s men”; with Abati, as spokesman representing the lot. In many respects, Abati earns my sympathy. Given his reputation as critic of government who, incidentally, often punctured the lies of government officials, he accepted the wrong job. Already, the reputation is in shreds and “Hypocrisy of Yesterday’s Men” has shredded it even more. There is a message for President Jonathan in that statement. But, I will come to that later. Apart from the obvious lack of guts, which the piece amply demonstrated, it sent out a stench, so powerful, thinking readers should be wondering how a govern-
If the holy father, the pope could step down, on the grounds of ill health and the inability to carry out such huge responsibility of over one billion Catholics then it is about time mere mortals like our politicians step down or loosen grip on power with grace and dignity!
euthanasia". The Nigerian papal candidate is a favourite and on the shortlist was described by Gerard O'Connell, a Vatican analyst as "very bright and astute, able to
veloping world and in thriving congregations. Cardinal Francis should be elected the new Pope, the papacy will be in safe hands and Nigerians will be jubilant to
exaggerating the amount left in the kitty by the Obasanjo administration. Fine But, they failed to tell Nigerians what they did with what they met in the kitty. That was totally irresponsible and unacceptable. A government accused of squandering trillions of naira cannot exonerate itself merely by stating that “we had less money than alleged”; to gain the people’s confidence and establish credibility, which this government lacks, they should have made a full declaration. That they have deliberately failed to do that suggests there is an intentional cover-up somewhere. So, if yesterday’s men are hypocritical; today’s men are no better. The second prong of the attack against the former Minister and her supporters consisted of pointing to a lot of questionable deals during the administration of Obasanjo. Again, that was fine; except for the fact that the records of possible frauds were there right from the first day the Yar ’Adua/Jonathan and, later, the Jonathan/ Sambo governments took office. Every president of Nigeria, on inauguration day, swears to uphold the constitution of Nigeria and, by extension to enforce her laws. Given that constitutional and moral obligation, every president must mandatorily investigate every suspected case of large scale embezzlement of public funds. If
today ’s men are now telling us that “ we were robbed” from 1999-2007 and they neither investigated nor prosecuted, they are also admitting that President Jonathan was guilty of serious dereliction of duty. This time they are indicting their own boss that he had, once again, been irresponsible and unpatriotic. If they have any evidence, this is the time to place them on the table or shut up. They can start by starting another probe of the $13-16 billion which went down private pockets without the promised increase in power generation to show. LAST LINE: Is Hypocrisy of Yesterdays Men the best Abati can do? The man no longer convinces anyone. The President still has to learn that “the medium is the message”. If the messenger lacks credibility nobody believes what he says – even when it is the truth. Nobody believes Abati anymore. REMINDER TO MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE Two weeks ago, I asked for proof of the achievements you have been claiming. So far, there has been no response from your office. If by the end of February you fail to substantiate your claims, rest assured you will be branded a liar. That is not a threat; that is a promise. Ask your colleagues.
have one of our own in as the head of the Vatican. The leaders of Nigerians should please note: if the holy father, the pope could step down, on the grounds of ill health and the inability to carry out such huge responsibility of over one billion Catholics then it is about time mere mortals like our politicians step down or loosen grip on power with grace and dignity! What have we achieved? "Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." -Leo Tolstoy 1960 was when Nigeria gained independence from Britain, but prior to
empires were independent states that traded with one another and coexisted. It all changed in 1914, with the amalgamation of the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria, and the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria ruled by GovernorGeneral, Lord Lugard. Okay, the history lessons over. What have we achieved as a country since 1914? Why should we celebrate failure, mediocrity and abandoned generations. For those who are old enough will remember the good and the bad. But there was more good than bad.
that there was no country called "Nigeria". So pre -1914 it was a collection of empires mostly part of modern day Ghana and Cameroon. Within geographical area there were the people, Ijaws, Igbos, Urhobos, Itsekiris, Yorubas, Hausas, Fulanis, Nupes, Kanuris, Ogonis, Gwaris, Katafs, Jukars, Edos, Ibibios, Efiks, Idomas, Tivs, Junkuns, Biroms, Agnas, Ogojas and many more. There were kingdoms like, Oyo, Lagos, Calabar, Brass, Itsekiri, Benin, Tiv, Borno, Sokoto Caliphate, Kano,Ilorin, Zaria and so on. These
My hearty congratulations to Super Eagles for a fantastic win at the African cup of Nations, it was well deserved. The players were committed and disciplined. The boys deserve our respect and admiration. I hope it has inspired a lot of young people and it really did inspire Nigerians in and outside the country I want to mention the efficient service at the Nigerian High Commission in London. I have been told by quite a number of people using the visa office they have been happy with the result. They say that it has improved so much that there is no need to wait ages for their visa.
SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 11
AS CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT ROW DEEPENS
Delimitation of Concept of the Constitutional for Advancement of the Federal A look at independent and adequate grounds following critical punches of the pen, for its good and of Society.
By K C U Macebuh
choose to lift, at this time, for benefit of the general public, this seminal portion of a chapter of Volume III, Theoretics of Federal Constitutionalism, of my five-volume treatise, on histogram of federalism and federalist praxis, with primary focus on Nigeria. The volumes of academic work collectively serve as essential part of my humble support for Nigeria’s seemingly permanent, but suspect, elopement from jackboot tyranny and the groping for discovery of fitting practice direction for the ‘federal’ presidential-bicameral governance. I duly am informed of this choosing, for this newspaper publication, by my studious interest in observing that a seemingly stabilizing, if rather putative, quiet, of practice direction, is emerging of the coordinate tripod institutions of the State – the Legislature, Executive and Judicature -- dispensing with earlier practice infantilism of federal throes of the tripod. In this regard, of seemingly stabilizing quiet, I find in the Senate some spirit of political maturity, continuity and cooperation, by which I observe a fourth term Senator serving consecutive 2nd term as President of the Senate, in his 6th year on that throne. This growth factor, a matter of first impression, in Nigeria’s Congressional history, is a phenomenal departure from the immediate predecessor eight years of the Senate of this republic, from 1999, during which the Institution was ridiculously deluged of five senate presidents, when the Office was zoned to the self-adulating republican-mercantilist, but indubitably cantankerous, Igbo, of the Southeast Zone of the Nigerian federation. Much of the confrontationist, if not contrarian, political class of the Igbo elite find it demo-
Ike Ekweremadu cratic, republican, to mount faction/fraction fight, not normal electoral fight, each time, on change of leadership of the Ohanaeze Idigbo, etc! So they would fight, for new constitutional design, for them, for a one-year, or six-month, turnby-turn, among them, of the
Emeka Ihedioha I do not, in the present engagements of the tripod governance, state and federal, find the once-upon-a-time checkered antecedent profile of predawn Machiavellian or, perhaps, Hobbesian, tactical/strategic executive moves to unseat pilot legislators caught
islative coalition objectives, for monopolistic power, other! Nor do we find, now, infamous ex parte brouhaha of the judiciary!! On the Judiciary, there was one Justice Stanley Nnaji, of the High Court of Enugu State, who was ousted of the Nigerian Bench, for issuing
I do not, in the present engagements of the tripod governance, state and federal, find the once-upon-a-time checkered antecedent profile of predawn Machiavellian or, perhaps, Hobbesian, tactical/strategic executive moves to unseat pilot legislators caught within political throes of anticipatory spending, etc. four-year presidential tenure, whenever one of them got to rule the State House!! But, would they ever get there, by their republicanism, of less sense, more nonsense!! Stanley Macebuh (2001). One could imagine the gulf of difference between political miasmas of this Zone, during its too frequent, mudslinging changeover of senate presidents, a la umpteen-time-a-day pull, up and down, of Nigeria’s NEPA-Gen changeover switch, and observable integrity of cooperative politics of the NorthCentral Zone, of and for the incumbent Senate Chief!
within political throes of anticipatory spending, etc. (Chuba Okadigbo); midnight pontoon, hotel suite ‘legislative’ impeachment coups against governors, deputy governors (Alamieseigha; Dariye, Fayose, Akomas, etc.); Okija Shrine capture, removal of but putative governor from office (Ngige); daylight Marxian popolo infantilism of the legislatures, state and federal, that were besmirched of Chambers fisticuffs with the Mace, GMG sacks of bred, knives, daggers, charms; all the mayhem, in order to advance factional/fractional executive/leg-
judicial orders against a putative governor of another state, in “excess of the High Court’s jurisdiction.” But we thought the jurisdiction of Nigerian judicial authority was unitarist and universal of the federation, in practice, even while dubbed “Federal High Court,” or “High Court of a State,” regardless of where the Federal, or State, High Court sat! Anyway, it is upon the basis of observable positive growth curves, away from these earlier observations, as nauseating as they were, that I belief there is maturing amplitude of the ‘federal’ tripod to absorb
On Independent and Adequate Grounds for Delimitation of Concept of the Constitutional for Advancement of the Federal In the sequencing of governmental organization, of federal separation of institutional powers, the Judiciary is the third branch of government, in federal governance. The Legislature and Executive, in that ordering, are the other branches. (Even while the Executive Branch is, most often, mistaken, in Nigeria, as the First Branch of federal constitutional governance, it is not, never is, and ought not to be; but the Legislature; because the Federal Legislature is the only institutional bulwark, by imprimatur of its laws, veto override, oversight, money and impeachment powers, against age-old tyrannies of the very nasty of the emperors, absolutist royalties, jackboot diktats of militarist state, and others of the ilk.) The three branches are separate but coordinate to one another. They are bound, by federal praxis and correlating constitutional dictates, to operate in harmony, for effective, productive federal governance. But the pursuit of ideal state of coordinate harmony does not, in any way, mean there would no impromptu fighting among institutional actors of the tripod, for supremacy of turf, as humans. In contemporary times, at beginning of the Internet 21st Century, of suspect post-militarism, just about everywhere in the world, it is observed that Nigeria Judiciary appears to be in a state of quandary. It is confronted, even posthumously, by citizens wrapped in historically denied but prevailing democratic euphoria. Of the suspect federal canvas, many citizens are hysterically demanding remedial libertar
Continues on page 12
PAGE 12—SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
Delimitation of Concept of the Constitutional for Advancement of the Federal Continued from page 11 ian action to skin-dip historical prejudices of the disengaging military State. In the process, the Nigeria judiciary is thrown into tailspin. It is caught, as they say, between the rock and the deep blue sea.
t is confronted with the Solomonic task of at tempting to crafting a reasonable balance between protecting glaringly ‘constitutional’ but tacitly ousted and thus non-justiciable rights and privileges guarantees to the citizen, on the one hand, and demanding policy dictates of preservation of the Government and State suffocated of severe military stresses, on the other. Groping under this quandary, the judiciary is displaying, in the interim, commendably, we say, appearance, in its various judicial actions, of tilting, in the balancing jigsaw, toward protection of the constitutional. Here, however, there is another quandary that may not openly be apparent to the Courts, but inexorably tied and challenging to and decisive of the Courts’ construction of concept of the constitutional as controlling guide of their adjudication of case or controversy. Although the Nigerian judiciary may be poised in its prevailing mood toward protecting the constitutional, presumably in populist response to public euphoria to prevailing but bastardly contorted federal constitutionalism, what is conceptualized the constitutional may not necessarily comport with what is federal. We assume the possibility, which is probable in Nigeria Case, that in the making of federal constitution, as historically evident of Nigeria’s political behavioral typology, federal, nonfederal and thus asymmetric properties and particles are haphazardly tagged along and encoded in its ‘federal’ constitution-making. Such ‘functional’ but decisively illogical and asymmetric properties are exemplified by codification in the Nigeria Constitution of various practically bizarre constructs. The bizarreness arises from atheoretic foundation and, by necessary implication, chronic fissures, in practice direction,
Aloma Mariam Mukhtar for optimal performance, of the asymmetric constructs. The constructs include, but not limited to, presidential-bicameral provision of the constitution, e.g., three-branch federal governance, of separation of powers; of bicameral federal, but unicameral state, legislatures. There is evidence of Parliamentary nostalgia (e.g., ‘federal executive council,’ presumptions of ‘Cabinet Office,’
cil that is supervisory over judicial conduct of even state judges; unitary revenue allocation and fiscal commission, which determines and controls remuneration and perks of federal, state and local elected officials, etc. There are Nigeria Constitution’s Sec. 6(d) judicial ouster clauses; the Constitution’s Sec. 315 ‘appropriate authority ’ clause, whereby the President can
non-violent citizen assembly, etc.). Regionalist reminiscences are not excluded (e.g., zonal structuring with regard to distribution of political benefits, such as offices of President, Vice President, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, etc.). In addition, there are ethnicist trajectories (e.g., ‘indigeneship’ propagation in employment and domiciliary matters, constitutional stipulation of at least one federal cabinet minister, from every state of the federation; some day, perhaps, of every local government area, etc!) and royalistmonarchist phenomenon in ‘federal-republican’ canvas (e.g., official cohabitation of electoral representation and hereditary and quasi-hereditary monarchism). Also, the ‘religionist’ pretenses and voodooist rapture are not conceptually excluded from or divested of state actions dubbed ‘constitutional.’ For example, there is profundity of admixture and non-separation of religion and State, notwithstanding the Constitution’s dubious Sec. 10, purporting separation of the two. This does not exclude ‘presidential’ church or mosque with select priests and imams who are supposedly versed in relevant Godism, on grounds of the State, or Government, House, a profound public property! Nigeria’s executive concept of Godism is cohered
There is evidence of Parliamentary nostalgia (e.g., ‘federal executive council,’ presumptions of ‘Cabinet Office,’ Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and of the several states; federal ministry of ‘information;’ titles and nobility) Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and of the several states; federal ministry of ‘information;’ titles and nobility). You find localist provisions (e.g., local government area, “local government development area,” a state’s derivative concept of ‘autonomous communities’ with their respective ‘monarchies,’ in addition to constitutionalized Sharia jurisprudence). There is unitarist historicity. This embraces ever-present omnibus constitution for all units of the ‘federation,’ since advent of Yakubu Gowon’s ‘federating state’ structuring; there is national judicial coun-
‘modify ’ ‘existing law’ and proceeds, at whim, to co-opt the bicameral legislature or a part thereof, to prevent the legislature from reversing the ‘modification,’ etc. Others are statist-unitarist genuflection (e.g., centralized police ‘force’, unitary Land Use Act, unitarist control of all natural resources, etc.). There is militaristpraetorian guard security system (e.g., conversion of military decrees as ‘legislative acts’ of the federation, deemed to be laws of the federation, as having been made by non-existent federal legislature, the National Assembly; peace time concept of ‘police permit’ for
with psychedelic evangelist outposts, supported with political tithing, seed-sowing, alter-building, etc., for cultivation, growth and harvesting of state-sponsored politically correct spiritist visioning, for presidential consumption! Someday, animist President would, upon precedent of State House church and mosque, build and set up his or her Arusi Iyi, Ogwugwu, Sango or some other, of Nigeria’s Nollywood izhagaba shrine with its voodoo shop, on Aso Rock ground! And with ‘hawkeyed’ symbol of worship on the presidential desk in the Hexagonal Office (represent-
ing the Federation’s six geopolitical zones), or prominently waxed on that imperial looking-down-on-minions presidential mount of the Aso Chambers! And why not! Or would an animist presidential hopeful be denied qualification for presidential election by an INEC, for his animism! That, we stipulate, would be ‘unconstitutional’ and, specifically, in violation of equal protection laws of the Federation. After all, this President, some other GCFR(s), of yore, prospective pretenders and jingoists, to the Executive Office, and parallel Executive outposts in the several states are profuse in their respective Godian pontifications to and for their ‘state’ actions; past, present and future! There are more disjointed federal and nonfederal trajectories and particulates projected into the constitution making and, consequently, encoded in the resulting constitution. With this constitutional Document, as the all-encompassing grundnorm of the Nigerian State, all officers of State are expected to swear their allegiance to the Constitution, and operate by it in their official capacities, at the least. Thereafter, the Constitution is supreme; its codified but disjointed and inchoate interests and trajectories, to the contrary. That, it is declared, is THE CONSTITUTION OF NIGERIA.
[Footnote:efore I continue, I make, here, as footnote, some theoretical with practical observations on absence of federal power to ordain a police force. In federation, a variate of federal political system and, more so, of its presidential-bicameral typological model, as adverted of Nigeria, there is no national police force for presidential federation. Power to ordain and establish police authority is not a federal power. The power is not unique and or peculiar to devise of federal union. A sovereign state, or prior one, but not a federation, is or was deemed, by schematics of sovereignty, to have enjoyed the substantive power to ordain and establish police Council on Advanced Federation and Collateral Studies
Continues on page 12
SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 13
Constitution review:We have not learnt our lessons —Gani Adams BY DAPO AKINREFON
OTUNBA Gani Adams is the National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC. In this interview, he explains why the Federal Government must dialogue with the Islamist group, Boko Haram. Adams, who is also the promoter of Olokun festival, faults the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, over his call for the ban of religious and ethnic organisations. Excerpts: E C E N T LY, t h e Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, called for the ban of religious bodies like the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and JNI as well as other pressure groups. What is your take on it? Well, I don’t know the business of the CBN Governor with pressure groups because the duty of the CBN Governor is to monitor our financial institutions and manage our economy. In a situation where the CBN Governor is making political statements, it calls for caution. I believe that in any society, you cannot just call for the outright ban of Christian and Muslim associations. If such a call is made, it raises serious questions on the part of the person that made the call. You see, there is no society without pressure groups, there is no society without socio-cultural organizations and there is no ethnic group that will not have an association that will champion its cause. I am sure if the CBN Governor has the opportunity to become the president of this country, he will be a dictator. I think it is high time the president calls him to order. He should stop dabbling into political issues and not become an agent of anarchy in the country. He should not mislead the public about happenings in the country and, above all, he should not heat up the polity. One of the reasons he cited for his call was that most of these groups are used by politicians to cause disaffection in the country. I cannot imagine CAN being used to cause crisis, neither is the Islamic group being led by the Sultan of Sokoto. Talking about Afenifere, Arewa Consultative Forum and Ohaneze, these organizations have been in existence for a long time and contributed to the development of this country. I see these groups as watch
I believe the problems of Nigeria can be solved because each person will be allowed to air his views
Gani Adams: I don’t believe in force in solving any problem dogs to what is happening in the country; but if anybody alleges that these groups have been used to cause problem, such a fellow is totally wrong. We cannot classify them with militant organizations. Do you think the ceasefire recently called by Boko Haram will last? I think the ceasefire called by Boko Haram is a welcome development but my fear is that the one that called for the ceasefire is a faction of the group. There are about four factions of the sect. it is good because we need peace in this country to move forward. But, at the same time, I will not ask the Federal Government to relent in its efforts at restoring peace in the region affected. Government should do more to tame the remaining factions so that we can have absolute peace in the country. What should government do specifically to restore peace and tackle this problem? Should government dialogue or use force? I don’t believe in force in solving any problem. Many advanced countries have tried it and failed, we have Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to show as examples. Anything that involves religious crisis is usually sensitive and must be addressed with caution. I believe that at the end of the day, the Federal Government should dialogue with them. There are many people involved in the cause, how many will they kill? The president must be careful with those advising him to use force because it might boomerang at the end of the day. He might be charged for genocide after he must have left office as president. The president must tread with caution because any action or step he takes now, he will have to account for it. What I think is most important for us to do
as a country is to organize a conference and address certain issues affecting our nation. Through a national conference, I believe the problems of Nigeria can be solved because everybody will air their views. I want to urge the Federal Government not to postpone the evil day, we should not pretend that we are solving the problems of the country. We should call for a national conference to restructure this country so that we can move forward.
Having called for a national conference, are you saying that the effort of the National Assembly to review the 1999 constitution and the recent public hearings…That will not lead to the emergence of the p e o p l e s ’ constitution. Most of the people who want change were not invited to the public hearings organized by the National Assembly; majority of those who were at the public hearing do not care if Nigeria is
restructured or not. We are not calling for a review of the constitution; rather we are calling a total overhaul of the constitution and the restructuring of the Nigerian polity. We want a situation where each will have its own autonomy. Nigeria needs a total overhaul. It is about the National Assembly listening to what the president or the powerful people want to write a constitution which will be acceptable. But many have expressed fear that there is a possibility
of a bloody revolution in Nigeria, do you share this view? It is not only in Nigeria. Anything can happen in a country where there is injustice. A country where its system does not work, where there is no hope for citizenry is bound to experience crisis and not only a revolution. We have not learnt our lessons, we should not continue to deceive ourselves and we need to encourage ourselves to move forward. But the clamour for a national conference has not yielded a positive result. Why do you think government is shying away from holding a conference? Some people fear that if this country is being restructured, a lot of benefit will come to the regions and they do not have reputation in their respective regions. People like this believe that if the country is restructured, more power will be at the regions, less power will be at the centre and they will not have the power to loot the resources at the federal level. That is one of their fears. Some people also fear that if Nigeria is restructured, they will lose popularity. Nigeria is too large a country for anyone to develop it, development has to start from the grassroots.
‘Imo govt is violating the law on local govt’ BY NNAMDI OJIEGO Mr. Enyinnaya Onuegbu is the Secretary, Imo State Chapter of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON. In this interview, he says the state government is violating the law on local government. He also speaks on their illegal dissolution, court cases and alleged plan by the state government to conduct fresh elections in local government areas of the state, among other issues. Excerpts: The Court of Appeal ruled in your favour over your dissolution. Have you fully resumed work now? After the Court of Appeal ruling, we proceeded to resume work, but we were resisted by Imo State government. How? By announcing that all cadres of civil servants should proceed on a one-week public holiday. The commissioner for local government affairs asked all the civil servants in the
Mr. Enyinnaya Onuegbu local governments to go on a one-week leave. So the local government secretariats were shut down. Then they announced that the senior staff of local governments, that is, from the assistant director upwards should proceed on a seminar in Owerri, which lasted for another one week. They later announced that the junior staff should go for verification at the illegal community council government which lasted for
another one month. So when we resumed at the offices, there were no civil servants to work with us. As you know, civil servants are easily intimidated because of their salaries, so they complied; before this time, they had sacked all the casual workers in the local government system, so there were no casual workers. So we actually commenced a process of going back to office and that led to the Attorney-General ofthe Federation making a public statement that Imo State government should obey the judgement of the Court of Appeal and allow us to resume work fully. Of course, Imo government quickly went to court against the AG and the IG of police that they should not interfere or be allowed to come into Imo local government affairs,as if Imo local governments are not local governments listed in the second schedule of the constitution of federal republic of Nigeria
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PAGE 14 — SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013 BY LEKAN BILESANMI
Continued from page 13 as part of the 774 local government system in Nigeria. I want to tell you that, as at today, there is still no co-operation from the Imo government and the senior cadre of the local government staff. The elected local government officials have not been invited to participate in any statutory meeting concerning the funds of the local governments, and these civil servants don’t come to the local government councils. They stay in hotels in Owerri to discuss the little funds that the government may eventually release to them. Have you petitioned
‘Imo govt is violating the law on local govt’ the state House of A s s e m b l y ? We cannot. Is it not the House of Assembly that couldn’t say the governor was wrong in dissolving us? Is it not the same House that made the law No. 15 of 2003 under which I ran for election? You don’t ridicule yourself. The truth is that the House of Assembly we know as at today is part of the executive arm. Some members of the House are in the committee
verifying contracts purportedly awarded by the state government. So the Imo House performs executive functions. A committee of the House is the one awarding contracts for roads. If you can remember, it is the Speaker who told us the cost of a proposed hotel in Okigwe. So Imo House is an executive branch. So how can you go to such a House? Previous House regimes have maintained their
independence and have never been a rubber stamp in the hands of the executive. We agree that there must be cooperation but those House regimes never lost their independence like it is now. As a legislature, you must set aside your independence before you cooperate with the executive. It doesn’t mean they should be attacking governor but the governor must have respect for them.
The state electoral commission, ISEC, says it will soon conduct fresh elections into local government areas. Where does that leave you? We are still in office. But the governor said your tenure has expired? It is not for the governor to say that our tenure has expired. We started a process of election under law and the process of the
election commences with the issuance of the notice of the election by the electoral commission. We have an Imo State Independent Electoral Commission. That electoral commission issued a notice of election in Februar y, 2010 to political parties and intending aspirants and they acted under a law that was existing at that time and that law was Imo State g o v e r n m e n t administration law which created a local government tenure of three years. So, after all the pre-election processes such as screening, the election was eventually conducted in August 7 and we were sworn into office on the 9th of August, 2010. We were in office until the governorship election was held in May 2011 which was about eight months after. The winner assumed office and, on the 5th of June, he dissolved us. Now the question is: having assumed office, can he bring the law that came into effect in June? The law he is talking about is said to have been signed by former Governor Ohakim and came into effect on 25th June, 2010. My election process commenced in February 2010 under the three-year law. How can you reduce my tenure to two years when I started the race under three-year tenure? The answer is simply NO because you cannot backdate a law in democracy.
Group lauds NIMASA boss, Kuku on performance
HE Niger Delta Youths Peace I n i t i a t i v e Movement, NDYPIM, a political pressure group has commended the Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Akpoboloukemi Ziakede, and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Committee, Mr. Kingsley Kuku for providing quality services to the people of Nigeria. The commendation was given in Warri in a meeting presided over by Comrade Ebikabowei Edon, President and Comrade Donald Etietie, Publicity Secretary of the group. According to them: “After a critical study and assessment of NIMASA performance before and now, we have come to the conclusion that Mr. Akpoboloukemi has performed very well, his transformation agenda has turned around the fortune of the Agency, we commend him and charge him to do more. ”Also, Mr. Kuku has fared very well because he has succeeded in training and empowering many youths who were agitators and now there is peace in the region.
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SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 15 BY KAYODE AKINMADE
Mimiko: A date with destiny
LL roads lead to Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Sunday, February 24, to mark a historic day in Nigeria. That day, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Nigeria’s most decorated governor on whose behalf the Ondo people broke the second term jinx on October 20, 2012, will be sworn in for another four-year term. For Mimiko, this is simply a case of the Yoruba dictum of the inimitability of the personality fashioned by God Almighty Himself: Eni Olorun da ko se f ’ara we. In another breath, the Yoruba would say that agreeing with God’s choice gives rest of mind, while the converse is simply trouble: Ka gba f ’Olorun ni isinmi, a i gba f ’Olorun iyonu ni. While May 29 is generally the handover date in the country, the May 2007 conspiracy by vested subversive interests in Ondo politics altered the political equation in the state. Mimiko was voted for massively in that year ’s gubernatorial election in the state, but the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Dr Olusegun Agagu was announced the winner, forcing the resilient Mimiko into an epic battle, this time a legal one, to reclaim the mandate that the Ondo people gave him in such a willing number, and with so passionate a zeal for change. Not that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had any policy disagreement with the gentle though uncompromising social democrat from Ondo State who, as Minister of Housing and Urban Development, got Nigeria its building code. The quarrel in the build up to the 2007 general elections was simple: the mercurial general simply did not want to let go of one of his most prized assets in the federal cabinet. When, eventually, the then president let go, it was with a vow that he would do all that lay in his power to frustrate Mimiko ambition to rule Ondo State. In a brazen rape of democracy and a dangerous assault on the sensibilities of the people, Mimiko was shoved aside and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, announced the PDP candidate as the winner of the 2007 election. It was a great challenge. Mimiko did not shirk this challenge. Born into a family with rich progressive credentials as die-hard apostles of the Obafemi Awolowo ideological school, Mimiko, a member of the Socialist Movement who associated with great literary minds while a student at the University of Ife, had evolved a unique brand of political activism through his chosen profession of medicine, delivering quality health services to the Ondo people at great cost to his personal purse, and had been spotted by the Third Republic Ondo State governor, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua, who made him Commissioner for Health in 1992. It was at this time that he started the festival of surgery programme and got his name implanted in the hearts of the people. Back in the trenches, Mimiko, a member of the Ondo Study Group which provided an elevated template for critical
We’ve seen the marginalised in the society, the downtrodden, people who exist as statistics in government ministries; we must give them opportunity to be able to actualise themselves
Dr Olusegun Mimiko political discourse and correctly predicted the fall of the defunct Soviet Union, declared that Agagu would have no hiding place at the Appeal Court: “Agagu will come back from Benin a loser because we have proved it beyond reasonable doubt that the election was rigged in the disputed areas, and that was upheld by the Nabaruma-led tribunal.” And so it happened. As the Yoruba say, even if a lie endures for 20 years, the truth must catch up with it one day. The Appeal Court sitting in Benin, on 23 February 2009, upheld the July 25, 2008 verdict of the Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital. The Director, Media and Research of the Progressive Coalition, Bola Ilori, appropriately captured the feeling in Ondo State on that
day when he said: “It (Mimiko’s victory) is the restoration of the hope of the Ondo people and redemptive balm on the excruciating alienation of the people after about six years in the throes of Agagu’s inflicted pains and labyrinth of economic pillage. It is a refreshing new day, pregnant with positive progressive possibilities.” And Mimiko, speaking after the judgement, said: “We have demonstrated faith in the judiciary, faith in democracy. All I have to say is that I know I carry an unusual burden.” And he solemnly told the people of the state: “I will work for you.” Four years on, Mimiko has redefined leadership on the African continent, winning the World Bank’s nod as the governor with the health policy (Abiye) most suitable for Africa’s development. Abiye
has also been recognised by, among many international bodies, the Centre for Strategic and International S t u d i e s , Washington DC, United States, which invited him to tell the world the ongoing Abiye success story in January this year. Mimiko has also been decorated by the United Nations with the UN Habitat Scroll of Honour in acknowledgement
of initiatives which have made outstanding contributions in various fields such as shelter provision, leadership in developing and improving the human settlements and general enhancement in overall quality of urban life. The award ceremony was held in Naples, Italy. Beyond his strides in health, education, sports (the stateowned Sunshine Stars is now a formidable force in African football), urban renewal, agriculture, housing, among others, observers have often harped on the gentle mien, the rich ideological spectrum and the finesse of Mimiko’s public engagements. While those who chose to antagonise the good things he has continued to do for Ondo State used their extensive media influence to run down his image and his government, Mimiko has never engaged in vulgar exchanges with anyone. Instead, he ignores the acerbic attacks on his personality and
concentrates on the substance or otherwise, of the many claims of the opposition, the unspoken statement being that he is too busy actualizing the Awo credo of Life More Abundant to engage in verbal wars with anyone. Hear him: “The Labour Party is a social democratic party and in the ideological spectrum, we belong to the left. We believe that government has a responsibility to the people. We believe that government has to make the private sector to thrive so that private profit can motivate people to grow the economy but we also believe that government has the responsibility to ensure that equitable opportunity is given to people in the society as much as possible, what is known as carrying everybody along. We’ve seen the marginalised in the society, the downtrodden, people who exist as statistics in government ministries; we must give them opportunity to be able to actualise themselves. On the social democratic platform, providing free bus services, free and qualitative health care to the most vulnerable in the society and democratising access to quality education all fit into the mantra, which is the progressive mantra.” As the October 20 2012 governorship election approached, the opposition did its best to arrest destiny, claiming that no governor ever got a second term in Ondo State. But whoever God loves, He makes a way for. That is why Ondo State is in for a greater four years ahead. *Akinmade is the Hon. Commissioner for Information, Ondo State.
Delimitation of Concept of the Constitutional for Advancement of the Federal Continued from page 12 force for it or its subdivisions, prior to its status as a federating state; to which the power remains reserved as part of its large residue of powers, upon federating. This power, to ordain a police force, is not a delegable power to federal government, as it is part of mass of powers reserved for and residual to state sovereignty, for regulation of internal police and inspection laws of a federating state. In joining a federation, or on its formation, a federating state is guaranteed republican form of government, of coordinate branches, of legislature, executive and judicature.
he federating state may, in exercise of its po lice power, make, interpret and enforce laws for regulation of internal police of the state; laws that may differ from laws of any other federating state; but not to be inconsistent with competent constitution and laws of the federation. Therefore, a federating state has power to ordain and establish a police department for enforcement of its laws, which it is competent to make. This power with its exercise is jurisdictional among the several states of the federation. As the power to ordain a police force is not fed-
eral, the government of the federation shall not arrogate to and exercise it. This power is not delegable and a federating state cannot so delegate to the union. The power is not derivative to the federal government in its exercise of general sovereignty, pursuant to the doctrine of eminent domain, in absence of any attempt by any part of it to do anything toward collapse of the federation. It thus is anomalous, in the devise of federation, for a purport of federal constitution to ordain and raise a police force for the federation. It is reflexive of unitarist exercise, in futility, of expropriated nonfederal power, in derogation from the structure, principles, doctrines and practice of federalism. * In exercise, by a state, of non-delegable and reserved power of federating state, or exercise of the expropriated power, by the federal center, to ordain and raise a police department, there is neither anything extant or prospective, nor presence of independent and adequate state or federal ground, in republican governance, counselling derogation from exercise of civil right of and by rank and file police officers to prosecute, by strike ac Continues on page 19 C M Y K
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INSIDE EAGLES CAMP: Road To Victory Nigeria deservedly toppled title-holders, Zambia’s Chipolopolo and dismantled a resurgent Cote d’Ivoire’s star-studded Elephants enroute to winning the African Cup of Nations in South Africa. Our Sports Editor, story teller, Tony Ubani, who followed the team from Mbombela to Rustenberg and to Durban and Johannesburg chronicles the story of the surprise success that has sent warning signals to African teams and made many Nigerians eat their words and put Stephen Keshi in a king-size position against his detractors.
he Sports Ministry, like every other interested partner expressed disgust and breathed down on the Nigeria Football Federation while the NFF transferred the anger to Keshi and crew and told them to justify the huge money and free hand given them. Nigeria was on the edge of suffering a huge humiliation facing a possible exit not getting to the quarter finals. “I still have absolute confidence in this team. Despite that we are staying together as a unit for the first time(three weeks), they have the character of champions”, Keshi said at the post conference to which he was greeted with hisses and sighs from the ever-critical press. Some lily-livered Nigerians changed their flight ticket dates while Nigerians resident in South Africa complained bitterly. Distraction set in. An un-confirmed information that Nigeria was searching for world-class foreign technical adviser leaked . Keshi naturally lost weight. But he still carried along knowing that his chances of surviving as coach of the Eagles was on a thread. Ethiopia beckoned. Before now, the Wayas of Ethiopia had given Africans much to deliberate on with their champagne display. “The Eagles do not have the strength, they do not have the star players, their midfield will not contain the Ethiopians”. Fear spreads.
UR goal is always to play well as a team, a collective. We all work together as a unit with a great sense of cohesion; for us this is the greatest component”. Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi remarked before their opening game against defending Champions, Zambia. His words seem almost prophetic in retrospect as the steelwilled Super Eagles produced the most remarkable and sparkling performances of their championship run when the collective unit fired on all cylinders to move from zero to hero. Conversely, the team’s weaknesses were only revealed when the cohesion showed brief signs of fraying at the preliminary stages. And that was when the heavens opened its mouth to swallow the team. A colourless draw with defending
champions Zambia sparked off the criticisms. Truly, the Eagles lacked bite and finesse. Their physical strength to withstand the 90 minutes was suspect as they put every foot wrong. The Zambians, too, were not different from the Eagles. As defending champions, many had expected to see a sparkling performance that would send signals to other opponents that they were in South Africa to retain the trophy. Honours were shared and bookmakers dissected the chances of two of Africa’s powerhouses with the hammer falling heavily on Nigeria, a two-time winners of the African prize. Keshi tried to weather the storm but the second match against Burking Faso almost justified all fears that Nigeria was in the competition to complete the numbers.
ut once the Ethiopians were crushed, Nigeria had set up the most mouth-watering quarter-final cracker with the most dreaded Ivorian squad, having such stars like the dreaded Croc, Didier Drogba, Alain Didier Zokora, Salomon Kalou, Cheik Tiote, Gervinho, Yaya Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Souleman Bamba. Big names in World football. Millionaires! It was going to be the battle of David and Goliath. And the Ivorians walked with an air of arrogance and enjoyed all the trappings of a champion waiting for the trophy to be handed over to them. Eboue heightened the tension when he was alleged to have posted on twitter that the Ivorians would devour fried chicken or fried Eagles. Keshi and his team went to work while the Ivorians went to sleep. Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama sensed danger and declared that big names don’t play football. Assistant coach, Sylvanus Okpalla professed that the Eagles had gotten to a level that no team would stop them – not Cote d’Ivoire. It was such an exciting match that even the most impartial fans were jumping up and down
Vanguard , FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 17
in the stands. There could not have been a better thriller.
his cup is starring us on the face. We have to work hard for this opportunity of our lives time”, he said as the players roared in ecstasy hailing him ‘big boss’, coachila!”. Like they say, it is not the strongest who win, but those who want it the most. There was this joke in camp that those who asked Keshi ‘ who are you now turned around to ask him how are you?’ . Confidence soared. But Keshi tightened the noose on discipline as bed time was adhered to, breakfast was compulsory and timely and importantly, no phone calls during meals and bedtimes. NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari remained resolute in prayers. “I believe in this team because we agreed with Keshi on his transformation agenda. We gave him all and he showed the appetite to work with local players. That’s when I knew and believed that he had something to offer. No coach will ordinarily want to start with local players in the midst of stars all over the big clubs”, Maigari offered.
ali! They owe their existence to fire-power of the Nigerian troops sent to bring peace to their troubled home. They knew that the bell tolled for them after Ivory Coast were shoved aside. They too bite the dust and Burkina Faso who also started the mediocre play in the group with Eagles faced the firing squad in the final. But back to the camp of the Eagles, the players were disillusioned by talks that Keshi was going to be sacked, and the coach after gaining respect with his victories threatened not to continue with Nigeria. Sunday Mba, the Lionheart, Elderson Echiejile felt troubled. “This is the not the time to be talking about sacks”, Eagles spokesman, Ben Alaiya complained but trusted in the professionalism of Keshi to tinker the team to victory. “This team is a winning one. They are a family and Keshi’s has shown why he is called the Big Boss. The team have also hit form and understanding”, Alaiya a Journalist of repute before he crossed the border said. Questions were posed to Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi on the allegations of his wanting Keshi to be replaced by a foreign technical adviser. “I don’t think that Keshi belived. There is no such thing. How can you? After the match against Burkina Faso where we conceded the last minute goal, I told Keshi that there is no need to dwell in the past and lament on what would have been done. A tournament is not decided by one match. We did not set any target for the Eagles. That has helped because there is no deadline. It has allowed them to express and rediscover
o and fro, backwards and forwards, shots at and into goal, rebounds off posts, and crossbars, dazzling moves, mesmerizing dribbles, a match contested with passion and fairness – in short, a showcase of pedigree. Could these be same Nigerian team that wobbled in the prelims?”, many asked as the Nigerian team matched them grit by grit and overpowered the showmanship of Drogba. Mikel imposed himself in the match and saved what could have turned the match in the favour of the Ivoirians. Unknown little players whose sign-on fees and salaries could not match the one-week pay of Drogba, Toure and their likes kicked dust into their eyes. How were the mighty fallen! It took the bullet of power-horse, Emmanuel Emenike to break the ice and Tiote brought things at par, before a homemade Eagle, one of the revelations of the Nations Cup, Sunday Mba put it beyond the loquacious Ivorians. The camp of the Eagles rumbled in Rustenberg. It restored confidence and made Nigerians walk with their noses in front. The drive to the camp of the Eagles was long and loud. Songs of praise were rendered in the luxury, banters were thrown while it seemed like a fairy tale. But Keshi would not let it slip. Against all odds, he gathered the players and thanked them for their resilience and pointed out a few errors and insisted that there would be training the following. “The battle is not yet over. This is the time we have to up our games.
This team is a winning one. It’s a family and Keshi has shown why he is called the Big Boss
aving said that, no Nigerian can say that he was happy with our first two games in the tournament.So doubts were created, fears were expressed, sentiments, anger ruled the air. Maybe people picked up all these and thought the Minister will react. Don’t forget the coach is hired by the NFF. I have absolute confidence on the team. That’s why when I left after the prelims I told people that I would be back for the finals to watch the Eagles. People looked at me with disbelief ”, the Minister who has added the trophy to one of his achievements as Sports Minister said. And the final hour came. Burkina Faso again! “We were not blended when we played them in Nelspruit. Also, the pitch was not conducive for smooth playing”, one of Nigeria’s highest import to the world of soccer
Mikel Obi said. And truly, he shone gloriously that he won individual awards for his artistry. The final was yet to be played on a Sunday and in the Eagles is one Sunday Mba, a local material who extinguished star millionaires and made them look miserable. He rose to the occasion and nicked one goal against the Burkinabes. That was enough to set the skies of Johannesburg ablaze with colourful fire-works. Stephen Keshi raised his head and hands unto heaven apparently from where he draws his strength. The players ran riot in celebration. The stands where the drumming Nigerian supporters were draped in green white green signatures of Nigeria were in amok. A peep at the VVIP stand saw Senate President in banters with mighty men who came to lend their support to the team. Daniel Amokachi who played great football in his days, lifted Keshi aloft on his shoulders to show him to the World. Other assistants, Sylvanus Okpalla, Ike Shorunmu lent a hand. Overwhelmed by emotions, Keshi waved to the jubilant crowd and tears glistened from his eyes. He has created record as the only player to have played and won the Nations Cup as skipper and also as coach. The other one of blessed memory is ElGohary of Egypt. Brand new T’Shirts from the NFF came out declaring them; “Nigeria: Champions of Africa”.
he Press rumbled to get an interview from the indigenous coach who dismissed all the foreign coaches to crown Nigeria as third time winners of the African Cup of Nations. “Are you still going to remain as coach of Nigeria?”, I fired. Keshi smiled and fired back; “Do Nigerians want me as their coach? They do not appreciate me”. And appreciation came in rains and Dollars with Telecommunication guru, Dr Adenuga splashing millions of Dollars on the team. An appreciative federal Government sent a chartered aircraft to ferry the players and coaches draped with their gold medals to the Federal Capital Territory. When skipper Joseph Yobo held the cup aloft, a tumultuous crowd surged to appreciate Keshi and his players, but the security guards with their dogs barring fangs charged to keep them at bay. Senate President David Mark revealed that the Nigeria Football Federation had pressured Keshi into signing a fresh clause in his contract that would have placed a foreign technical adviser above him. With a national award of CON, N10 million and land in Abuja, I crept to ask Keshi if he was still going ahead to resign? He looked at me and smiled; “this is not the time to talk about that. The Senate President and others are on it”. He looked at the crowd and declared; “I’m happy to see Nigerians happy”. Who says that Nigerians are not appreciative? No. Nigerians are critical but very appreciative.
Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
*Battle ready patrol boats
War against piracy, crude oil theft Navy acquires new platforms
to combat sea robberies BY EVELYN USMAN
onday, Febru ary 11, marked another mile stone in the history of the Nigerian Navy, NN, following the commissioning of three Ocea and two Shaldag boats at the Nigerian Navy BEECROFT Jetty, Apapa, Lagos, to combat the emerging national maritime security challenges. Criminality in the nation’s waterways has no doubt assumed a worrisome dimension, as an estimated 100,000 to 250,000 barrels of crude oil are reportedly lost to illegal bunkerers on a daily basis, a development described as disturbing, in view of the fact that the country’s economy anchors majorly on oil which generates about 80 percent of her revenue. In a bid to tackle the menace, President Goodluck Jonathan, promised, late last
year, at the occasion of the Presidential Maritime Security retreat, to initiate tough measures to tackle high level crude oil theft in the country and charged all relevant stakeholders ,particularly the navy, which is saddled with the responsibility of policing the
nation’s territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone stretching to 200 nautical miles seaward, to do all withing their power to stem the tide. In fulfilment of that promise, Jonathan acquired five fast patrol boats for the NN which was commissioned on Monday. This is in addition to the
*Ministers and top military chief: A vote against crime on the waterways
navy fleet which comprises the four-cat class ships namely NNS NWAMBA,NNS OLOGBO, NNS KYANWA AND NNS OBULA, acquired from the United States Navy ,between 2002-2003. Other ships include NNS Zaria and Burutu, commissioned by former First Lady, Mrs. Yar ’Adua, in 2009 and the first set of Manta class boats acquired in 2009. Three other Manta boats came in 2011 while NNS Thunder was commissioned by Dame Patience Jonathan in January 2012. Also in the list is the first indigenous boat, NNS Andoni, built by the NN and commissioned on June 1, 2012, by Jonathan. Between then and now, several boats , including Defender and Shaldag boats, have reportedly been acquired by the NN. Thus, it was not surprising to find eminent personalities from different walks of life
gracing the Monday commissioning of the five patrol boats. Among them were the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala; Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada; Chief of the Defense Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad; all the Service chiefs,including the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar; Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos; captains of industry and retired senior military personnel. Speaking at the occasion, Okonjo-Iweala explained that the acquisition was done based on the NN’s ability to prove that it was capable of helping the nation detect criminal activities on the nation’s waters, which she described as damaging to the country ’s resources in the maritime sector. “ When the CNS came to me, we had a bargain which was the need to see results from the navy ’s end. You know , for us to put in more m o n e y, they must show results. He came with graphs and charge, showing what they are doing to reduce the illegal oil theft , the reason for which they need these patrol boats”, the minister stated. “So far, they are showing a capability to be able to help us detect criminal activities that is damaging the resources of this country in the maritime sector. And you know, Mr President is totally behind the armed forces. I am particularly impressed because, when you see results, you are encouraged to put more muscle and money behind it. So, all we are asking from the navy is more results”. If the assurance of the Chief of the Naval Staff , Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, and the occasion, is anything to go by, then there is no need to look elsewhere for solution to crude oil theft. Ezeoba, in his opening remark, boasted that the addition of the new boats to the navy’s fleet would go a long way “ in keeping faith with our desire to ensure significant
Continues on page 19
SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 19
War against piracy, crude oil theft Continues from page 18 reduction in crude oil theft and checkmating the menace of sea robbery and piracy in our waters”. He recalled that on assumption of office as the 20th CNS, “ I made a solemn pledge to the President and Commander in Chief that the NN will emplace proactive operational imperatives that would engender gross reduction in acts of illegalities , particularly crude oil theft in our maritime environment. To give verve to that pledge, I promulgated my strategic guidance-01 on 15 October 2012 which encapsulates the broad operational directives and a clearly defined methodology for the attainment of the strategic end state for the current watch on deck. The strategic guidance further asserted that the main thrusts of my watch would be the emplacement of a robust and combat ready fleet which I consider fundamental to the achievement of the navy’s mission which is to ‘ discharge its constitutional roles and assigned tasks in a professional and efficient manner,consistent with global best practices for the
defense and protection of Nigeria’s territorial integrity’. It is in this context that the acquisition and subsequent efficient deployment of these boats is an expression o f the navy’s commitment to the attainment of its operational objectives”. The Shaldag and OCEA class fast boats, purchased from Israel and France respectively, according to him, al-
tee the boats’ availability and operational efficiency at all times. NAVY needs 40 more boats While acknowledging Federal Government’s efforts towards the acquisition of the new platforms for the NN , the CNS emphasized the need for more of such platforms. “It is, however, pertinent to emphasize that the Nigerian Navy
upon which the nation’s economic survival and prosperity is dependent”, the navy chief said.. “Thus, it is expedient to assert that the nation’s economic security and indeed our collective prosperity is inextricably linked to the maintenance of a robust and combat ready naval fleet. It is in this context that I reaffirm the Nigerian Navy’s commitment to constantly leverage on extant cooperation and collaboration with other maritime agencies and stakeholders for the generation of the desired capabilities that would ensure a safe, secure and enabled maritime environment for socioeconomic growth and national development which is germane for the attainment of Vision 20:2020”. Minister of State for Defense, Obada, on her part, noted that the occasion was a memorable one in the quest to build the capacity of the NN to ensure effective security in the Nigeria’s maritime area. The minister gave the NN a pat on the its back over what she described as its ability to
I made a solemn pledge to the President and Commander in Chief that the NN will emplace proactive operational imperatives that would engender gross reduction in acts of illegalities , particularly crude oil theft in our maritime environment though were small, are fast and designed for security tasks such as interdiction , antismuggling, anti-illegal bunkering, sea robbery and piracy. The salient features of the boats, he disclosed, include: very high maneuverability with good sea keeping qualities. In order to ensure proper and efficient deployment of the boats, a total of 11 officers and 48 ratings, Ezeoba said, had been trained to maintain them, a training, he said, would be continuous in order to guaran-
would require a minimum of 40 o f these boats in order to dominate the vast expanse of our territorial waters if she is to effectively combat the current emerging security challenges in our maritime environment. While mindful, the fact that government is faced with several competing demands, we will, however, continue to affirm that the size of the Nigerian Navy fleet and its funding should be based on the quantum of assets and interests to be protected within the maritime environment
safeguard the nation’s maritime assets in spite of the constraint militating against its efforts to optimally discharge its statutory duties,especially in the security of the maritime domain, assuring the navy of Federal Government’s unflinching support.
xpressing optimism that the new boats would contribute significantly to the achievement of the CNS strategic Guidance 01, Obada urged the leadership and personnel of the NN to ensure productive use of the platforms, reminding them that the nation expects to see visible reduction in maritime insecurity. Immediately the boats were commissioned, they set sail. Nigerians are expectant that the NN, under the leadership of the CNS, will live up to his vision which states :“”Within the purview of the strategic end -state and the Armed Forces Transformation process, my vision is to emplace a robust and combat ready navy that is capable of effectively combating the security challenges in Nigeria’s maritime domain including the Gulf of Guinea for Nigeria’s economic prosperity and national development.”
Delimitation of Concept of the Constitutional for Advancement of the Federal Continued from page 12 tion, protection, or for the purpose of expulsion of abuse by government, of police labor. Effect of discharge or performance of duty of police officer is directed toward and acts upon necessary and proper police interaction with general civil populace, and not armed institutions, such as the army, navy, air force, among others of the State. Thus the purport of Congressional legislation, via retrospective military decree, expropriating civil right of police officer to engage in labor strike action, by transposing the police, a natural civil department of municipal governance, into an armed force of a federation, is presumptive of unitarist, and not republican-democratic, genuflection. Armed forces of the State, by their regimented institutionalized foibles, iconoclastic behavioral nature of their respective disciplines in field operation and barracks habitation, are subject to removal by law from public view and cohabitation. Members of the armed forces, but of the police, are not supposed to live among the general public. This republican construction and institutional disposition of the armed forces is, in practice, necessary
and proper, to the extent that occupational and thus behavioral ways of institutional armed forces of the State, such as the army, is hazardous to public and civilian sensitivity.
ederal’ expropriation of longstanding historical pre sumption of police neutral ity, a controlling presumption of the municipal department’s discharge of honest services, in the performance of its public duties, is a special value and tool of operation, under color of law, of victory of spoilitative actors of the State. (Professor Moyibi Amoda, in his taxonomy of politics, conceptualizes spoilitative politics as thus and, with deserving deference, he theorizes: “The politics so characterized is insurrectionist and structurally multi-party in nature. Each party is a state-power candidate seeking to impose its class agenda over all other parties. The strategy is that of overthrowing the state in existence or securing it against its enemies with the help of internal and external class allies. This is the Marxian revolutionary politics in its naked simplification.” Or, that extant gripping political
catharsis of the Nigerian State is consequent to asymmetric choices resulting from ideological cleavages of chosifactive politics, which the prodigious political scientist characterizes this way: “This is a politics in which two societies are mobilized for war of domination. The resulting society seeks to maintain the existing state relations while the subject society must first effect the destruction of the existing state for there to be civil dialogues [such as a sovereign or non-sovereign national conference] on the features of a New Society. This is why peacemaking is always very difficult in societies where spoilation and chosifaction are the dominant issues of the day. In such societies conflict resolutions that allow for genuine respect of opposing interests are structurally impossible. This is why such societies are exposed to long periods of insurrectionist agitations until the status quo is no longer tenable. Such was the situation in South Africa and the Sudan.” Amoda, Moyibi J., Third Party Interventions and the Designing of UNESCO’s Culture of Peace Programmes: Cultivating the Disciplines of Peace-making Statecraft; fivevolume set of International Training
Institute for Peace; by Al-Bethel Consults, Inc., Lagos; 1995. Schematic expropriation, by the Nigerian State, of police neutrality is constructed by it for political and economic security and other advantages of statist ruling class or controlling faction or fraction thereof, over its competitors in the control and distribution of contested powers. Even where contemporaneous allowance for federal police force, in a federation, is made, in accommodation of existing facts on ground, as historically is proffered, in defense of statecraft of asymmetric choices, it is a most heightened dysfunctional construction, of knowing and wilful importation of Hobbesian Jungle into contemporary ‘federal clime.’ The Hobbesian prescription stands on the asymmetric presumption that some +500, 000 strength national police ‘force’ is system-sufficient of police services for a federation of over 150 million people.
Continues next week Macebuh is Pauliff Fitzgerald Haezel Visiting Professor of Theoretical Politics; and of the Didactics
PAGE 20—SUNDAY VANGUARD,FEBRUARY 17, 2013
Children living in prison: Abandoned Nigerians?
HE headline ‘Paying for the sins of parents in Nigerian Prisons’ in one of our newspapers was so captivating that I couldn’t resist reading the write-up. ‘Children of prison inmates in Nigeria are being denied their fundamental human rights as they are unable to access basic amenities. Joy Bob-Manuel, the Director-General of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, said in Abuja that some of the children of prison inmates on death row, live within the prisons and are restricted from receiving visitors, they don’t go to school and they lack basic amenities. “The law actually says that as a mother, you should breastfeed and bond with your child and that is why they allow those children to stay there. The next step is for a relative to come, but when it’s a criminal issue, a lot of Nigerians don’t want to associate with that prisoner/offender, and they abandon them.” She said pressure needs to be put on welfare offices which are supposed to be in charge of the issue, adding that Nigerian children, even the offspring of inmates, were entitled to good education and health care.’ How true! In short, those babies born to mothers in prison, or those babies who went into prison with their mothers, qualify along with other children in Nigeria, to enjoy the full rights of the Nigerian child. Now, life for the average Nigerian child is tough enough with very little access to nutritious food, good healthcare, healthy and adequate housing, education, and other basic necessities of life; not to mention life for a toddler who is holed up in prison with the mother. My club, the defunct Soroptimist International Club of Tin Can Island/ Festac had a project in the late eighties/ nineties at the Women’s wing of the Kirikiri prisons, when we supplied some sewing machines to the workshop there to help with vocational training for the inmates. From time to time we would take them supplies of sewing materials, and look at what they had been able to make. It was a worthy project while it lasted as some inmates learnt and became proficient at making outfits, knitting and crochet work. One had the opportunity then to see a bit of what life behind the prison walls could be for the inmates. It was dismal and bleak, for even though the officers were trying hard to do their work efficiently, overcrowding was a problem as it seemed the prison had more inmates than it could accommodate at the time. Mats everywhere for inmates who couldn’t have beds in the crowded rooms and verandahs. Some tried to accept their situation and get on with life, but many looked unkempt, dejected and helpless. I know prison is not a luxury hotel, and inmates are there for correction for violating the law, but …................. What broke one’s heart most during our visits, was seeing little ones tagging after their mothers in the courtyard, or on their mothers’ laps being breastfed, or on their mothers’ backs while they’re engaged in chores. Both mother and child in dirty outfits probably what they were wearing at the time the mother was arrested. Until C M Y K
Helen Ovbiagele Woman Editor
Those babies born to mothers in prison, or those babies who went into prison with their mothers, qualify along with other children in Nigeria, to enjoy the full rights of the Nigerian child
they receive cast-offs from a donor, they would remain in them! Many of the women didn’t have uniforms because they had not been sentenced to jail terms yet, we learnt. To be in prison and have to cater for an infant seemed a nightmare to me. Prison diet – the quality and the quantity cannot ensure good nutrition for the baby, even from the mother’s milk. I doubt if there was special diet for the young ones. Why were they there, in the first place? While some of those mothers had been arrested or jailed while pregnant, and they gave birth to their babies in prison, others came in with their babies. Some of them told us they were awaiting trial and had been there for many months; some for hawking on the streets or in unauthorized places, flouting the environmental sanitation by coming into Lagos on the last Saturday of the month before 10 am, etc. The latter were mostly arriving from other states. I must say that many of our law-enforcement officers lack human sympathy and are immune to human suffering. At that time, the gsm had not been introduced in the country, so, offenders who couldn’t reach their relatives to come bail them out, were charged to court and then sent to prison to await trial. For some of them, their relations had no inkling of what had happened to them. After looking for them for a while without success, some families give up and conclude that such missing members are dead. Sometimes it’s when God directs a visiting judge to where they’re being held, and
they’re discovered to be awaiting trial for many months for minor offences, that they’re set free! Some may die before such relief comes their way. It’s terrible sending mother and child to be detained in jail, even where there are good basic facilities; let alone allow a child to be exposed to our overflowing prisons with very limited facilities. For a minor offence like hawking in the wrong places, or being out during the monthly environmental sanitation, people should be detained on the spot for the duration of the hours. Then, they should be set free. It’s ridiculous sending people to jail for sanitation offences, in a place where in spite of the hard work of the Highway managers who clean the streets, heaps of stinking refuse are everywhere, even within government premises, weeks on end. For grievous offenders who give birth in prison, they should be allowed to nurse their babies for a period deemed necessary by health personnel, and then the baby should be handed over to an authentic close relation to go look after at home. Same thing for nursing mothers. Such relative must have her photograph taken by the
police, fill a form giving all details about herself, and sign/thumbprint that she’s been given the baby. Basically, most Nigerians are a compassionate lot who like to render help/ support to family members and friends, and even total strangers who are in need. And while it could be true that some might like to keep their distance when someone is in jail, the reality is that many don’t have the funds to help look after the person’s family. Some cannot even find the fare to go pay him/her regular visits. It’s only the wealthy/famous who have tons of visits from family and friends. The government has to come to the aid of the others. Where no relative comes forward to take over the care of a jailed mother’s baby, the authorities should send such babies to Homes for Motherless Babies. On no condition should toddlers be kept in prison. The atmosphere there is neither healthy nor conducive for children. Wherever the babies are sent for care, the social welfare department of Prisons and the local and state governments should fully collaborate to see that they get adequate care and are safe. Regular visits should be paid to where they were sent, to ensure that they’re wellcared for, are in good health, and not maltreated in any way.
CHINA FASHION WEEK 2012
SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 21
We help shape the values of young minds — Anuli Ausbeth-Ajagu Rev.(Mrs.)Anuli Ausbeth-Ajagu is the Founder/Executive Director of Youth & Gender Network-YGN, an organisation committed to the transformation of young minds for national growth and development. Worried about the growing dearth of peace and unity in Nigeria, Rev.Anuli is putting together a national summit that would be bringing together hundreds of youths. She had a chat with Vista Woman on the event which would be holding next Thursday at the National Theatre in Lagos with the theme ‘Peace in Diversity’. Enjoy!
By JOSEPHINE IGBINO VIA IGBINOVIA
ow’s the organisation faring? It has not been an easy journey, but we’re striving hard to make a difference. We are grateful to God that despite the tough terrain, we are still impacting youths and inspiring women. Our upcoming summit will be another opportunity to help shape the thinking and values of the future generation of our great country, and we’re quite optimistic about that. What exactly are you saying to young people with this theme, ‘Peace in D i v e r s i t y ’ ? We are basically trying to awaken the spirit of tolerance and peaceful coexistence in youths as future leaders and agents of positive change in the society. We believe we should teach them the gains of harmonious coexistence and tolerance at an early age so that such values can be passed on through generations. To what extent do you believe peace has eluded this country, and what are the pointers? I believe peace has eluded this country to a great extent because, if you go back to our nation’s history, you’ll see that we were only more divided than we are now during the events that preceded the civil war, and even then, it was a tribal issue. Now we have clear cut religious issues as well, coupled with a new level of terrorism which has brought about bombings, mass killings and all sorts of things which were ordinarily alien to us. Nigeria has witnessed several episodes of conflictsethnic, religious and resource-based over the years. Also with the kidnappings, violence and armed robbery, peace in many parts of the country has always been on razor ’s edge. The huge expenditure on security has not translated into peace and security, therefore, there is an urgent need to re-examine the approach to peace and security in the country.
alking about peace in diversity, do you think that’s possible to achieve in today’s Nigeria? Absolutely! What we as a country need is a changed mindset. Once we are able to eradicate any thought of division, it is not impossible for us as a nation to achieve peace and that is why we have to preach the gospel of peace to the youths who are the future leaders as they are more susceptible to crime, vices and delinquency. Honestly, it wouldn’t be an easy task but it is indeed possible to have a peaceful Nigeria if we all can work together in making this possible at all levels. Just as we are united in sports, we
can stand as a nation. We comprise over 150 million people from different backgrounds- ethnic, language and religion; don’t you think these will continue to pose serious threat to our national unity? We are all different and it is therefore important that we as individuals and groups live together in peace rather than conflict. Unity and peaceful co-existence require accepting everybody for who they are and learning to value differences as an exciting part of our existence. I believe in a diverse society as ours. When policies of inclusion and acceptance which cater for the needs of all groups are developed, there will be national unity.
Many are of the opinion that Nigeria has become too populated and can only enjoy peace if it is disintegrated or divided into two or three countries, do you support this? Peace doesn’t have much to do with population or geography. Switzerland for example is known as a country of great stability, without major internal conflicts despite multiple languages and religions. Similarly, the United States of America is a union of independent states, and over 200 million people, but there’s development despite the large and diverse population. We do not have to be divided into groups for us to enjoy peace. Even the smallest countries
...youths should be seen in that light; as those that can affect their peer groups and milieu with relevant values and perspectives. They can be active participants in creating solutions, not just as victims or tools for societal ills.
experience national unrest. our summit would be bringing together young people from different parts of the country, and this makes me want to think that you’ve probably identified the role of young people in the restoration of lasting peace. What exactly could be their role? While youths are the key to the future, it is essential that they shape the present as well. Participation of children, youths and youth leaders in peace building is an investment aimed at building a culture of peace that, in the long run, serves as an effective preventive measure against conflicts. Youths are influential in changing their local and immediate environments and they have proven to be powerful agents for change. Remember that peer pressure is one of the most potent influences on young people. Thus, youths should be seen in that light; as those that can affect their peer groups and milieu with relevant values and perspectives. They can be active participants in creating solutions, not just as victims or tools for societal ill. To what extent do you think this summit would impact Nigeria in entirety? I believe this summit would impact the nation to a great extent
in our unique way as we have created an avenue for the youths that would be attending to be equipped with skills for personal development, academic and career excellence in order to reduce failure and poverty index of the younger generation and most importantly, awakening the spirit of tolerance and peaceful coexistence in youths and leaders of tomorrow for national transformation and nation building. The agenda of the summit would not only include values reorientation for the participants to shun crime and all other vices but also aims to sharpen the leadership skills of delegates as agents of positive change in our society with inspiring seminar sessions, cultural presentations and interactive sessions as well. Apart from our distinguished facilitators, youths from various schools and groups will be making presentations based on the summit theme. ell us about the facilitators… *Josenta We have a list of distinguished facilitators which include media gurus like Kunle Bakare, publisher of Encomium Magazine; Nwadiuto Iheakanwa, CEO of Champion Newspapers; Nollywood actors Emeka Ike and Eucharia Anunobi; Prince Bisi Olatilo who is Chairman of the event; Mallam Kabir Yusuf Yar’ Adua, CEO of National Theatre; Her Royal Highness Erelu of Lagos as Royal Mother of the Day, amongst other distinguished individuals.
C M Y K
PAGE 22 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
Will this be alright? Dear Rebecca
am a girl of 18, dat ing of a boy of twenty-one. I live downstairs with my parents while he lives upstairs with his parents in the same compound. One day, he told me he wanted to make love to me. I refused because I am still a virgin. On another day while we were playing I cut him by accident. He got so angry that I refused to apologize. The next day I went to him and apologized. He still refused to talk to me. I decided to ignore him too. Two weeks after this, he started dating another girl. Three months in our quarrel, he asked my mum to help make peace between us. My problem now is that the other girl is my junior sister’s friend, and both my sister and her friend are ignorant of my relationship with this boy. I am close to being embarrassed. Please advise me. Should I leave him or forgive him and take him back? REPL Y REPLY
don’t advise you to continue with this relationship which you should not have started in the first place. I believe that teenage romance should be kept away from where you both reside. There is no more respect for each other because you can hear/know everything going on in each other’s
family. Imagine the embarrassment of you both knowing the intimate things about your respective family! Those usual problems that occur within every family, and which could make you feel embasss. You can’t even have a decent quarrel or a cooling off period, because you are neighbours. You would see and suspect each other’s movement, and get jealous.. Then, there is the discomfort keeping the relationship secret, because you are neighbours and your parents may frown at it, thinking that it could easily get out of hand when their backs are turned, and you could get pregnant. Already you experienced the indignity of watching him date another girl. You would have spared yourself this agony if you had a boyfriend who lives else where. Familiarity brings contempt, so, be just a friendly neighbour to this boy and leave off romance totally. Pretend it never happened, no matter how much you liked him, and now miss the former close relationship you had. Don’t eye him or hiss when you see him with girls, just greet politely and go about your own business. Devote yourself to your studies or training programme and take up hobbies you enjoy reading, music,church or mosque, activities.etc. You will meet other boys.
Can this deafness be cured? Dear Rebecca
am a 52 year -old businessman. My problem started in two years ago, when I returned from a business trip. I come back weak and by the next day the weakness increased inspite of the vitamins I took. Later I saw my late brother ’s wife and the children in the dream. In it my brother ’s wife was complaining to my brother about me. He then got angry
and locked my ears. I woke up and became deaf with stroke. I have since seen several doctors including an E.N.T. Doctor who told me that the cells in my ears are damaged and that it will regenerate by itself. Beside this I have also moved from one prayer house to another. A friend advise that a surgical operation on the ear will help me. Please help me. Is deafness curable her in Nigeria?
REPL Y REPLY I am sorry to hear of your plight. A medical expert says the E.N.T. Specialist must have carried out relevant tests to determine the type of deafness, and likely mode of cure, if it is the curable type. If you are not satisfied with his approach to the problem, you can consult another ENT specialist for a second opinion. I do understand how you feel about this problem and I sympathize with you, but you will have to calm down and
be philosophical about it. Experts say that it is not what happens that matters, rather, it is the way you take it. I know that it is the person involved in a problem like this who feels it most, but you have to make the best you can of the situation. If the ENT specialist is indeed right about the damaged nerves getting better, have faith in God, and expect your your hearing to be return at God’s own time. When a vital part of you r body is damaged, we are completely devastated and we thrash about looking for an immediate solution. We want a miracle suddenly so that things can be as before, but God hardly works that way. Be patient.
Will charms work on her? Dear Rebecca
am 26-years-old in love with a girl of 20. We are from the same State, but from different towns and dialects. I work, while she works part time pending when she will get admission into the university. We have been going out for about five years now. My problem is that her parents have told her she cannot marry a boy from my area especially because her mother’s sister did and died. All members of my family both at home and in Lagos approved our relationship. Because of this ordeal, she once had to go out with another boy to please her parents. We have both sworn not
to abandon each other. I plan traveling to abroad and I have also made an arrangement for her to join me later. In fact all her papers are with me. We love each other very much. How do I get her parents approval so that we can both have rest of mind? Friends are advising me to use the quran as I am a competent Alfa, to do a prayer that will make her parents like me. Please help. Worried boy, Ogun State REPL Y REPLY
don’t know how ef fective your friends’ advice would be but I suggest you allow na-
ture to take its course. It is better to place your problems before God and wait patiently for him to solve them than for you to use means of your own devices, Other means may work for a while, but if it is not God’s will, it will flop. I would suggest that you consider your situation carefully. Do you really have the money to sponsor your girl’s education abroad? Living abroad is not easy as many people believe. Unemployment is high over there too and cost of living is high, even for the rich. It is cheaper to study here in the country where there are families and relatives around to help, so I suggest you
shelve the idea of inviting the girl over when she is yet to gain admission into the university, or other higher institutions. I am sure her parents would not approve of such a move. It is always best to proceed for studies oversea after a first degree here. Then, if things don’t work out, you have something to fall back on, and you can return, without much embarrassment . Thousands of Nigerian are stuck in menial jobs abroad because they have not been able to make their studies. So, establish yourself abroad first and encourage your girl to study here. Later, she could join you. Meanwhile I suggest you
keep out of her parents’ way, and not openly court her as if defying them. Inspite of their ethnic
prejudice, they would support the relationship if after her studies your girl insists that you are still the one she wants.
Establish yourself abroad first and encourage your girl to study here. Later, she could join you
•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
SUNDAY Vanguard , FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 23
Fat, sexy and fun-seeking! T
HE best way to forget a treacher ous lover is to replace them with a better option. But it doesn’t happen that often. The more attractive you think you are, the easier it is to pull. But what if you’re fat and you believe you’re not so pretty? For eight years, Tamilore was involved with a man who treated her like dirt. ‘He wasn’t abusive when we first met,’ she said sadly. ‘Within a couple of years of being together, James asked me to move in with him. I was happy to. I was in love, and despite my being on the chubby side, our sex life was fantastic. When our little boy was born a few years later, it was like icing on the cake. Only, James stopped talking about our getting married. He constantly sneered at my ballooning figure and called me fat and useless. When I couldn’t take the abuse any longer, I left with my son - I had my peace of mind at least. ‘Yet I craved intimacy, fantasizing about sleeping with a man who respected me. Although friends had urged me to start dating, I didn’t want to rush into anything there was no way I’d risk my heart being broken by letting another man into
my life and that of my little boy. My close friend advised I needn’t sacrifice good sex in my bid to find true love. Whilst I waited for a decent relationship, why not have one night stands? “You mean sleep with a total stranger?” I asked her, shocked. “He needn’t be a stranger. When next a man you like flirt with you, flirt right back and lure him to your bed!” ‘Easier said than done, I thought, until when next I ran into Kay! He’s a casual friend who’s always dated fat women. He’d felt my putse often by teasing me on what he would do to me if he got me in a corner and we’d often laughed about it. So, when next we saw and he made his crude suggestions, I called his bluff. He was married but I told him couples often had sex without any emotional attachment. He instantly agreed, lust burning in his eyes. Did I want to go for it? Well, why not? He was stunned, couldn’t believe his luck. Was I completely sure? Of course, I assured him. ‘We agreed to meet at my place. I told him I wasn’t cooking any meal. He was to bring a takeaway meal and a good bottle of wine. So we set-
tled for the next weekend. I could think of nothing else the following days - I was really turned on by what I embarked on doing. That Saturday, I arranged for my son to spend the weekend with my elder sister ’s children, then dug out some sexy undies. Before Kay arrived, I had a quick drink for Dutch courage - that made me confident and relaxed. ‘By the time Kay showed up late in the night, I was very excited. A tall and stocky man, he strutted in clutching carrier bags which I promptly put on the dinning table. As soon as I poured him a glass of
wine, he had a knowing smile spread across his face, a sort of today is the night leer. He put down his drink, marched straight over to where I was sitting and pulled me upright. As we started kissing passionately, I was lost. He was a good kisser. He smelt and felt amazing - looking really sexy under his cool T-shirt and faded jeans. I felt flattered he’d taken so much trouble to look nice for me. <‘Taking off my boubou, I felt exposed - and sexy at the lust in his eyes. He then lowered me unto my very inviting sofa and ran his hands all over my body. Then, without both
of us saying anything, he made love to me. Believe me, 1’d never experienced anything like it before, so urgent and uninhibited. We barely stopped for the next two hours. When we came up for air, Kay told me it was the best sex he’s had for years. I was incredibly flattered - it made me feel so attractive and powerful. Gently, I reminded him it was late he had to go home. The meals he bought would come in handy when I picked up my son the next day. ‘A couple of days later, Kay rang, wanting a repeat performance. But I didn’t want to take things further with him. He
phoned several time over the next few weeks, begging me to change my mind but I politely declined. He was naturally disappointed, but I’d been clear from the start I wasn’t looking for a relationship. In the end he got the message. ‘But I don’t regret that night for a minute - it was the most electrifying experience of my life. After that, every time I feel a bit insecure or ugly, I remember how Kay fulfilled my ultimate fantasy - and I realise that I really am a gorgeous, sexy woman. All I need is the right man to fine-tune my potentials! ‘Recently, when my ex visited his son, he was amazed at how bubbly I looked and sounded. My self-confidence, which he tried so hard to erode, was back. I was no longer hostile to him especially when I mentally compared his prowess to Kay ’s! He later wondered if I wanted us to have an outing with our son. I declined. He’d hurt me once, and I would be a fool to walk into his trap a second time. Now that I know there are men out there who find fat women attractive, I intend to make the most of my newfound confidence!’
grace and ease. Here is a ‘hump’ and ‘dip’ exercise for the small of the back. Kneel down with the hand on the floor without moving the body for-
forward and support the head on the fists, placed one on the other. Never you neglect the condition of your spine. Keep it supple and flexible - always.
Cooling off after a hard day's job
VEN the journey home has contrib uted its share in the overall tiredness of the work day. What with all the anxiety over the slow-moving traffic. Once home you probably go straight to the kitchen for a snack or collapse into a chair for some television viewing. You are just too tired. Now, just as there is the need to start off the day with energy-releasing exercises so there is the need to wind down after work. A fruit to assuage hunger while dinner gets ready is okay. What will not do is a poor combination of food groups which will only put even more stress on your back and exhaust you even more. Another thing, digestion is not helped when eating is done while one is nervous or excited. We must always try to induce a feeling of calmness in ourselves before settling C M Y K
down for a meal. For some people a little vigorous exercise does the good job of dispelling work-time worries and providing a new burst of energy. For those not in the mood for energetic work-outs, some stretches like the plough pose, the head-to-knee pose which rely mainly on the forces of gravity such that all you do is assume the posture, take it easy and breathe. No one is asking you to be a Jumping Jack Flash for fifteen minutes. A little mercy on your fatigued body. But I tell you what. You will be sweetly surprised to find out that simple mild stretching exercises like those mentioned are improving the way you look and feel. And the practice of the dead man’s pose, for say fifteen minutes after these exercises will spell astonishing repose of body and mind.
The practice of proper winding down will even set up the body for a good night’s sleep. Or you will find you are not too tired to tango as the case may be! What stretching does for you * Stress relief: In a difficult situation your body resorts to the ‘fight of flight’ response, contracting muscles in readiness. The situation gets over but you forget to relax the muscles. Gradually, this tenseness to stress becomes the norm so that you do not even notice that you are tense. With tension there is a restriction in movement and a loss of youthful agility. * More energy: In contraction muscles cost you a lot of energy. Once you learn to replace contraction with relaxation of your muscles you save energy for better things.
* Improve your digestion: Your internal organs are held in place by muscles. When your muscles are well-toned, they provide better support thereby assisting the functioning of all vital organs. * Better your body tone: Muscles work in antagonistic pains, when one is contracted the other is relaxed. When a muscle is always tensed the antagonist becomes flaccid and bulgy resulting in undesirable physical distortions such as a bulging belly and thighs and sagging bottom. Relax tensed muscles and the flaccid ones will have a chance to tone-up and your overall body tone will improve. *Retur n of youth grace: With a toning up of weak muscles and getting rid of extraneous muscle tension there is an improvement in the alignment of your skeletal system. This improved posture means you move with a lot more
ward or backward, breathe in dipping the waist till the small of the back is hollow and at the same time raise your head. Breathing out raise the waist drawing in the stomach and dropping the head. Repeat consecutively 4 to 5 times. While you sit on the heels lean
Yoga classes at 32 Adetokunbo Ademola, Victoria Island, Lagos, 9.10am on Saturdays
P AGE 24 —SUNDAY Vanguard , FEBRUARY 17 , 2013
So your wife wears the pants? Learn to live with it!
IBI couldn’t wait for Opa, her hus band to come home so she could share her good news - that she was being headhunted for a bigger position in the company she worked for as the company secretary. “Opa and I are qualified lawyers” explained Fibi, “but he went straight into the civil service and I joined a big manufacturing company. Whilst Opa’s progress was slow, it was steady. Mine was in leaps and bounds - and now I stood the chance of being promoted an executive director. “As I gabbled on excitedly, I discovered Opa wasn’t saying much. When I asked him point blank for his opinion, he sneered: ‘What wonderful news. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to wee standing up.’ I was a bit dumb-founded. Although I laughed as if it were a joke, I realised there was a part of him that was not completely comfortable with the strides I was making in my job. He’d always been a bit laidback and, over time, I’d lost patience with his turning down betterpaid jobs to stick with what he termed ‘slow but steady’ grind of the civil service. “I did get the executive director ’s position, and pretty soon, my income became an issue - every argument we had soon descended into money talk. As time went on, he would lash out at anything to undermine my confidence ... “ The big question now is: with women now earning lots more than they ever did in the past, would their better half be able to cope if they earn less? In other words, what’s the best way to safeguard a relationship when a woman earns more? In her research, a psychologist, Dr. Doyle-
Morris found there were some common factors that made relationships with a female breadwinner happier. She says: “Even though role reversal is working well for many couples, the fact that the woman earns more still remains ‘a dirty little secret’ for many. Because of this taboo, some women do keep the truth about their earnings from their own parents for fear they would judge their partners badly. Others let their men pay for everything in public, including meals with friends so they don’t feel emasculated. “To save their feelings, many wives tell the outside world their husbands are setting up consultancies, starting businesses, or playing the money markets - anything but calling them stay-at-home dads. “With a growing number of men admitting to enjoying traditionally female roles, real changes could be on the way. The most relaxed men are those who have other roles outside the home, even if they aren’t the biggest breadwinners, such as being president of a social club or board members of fairly reputable firms ... “ Grace runs a successful PR company and is married to Patrick, a chartered accountant who works from home. “I used to call up from a client’s office and quiz Pat on everything from how the children were getting on, to what they were eating, even though I had a fairly dependable domestic. Needless to say, he felt I was barking orders down the phone. Now I’ve learnt to just get on with my work and leave things to him. I mean, he doesn’t come into my office criticising my reports. How likely would he be able to will-
ingly help when his contributions are only met with criticism”? “But aren’t we just pandering to the delicate male ego by thanking our men profusely for a job women have done without question for generation?” asked Dr. Doyle-Morris. “Above all, young women need to find a man secure enough not to rate his worth on the size of his pay packet. They used to say behind every great man, there’s a great woman. But in the next 20 or 30 years, that could be the other way round.” She then gave these six steps for a happier homelife for female breadwinners: Ask your partner for the help you need; Don’t criticise his efforts at helping; Make deadlines but don’t step in if those deadlines are missed; use cash to get the domestic help you need; show gratitude; Remind him research shows that shared chores make for better sex life. Just How Good Are You?! (Humour) A man meets a gorgeous girl in a club and they go back to her place. They get steamy on the sofa and then the girl leads him to the bedroom. But once in there, the man’s mouth drops open. There are hundreds of soft toys lined
up on the shelves-massive plush ones on the top, down to little tiny teddies on the bottom shelf. Before he has time to ask what the toys are for, the girl starts taking off her clothes, then she pushes him back on to her bed. The couple make passionate love all night. Next morning as they lie together in the afterglow, the man smiles and asks: ‘so, babe, how was I?’ ‘Well,’ the girl frowns. ‘You can have any prize from the bottom shelf.’ Parents Who Put Spanners In The Works of Their Kids’ Relationships Moody teenagers can be quick to blame it all on their parents when things go wrong in their lives. But when it comes to relationship problems, the eternal cry of ‘it’s all your fault’ might not be so wide of the mark. One in five parents admit they have secretly tried to rid their children of a girlfriend or boyfriend of whom they disapprove. Common tricks identified in a study include stirring arguments be-
will lead to unwanted pregnancy. love is more than these. love is knowing each other well,love is showing each other joy, love is getting very close love is sharing sorrows together Kamsi Sandra firstname.lastname@example.org 08066047789
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: email@example.com Please mark your envelope: “LOVE NOTES"
What is love? love is not just holding hands, love is not just singing songs, love is not just playing games love is more than infatuation , love is more than romance, love is more than heavy petting that
In all my life,you Callister, is the only love essay I have written in my heart. And it is lodged within the core enclaves of my heart. And nothing will change that and nothing will take it away,for no human language can adequately convey the deep sentiment of my love for you. With all particles of my being,I love you. Happy val my jewel. Akachukwu Ferdinand.C. 08063819314
The love I have for you is beyound measurement.
tween them, banning them from seeing each other, not passing on telephone messages and confiscating or hiding mobile phones. Some parents admit they have listened in to private telephone conversations, while others have gone so far as to follow their offspring to see who they are meeting and confront their lovers. Mothers emerged as the biggest culprits, with one in three admitting they have won a battle to split their child from someone they considered ‘not good enough’. Only one in four fathers said the same thing. The study of 2,000 parents found one in three has disapproved of someone th’eir child is dating. Around one in ten admitted disliking them so much that they ‘did anything they could’ to try and break up the young lovers. But one in five owned up to less extreme forms of sabotage to discourage the relationship, including not passing on messages, grounding their children and simply trying to talk them out of it. The study found three quarters of parents have
kept a close eye on their children’s fledging relationships, with almost half admitting the idea of their offspring being in one really bothers them. More than one in four believed their child’s partner was not good enough for them, while 24 per cent thought the person their offspring had fallen for was ‘too old’. Other reasons for parents taking a dislike to a new partner include them having a reputation as a troublemaker (23 per cent), not liking their family (22 per cent) or even the fact that they came from a ‘rough part of town’ (16 per cent). Parents were also put off by partners who did not work hard enough at school, those who smoked or drank or those who simply did not enjoy the right kind of hobbies. Almost one in ten parents admitted their dislike of their child’s love has put a strain on their relationship with them and led to rows. The research was commissioned by the publisher Penguin to mark the release of the second book in a romantic series for teenage readers, Girl Heart Boy: Rumour Has It. The book’s author Ali Cronin said; ‘As a parent, I think falling in love for the first time and the inevitable heartbreak when it ends - is all part of growing up. ‘The best option is usually to let your child get on with it, but be there for support when things don’t end up as they had hoped.’ The study also found parents’ spying went beyond relationships, with 30 per cent admitting to snooping on all areas of their teenagers’ lives for example through Facebook.
The rains can not quench the fire of my love, the floods of Noah cannot destroy the endless root of my love. The stress of life, the distance can never pause or stop the extreme feelings of love I have for you. Baby, I have love you and nothing can ever change it..... Kelechi Ndubisi firstname.lastname@example.org, 08032900530
Angel A.G, Do you know that heavenly angels are already on earth? Have you seen one? I have... just go and stand in front of a standing mirror, look into the mirror, tell me what you see. Take a look at your attractive eyes, your God-given sensual body.Wow! turn around and see what the Lord has made. You are a complete angel of God. I love you. Omorville Umoru email@example.com, 08062486549
SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 25
IJEH PATIENCE, GIRL WHO WRITES WITH TOES!
‘I want to be successful even without my hands’ Attended no special school Made six credits in GCE She recalls: I was advised to forget education
BY FEYI BANKOLE
er tale is eccen tric! What could have made her live her entire life in obscurity, total dependence and waste has turned her into a celebrity. Usually, we hear of such only on the big screen and hardly see it happen before our very eyes. Patience was born with deformed hands, but unlike most persons with disability, she was not immune to self-worth. Like every normal child, she desired to be fulfilled in life, and therefore continued to strive towards accomplishment despite the odds. After her Senior School Certificate Examination in 2001 however, all attempts to clear her General Certificate of Education (GCE) examination ended in futility. After giving up on all for two years, she finally had her breakthrough when she decided on a final trial and this awarded her a scholarship, employment and accommodation. Ijeh Patience, in this inspiring encounter, shares her tale.
ER dream of furthering her education and becoming a lawyer was hindered for ten years by no fault of hers- her birth 31 years ago at a hospital in Delta State encountered some complications. “I was not properly positioned in the womb, so, I was
already coming out with my hands. As the nurse pushed me in and tried to reposition me to come out normally, my hands got deformed because I was being turned all over and nobody knew of it”, she explained. Writing with toes Miraculously, Patience did not have to attend a special school like most handicapped children because she intuitively found an alternative the first time she came across the chalk and slate- she placed the chalk between her toes and began learning to write just as her peers at Ikeliki Primary School, Delta State, placed the chalk between their fingers. To her, this wasn’t abnormal, especially as other children didn’t stare at her, except for some adults who looked at her embarrassingly as she grew up. She soon began to fold her arms in shame as soon as she became self-conscious. Amazingly, she was doing well at school, Patience dreamed of becoming a lawyer and never hesitated to tell anyone who cared to listen. “Education will be difficult for you because of your disability. Look for something simple to do. Learn a trade. Something small and easy”, many told her pitifully, but she wouldn’t let her disability obscure her aspirations. Regular GCE candidate Trouble, however, brewed when 2002 SSCE results for
Saint Roses Girls Grammar School, OgwashiUku, Delta S t a t e , which she sat for, were withheld. That heralded a new beginning for her *The toes that write struggles, and she became a regular candidate for the Gener- own keyboard on the floor ”, al Certificate of Education. she recalled. Rejected by employers Her scripts were continuousAs she moved to Lagos in ly seized without explana2007 to reside with another tions. “Perhaps they were suselder brother, Patience was pected for being slightly dirty excited she could now operand rumpled”, she thought. ate the computer, and she Mastering the computer went in search of a job. Sadly, she was turned down by a with toes! A few years later, she moved couple of employers who to Benin-City, Edo State from claimed they couldn’t put Delta State to reside with an their keyboard and mouse on elder brother, being the last the floor because of her. and only daughter of five children. An ambitious Patience didn’t want to be idle, so, she immediately enrolled for a diploma at TCM, a computer training institute in Benin City. Guess what!! In few months, she had gained mastery of the computer, using her legs! “I explained to them when I was enrolling that I would have to use my legs, and they understood. I competed very well with the other students, except that I had to put my
Frustration sets in The thought of her inability to clear her A’ levels coupled by this rejection by employers soon began to wane her optimism and she doubted if she could ever become an undergraduate, not to mention being a lawyer. “I began to lose hope on my dream, especially two years ago. I considered accepting my fate and settling for less. Maybe education wasn’t for me like I was earlier advised. I began to ponder on small
and easy things that I could try my hands on like people had advised me”. Victory for Patience! Last year, however, as she heard news of her peers making diverse progress, her sanguine spirit came alive once again. Patience, now 31, who had decided three years ago to accept her fate and stop further trials, suddenly decided to enroll for the 2012 GCE examination. Being a member of the Living Faith Church, Ota, throughout the annual Shiloh last December, she decided to sit outside the auditorium, calling on God to intervene in her case, and, this time, He showed up. Patience came out with her six credits: C5 in Biology and C6 in Literature in English, Economics, Government, Mathematics and English Language! What beautiful reward for Patience who soon became the joy of many as she was given a job, scholarship and accommodation by Swiss Biostadt Limited, a famous healthcare company in Lagos. “I’m grateful to God and to Swiss Biostadt for the opportunity to further my education. Getting education is my dream because I want to prove to the world that no matter how one was born, one can still make a difference. My advice to other people who might have one form of disability or the other is to never give up”, she enthused.
PAGE 26—SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
‘We swindled American, European widows’
End of the road for suspected fraudsters
BY SIMON EBEGBULEM, Benin-City
bout two years ago, you hardly could go to any cyber café in BeninCity and get space to work. And each time you get space, there was always a drama from the guy next to you, who will suddenly receive a call and start speaking the Queen’s English as if he is a Briton. He will speak confidently about a contract that never existed. You will immediately observe that he was speaking to an American or a European. After the conversation, he will go back to his seat and start speaking his normal Pidgin English with his other partners in the job. You needed not to be told that the guy was an internet fraudster, trying to convince an American or a European to send dollars or pounds as payment for a fake contract. But when the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission (EFCC) beamed their search light on the activities of internet fraudsters in Edo State, mounting surveillance on cyber cafés, these guys changed their mode of operation. Rather than use facilities at the internet café in town, they now have their laptops and operate in hidden buildings, where it will be difficult for security agents to nab them. However, luck ran out on twenty suspected internet fraudsters in Benin-City when men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) attached to the 4 th Brigade, Benin-City arrested them in an old building located on Siluko Road. The suspects were arrested following survelliance on a concealed cyber office in an old building. Men of the JTF stormed the house in a surprise raid and arrested the suspects. After the arrest, the JTF handed them over to the
However, luck ran out on twenty suspected internet fraudsters in BeninCity when men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) attached to the 4th Brigade, BeninCity arrested them in an old building located on Siluko Road EFCC for further interrogation. Sunday Vanguard learnt that the suspects confessed that American and European wid-
ows were among their victims. According to a statement from the Head, Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, “at the point of arrest, the suspected fraudsters had in their possession forty five laptops of different make, twenty eight telephones, eight internet mobile modems and one Nissan car with registration number, Edo State, USL 375 AG. “The suspects, mostly in their twenties include Idehen Obabueki, Adesa Lucky, Usuagu Uche, Eloghosa Olikiabor, Larry Edomwonyi, Amowie Maike, Francis Ezegbede, Itua Samuel, Endurance John Egbeifo, Amego Ovenseri, Iyen Ighodaro, Philip Agbodori, Lucky Robinson, Nnadi Obinna, Osabuohien Osahon, Chinenu Eze, Peter Sunday, Solomon Ogu, Niyi Femi and Osaigie Aghedo. The suspects have reportedly made statements leading to
further investigation. Most of them were said to have confessed to be engaged in online dating of American and European particularly widows. They also confessed to using pseudo names and faces to deceive their prospective victims. Nine of the suspects were arraigned before a Federal High Court in Benin-City. They pleaded not guilty to the crime. They were arraigned before Justice A. M Liman of the Federal High Court 1, Benin-City on the charge bordering on conspiracy to commit felony to wit: obtaining money under false pretence. They pleaded not guilty. The charge read: “That you Osaugwu Uchenna Kingsley (alias Sam Henric), Robinson Lucky (alias Justin Parker), Larry Edomwonyi (alias Mark Erixson), Amovie Mike (alias Jeffery Ares), Itua Samuel Robinson (alias Park Wetty, King Harry ), Iyen Oghodaro Destiny, Adesa Lucky Rute ( alias Peter Anderson, Eric Stern etc), Egbeifo John Endurance and Egbeniyi Oluwafemi ( alias Raymond Morrison, Mavis Mar) at No. 56 Siluko Road , Benin City within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire with one Dennis Osagie and others now at large to commit felony to wit: obtaining money under false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act”. Justice Liman granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N1million each and two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be a civil servant and the other must own a landed property within the jurisdiction of court. The judge ordered that the suspects be remanded in prison custody and adjourned to 4th, 13th and 19th of March respectively.
For seven years, my husband had me for free — Woman, 35 ADEOLA ADENUGA
e enjoyed my free food, free house. I even clothed him. The most painful aspect of it was that he had me for free, for good seven years.” With these words, and tears in her eyes, a-35-year-old woman pleaded with an Agege Grade ‘A’ Customary Court, Lagos to dissolve her marriage. Mrs Christianah Ibeh, a trader, who lives at 25, Irebawa Street, Oke-Ira, Ogba, Lagos, told the court that since
her husband started living with her, she had been the one providing for him. ”The mistake I ever made was allowing Monday (her husband) to live with me when he had accommodation problem,” the applicant regretted. ”I let him into my house in order for him to look for money and get himself an accommodation but one thing led to the other and we fell in love. ”Since he was not working, I bought an Okada for him for business, hoping that he would pay my bride price, but he sold the Okada, without telling me. Christianah said the relationship didn’t produce any issue and that she was such a fool not to have no-
ticed that Monday was duping her. ”He stole my N120, 000 and sold my bus. I got to know that he had sold the bus after many days of asking him about the bus. I nearly fainted when I heard it,” she stated. ”He is a gold digger, a pretender, and a heart breaker. I gave him all I had but he betrayed me. I do not love him anymore. I want the court to dissolve the union and ask him to pay me all what he owes me.” Monday Egbedokia was ordered at the last adjourned date to move out of the petitioner’s house, but he refused to appear in court at the last hearing.
SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 27
Alaba Suru traders during the protest
Lagos traders protest extortion, threat of market closure BY EPHRAIM OSEJI
raders of Suru-Alaba Market, located along Lagos-Badagry Express Way, on Monday, stormed Alausa, Lagos State seat of power to protest against what they described as extortion and threat to close and reconstruct the market. The traders, made up mostly of women, who came in their hundreds, arrived at Alausa in six coaster buses,chanting solidarity songs and calling on the state government to rescue them from extortion by some market leaders through collection
of levies. The traders are also demanding that government should clarify the claim that the market had been earmarked for reconstruction when, in actual, fact they have already concluded plans to fence the market as it is being done in other markets along the expressway. They said the market leaders were not carrying the traders union leadership along in the course of entering meeting and making decisions as stipulated in their constitution. Speaking to newsmen, the spokesman for the traders, Mr Albert Ezenwa, accused the market leaders of not adher-
ing to the rules which stipulated that all heads of union of the market are automatic members of the apex committee and should be part of any meeting process. “Since after their appointment as new leaders of the market committee last year, they have not allowed the union heads to be part of their meetings. They hold meetings without the union heads and refuse to carry us along on important decisions that affect we the traders. The irony of it is that sixty percent of these leaders are not traders. They just come to the market and sit under a canopy throughout the day,” Albert stated. He argued that there was never a time they discussed about re-construction of the market, stressing that the plan they had was to fence the market as it was being done in Orile Market, located on the same expressway with Alaba Suru Market. “We are here particularly with the news making the rounds about the reconstruction of the market because we do not want to be caught unawares. We want to hear from the horse’s mouth which is Lagos State government,” Albert said. Meanwhile, some of the traders, who spoke to our correspondent, were afraid that the idea to reconstruct the market was the handiwork of the market leaders who wanted them to deprive them of their shops and later come up with obnoxious prices which they won’t be able to afford.
d e b b a st n a m e lic o p ’ e m so le d d e ‘M to death by navy rating BY EMMA UNA, Calabar Anansa, navy rating attached to the NNSallegedly , day Calabar, Udo Edet, last Sun , identistabbed to death a police corporalm Police Aki the to fied as Sunday Agida, attached ’ in a squabble Division, Calabar for ‘interfering is currently coolbetween him and a lady. The rating State Criminal Ining his heels at the Cross River mond Hill, Calavestigation Department, (CID), Dia when the rating, bar. The incident reportedly startedexcitement of the driving in a Toyota Camry after thea-Faso in the Cup Super Eagles victory over Burkin sey ’s Honda Acof Nations final, hit one Mrs. Bast at the rear of the cord Car and inflicted a deep den with the woman. car which resulted in an argument Edet should pay The woman allegedly insisted that for the damage on her car. woman’s deBut Edet allegedly brushed off the ne. Sensing that mand, threatening to create a sce
matter amicathe man was not going to settle the witness, “put eye an to ing ord acc bly, Mrs Bassey, ng him of the a phone call to her husband informined the Akim pho d ban hus her development and for their interArea Police Command, soliciting . ter” vention in the mat the rating reA team was sent to the scene but station. ce poli the to them fused to go with corporal and It was at this point that the slaind to appeal to crow the ed join one of his friends the police stathe rating to follow the woman to , a crowd had then By ter. mat the tion, to resolve and by the gathered, and the continued dem cemen to poli the w follo uld sho t crowd that Ede lly when ecia esp e, the station angered him the mor friend who just his and da Agi he discovered that en and he joined the crowd were also policemnd of interfrie his and da Agi began to accuse hing about. fering in a matter they knew not
Drama, as court dissolves 21-yr-old marriage BY ADEOLA ADENUGA
he wept like a baby as the court said they had ceased to be husband and wife after 21 years of marriage. She denied all the allegations levelled against her including the killing of the junior wife and her child. It all happened at an Agege Grade A Customary Court, Lagos where the husband, Wahab Adekola, had dragged her over alleged fetish acts and nagging. The court granted the husband’s prayer to dissolve the marriage, saying it had broken down irretrievably. As court president Emmanuel Shokunle made the pronouncement, the respondent Abibatu, a civil servant, threw herself on the ground and refused to be consoled. ”I do not know anything about the death of his wife and child. I loved my husband. I shared every single penny I made with him, when he had nothing”, she said.. ”I contributed to the building of the house.I built a house for another woman to dwell in, now another woman will train my children for me. ”If I had known, I would not have contributed to the building of the house he is staying in now with his wife”. The petitioner, Adekola, a transporter, who lives at Aparadija new site, Ota, Ogun, narrated during the hearing of the case, how his second wife died alongside her child. ”I went outside to look for love when I was frustrated by the woman I married; I needed a woman that would pamper me. ”I found love outside my home; but the woman died suddenly with our five-monthold baby. ”I am so sure my first wife was responsible because she always threatened to kill any woman associated with me. ”She nagged a lot, she was troublesome and always in the mood to fight. I did not enjoy myself throughout our stay together. ”She pushed me to have girl friends because she did not give me peace at home; also, I am a true Muslim, I am entitled to marry more than one wife. ”Any time she heard that I was going out with any lady, she would look for the lady and threaten to kill her,” he said. ”I lived in fear all through my years with her, yet, I paid for everything at home. I want the court to dissolve the union. ”I want the court to tell her to desist from coming to my abode and I want custody of my children,” he said. In her defence, Abibatu, of number 9, Biodun Sobadan Street, Agidingbi, denied the allegations. ”My husband was a good and loving man when he had nothing, but because he is comfortable now, he does not want me again,” she said. ”I am ready to leave him, but I want the court to beg him so that he will not kill me. I know I was charmed by either him or one of his girl friends that wanted him at all costs”.
28â€”SUNDAY, Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
Funeral fanfare ffor or Madam Obor oe vw ori Oboroe oevw vwori
t was a show of style, panache and class when the mother of Chief Sherrif Oboroevwori , the Ukodo of Okpe Kingdom, Late Madam Esther Ovie Oboroevwori was laid to rest. The Service of Songs held in honour of the deceased held at Sherriff Crescent, Osubi Town,Okpe L.G.A,Delta State. The roll call of dignitaries include the upper crust of Delta State Government, led by the Deputy Governor, some legislators and many others too many to mention. Photos by Nath Onojake
Chief and Mrs Sherrif Oborevwori, the Ukodo of Okpe Kingdom
Children of Late Mama Esther Ovie Oboroevwori (in glasses is Chief Sherrif Oborevwori) L-R: Mr and Mrs Lucky Oboroevwori with Mr and Mrs Onos Oboroevwori
Chief and Mrs Sherrif Oboroevwori ,Ukodo of Okpe Kingdom and SSA to Delta State Gov on Security
L-R: Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN) Dep. Gov., Rt.Hon.Victor Ochei, Speaker, DSHA, and Chief Fred Majemite
Raheem Apampa celebrat es 9 1 celebrates 91
L-R: Prof. Chief Sam Oyovbarie, former Information Minister and Hon. and Mrs Efe Afe
he 91st birthday ceremony of Alhaji Abdul Raheem Apampa took place at YBO Sodeinde Auditorium in Ebute Metta Lagos a fortnight ago. Family and friends were there to celebrate with the celebrant . Photos by Biodun Ogunleye
L-R: Mr. Onos Oboroevwori, Comrade Ovuozuoire Macaualy, SSA, Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Chief Fred Majemite, Mr.Mike Ogwah and Dr. Festus Okubor, CS Celebrant, Alhaji Abdul Raheem Apampa, Chief Imam Habeeb Ibrahim and Chief Imam Idris Lediju, Guest Speaker
L-R:Dr Tayo Apampa, Mr Akin Ladigbolu and Dr Bukola Apampa C M Y K
Celebrant, Alhaji Abdul Raheem Apampa and wife, Alhaja Raliat Apampa
L-R:Alhaji Lukman Adebiyi, Alhaja Fola Ajose and Alhaja Raliat Apampa
R-L: Mr. Ben Igbakpa, Commissioner, Transport, Mr. Mofe Pirah, Commissioner, Oil and Gas, Hon. Monday Igbuya, Majority Leader, DSHA, Dr. Chris Oghenechovwen, Commissioner,Water Resources and Mr.Emmanuel Agwaraviwodo, former MD, NDDC.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013 —29
Panache as Duro-Emmanuel’s daughter weds
hey say love knows no boundary, colour, tribe or creed and that was exactly the fact the families of Chief Dotun Duro-Emmanuel, a former bank chief and Igwe Edward Nweke brought to fore when their children; Temitope and Nweke signed the dotted lines last Saturday at the City Hall, Lagos Island, Lagos. Even though it was a mixed crowd with dissimilar cultures the two families showed that indeed this country has a future as they blended with harmonious bliss. Photos by Diran Oshe
Parents of the groom;HRH Igwe Edward Nweke and wife. The couple;Mr and Mrs Nkemakonam Edward Nweke cutting wedding Cake
L- R:Mrs Funmi Oluwa, Mrs Eze Aghoghovbia and Mrs Bisi Sodipo
L- R: bride’s dad, Chief Dotun Duro Emmanuel and bride’s mum, Mrs Ayo Ibironke
L- R: Dr. Bose Emmanuel , Head of the family, Dr (Mrs) Yemi Cole and bride's dad, Chief Dotun Duro Emmanuel
L- R:Chief Musiliu Smith, Mr. Ade Duro Emmanuel and Prof. Theo Ogunbiyi
L- R: Deconess B. Ajose- Adeogun and Mrs Nike Olayinka
Graduation ceremon or Amnesty TTrainees rainees ceremonyy ffor
Vision for Life Foundation couples’ programme Vision for Life Foundation Nigeria recently held Made to Last Couples’ programme in Lagos to celebrate marriages.
Husbands celebrated and decorated their wives with headgear at the couples programme. From left: Mr. & Mrs. Awolaja, Mr. & Mrs. Salako, Pastor & Mrs. Joshua.
he graduation ceremony of the first batch of the Amnesty Trainee programme anchored by the Mieka Dive Training Institute in partnership with Nigerian Navy held during the week at the Navy Town in Lagos. Some of the graduands who distinguished themselves exceptionally were given special recognition. Photos by Joe Akintola, Photo Editor
Presentation of the youngest couple of the year award by the youngest couple of Made to Last 2011( left), Mr. & Mrs. Nwakamma to the youngest couple Made to Last 2012, Mr. & Mrs. Olajide.
L-R:Capt. T.A Osoba, Commanding Officer UnderWater Warfare School, Ojo, Mr Pondi Kestin, M.D., Mieka Dive Limited and a graduand,Mr Sunday Kpetu
From Left; Mr Paul Bebenimibo P.A TO ,the Chairman of Mieka Dive, Mr Thompson Ogegbene, Director, Mieka Dive Trainig Institute, Mr Pondi Kestin, Managing Director, Mieka Dive Limited . Mrs Rachela Madudu, Admin. Officer, Mieka Dive Training Institute, Mr Yemie Adeoye, Chief Executive Officer, D'Alphaxristi Limited Cross section of graduands C M Y K
Some of the executive members of Vision for Life Foundation Nigeria,Lagos chapter, at the programme with the founder and his wife, Pastor & Mrs. Olatunbosun Ajani and their children at the middle. From left: Jesuwapelumi Ajani and Jesukanyinsolami Ajani.
Vanguard , FEBRUARY 17,, 2013
How I saved OBJ, Anyim from impeachment, by Sen. Durojaiye •Why General Marwa was suspected of being a NADECO member BY BASHIR ADEFAKA
enator Olabiyi Durojaiye clocked 80 two Fridays ago, precisely February 8, 2013. An economist, seasoned administrator and former President of the Alumni of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, which is the highest body for policy formulation and leadership training in the public sector of Nigeria, the Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State- born democrat put in 35 years of meritorious service in the public service including 28 years in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) where he rose to the position of Director. In 1992, he was an aspirant to the office of the President of Nigeria on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP). He later became an elected Senator of the Republic (19992003).Durojaiye, currently a constitutional lawyer, speaks, in this interview, on many issues. Excerpts: During your time at the Senate, you were an activist-senator. What informed that? It was my background and desire to serve and improve the lot of my people, to put things right. I remember telling that to some journalists when I called a press conference to dampen the struggle in the Senate around September 2002 about the acrimony between President Olusegun Obasanjo and the President of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim. That time, the senators were in two groups, polarized; one working to impeach the other and I happened to know. I was a little bit indisposed
when we were on vacation and I could not resume when others resumed because of not feeling well. But message got to me *Durojaiye... I mediated between Obasanjo and Anyim groups that the Senate, which had already broken into two groups, was planning a certain thing. So the group “Give that child to the woman who Olusegun Obasanjo and the President that wanted me to join them wanted me wanted to…”, that no one would like group in the Senate to impeach the to do so to impeach Mr. President her child to be slaughtered in her S e n a t e P r e s i d e n t A n y i m a n d h i s presence. (Obasanjo). deputy, Ibrahim Mantu. It was my The relevance of that story to my press conference that saved the situaI said, “No, I won’t be party to that. We should not impeach Mr. President experience in the Senate and what I tion because the media and the whole and we should not encourage the Pres- quoted on the floor of the Senate is nation came to the fact that, “Yes, we ident team to impeach the President of that we who fought for democracy, we cannot afford any impeachment now.” the Senate. Impeachment should not who really suffered eighteen and a half Whereas they were friends; up to the months solitary confinement with one b e g i n n i n g o f t h a t y e a r, b o t h P i u s be on.” Knowing the Senate for its versatil- meal a day in the military gulag, de- Anyim and Obasanjo were very close. ity and brains at that time, how did you mocracy meant more to us than those I just give you that as an example in get to convince them to accept your who, just by chance, because they answer to your question that what position against their resolve consid- didn’t suffer as much as we did, to be made me more active at the Senate was able to win election and get to the the fact that we really suffered for deering the role they too believed Obasanjo was playing to the detriment Senate. That we could not wait and mocracy. allow democracy to fail in the third of the legislative arm? I also wrote the report on Odi, the I told them the story of King So- year after returning to it having strug- sledge hammer on Odi, it was the Oyi lomon’s first judgment when two wom- gled so much. Because for two pow- of Oyi, Chuba Okadigbo, that was en were reported to have slept and one erful heads of two of the three arms of Senate President at that time. He led government to be at loggerheads was the team and he brought me to be part of them killed her child in her process. The king said he would divide the dead an indication to the military that we of it. And he said I should please write child into two and divide the living were not ready for democracy yet and the report of what I saw. I wrote the child into two. The woman, whose so the military should come back. That report chastising the government of child died, said, “Yes, fair enough. It was the implication and the way I saw Obasanjo that, “that was overkill. You will neither be hers nor mine.” The one it and I said no. were killing a mosquito with a sledge I tried to get that into them on the hammer.” It was too much. whose child was alive said, “Ah! Great king, please, I cannot right here and floor of the Senate but they didn’t It was I who also raised a motion on watch my child slaughtered. It’s better want to shift ground and so I called a the floor of the Senate that unless you give the child to her. Maybe when press conference. It was around Sep- government paid the arrears of penthe child grows, somehow the whole tember 2002. That was what quelled sioners, we senators would refuse to house will point him to someone who the movement at that time for the accept our salaries at the end of that is his real mother.” King Solomon said, Senate group to impeach President Continues on page 31
Continued from page 30 month. That also endeared our Senate at that time to the people of Nigeria that we were ready to make sacrifice and that jolted the government into action. So, you could imagine now the racketeering going on, on pension funds which has seen pensioners’ dues being looted by few greedy and wicked public servants.
Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 31
‘Why General Marwa was suspected of being a NADECO member’
f you were in the Sen ate today, what would your new motion be, looking at the kind of judgment a court recently gave on a pension thief? If I were in the Senate today, I would call for heavy punishment for such people. It doesn’t need much talk. It is simple. Stealing in greedy and wicked manner public and pensioners’ funds, as it has been witnessed now, should attract heavy punishment. Back to where we were, another thing that really made me active at our Senate was the move to impeach a state government and declare an emergency in the state. There was the governor of a state that was not in good terms with some powerful people in the Senate and there was a move to teach him a lesson. Unknown to me, people had been lobbied to support the motion and, on the floor of the Senate when the issue was raised, I just raised my hand and raised a strong argument about why Nigeria should not indulge in any declaration of state of emergency anywhere, that the first of it they did was in the Western Region in 1962. We were just consequently coming out of the events Pa Anthony Enahoro predicted at that time that we were letting loose a chain of events the end of which nobody knew and nobody knew really because, it was always one coup after another until 1999 when we returned to democracy. I said,’ so, now, you want to have another emergency? What does the Constitution say about situation of declaring state of emergency, either imminent situation of war or total breakdown of law and order and such serious security situation?’ There was another very outspoken and highly respected senator, Dan Sadau, who supported my motion, which broke the back of the camel (laughs). Taking another retrospective view of the Senate, 19982003, that you belonged to, it appeared those of you in the opposition parties were always having your way. How did you do it or was it because of the respect they had for some of you? It was the combination of all
*Durojaiye .... Stealing should attract heavy punishment that because, at that time, there were really very experienced people. Look at it, those of us in our set; Okadigbo was already a national figure before he came to the Senate. The same thing Evans Enwerem. They were all well
the Senate at that time. The level of maturity, the level of academic background and so on; if not higher than what we have now, it is certainly not lower than what we have been having. And then if you look at the average age
Back to where we were, another thing that really made me active at our Senate was the move to impeach a state government and declare an emergency in the state. There was the governor of a state that was not in good terms with some powerful people in the Senate and there was a move to teach him a lesson known people in their areas. Now in our own place, in Ogun St a t e i n p a r t i c u l a r, O g u n produced three of the first eleven: Professor Olabinto; Femi Okurohunmu, a very brilliant young man and my humble self. From Lagos, look at Wahab Dosunmu. He was in Senate before and later a minister; Adeseye Ogunlewe, very brilliant technocrat, was permanent secretary before coming to the Senate. You k n o w, p e o p l e r e a l l y h a d garnered much experience and some of us were veterans in the struggle to oust the military. These were the people and we found ourselves in
and experience too, I was already in my 60s when I was in the Senate. Today, we have people in their 40s and so, they haven’t garnered our kind of experience. I was Director, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), President of National Institution of Policy and Strategy Studies Alumni, which was an experience I brought into the Senate. That is not what it is now. Except a very few people like our contemporary, David Mark; very few, you can point them. With due respect to them, I’m not saying this to slight them. Look at Ike Nwachukwu. He was secretary-general of ANI,
Alumni of National Institute, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs before, he was governor of Imo State and he was a General in the Army. Look at all that accumulated experience. Whatever you may say about this political maverick, Arthur Nzeribe, he was a very experienced politician. These were the people we were together in the Senate of our time. As to the opposition, the ANPP, I have just told you a man, Dan Sadau, very brilliant elderly person from Sokoto and he was an ANPP man. So, whenever some of us combined to speak on an issue, our colleagues in the PDP didn’t joke with it. I remember there was one of us f r o m A d a m a w a , I c a n ’t remember his name just now but he was much younger than Jubril Aminu. He said, “Oga, how could you think this out?” And I remember the day I sang Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s song on the floor of the Senate in January of 2002 where he sang, “Trouble sleeps, yonga go wake am. Wetin you go find? Na wahalaaa you go find.” There must have been a serious issue that necessitated that because, as a Nigerian leader of Yoruba extraction, using songs as a means of buttressing points are not far-fetched. What was the issue? At that time, the friendship
between the President of the Republic, Obasanjo, and the President of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim, was at its peak. There was this Electoral Bill that we made some amendments to. Somehow between our approval and the time of President’s assent, there was an alteration and then the bill came back to the Senate for debate. Furious debate. Then I said the honourable thing was to call that bill back, repeal it and re-enact it back to the way we wanted it to be. I said that was the only way out. If you do not d o i t t h a t w a y, y o u a r e n ’t ready. Then the Senate President, Anyim, out of sympathy to his party at that time, said,’ no, no, no, there could be a way out,’ and I said, “Look, let me sing t h e F e l a A n i k u l a p o - K u t i ’s song for you” ;and I sang that song on the floor of the house (laughs). It was before the end of that year that the relationship between the two of them; Obasanjo and Anyim, went sour. And what I said in J a n u a r y, I s a i d i t a g a i n i n September. All within nine months in 2002. These are the real reasons my name was prominent in the Senate at that time. I still remember now that the very first motion that was unanimously approved on the floor of that Senate (19992003) was moved by me. What motion and what was it about? That was in June 1999 when we were newly sworn-in. The very first call of President Obasanjo administration was to kill the queues at filling stations. That was the first of his achievements, I can remember. Before he was swornin, everybody was suffering at filling stations from long queues. I didn’t remember how he did it but, within a month of his assuming office, he cleared all that. He was sworn-in on May 29, 1999 and, within a month, the queues disappeared. Fuel was made a v a i l a b l e . We w e r e j u s t enjoying that return to normalcy when the trade unions; two of them in the petroleum sector, NUPENG and the other, gave notice that they were going on strike in July of 1999. I think it was about something due to them that was not paid. They said they would go on strike if that was not done. It was about a week that the. newspapers had been reporting it that I moved a motion in
Continues on page 32
Vanguard , FEBRUARY 17,, 2013
‘I was the one MKO Abiola nominated to represent his interest at the inner-caucus of NADECO’ Continued from page 31 the Senate that we should intervene and prevail on government to talk to them and probably meet their request so that we did not revert to the suffering we just got out of. The motion was unanimously approved. That was within the first three weeks of our assumption of office. That was what sold me out to the media that this is the man whose opinion will carry weight in this Senate. It was so too with some of my colleagues who were also moving such wonderful motions that really worked. What were the challenges? In all, people were criticizing us that we were not militant enough in opposition to the government. And what was your reaction to that? And I said,’ look, we are here to construct not to break’. Breaking that government would be breaking democracy. So, that we should just criticize the government and give alternatives to them about what they should do. Like I did that January 2002 when I asked the house to recall the Electoral Bill, repeal it and reenact it the way we wanted it to be. I think the Alliance for Democracy (AD),my party, was already planning what they wanted to do in 2003 but ours as senators was just to do what was necessary. It is also important to look at some of the things you have not spoken about. NADECO; what was the General Mohammed Marwa connection, which people said almost cost him his life following the series of bomb attacks allegedly masterminded by the Head of State, General Sani Abacha’s Strike Force? Was he truly a member? No, no, no. As far as I remember, Marwa was not part of NADECO and I don’t think he claimed to be. Why then did your activities as NADECO thrive under his watch as military administrator of Lagos? Well, he could be a sympathizer of NADECO and he might be a fellow traveler of NADECO, that is sharing our aspiration to put an end to military rule and realization of June 12, 1993 election result and so on. Yes, we had many sympathizers and supporters and they formed their own
enclaves and their own groups in various parts of the South West. And those days, South South too and some pockets of it in the South East. But the real NADECO, those who we called NADECO, attended NADECO meetings presided over by Pa Anthony Enahoro, there was no time we were ever up to 30. There was no meeting of NADECO that we held that people were up to 30 and I was there throughout until the time I was kidnapped (laughs) and put in Abacha prison. The highest we ever had was between 20 and 22. When we were many, 25; people who were NADECO, we could count them on the tip of our fingers. And those were the few people that shook… T he whole nation. But somehow the impact we made was so strong that there was spillover in other parts of the country. There was a time when we knew that government had planted moles in our midst, we were always minding now what we were doing.
Olabiyi Durojaiye (laughs). I was the one MKO Abiola nominated to represent his interest at the inner-caucus of NADECO. So, I was one of the first eleven of NADECO. So Chief MKO Abiola was part of NADECO even from prison? Definitely he was but, through his wife, Kudirat Abiola. She never attended our meetings but she was being briefed and she was a fearless fighter in her own rights. But the information we gathered later was that there was a mole planted in our midst and you could see the mole in her aide. Because they were asking, ‘This lady hasn’t got that kind of education to be drafting the kind of speeches she was giving. Somebody must be drafting her speeches for her and pointing for her the way to go’. Most times they mentioned my name. And were you? No, the truth is, Kudirat never asked me to write anything for her. She was just committed on her own and was working. I was not aware of any of
Immediately I arrived home from that meeting, that same day, it was Easter Monday, and that time we had this telephone box with tape recorder; playing back my recorded voice messages, I heard, ‘Welcome back. We have been watching your movements’ The number of those who were attending our meetings was reduced to eleven. In fact it was reduced to nine with one accredited to Papa Ajasin, the real head of the movement but because of age, he was already in his 80s and distance, he was based in Owo, Ondo State. And so he could not be coming to Lagos for the meetings. So he was asked to nominate one person he could trust to be in the NADECO exclusive group. That was number ten. The number eleven person was the nominee of MKO Abiola. Somebody he could trust to represent him and pass information across to him because at that time he was in prison. And do you know who he nominated? I don’t know.
those things. If anybody was to draft anything for her or to tell her what to do, I was likely to be that person because o f t h e c l o s e n e s s . A b i o l a ’s house is just across here (Opebi, Ikeja). Now, that was the report that was getting to government. They sent warnings to me and I received anonymous warnings too. There was one of the top security officers when we went to a meeting and he called me to one side and said to me, “Everyday we have report that you are one of the brains behind NADECO and we respect you.” The man is still alive and I don’t want to mention his name. He said, “We respect you and we like you.” I had been their President of the Alumni of National Institute (ANI). He
*Durojaiye ... I opted out of OPC said to me, “Don’t let us hate you. General Abacha is worried about this group that wants to destabilize the country.” I told him that I did not plan to destabilize the country but that I operated purely on principle of justice and fair play. And that if Abacha had won an election and MKO Abiola were to be a soldier and denied him the mandate, I will fight Abiola in favour of Abacha to restore his mandate. I said that the military should not have allowed Abiola to contest that election. Maybe they did not expect him to win because, I said, once they allowed him to contest the election and he won, they should allow him to rule.
as it as a result of your not shifting ground that Abacha ordered that you should be picked up and sent to prison? That was the conclusion anybody following what was going on could arrive at. They had been giving me anonymous calls and one of the top security officers had confronted me physically. Yet I did not change position. There was this very first meeting that Fredrick Fasehun called when he was about to establish the OPC, Oodua People’s Congress. He just felt that the way things were going, we had to use some form of militancy. We got into that meeting, which was held outside Lagos in a town in Remo. Immediately I arrived at that meeting, I told Fasehun that
there are some faces there I was not familiar with, that they were faces of young people who looked like students and I asked him, “Are you sure these are not on the payroll of government because what we are doing amounts to treason?” If we must use militancy, it amounts to treason. I said those young people looked strange to me and I asked if he was sure of them. He said they were very good people defending our own terrain. I said okay. Immediately I arrived home from that meeting, that same day, it was Easter Monday, and that time we had this telephone box with tape recorder; playing back my recorded voice messages I heard, “Welcome back. We have been watching your movement.” Was it that serious? I’m telling you and it went on, “Be careful which company you keep because we are watching you.” To me, that was too strange a coincidence. I just returned from a meeting and that was recorded telephone voice message here. Then I told Fasehun, “I don’t think I will like to continue with you in this thing.” He had my support initially but I didn’t take part in any of those things. I got fully involved in NADECO because NADECO did not have anything of militancy. All NADECO had was using the press and arousing public opinions that somebody who had won an election should be made to rule. That was what i belonged to.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 33
Those seeking to kill PIB are looking for trouble’ BY OKEY NDIRIBE AND EMMAN OVUAKPORIE Hon Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, a lawyer, represents Abia State in the House of Representatives. He is said to have moved the highest number of motions on the floor of the House. In this interview, he speaks on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB; Nigeria’s centenary celebrations and other national issues. Excerpts:
Some people abroad are very fearful of Nigeria
Nigeria is now a safe haven. So we should copy and copy well. Even India and SriLanka just left a strong civil war but you can see how they’ve grown, what they’ve achieved. They showcase it. So there is nothing wrong if we also use this opportunity to
HE Federal Government is celebrating Nigeria’s centenary. How do you see it? Well, hundred years is not just hundred days. Anybody who survives or stays alive for hundred years, it is worth celebrating. In Nigeria’s case, I’ll not say that we do not have what to celebrate or why we should be happy but we have more to desire. And I think that we should use the centenary celebration to do a giant leap. Now we are hundred years since amalgamation; we have no reason to quarrel. It should be celebration of unification. It should be a celebration of advancement. It should be a celebration of achievement. So the necessary roadmap for us to move forward should be laid and integrated in that celebration. If I understand the Secretary to the Government of the Federation very well, he was saying that it would be fashioned after Singapore, Malaysia and others. I hope we truly do that. Let the Nigerian factor not catch up with the celebrations. It should be done with the mindset that the people are suffering. It should be done with projection that it will bring revenue, confidence and show maturity. If we are hundred years as a nation, it means we are now mature. In fact, we should no longer be saying that Nigeria is quite young and so on because, at the age of a hundred years as a nation, we should have something to show. Let this be the real beginning of the road towards development. Not that we budget billions now and treat it like we have seen in other activities, projects in the past. I don’t agree with a situation where in trying to celebrate the centenary, we throw our people into deeper poverty by going to buy 200 BMW cars, etc. No! we should put in place what will attract investors; what will make people to believe that
should not be a mixture of residents and business so that foreigners can come there with a view that they are going to do business. And the nature of it could be industry, export or manufacturing designated, just like Oneal. If you see what was
Anybody who wants to kill PIB wants to foment trouble in Nigeria. I’m from Abia State, an oil producing area. Oil shouldn’t be a curse. If you know the effect of oil exploitation and exploration, you’ll weep for the people from the oil producing states
showcase what we have too. The civil servants should not use that as an opportunity to feed fat on the nation. They should cut the budget very carefully to achieve their target. The concept is good, fair and nice if only and only if we have a focus, what we’re going to achieve and do that effectively, then it’s worth c e l e b r a t i n g . Are you in support of the proposal that government is going to build a centenary city in Abuja that would be purely private- sector driven? Yes I am. It’s just like when you have free zone. I sponsored a Bill on having trade zones. All over the world, you must have places where you can come in and you know you’re going purely for business. It
done there, it is fantastic. Because it is an export free zone, it appears as if you’re not in Nigeria; you’re manufacturing in Nigeria but it is like you’re not working in Nigeria. So, I quite agree provided only people who can actualize and manage it are sourced and used. And it should not be politicized. It should be properly financed; not when you budget this and you do otherwise. There must be a completion period. For instance, if you start it, you give a time frame that in the next 48 months or three years, it should be completed. But if you take ten years to build it, the purpose is defeated. Ajaokuta is suffering today because of this. So let it not be a white elephant project. If you get to your constituency
and somebody stands up to you saying “Honourable, this whole idea of centenary celebration that you people are introducing, forcing it down our throat, was it part of the agenda for which we voted you? Isn’t it going to be diversionary from the issues which we voted you?” How will you respond? My response will be that they voted us and our agenda was that we will be there for good governance, development, accountability, sincerity, o p e n n e s s . The celebration, if it works according to plan, will bring about the realization of the agenda of good governance. If there’s no commerce, how would the constituency s u r v i v e ? If there’s no exchange of ideas, how would technology be transferred. Let me tell you the open truth, some people abroad are very fearful of Nigeria. But if you create a zone where they can come and do their things at home, they ‘ll come down. If that happens for instance, we can compel Toyota Japan. We’re not buying your cars again except it’s manufactured in Nigeria. And you tell them go to the centenary camp and set up their factory. You can compel Kia Motors,’ we’re not buying your cars again, go and start here’. Do you know that Toyota South Africa is among the best? Toyota Dubai, that’s what we use here, not even Japan. South Africa won the best award on BMW better that German the owner. A foreigner comes around to build an industry and he is provided a place where he can operate. So if that’s what they’re planning, fine. But if they are planning to get some money and buy estates here and there, then there is a big problem. And there should be a rider that nobody in government should own an estate there directly or i n d i r e c t l y . What is happening to the Petroleum Industry Bill? We are hearing that it may not be passed into law by the National Assembly at the end of the day. Anybody who wants to kill PIB wants to foment trouble in Nigeria. I’m from Abia State, an oil producing area. Oil shouldn’t be a curse. If you know the effect of oil exploitation and exploration, you’ll weep for the people from the oil producing states.. Until people are opportune to go to these regions and see the level of impoverishment,
suffering occasioned by exploration, you’ll not understand the problem. Do you know that we must change our roofs every 35years. Gas flaring, whether you use long span or iron, you must change it because of the immense corrosion. Do you know the level of blindness caused by that emission. Those who live in the riverine areas, their aquatic life is completely gone. You see, when you bring a typical Bayelsa man to Abuja, the first thing is that he wants to kill anybody who comes his way. 90% of Abuja is oil money? And then he lives in rubbish down there. If we’ll not pass PIB, then you must give us resource control to pay government tax. But anybody who is frustrating it is planning for war, he is trying to cause trouble. What is annoying some people is that the affected communities are going to be given some money. What is wrong in that? If you do not want that, okay let us go back to the regional basis where we have derivatives of 50% or so. We remember the days of cocoa, groundnut and oil palm etc; so why would the formular change now? The best part of Ibadan came from cocoa money, the tallest building came from it as well; how about the groundnut pyramid? The east survived on palm oil money. Oil is still oil. Of course palm oil is still expensive than crude oil because a bottle of palm oil is how much? It is about N200. A litre of crude oil is about 9 dollars. But what i am saying is that those who suffer this deprivation should be able to enjoy some compensation. Let’s copy the American or Dutch formular. In a region where oil is found, they have a way of making the people not to suffer so much. They are partakers in the system. PIB is there to address and regulate oil sector, make the people who are suffering to also benefit. If you are close to where they do oil exploration, you will not be happy. They cage you. They restrict your m o v e m e n t . Just like what is happening in Abuja today, the Gwari or Gbagi people, tomorrow, they will wake up and find that there is no land again to call their own. Look at what government is doing with them in the name of settlement. A man is living in a hut with his cattle and farm land. You go and and build a modern house(2- bedroom) for him. He has seven children. Now he’s going there with the seven children. In the next few years, his children will be 18 and married. Where will they go to? No land, no farm and no school. After few years, you catch up with them there again. You make them relocate and become permanent wanderers.
PAGE 34—SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013 BY UDEME CLEMENT
for the relocation of the popular Computer Village to de-congest Ikeja, and ensure urban renewal, some operators and residents in the area, which houses thousands of technology companies, are agitating and questioning government sincerity about the project. The cry of the people has come to the point where attention is attracted to the issue to ascertain why the exercise is foot-dragging. The residents stressed the urgent need for the pre-qualified companies to be allowed to do the actual bidding for the project to kick-off, if government is committed to enhancing economic growth and development for the benefits of the masses, even as they laud government’s effort to make Katangowa a global market to reckon with. While some residents of Ikeja complained about the rowdiness and un-organised manner in which various activities go on in the place, many operators of technology companies said that they were worried about the manner in which touts infiltrated the market with fake products, thereby giving genuine dealers a bad image. Some residents, who spoke with our correspondent when Sunday Vanguard visited the place, said, “We were happy when the prequalifying bidding was done, hoping that the actual bidding will take place for the project to start. At present, we are suspicious about the attitude of government in handling this project. Over three years after the pre-qualifying bidding was done, nothing is happening. It is quite obvious that there may be personal and underlying interests in government to either frustrate the exercise or twist the previous pre-qualifying exercise to suit their selfish desires.” A dealer in the Computer Mega City axis of the market, Mr. Charles (surname withheld), spoke in the same vein. He said, “The initiative by government to rebuild the Computer Village and rehabilitate Katangowa market, which is in a dilapidating state, with refuse dumped at every corner of the market, is laudable, but there seems to be strong underlying interest that is hindering the commencement of the project. Why should personal interest override infrastructure development, even to the detriment of the masses, which government has a duty to protect? This is the major reason our economy is
Controversy dogs Computer Village relocation The good, the bad and the ugly inside market
Computer Village, Ikeja.....When will the raging controversy be over? backward.” He continued, “We are aware that the pre-qualified bidders who went through due process are eager to bid and commence the project, but the delay from government is causing the project a set back. We are watching and must monitor this project to a logical conclusion. If government and those in the ministry are sincere, let them come out and give the masses a specific time-table, on how soon, the project will start. They should let the residents of Ikeja know what is holding this project after the pre-qualification bidding exercise was done successfully. The un-necessary delay in this exercise explains incessant failures of public private partnership initiatives in Nigeria , with adverse consequences on economic development. If Lagos State government is working on this
VER three years after the prequalifying bidding exercise embarked upon by the Lagos State government
If government and those in the ministry are sincere, let them come out and give the masses a specific time-table, on how soon, the project will start
project, what time-table does government have for the pre-qualified companies to bid for the project to commence? Why should the interest of few individuals in the corridors of power override public interest, thereby hindering economic growth and development?” When contacted, the
company that has the financial capacity and engineering experience to handle the project. We have no problem about that, but we want to be carried along and must be fully involved in the whole process because we are the dealers involved. We do not want to leave everything for government to do. We are talking with government and it is imperative to reach agreement on a win-win situation, so that when the project is finally executed, the place can be fully utilised for the intended purpose.” He added: “We believe that the project may commence soon since our negotiation with government is on-going. We are also calling on the State government to carry out a comprehensive environmental impact assessment on the new site to determine the road network, electricity supply and accessibility to our dealers and other people coming there for auxiliary businesses associated with our products. “Originally, it was CAPDAN’s plan to move out of the Computer Village because we realised that the place is too small for the number of operators. We wrote to the state government and we were encouraged to look for a suitable land to relocate. We searched for land but could not get a conducive place within the city, since the business thrives well in the city, due to the type of products we are dealing with. Of all the options, we preferred Katangowa, along LagosAbeokuta Express-Way, because of the size and location of the market. It was during that process
that we had some issues within the association, which almost divided us. There were internal problems but had been settled. So, we are still negotiating with government on the Katangowa project.” During Sunday Vanguard’s visit, it was observed that the Computer Village was filled to capacity with different technology companies. The place is divided into segments such as the Computer Metro Mart, Computer Mega City among other areas. While some people operate inside their shops and companies, others operate entirely on the streets without any company to be identified with. The place looks compacted with little or no space for people coming into the market for patronage. There were also KAI Brigade officials on ground. On the duty of the KAI Brigade in the market, the CAPDAN Secretary General said, “KAI was brought in to check illegal businesses and all kinds of refuse accruing from street traders within the place. We had cases where some of the people you see on the streets sold fake phones to our customers at expensive prices. We do not want this kind of thing to continue because it is giving credible dealers a bad image. Some of those people you see on the streets holding phones are not dealers. They do not have shops or registered companies. They come in here everyday to cause problems for us.” Located within Ikeja district, the Computer Village , which houses thousands of technology companies and phone shops, covers a large expanse of land, measuring from Awolowo-Way through Simbiat Abiola Road Road to the Airport Road. This is the first part of the story. Investigation into the issue will continue and must be exhaustive, as the authority in the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development has been contacted.
Secretary General, Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN), Mr. Nwafor- Ezelue Patrick, an umbrella body of operators in the Computer Village , said, “We are ready to move. The prequalification exercise was about choosing an efficient
L-R: Former President , Nigerian Association of Master Mariners and member, Nigeria Maritime Expo 2013 Planning Committee, Capt. Adewale Ishola; NIMAREX 2013 Vice Chairman, Barr. Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi; Secretary NIMAREX 2013, Mr. Bolaji Akinola; and Director General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Mrs. Ify AnazonwuAkerele, during a press briefing by the NIMAREX 2013 Planning Committee in Lagos.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 35
STORIES BY UDEME CLEMENT
S controversy continues to trail 2013 appropriation bill, an economic expert is of the opinion that the Federal Government may not be able to implement up to 50 per cent of the total budget, when the grey areas and other issues surrounding the document are finally resolved. Also, the delay in signing the document due to the face-of between the executive and the legislature if not carefully handled, according to Mr Sulayman Bello, can lead to constitutional crisis. In a chat with Sunday
Vanguard, Bello, an economist with the Research Unit, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Learning Centre, Satellite Town, L agos, said, “Early presentation of the 2013 was a good initiative, because a budget is an important financial document that every investor wants to see to guide him in making vital business decisions. The budget goes a long way to influence every entrepreneur on when and how to invest in the economy. This implies that without the budget, potential investors may be reluctant to put their money in the economy.”
He went on, “The delay in signing the budget is not good for a growing economy like ours. The economic implication is that, government may not be able to implement up to 50 per cent of the budget due to the delay in signing it. The Senate passed the budget to the executive since December last year, but issues like the constituency projects being added to the financial statement, the bench mark of $75 instead of $79 as suggested by the Senate and other things continue to hinder the signing of the budget, first quarter in a new economic year. Something must be done urgently to resolve the problems.”
True Love never fails
From left: Product Marketing Home Appliances division LG Electronics West Africa Operations, Mr. Peter Adegor, Managing Director,Fouani Nig. Ltd, Mr. Mohammed Fouani, Senior Manager, Public Affairs, PHCN, Mr Rotimi Afolayan and General Manager Home Appliance LG Electronics Nig Ltd Mr. Hyun Woo Jung, at the LG Customers Valentine Dinner in Lagos
Apapa terminal gets satellite container system
ORT terminal operator, APM Terminals Apapa Limited, has introduced satellite-based container location system capable of ensuring 99.5 per cent accuracy of container location and inventory in the terminal yard to aid prompt service delivery at the port. The equipment includes a satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) for containers, and a multi-level container inspection facility for physical examination of containers by Customs operatives. The Managing Director of APM Terminals Apapa, Mr. Dallas Hampton, made this knownin Lagos , saying that manual systems cannot achieve
more than 90 percent accuracy. “The GPS system will also enable the use of further technologies such as NAVIS Prime Route and Expert Decking, which are advanced real time IT systems that can improve terminal yard efficiency. These systems combined will enable the terminal to have pedestrian free yards and provide truck service times for delivery in less than 45 minutes on average. The company is also building N1.6 billion facility for physical inspection of containers by Customs. The facility will utilise a multi-level racking system operated by yard cranes”, he said. He added, “The multilevel facility is designed to reduce the footprint of
the current inspection area and enable better use of what is effectively scarce terminal land for holding containers which is after all the primary purpose of a container terminal yard, as opposed to allocating huge areas of the terminal to Customs inspection. Nigeria is unique in that, up to 70 per cent of containers undergo Customs inspection in the terminal – most countries in the world do less than 10 per cent at this point. Both the GPS and multilevel racking container inspection systems are parts of the Phase three modernistion and upgrading of the terminals, which is costing the company over $135 million”.
N this Valentine season, the cupid’s arrow of love is believed to have spun off its bow and it is in an onward motion ready to pierce through and rest at the centre point of a ready heart. Although labeled ‘Single and searching’, a few hearts might not be aware and ready to be struck by an arrow so long, jagged (and maybe fiery red in colour). Single, yes but not really searching – or possibly searching the wrong places and for all the selfish reasons. Love is a sensitive and soulful thing, which is why feelings can be deceptive with claims of ‘I was in love’ but right now ‘I have fallen out of love’. Most arguably, true love does not fail even though many separations and bitter divorces have made many to rethink this stand point. What many may assume to be love is definitely not .Many of the feelings people get are easily mistaken for love, these feelings include but not limited to- lust for great sex, greed for money or properties, or pride and a crave to belong to some class. A guy sees an opposite sex and gets this spark with the dream of getting his object of lust in bed, the girl not realizing starts thinking “this guy loves me” and then the affair quickly ends even before it began, with the naïve girl being the last to know that what her “lover ” really wanted was her body. This guy was never in love if not he would have married her and the union would have lasted ‘till death do
us part’ for the sake of true love. Another scenario is when a sincere guy sees his object of fascination in the form of the fairer sex, but his obsession
‘Budget 2013 may lose 50 percent implementation’
A guy sees an opposite sex and gets this spark with the dream of getting his object of lust in bed, the girl not realizing starts thinking “this guy loves me” and then the affair quickly ends even before it began
happens to be a maneating, gold digger, who wants nothing to do with the guys true feeling for her and all she desires is the wads in his swollen coffers. Of course the girl will claim to be in love until she has milked him dry. And even when the guy succeeds in dragging this ‘lover ’ down the aisle, his fortunes had better not fluctuate else the relationship would crash and burn with the usual excuse being ‘irreconcilable differences’. Yet another scenario of ‘Love’ gone sour is that of some couple who has pedigree or class that
needs to be maintained or for some others, is the need to feel better accomplished by picking the fairest girl in the bunch, or the most popular hunk in town. This is also known as marriage by convenience, although both ‘lovers’ in this case might have a whirlwind romance and the best of weddings with the crème de la crème in attendance, but no sooner than later there will be trouble in paradise and it is one ego battle after another of “ who do you think you are?” with no party involved willing to eat the humble pie to ensure the longevity of the union. This may be why most celebrity marriages do not last long because wealth and class sometimes affect how people responds in situations. Couples with an average income tend to have more amendable squabbles than those with well-heeled pockets. Although it is not suppose to be so, but most people are humbler and much more tolerant when they are not as financially-enabled. Love is patient, tolerant, forgiving and in this season it is practical and expressive. Love is better experienced than described, and the so called cupid’s arrow of love doesn’t strike with respect to size, colour, creed, or race (and maybe age). When love happens, it happens and it might not be such a seasonal thing with the rest becoming history after the walk down the aisle. And presumably so, true love should last forever.
PAGE 36—SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
AGAIN…Outdoor Advertising & Clients’ Indebtedness A
N1.2 billion Naira (owed a very small fraction of her service providers/suppliers – compared to its size of operation, business associates and vendors) there are many other smaller clients scattered
BOUT three weeks back, we looked the way of outdoor advertising as an industry in this economy, focusing on its potentials from nearly all its ramifications. That effort was a huge investment of emotion, driven by concern for people who have been confined to lack and suffering due to no fault of theirs. For the first time, we did down-play the beauty of outdoor profession (at least we at MC&A DIGEST have written four articles on outdoor advertising practice in Nigeria). For the most times we have had to look at outdoor advertising in this economy, our concern have been its contribution to advertising practice, its efficiency as a marketing communication or advertising platform and some considerations of its practice rules and ethics. After the story we did on clients’ indebtedness to outdoor service providers, word reached us to the effect that arguably the biggest debtor to outdoor advertising service providers sent word to her creditors, inviting them to negotiation meetings. According to the information we got, this debtor alone, owe outdoor companies servicing her business well over a billion Naira. The age of these debts stretch far back three years. On a second thought, we decided not to bother following up on the outcome of the proposed meeting between the client and the various outdoor companies invited to the “debt management” meeting (our categorization). However, the invitation from the client to her outdoor agencies clearly stated the issues for discussion as (a) to discuss the debts with specific reference to the dates they fall due, in small parts (b) the clientdesigned payment pattern and (3) the brief for 2013. One can take it, that the agenda, the terms of reference and the focus of presentation for the meeting had been determined. Fair enough, for as it is, those owed really have no option. In fact, the debtor client here could be said to have demonstrated some level of magnanimity in calling for this debt management meeting. In fact, the invitation also bore a latent intent or promise to make some payment at the conclusion of the said meeting. Beside this BIG CLIENT that is ironically so financially strong to carry a debt of about
At the close of business year 2012, some of them simply disengaged their staff and opted for one-man show pending when situation improves. Ordinarily, one would
Clients who engage services of outdoor companies must begin to learn to respect business terms and agreements. It is even more disturbing when such debtors are doing good business
around various market segment, owing outdoor advertising agencies. A lot of them are posturing as not being financially healthy enough to even negotiate their debt. Yet, as we have profiled in one of our past article on outdoor advertising practice in Nigeria, corporate and individual outdoor advertising service providers must keep on practicing. Consequent upon their debt burden, some of these service providers have closed shop. Over 70% of them today are so heavily indebted they cannot run their offices.
consider business-to-business indebtedness as expected in every business relationship. Based on inter business relationship, debt payment or servicing terms can be left to individual determination. The over-riding consideration at such levels of corporate interaction will definitely be determined, to a large extent by corporate policies, permitted concession, extent of ‘friendship’ and such considerations that should not jeopardize the financial health or corporate existence of either party. Among big corporate bodies, policies are
renegotiated at periods of exigency to accommodate hitherto difficult concessionary changes, where the elements of ‘friendship’ listed above are at play. Above the table, however, there are industry-wide policies guiding most businesses across markets, by which defined sector players operate. Such rules or policies are borne out the need to protect given industry players against likely default in business agreements, especially financial obligations in form of payment for services rendered or goods delivered. So, we find that among legal practitioners, a client is not likely to owe his or her law firm for services rendered and move on to take same brief (or any other brief for that matter) to another firm without settling the debt owed the former law firm. This is almost like a practice rule. Even among ‘Okada Riders’ their association will not permit such irresponsibility on the part of passengers. It is all about cohesion. From our observation, outdoor advertising practitioners may begin to look inward, in order to address this debt issue. Out immediate advice is for the sector ’s association to build cohesion for and among its members. In India, the Indian Outdoor
Advertising Association is so strong; it clearly states its membership is well over 78% of outdoor corporate service providers in the country. For a country almost the size of a continent, such achievement is highly commendable. Its size enables the association so much power to establish and enforce practice rules, code and ethics. The members are sure to be protected against system abuse. It is not unlikely that clients do owe outdoor agencies in India, but for a scenario such as prevalent in our local market to play out there, is certainly not permissible. Practitioners in developed economies such as South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States of America (to mention a few), the challenging issues are not indebtedness and member business shut down due to clients’ indebtedness. Practitioners in those economies are now focused on innovative creativity. They are rather challenged by issues such as technological advancement in outdoor advertising practice, research and strategic planning and global innovativeness (not begging to be paid for job done three years back. And we think, perhaps, the debt situation with practitioners in this market is a call to-duty for industry leaders in this market. Outdoor Advertising Agencies Association of Nigeria supported by Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria must begin to build cohesion necessary to properly represent and protect outdoor advertising practitioners from the irresponsible financial behavior of some clients who do not respect financial or monitory agreements. In fact, some of these businesses were not guided by any clear-cut industry-wide terms. Clients who engage services of outdoor companies must begin to learn to respect business terms and agreements. It is even more disturbing when such debtors are doing good business. Take the case of the GSM company owing so much over such a long term (three years old debt); the same service provider who offers service pre-paid, pays her staff members handsomely, posts huge corporate personality profile…what could be her reason for not paying her outdoor advertising agencies?
Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 37
The way we aren’t! *How to prove Lugard wrong
*Oba of Benin
*Sultan of Sokoto
BY JIDE AJANI
ip, hip, hurray! How do you determine whether to celebrate an epoch? That appears to be what has gripped some Nigerians now: How to celebrate Nigeria’s centenary, whether to roll out the drums. Some agree. Some disagree. Yet, the fact remains that Nigeria’s amalgamation of 1914 happened and, therefore, can not be wished away. Nigeria is 100years, simple. Last week on this page, the caustic assessment of Lord Frederick Daltry Lugard about the Nigerian was exhumed – comments he made in 1926, which sought to present the Nigerian as an unthinking, vain, disorganised, shambling and shambolic individual. Many, very many Nigerians have raised their concerns particularly directed at the interpretation and amplification of Lugard’s views. Was Lugard wrong? Well, the only people who can prove Lugard wrong are Nigerians – moving forward, that is. History deflects the damage which Lugard sought to inflict on the psyche of the Nigerian. For instance, when, in 1472, Portuguese navigators reached the Nigerian coast, they did not meet cave men. History tells us that they met a people who were not necessarily hostile but warm. Take, for example, the Benin Kingdom! In a research work, THE GLORY OF THE BENIN KINGDOM, by Anthony Okosun, it was discovered that the “ancient Kingdom of Benin was described in glowing terms by early European visitors. When the British came to Benin Kingdom, they were shocked and awed to find a very well planned capital city. Already well described both in writing and in sketches by earlier Portuguese and other early European travelers, historians and visitors alike; and acclaimed by all as a world class city; thus the use of the term BENIN CITY by the Europeans to describe Benin Kingdom’s geopolitical headquarters as far back as the 15th century” . In one of the editions of The Economist in the last decade, discussing the evolution of democracy and governance, the Oyo Empire was mentioned. The respected magazine described in glowing terms how the Oyo Empire had its own instituted form of governance steeped in the virtues of checks and balances, the hallmarks of today ’s representative governance. One comment posted on The Economist’s site states “the Old Oyo Empire (15th to 19th century AD) in present day West Africa had a governance system with sophisticated checks and balances that the West is presently claiming as its invention. The Sokoto Caliphate managed very competently an area the size of present day Western Europe with administrative dexterity over two hundred years ago”. In mid-19th century, Bishop Ajayi Crowther translated the English Bible into Yoruba language – as well as doing some other codification for Igbo and Nupe languages. In 1923, Herbert Macauley formed the Nigerian National Democratic Party, NNDP.
In 1933, The Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) became the first mass political party in Africa. In 1938, the late Nnamdi Azikiwe and Ernest Ikoli issued the Nigerian Youth Charter, the first call for complete independence by Africans outside of Algeria, Madagascar and Cameroon; a feat in its own right. All these suggest something: That Lugard’s assessment of Nigerians as “thriftless, excitable person, lacking in self control, discipline, and foresight. Naturally courageous, and naturally courteous and polite, full of personal vanity, with little sense of veracity…” could not have been true in all material particular. Mind you, there may have been reasons to wonder why things want wrong with the leadership of Nigeria since 1965 as was posited last week on this page; that would not obviate the reality of Nigeria’s hundred years. And though some professional critics of government activities do not agree that the centenary is worth celebrating, the fact remains that their criticism would not turn back the hands of time. Therefore, looking forward, what should the people do? The centenary has already presented a good uniting factor that is worth celebrating – and is being celebrated - which is the victory of the Super Eagles at the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations; three of the players even won personal awards for their efforts. The story of Victor Moses and the tragedy (he lost his parents to religious crisis) that befell him before seeking greener pastures abroad, and then eventually choosing to play for his motherland should be a good reason why Nigerians should begin to look forward with hope and vigour that Nigeria is a country worth celebrating. The government has laid out elaborate sets of activities to mark the centenary. However, the most important part of the celebration is the pursuit of unity, peace and progress as the events are staged. Anchored by Anyim Pius Anyim, former President of the Senate and present Secretary to the Govt of the Federation, SGF, the centenary activities seek to Celebrate Nigeria’s history and unity; diversity, hopes and great promise that inspires our people; reinforce our hopes and express our shared values, to strengthen national consciousness and patriotism; preserve our heritage, and document our history, achievements and progress; institute legacy projects as a lasting reference for the centenary; promote enterprise development, wealth and job creation; promote women and youth empowerment, sports and tourism; promote environmental awareness; and promote our national image and enhance our prestige. Effectively pursued, the centenary activities could re-ignite the spirit of a people eager to rise above pettiness, ethno-religious conflict with a view to enthroning a regime of prosperity and greatness. That is why the centenary should be celebrated, looking forward. That way, Lugard’s assessment of your great grandparents would be proved totally wrong. QED.
PAGE 38 — SUNDAY
Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
What Nigerians must know about Nigeria’s centenary celebrations!
PART 1: THE BROAD FRAMEWORK The Centenary celebrations are designed around the key concepts of unity, indivisibility, virility, progress and promise of the Nigerian federation. It is against this background that the following are put forward as nodal anchors for its delivery. THEME: One Nigeria: Great Promise VISION: To project a united, vibrant, progressive and respected nation eager to lead in world affairs. MISSION: To re-inspire the unity of Nigeria BACKGROUND: Modern-day Nigeria came into being on January 1, 1914, with the formal amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates of the former British colony. Therefore January 1, 2014, marks 100 years of the union. The Centenary celebration offers a unique opportunity to focus global attention on Nigeria, her history, peoples, achievements, and aspirations. THE OBJECTIVES • Celebrate Nigeria’s history and unity • Celebrate our diversity, hopes and great promise that inspires our people • Reinforce our hopes and express our shared values, to strengthen national consciousness and patriotism • Preserve our heritage, and document our history, achievements and progress • Institute legacy projects as a lasting reference for the Centenary • Promote enterprise development,
Celebration time...former Head of State, G e n . Muhammadu Buhari (l) and President G o o d l u c k Jonathan
he following are the activities lined up by the Federal Government of Nigeria to celebrate Nigeria’s Centenary. The objectives, the need for celebration, the legacy initiative and the commemorative events are outlined.
The Centenary celebration will present an opportunity for us to count our blessings as a nation, celebrate our dexterity and resilience as a people, and resolve to launch into the next century with renewed determination, hope and expectations
wealth and job creation • Promote women and youth empowerment, sports and tourism • Promote environmental awareness • Promote our national image and enhance our prestige PART 2: WHY WE SHOULD CELEBRATE The Centenary celebration will present an opportunity for us to count our blessings as a nation, celebrate our dexterity and resilience as a people, and resolve to launch into the next century with renewed determination, hope and expectations. Accordingly, we must make bold to advance the following reasons as why we must celebrate: 1. This is 100 years of a cohesive nation that is rich in human resources, uncommon biodiversity, diverse cultural offerings and economic opportunities that few countries can boast; 2. The Centenary celebrations offer us a unique opportunity to affirm the obvious truth that Nigeria is not a historical accident, rather “the product of a long and mature consideration”;
3. Our Unity symbolizes our common destiny, continued existence and development; it is also the basis for our rising global profile; 4. Our country is the largest black nation, the 7th most populous country in the World, and the most diverse collection of languages under one sovereign territory in Africa; 5. The social tensions of our national evolution only made us more united as a people, with the aggregation of human and material resources that has enabled us play historically significant roles in world affairs; 6. Nigeria has made very consequential contributions to the decolonization of Africa and to postindependence global peace operations; 7. The size of our domestic market, our human resources and awesome capacity for transformation is the basis for the prediction that our economy is on track to becoming the largest in the continent in the next decade; 8. It is also because of our size and awesome transformational capacity that, in a little over ten years, Nigeria now has over 100 million active cell phone lines and the largest Internet traffic in Africa both of which are having a monumental impact on our national integration, social relations and economic productivity; 9. Nigeria has over 24 million pupils in primary schools, over 6 million in secondary schools and over one million in tertiary institutions.1This figure of 31 million of Nigeria’s school population is larger than the population of several countries. While this does not represent 100% enrolment at these levels but taken together they represent major investments in human capacity development; 10. Nigeria has over 100 million literate people. 2Nigeria’s literate population is larger than the national population of many countries, and
represents a major national accomplishment worthy of celebration that cannot be undone by the habitual focus exclusively on the problems of the education sector; 11. As a cultural melting pot, Nigeria has embarked on a major process of global cultural expansion with consequences that were simply unimaginable at Amalgamation. This cultural expansion in the entertainment industry - with specific reference to the Nigerian home video film industry commonly known as Nollywood - is monumental in its significance. This film industry took off in the early 1990s and in less than 15 years, as attested to by UNESCO, have grown to become the second or third largest home video film industries in the world; 12. Very importantly, these Nigerian movies represent the first time in world history that Africans are telling the story of Africa by Africans from Africa; 13. Our rich biodiversity, with its varied flora and fauna, allows Nigerians to make significant scientific research breakthroughs in various spheres of human endeavor. The formulation of pharmacologically-certified herbal medicines for the management of sickle cell anemia, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, prostate and reproductive health, etc. only confirm our capacity for using human intelligence to make the best of our natural endowments; 14. Why can’t we celebrate that spirit that builds great nations and civilizations - the unfailing optimism and resilience of Nigerians who remain proud of our National Identity and strive daily to rediscover that special spirit that enables us to triumph over every adversity as a people? In summary, the Nigerian story is one of admirable and remarkable progress. Nigeria’s 100th birthday provides a wonderful opportunity for all Nigerians to proudly celebrate and share in the nation’s story of freedom, achievements and aspirations. Nowhere, and no time, can history achieve total justice. The question is how to make the best of the present. And the first step is to get the history right. Since January 1, 1914, the effort to move Nigeria to a higher realm of unity and progress is the common thread that links the story of Nigeria’s nationalist movement, our founding fathers, and later generations of leaders and all of us together. We are blessed with a vibrant population and our democracy is maturing. We must therefore remain together to enjoy the benefits of our unity. PART 3: HOW WE WOULD CELEBRATE Our celebrations will be strong and forceful. It will be colourful and rich, harnessing and projecting our diversity in culture, the distinctiveness of our vibrant population, joyously proclaiming the journey to a new national order for future generations and the world to note. The Centenary celebration is expected to inspire confidence in our ability and determination to rise above our present challenges to build a strong and united
Continues on page 40
Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 39
Anyim Pius, Mr. Centenary,
@ 52 torch penultimate Monday inside Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Anyim said the celebration is not only desirable but imperative because of the landmark the country has recorded in the last one hundred years since its amalgamation. According to the SGF the celebration should offer Nigerians and Nigeria an opportunity to rejuvenate and have faith in their country and its potentials. He said the ceremony would be used to replace pessimism with optimism to make the country rise above its challenges. Senator Anyim’s message was reechoed by other dignitaries present at the ceremony. According to former
Nigeria is a unique nation, a nation of diverse, strong and hard working people that has remained united despite the challenges that it had faced in the past and was still facing
BY JIDE AJANI
ere Anyim not educated but restricted to his rusty village of Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government Area, LGA, of Ebonyi State, he would have been a very good story under the moonlight. With a voice which is at variance with his massive Sum howrestler frame, Anyim’s attribute as a good story teller made it easy for him, as Senate President, to warm up to the rambunctious former President Olusegun Obasanjo; just as the same attribute endeared him to his colleagues in the Senate at a time a certain banana peel could create a domestic accident. In the last three months starting from December 2012, that same attribute of story telling has seen Anyim, Nigeria’s Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, hold a variety of audiences spell-bound. His message: Nigeria’s Centenary celebrations.
Explaining every detail in the Centenary Project Document, Anyim could just as well recite every sentence in the document. In spite of his very tight schedule as SGF, the added responsibility of coordinating the centenary activities makes it very incumbent on him to deliver for a nation of 165million people. Anyim, who turns 52 in 48hours, met with stakeholders across the socioeconomic and political spectrum between December 2012 and January 2013, discussing, sensitising and explaining the broad objectives of the centenary celebrations. In private and in public, Anyim insists that “the centenary celebrations is about you and I; about generations yet unborn, about our country Nigeria. It is not about any individual or any government. It is about this nation and what we can use this 100yearcelebration to re-ignite”. During the launch of the logo and
Head of State Yakubu Gowon who had the unique opportunity of presiding over the country during its most trying moments, “Nigeria is a unique nation, a nation of diverse, strong and hard working people” that has remained united despite the challenges that it had faced in the past and was still facing. Anyim’s abiding faith, which is total dependence on God, is expected to see him through in the coming months even as some criticise government’s rationale for the celebrations. His appointment as SGF, which was one of the very first by President Jonathan, was described as a right choice. Being a former Senate President during whose leadership a sense of stability was restored to that chamber of the National Assembly – after the internecine battle among senators from the south east zone – and one of the very first politicians to call the then Umaru Musa Yar’Adua cabal to order,
demanding that power be handed over to Jonathan who was then in forced limbo, Anyim again earned incremental respect for himself – this, coming after a botched attempt to become national chairman of the PDP in 2008. His office at the Shehu Shagari Complex near the National Assembly in the Three Arms’ Zone area of the Federal Capital City, FCT, Abuja, is a beehive of activities. From ministers to directors-general and other heads of parastatals, Anyim is a permanently busy man. He applies himself wholly to the task for the day which takes precedence over every other thing. If you refer to him as a work addict, you may not be far from the truth. After every Executive Council of the Federation, EXCOF, meeting, he does not necessarily return to the office immediately. This is because as SGF, he sits in almost all meetings of the government; he is permitted the luxury of having representation made in just a few, very few instances. For those who work with him, they say he makes up his mind easily, given that he thinks fast and can be proactive in most cases. He has energy. For an individual who loves to swim, he should. But there is something inescapably funny when you visualise an Anyim, with his massive frame, in the pool – but you do not expect him to attempt a spring-board dive. Anyim enjoys a very cordial relationship with Mr. President who is said to have so much confidence in him and is convinced that he is loyal and committed to his success. He has a wife and three kids and he is a shy person. Anyim loves his village of Ishiagu; he goes home regularly when he has the time. Can we, therefore, call him a village man? May be! With his massive frame and as he celebrates his 52 nd birthday, Anyim’s main concern today is how to deliver a wonderful centenary celebrations that can serve as a precursor to greater things in Nigeria today and for centuries to come. Senator (Dr.) Anyim Pius Anyim, GCON, is a devout Christian. His marriage to Chioma Blessing Anyim, also a lawyer, is blessed with a daughter and two sons. Anyim’s leisure interests are farming, meeting people, swimming, reading and community service. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! BITTHY HAPPDAY!
PAGE 40 — SUNDAY
Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
Continued from page 38 nation. It will signify the beginning of something new, a celebration of a new future for Nigeria. A major component of the ‘how ’ of the Centenary anniversary is The Nigerian Centenary Project. This will involve the active participation and involvement of: 1. Nigerians at home and in Diaspora; 2. Corporate organizations in Nigeria and abroad; and 3. Friends of Nigeria all over the World.
From left: Chief O l u s e g u n O b a s a n j o , General Yakubu Gowon, President Jonathan
It will hold in Abuja, all State Capitals, some historic towns and cities in Nigeria and in other cities around the World. THE CENTENARY PROJECT This is conceived as a Private Sector Driven Initiative, anchored on three main pillars, as follows: • Enduring Legacy Projects • The Commemorative Events • The History and Heritage Programme THE ENDURING LEGACY INITIATIVE This is a collective name for a number of specially selected initiatives. These are needs-driven, socially impactful projects and events designed around strategic national institutions/assets and or local communities in each state of the federation. New projects and restoration/rehabilitation of existing projects in our communities are involved here and will be carefully chosen to enhance and complement the Centenary celebrations. Areas of high interest will include: *New Abuja City Gate; *Abuja Centenary City; *Unity Squares recommended in every state capital; *Medical Diagnostic Centres, one in each geo-political zone; *ICT Centres in all the Universities that are yet to have one; *Modern Libraries in 6 Universities, one in each geo-political zone; *Science Laboratories in 6 universities, one in each geo-political zone; *Building/Renovation of Sports Facilities, one in each of the Federal Universities in the country; *Upgrade and naming/renaming of historical sites in the country. THE COMMEMORATIVE EVENTS This second component of the Centenary celebration begins in February 2013 and peak in the actual Centenary month of January 2014. It will then taper off with the formal Independence Day Celebration of 1st October 2014 at the Centenary City. Envisaged programmes and events include: 1. The Official Flag-off Ceremony by Mr. President; 2. Military and Paramilitary Parades, 3. The Grand Ceremony with music and Fireworks; 4. Special Legislative Sessions, 5. Unity Rallies in all the State Capitals and Abuja; 6. Special Centenary Prayers
What Nigerians must know about Nigeria’s centenary celebrations! (Christian/Muslim); 7. Exhibitions, Symposia, Youth and Children Programmes; 8. Women-Related Programmes; 9. Programs for the Physicallychallenged; 10.Awards, Recognitions and Honours; 11. Music, Entertainment and Sports, including Fashion Shows, the Nigeria Centenary Beauty Pageant and the Centenary Ball; 12. Scholarships and Academic recognitions; 13. Trade and Investment Shows to promote Nigeria’s vast Trade and Economic potentials; etc. There will also be carefully chosen Diaspora programmes to enable Nigerians outside the country connect and share in the centenary. THE HISTORY AND HERITAGE PROGRAMME This third component of the Centenary celebration draws from the fact that Nigeria is a beautiful mosaic with a national identity defined by its history and culture. It draws out the nation’s soul for the world to see and creates a new understanding of our history, strengthened by our art, culture and shared history. This component of the celebrations will feature the following: 1. Art Expos and Literary festivals, Essay Competitions for students; 2. Photo exhibition, festivals and carnivals, a film festival; 3. Presentation of some of Nigeria’s landmark plays; 4. Re-enactments of our story through captivating poetry and an interpretation of Nigeria’s globally acknowledged music; 5. Acknowledgment of the exploits of our young people, through sports, science, inventions and literature; Other support activities will include: 1. A strong Publicity and Media programme; and 2. The Lottery Project, which shall provide opportunities for mobilization, inclusiveness and supplementary funding for the Centenary Project;
PART 4: PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPATION AND JOB CREATION The Centenary will be a multifaceted and multi-location event. It holds much promise for product commercials, more so provide unique opportunity for corporate organizations to properly present themselves as part of Nigeria’s success story. It is an opportunity to express such organisation’s faith in the unity of Nigeria and love for her people. With the support and active participation of the private sector, the Centenary celebration will provide potentially 15,000 jobs. It will also provide an economic boost especially to the informal sector, the petty traders and the hospitality sector service providers. PUBLICITY AND MEDIA STRATEGY: Strong local and international media is imperative, focusing on mobilization and national branding. The emphasis will be on our unity, diversity, strengths and promise. The platforms to be used include: 1. International press conferences and media engagements; 2. TV Series and Talk Shows; 3. Radio programmes, commentaries and discussions; 4. Documentaries, Publications, Coffee Table book, Road Shows etc; and 5. Robust branding, Licensing and merchandising initiatives, for visibility and impact of the Centenary Mission. 6. PART 5: NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL EVENTS There are national and international days/events, to be celebrated in alignment with the Centenary spirit. Some examples are: 1. International Women’s Day (Mar 8) 2. Labour Day (May 1) 3. World Press Freedom Day (May 3) 4. Democracy Day (May 29) 5. World Environment Day (June 5) 6. International Justice Day (July 17) 7. International Youth Day (August
12) 8. World Tourism Day (September 27) 9. Nigeria’s Independence Day (October 1) 10.World Food Day (October 16) 11. International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17) 12. World Television Day (November 20) 13. International Day for Persons with Disabilities (December 3) 14. Programme with Traditional/ Religious Leaders 15. Dinner with Former Presidents and Heads of State STATE EVENTS: True to our Federal structure, all states shall design their own Centenary programmes and celebrate it in their unique way, within the period allocated for this purpose. The national calendar provides 6 months within which states may mark the Centenary. Each State is encouraged to build a Unity Square in its capital or designate an existing public area for that purpose, to be unveiled during the proposed nationwide unity rallies. THE CENTENARY LOTTERY PROGRAMME: The Nigerian Lottery Regulatory Commission has designed a strategy to enhance popular participation and support of the Centenary celebrations through a lottery scheme. The schemes will raise considerable interest in the Centenary and help provide supplementary funding for the programmes of the celebration. SPONSORSHIPS AND MARKETING: The activities of the Centenary offer a best-fit, as platforms for product and service brands to identify with Nigeria and support the Centenary celebrations. The sponsorship engagement strategy will run on a partnership model, wherein brands will enjoy the flexibility of adopting the Centenary programmes and implementing same in accordance with laid down principles. The sponsorship leverage benefits will include having brands fly the Centenary logo on their products.
Vanguard , SUNDAY SUNDAY,, FEBRUARY 17 , 2013 — 41
SPECIAL PROJECTS UNIT PUBLICATION Celebrating Pastor (Mrs.) Oludolapo O. Adelakun @ 50
A woman of virtues in the Lord’s Vineyard
oday marks a water shed in life of Pastor (Mrs.) Oludolapo Adelakun as the amiable wife of Bishop Taiwo Adelakun of Rehoboth Cathedral Oluyole Ibadan Clocks 50 years. Looking far younger than her age, this virtuous woman in the Lord's Vineyard cuts the image of a corporate woman on the pupit; poised intelligent, radiant, beautiful and confident. A graduate of English from University of Lagos, Pastor Dolapo taught for seven years before becoming a pastor. She not only has passion for the works of God, she was a prolific writer and has no fewer than 23 books on practical Christianity to her credit. As a prelude to marking her 50th birthday, Pastor Dolapo, in this interview with Vanguard, shares how she got married to Bishop Taiwo Adelakun and how she imparts discipline instilled in her by her own parents to her children. Indeed, today marks another milestone in the life of this noble woman as she marks her golden jubilee on earth. She has consistently proved through her achievements and accomplishments in the lords’ vineyard, that her success in life is no fluke but the power of the Almighty God coupled with hard work and honesty. She shares her experience in this exclusive interview with VANGUARD. Excerpts: Could you please let us into your background? My father was an accountant with Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, CRIN, while my mother was a Primary School teacher. We had a humble background, although with some bashing and discipline. You know what it is to be a child of a teacher. We are eight in numbers, six girls and two boys. It was quite a large family with fun and discipline. My mother was very strict while my father was liberal. Sometimes, when my mother goes on the other side, my father would almost run out of the house. He was very liberal and democratic.That of course really helped us. For six girls not to be pregnant or have a boyfriend and yet didn’t know God, it was nothing but the ‘hand of God.’ I am grateful to God for her having been so hard on us and we are all happy today for that. What event led to your knowing God and
getting married to Bishop Adelakun? I used to have a friend when I was in University of Lagos. She was a room-mate. She had an unpardonable habit. Yet, we were very close. People wondered how such person could be my best friend. But you see, apart from some of this habit, she was just a good person. So I didn’t see those habit of hers as an issue. By the time we finished our Youth Service, she got bornagain at Full Gospel B u s i n e s s m e n Fellowship. She came after me and invited me to fellowship with them. I went and during the fellowship, I was really challenged by the person who was preaching the Bible. I never had that kind of intimacy with the Bible before. I saw a man sharing the word of God with so much confidence. With naivety, I asked if he was a canon, a priest or Rev. Father thinking it was the same with my Anglican background. Somebody sitting next to me told me he was an architect. I was bewildered. That night, I made up my mind and I said ‘Lord, I want to teach your words.’ I gave my life to Christ that night, February 16, 1987. I was unable to resist the power of God. Since then, I have been having a different experience entirely and that was the beginning of the journey of knowing God better. He got me married to a minister. That also was a divine choice and arrangement of my life; and that was how I got to where I am today. So, how did he propose to you? When I got born-again, I was already engaged with someone; but after a while, I kept going for Bible study. That same man who preached when I gave my life to Christ started quoting a Bible verse that “Don’t be unequally yoked with an unbeliever ” I didn’t know who an unbeliever was. He kept repeating this message for seven weeks. But I knew it had to do with me, because I believe God had a message for me. Although we were many there, but thereafter, I prayed asking God who He was talking to and the Lord began to deal with me telling me I had to break the relationship I was into. It was a very difficult thing to do; and I said Lord, you have to teach me how to do it without causing any problem because the two families then were already close. One way or the other, the Holy Spirit worked it out perfectly without causing any friction. So,
Pastor Mrs Dolapo Adelakun
BY YOMMY DAUDA & ADEBAYO DANIEL
It is only when you don’t teach them to do the right thing they will do the wrong thing
I broke the relationship, but I told God that for the next five years, I will put myself under a vow that there will be no relationship at that time, I was only 24 and in that same year i gave my life to Christ, 4 years after I graduated from the university. So, between 20 and 24, to my parents, it was like I should get married immediately because I was through with my education. My mother was worried but for me, I placed myself further under a vow for another 5 years. All those who came to me that period were rejected. But exactly at the age of 29, three months to my 29th birthday, my husband proposed to me. He was also a member of the fellowship. We were not in talking terms because we look at them as the executives. It is only when you have a problem that you approach them and I didn’t have any problem. So, I was always avoiding them. At that time too, I was always specific in my
prayer request for a husband. I read a book on Young Shaw on ‘The Fourth Dimension’. It says faith has to be very specific. Anything you want the Lord to do for you, you have to be very specific. He said he wanted a table and he asked for a Mahogany table; he wanted a bicycle and he asked for a Raleigh among other testimonies. So, I got my diary and I wrote what I wanted in a man. A tall man, very handsome among other features. But when my husband proposed to me, he didn’t fit into any of those features I had listed. In fact, I was shocked because I was not looking in that direction. I told him to give me sometime to pray over it. When I did, I also told God that this was not what I wanted but the Lord gave me a word that ‘that is my perfection for you. However, if you don’t want him, you can take whoever you want.” I succumbed to the Will of God and a week after , I told him what God said. When I look back today, I am always grateful to God. We have never had any d i s a g r e e m e n t . Sometimes, I wondered , if this is what they called marriage; then it is divinely blessed. Honestly, we’ve never quarreled for a day. Even when we were younger living in a place where there was no water, he would go elsewhere to make sure he gets water; sometimes, he would
iron my cloths. I just saw it as what God called His perfection for me. You have been married for 22 years now, how would you describe your marriage to him in a few words? It has been favorable and it has made me to be more humble. This is because if you have a man who is very responsible, that will make the woman more humble. It has actually made me to believe that you can have a good marriage. He does what he supposed to do and ensures that there is no room for complaint. He is a practical Christian , he is ready to say sorry over every little thing. All these have improved my life, made me a better wife, mother and a better person. Looking at the socioeconomic challenges of this country, as a pastor, if you’re on the pulpit, what message would you give our leaders? Anybody in a position of authority has a responsibility to the people. Both the leaders and the followers have responsibility. The Bible says: ‘Anyone who resists a leader resists God.’ and if I am a pastor, I should do what the bible says and if you do not want to resist God, then we must be careful the way we chastise our leaders irrespective of religious beliefs. I will only urge our people to keep praying for them. I have seen that Nigerians, are very good at criticizing. If we are all criticizing, things will not work but if we do our beats rightly, things will be better. When one of my children was criticizing the government on certain issue, I asked him to go clean his own room properly. You have to show you are better by doing what you are supposed to do the way you are supposed to do them. Most time we keep talking about leaders we didn’t want to talk about followership. Is it the government that tells your driver to steal your fuel money or the government that influences your cook to cut corner. No. We have to do our beat rightly. As a mother, what is your advice for the youths? The youths should learn to do what is right. I am afraid if the youths engage in bad acts, then we will have a terrible future. That is why it is good to teach them young and inculcate in them the fear of God. Again, when the youths fail to discover the purpose of their living, they get restless. When my children are on holidays, they hardly go out because they are already engaged with their various businesses. One is into photography while the other is into textile. Even while still
schooling, they have their business accounts. They already have the sense of entrepreneurship. Recently, one afternoon, a friend came to visit them and after a while my son was busy on the computer learning more techniques about how to improve his skills on photography. He has a software where he learns, jot down points and as well go on internet. After a while, I heard him telling his friend who had come to visit him that: “ you have to be going now I’m very busy.” This friend had lamented that he had gone to his other friends’ house that they were not at home. You see if parents can help their children to find out their various areas of their strength and help them to improve in it, it will be better than going all around gallivanting and looking for which of his friend to visit or play with. Somebody asked me about the fears of living your children with the computer fearing that they may go on pornography. It is only when you don’t teach them to do the right thing they will do the wrong thing. My children are always researching, trying to learn some new things that will help their businesses. They are more business like and that is why they will not have time for any distraction. The most important thing is to find out what they love to do and guide them through it and create time in teaching them the words of God. How do you intend to celebrate your 50th birthday? From my previous birthday, I usually have what is called ‘ c e l e b r a t i n g motherhood,’ where we celebrate mothers above 60 years, especially mothers who are not educated, mothers who have raised Godly children but nobody recognizes them because they can’t speak English. These are our targets and we make them proud on that day. We have been doing that on my birthdays. That is the major event on my 50th birthday. A life you live for yourself is not a life worth living. Two of those mothers over the years that we have given awards, one did not expect it because she was not literate but she was humbled and very happy and the other who was almost bedridden began to work. It was because of the joy she got from been recognised. You know the society is tilted towards celebrating the educated ones because they want to get money from them. But we celebrate the uneducated ones and give them gifts. We celebrate the elderly mothers and appreciate them for their labour in life.
C M Y K
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C M Y K
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PAGE 44—SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
Why we introduced Galaxy Grand, by Samsung boss
A M S U N G Electronics, has rolled out its highly anticipated Galaxy Grand smartphone in Nigeria, adding a new Galaxy device to its expanding range of products in this category. The device premiered in Africa at Samsung Ambassador, Banky W’s ‘R&BW the Grand Love Project’ album launch at Civic Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, February 15, after a very successful pre-order campaign. The 5-inch display, smart, dual-SIM Galaxy Grand combines the features of Samsung’s gamechanging Galaxy S III and the revolutionary Galaxy Note II, which were released by the manufacturing giant last year. According to the Managing Director of Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Brovo Kim, the new Galaxy Grand will ensure that Samsung maintains its dominance in the global smartphone market, by positioning itself to meet the demands of consumers desirous of optimizing the value that they derive from their mobile devices. “Continuing with our legacy of launching innovative devices that redefine consumer experiences, we take great pride in announcing the
launch of the Galaxy Grand in Nigeria. The Galaxy Grand is revolutionary not only in terms of the great smartphone experience that it provides but also in terms of its value proposition. We feel that
the Galaxy Grand will further fuel the growth of the smartphone market in the country and will especially delight consumers looking for a device with great, smart d u a l - S I M capabilities,” he said.
‘We had pact with Jonathan ’ Continued from page 5 Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Jonathan would have done only five years if he decides not to run in 2015 and would have done only nine years even if he contests and wins the 2015 without violating any section of the Nigerian constitution because his first tenure actually started in May 2011 and not 2010 as often claimed by ignorant and mischievous politicians. He told Sunday Vanguard exclusively in Abuja: “His (Jonathan) tenure would have been abridged if he does not contest in 2015. Yar ’Adua was incapacitated and he was naturally allowed to act. The law recognises Jonathan’s first tenure with effect from May 2011 and nothing more. “If anyone says Jonathan should not contest in 2015, he would have spent only
five years. My position is that if Mr. President is not going to contest, let it be on his own volition but let nobody intimidate him out of office for their selfish political reasons. “Secondly, it is Jonathan’s decision and that of Nigerians at the polls that will determine what happens in 2015. Tell those who are talking about Jonathan not being qualified to contest in 2015 to do a proper calculation from when he was sworn in as President in 2011 and see if their calculation is right. “If the President decides not run in 2015, so be it, but let no individual or group attempt to deny him his constitutional entitlement. It is not going to happen. Neither APC nor Panadol can stop him”. Gulak pointed out that Jonathan deserved the respect and support of Nigerians for being the best leader in Nigeria to tackle corruption and infrastructural decay in the land.
Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 45 08023145567 (sms only)
F PAPACY O RS A YE T H G EI S T’ IC ED N BE
A resignation that lefftt Catholic faithful stunned BY SAM EYOBOKA with Agency reports
HEN Joseph Cardinal Ratz inger, a Ger man conservative archbishop of the Catholic Church, was elected on April 19, 2005 as the leader of about 1.2 billion Catholics the world over, there was only one thing uppermost in his mind: how to make the world more peaceful. Benedict XVI is believed to have dedicated his first 12 months to studing essentially because, though he had spent many years in Rome , some mechanisms and functioning of the Curia were not familiar to him. This explained why, as opposed to many predictions, his Curia was, to a very great extent, that of John Paul II. The struggle against secularization, renewal of the faith, the defense of life and the family, the spread of knowledge of
Christ — the subjects seem the same, but Benedict XVI’s style was mostly the same as those of his predecessor. Ratzinger was John Paul II’s theological pillar for almost 25 years, and, in the last years, there was no important topic, including many appointments, on which he was not consulted. The style was profoundly different, and it couldn’t be otherwise. John Paul II’s poetic-intuitive tendency is not the analytical-rational one of Benedict XVI; two different paths to arrive at the same objective. In one of his earliest press interviews after his inauguration, Pope Benedict XVI charged the media to spread peace and exercise responsibility to ensure objective reports that respect human dignity and the common good. The call was similar to the charge Benedict issued April 23, 2005 during a meeting with
journalists in his first public audience after being elected pope. Five years into his pontificate, Benedict’s vision had clearly manifested in two dimensions: creating space for religion in the public sphere and space for God in private lives. CRISIS OF FAITH In hundreds of speeches and homilies, in three encyclicals, on 13 foreign trips, during synods of bishops and even through new web sites, the German pontiff confronted what he called a modern “crisis of faith,” saying the root cause of moral and social ills is a reluctance to acknowledge the truth that comes from God. To counter this crisis, he proposed Christianity as a religion of love, not rules. Its core mission, he said repeatedly, is to help people accept God’s love and share it, recognizing that true love involves a willingness
to make sacrifices. His emphasis on God as Creator tapped into ecological awareness, for which he’s been dubbed the “Green Pope.” He presented the faith as a path not only to salvation, but also to social justice and true happiness. Benedict surprised those who expected a doctrinaire disciplinarian. As a universal pastor, he led Catholics back to the basics of their faith, catechizing them on Christianity’s foundational practices, writings and beliefs, ranging from the Confessions of St. Augustine to the sign of the cross. But Benedict’s quiet teaching mission has been frequently overshadowed by problems and crises that have grabbed headlines, provoked criticism of the church and left the pontiff with an uphill battle to get a hearing. The fifth anniversary of his election is a case in point. It was viewed by many in the Vatican as an opportunity for the pope to stand in the media spotlight, underline the essential themes of his pontificate and prepare the world for the second volume of his work, “Jesus of Nazareth.” But the fallout from the priestly sex abuse crisis has
muted the celebratory atmosphere at the Vatican and placed papal aides on the defensive. In a letter to Irish Catholics in March, the pope personally apologized to victims of priestly sexual abuse and announced new steps to heal the wounds of the scandal, including a Vatican investigation and a year of penitential reparation. Vatican officials viewed the letter as an unprecedented act of transparency by a pope who, even as a cardinal, pushed for harsher penalties against abusers. For critics, however, the papal letter was mere words. Soon the Vatican was denying accusations that the pope himself, as a German archbishop, failed to adequately monitor a priest abuser. Other controversies have eclipsed the pope’s wider message during his first five years. Visiting his native Bavaria in 2006, he upset many Islamic leaders when he quoted a medieval Byzantine emperor who said the Prophet Mohammed had brought “things only evil and inhuman, such as his command” Conitnues on page 47
Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
BY HUGO ODIOGOR,
Africa and the Papal power game
Foreign Affairs Editor, with Agency reports
hen the son of a first generation immigrant from Kenya announced in Chicago, the United States, US, in 2007 that he was running for the White House, many of those who heard him thought he was embarking on a political harakiri. At that time, nobody thought the white political establishment will consider Hussein Mubarak Barry Obama a serious contender for the office of the President of the US. That was eight years ago. Today Obama is doing his second term. This paradigm could as well play itself out in the emergence of a new head of the Catholic Church, known for its tradition and conservatism even in the face of a fast changing world. Is the CathPope Benedict XVI......What kind of political calculations will follow the election of a new Pope in March? olic Church or the powers that govern the Papacy ready for a February? Secondly, what ia, he went into the conclave ry XII, Pope Marcellinus, Black Pope? That is the first kind of political calculations as a clear favourite and he Honduras. Pope Silverius, Pope Celestine issue. Put differently: can an will follow the election of a emerged as Benedict XVI. His The Age Factor Pope Benedict XVI A Pope’s African become the head of the new Pope in March? time as the head of the Cathoopes are already old resignation is canonically universal Catholic Church lic Church has been charactermen when elected, so right but since this is the first worldwide? By extension, will THE GEO POLITICS ised by scandals and embarit is to be expected of its kind in our generation, Catholic orthodoxy, conserva- OF SUCCESSION rassing leakage of sensitive they should not normally be in it naturally should elicit some tism permit the emergence of he prospect of an Afri information. Some observers office for long. In 2005, the 78- controversy. an Africa as a Pope? When can becoming the Pope are quick to attribute the year-old Joseph Ratzinger was According to Colorado based Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is a reality but the geo- Pope’s woes to some Italians the oldest person to have been Jossy Idam , “If the Pope is the was chosen as the 265th Ponpolitical considerations and who were not happy that a elected Pope after Clement XII Vicar and representative of tiff in April 2005, The British the intrigues involved in the non-Italian was made the Pope in the 18th century. Christ on earth, with infallible press took turns in deriding business of the Papacy make in the first place. So, how long In the selection of the new opinion, how can there be two the German from the native of would Italians tolerate the oc- Pope, Cardinals that have living popes at the same time?” it a remote prospect. Baveria who became Benedict When Cardinal Karol Woyti- cupation of the Papacy by non- gone above the age 80 are not He argues that Pope Benedict XVI. He was metaphorically la was chosen in 1978 from Italians? Where does the exit eligible to participate. This XVI “is creating a spiritual and refered to as dog; the English Poland, it was a strategic geo- of Pope Benedict leave Afri- rules out Cardinal Cormac political conundrum for his are protestants and do not political calculations to give cans and Latin American es- Murphy-O’Connor, the former church. What do you do with a hide their dislike for the Gerthe Polish workers that con- pecially Brazilians who have leader of the Catholic Church living, retired Pope? How are man. The more liberal Guardin England and his fellow monks going to feel ian of London deWales, just like seeing the man who once scribed him as “the The Pope’s decision to resign has thrown up quesFrancis Cardi- moved around in royal vestmost conservative and nal Arinze of ments and Popemobile in the tions of what becomes of Benedict XVI outside the internally perhaps the Basilica coming to live with least divisive choice Papacy? He is expected to live the life of a hermit in a Nigeria. them in the “catacombs of the made by the papal monastery, where he will commit his life to serving THE POLIVatican?” conclave”. The Pope the church through dedication to prayers TICS OF shocked the world on The Fisher man’s Ring PAPAL RESMonday, February 11 here is also the ques IGNATION when he announced tion of what happens here are still doubts that he will leave office on fronted the Communist Party the largest population of Cathto the Pope’s ring and over the reasons Pope February 28, 2013. According in Poland a sense of belong- olics? Above all, how demohis robes when he leaves office, Benedict XVI gave for to the Dean of the College of cratic is the Catholic Conclave, ing. his resignation because his not through death, but through Cardinals, Angelo Sodano, The West used the Pope to which has the responsibility of predecessors braved old age a voluntary resignation? the announcement was a “bolt give a moral authority to the electing Popes. The demoThere is a specific rite conand sickness to the end of life. from the blue”, .and left over actions of the Lech Walesa-led graphic growth of the church There have been debates cerning the Pope’s Fisher man’s 1.5 billion Catholics stunned Solidarity movement. The Pa- in Africa, Asia and South about the propriety of the ring and there is no burning and incredulous. Later in his pacy eventually became the America favour Asia and AfPope’s resignation. Some have involved. Informed sources address, Benedict said besilent hand that tore down the rica which have a population questioned the idea of “the said, “When a Pope dies, the cause of his “advanced age” wall in Eastern Europe and of 165 million. Ghanaian Carone who sits on St Peter’s seat ring is not buried with him. and declining strengths, both eventually saw the end of the dinal, Peter Turkson, has been doesn’t step down for anoth- Before burial, the ring is takof mind and body, he has to defunct Soviet Union. Before mentioned as a favourite to er, unless in death”. The en off and destroyed in the quit the papacy. then, the Soviets had plotted replace Benedict XVI. While Pope’s decision to resign has presence of the Cardinals by He said he had “deterioratthe elimination of Pope John some argue that the era of an thrown up questions of what the Pope’s chamberlain”. This ed to the extent that I have to Paul 11, through Ali M. Agac, African Pope may have arbecomes of Benedict XVI out- is to make sure that there’s no recognise my incapacity to a Turkish national who shot rived, others say it may be side the Papacy? He is expect- forgery in future and the ring, adequately fulfill the ministry the Pope and was recently re- too soon for Africa to produce ed to live the life of a hermit being the most authoritative entrusted to me”. leased after serving his term. a leader with the stature to in a monastery, where he will sign of legitimacy. To non-Catholics, it was an Some Vatican watchers believe command the whole church. The design of the ring is commit his life to serving the announcement they would be that after the Polish Pope, There are some strong conunique to each Pope. church through a life dedicathearing for the first time in “there is no longer a sense tenders from Latin America, Its destruction is also to coned to prayer. the past 600 years. In fact, the that the Vatican exclusively especially Cardinal Hummes According to Vatican histo- firm that authority has been thought of a Pope resigning belongs to the Italians”. Al- from Sao Paulo with a tradiry, at least between 4 and 10 transferred to another Pope. from office was almost considthough as the Dean of Cardi- tion of engagement with the Popes resigned from office in- Only one papal ring exists at ered to be an act of sacrilege. nals for 2O years, the outgo- labour movement of Brazil or cluding Pope Benedict IX, any given time and in one The question now is, what ing Pope was planning a Rodriguez Maradiaga, the Pope John XVII, Pope Grego- shape. becomes of Benedict after 28 peaceful retirement in Bavar- young and able Cardinal from
· The Vatican mafia · The skin colour game · The age factor
Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 47
A resignation that left Catholic faithful stunned and to implement better screening of would-be priests. At one point, he mentioned that when he read the case histories of the victims, he found it hard to imagine how a priest could betray his mission to be an agent of God’s love.
Conitnued from page 45
to spread the faith by the sword. The pope later said he was merely citing and not endorsing the criticism of Islam, but he conceded that the speech was open to misinterpretation. Then he began a bridge-building effort with Muslim scholars that eventually led to a major new chapter in Vatican-Muslim dialogue. During a late 2006 visit to Turkey , the pope prayed in Istanbul ‘s Blue Mosque next to an Islamic cleric, a gesture of respect that resonated positively throughout the Islamic world. At the same time, he continued to insist that all religions must reject violence carried out in their name. Liturgy has been a major focus of Pope Benedict. It is one of the areas where he wants to better balance the renewal launched by the Second Vatican Council with the church’s tradition — a process he called “innovation in continuity.” RECONCILIATION NEARLY DERAILS n 2007, the pope’s re moval of restrictions on use of the Tridentine rite, the Latin-language liturgy that predates the Second Vatican Council, was a major concession to traditionalists and part of a push toward an agreement with the breakaway Society of St. Pius X. But when he lifted the excommunications of four of the society’s bishops in early 2009, that reconciliation project nearly derailed. One of the four, Bishop Richard Williamson, had three days earlier provoked outrage with assertions that the Holocaust was exaggerated and that no Jews died in Nazi gas chambers. The pope moved to repair damage with Jewish groups, and in a remarkable letter about the episode he thanked “our Jewish friends” who helped restore a sense of trust.
THREE ENCYCLICALS The list of Pope Benedict’s other accomplishments includes documents, meetings and spiritual initiatives: — His three encyclicals have placed love and charity at the center of church life. In 2006, the encyclical “God Is Love” described the faith as charity in action, and said God cannot be shut out of personal and social life. “On Christian Hope” in 2007, he presented Jesus Christ as the source of love and hope in eternal salvation, the “great hope” that can sustain contemporary men and women. “Charity in Truth” in 2009 said social justice was inseparable from the concept of Christian charity, and called for reform of international economic institutions and practices.
PARTISAN POLITICAL QUESTIONS ne of his strongest themes was church unity. At a Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York , he expressed disappointment with the formation of divisions within the church between Catholic groups, generations and individuals. The church, he said, needs to “put aside all anger and contention” and turn its gaze together toward Christ. At a Mass in Yankee Stadium on his last day in New York , he told Catholics to remember that all church groups, associations and programs exist only to support and foster deeper unity in Christ.
*His book, Jesus of Nazareth, which has sold more than two million copies, emphasized that Jesus was God, not merely a moralist or a political revolutionary or a social reformer. In calling for a personal relationship with Jesus, it touched on a point the pope has made elsewhere: “One can never know Christ only theoretically.” MORAL CHALLENGE TO US CULTURE On his first trip to the US , however, Pope Benedict was said to have achieved three objectives considered critical to the pastoral future of the American church . First, the pope brought a certain closure to the priestly sex abuse scandal that has shaken the church for more
anger” and unite in order to effectively evangelize society. The pope addressed clerical sex abuse on five different occasions, beginning with his encounter with reporters aboard his plane from Rome . He spoke from the heart about the shame, the damage to the Church and the suffering of the victims. He also spoke with familiarity about the church’s efforts to make sure perpetrators are out of ministry
Ratzinger’s Four Forerunners BY JIDE AJANI,
with agency reports
One resigned to get married, another was made to step down for bribing his way through; a third left office under very queer circumstances while the fourth Pope to resign did it in the interest of resolving a creeping interference from kings than six years, expressing his personal shame at what happened and praying with the victims. Second, he set forth a moral challenge to the wider US culture on issues ranging from economic justice to abortion, but without coming across as doctrinaire or bullying. Third, to a church that often seems divided into conservative and liberal camps, he issued a firm appeal to “set aside all
The papal Masses highlighted the diversity of the church in the US which, as the pope said, comes together in a “common commitment to the spread of the gospel.” These were colorful, musical liturgies and the pope seemed pleased with them. The papal visit did not register very high on topical issues. He avoided partisan political questions, did not mention Iraq and, although he visited Ground Zero, certainly did not dwell on terrorism. His UN address was not a state-of-the-world survey but a call to conscience on the moral foundations of human rights. The pope’s focus was religion and its place in all areas of life. Before the papal visit, most Americans said they didn’t know a lot about Pope Benedict. When he left the country, they were more likely to view him as he described himself upon his arrival: as “a friend, a preacher of the Gospel and one with great respect for this vast pluralistic society.”
t is expected that on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI will be come the first Pope in almost 600years to resign. The announcement came as a shock to the Catholic faithful. In the last 1,000 years, history records that only four Popes have resigned. One resigned to get married, another was made to step down for bribing his way through; a third left office under very queer circumstances while the fourth Pope to resign did it in the interest of resolving a creeping interference from kings Pope Benedict IX, in 1045: He was age 33 and he had just spent 10years as Pope. But the shove and push of marital attraction was so tempting for him so he resigned. A Roman, he was also said to have wanted to “collect some cash from his godfather, also Roman, who paid Benedict IX to step down so that he might replace him” – this was history as recorded by British historian Reginald L. Poole. Pope Gregory VI, in 1046: If you think the manner of the exit of Pope Benedict IX looked ridiculous, wait till you hear the story of the man who bribed him to replace him. Pope Gregory VI left office just after about a year in office as recorded by Poole. Benedict IX, who had resigned partly because he wanted to get married, lost out he failed to secure the bride he’d resigned for. He then changed his mind and returned to the Vatican. According to a report, “both popes remained in the city, both claiming to rule the Catholic church, for several months. That fall, the increasingly despondent clergy called on the German Emperor Henry III, of the Holy Roman Empire, to invade Rome and remove them
both. When Henry III arrived, he treated Gregory VI as the rightful pope but urged him to stand before a council of fellow church leaders. The bishops urged Gregory VI to resign for bribing his way into office. Though the fresh new pope argued that he had done nothing wrong in buying the papacy, he stepped down anyway”. Pope Celestine V, in 1294: Five months was all he served for. Described as a “somber Sicilian pope”, he it was who formally decreed that popes now had the right to resign, which he immediately used. A report said “He wrote, referring to himself in the third person, that he had resigned out of “the desire for humility, for a purer life, for a stainless conscience, the deficiencies of his own physical strength, his ignorance, the perverseness of the people, his longing for the tranquility of his former life.” He became a hermit, but two years later was dragged out of solitude by his successor, who locked him up in an Italian castle. Celestine died 10 months later”. Pope Gregory XII, in 1415: He served for 10 years before resigning. During his reign, there were two popes. “For decades”, according to Britannica, “the Western Schism had left Europe with two popes, one in Rome and one in the French city of Avignon. The schism’s causes were political rather than theological: the pope had tremendous power over European politics, which had led its kings to become gradually more aggressive in manipulating the church’s leaders. Gregory XII resigned so that a special council in Constance, which is today a German city, could excommunicate the Avignon-based pope and start fresh with a new, single leader of the Catholic church”.
PAGE 48 --- SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
08023145567 (sms only)
Vatican admits Pope Benedict had secret heart surgery The Pope had a pacemaker fitted less than three months before the announcement of his resignation, in an operation that had remained a secret until Tuesday. By SAM EYOBOKA & OLAYINKA LATONA with Agency reports
PECULATIONS about Pope Benedict XVI’s declining health and the bitter power struggles in the Vatican gripped the world following the shock news of the pontiff ’s resignation. It emerged that the 85-yearold Benedict---who abdicated on health grounds---visited a Rome hospital just three months ago to have a new pacemaker fitted. Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s chief spokesman, confirmed the report, saying: “It is correct that (the pacemaker) was substituted but it is not relevant to the Holy Father ’s decision to stand down.” Fr. Lombardi told journalists “no specific illnesses” were behind Pope Benedict’s decision, in an attempt to squash speculation that he was suffering from a terminal illness. Italy’s leading daily broadsheet, Corriere della Sera, suggested instead that the abdication was motivated by the “Vatileaks” scandal, which saw confidential papers stolen by Benedict’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, and disclosed to the press last year. Gabriele, who was jailed and then pardoned by the Pope in December, claimed he was trying to expose corruption at the Holy See and unmask individuals who were attempting to manipulate the pontiff. It was the first time that Benedict's need for the device had been revealed by the Vatican. But officials insisted that the Pope's heart condition had nothing to do with his decision to step down after eight years in office, just as they have maintained that the dramatic step was not motivated by the scandal and intrigue that buffeted Benedict's eight-year papacy. The pacemaker was a replacement for one which had been fitted about 10 years ago, before he was elected John Paul II's successor in 2005. The fitting of the new pacemaker was carried out by heart surgeons at the Pius XI medical clinic in Rome. The operation went so well that the Pope made a speedy recovery and did not even miss his weekly Angelus address, which is held each Sunday.
Benedict commissioned three of his most loyal cardinals to write a report into the affair, which some are now claiming was the tipping point in his decision to step aside. Experts have suggested that the report---which was immediately shelved by the Pope---may have revealed a major conspiracy to discredit his papacy and also smear his unpopular de facto Prime
Minister, Tarcisio Bertone. Benedict’s tenure was a turbulent one, even by Vatican standards. Relatively liberal comments by the new Minister for the Family, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, which were reported just last week, underlined the battle between ultra-conservative figures such as Benedict and more progressive elements in the Church.
Archbishop Paglia appeared to back calls for civil partnerships for gays and called for an end to discrimination at the most recent International Meeting on the Family in Milan. Fr. Lombardi claimed the archbishop’s comments were entirely consistent with the Church’s position on the issue, despite Benedict’s notoriously conservative
declarations on the subject. Another veteran of the Holy See, John Thavis, author of the forthcoming book, Vatican Diaries, told The Independent he thought Benedict was happy to go “because he has achieved every major thing he’s set out to do. He is feeling frailer. You could see it at Christmas, he was obviously weaker. And he thinks he had achieved his main objectives: the series of three books on the life of Jesus of Nazareth and the launch of the New Evangelisation campaign.” Mr. Thavis said, however, that the resignation might have lasting repercussions. “This Pope has resigned at 85. The next one might resign at 75. Maybe the Church will feel compelled to elect younger popes from now on.” Benedict will continue his ordinary duties until February 28. At 8.00 p.m. that day he will cease to be Pope. He will remove his pontifical ring, which will be destroyed. The Catholic world will have to wait for a new pontiff to be elected by papal conclave of cardinals, which is expected to meet within about two weeks of his resignation. Fr. Lombardi said the exact date of the conclave was still being decided, because the rarity of a papal resignation meant Vatican experts were still interpreting canonical law in order to decide when to hold it.
Olubusuyi joins Elite Club By SAM EYOBOKA & OLAYINKA LATONA ENERAL Overseer of Kingdom Life Christian Centre, Rev. Matthew Ayoola Olubusuyi recently joined the elite club when 11 Charismatic bishops representing the International Communion of Charismatic and Apostolic Ministries, ICCAM, gathered in Ibadan for his consecration to the office of a bishop. The event which took place at the headquarters of the church was witnessed by a large crowd of church members, relations, friends, inlaws and other well wishers. The National Vice President of PFN, South West zone, Bishop Francis Wale Oke (the new bishop's former boss) was represented by Bishop Biodun Adeniji. The colourful occasion was a moment of reper-
L-R: Rev. (Mrs.) Elizabeth Idunu Olubusuyi (wife), Bishop Matthew Ayoola Olubusuyi (c) receiving his certificate of consecration from Bishop Taiwo Akinola, Ministerial President (ICCAM) at the ceremony last Saturday. Photo: Dare Fasube toire of dances and high praise to the Almighty God for a dream come through.
As soon as the College of Bishops led by the Apostolic presbyter, Bishop Olanrewaju
Obembe, ministerial president, Bishop Taiwo Akinola, the international cordinator of ICCAM, Bishop Anietie Etukudo and Bishop Grace Chioma Dauji among others filed into the church auditorium, the impressive ceremony commenced with welcome word, presentation of the bishop-elect and the ceremonial congregational consent. And all the robed bishops surrounded the bishop-elect to flag off the consecration process which included special prayers, robing and at the end the presentation of a certificate. He was then presented to the entire congregation which immediately roared in ecstacy. The other significant aspect of the ceremony was the elevation of the new bishop's spouse to the office of
Continues on Page 49
SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013 --- PAGE 49
Licensing preachers is against divine order —Oluwatade
THE COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIAN CHURCH (1)
NE day, the Lord asked me one of those questions that turn my faith upside down. “Femi,” he said, “does a mustard seed ever become a tree?” The question was confusing. Jesus himself says: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32). Nevertheless at your word Lord Jesus, I decided to investigate. Does the mustard seed actually become a tree? The answer was so unexpected, it made me angry. The mustard seed never becomes a tree. At best, it grows to become a shrub. Mustard trees don’t exist; except of course in Christian circles where they are planted fictitiously by “Nicodemus” pastors and televangelists.
Double-edged parables The disciples asked Jesus why he spoke to the people in parables. Why not just speak plainly to them? Jesus replied that since they don’t want to understand what he was saying, he was also going to make sure they don’t understand. (Matthew 13:10-15). Jesus’ parables are often designed to conceal and not to reveal. In the portrait of the kingdom of God, his parables turn everything upside down. The despised Samaritan, and not the “godly” priest or Levite, turns out to be the righteous hero of the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus’ Good Shepherd is so reckless; he leaves 99 sheep unattended while looking for just one lost sheep. In another parable, the despised tax collector is justified, while the presumably “godly” Pharisee is condemned. In the story of the Prodigal Son, a party is thrown for the sinful prodigal son, instead of for the older, more faithful son. In yet another parable, a master commended an unrighteous servant for his unrighteousness, and proclaimed him to be wise. That is kingdom dynamics. The first become last and the last become first. Jesus’ parables confound our preconceptions by telling us what we know the way we have never known it. This is because the ways of the kingdom are not the ways of men. Therefore, his parables expose many religious myths as false answers to life’s hard realities. They shatter our comfortable social sensibilities by confounding accepted norms and values. Unfortunately, we are no longer offended today because the myths have reclaimed the parables once again. True to form, very few things about Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed conform to reality. The mustard seed is not the smallest of all seeds. That distinction actually belongs to the orchid seed. The mustard is a herb, so it never grows into anything like a tree. All
the varieties of the mustard family have thin stems and branches. At best, they grow to become shrubs. Most birds would not be inclined to build their nest in a mustard plant because of the stinging aroma. Of course, Jesus is aware of these anomalies. But true to form, he is a rock of offence to the sensibilities of the Jewish farmer. To expose the falsehood of a myth, a story must sometimes be outrageous and offensive. The mustard is appropriately a biting, irritating and disturbing condiment. It is therefore well-suited to the gospel, which irritates and disturbs those at ease in this world.
Cedars of Lebanon The Jews believed the kingdom of God would bring about the restoration of Israel to its former power and glory. The symbol of this expectation was the cedar of Lebanon. With the advent of the kingdom, it was anticipated that Israel would be restored as a mighty cedar, head and shoulders above its neighbours. The cedar was magnificent by all accounts. It grew straight up, sometimes for two to three hundred feet. This expectation seemed to be confirmed by the vision given to Daniel: “I was looking, and behold, a tree in
The modern Christian church, with its mega-pastors and highfalutin cathedrals is nothing but a counterfeit of the true church of Christ the midst of the earth, and its height was great. The tree grew and became strong; its height reached to the heavens, and it could be seen to the ends of all the earth. Its leaves were lovely, its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, the birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.” (Daniel 4:10-12). However, no sooner had Daniel received this vision than the Lord asked that the tree be cut down. (Daniel 4:1314). Ezekiel notes that the counsel of the Lord is to bring down the high tree and exalt the low tree. (Ezekiel 17:24). Isaiah also gives a similar message: “The day of the LORD of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up- and it shall be brought low.” (Isaiah 2:12-17). So, when Jesus told the parable of the mustard seed, he actually wanted his listeners to know that the kingdom of God does not come as a tree, growing high up into the sky. On the contrary, it grows like a weed. It grows as under-bush. It spreads out on the ground. The kingdom of God is like a little mustard seed that is sown in us. It is growing, but it is not going to turn us into cedars of Lebanon. We would be doing excellently well if we were to become modest shrubs. The modern Christian church, with its mega-pastors and highfalutin ca-
thedrals is nothing but a counterfeit of the true church of Christ.
Invisible church Jesus wants Christians to think small and not big. The tasks before us are not accomplished by filling huge stadiums and mausoleums or by making intercontinental television broadcasts. God’s great works are not done on such vainglorious levels. Jesus says: “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17: 20-21). It is Bethlehem Ephratah which, though little among the clans of Judah, is nevertheless singled out to bring forth great things. (Micah 5:2). The kingdom is accomplished in us in the mundane details of everyday life, with its ups and downs. It is fulfilled by small acts of love and kindness; encouraging the afflicted; supporting the weak. Nothing about this will be carried in the news, proclaimed on billboards or extolled on television. Those things that meet the approval of men are not God’s idea of success. In his eyes, they constitute abject failures. (Luke 16:15). The greatest works of the kingdom are accomplished in secret. They are unseen and unsung. They are reflected in our beatitudes. Thus, God says to the counterfeit Christian church: “Quit your worship charades. I can’t stand your trivial religious games: Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetingsmeetings, meetings, meetings- I can’t stand one more! Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them! You’ve worn me out! I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning. When you put on your next prayerperformance, I’ll be looking the other way. No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening.” (Isaiah 1:13-14). (Continued).
ENIN- FORMER national chairman of the Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN), Dr. Dele Oluwatade has said that any attempt to license religious preachers in the country is against the divine mandate for all Christians to preach the gospel to all corners of the world, reports GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE. Dr. Oluwatade who was reacting to the call by the Sultan of Sokoto and head of the country’s Muslims that all religious preachers in the country should be licensed, told Vanguard in Benin, Edo State that only those religious fanatics and extremists who are a threat to the nation should be licensed. According to him; “we have not heard of Christian fanatics. While Islamic fanatics are taught to pursue Christians, Christians are taught to run away, so who is to be licensed? Is it the Christian teachers who are teaching their followers to run away from trouble or those Islamic fundamentalists and extremists who are taught to pursue and kill. “So, who are the teachers of those who throw bombs? Let government fish them out. Who are their sponsors and teachers? How many Christian youths have laid siege on a Mosque or throw bombs and run away on bikes? You will see that only those who are security risks to the nation need to be licensed. “It is an infringement on religious freedom which cannot be taken away from me by any legislation. Let the security agencies do their work. Any preacher that is inciting any segment of the society against the other should be sanctioned and be told that religion is free and if you preach anarchy, government will hold you responsible for the consequences of your action,” he stated.
SJCCG ends annual conference
AINT Joseph's Chosen Church of God's 67th annual delegates conference 2013 which began on Thursday at the national headquarters, 1-2, Ogiamien St., Off Sakponba Rd., Benin City ends today. Theme: 'The voice of God' and it featured Bible quiz, ordination of ministers, church conference matters, book launch and many more. Chief Host: Spiritual leader, Apostle Hayford Alile.
Olubusuyi joins Elite Club Continued from page 48 a reverend. The new bishop began his spiritual voyage at the Sword of the Spirit Ministries in 1984 under the leadership of Bishop Wale Oke. He was said to have imparted hundreds of lives spiritually and physically. In his sermon, Bishop Obembe reminded Olubusuyi of the biblical injunction that “A bishop must be blameless, husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach, not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler nor covetous.” Speaking on: “Fulfilling divine mandate,” Bishop Obembe said God have endowed men to fulfill His mandate, praying that the new bishop will not fail but fulfill God’s mandate. In his words: “No matter the challenges facing man, we are created to fulfill God’s purpose because man is God’s man-date; that is why God sent His only begotten son to redeem mankind from the shackles of sin.” In a similar vein, Bishop Akinola urged the new bishop to ensure the spiritual and physical development of not only his church but the Body of Christ by planting churches, orphanage homes including educational institutions. The representative of Bishop Wale Oke, Bishop Adeniyi, in his brief remarks, appreciate the grace of God upon Bishop Olubusuyi’s life, noting that he had benefited from his benevolence. The new bishop, who was elated for how God had arranged everything according to His plan and purpose, promised not to let the Church and the nation down, saying that despite the current security challenges faciong the nation, it will prevail through the prayers of the saints. According to him, the new office is a call to serve the large Body of Christ with all humility and purpose, not forgeting that there are challenges ahead of him. He noted that he has to braze up to every challenge.
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FRSC at 25: So far, so......... BY JONAS AGWU VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF The challenges of a road safety body as it marks silver jubilee N less than 48hours, the glasses will clink, the drums will roll, as the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) celebrates its 25 years of existence as the lead traffic management agency in Nigeria. Leading the toast will be the man who mid-wifed the Corps, former President Ibrahim Babangida, strongly supported by the C-in-C, President Goodluck Jonathan, with Professor Wole Soyinka, pioneer chairman of the FRSC governing council complementing. From across the globe, renowned specialists in traffic management will be there to celebrate an agency that the World Bank says is the model for Africa. Now, for the past 17 years of its existence, I have been, not just a keen observer of the tides and waves of this giant organisation, but also an insider, a paid worker, or what is generally known as a regular marshal. I have been privy to the intricacies, challenges, constraints, hiccups and triumphs of staying relevant in
a constantly changing traffic environment. The FRSC was born as a child of necessity. Prior to its establishment, traffic situation in Nigeria could best be described as chaotic and unpredictable, noted with consistent and disturbing waves of road crashes with attendant colossal human and material losses. The then military government of Ibrahim Babangida felt it was of paramount importance that a road management agency be established at the national level, thus the establishment of the FRSC, headed by Wole Soyinka, with initial staff strength of 250 officers made up of the National Youth Service Corps members. With the establishment of the Corps, sanity was restored on the Nigerian roads. Several anomalies associated with driving were addressed, with seatbelt usage and public awareness rising to 70%, improved crash helmet use and installation of road signages on the highways. The driver ’s licence has under-gone various stages of transformation through the National Uniform Licensing scheme, aimed at bringing about centralised data on drivers and vehicles. FRSC tentacles have continuously spread, as the Zonal Command structure has been increased from the initial 5 to 12, while more Unit Com-
mands have been created, bringing the total to 184, to enhance Corps presence along the nation’s highways. Operational strategies and activities have constantly been modified to ensure Corps presence on the roads, particularly at critical points and periods. Nevertheless the Corps has
only going to the highest bidder, but the highest bidder could very well not even have an inkling of how to turn the steering wheel. In 2007, at his inaugural speech as the newly appointed Corps Marshal and Chief Executive, Osita Chidoka vowed to lay a solid founda-
With the establishment of the Corps, sanity was restored on the Nigerian roads. Several anomalies associated with driving were addressed, with seatbelt usage and public awareness rising to 70%
had its fair share of challenges, controversies and, yes, hiccups. The Corps relevance has, within the last two and half decades, been questioned in more than one occasion, culminating in its merger with the Nigerian Police in 1999. With its de-merger in 2003, the Corps tethered on unsteady feet as it sought to grapple with challenges of an ever changing traffic environment and populace. The world was fast going digital, road networks had increased, vehicular traffic had also escalated. The drivers’ licence was not
tion that will enable the Corps “restore the integrity of the driver’s licence”. He further harped on his intention to transform FRSC into a world class, technology driven organisation. To lend credence to this, the Corps has invested heavily on technology with 345 V-SAT installed to ensure interconnectivity in its daily activities, while creating a database of drivers, vehicles, road crashes and an on-line offenders’ for issuance of driver’s licence. Today, the revamped number plate is tied to the driver for
better data management and owner identification.. But more still needs to be done, if the Corps wishes to actualise the Accra declaration of 2015 and UN Decade of Action of 2020. With the twin evil of over-speeding and dangerous driving rearing their ugly heads, the Corps must brace up to its responsibility in the area of legislation, public enlightenment, enforcement, inter-agency collaboration, as well as stakeholder engagement, while government must strengthen the Corps capacity through increased funding. This is where we are now. Where we are going? According to Osita Chidoka: “.....the next 25 years will be critical as the world confronts the millennium development goals, climate change, population growth and urbanisation. In Nigeria, FRSC would focus on improving on driver ’s training, increasing capacity for vehicle inspection, ensuring adequate road furniture on our roads......as we seek to reduce death in line with the Accra declaration of 2015 and the UN Decade of Action of 2020..... As we celebrate a glorious and chequered past, we are today standing on the solid foundation of our founding fathers to internalise our core principles and deliver safer roads and fuller lives.”
Between Al-Makura and Nasarawa people BY MALLAM YUSUF ADAMU
VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF The governor of Nasarawa State on scale.
HERE is no doubt to day that the coming of Governor Tanko Umaru Al-Makura has changed the fortunes of Nasarawa State for better. Before his assumption of office in 2011, the state had been waiting for a leader that will transform, and give the state a facelift to enable it attain its potentials. Nasarawa, created on 1 October 1996 by the Abacha government from the neighbouring Plateau State, has not been lucky, especially with the choice of governors ruling the state since the return to democratic government in 1999. The state suffered from lack of basic infrastructure like health centres, water, good roads while the state capital Lafia was nothing to write home about as it looked like a glorified local government area. But the assumption of office of Al-Makura brought hope
for the common man because, under two years of his administration, he has recorded a feat that former governors were unable to achieve. Today, the state is enjoying dividends of democracy in the areas of road construction, potable water while the city centre in Lafia has come alive with street lights everywhere. No doubt, his assumption in office was challenging considering the burden he inherited from the last administration and the challenges of governing a state in which the legislative arm is dominated by an opposition party coupled with series of legal battles he faced from his opponent who challenged his victory to the highest court of the land. Notwithstanding the challenges, Al-Makura has always made it known that he is out to change the fortunes of the state for better. His words, “Looking back to when we assumed office, it is my conviction that our struggles were not in vain because God in his wisdom crowned our collective effort with a new political order through the peoples mandate. Althoughh on assumption of office, the situation in the state was pathetic due to absence of basic infrastructures, widespread
poverty, inefficient health care system, below average performance in the education sector, poorly motivated public service, unharnessed economic potentials and above all, poor resource management, we have been able to reverse the trend”. The Al-Makura administra-
The assumption of office of Al-Makura brought hope for the common man because, in under two years of his administration, he has recorded a feat that former governors were unable to achieve.
tion, on assumption of office embarked on massive township road projects to open up Lafia. The roads his administration reconstructed include the GRA road, Layin kaji Lafia metropolis, Super Cinema
Street, Ungwan Nungu, Kwandere Road, Government House via Makurdi Bye Pass Road, roads in Dalhatu Araf Hospital and its environs and UAC via Angwan Nungu Road. The streets in the state capital have also been beautified while solar-powered traffic lights are in place to control traffic on major road in Lafia. The governor has reached out to the PHCN to ensure constant power supply in the state. To accelerate rural development, the administration purchased earth moving equipments and other machinery for the construction of feeder roads across the state while a high powered contract verification committee was set up to verify and take stock of all abandoned projects with the view to completing them. Water supply has been restored in Lafia, Keffi and Nasarawa while work is ongoing at the Nasarawa Eggon, Akwanga and Doma water schemes. Similarly boreholes are being drilled in various communities across the state to provide adequate and clean water for the people. In the health sector, the demands of doctors were met to
avoid strike actions while government embarked on renovation, equipping and upgrading of general hospitals across the state and drug revolving scheme restored. The governor also introduced free health care services for expectant mothers and children. Education is one of the major cardinal points of the AlMakura administration and the governor is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that he raises the standard of education in the state. To a large extent, the present administration has succeeded in bringing discipline and sense of commitment to the civil service sector while the state is among the first to implement the national minimum wage. To ease the problem of transportation in the state, the governor revitalized the crippled Nasarawa Transport Service and in the first 100 days in office commissioned forty 40buses and 100tricycles to ease transport problems within and outside the state. It is no doubt that the administration of Al-Makura has successed in changing the fortunes of Nasarawa State. *Adamu contributed this piece from Lafia.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 17, 2013, PAGE 51
TRIBUTE VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF In defence of the building of African First Ladies Mission secretariat in Abuja
HESE are indeed days of anomie in Nigeria, days in which the pullthem-down syndrome has gone viral. A horde of raucous persons who mask under the guise of see-me patriotism and self-righteous pontification now mount every available podium of public discourse to run the government down. These selfappointed voices of the masses, who one, in the best of terms, can be described as anoles (for that is what they are) in their grandstanding, fail to see anything good with the government, and no idea, no matter how well conceived; no project no matter how noble intended, is ever deemed good enough for this country, once it is not suggested by them or their sponsors. The manner of the noisy denigration and aspersion these people cast upon any project of the government makes many good-intentioned persons scared to dream, scared to think of programmes and projects that will transform the lives of the people; bring change to our circumstances as a nation and challenge our thinking as a people, because this horde will soon descend and accuse you of using the project to siphon public fund. Their charade has become a known mantra. They preach that no one in government is selfless enough to think good of the common man. So, it is impossible for government to embark upon any meaningful project without this gang bandying distorted statistics about and generating warped analyses on facts, pros and cons of the project, to the extent that, in some cases, even the undiscerning persons who are natural beneficiaries of these
Dame Patience and the Peace Mission complex projects soon join to traduce the project meant to change their lives. Knowing the characteristics of this horde, one is not surprised that they have descended upon the person and integrity of Her Excellency, Dame (Dr.) Patience Goodluck Jonathan. Her sin, this time, was the proposal by the Federal Capital Territory Administration to fund the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) building in Abuja. The charges trumped upon the First Lady are same, as usual: The office of the First Lady is unconstitutional, the AFLPM is a non-governmental organization, the budget is profligate, among other numerous charges laid by every Dick and Harry among them that have access to the free but sponsored media. The idea of this piece is not to respond to all the charges laid by this horde, but to put the project and its intention in clear perspective to the ordinary Nigerians whose gullible minds these hordes are scavenging upon, just to deceive. The very first impression one gets upon glancing over the crafty headlines of their commentaries is that the First Lady’s office is building a house for Dame Patience, which of course is not the case. Those who are patient enough to read through their drift will come to understand that they are saying the FCTA is building a house for the First Lady, which also is not the case. The project in question is the secretariat of the AFLPM to be domiciled in Abuja, our federal capital, which the name of Dame Patience Jonathan will not be mentioned in any of its deeds, apart from the fact that
the project was her dream, borne out of her passion for a peaceful Africa and based th on the mandate given Nigeria at the 6 Summit of the AFLPM held in Congo Brazzaville in 2008 when Hajia Turai Yar’Adua (and not Dame Patience Jonathan) was the president of the continental body. Dame Patience Jonathan actually completed the
BY TAOFEEK ADIO
No one among our selfappointed critics think of the diplomatic advantage this move confers on the country as a promoter of peace in the world. Their problem is that it is being promoted by Dame Patience Jonathan
term began by Hajia Turai in 2010 after the sad demise of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in office. Dame Patience was elected to head the continental body at the summit held in Abuja in 2012. The AFLPM is not an NGO, but a continental body of African First Ladies founded as far back as 1997. The idea was mooted by the then First Ladies of Nigeria, Burundi, Namibia and Lesotho. Nigeria is providing the permanent secretariat based on the mandate given it in 2008, hence the
investment being made by the FCT administration as the structure is located within its area of jurisdiction. It is ironical that no one among the self-righteous critics has come to understand, appreciate and underscore the critical importance of peace on the continent and contributed ideas on funding the project from inception till now, but would deride a well-intentioned move by an organ of government to fund the building of the secretariat. As at the time of writing this piece, Nigeria has a troop and some of the best of our war machinery in Mali, joining the rest of the world in the bid to restore peace to that country following the Al-Qaeda militants’ insurgency in the northern part of that country. When war rages, all statistics anywhere in the world point to the fact that women and children are the worst victims because they are a vulnerable group. So, that women and indeed African First Ladies decided at this point in time to become true agents of change for peace is an act that is not only commendable but worthy of support. Nigeria should therefore take pride in the endorsement of Her Excellency by other African First Ladies to pilot the affairs of this body. It was in the light of this responsibility that Nigeria took up the drive for the construction of the permanent secretariat of the Peace Mission. No one among our self-appointed critics think of the diplomatic advantage this move confers on the country as a promoter of peace in the world. Their problem is that it is being promoted by Dame Patience Jonathan. The budget for the project is before the National Assembly which has both members of the ruling and opposition parties, and among whom are technocrats in their own right. If indeed the money allocated for the project is profligate - at least they have the details - they stand to work on it to make their recommendation accordingly. Dragging the name of the First Lady into this ill-motivated propaganda is unfortunate. For once, let us see dignity in noble deeds, please. Taofeek Adio is resident in Abuja.
Israel Babafemi Akilo (1932 – 2013) BY TUNDE AKILO TRIBUTE IN BRIEF The life and times of a teachers’ teacher
NE of the most vivid memo ries of my childhood is of a day sometime in 1968 in Efon Alaaye when I was walking to school with my dad; along with a co-teacher and his children. We
were descending the slope on the way to the Christ Apostolic Church Teacher Training College in the town when I suddenly tripped and fell down by the road side. I looked up expecting sympathy but my father gruffly pulled me up and we continued our brisk walk to school. Subconsciously, it registered in me that my father wanted a competitive son who would also recognise that life was not a tea-party. Another event that defines my memory of dad happened when he was Principal at Igbotako Community Grammar School in Ondo State in 1979 or thereabouts. A student while cutting grass on the school field cut his leg with the cutlass and was bleeding profusely. Daddy tore the dress he was wearing to make a bandage to stop the student’s bleeding and thereafter took him to a medical centre! Israel Babafemi Akilo was born on July 17, 1932 at Ido-Ekiti. His father was Pa Isaiah Ojo Akilo of the Adejugbagbe royal lineage; while his mother was Fateye Akilo of the Asasanyin family of Inisa in Ido-Ekiti. Both parents were Christians and they brought Babafemi and the other chil-
dren in the household up in the Christian tradition. His siblings are late Stephen Adeagbo Akilo and Samson Akilo. He started elementary school in January 1942 at Ido Public School, IdoEkiti and left in 1949 after completing Standard Six. He attended African Church Teachers’ College, Ikere-Ekiti from 1954-1955 for the Grade III Teachers’ Certificate Course and African Church Teachers’ College, Ifako Agege from 1959-1960 for the Grade II Teachers’ Certificate course, both of which he successfully completed. He
One of the greatest lessons his life taught us his children is that in all his involvement in public life, especially in politics, service and integrity were his watch-words
got married to Mary Onaola Akilo nee Ogunrinde on November 8 1958 and the marriage is blessed with four boys and one girl. As an ambitious young lad trying to find a way in life, he also attended Wilberforce School of Commerce in Lagos where he studied stenography. While working as a primary school teacher, he obtained the GCE Ordinary and Advanced Levels which secured him an admission at the Uni-
Israel Babafemi Akilo versity of Ibadan for a degree of Bachelor of Education in English which he obtained in 1967. At University of Ibadan, he sponsored himself from his savings, his wife’s contribution and his brother (Stephen Agboola Akilo) ’s assistance up to the second year. When it became almost impossible to continue in his final year, he had to obtain a sponsorship from the Christ Apostolic Church Teachers’ College, Efon Alaaye to complete his education. This made it imperative to join the staff of that college on graduation to work there. He was there until 1975 when he was posted to Ondo Grammar School as Vice Principal. He was later posted to Igbotako Community Grammar School as Pioneer Principal in 1977 and he was there until 1980. He retired from the public service in 1986 as Principal, Ogangamodu Grammar School, Ido-Ekiti. Outside the public service, he was an astute, dogged politician and community leader. He was the Charter President, Rotary Club of Ero, Ido-Ekiti in 1988 and Chairman, Ido Town Development Council from 1987 to 1989. He was also Secretary, Church
Building Committee of St. John’s Church, Ido-Ekiti from 1981-1984 when the present church was roofed and the church also hosted Ekiti Diocesan Synod. As a politician, he was Vice Chairman, Unity Party of Nigeria, Ero Local Government chapter from 1981-1983; under the Chairmanship of late Dr. N.F. Aina who also served as Deputy Governor of Ondo State. He was chairman UNCP Ido-Osi Local Government in 1998-1999; and Secretary, Ido-Osi Local /Government under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) from 1991-1993. He was not afraid to be different once he was convinced of the rightness of his cause. From 2000 to 2002, he was Ekiti State Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when the Ekiti State Government was controlled by the Alliance for Democracy. He later moved to the Action Congress of Nigeria and was in the thick of the struggle to reclaim the party’s electoral mandate which eventually came to fruition in October 2010; after many privations to himself and his family. Until his death, he was an Elder of the party. One of the greatest lessons his life taught us his children is that in all his involvement in public life, especially in politics, service and integrity were his watch-words. Politics was more like a hobby than a means of livelihood, and how he enjoyed this hobby! He did not hanker after wealth or position. He left only one house which he completed as a teacher in 1977! We are proud of this legacy and we pray that God will give us the grace to sustain it. He will be buried at Ido-Ekiti on Friday, February 22, 2013. *Akilo is Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transportation, Ado-Ekiti and first child of the late Prince Israel B. Akilo.
Contribution of not more than 800 words should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
UR respective cups will never be full when it comes to find ing meaning to our sometimes black and white existence. Sometimes coming into contact with a truth that challenges status quo can be a bit of a burden especially when your life is a journey of growth. One of my daily prayer requests is for grace to be better and I find that the answer to that are several opportunities to be better. I enjoy audio books and I had listened to one titled "The four agreements". The book propounds a set of principles for pain free living and I was intrigued. I believe my conscience volume may have also been turned up by many notches and I thought I'd share what I gleaned. "The four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz is a masterpiece. It calls for an understanding and acceptance with the Four agreements propounded. It draws on ancient knowledge of the Toltec wisdom and while I don't necessarily embrace all their beliefs, it still made interesting listening. “The Four Agreements" are very basic and I found them easy to memorise but that was the only easy part of the implementation. I did understand them all but I underestimated how set I was in my ways and if anyone was scoring I would have failed many times per hour. Ruiz talks about the domestication of humans to conform
with expectations and regulations making it almost impossible for them to live in their own truth and liberty. What he doesn't mention is the detachment one needs to exhibit in order to practise the agreements; it turns out, I am not detached enough. The first agreement seemed easy enough " Be impeccable with your word. I could have written that myself except for this part; impeccability means to be without any sin in my words; to use my words carefully and truthfully without harm or damage to others. I like to think of myself as kind but speaking has become a weighty impediment especially when you have to balance a busy work life, family, friends and the world at large to navigate. My intentions are always grand and I pray before I leave but I find myself failing even before I leave the house. It almost feels like vexations to the spirit are orchestrated just to aggravate me and provoke sinful words out of me. There is also the dilemma of balancing truth with kindness. Its a tight rope maintaining impeccability with truth. The truth is sometimes very hurtful so do we just stay mute? Its an even tighter and higher rope having to be patient with obviously dishonest and mean people. The second agreement is even more tasking." Don’t take anything person-
ally". Apparently nothing is about us. People do whatever they want because of them, we bear no responsibility and shoulder no blame, gain or pain for their actions. Sounds very simple but how does that help when they do things that break our hearts? How do you not take personal hateful words and actions? On the flip side, how does one not take personal, declarations of love? I fully lay claim to the affection and love of my spouse and children; its very personal. When one is at the receiving end of unkindness and unfair actions, its hard to process the second agreement. I fail this agreement regularly as my
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama
feelings are not compliant with its principle. Losing a loved one may not be personal but it hurts the same. Pain feels very personal and so does love. This particular Valentine's day was probably the best one I ever had. I thought my husband could never surpass my gift but I was floored by his act of validation. If I followed the second agreement; then it would mean the gesture that meant the world to me
wasn't about me and while that position may have its merit, I don't accept it. The third agreement is a bit more practicable and needs a lot more maturity to implement. Its simple " Don’t make assumptions". We make all sorts of assumptions because we don't have the courage to ask questions. This was so true of me when I was younger. I didn't like confrontations so I never faced up to situations. I take full responsibility for most of my hurt and heartache back then. I let my imagination supply me with information that were at best delusional and eventually painful. This particular agreement is one I actually started living before I even got the book. Life taught me to ask questions, to verify, investigate and confirm. It actually validates my position to grab life by the horns and confront any issue that is unclear head on. Embracing truth no matter how painful can only be liberating and eventually peaceful. My advise to everyone is right from the author himself, "Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.” The final agreement is the one we all should aspire to. "Always do your best. ” Lately I have found that doing my best is all I have to offer. I can't do more or be more. Living my authentic life is the best I have to offer. I used to be a person who would stoop to fit in and compromise to be accepted. Those days are gone, now I no longer apologise for my choices and beliefs; they are my best. I end with a quote from the book. “God is life. God is life in action. The best way to say, "I love you, God," is to live your life doing your best. The best way to say, "Thank you, God," is by letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now.
Jonathan, Obj row gets messier BY EMMA AMAIZE
ESSIER! That aptly captures the feud between President Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Both leaders went deeper into the trenches in their battle for the soul of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the weekend. While Jonathan moved to consolidate his grip on the party which, on Friday, sacked Obasanjo’s loyalists, from the South West, from the National Working Committee (NWC), the former president’s loyalists hinted they were taking their case to the National Executive Committee (NEC) for intervention. The Obasanjo loyalists also accused the PDP national chairman, Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, of replacing the sacked supporters of the former president with a caretaker committee in the South West zone headed by his associate, Mr Ishola Filani. Filani was a special adviser to the PDP national chairman, perceived to be on the side of Jonathan in his feud with Obasanjo. The Jonathan, Obasanjo feud climaxed on Friday with the sack of the latter’s associates, Mr Segun Oni, PDP national chairman, South-West, and the national auditor, Mr Bode Mustapha, from the National Working Committee
(NWC). The sack was the fallout of the court verdict which earlier ousted the PDP national secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, also an Obasanjo associate. Total grip Sunday Vanguard gathered, at the weekend, that the president, as part of moves to have a total grip of the party, will hold a meeting with members of the G-84, comprising state chairmen of the party, members of the NWC, members of the Board of Trustees, BoT, and some select members of the NEC. The first leg of the meeting was held on Thursday, but Jonathan, as learnt, asked Vice President Namadi Sambo to preside, just as the issues reportedly raised were, among others, the need for the party to grow in an atmosphere of peace and unity. At the meeting, Sunday Vanguard that those in attendance commended the president on his achievements especially in the area of the economy, infrastructure and assured of their unalloyed support to the Jonathan administration. Sambo was said to have thanked them for the visit and they pledged their support. According to a source close to the Presidency, a follow-up meeting was being planned where the G84 members will meet with the president on the need to be
with him at all times as the leader of the party. Prior to the last meeting of the BoT, held January 7, where a new chairman ought to have emerged, there very strong indications that Jonathan relaxed, but what happened the night before the meeting was cancelled opened his eyes to the intrigues in the party. As the PDP leader, he was said to have found that he was not in charge especially against the backdrop that his favoured candidate would have lost as Obasanjo and his former Vice, Atiku Abubakar, though not at the meeting, were in charge of the events of the day, save for the Professor Jerry Gana-led committee coordinating the parley. Another move was a motion by Senate President David Mark at the BoT meeting to have another five-year tenure for the Secretary, Senator Walid Jibrin, from Nasarawa State and that blocked the chances of Obasanjo’s loyalist and former Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, from becoming the Chairman of the BoT and to pave the way for Chief Tony Anenih, whom Jonathan is said to be backing for the position. To start with, the president, through the PDP National Chairman, Tukur, immediately asked Onwe Solomon Onwe, an ally of Jonathan, to step into the shoes Oyinlola, an associ-
ate of Obasanjo. In sacking Oni and Mustapha on Friday, the PDP NWC also axed the Ogun State faction of the party loyal to Obasanjo. The NWC recognised the faction of the PDP which has been in opposition to the former president. ‘Our case for the PDP NEC’ The chairman of the Obasanjo faction of the Ogun PDP, Senator Dipo Odujinrin, who spoke on behalf of the loyalists of the former president after an emergency meeting that lasted about seven hours in Abeokuta, the state capital, yesterday, said they were taking their case to the party NEC. According to Odujinrin, Obasanjo’s followers were shocked by the action of the NWC in sacking the PDP zonal leadership and the former president’s faction of the party in Ogun. According to him, the Obasanjo group will seek to get the NEC to reverse the NWC action. Odunjinrin explained that their move was in accordance with Article 31 SubSection 2(8) of the party’s c o n s t i t u t i o n . “At our meeting this afternoon, we resolved in accordance with Article 31 sub-sections 2 (8) of our constitution to appeal to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party to ensure this injustice is corrected,”he stated.
Comrade Gloria Okolugbo, Honourable Commissioner Directorate for Multi-lateral Relations and Abuja Office, Delta State Government flanked by Dr. Sharon and Mr. Adione both prominent Deltans in Abuja cutting the ceremonial cake for Deltans residing in the FCT and environs.
2014: Anambra guber race hots up;
Obiogbolu flags off campaign BY LEKAN BILESANMI
guleri in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State was agog when political heavy weights, business moguls, captains of industry, students, and traders gathered for the flag off of Dr. Alex Obiogbolu campaign for the 2014 governorship election in the state. The venue of the epoch-making declaration of interest in the governorship race by the technocrat was the multi-purpose hall
of the Tourist Garden Hotel, Aguleri. In his speech, the chairman of the day, Chief Ben. Emeka, who said he was over whelmed by the large turnout of young and old politicians, noted that the candidature of Obiogbolu was the answer to the prayer of the lovers of good governance in the state who have been thinking of a credible replacement for the incumbent governor, whose second tenure ends on March 17, 2014.
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Benitez banks on Mikel, Moses to lift Chelsea
Discordant tunes in NFF over technical director *We’re going for one – Inyama *No, we have no such plans – Green
HE Nigeria Football Fed eration (NFF) has announced that it has no plans to contract a foreign technical director for the national teams. This is coming at the heels of an earlier disclosure by a Board member, Emeka Inyama that “there was no going back on its plan to hire a foreign technical director for the national teams.” Inyama, who was fielding questions from journalists at a news conference on Thursday, February in Abuja, said that the idea was to have a template for football development in the country. “There has not been any rebuttal since the general sec-
retary said so. Therefore, we are going ahead with the plan. What we have always said is that there is a need for us to develop a structure and a template for football development in this country,” Inyama said. But in a swift reaction Friday, the NFF, through another Board member, Chris Green, denied the reports stating that the federation had no such plans at the moment. “There is nothing like that. The NFF has no such plans at least not at this moment,” Green told supersport.com, adding thatthe federation was doing all within its power to see that Nigerian football becomes a global brand.
HELSEA interim boss Rafael Benitez hopes Nigeria’s returning heroes Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel can breathe fresh enthusiasm into his side as the Blues seek to advance in the FA Cup and Europa League. “I think they will come back with more confidence, more belief and it has to be good for the team,” Benitez said. “It’s important to have happy and confident players around, so it’s good for the team that they won and they’ve brought that confidence and belief back with them. Both of them progressed as individuals through the tournament. “Obi has more experience and you could expect good performances from him, but Victor was coming through and I could see he has been growing and improving. I am really pleased for both of them, and to be so influential is a great achievement for Victor.” “The federation is concerned with making the Super Eagles and Nigerian football a big brand in world football. We are champions of Africa and we must build on this success. The Super Eagles and Nigerian football will be put on the window as we try to make it a brand,” he said.
*HEROES... African champions, the Super Eagles arrived Lagos at the weekend to a rousing welcome by Lagos residents. Jubilant Nigerians cheering them on their arrival at Murtala Mohammed Airport Ikeja. PHOTO; Kehinde Gbadamosi.
Onu wants wider powers for Keshi BY EDDIE AKALONU
S the Super Eagles made a triumphant entry into the country as champions f Africa from South Africa on Tuesday, Erasmus Onu, a former handler of the homebased Eagles team, has suggested that Stephen Keshi be granted greater autonomy as coach of the national team over technical and financial concerns of the team. He has also called on the football authorities to take measures that would strengthen the home-based Eagles programme given recent benefits. “I like to appreciate the team for winning the cup in South Africa and the government for rewarding them.
However, now that the whole country has seen benefits in falling back on talents within, I will also ask the authorities to sustain the home-based Eagles programme with enhanced resources and backing to ensure it survives the test of time,” he said. He added that, “ we would have long seen the light if home-based talents had been given the opportunity. We have seen what can be done if the home-based Eagles’ project is driven on a longterm by the football House if it has the enabling environment because we have players who are ready to play with full commitment and loyalty to the country.” The former Wikki Tourists and Jigawa Stars handler said
he would be happier if the government gave Keshi more powers. “They will still find means to distract him and put obstacles that could choke his programme. So, I will rather prefer that a presidential order be made such that can grant Keshi supervisory powers over the NFF to stem constant interference. This action to me will compel NFF Board members like Emeka Inyama, technical committee chairman Chris Green and president Aminu Maigari to report to Keshi. He “Keshi” must be a genius to have survived the intrigues and inside plots reportedly made by the FA members to derail the Eagles in the the competition.” he added.
That rejoinder against Vanguard’s true story I
was shocked to read on Thursday, February 7, a rejoinder to Vanguard’s story on the rush by the NFF to book the Super Eagles return from South Africa hours before their crucial semi final match with tournament favourites and star-studded Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire. I really don’t know who the rejoinder emanated from, the National Sports Commission, NSC or the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF. However, it looked like a joint work from both bodies, going through the message. After going through the piece where the writer tried to ridicule Vanguard and the purported reporter of the story, I laughed because the writer exposed the football authority of our country which this reporter has always accused of being dubious. I don’t want to probe further about the author of the rejoinder but the language points to a very familiar name who has formed the habit of labeling any critic of the football house a failure, unpatriotic or even disgruntled. I will advise the sports minister/NSC chairman, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi to distance himself from such a rejoinder otherwise he would be grouped as someone who doesn’t know the terrain he is supposed to be supervising or is part of the rot and corruption in the football sector. In trying to clarify the issue of booking the Eagles return, the rejoinder stated that “it is the Confederation of African Football(CAF), not the NSC or the NFF, that is responsible for the return flight arrangements of the teams in the Nations Cup. CAF is also responsible for their accommodation, feeding and transportation to the venue of the matches. It can only book return tickets for a team AFTER it has crashed out of a tournament, not before.” It is not true that CAF books return tickets for teams. Each participating federation books flight for its players, that is why some federations route their players return ticket back to their bases in Europe and not back to their respective countries. CAF or FIFA only reimburses federations after competitions and it could take weeks or months after. Both bodies also pay from the countries base to the competition venue and back, any other arrangement is not their responsibility. As for accommodation, CAF and FIFA only recommend approved hotels for teams which the federations pay for by themselves. That was why the immediate past NFF Board of Sani Lulu offered to make its own separate arrangement during the 2010 World Cup and booked a sub-standard hotel for the Eagles which then sports minister, Isa Bio rejected. Of course the minister ordered the NSC to look for a saner hotel and Nigeria had to pay compensation to the earlier hotel. All compensations to the participating teams are worked into what CAF or FIFA calls participating fees which is paid after the competition and not before or during the event as the dubious rejoinder would want Nigerians to believe. This why the NFF draws up a budget for every competition it takes part in and passes same to the government as it is never buoyant enough to foot the bill on its own. Also in drawing up these budgets, various other things are added into it like provision of local delicacies for the team and hiring of Nigerian caterers to prepare them. Is the NFF telling Nigerians that CAF and FIFA also pays for the garri, amala and tuwo they take to competitions? However, now that the NFF has owned up that CAF and FIFA foots some of the bills for our national teams participating in their competitions, the minister should conduct a probe into the NFF’s spending of funds government has always given the federation, subtract the bills of the spending not in CAF or FIFA’s account and make it refund all others from the days it started participating in competitions especially the World Cup since 1994. They should tell Nigerians how much they got from the 2010 World Cup and how much they collected from the government for the same competition. That way Nigerians can do their calculation and know where the excess funds have gone into. Is not why some members of the immediate past NFF Board are facing trials today? As for the Eagles, here is congratulating them for beating Burkina Faso and becoming African champions once again, against all expectations, even the NFF. The NFF almost distracted them with talks about replacing Keshi and the booking of their return even before they tackled Cote d’Ivoire. The NFF was never confident they could reach the final how much more winning the title. But now they are the once celebrating most. They will now add to their achievements in office even though they don’t have a single programme of grass-root development. That upper cut resignation Keshi landed on the NFF, was a masterstroke. The whole world and particularly president Goodluck Jonathan got to know of the intrigues in the NFF and has thrown his full weight behind Keshi. So let them come and threaten him again.
SUNDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 17, 2013
RESULTS Luton Arsenal Milton Keynes Oldham Getafe Malaga
0 0 1 0 3 1
Millwall Blackburn Barnsley Everton Celta de Vigo Athletic B.
Nations Cup: Pitriopa affirms Eagles Africa’s best
3 1 3 0 1 0
*As Premiership move excites Emenike
URKINA Faso’s attacking pearl, Jonathan Pitropa who is being rumoured to be on his way to the Premiership side, Everton has joined those who declared the Super Eagles of Nigeria as worthy champions of the just concluded 29th Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. The Rennes of France player who equally praised his side for coming second after their 0-1 loss to the Eagles said the last three matches the Eagles played at the tournament stood them out among the 15 other teams. “Nigeria, for their past three games, deserve to be winners,” he told Sky Sports, adding, “We (Burkina Faso) were very close, we gave a dream to our people back home, we made them proud of us and we deserved to come second. Now our football will be taken seriously. I hope it is a start and we can go forward not backward.” Meanwhile, top scorer of the Nations Cup and Super Eagles striker, Emmanuel Emenike, currently with Russian side, Spartak Moscow, is thrilled that Premiership side, Liverpool are looking at his direction after his Nations Cup performances and has expressed his desire to move over to England. “I am playing in Russia at the moment and I have a contract that I intend to respect. But to be linked with the Premier League is a dream come true. I would love to play there in my career. There are many great clubs there,” Emenike said. The stocky player is said to have joined Spartak Moscow in July 2011 from Fenerbahce for a fee of 10 million Euros and Liverpool would need to cough out 42 million Euros, his buy-out clause at his Russian club if they hope to get his signature.
Why NFF, Keshi must work together — Ogunjobi BY BEN EFE
ORMER Nigeria Football Federation, NFF secretary-general, Taiwo Ogunjobi has tasked the nation’s soccer ruling body and the Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi to put behind the drama of the Africa Cup of Nations and consolidate on the triumphant return from South Africa 2013. Keshi threw in his resignation after their 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso but later rescinded his decision after the presidential intervention through the sports minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi. The coach who entered the history books as the second African to win the trophy as captain and coach had accused the NFF bigwigs
of undermining his position at the critical moment of the tournament. Ogunjobi, a former national team player, stated that it was important that the two parties have a harmonious working relationship, if Nigeria were to make any impact at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. “I expect them to put all that happened in South Africa behind and forge a harmonious working relationship. We won the Nations Cup and that was the overriding interest of all Nigerians. “It is good that Mike Adenuga has offered Keshi all the incentives he needed to succeed. It will be good if the NFF support him as we look forward to the 2014 World Cup,” said Ogunjobi in Lagos.
The Eagles surprised Nigerians who had written them off at the AFCON 2013 tournament, when they gallantly strode to the final and won 1-0 against Burkina Faso after a poor start to their campaign.
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 15
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