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Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013



Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013, PPA AGE 3


7 killed in fresh hostilities between C/River, Ebonyi communities


resh hostilities broke out yesterday between Adadama community of Cross River State and the Ikwo people of Ebonyi State. Reports said at least seven persons were killed.

According to eye witnesses, a group of over 40 armed men from Ebonyi State invaded Adadama community killing the deceased victims and injuring over 20. The bodies of the

victims were said to have been deposited at the mortuary in Itigidi. The hostilities came despite a peace accord entered to by both communities last month in Abuja.

INEC scores FCT Area Council elections below 40%, decries low turn out BYJOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU & JOSEPH ERUNKE


ATIONAL Commissioner with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, incharge of South East, Dame Gladys Nnenwafor, has decried the low turn out at the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Area Council elections conducted yesterday, saying that the turn out was below forty per cent. Nnenwafor, who is the INEC Commission for Imo, Enugu and Ebonyi states, while fielding questions after supervising the FCT

elections, attributed illiteracy and lack of voter education to the unimpressive turn out witnessed in the polls. She said, “The overall impression of the exercise is that the turn out is very low, even below 40 percent. I wouldn’t say

lack of awareness. Everybody was aware of the FCT elections.” According to her, the solutions to such apathy witnessed in the elections were voter education and creation of awareness especially at the grassroots level.

Adekunle Ajasin University convocation


VER N6billion has been expended on capital projects in the last 14 years of the existence of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State (AAUA). Addressing newsmen ahead of the 4th convoca-

tion of the institution slated for between March 12 through 22 , the Vice

Chancellor, Prof. Femi Mimiko, said four capital projects will be commissioned during the convocation on March 22.


No ransom to kidnappers of French family —FG


IGERIA on Saturday ruled out a ransom payment to the kidnappers holding seven members of a French family as France’s foreign minister held talks with President Goodluck Jonathan on the abductions. Seven French nationals, including four children under the age of 12, were kidnapped last month in Cameroon near the northeastern border with Nigeria. France has said Boko Haram carried out the attack and they were holding the family in Nigeria. In a video posted online that showed the hostages, the kidnappers said they were

members of Boko Haram. “As part of our own policy, we don’t pay ransom to terrorists but we would do everything possible to ensure that those terrorists are able to release their captives without any harm coming (to) them,” Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru told journalists alongside his French counterpart Laurent Fabius. Fabius, who visited Cameroon on Friday, had met with President Goodluck Jonathan before addressing reporters. “Of course, we raised the subject of hostages,” Fabius said of his meeting with Jonathan. “There are eight French hostages that are in Nigeria...We truly (and) very deeply wish that the French hostages can be freed.”

From left: Governor Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State, Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Chairman, Bananga Tukur at PDP South-East town hall meeting at Nike Lake, Enugu. Photo by Hill Ezeugwu.

Economic sabotage: Jonathan warns Service Chiefs, IG Continued from page 1 bunkerers, pipeline vandals and other criminal elements in the oil sector. He summoned the Service Chiefs to Aso Villa and told them pointblank that the situation must stop. The president was said to have threatened that he would not approve the outcome of promotion boards of the personnel from the Services usually presented by the Army, Navy and Airforce towards the end of the year should the situation that affects the economy continue. The boards sit by the third quarter of the year, after which the three service councils headed by the president will approve the promotions. Consequent upon the president’s riot act, it was gathered that the Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, has directed the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division, Enugu; GOC, 2 Division, Ibadan; as well as the GOC, 81 Division, Lagos, whose personnel oversee some oil producing and distribution states, to fashion out strategies aimed at immediately bringing oil theft to a halt. The various Joint Task Forces, including ‘Operation Restore Hope’, ‘Operation Pulo Shield’ and ‘Operation Flush Out 1, 11, and 111,’ with significant number of officers and men of the Amphibious Brigades and Battalions, have also been charged to rise up to the challenge of crude oil theft by the Defence

Headquarters. On the part of the Navy, Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, at the weekend, summoned a meeting of the top brass of the Service to Abuja and read the riot act to them to put a stop to oil theft or be ready to be disengaged. At the meeting, Ezeoba told Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), Flag Officers Commanding (FOCs) and Commanders of Naval Bases, Forward Operation Bases and other Operational Commands that the mandate given the Navy by Jonathan to tackle oil theft must be met. “ The president clearly instructed the Nigerian Navy to, as a matter of urgency and priority, eradicate the hydraheaded scourge of crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other acts of illegalities in our waters”, he said. “ Further to this directive, I have, in the past five months, instructed far reaching measures that will help address the challenges in our waters. Firstly, what we did was carry out ‘Operation Farauta’, which we think was successful, that enabled us to clearly establish the state of the fleets as regards operational capability for sustained patrol at sea. “ Thereafter, we went ahead to commission five new patrol boats that were bought for us by the Federal Government in sup-


port of this all important national assignment. We have, as I speak, deployed 3 of these boats to the Central Naval Command based in Brass. “However, I must make it clear to everybody seated here today, that for whatever it is worth, you have a responsibility to deliver on Mr. President’s mandate and, therefore, the Navy, as a matter of policy, has established zero tolerance for ineptitude and complicity and it is obvious from available records and intelligence summaries that officers and ratings have, in the past and perhaps in the present, been in complicity in the discharge of their duties. “I have said this before and I am saying it again for the very last time. Let me make it clear, that anybody found to have engaged in the act of complicity in the discharge of his duty, particularly with regards to the mandate we have at hand today, will be sanctioned and dealt with according to the laws”. For the police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar promptly directed the establishment of a new Command called the Maritime Police Command. The pioneer head of the new establishment is AIG Mark A. Idakwo. The Maritime Command will be domiciled at Force Headquarters, Abuja, under the operational control of ‘B’ Department. The Command, which has the status of a Zone, is a fusion of the Marine Police Department, the Police Ports Authority Command and the Inland Waterways Formation.

The Maritime Police Command is further broken into Western Maritime Command with headquarters in Lagos, the Eastern Maritime Command with headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and the Marine Command with headquarters also situated in Lagos. “Each of these subsidiary Commands under the Maritime Police Command is headed by a Commissioner of Police”, a police source said. “The Maritime Command is charged with the responsibility of maintaining law and order and providing adequate security in our ports and harbours as well

as tackling contemporary security challenges such as armed robbery, piracy, kidnapping, gun running and other related crimes in our creeks, harbours and territorial waterways”. On the part of the Nigerian Airforce, the Air Officers Commanding, Mobility Command and Tactical Air Command were directed to evolve strategies in consonance with such operational bases like the Special Operations Group, the Maritime Airlift Surveillance Group and others to intensify air patrols to make for greater efforts at arresting oil thieves.

S/West PDP shakes off defeat at 2011 polls as Tukur visits BY OLA AJAYI, Ibadan


ORMER Senate Leader, Senator Teslim Folarin, says the visit of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, to the South West zone would help the party unseat the opposition party in the 2015 elections. Tukur was in the zone on Friday to resolve the crises among various factions of the party. According to Folarin, the visit had served as a morale booster to the PDP since it lost to the opposition party. He said the exemplary

leadership of Tukur and the teeming members of the PDP that received him had shown that he had the wherewithal to steer the ship of the party. Thousands of members of the party stormed Ibadan metropolis to give the PDP helmsman a rousing welcome. Tukur urged the teeming members and other stakeholders of the party to re-strategise ahead of the 2015 elections so that the party can achieve victory. He told the party faithful to “reconcile and rebuild the party. You are the rightful people that should be in governance in your respective states.

APC: PDP disowns Ugochinyere *Denies having hand in the emergence of African Peoples Congress BY HENRY UMORU


HE national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, denied being involved in the formation of African Peoples Congress, APC, just as it disowned the facilitator, Ugochinyere Imo Ikenga. According to the PDP, it was disowning any move to frustrate the registration of the All Progressive Congress, APC, following the emergence of other associations with similar acronyms. In a statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party,

however, reiterated that it was not moved by the coming together of four opposition political parties to form the APC, adding that it welcomes a virile opposition. Metuh said, “our attention has been drawn to unfounded, spurious and vexatious reports making the rounds in some online media claiming that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is behind the identity tug of war by groups claiming the acronym APC. “The reports have suggested that agents of our Party are involved in the formation of the African Peoples Congress to frustrate the merger of opposition Parties under the canopy of the All Progressives Congress.

”We have on numerous occasions debunked these provocative insinuations. However, in view of the mischievous dimensions these rumors have assumed, especially within a section of the online media, the PDP wishes to categorically state as follows: To the best of our knowledge, no member of the PDP is involved in the formation of any other political organization, neither are we interested in the activities of any other Party. ”The alleged involvement of one Ugochinyere Imo Ikenga in the formation of the other APC has no bearing whatsoever on us”.


Riddle over ambush/killing of Warri Prisons’ warders *Why was police not contacted to provide escort ? BY EMMA AMAIZE


From left: Mr Andrew Isiayei (INC, USA), Dr Diepriye Tariah (Secretary, INC Europe), Dr Young Fiabema (Organising Secretary, INC USA), Mr Steve Benamaisia (Chairman, INC Europe), Alaowei Broderick Bozimo (Chairman, INC Electoral Committee), Chief J. M. Aseh (Secretary, INC Electoral Committee), Chief Victor Awala (Outgoing National Treasurer, INC), Mr Shadrack Fubara (INC USA), Mr Sunny Engi (Chairman, INC USA) and Mr Joshua Ukueje (Asst. Secretary, INC, Europe) during the Ijaw National Congress (INC) elections held yesterday at Ijaw House, Yenagoa.

HY did the Nigeria Prison Service, NPS, Okere, Warri in Delta State not notify the Nigeria Police about the planned movement of high profile kidnap/armed robbery suspects from the prisons to High Court, Warri, on Wednesday, March 13, and ask for escort as customary? Was any official (s) of the

Christian Elders warn of looming revolution in the North BY SAM EYOBOKA


ORTHERN Christian Elders Forum has cautioned leaders in the region to tread softly to avoid an imminent civil revolution. In a release signed by the NOSCEF chairman, Evangelist Matthew Owojaiye and secretary, Engr. Iliya Yusuf, the Forum said the North is in a big mess with the danger of a pending revolution, urging the northern political and religious leaders that it is not too late to prevent a bloody revolution. Titled: ‘Northern Moslem Elders Are Afraid: Revolution Is Coming,’ the Christian

Forum warned their Muslim counterparts in the region to desist from blaming the Jonathan administration for the woes of the region, arguing that since the northern Nigeria has produced nine heads of state, “how come the people are poor when their own people have been in power most of the time?” The Forum argued that the youths of the region are beginning to realize that the biggest enemy they have were not the innocent Christians they have been fighting all the while, but their own local leaders who had continually used them to prosecute their own political objectives. According to NOSCEF,

the nation was stunned recently with the news that over 80 per cent of oil blocs are in the hands of 11 northerners, while only one is a Christian. “The only Christian among them is distributing his money all over the country including a recent donation to Ahmadu Bello University the sum of N2.3 billion”. What to do to avoid impending holocaust in the mould of the Arab Springs, the Forum suggested is general repentance on the part of northern leaders while coming together to arrest the growing mass poverty in the region. “This they can do by tasking the 10 oil bloc owners the sum of N10

Pastor gets triplets after 25 yrs of childlessness


T was a joyful occasion for the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State as Soji Oni, a Provincial Pastor, dedicated a set of triplets after twenty five years of childlessness with his wife. The triplets, named Miracle, Sign and Wonder, were dedicated to God at the King’s Place Parish, Port Harcourt, headquarters of Rivers Province 2 of the RCCG. An overwhelmed Oni told a cheering congregation that it takes a man with heart and foundation built on God to patiently wait twenty five years for the fruit of the womb. He said: “Twenty five years is not twenty five days. It was a very big challenge not only as a family man but as a pastor who prays for others for the same problem and they receive. But today our prayers have been answered. “God knows our problems. I didn’t pray to have triplets but He gave one. Many families break

for not being able to bear children, but we should continue to trust in the Lord no matter the challenges. Our challenges are not bigger than God.” Also sharing the tough times the family endured in

the long wait for a child, the wife called on women to love and pray together with their husbands during tribulations as God is the only one who “knows our problems.”


Imo deputy gov sues CJ, Assembly BY CHARLES KUMOLU


MO State Deputy Governor, Mr. Jude Agbaso, has dragged the state House of Assembly and Chief Judge, Justice A B Njemanze, before the state High Court in Owerri, asking the court to stop the impeachment panel from taking further steps towards removing him from office. In a suit filed on March 14, 2013, Agbaso asked the court to hold that the constitution of the panel did not follow due process, noting that the outcome of the proceedings will

present a fait accompli. Agbaso is also asking the court to stop Justice Njemanze from acting on a request from the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Benjamin Anyanwu, to appoint a seven- man panel to further proceed against his removal. The deputy governor wants the court to take judicial notice of the fact that the Chief Judge is aware of the pending suit, having been filed before him while he assigned the suit to Justice F I Duruoha Igwe and directed that the suit be heard on Monday, March 18, 2013.

billion each as well as political office holders who had over the years milked the northern youths dry to provide employment for the youths of the region rather go cap in hand to the Federal Government for an imaginary a m n e s t y programme,”NOSCEF stated.

Federal Prisons working for or providing information to the kidnap syndicate that ambushed the warders between 8.00 am - 8.30 am on that day and ran off with two notorious kidnap suspects, among the nine awaiting trial inmates that were being shepherded to court? Could it be that the disturbing affair was just an error on the part of a top prisons officer, who just assumed duties? Whatever it is, the action or inaction of somebody or certain persons has resulted in the death of three prisons warders and grave injury to another two, who are battling for life at the Central Hospital, Warri. One of the nine inmates was shot dead on the spot; four were reported to be back in the prisons. In fact, three were re-arrested by Okere youths, while one voluntarily surrendered himself. Four others are reportedly at large as at Thursday. Police kept in the dark – Commissioner Delta State

Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, is not happy with the development. He told Sunday Vanguard after the incident, “Nobody told the police what happened even when we asked.” A top official in the Delta State Command of NPS admitted that the police were not actually informed, saying, “We have a new man who recently took charge in the place, I think he was not aware of the procedure.” The source added, “The way NPS is structured, it is only the national headquarters that can give out information of what transpired, that was why nobody in Delta State could immediately speak but I can assure you that they conveyed information to their superiors.” Aduba, however, said the Area Commander, Warri, Husseini Rabiu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, swung into action immediately the news of the incident came to his notice and deployed two teams to chase the gunmen.

Mother-in-law tore my family apart —Man tells court BY ADEOLA ADENUGA


Y seven years of living with him has been hell. He made life unbearable for me; if I continue with him, he might end up killing me. He takes me for granted because he got me pregnant while I was still in secondary school”, a housewife, Maria Nwanche, told an Agege Grade A Customary Court in a divorce suit. Meanwhile, the husband, Emmanuel, denied the allegations. He said, “My mother-in-law stopped loving me when I caught her with another man, she thought I would expose the secret and she brainwashed my wife to stop loving me. ”My wife now goes around with rich men from her parents house, and her mother is in support of it.” The 24-year-old woman pleaded with the court to dissolve the 7-year-old marriage. Maria Nwanche, who lives at 27, Market Road, Agege, said her marriage broke down when she realised that her husband pretended to love her. ”My husband sends words of insult to my mother whenever we fight, he does not take care of me and the children,” she stated. She urged the court to dissolve the union and grant her custody of the children. The husband,

Emmanuel, a business man, denied maltreating the wife and blamed his mother-in-law for all the trouble his marriage had gone through.

The Court President, Mr Emmanuel Shokunle, told the couple to maintain the peace and adjourned the case till March 18 for possible reconciliation.

Lecturers flayed for shunning study funds BY DAYO JOHNSON

THE Provost of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Prof Adeyemi Idowu, has criticised the nonutilization of study funds in the custody of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TET-FUND) by the academic staff of tertiary institutions. Idowu made the criticism during the opening ceremony of the National Delegates Congress of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union hosted by the college. He lamented that many lecturers were not making efforts to improve themselves academically through research and training programmes despite the fact that there is an idle fund to cater for such purpose. “It is within our reach to make use of the available government funding to develop ourselves as teachers”, he stated. “We need to improve and develop ourselves to meet the demands of teaching, learning, research and

imparting the right knowledge into our students and rub shoulders with other colleagues in higher institutions within and outside Nigeria”.

Akinboye for burial


HIEF Moses O l u d o t u n Akinboye is dead. Akinboye passed away on Monday, 14 January. He will be buried in his compound in Kere on 6 April. Christian wake-keep by the Christian Association of Nigeria is scheduled for 5 April at Owowo Obada Oko Zone.

Late Chief Moses Akinboye


2015: Promotion scandal rocks INEC zJega accused of ‘ethnic bias’ zINEC chairman: Action taken to reflect Federal Character

BYSONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North


015 general elections appear to be under threat as some senior officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, vested with the responsibility of planning and implementing the vote, are enmeshed in a dispute with the Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega. The affected staff, who had taken their promotion examination since May 2012 and had been expecting their promotion letters having passed the test, are angry that the Commission has not only withheld the result but has also gone ahead to use extraneous criteria to promote selected staff from some states in the country. The action has given rise to the fear that some staff are systematically being positioned to give a section of the country undue advantage in the 2015 presidential election. “The structure of the place (INEC) remains skewed, biased and worrisome as we approach 2015. Promotion has been swayed more by regional control of the place to the extent that the criteria are not certain. Recently, at a meeting, a suggestion was put forward for what was termed ‘special promotion’ without giving details of what constitutes special promotion and if there is any promotion in the civil service called by such name. It all turned out to be more people from a section of the country who would be promoted.


t is still in the cooler because it could not be defended but the move may come under a new strategy”, a source said. Findings by Sunday Vanguard revealed that apart from scoring a minimum of 60 percent in the May 2012 promotion exam, INEC also considered state quota in promoting most of the 669 senior staff who took the exam and were recommended for promotion. Trouble started when some of the affected staff awaiting their promotion letters got to know that they had been stagnated because of what INEC described as “lack of va-

cancies in the affected employees’ states”. On the promotion list, which Sunday Vanguard sighted, last night, some staff who scored 60 percent in the examination were recommended for elevation while others who scored 67 percent were stagnated because there were ‘’no vacancies” in their states. Some of the aggrieved workers have, however, dismissed the claim of lack of vacancies as an afterthought by the electoral body ’s authorities to deny them career advancement since the issue was not a criterion before the examination was set. Their grouse is that Jega invented a ‘strange rule’ to promote people in some states to the detriment of those from other states who passed the examination in flying colours. The breakdown in some states shows that the staff from many states were denied promotion because of their number. For instance, of the 15 senior staff from Abia State recommended for elevation, only three were denied due to lack of vacancies. Only eight of the 30 staff of Akwa Ibom origin in INEC,who were successful in the exam, were promoted due to the fact that the state has had it’s fair share in the Comm i s s i o n . Similarly, in Anambra, only nine persons out of 25 who passed the test were promoted. The situation was the same in Imo, where only seven out of 37 were lifted to their new ranks while six were elevated out of 17 who made it in Benue. But some states were lucky. Lagos got 12 out of 12, Delta got all its 11 workers lifted, Zamfara, all four, Yobe, all eight, Sokoto got all seven recommended, Ekiti, nine, Nasarawa, all seven, Gombe seven, and Taraba, all 12. Bayelsa, Ondo, Enugu and Kebbi got close to getting all that was recommended for promotion in those states. Only one out of the nine recommended for elevation in Bayelsa did not get it just as two out of 13 in Jigawa lost out. ”0ur worry is that the chairman is inventing a segregative measures to favour those he likes and stagnate the others from

certain states in the country ”, one of the aggrieved INEC staff said.


his strange tactic is unknown to the civil service rules, which emphasise the promotion of staff based on performance at the promotion examination and not on state of origin. “Let it be known that this policy is an afterthought since it was not made before the promotion examination. It, therefore, amounts to shifting the goalpost after the game had been concluded. “It is on record that the welfare policy of the Jega administration in INEC is at zero level. His lot has been unfulfilled promises and this has led to an alltime low morale of staff across the country. The staff are feeling betrayed and deceived since Jega has only two years to the end of his tenure in INEC.” The aggrieved staff also accused the administration of using consultants to undertake

Wife of the Governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, presenting empowerment items to members of the Mission to Rebuild Ogun State (MITROS) during the MITROS Empowerment Initiative as part of the activities to commemorate the 2013 International Women's Day celebration at the MKO International Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta...recently

jobs, which could be handled by staff at exorbitant costs, thereby depleting the resources of the Commission. The workers said the recent recruitment of 1,500 workers by the electoral body did not follow due process, leading to the querying of the process by the National Assembly. The workers accused Jega of smuggling the new staff into INEC with the active connivance of a national commissioner and a level 13 officer. But the Commission’s Chairman dismissed all the allegations as baseless and a figment of the imagination of those bent on discrediting INEC and

its objective management policies. Jega, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kayode Idowu, stated that, contrary to the allegation of favouritism levelled against him, he did his best to ensure that those who passed the examination were promoted based on available vacancies and taking into cognisance the Federal Character principle.


n the recruitment of the new staff, he said it was done openly and in accordance with the rules. ”It was because the recruitment followed due process that the National Assembly did not

invite INEC to answer questions when some other agencies of the government were summoned last week,” Idowu explained. The spokesman also defended the use of consultants by the Commission to create Asset Register, saying that nine existed before the appointment of the Jega-led administration. ”Look, let me tell you that all these allegations are often fuelled by people who do not want things done the right way. Prof Jega is determined to change the ways things were done shoddily and move the Commission forward for the best interest of the nation,” the spokesman stated.

Nigerian, Tinuade Okoro, is best medical student in Ghana … Sets record, Wins 16 Prizes


Nigerian, Tinuade Okoro, has emerged the best graduating medical student in Ghana and scooping, in the process, 16 prizes at the University of Ghana, Legon. Some of the prizes won by Okoro include the Ghana Medical Association prize for the best overall student in the MB ch.B final part 11 examination; prize for all round best student, sponsored by Ghana Health Service and the Society of Obstetrics and Gynecologists of Ghana prize for the best student in gynacology as well as the R.K Obeng prize for the best student in clinical pharmacology. Others prizes won by the Nigerian are the Nana Preko Ampem 11 prize for the best student in clinical obstetrics and gynecology; Archampong prize in surgery and Harry Sawyerr prize in medicine and therapeutics among others. In a letter dated February 28, 2013 and signed by Mrs. Selie Ama Baiden of the office of the Ag. Executive Secretary, office of the Dean, College of Health Sciences of the University of Ghana Medical School, it invited her to its congregation/

training while awaiting admission into university. She enrolled at the University of Ghana, Legon in 2006 and was admitted into the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS), Accra in 2007.

Dr. Tinuade Okoro swearing-in-ceremony of newly qualified medical doctors scheduled for March 23 at the Athletic Oval, University of Ghana, Legon. Born and brought up in Jos, Okoro’s parents are from Ondo State. Her father, Mr. Benjamin Oyedele Okoro, is a retired civil servant while her mother, Mrs. Omotayo Yetunde Okoro, was a nurse till her death in 2004. Tinuade began her primary school education in 1993 in Plateau Private School, Jos, continued in Rantya Model School, Jos and ended in Camp David Nursery and Primary School, Lagos. Tinuade attended Federal Government Girls’ College, Akure from 1998-2004, following which she completed some computer

Attributing her feat to God’s mercy and hard work, she said: “Structured learning also helped. You cannot just keep reading without a map, hoping to one day finish the material, you never will if you do not plan to!

NPDC urged to partner with stakeholders


prominent leader in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West local government area, Delta State, Chief Michael Johnny, has called on the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, operators of Oil Mining Lease, OML40, to identify with all stakeholders in order not cause communal crisis among communities hosting the Jones Creek flow station. Johnny, who made the call in Warri, said, for NPDC to operate freely in the area, it must identify with all stakeholders and equally patronize all indigenous contractors in the area , warning that any attempt to give priority to

an individual to the detriment of other stakeholders would be vehemently resisted. “ No single individual owns Jones Creek, therefore, if NPDC intends to operate unhindered in the area, it must do what is right by patronizing all registered indigenous contractors in the area, and not giving all the jobs and contracts to a particular individual, that must stop” According to him, NPDC is presently awarding all jobs and contracts to only c o n t r a c t o r s recommended by a particular individual in the area.



Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013

SUNDAY Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013, PAGE 9


Rising crime wave in NigeriaU.S.A Laments.

" OUR UNITY IN CRIME IS NON-NEGOTIABLE ! " 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:

Need to resolve the crisis in APGA Dear Sir,


VER since the judgment of Enugu High Court presided over by His Lordship Hon. Justice Umezuluike banning Chief Victor Umeh from further parading himself as national chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), reactions have continued to trail the judgment. In a latest development, some state chairmen of APGA organized themselves to request the National Council for review of the judgment of Enugu High Court. Even Chief Victor Umeh is not the least perturbed by the judgment and is clearly determined to go ahead to seek ways to reverse the judgment. His action may be seen as a form of self defence. A storm of opposition is also gathering in favour of Chief Victor Umeh at the national level. Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu (Junior) seems the most vigorous, powerful and self confident force for Chief Umeh aided by the national secretary of the party. Those party members who are in support of dismembering Chief Victor Umeh should think wise as Chief Victor Umeh is still being regarded with some respect, perhaps even affection by many people. He is still vigorous and looks very much in charge. The recent appointment of a new caretaker chairman has also contributed in deepening the crisis in the party. Since the disagreement within the party hierarchy, our amiable governor, Mr. Peter Obi, has not made any pronouncement on the lingering

crisis, the real issues at stake. He has treated it as an issue of relative less important. The press is expecting something more serious. A crisis created from a small by a big ego. When Chief Umeh spoke of the alleged demeanors of His Excellency, he seemed well prepared, there were flare-ups of temper. Initially, the governor ’s speech was low key but factual. No one expected that the disagreement would escalate. The director of Mr. Peter Obi campaign organization of the state, Chief Sylva Nwbualor, first made open the disagreement between the two gentlemen. When he talked of Chief Victor Umeh’s outsized flaws, without

highlighting his virtues to the press. This reporter gathered that the disagreement between the two men emanated from non conduct of local government election in the state. Chief Victor Umeh said that they agreed that local government election would be contested six months after Governor Obi’s re-election. Even some press men used various ruses in an effort to get inside information as to the real cause of the disagreement but to no avail. The popular impression fostered by the media is that Chief Victor Umeh had been a good party chairman who had worked hard for his political party. The Executive Governor of the state

Mr. Obi possesses the refinements which come naturally from good family background and a good education while the rift in APGA should linger is what the author cannot fathom. During his first tenure as governor, he was very fond of Chief Umeh and was very much appreciative of his fine service to the APGA that his distractors allege. The traditional rulers from Anaocha Local Government of the State tried to wade into the matter but were told to wait until the fog is cleared by His Excellency. Mr. Cletus Okereke, a public analyst,writes in from Anambra State.

Declare state of emergency in education sector Dear Sir,


HE falling standard of education in the country has been a source of worry to stakeholders and other interest groups in the education industry. Every year the country continue to receive shocking news of mass failure by students in WAEC, NECO and other exans. More worrisome is that among the few candidates that are able to break even, only a handful of them score credit in core subjects, especially English and Mathematics. In the last NECO exam not up to 25% of the candidates who sat for the exams had credited in English and Mathematics. This is a sorry situation.

The reason why the ugly trend has remained unabated is because the children and wards of the politicians and other prominent persons in the country send their children to study abroad.Only the children of the poor study in our public schools and because of this habit they are not directly affected about whatever goes on in our schools. The situation in our public schools today is worrisome. More than 50% of the teachers have lost interest in teaching. On the other hand, the students have thrown reading to the wind. Instead of making books their closest companions they resort to

marrying their cell phones which they manipulate in the class while lessons are going on. They also indulge in watching home videos and pornographic films. So it is only when children of politicians, ministers, governors and other bigwigs study locally that the poor performance of students in examinations could be viewed seriously and a lasting solution effected. Against this backdrop, I suggest that secondary education abroad should be banned.

Nkemakolam Gabriel,

PAGE 10—SUNDAY Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013

These men are dangerous: Jonathan/Obasanjo – 2

Rauf is the real thing "A leader . . . is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind." --- Nelson Mandela


HERE are times when it seems pointless talking about the obvious and after awhile it does get to you and it has got to me that I refuse to slip into the doldrums of doom and negativity. I assure you it is very hard when you talk about the shenanigans of our government and lives of the masses. As they say, misery likes company but I refuse to be drawn into its company and instead I go seeking for what is right with Nigeria. I have been for some time watching with interest the pragmatic and determined administration of the Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola. We all bear witness to the transformation of Osun State and it is not the window dressing that is fa-

voured by many of the governors. No, this is the real thing and the man knows what the country needs; better leadership and dedication. As those who are familiar with my column I have been a great supporter of the young people and the need for our government to invest in them. Well, Aregbesola has, and with the second batch of the OYES! Osun State Youth Empowerment Scheme, he has been able to provide a positive direction and employment for the young people. The members of the second batch of the OYES cadets were recruited from all the local government areas in the state and they are expected to serve across the state as traffic marshals, sanitation coordinators, Green Gang Paramedics and teaching service between year 2013 and 2015. This initiative was a long term investment; the state invested 2 years pay and pay a salary and on graduating they were provided with uniforms (police acad-

someone in Aso Rock, born and sent to school shoeless, in a riverrine area, still has not learnt that lesson. So, he has turned the PDP, started by the courageous Nigerians called G-34, and broad based into “a government of select South-

If power ever swings back to the north, in the near future, generations unborn from the south will pay the price for the actions of President Jonathan with his attitude to appointments and governance


south people, by select Southsouth people and for Southsouth people”. Before some blockheads start shouting “Dele has come again”, let me again remind everybody about last week’s column. In it, it was pointed out that all the most powerful positions in the Jonathan/PDP government (now you can see how foolish all those who “voted for Jonathan and not PDP” were), except one, are now held by

power distribution should be so lopsided? It matters not; but these are the consequences of voting President Jonathan, who had few friends outside his own enclave, until he became VicePresident as the nation’s leader. His instincts drive him to seek comfort within his own base. (Well, that is traditional security). Beyond that he trusts nobody. My Fellow Countrymen

emy please take note), kits and equipment all was sourced from the markets spread round the local government councils of the state. It makes sound economic sense because everybody benefits and the economy improves. The governor, according to him, the OYES programme was designed as a stop-gap scheme to train the youths and imbue them with positive work orientation and ethics such as self-sustenance, resourcefulness, character and competence, and to give them the selfconfidence to forge ahead and overcome life's numerous challenges. I must also let you know that OYES is not about youth employment alone. It is also about re-inflating the economy of

vided the school children with hand computer tablets tagged "Opon Imo" to public institutions across the state. Education is an investment for the future, he knows that and he is looking beyond his tenure. This makes a change from the usual unscrupulous politicians who use our youths as rent - a - mob and leaving them with no future prospects. If I am gushing, excuse me I have not had much to gush about in months, well, actually in years. The governor of the State of Osun, is a fine example that there is hope in Nigeria and it is possible to re-energise our future by investing in the moment. The young people deserve a better Nigeria and if we are not been given the opportunity then



ELLOW Nigeri ans, see what you have done to GEJ. Plucked out of obscurity; promoted rapidly beyond his ability to govern; he is now desperate to continue. He is now blundering deeper into a political quagmire and taking the nation with him. He has finally got selected as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, a man who had served OBJ. The late president cared about Nigeria; because he came from solid Nigerian stock. Unfortunately, our Jonathan is not so discriminating. He has probably never heard the old saying, “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are”. So, Ebele has embraced the new BOT chair. If we are paid N1billion for all the issues and personalities, about whom we have been proved right; we would be richer than

Dangote – without being accused of thievery by Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, OFR. We told you, when Obasanjo imposed Yar ’Adua that he was “a good man in the wrong job – on account of his frail health”. You elected him and the job claimed his life. Despite strident warnings on these pages, you voted for Goodluck. That’s bad luck for all of us; this is an unrepentant apostle of do-ordie politics. Most rightthinking leaders of the PDP are still scratching their heads about what happened in Edo State, in the last governor ’s election – which was decisively lost. Whether true or not, people expect rigging. The consequences will be too disastrous to contemplate. People will no longer stand for rigging. Yet, this is the corner into which Jonathan has boxed himself. “Rowing harder doesn’t help, if the boat is headed in the wrong direction”, said Kenichi Ohmae.(VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS, P 40). That was as far back as 1989. But,


“There are no desperate situations; only desperate men”, Joseph Goebbels, 1897-1945, Propaganda Chief under Hitler. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS, p 38)

people from the Southsouth zone – implying the total exclusion of anyone from the other five zones. The President is from Bayelsa, the new Chairman of the Board of Trustees is from Edo; the Chief of Staff in Aso Rock is from Edo; the two most powerful Senior Special Advisers (never mind the powerless but noisy duo from the Southwest – Abati and Okupe) are from Edo and Bayelsa; the newly created position of Chairman of the PDP governors has gone to Akwa Ibom; we can continue. Was it deliberate or inadvertent that the

(God knows how many fools make up that lot), from the Southeast, Southwest, North Central, Northeast and Northwest, who trooped out, in April 2011, to vote for Azikiwe (you probably forgot that was one of his names used to deceive mugus in the Southeast before the elections to vote; it disappeared immediately after the votes were counted), was this the “breath of fresh air” you were promised. But, was this the content of the “breath of fresh air” you were promised? In the desperate bid to surround himself with his “brothers”, our President had forgotten, or, perhaps never knew that there are Tivis, Berom, Katafs, Kanuris, Igalas, Efiks, Urhobos, Juguns, Igbos, Hausas, Afemais and Nupes, among other Nigerians worthy of consideration for powerful positions. The Southwest deserves nothing; for the simple reason that the zone which voted against PDP in every other election, only to turn around and vote Jonathan for President deserves the kick in mouth. Somebody already collected our own dividend – upfront. How about the rest? Would the earth explode if either the Chairman of PDP Governors Forum or the BOT Chairman had come from the East? Can no governor in the Middle Belt, all PDP, be trusted with whatever dubious role the candidate

for this dubious position, unknown to the party’s constitution, is supposed to play? Not once since Nigeria’s independence has the nation’s leader concentrated so much power in his own area – not even the unelected Abacha. Jonathan, being desperate, had created, right in front of our eyes, a precedent for staffing at the highest levels which will come to haunt all of us – especially the southern minorities. As it is now, none of the PDP governors, senators, and members of the House of Representatives, in the north or west, who risked everything to mobilize support for Jonathan, in 2011, can fail to feel embittered by the turn of events. I cannot speak for the East. One thing, however, is clear to me. If power ever swings back to the north, in the near future, generations unborn from the south will again be complaining that “the north had ruled for x number of years”. The south and Jonathan abolished zoning, not only for elections, but for appointments to powerful positions in government and the ruling party. I may not live long enough to see it. But, unless Jonathan can be persuaded to retrace his steps; the three zones of the south will pay the price for his actions. That is how dangerous the man has become. V i s i t :

afford to fail Nigeria. We deserve better and for those who are spiritual, for once pray and act with your conscience. Let us have more good governance and less of the absurd and the ridiculous empty promises and grand standing. I know who I want to emulate: the man who is active, focussed, driven, innovative and disciplined; the man who sees solutions where others make excuses. If most of these so called leaders could look beyond their self aggrandisements and self importance, they will do well to look across their state and work for the people and not from their own pockets. They say the good that people do live long after them but what they do for themselves dies with them. This is sadly the case for many of these self serving so-call leaders.

the same; they can now join others in the mainstream to make their contributions. Now, the pardons threw up controversy on those who benefitted that should not have been considered, not to talk of been pardoned. One of them is former Bayelsa State Governor, Diepreiye Alamieyeisegha. His conviction was so recent and reminds us of what we wanted to forget. He was a convicted thief. He absconded to England and disguise as a woman to arrive in Nigeria. So what has he done to show us he has turned a new leaf? The first set were strictly political offenders, according to Sani Abacha. Now we will have new economic saboteur- from the ranks of bankers, policemen who think nothing of impoverishing other policemen and some couldn't care less politicians. These people should reckon with our sensitivities; we cannot forget and we will definitely may not forgive. We do not forget Tafa and we are about to make a hero of Ibori. The next time around, he may gain a pardon. GEJ speaks highly of him. You know what they say: Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are -Kola Animasaun

The governor of the State of Osun, is a fine example that there Can we forget is hope in Nigeria and it is possible to re-energise our future and forgive? Truth will come to light by investing in the moment ... at the length, the truth

the state. You see, when you enable people they will take pride and commitment in their work and their personal lives and this will rub off on their families and the rest of the people around. On his trip to the US, he showned that he is forward thinking,the state has pro-


we should be using our democratic right to elect those who have shown their dedication and commitment for the interest of the people and the country. We should not vote on tribal, religious or any other divisive excuse the distractors may use. We can not afford to fail our children and we cannot

will be out.-William Shakespeare Pardon has gone to Sheu Yar'Adua, Oladipo Diya, Tajudeen Olarenwaju, Fadile and host of others Even the deceased Abdulkareem Adisa benefited. Their pardon was belated but welcome all


Let us beware of Abia State University degrees! been premised on some processes and procedures as well as a set of rules to which every candidate had to adhere. A breach of this requirement may bar a student from graduating. It can also lead to the withdrawal of a degree if the breach is discovered after it had been awarded. The latter is what appears to have influenced the Senate of the Abia State



HEN a Nigeri an University bestows honorary degrees on certain persons, the recipients need not meet any academic requirement. Some of them may be elementary school dropouts or tradesmen like carpenters, sometimes described as ‘furniture makers’. Indeed, many rich persons, among them ‘armed robbers’ and 419 experts, can obtain honorary degrees by sponsoring certain university projects. Thus, the honours are hardly deserved. However, not much fuss is made about them because in the subconsciousness of everyone including those honoured, little or no value is attached to non-academic degrees. It is a different ball game for a person to be awarded a degree and be described as a graduate of a university. A proper graduate must have gone through prescribed training and at the end was found worthy both in character and knowledge. Put differently, the said training must have

findings and recommendations of an investigative panel into allegations of breach of the extant Academic Regulations” of the University by the former student. While Eighty-eight (88) members reportedly supported the decision, only three (3) dissented. Kalu’s wrongs appear quite many. First, he allegedly violated the regulations on admission-by-

If the allegations against Kalu are correct, he deserves his fate but where are all those who aided him by acts of omission and commission?

University to approve at its 69th Extra-Ordinary meeting on March 01, 2013, the withdrawal of a degree it had awarded to one of its former students- Orji Uzor Kalu. According to the registrar of the university, Mr O. E. Onuoha, Kalu’s punishment was based on “the strength of the


transfer because his transcript from his previous school-the University of Maiduguri allegedly did not bear the letterhead of that institution. Second, although matriculation is mandatory for all fresh students, Kalu reportedly did not matriculate. Third, Kalu allegedly spent only two semesters

PhD, Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos,

Remembering Prof. C.S. Momoh ESTERDAY, March 16, 2013, was precisely the seventh year that Campbell Shittu Momoh, Professor of African Philosophy, University of Lagos died. To members of his immediate family and those of us he influenced positively one way or another, the psychological wound his sad exit left in our hearts is yet to heal completely. I still remember the discussion I had with him the very night he died, and his demise reminds me of the utter transitoriness of human life here on earth. My quest for university education at the Department of Philosophy, UNILAG, provided the opportunity for me to meet Prof. Momoh. As a teacher the late scholar was fairly regular in class, and although his lectures were sometimes boring, especially when he taught logic, his exposition of African philosophy was brilliant, illuminating, and levelheaded. Prof. Momoh was a firm believer in African philosophy as an authentic and legitimate subject for serious academic pursuit. Therefore he scathingly criticised African philosophers who “actually strive strenuously to satisfy and propagate the ideals of Western philosophy or any other alien philosophy.”

The main targets of Momoh’s criticism were members of the school of thought he labelled African logical neo-positivists, epitomised by Profs. Peter Bodunrin and Paulin Hountondji - although to some extent Profs. Kwasi Wiredu and Moses Makinde might be included because of the strong Western orientation of their writings. Prof. Momoh’s contributions to scholarship, especially to African philosophy, deserve to be celebrated.



comprehensive four-volume work comprising scholarly papers from authors who approached the subject of ethnic diversity and religious tolerance from different perspectives. Anyone who studies all the volumes would definitely come away with an enriched appreciation of the complexities entailed by religious and ethnic diversity. Momoh’s main argument in “God is not in Need of Existence” and “Pansophism and Ontological

On the issue of making oaths of office efficacious in curbing corruption by public officers, Prof. Momoh argued that the present “passive” oath-taking is not working and cannot work

He wrote several books and articles in both national and international journals, contributed chapters in books and was the editor of now defunct Journal of African Philosophy and Studies. As the founder of National Association for Religious and Ethnic Tolerance (NARETO), he encouraged religious tolerance and ethnic harmony among Nigerians. In this connection, Prof Momoh co-edited a


Placement in African Philosophy” is very interesting. In the two papers he tried to justify people’s beliefs in deities and the efficacy of prayers addressed to such deities. According to him, the important issue regarding these beliefs is not whether the entities postulated exist or do not exist. Instead the important question to ask is: does the entity play any central role in the life of the individual or

in the university instead of six, that is, one year instead of three academic years of study. Obviously, a student that can commit all these atrocities and get away with them must be a super human. In earnest, Orji Uzor kalu was not just a student because he was in his glorious university days, the Executive Governor of Abia State and was thus the Visitor to that university. He was however not the only super human in this subject. Abia State University could also be so described being the only university in the world whose student also served as its Visitor-the highest authority in a university. What this suggests is that there was likely to be some impropriety in Kalu’s academic carrier. Consequently, if what the university has done now corrects the wrongs, the rest of us should not lose any sleep. Unfortunately, that is a simplistic conclusion. As a public institution, the university has a duty to answer many questions to the satisfaction of the public. First, was there really an investigative panel? If so, who set it up? Second, when was it set up and what was its composition? Third, what were its terms of reference? Fourth, where did it carry out its work and for how long? Fifth, were its sessions held in public? Sixth, did the panel gather any data at all? For instance, what was

the opinion of the University of Maiduguri on the authenticity of the controversial transcript? If as we hear, the panel arrived at its findings without Kalu’s defence, that sadly breaches the elementary principles of natural justice. Again, what was the role of the State Governor in the saga? It seems curious th at the University released the report of the panel only after the office of the State Governor had made its own verdict known on it! The episode can be likened to a local government election in Nigeria in which results are collated and declared at the Government House by the returning officer and members of the electoral commission who are card carrying members of the ruling party. This analogy appears logical because the first public statement that was made on the so called enquiry was by Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, the spokesman to the current Abia State governor. There is also the need to comment on Nigeria’s culture of selective justice. If the allegations against Kalu are correct, he deserves his fate but where are all those who aided him by acts of omission and commission? Who was the chairman of the university’s admission board at the time? What roles did he/ she and other relevant operatives involved in admissions play in the alleged malpractices? Did they not see the ‘fake’ transcript from

the University of Maiduguri or did they see only what they wanted to see? Why did Kalu’s lecturers especially his Head of Department allow such an ‘occasional’ student who spent two instead of six semesters to ‘progress’ from one level to the other to the point of graduating? Did he obtain grades in absentia for some examinations? There are two other important persons to be mentioned. The first is the then Vice Chancellor (VC) who must have received the ‘fake’ documents that came from ‘above’. What was that former VC’s posture? The second is the current State Governor, Mr. Theodore Orji. Being the Chief of Staff to the Governor at that time, could he have been the courier of the fake documents? It is important to unravel everything so as to purge the University of unw holesome disposition. It is therefore necessary to know how many cases like that of Kalu exist in the university. They are likely to be many because if the executive arm of government influenced officials of the university as can be imputed from Kalu’s case, the legislature can do same through oversight influence, business men can also use money to get what they donot deserve from the University. In short, we need to know which degree of the University is actually earned and how to differentiate it from the phony ones. Until then, it is not unwise to be cautious of Abia State University degrees.

the community? Chances are that if the answer is positive the individual or community will invent a religion or ritual to honour that entity. Momoh’s thesis helps explain the ubiquity of religious consciousness across cultures and historical periods, as well as the proclivity of individuals and communities to venerate natural and artificial objects that play significant roles in their lives. Prof. Momoh was an engaging political philosopher: he strongly believed (and I agree) that philosophy, no matter how abstract, must address fundamental social problems of the day. In his best polemic against democracy entitled The Funeral of Democracy in Nigeria, Momoh argued, among other things, that democracy in the country breeds corruption, hegemony of the three major ethnic groups and incompetence. He avers that democracy is the verdict of the majority. But if the majority has a racist, tribalistic and unjust worldview, then democracy, will be tainted with these vices. Prof. Momoh advocated the invention of a “Social Wheel” such that by merely turning it one “can know what is scientifically due to each component of the country even in a thousand years from today. Now, although the points he made about Nigeria’s shambolic experiments in democracy are “spot on,” I disagree with him on the possibility of using any device, including the hypothetical Social Wheel, to determine what is due for each component of Nigeria

even for a week, not to talk of a thousand years. Constructing a just political system that takes care of the diverse interests of plural societies is always a workin-progress, such that it is unrealistic to believe that there could be a device which, by merely turning a lever or perusing a table, can automatically produce solutions to the difficult challenges of equitable distribution of resources, positions and responsibilities among different ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. Prof. Momoh, in his magnum opus, Philosophy of a New Past and an Old Future, formulated the principles of “moralism” and “active oath” to promote the task of nation building and tackle corruption. Moralism is the doctrine that “honesty, service, and concern for the interest of the other ought to be the basis and measure of all actions and policies.” The objective test of moralism is “how much the action of an agent meets and satisfies the legitimate wants and demands of the other or how it minimises the avoidable and unnecessary sufferings and pains of the other.” On the issue of making oaths of office efficacious in curbing corruption by public officers, Prof. Momoh argued that the present “passive” oath-taking is not working and cannot work. It should be replaced with what he called “active oath” in which the person swearing must be made to do so in the name of a juju specifically prepared for that purpose. Christians and Muslims could also swear active oaths with the Holy Bible

and the Holy Koran respectively by reciting relevant portions of the scriptures. The underlying procedure here, according to Momoh, is that the oath taker must invoke or spell out clearly what should befall him if he willfully and deliberately enriches himself, friends or relations by exploiting or abusing his office. Prof. Momoh’s submissions on how to construct a better Nigerian society are thought-provoking and deserve more critical attention than they have received up to this moment. Probably in a future essay I will subject his doctrines to ratiocinative scrutiny. For now, however, it is germane to report that Prof. Momoh was a humane and tolerant lecturer who displayed an intriguing mixture of arrogance and humility most of the time. I am one of his protégés: I know that the moment he identifies a promising and brilliant student, Momoh would do whatever he could legitimately to assist the person. Prof. Momoh was blunt, sometimes excessively: he could lambast a junior colleague for doing something wrong and later provide a soft landing for the person. It is not gainsaid that, like all humans the late Professor of African Philosophy and a prince of Auchi royal family had weaknesses. For many years he was a chain smoker, and sometimes carried his gerontocratic attitude too far. But on the whole he was a good man, a brilliant academic and a man of peace. I miss him! CONCLUDED



Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013



Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013, PPA AGE 13



Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013


Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013, PPA AGE 15

•Oyerinde...a death and its cntroversy


Adoke, Oshiomhole and Oyerinde’s Ghost By Jide Ajani


robe! Probe deeper! Investigate! Investigate thoroughly! These are words Nigeria’s intelligence and security agencies are very familiar with. And they, from time to time, do their best. With technology, the manual, laborious endeavour of traditional forensic investigation has now been consigned to the realm of history. But technology alone does not make a good forensic investigation.. If you’re in doubt, ask Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State. He will tell you that the brouhaha between the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, and the Department of State Service, DSS, over the real killers of Olaitan Oyerinde, his Principal Private Secretary, is a classic example of how fog can be introduced into an investigation. In December, Sunday Vanguard published, exclusively, the Police Report of the investigation into the murder. And, last week, having taken possession of the DSS Report of the investigation into the same matter, coming up with a totally different conclusion, Sunday Vanguard began a cross-referencing of the two reports, trying to make sense of both. Indeed, the DSS, in an August 23, 2012 letter by its Director General, DG, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong, signed on his behalf by Charles Madu, and addressed to the Inspector General of Police, titled “Transfer of Suspects”, named Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullahi as the ring leader of the four-man gang that killed Oyerinde. The second and third suspects are Raymond Onajite Origbo and Edeh Chikezie. The fourth suspect (probably still at large) was not identified in the report, but four receivers/purchasers of stolen items were named, bringing the total to seven. The DSS letter, with reference number S. 605/ 9021,clearly marked for the attention of Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP, Chris Ezike, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS, FCID, Garki, Area 10, Abuja, was in itself a response to a previous letter, with


•Gov. Adams Oshiomhole

reference number CR:3000/X/FHQ/ ABJ/VOL.T1/14, and dated August 14, nine days earlier, from the police. The police, in the letter, wanted the suspects, which the DSS had earlier paraded, to be released to them. Curiously, for the same offence, on its part, the police found that four persons, to wit: Danjuma Musa, Muritala Usman, Auta Umaru Ali and Moses Asamah Okoro, were those that killed Oyerinde. The Police Report, however, identified Garba Maisamari, a stolen goods receiver and alleged sponsor, to be the mastermind and recommended that Musa, Usman, Ali, Okoro and Adamu, alias Duna, be charged to court for conspiracy, armed robbery and murder. The constant thing in all of this is that Oyerinde was killed. To unravel this, Nigerians need help. And those who should help, unfortunately, have decided to add fog. The first confusion is over which set of criminals actually killed Oyerinde?

•Mohammed Bello Adoke

But there is a second problem and that is where the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice comes in. The man who oversees that office is one Mohammed Adoke, SAN, a smart, intelligent lawyer. Unlike some of his predecessors, he rarely talks. But there is a world of difference between being smart and intelligent on the one hand, and being decidedly thorough, on the other. The NPF sent the casefile to the federal Attorney General’s office instead of the Edo State Ministry of Justice. At the public hearing by the House of Representatives, penultimate week, one Mr. Olatigbe, standing in for Adoke, said the Justice Ministry was confused – as it should be, regarding which set of criminals to prosecute. Within hours, Adoke sprang to his feet, issued a statement, declaring that his ministry was not confused. He should know. He is the minister. And to bring physicality to all of this, last Tuesday, Oshiomhole accosted

Adoke inside the chambers of Aso Rock Presidential Villa, to demand justice. The latter responded that Oshiomhole’s Attorney General was ignorant of the law. The chambers almost became a boxing ring. That is where the matter is – as of now. But in the United States of America, there was a certain Judge John Sirica. When, in 1972, the five who stormed the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., were brought before Sirica, he saw through what appeared like a cover-up. Applying good sense, he deciphered that Virgilio González, Bernard Barker, James McCord, Eugenio Martínez, and Frank Sturgis, who were charged with attempted burglary and attempted interception of telephone and other communications, may have had backers. He was right. The backers went as far as the Office of the President of the United States of America, at that time led by Richard Nixon. The conspirators included but were not limited to a former Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, agent, some staff of the White House; and it led to the resignation of Nixon when imminent impeachment stared him in the face. Sirica provided assistance to the prosecutors who were able to do a thorough job. In January 1973, Sirica passed judgment on the five burglars. That was in America in the 1970s. Rather than allow himself become the butt of jokes and gossips in high places, Adoke can bring the full weight of his office to bear on the need why the NPF and the DSS should please explain to Nigerians why two sets of criminals are in detention for the same offence. It is one responsibility that Adoke would not need an Oshionhole to keep haranguing him. If this fog is not cleared, it can be expected that Oshiomhole would still cause another scene when next the National Council of State meeting is called. It is only in Nigeria that two sets of criminals would be arrested for the same crime. Mind you, the five burglars arrested at the Watergate Complex lamely admitted guilt in a rather suspicious manner. And whereas those in Nixon’s White House attempted to pull wool, by alleging that the burglary and wiretaps were with a view to establishing the veracity of the claims in some quarters that communist funds may be finding its way into the American system through the Democratic Party, such a claim could not vitiate the folly of the commission of the crime. For the sake of Oyerinde’s ghost, there should be a closure to this ridiculous phase of a long journey towards unraveling the true killers of Oyerinde. By May 4, this year, it would be a year since the murder was committed; and to think clearing the fog regarding which set of criminals in custody actually committed the crimes is just the beginning of the process. Once the fog is cleared, may be Oyerinde’s ghost can then rest pretty.


Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013

By EMMA AMAIZE, Regional Editor, South South

What the DSS suspects said


eferring to Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullahi (alleged ring leader), the report said, “He is the leader of the four-man gang that robbed and killed Oyerinde. He admitted to have shot the deceased through his bedroom window. Also he took Service operatives to where he hid the three (3) guns used for the operation that were recovered.” “The suspect further averred that the guns were supplied him by Saidu Yakubu, aka Imam, one of the suspects, an assertion that the latter denied. “He further disclosed that he got information about the deceased from his gateman who had unwittingly talked about the affluence of his boss at several fora. However, he maintained that his shooting was not intended to kill him”. This report said Edeh Chikezie is the next in command to Abdullahi. It stated, “He(Chikezie) admitted that the three guns used for the operation belong to the gang leader, Abdullahi. He affirmed that Abdullahi shot dead Oyerinde through the bedroom window when the deceased ran into the bedroom and locked the door. Chikezie further confessed that he got one GSM phone out of the five phones they collected from the victim’s residence, which he later sold to Saidu. “Raymond Onajite Origboe also admitted he was part of the four-man armed robbery gang that robbed and killed Oyerinde. He said they were led in the operation by Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullahi who also provided the three guns used during the operation. He noted that Abdullahi shot dead the owner of the house and stressed that his share from the robbery operation was N6,000 and a blackberry phone.”

Police/DSS rivalry


here exists a rivalry between the police and DSS at local, state and national levels and this is affecting security efforts. As the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice


•MD Abubarkar, IGP


The anatomy of contentious investigations (2)

•Ita Ekpenyong, DSS DG

•Police: `DSS suspects were never

taken to Oyerinde’s house’ •DSS: `Suspect admitted to have shot deceased through bedroom window’ When it paraded six suspects in its custody, DSS did not show the seventh suspect, 26-year-old Abubakar Lawal, a Kano resident, who police detectives tracked through technological maneuver to be using the stolen telephone hardware of Mrs. Funke Oyerinde, wife of the deceased in phone numbers, 08036555537 and 0809898239. According to the police, detectives

on June 19, 2012, raided the house of Abubakar Lawal in Rejiyer/Remo Police Division, but were told that the suspect was arrested since May 31, 2012 and over to DSS, Kano on instructions of the Commissioner of Police, Kano. Complaining of DSS disobliging attitude, the police report noted, “Efforts to have access to him (Abubakar Lawal) have proved unsuccessful despite a formal letter


pointed out, the power to investigate and prosecute criminal cases is vested on the police constitutionally, but the DSS is known to be investigating and prosecuting criminal cases. However, what is required in cases where the police and DSS are involved should be synergy between both agencies. In the kidnapping of Prof Kamene Okonjo, mother of Minister of Finance, Prof Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State, the police and DSS in Delta State reportedly worked at cross-purposes. However, in the Oyerinde murder, both showed signs of animosity early in the day. After the death of the aide to the Edo governor, May 4, 2012, the Inspector General of Police ordered full-scale investigations into the incident. The DSS arrested and interrogated six suspects in connection with the matter, but did not alert the police until they were paraded before reporters. The IGP was informed of the development by the DSS, in a letter with reference number DGSS.71/ 3022, dated August 1, 2012 and requested to keep the suspects for prosecution. The IGP, in his reply, under reference number CR:3000/X/ FHQ/ABJ/VOL/T1/14, dated August 14, 2012, sought the transfer of the seven suspects to the police, categorized as three murder suspects and four stolen good purchasers. The DSS did not transfer the case files and statements of the suspects to the police. And it was as if the Service was reluctantly handing over the suspects.

The DSS, in a letter with reference number DGSS.71/3022, dated August 1, 2012, requested to keep the suspects for prosecution. The IGP, in his reply, under reference number CR:3000/X/ FHQ/ABJ/VOL/T1/14, dated August 14, 2012, sought the transfer of the seven suspects to the police


Continues on page 17


Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013, PAGE 17

THE OYERINDE MURDER SCANDAL Continued from page 16


e particularly identified Garba Usman Maisamari as the person who sold the deceased’s Blackberry Bold phone to him with other telephone handsets. “The interrogation of Hassan Babete Aliyu further disclosed the presence of two suspects in police custody who seemed to have extensive knowledge of Garba Usman Maisamari. Consequently, the duo of Danjuma Musa and Muritala Usman, who have been in Edo Command custody for unlawful possession of cartridges since 24/05/ 2012 were taken over by Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad operatives for further interrogation,” the report said. DCP Ezike noted this, in his letter, dated August 24 to the Deputy Inspector General of Police, “D” Department (FCID) when he wrote, “Also transferred along with the suspects was a list of improperly categorized exhibits , which we refused to sign for because of wrong nomenclature and classification- a fact that was also acknowledged by the Assistant Director (Internal Security), Mr. Dauda Abulganu, who led the team. It was now agreed that DSS should do the needful and return the appropriate list today for signature”. He commented further: “It was immediately observed that instead of the six suspects paraded by the Service, seven suspects were transferred to the police. Interestingly, the seventh suspect is Abubakar Lawal, who was traced to Kano but was reported to have been arrested by the police and handed over to the Service. “Secondly, the Department C M Y K

•Whose suspects?

of State Service did not transfer any enabling case file(s), statements, documents, especially search warrants with which recoveries were made, except a skeletal brief on the suspects as contained in the attached document”. In a briefing presented to the House Committee at the public hearing, the police restated, “The Department of State Service did not transfer any investigation report-be it interim, preliminary or final-to the police. “The Department of State Service did not handover any complainant, witness or suspects statements; enabling documents like search warrants or attestation by investigating officers to the police. “None of the exhibits transferred by the Department of State Service to the police related to any of the items stolen from the late Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde’s house. One of the victims, Adeyinka Oletubo, confirmed this position after viewing the items. “The police wrote to the Department of State Service requesting for information/interface which may lead to successful investigation but no response. “Police had no choice than to perform its statutory responsibility of criminal investigation hence a full investigation.” The police and DSS were clearly at loggerheads at the public hearing and anybody who was present would have noticed there was no love lost between the two security agencies. DSS boss, Ekpeyong, DIG Gana and DCP Ezike displayed overt enmity. However, a source said, “The DSS is skeptical about the police and it is for a good reason. They carried out a scientific investigation and traced the killers, but you can see the police presenting another set of killers.”

Police counter DSS


of requests to the State Security Service, Edo state. “It said police burst through on the matter after DSS’s negative response came when service provider information on June 19, 2012 revealed that telephone numbers, 07037448616, 07053914404 and 08039712838, had variously used the same hardware since it was stolen. The first two phone numbers belong to Mohammed Baba Yelwa of Wuro Hausa Girei II in Adamawa, while the last belonged to Abubakar Raji of Girei as well. Following the unearthing, detectives arrived Yola , Adamawa state on June 22, 2012 and through diligent surveillance, arrested Mohammed and “through him, recovered the deceased’s phone handset, ‘Blackberry Bold’ in the house of Raji, which has been positively identified”. The report said the take into custody stimulated other arrests, including Hassan Babete Aliyu, 41 years, resident at Eyean village, Aduwawa on June 26, who admitted under interrogation that he was a receiver of stolen property, especially telephone handsets, which were supplied him by Garba Usman Maisamari, Umaru Adamu (Highest) and Sani (surname) unknown, all resident in Benin City.

There exists a rivalry between the police and DSS at local, state and national levels and this is affecting security efforts; what is required in cases where the police and DSS are involved should be synergy between both agencies


Faulting the claim of scientific investigation by DSS, the police stated, “The three persons identified by the Department of State Service as the suspects who murdered the late Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, namely Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullahi, Raymond Onajite Origbo and Edeh Chikezie, were variously interrogated. “They admitted being armed robbers who usually operated as a gang of six made up of themselves, one Sani, one Ali alias Smally and one Ishiaka –the last three still at large. They also admitted to various armed robbery escapades in Benin City promising to take the police to the locations but denied any involvement in the armed robbery of May 4, 2012 at No. 65, 2nd Ugbor Road, GRA Benin City at the house of the late Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde. “They also admitted that, in their operations, they were usually armed with three cut to size single barrel guns provided by Ishiaka- a Fulani nomad who is a member of the gang. Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullahi posited that when his house was searched, only one hammer, one matchet and two kitchen knives were

recovered by Department of State Service operatives and denied knowledge of 1 No Europa Magnum Pump Action gun and 2Nos Russian Double Barrel guns said to have been recovered from him. “The suspects claimed that they were never taken to the scene of crime and that the late Comrade Olaitan’s house was shown to them from a Blackberry telephone by their interrogators”.

The 10 inconsistencies of the police, by CONGOS


ONGOS raised 10 inconsistencies in the police investigations into the murder of Oyerinde. They are: *How could armed robbers arrested on 24/4/2012, who are still in police custody, be said to have killed Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde on 4/5/ 2013? · How can a gun that is in police custody since 24/4/2012 be used by robbers on the 4/5/2012 to kill Comrade Oyerinde Olaitan? · How did Usman Maisamari know he will be contacted someday to go and assassinate Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde if ,after coming to change dollars to Naira on the second occasion, Maisamari had to trail him to his house long before he was contacted by the “David” ? · How could a hired assassin be paid N200,000 out of N20million and over, a month after, he is yet to be paid his balance and their contractor is walking freely. · How come, on interrogation, the suspects didn’t know Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde’s house neither do they know his car if in their statements they said they trailed him to his home twice? · How come Garba Usman Maisamari, who the police said named one “David” and have been contacting the “David” on phone, could not mention Rev David Ugolor’s GSM Continues on page 18


Vanguard , MARCH 17, 2013


•The suspects DSS paraded

Revalidating position


he police responded point- bypoint to the alleged inconsistencies. They said that when Moses Asamah Okoro, Danjuma Musa, Muritala Usman and Auta Umaru were re-interrogated, they confirmed that, at a meeting with Garba Maisamari in a beer parlour around Owina Junction, Benin City, he, Maisamari, told them that if the job was successful and the man killed, they would be given N20million. “The trio of Danjuma Musa, Muritala Usman and Auta Umaru Ali stated that Moses Asamah Okoro insisted that he wanted to meet the person to ensure that the money was paid and Garba Usman Maisamari called the man on phone and he spoke with Moses Asamah Okoro”,the police stated. “The beer parlour at Owina Junction was visited, called ‘Somebody Parliament’. The owner, one James Amadin, identified Auta Umaru Ali as a customer who usually comes to patronize him with some Hausa boys. “Consequently, Rev. David Ugolor of No 123 First East Circular Road, Benin City, whose features fitted Garba Usman Maisamari description and who has been previously questioned in the course of investigation was arrested on July 24, 2012. “He was put up for identification parade on the same date and he was positively identified by Garba C M Y K


Continued from page 17 service provider when on one- onone interview with Ugolor? · Why did the police arrest Rev David Ugolor without any concrete evidence against him having established evidence against other suspects? · Why did the Nigeria Police flout court orders consistently even when their lawyers were in court? · Why are the police not releasing the call log between Rev David Ugolor and Garba Usman Maisamari that they claimed exist?

How come, on interrogation, the suspects could not identify Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde’s house neither did they know his car if in their statements they said they trailed him to his home twice


Usman Maisamari.” The police noted the allegation of the” petitioners that one of their members Rev. David Ugolor was arrested on a singular and unconfirmed statement of a suspect who confessed that he, David, masterminded the assassination of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde”,saying, “We wish to confirm that the suspect, Garba Usman Maisamari, stated so even before Rev. David Ugolor and the confession is on video tape. We also wish to add that Rev. David Ugolor was positively identified in an identification parade conducted on July 27, 2012 by the said Garba Usman Maisamari in the presence of his lawyers. “Worthy of note is that minutes before the parade, Rev. David Ugolor changed his position from No 4 to No 9 on the advice of one of his lawyers and it was at this point he was identified.” Slamming the Edo State Ministry of Justice, the police said,”We wish to state for the purpose of clarity and public record that the assertion by the Edo State DPP in his legal advice attached to the Civil Society Organization petition under reference “that he is aware that the

casefile of some persons who reportedly made confessional statements have been handed over to the police by the SSS is false in its entirety. “We challenge him to show proof. Apart from the documents referred to as Documents 13 and 14 in Appendix 3, the police did not receive any other document from the Department of State Service. “We also wish to point out that in the same legal advice under reference, the DPP had opined that a prima facie case of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed robbery and murder is made out against Usman Adamu amongst others. We do not know Usman Adamu and he was never investigated by the police.”


he police, in dismissing the alleged discrepancy over the arrest of the suspects, said, “The petitioners had argued that two of the suspects arrested by the police in the course of investigation were in custody when Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde was murdered. Suspects Danjuma Musa ‘m’ and Muritala Usman ‘m’ were arrested on the 24th of May, 2012 and not 24th of April, 2012. The duo of Danjuma Musa and Muritala Usman were arrested by good Nigerians on the 24th of May, 2012 and handed over to the Divisional Police Officer, Oba Market Police Station, Benin City, who, in turn, handed them over to the Special Anti- Robbery Squad, Edo State Police Command on the same day for an offence of unlawful possession of cartridges. “In the course of diligent investigation in the late Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde’s murder, the operatives of the Force CID Abuja took over the suspects on the 27th of June, 2012. “The statements made by the two suspects and witnesses who were present during the arrest elucidated this fact. The letter we wrote to the Edo State DPP on 19th November, 2012 stated the date of their arrest clearly and, for purposes of emphasis, is partly reproduced below:- “We

wish to unequivocally state that the duo of Danjuma Musa and Muritala Usman were arrested on the 24th of May, 2012,”REPEAT 24th of May, 2012 AND NOT 24th of April, 2012”. “The respective statements they made to the police contained in the duplicate case file which the learned DPP vetted contained this fact in pages B5a, B6d and B6f. “Furthermore, the statements of eye witnesses to the arrest contained in pages A14 and A15 of the same case file elucidated this fact. The police investigation report clearly stated the date of arrest as 24th of May, 2012 in the following paragraphs and pages:- Paragraph 3.9, page 7 Paragraph 3.10.9 (x) page 23 Paragraph 3.10.9 (xi) page 24 Paragraph 3.10.9 (xxv) page 41 Paragraph 3.10.9 (xxvi) page 45 Paragraph 4 xxix page 85


e admit a printer’s error in the investigation report where 24/04/12 was typed in page 78 paragraph 4 (viii), line four instead of 24/05/12. We also posit that in no other part of that report did such an error or such a meaning was conveyed. “Similarly, we ordinarily thought that the learned DPP was actually vetting the duplicate casefile which included the investigation report and not the investigation report alone and would have taken into consideration the statements made by the suspects, witnesses and all other circumstances/ramifications of the matter before the opinion. “From the foregoing, it is very clear and obvious that the date of arrest of Danjuma Musa and Muritala Usman was 24th of May, 2012. “Any other insinuation to the contrary is not only mischievous but frivolous and aimed at diverting attention from the real issues”.

NEXT WEEK Conclusion: Exclusive interviews with the Oyerinde Murder Suspects!

SUNDAY, Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013, PAGE 19

The da o thank ed God dayy Go Govv Mimik Mimiko thanked A thanksgiving service to commemorate the second term inauguration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko took place at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Redemption Court, Akure, Ondo State. The occassion in pictures;

From left: Governor Olusegun Mimiko, his wife, Olukemi, deputy governor, Alhaji Alli Olanusi, and his wife, Alhaja Bejide

Winners emerge in Glo Presents The Big Friday Show


he second batch of winners in the lifestyle entertainment television programme,Glo Presents The Big Friday Show, have been presented with their prizes. The prize-presentation ceremony was held last Wednesday at the MTV Base office in Ikoyi, Lagos. The prizes which included Samsung Galaxy Tabs, BlackBerry handsets and Glo High Speed Internet modems were for two of the competitions for viewers of the show, “Prank Yo Peoples” and “Celebrity Surprise” segments.

From left: Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Victor Kiladejo, Mimiko, daughter, Pipelayo, wife, Olukemi, the mother of the First Lady, Madam Felicia Adeniyi, deputy governor, Alhaji Alli Olanusi, and his wife, Alhaja Bejide

Hon. Ogundele @ 50


onourable Sikirulai Ogundele celebrated his 50th birthday and the occasion turned out to be a special one with the less privileged

Ogundele being assisted to cut his birthday cake by family members and the juvenile home children

Anene Ifeoma (left) and Mercy Iyamu, being presented with his Samsung Galaxy tab prize by Globacom’s Lagos 1 Manager, Mariam Onosode Atseyinku (right).

Hon. Sikirulahi Ogundele, his wives, family members, friends and pupils of Juvenile Correction Home. Asero, Abeokuta

The Big Friday Show, Monday Akpan, being presented with his Samsung Galaxy tab prize by Globacom’s Lagos 1 Manager, Mariam Onosode Atseyinku.

Winners in the different competitions in Glo Presents The Big Friday Show in a group photograph with Globacom’s Lagos 1 Manager, Mariam Onosode Atseyinku (1st right) and Didi Awosika (1st left) and Colette Otusheso (3rd left) of MTV Base.

Ogundele (m) carring one of the juvenile home babies

Mo ther s’ Da Mother thers’ Dayy celebration in Jos Women’s Church Wardens joined the rest of the world last weekend in celebrating the Mothers’ Day at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Jos, Plateau State.

The Women’s Church Wardens at the occasion

From right: Mrs. Edith Agbanusi and Mrs Theresa Chiaghana




Getting the right focus for 2015 View-Point I

have an ‘auntie’ who gets really upset whenever she hears/reads about the frantic moves the various political parties are making towards the 2015 elections. “I can’t understand these people,” she fumed recently at the news that a mega political party was being formed to collectively challenge the major ruling party at the next general elections. “We’re still more than two years away from the 2015 elections, for God’s sake! We are yet to see any of the political parties perform creditably well in the states they control. Should how to win at the next elections be their priority now? Shouldn’t they be more concerned about getting their governors to keep election promises, and perform well, before scheming to remain in power, or even want to grab more states? As for those parties which don’t have states yet, members should spend time really studying the problems on the ground, and proffering solutions for solving them, rather than fighting over who should stand, or, what political party to team up with so that they can taste power. All these mudslinging and crossing of carpets are unhealthy distractions to good governance. As usual, we prefer chasing shadows than substance. Those in power spend so much time answering back their critics that they seem to have very little qualitative time to concentrate on their job, perform well and uplift our li ves. Let us concentrate on the present with noticeable improvement in the lives of citizens, before we start the race for 2015.” This is sound reasoning, but will our politicians listen? Do they even read the papers, watch/listen to the news, in order to find out what we the masses think of their performance? I don’t think so. I’m of the opinion that they listen only to what their minds tell them, and they refuse to see our country as it . really is. When the world was applauding Nigeria for winning the 2013 African Nations Cup, a comment from a yahoo user on the Yahoo comment board on the issue was, ‘It’s a nation of scammers, cheats and dishonest people’. Well! Well! Is anyone concerned about this our international image which usually eclipses our good points? Have our rulers over the years ever thought of what could have led a highly respected nation like ours to sink, so low as to be incl uded on the list of every bad thi·ng on earth, and thought of ways to eliminate/reduce the root cause which is usually greed and the ne’ed amass wealth and live big? I can’t see any evidence of that; instead I see more decay in the system: which now makes some of those in high positions to dip their fingers in public money with impunity. Should we wonder why there’s increased criminal activities in the land? Are we and our rulers concerned about this? Will things get better in the future? I do like this idea of some political parties coming together to form a party, not because it would be the miracle that would save a nation from self-inflicted decadence, but because, in my view, having over forty political parties in our country doesn’t portray us as a C M Y K

Helen Ovbiagele Woman Editor

deed have just three or four major parties to choose from in the country. But the million dollar question is, will having several political parties come together under one umbrella bring the needed allround relief we need in this country? It can, if its underlying aims are masses-centred and massesfriendly, and not just for the sole intention of grabbing power for itself, and becoming the ruling party. A colleague is guarded about the benefits to the nation, and feels that it could lead to more endless wranglings among politicians as they try to wrest power from one another, and this could hold up actions we need to take to move the nation forward and gain international respect again. Only God knows the future and where things would lead. However, those of us who are old enough to remember the era when Nigeria was held in high esteem in the whole of Africa, not for its

oil wealth, but for its sound, devoted and dedicated statesmen who put their country first, can only pray that those God allows to be in charge of om country will resolve to exhibit those traits which made us great, and improve on the character and performance of those patriots. One after the other, they died with broken hearts because, not only did a great Nation they envisaged not materialize, they actually saw it decaying. The present crop of politicians can redeem Nigeria’s image and put it back on the path of greatness, if they want to, and if the nation cooperates with them. That we can do, only if they show themselves honest people with focus and integrity. I know it’s quite a struggle to decide not to steal public funds when others are doing so and living outrageous lives of opulence, but I’m sure there can still be some who would not want to soil their hands and names, and experience public disgrace. It’s all a matter of choice and conscience.

Anything done to whittle down the parties to a manageable and responsible number, is very welcome. The major aim of any political party is to provide a conducive atmosphere in the country which would uplift the life of every citizen serious nation with a responsible disposition. What policies for saving our economy and improving the quality of the lives of our citizens can these parties have that would differ so much that we need this multitude of parties? Who can blame people who may think that the money political parties get from the central fund could be the motivation for having so many political parties? Someone argued that it’s ope of the beauties of democracy. That’s doubtful, since the countries who are leaders in the practice of democracy don’t have such a huge number. Many of such countries, e.g. the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States, have at most, five political parties, and then they have independent candidates to stand for elections. So, in our case, anything done to whittle down the parties to a manageable and responsible number, is very welcome. The major aim of any political party is to provide a conducive atmosphere in the country which would uplift the life of every citizen, irrespective of who and what the person is. In short, ensure a bouyant economy, create jobs for the teeming jobless, adequate security of lives and property in all parts of the federation; provide good qualitative education, healthcare, housing, roads and transport services, clean environment, and working social services. Every political party worth its salt should have these on their manifestos. Having similar goal; means we can in-

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We empower women for better life — Deaconess Regina Oviaesu By GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE Deaconess(MRS) Regina Oviaesu is a former Vice-Chairman of Oredo local government of Edo State and also the National President of the Great Women Movement, based in Edo State. A woman of many parts, in this interview with Sunday Vanguard in Benin, she speaks of the importance the group attaches to the empowerment of women in the state, the importance of the girl child education, the 35 percent Beijing affirmation for appointment of women into government offices, and the need for women to take active part in partisan politics. Excerpts: What is the Great Women Movement all about?


HE Great Women Movement is a threefold Non-Governmental Or ganization which provides social, economic and philanthropic services. We are registered as a Co-operative Society which enables women to be empowered. We are also registered with the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, so that women can have the opportunity to export whatever products they are able to produce. We serve as an avenue for women to interact socially in events involving them and their families. We give financial assistance to women to help improve their lot. We also encourage them to improve on their academic qualifications, acquire skills, and as for those who are not educated, we encourage them to enroll at Adult Education Literacy Programmes. We advise those that have WEAC/NECO Certificates, to enroll for part-time programmes in the Universities and other institutions of higher learning. We also assist those who have been unable to access their education due to lack of finance to do so. We also assist those who are unable to get jobs and their families, as much as we can. What is the strength of your membership? For now we have about three hundred members. Women are eager to join because of the benefits the organization provides. We address women’s health because we feel that a healthy woman is of great importance to her family, society and nation, as she would be fit physically to carry out her duties. In this regard, we have collaborated with other Health NGOS, especially AMEN FOUNDATION who has assisted us in the area of provision of health facilities to help the women when they need medical attention. Some of the NGOS have assisted women in the area of surgery, free eyes test, free eyes glasses and those that needed cataract operations were assisted by AMEN FOUNDATION to have them. We have been able to create an awareness in women to know their HIV/AIDS Status, have Cervical cancer tests, know their diabetic status by undergoing blood sugar tests, and regularly check their Blood Pressure. Doctors and Midwives are also brought in to educate our women on their health and hygiene. So, we have done a lot in the area of health and this is a continuous process. We have an Advocacy Programme every 21st of August where we go to the market to sensitize women on keeping their environments and homes clean. We go around distributing free cleaning equipment. We have been do-

Deaconess Regina Oviaesu....I strongly believe in the empowerment of women

All people should be given equal opportunity and empowerment. Male or female child, every child should have equal access to qualitative education ing this since the past ten years. We have also visit communities on advocacy and campaigns on cleanliness, and we have distributed cleaning materials like brooms, Mugs , dustbins, cleaning pans, churches. Thus, we’ve assisted in getting people to be aware of the need to keep their environment clean. We visit Orphanage Homes every year , donate items to them, and help wash their clothes, and clean the premises as a kind of community assistance. Every Easter Monday, we visit the lepers’ settlement to give them food and clothing items, provisions, toiletries, books and other items for their children. In the past we have given scholarships to some of the children of the inmates. We are sponsoring one of them at the College of Education and we also set to train others. We have also defended the rights of children especially those

children that have been sexually abused. We have been able to collaborate with other NGOS who have provided us with Lawyers to prosecute some fathers that abused their children sexually. We have done quite a lot as an NGO, the Great Women Movement in Edo State. Every year we join the prayers Intercession Ministry and join Mrs. Margret Agbonifo in praying for our State. We’re proud of the great strides that the Edo State government is taking to develop the State, and we commend the governor for the work he’s doing. What is the source of funding for this group? I want to say that we give all the glory to God and it is God alone that can do all things. God has been faithful to us. We’re mostly self-funding, but a few people have in one way or the other supported us when they saw what we have been doing. Some of them just assisted us with cash donation to key into the programmes. I cannot fail to mention the Eson N’ Erie of Benin Kingdom, the Queen, who happened to be our grand Matron, she has been very supportive and some of the NGOS as I mentioned earlier. Chief (Mrs.) Rita Ogunforibo, the President of AMEN FOUNDATION has also provided healthcare assistance to the group. Captain Hosa Okunbo gave us two brand new buses to enable us mobilize women espe-

cially during our advocacy programs and going around to help the under privileged people in the society. He’s been most supportive. The Oba of Benin, Omo N’ Erediauwa has been supporting us and has given us money and food items to support what we are doing. I will also mention Barrister Noji Imuokhuede who also has been supportive of our course through her NGO in assisting children who have been sexually abused and most especially, my husband has been very supportive. What is your comment on the 35 percent Beijing Conference Affirmation on the appointment of women into offices? I strongly believe in the empowerment of women which has been the subject of our discussion, so, our drive is to support the empowerment of women in all its ramifications. So, even, the 35 percent to me is too small and we should be talking about 5050. Every human being should be given a chance and equal opportunity in national development. Given the way the women have been developing themselves, one day, a woman will become the President of this country. What do you have to say about the girl child education? This is what I have been emphasizing that all people should be given equal opportunity and empowerment. Male or female child, every child should have equal access to qualitative education. It is just that the Nigerian society has not been fair to women and that is why we are talking about the girl child education. When you educate a woman, you educate a nation and we have a slogan, “Great women on the move, on the move, great women”, you train a woman, you train a nation, no woman, no nation”. As a former Vice-Chairman of Oredo local government area of Edo state, how do you see women’s participation in politics? Do you think enough has been done in this area? I want to say that we have not made much progress in this area and I expect that by now, it should have been 50-50, but we are not yet there. However, I believe that by the grace of God and with the performances of women in government, men will come to appreciate that when women are given the opportunity, they perform well. I pray that we have more women in politics. I believe that the greatest problem women are having are women themselves. Women have not been able to appreciate the fact that they need to come together and support fellow women to be able to come to power. What areas would you want the Oshiomhole administration to assist women? I know that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is women friendly, he listens to women and looking at him, his daughters and his family, he is a leader who believes that there is nothing women cannot achieve. I believe that his passion for hospitals for women, he will help women a lot. The area that I think he will help the women a lot is the areas of cost of surgery for women. C M Y K


It goes floppy! Dear Rebecca am a thirty year old man and a worker. My problem is that I usually have weak erection. When I even achieve erection, I ejaculate before the real act itself. I have lost about three girls because of this problem. Could it also be due to the fact that I find myself romancing ladies in the dreams? Tommy REPL Y REPLY



don’t think so. This is a common problem which according to medical expert, could be due to much anxiety about having sex. While some men are aroused the moment they have a sexual partner, and the erection remains until they have relieved themselves, some men need to warm up slowly to achieving erection and maintaining it. If you are in the second group you may get worried about not being able

to achieve erection instantly and this could make matters worse. When you do get an erection, you may be so anxious that it should remain that it would begin to get weak. The expert says you should be relaxed about sex and having and maintaining erections. Don’t think of them when you are with your partner. Just relax and enjoy each other ’s company, chatting and kissing. Let intimacy develop and passion build up gradually. Let erection come up on its own and then you can go on to making love. If you start wishing it will hurry up and act, it could begin to weaken and you could feel frustrated. When relaxed and unanxious, you would feel stronger. There is need for you to have a good diet; .eating wellbalanced foods of carbohydrates(bread, yam, rice etc.) and protein (beans, eggs, meat, etc. ) vegetables and fruits. You could also supplement your diet with

Shocked by my proposal! Dear Rebecca


am a boy of twenty years; a trainee of fice cadet. I am in love with a girl I met while in secondary school. This girl in now in America. Ever since she left, we have been communicating and she knows that I love her very much. In my last two letters to her, I hit the nail on the head by asking her to be my life partner. S h e called me to say she felt ridiculed and never expected such from me. I wrote another letter telling her the same thing. I am becoming impatient waiting for her response. What do I do? Derick .D. Lagos REPL Y REPLY


think you should have other girl friends here and continue the ordinary friendship you have with this girl. There is no doubt that she likes you, but only as a friend. Every relationship between a boy and a girl does not necessarily have to be that of romance. Sometimes one can have a very good friendship with a member of the opposite sex which is precious and

which can last a life time, involving your spouses. This girl is shocked by your marriage proposal because she regards you only as a friend. Also, perhaps at twenty and in training, you should not be talking of marriage. May be you felt you had to propose to her early so that she would feel committed to your friendship, and not go into relationship with a man over there in the U.S . That is an irrelevant panic move on your part, and er, a little bit immature. You are both very far from being ready to settle down in marriage. You have to mature physically and emotionally first, and be settled in a future career. You have to date other people in order to understand members of the opposite sex better, and know the type you would want to spend the rest of your life with. You should have girlfriends here, and she boyfriends over there. Meanwhile, enjoy the communication with her. If you still desire this, I suggest you tell her in a letter or over the telephone that she should forget about the earlier marriage proposal and continue with being just friends. This will put her a ease and communication will flow again between you.

multivitamins tablets. Exercises are important – jogging, cycling, football and hobbies like, reading, all help you remain alert in mind, body and spirit. Avoid having constant thoughts of the reproductory organ and sex. This tends to make most people depressed if they believe that all’s not well in that area of their life. However, if the weak erection is permanent, please consult a specialist in a teaching or general hospital. This is a very common problem, so, there’s no need to feel embarrassed about seeing a health expert. Medical people are human beings, and they do have their own health problems.

He refuses to give answers! Dear Rebecca


love the way you help solve prob lems, and I’m confident that you can help me. I am 23 and in love with this man who I met three years ago. He told me then that he had a lady he had dated for eight years. He then travelled abroad and I heard that this woman was pregnant for him. He wrote to me telling not to listen to stories; that it was mere propaganda against him. He also denied being responsible for the pregnancy. I discovered also that his family went for an intro-

duction on his behalf in his absence before he baby was born. I wrote to him asking him to deny or confirm these stories or even to explain. He refused and since then, he no longer communicate with me as he used to. Please advise me, I am confused. Tola, Akure



f he has refused to confirm or deny that baby is his, and that his people have gone to the parents of his girlfriend of eight years for introduction on his behalf, I suggest that you ask him point blank what his intention towards you

I assume that you are ready for marriage now, so, it would be unfair of him, after three years of dating you, to keep you in suspense

are. I assume that you are ready for marriage now, so, it would be unfair of him, after three years of dating you, to keep you in suspense. If he does not want to marry you, he should tell you, so that you can accept dates from other men who may have marriage in mind. If he says he loves you and wants to marry you, tell him to approach your parents for a formal introduction. If he agrees to do this, then you should discuss the issue of him taking other wives in future. If he says he is likely to take other wives in a polygamous marriage, ask yourself if you want mates in your life. If you don’t, then end the relationship firmly and quietly, and leave yourself free to be courted by other men. If he says he wants a monogamous marriage, and to you only, ask him the position of this lady and her baby in his life. If he continues to deny his connection with them, go and make concrete investigations of your own. Don’t rely on hearsay. My guess is that he is fond of you and is reluctant to let you go out of his life. But he is also fond of this other lady, or let’s say he’s used to a relationship with her, and cannot stay away from her. If there is really a baby and his people have approached his girlfriend’s people, for marriage, then he can be consid-

ered married to her. Do you want to be a second wife? If the baby is confirmed from a reliable source, but he has cut off all romantic ties with the lady, you may continue with him if your affection for him is very strong and you’re convinced that he is the ideal man for you to marry. Remember that that lady and her child will always be part of his life, as they will always be in touch in matters concerning that child throughout their lives, e.g., open day at school, graduation, wedding, etc. You have to accept that fact if you marry him. There is need for both of you to have serious face to face talk. Sometimes a baby happens in a long relationship, but the couple don’t marry, but go on to marry other people. When a baby happens before marriage, if the man is sure that it is his, his people go with drinks and gifts to the woman’s family, in order to establish that the baby is theirs. This gesture is not introduction for marriage. It’s only to say that the baby is accepted into the family. Some families even go further by having the baby named on their own premises. What is baffling in your case, is that your boyfriend is not clarifying things. He is not even communicating. You could be wasting your love on him.

•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:

SUNDAY Vanguard , MARCH 17, 2013, PAGE 23

The naked adulterer that saved a marriage!


ADE and his wife, Joke were at a friend’s birthday party when Bade playfully patted the bum of a young lady, wriggling her bum to a hot number of the dance floor. ‘The lecherous look he gave the girl turned my stomach,’ Joke confessed. ‘After 13 years of marriage and three boisterous boys, my figure wasn’t what it used to be. My tummy was saggy and scarred - my boobs hanging like deflated balloons. i also realized that i wasn’t as tight “down below’ as I’d once been. ‘We seldom made love. Now that I saw the lecherous look on Bade’s face, I realised he’d gone off sex with me, but was up for offers everywhere. Was he having it off with a younger and more attractive girl? It was the wake-up call IO needed. I started on a strict diet and did endless pelvic floor exercises, splashed out on saucy underwears and wore more daring clothes to try to entice my husband, but he seemed just as uninterested. “‘What’s wrong with you?” 1 yelled at him one night when he didn’t feel like having sex - again. “‘Nothing!” he snapped back, ‘“ you’re the one with the problem - you’re insatiable!”

“I was shocked. Insatiable? When we hadn’t made love for ages? My efforts to improve my figure began yielding dividends and I got complimented right, left and centre. But was Bade happy for me? The love-making dwindled further until I became totally frustrated. The love was there, but I needed much more than companionship. I needed passion and fulfillment too. But there I was with a sex bomb’s body - and the sex life of a nun. “In the end I just ignored him, intent on enjoying the new healthy me. So when Jude, one of Bade’s classmates that’d stayed friends over the years started complimenting the new me, I lapped it up. He flirted outrageously with me and I didn’t discourage him. And when he started turning up at my office and giving me lunch, it made me feel like a teenager. He was so kind and sweet, but best of all, he found me irresistible. It was inevitable I ended up in his house. A divorced father of four, he’d sworn off marriage. The first time with him was like ages since I had sex. Falling into bed with him, we romped like rabbits, de-

lirious with lust. I made the most of my opportunity to be with him – and I glowed once again. Then disaster struck. We were making love this fateful day, when I heard my husband’s booming voice calling out to his friend! Jude clambered off me. The bedroom door was not locked – there was no need to – and Jude hurried to open the door, blocking the entrance. He was stark naked. He obviously thought that seeing him naked, Bade would get the message he was busy and beat it. But no such thing happened. Bade was obviously excited at what he saw and wanted to know who Jude’s catch was. They ’d obviously

been that mischievous with each other and the more Jude protested, the more determined he was. “I made a mad dash for the toilet and locked myself in. But Bade had seen my shoes and the clothes I left the house in that morning. He accused his friend of sleeping with his wife and he denied it profusely. He said his “date’ was an old flame. Fair enough, fumed Bade, he would just have a seat in the living room and wait for Jude’s date to get decent enough to show her face. Jude put his feet down. It was his house, and there would be no siege by anyone wanting to embarrass him. Could Bode leave? He left al-

right and I’d quickly switched off my mobile whilst the commotion was going on. “Thank goodness I left my car in the office parking lot. What I didn’t expect was Bade loitering on the premises. As Jude dropped me off, he emerged from where he was hiding to confront the two of us. I felt really embarrassed as I simply got into my car and drove off. Bade and Jude were still hurling insults at each other. Back home, I’d expected the worst. Apart from being married to a man who sexually frustrated me, there was nothing I would really miss from this marriage. If he wanted a divorce, I would be more than happy to give him one. When he eventually came home, I thought he would hit the roof. Instead, he sat on the sofa, put his head in his hands and started crying. Tentatively, I sat with him, tried to console him as he wailed “How could you’’, over and over again. “When he’d calmed down a bit, I told him of how he’d deliberately frustrated me sexually and how he didn’t make me feel that much of a woman - just the keeper of his home. He agreed he knew sex was very important to me but never thought it was the

be-all and end-all. The more we argued, he said, the less he wanted it as . much as I did not because he didn’t love me or have feelings for me but because there were just too many tensions and issues between us. That because of the extra work -load in the office, he didn’t have the energy for the kind of sex I was expecting. “I was shocked. He was making it sound as if I were a pervert. Was once in six-weeks sex normal for him? He confessed he’d been badly hurt by women in the past and was withholding sex from me to see if I’d be unfaithful. What a bombshell?! So, now that his worst fears had come true, what was he going to do? He’d deliberately pushed me into the arms of another man, how dared he punish me for someone else’s sins? `I’m really sorry, he sighed. “I’ll try to change’. ‘We vowed to be more affectionate towards each other and spend more quality time together. I hope it works out because therefor always be the shadow of the affair between us. But I don’t regret it. I would rather Bade didn’t find out, but now he’d found out, it could just about save our marriage’ .

quart of water, preferably boiled first and then allow to cool down to room temperature. Assume a knee-chest position projecting the buttocks in the air and keeping the head, down then administer. In this position gravity helps the flow of enema through the descending colon across the transverse into the ascending colon. For very effective cleansing, the complete filling of the colon is absolutely essential. The enema must be held within for 10 to 15 minutes before dislodging the contents of the bowels. For exercise we shall consider the twist posture. This posture belongs to the group of basic yoga postures as does the head to knee, the how and others. To assume the twist posture sit up straight with both legs out stretched. Place the right heel under the left thigh with the right leg lying horizontally on the floor. Turning the chest to the left, place the right arm infront of the left knee which is vertically erect and hold the left

ankle with the left turning the head in the same direction. The left hand should be placed midway across the back at an angle of 90 degree. Change legs for the other way round. On each side of the posture breathe with an even rhythm for as long as comfortable. The benefits of the twist posture are that spiral deformities are over come and the nerves are strengthened. The qualities of self-confidence and determination are also imparted by the twist. For those who may not be able to execute the posture as described, they may try to do the modified version which is as follows; arrange legs as already described. Place right hand over the left

08052201867(Text Only)

Internal cleansing


odern media l science n o w sees the tremendous sense it makes in keeping the body internally clean. c

Indra Devi in her book ‘Yoga For You, Philip Rice and his book Oxygenmaster of Cancer”. Dr. Rice entertains the opinion that cancer is caused by oxygen deficiency in diseased cells that start multiplying in order to get sufficient Oxygen. But this is not what attracts India Devi. What catches her fancy is that the ideas expressed by Dr. Rice in cancer prevention closely resemble the Yoga principles of diet, breathing, exercising and hygiene. Just like the yogis, he believes it is of paramount importance to keep the body internally clean by drinking enough waterone glass to every 14 Ibs of body weight on a daily


basis and eating plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and salads. And cleansing the colon by taking enema about twice monthly to rid the system of accumulated poisons that are the cause of most of our ailments. I shall return to the subject of enema pretty soon. I simply will not do to fill the belly with so much meat and white bread both of which contain no fibre. This lack of fibre presents a herculean task to the perislatic waves moving the digested food along the alimentary canal. Bowel movement is hampered and in the end constipation ensures. With constipation poison accumulates and we become heirs to otherwise avoidable ailments. So what do we do? Simply eat well. H i p p o c r a t e s admonished long ago: “let your food be your medicine.” Human nutition has become an immense problem of life. The rich

diet is acid forming as it is deprived of its alkaline requirements. It cannot harmonise the acids of the stomach.

* The Spinal Twist

Before we have gone far in the yoga exercises, I have thought it imperative to discuss the internal environment. Once we keep our insides clean and watch what we eat, performing the exercises will then bring about great improvement quickly in our well being. Now back to the business of taking enema. Let it be known that there are various types but we shall for our purpose here c o n c e r n ourselves with one of the simplest, n a m e l y h o n e y enema. Dissolve three table spoonfuls of honey in a

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

knee but instead of holding the left ankle simply clasp the side of the left thigh with the left hand down behind the back on the floor for support and then wist left ward. Change legs and perform the other way round.

P AGE 24 —SUNDAY Vanguard , MARCH 17 , 2013


SMS only

Is domestic pressure to blame for increase in workplace violence?


OLAKE has been working as a jun ior executive in an insurance company for about three years when it happened. “One of my uncles who was one of the general managers in the company and through whom I got the job, voluntarily retired to set up a brokerage firm with three other partners,” recalled Rolake. “My new boss, a close associate of my uncle’s was regarded as a friend - but his attitude towards me changed immediately he was promoted. He made life in the office almost unbearable for me and work became really stressful. I was glad when I went on my annual leave, hoping that things would have cooled down by the time I came back. They got worse. “My desk had been given to someone else and a less dignifying one provided for me. I was also barred from doing more responsible duties. Things got so bad that my immediate junior, whom my boss favoured, was throwing work on to my desk and snapping that I should’ do this’ all of the time. The tension in the office was unbearable to say the least. One afternoon, I was busy with one of my assignments when this junior staff came over and started shouting at me for not doing what she instructed me to do. I’’m a calm person normally, but after suffering so much stress, J lost my temper. J asked her what her problem really was and she started screaming abuses:at me. I “As I stood up, shouting her down, she lunged at me. 1'd never been involved in a physical fight in my life and I

couldn’t believe what was happening. Instinctively, I . grabbed the wrists flying at me and pushed her away. The office was in turmoil and the boss came out to see what was going on. “My junior claimed I had attacked her and we were both called into the boss’s office. He scarcely listened to my version of what happened until some of the staff testified. In spite of that, he issued both of us a query. I was dumbfounded. “Just a few days after this incident and whilst awaiting the boss’s decision on the answer to my query, the results of the final professional exams were announced by the managing director. I passed my qualifying ex~s whilst this stupid boss had a reference. God has a way of vindicating the downthroden. I heard nothing more about the scuflle. “Naturally, I was promoted to the same managerial level as my exboss and, thankfully, reassigned to another department. I eventually made a formal complaint to the managing director and investigations indic~ted myoId boss for not investigating the incident sufficiently before issuing his famous query. The junior was given a written warning that went into her file.” “It seems more and more employees are dropping their professional codes of behaviour and becoming physically violent in the workplace,” commented Lynda, the general manager, personnel, in a giant manufacturing company. “Today, there are increasing numbers of incident of ordinary office workers lashing.


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

My Lady

I've miss you. On Monday without you was a

out at each other in temper - and three quarters of the culprits are female! The scenario is invariably the same. You’re at work, sitting at your desk when a colleague shouts angrily at you that if you don’t have anything better to do, you can help her with her work. So what do you do? Do you just smile politely and say you’d rather do your own job, thanks? Do you simply ignore her? Or do you get into physical fight with her? It sounds absurd. Work after all, is meant to be a safe place an environment where people are on their best behaviour. Who in their right mind would act violently in the office, especially over something trivial?” Experts agree soaring stress levels are to blame for workplace violence. Our legislators constantly set good examples by resorting to fisticuffs anytime they couldn’t shout louder than their voices. But why is it that more than ever before, work stress is resulting in physical violence? Lynda points to the fact that employees in the country work one of the longest hours and says many peo-

ple are finding it increasingly difficult to cope. According to her, “Job insecurity, financial worries and domestic pressure add to the stress, and we don’t live in a vacuum. If there are problems at home, thafs something we have to deal with at work. Along with these concerns are the fact that modem technology is increasing our workload and our stress levels. Dealing with phone calls, internal memos, letters and e-mails in addition to the rest of their workload has resulted in a lot of workers hitting their computer in anger!” How to boost your self-confidence In her book: How to Shine in a Crowd, Susan Roane gives the following strategies to help you work the room when you find yourself alone in a huge crowd, where no face looks familiar: The Entrance: There is no such thing as being “fashionably late” for a meeting. Arrival is based on the start of the event, not making a

mourning day, on Tuesday was tears day, on Wednesday was a wasteful day, on Thursday was a day of torment, Friday a dry day, Saturday a screaming day of pains and Sunday a sad day. Believe me, my week is full of sorrows without you. I love you very much. Omorville Umoru, 08062486549

True love

No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth. Pasola Fred Obinna

conspicuous entrance. Take a deep breath, stand tall and walk in. If you stand in the doorway, people think you’re scared. Give the room a quick once-ever. Check out the bar, the food, where most people are congregating. “One man I know who has difficulty talking to people always position himself between the door and the buffet”, says Susan. “Everyone has to walk by him to get to the food and he is always surrounded by people”. First Contact: Look around for people you know. If you see someone who looks even vaguely familiar, go up and introduce yourself. Only two things can happen - either you’ll be right and renew an acquaintance, or you’ll meet someone new to chat. with. Use your friends: One of the main advantages of going to an event with a friend is that you can introduce one another around the room. You will know people he or she doesn’t and viceversa. Give people enough information about your friend and be

positive. If neither of you knows anyone, split up and start chatting until you do. Get moving: If you’re on your own and don’t recognize anyone, do not be tempted to melt into the wall. Look out for what Susan calls the “hand knuckle drinker”. They are clutching their cup or glass so tightly that their knuckles are really hard. They ’re scared to death and they ’re always alone. They will usually welcome your conversation because it saves them from anonymity”. Opening lines: Don’t hang around waiting to make the perfect opening gambit. Even if what you say isn’t going to bring the house down, do not lose the chance to start a conversation. The best opener may just be a smile and the word ‘Hello’.’ Other areas for easy comment are the event, the food, the organization, the traffic, even the weather. Avoid negative comments such as “the food looks pathetic”, because people will think you are a whinger. If you start with a question, make it relevant. “How long have you worked for the company?”, for instance. If you start with a statement about yourself, make sure it is positive. Breaking in: There is a difference between including yourself in other people’s conversation and intruding. It requires boldness but sensitivity. Avoid approaching two people who look as if they are having an intense conversation. Approach groups of three or more. Position yourself across to the group. Give only facial reaction to remarks being made.


My Woman

Yesterday when you were with me I wish the day should not end so that you can be with me forever. Now am just smiling, missing you and wish God could make us immortals. Believe me, your type of personality is very rare to find, you are always my best, I love you today, I will love you tomorrow. Add it together that means I will love you forever. Kelechi Ndubisi, 08032900530.

SUNDAY Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013 — PAGE 25

*Hospital probes death, suspends four negligent staff


Above: Moronke; below: The deceased and husband

By Wale Akinola


f Akinbola David Akingbehin knew the trip his wife, Marga ret Moronke, was making to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, was a journey of no return, on Thursday, February 28, he certainly would have stopped her. But fate has a way of playing a cruel joke on people. Moronke was pregnant with the expectation that she would give birth to their third child. The couple already had two children, the younger is 12 years old. The choice of LUTH for the delivery was because they thought the hospital, being a tertiary institution, was the best around. Moronke, being fairly old for child bearing at 42, should not be trusted with just any hospital to handle the delivery or so they thought. But that C M Y K

admitted in the hospital right away for the CS. Actually, doctors at LUTH had told her earlier that because of her “old age for child bearing” coupled with the fact that she had an operation for fibroid removal earlier, it would be risky to allow her to go into labour ahead of the delivery of the baby. Her expected delivery date (EDD) was put at March 3. Hence delivery ahead of labour was the reason Moronke was booked for CS when she visited LUTH on February 28 for ante-natal. The twist in events

The husband said it was not until 4p.m. that he was called into a doctor’s office adjoining the labour room where he had earlier been sent out because of his persistent calls that the LUTH personnel should attend to his dying wife to be informed that his wife and the baby she was carrying had died

was their undoing. About 33 hours after Moronke checked into LUTH, she and her baby were dead. Reason: The hospital staff allegedly went negligent. The whole story, infact, reeks of negligence on the part of the LUTH personnel. The management acknowledged that much in their letter of condolence to the Akingbehin family when they said the negligent staff were under investigation. Four of the staff, it was learnt, are already on suspension. On that Thursday, February 28 when Moronke was leaving home at 6 a.m., for her ante-natal clinic at LUTH, she was hale and hearty, according to family sources. She, in fact, drove herself. About two hours later, however, she called home to tell the husband her doctor told her that she was due for Caesarean Section, CS, and that she had to be


for the husband, Akinbola, was unexpected. But when the wife put a call through to him that the doctor had proposed that she be admitted for the CS that Thursday and that her position was that the operation should be shifted to the following Monday to allow her made adequate preparations, the husband’s statement was that she should follow the doctor’s instruction. Akinbola actually visited Moronke at the LUTH female ward where she had been admitted that day. However, nothing happened as the CS was not carried out before the husband returned home that evening. By 7.30 a.m. the following day, Friday, March 1, when Akinbola called the wife, she told him that she had been moved to the labour room and that a consultant surgeon, later identified as Prof Makew, had come to question the

doctor in charge of her case why the CS had not been carried out. In essence, Moronke told the husband that the surgeon directed that the operaton should take place anytime thereafter. But by 8.30 a.m when Akinbola arrived LUTH, nothing had been done. The additional information Moronke gave the husband was that a machine that the consultant used to test her pregnancy indicated that the baby in the womb was already tired and needed to be brought out immediately. The wife was said to have continually complained of excruciating pains in the stomach. But the LUTH personnel told the husband that they needed blood in case the wife would require it in the course of the CS. Akinbola donated some blood and called in his brother who also donated to make up the difference. Meanwhile, the wife was said to have been left in pains in the labour room without the personnel attending to her. At some point, according to husband, the doctor who should have carried out the CS on Moronke was said to have gone to eat. And by the time he returned, he was too tired to attend to the pregnant woman. The husband said it was not until 4p.m. that he was called into a doctor’s office adjoining the labour room where he had earlier been sent out because of his persistent calls that the LUTH personnel should attend to his dying wife to be informed that his wife and the baby she was carrying had died. “It was like my whole world collapsed. We live in Jakande Estate, Isolo where we have a General Hospital close to us. There are also private hospitals that we could have used. But we considered LUTH as the best hospital to deliver her of the pregnancy since it is a tertiary medical institution. That turned out to be our Continues on page 26

PAGE 26 — SUNDAY Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013

BY EMMA UNA, Calabar


forty-year-old man, John Friday Akpan, from Akwa Ibom State but resident in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, is now explaining to the police how he allegedly heeded the advice of a herbalist, one Dr Okokon, and tagged his two children, Elisha Udobong and Esther, as witches. Akpan, who allegedly subjected the two children, aged 12 and 6 respectively, to harrowing treatment by nailing them to a plank and locking them up without food for days, was said to have told the police the children took his money to their “master in the witchcraft world and therefore deserved no mercy”. The children, whose emaciated and dirty appearance replicated the images of starving children in famine ravaged Somalia and war torn Sudan following weeks of starvation, said they survived on water supplied by one of the man’s kids by another woman. “Our sister, Peace, usually brought us water inside the hut when our father and our mother had gone out”, Esther said. The father, the kids said, used to reside in Akpabuyo with the family where he sent them to a private school, Regent Nursery and Primary School, Ikot Nkanda, but when their mother died and the man took another wife, Iquo, the story changed. Elisha, in JSS1, said: “My mother (stepmother ) said the woman who used to live near our house in Akpabuyo gave us food and she put something in the food and when we ate it we changed to birds at night and took out father ’s money to our master in the witchcraft world”. According to the boy, he was

Father nails own kids to plank, says they are witches

z Elisha (right) and Esther...punished by father for alleged


alleged to have taken 4 000 naira while Esther took 2000 and that angered their father and step mother who started beating them and

‘My wife’s avoidable death at LUTH’ Continued from page 25 greatest mistake”, the tearful husband told Sunday Vanguard. “The LUTH staff were negligent. They killed my wife and our baby. What they told us was that she was to be delivered by CS. And she had been with them since Thursday morning. What stopped the from carrying out the CS that Thursday knowing the danger my wife was exposed to. They waited till Friday, in fact about 33 hours after she arrived the hospital without attending to her, and I watched helplessly the agony of Moronke until she passed on”. A family source said they would C M Y K

formally demand explanation on what happened from the LUTH authorities and possibly ask for damages. Moronke was buried amid tears by family and friends on Friday, March 8 at her Isolo, Lagos residence. Lending credence to the negligent circumstance of the death of Moronke and her baby, the LUTH authorities, last week, sent a six-man team to condole with the family. According to a letter delivered to the family by the team during the visit, LUTH had begun an investigative/ disciplinary process “to ensure that any of our staff found to be negligent in the unfortuante demise of your wife is sanctioned accordingly, to

denying them food “because they said we took the money to our master”. The maltreatment became worse when they relocated to Cala-

serve as a detterent to others”. The letter, dated March 8, was signed by the Director of Administration, Ayo Olagunju, for the CMD, Prof Akin Osibogun, who was said to be out of the country. Indeed, four members of staff of the hospital implicated in the Moronke Akingbehin affair have allegedly been suspended pending the conclusion of investigations. Sunday Vanguard learnt that this is the first time LUTH will act so swiftly in decades in cases of negligence involving staff.


he LUTH condolence letter reads: “Further to the Condo lence Telephone Conservation between you and the undersigned earlier today, I write on behalf of the Management Board, and staff of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital to express our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences on the sad and untimely death of your wife, the late Mrs.

bar and took up residence at 23 Akpandem Street, off Edim Otop Street at the municipality. “He (father) nailed us to one big plank and beat us that we should bring back the money but we had no money to give to him”, Esther said. Unable to get back his money from the children, Akpan allegedly went for the final onslaught against the kids by locking them up in an abandoned hut where he lived so that they could die. “When the situation became too bad, neighbours, worried that the children may die and the police descend on them, raised the alarm and reported to the police at the Airport Division who swooped on the parents and got them arrested”, Mr James Ibor, a child rights activist, told Sunday Vanguard. He said the DPO of the Airport Division called him “at about 11 am on Friday, March 8 that there was another case of children stigmatisation as witches and I went to the station and behold, what I saw made me weep”. Ibori said the children were so hungry and weak that it was apparent that they would have died if they had not, been rescued. “They were so weak that we had to give them water first, then some fruits; even at that the system of the girl could not accommodate the fruits and she had to visit the toilet a few minute after she ate the banana I gave to them”. DSP John Umoh, the spokesman of the Cross River State Police Command, said efforts were on to arrest Okokon the herbalist so that “he and the parents can appear in court to answer charges on felony”. Caption: Alleged witch kids, Elisha and Esther

Margaret Ronke Akingbehin and your unborn child, which occurred in our Hospital on Friday, 1st March, 2013. “An amiable person, loved by all our staff who came across her, it is a sad twist of fate that your wife met her untimely death at the age of 42 in our Hospital where she registered and had been attending her Ante natal clinic regularly. We know that words alone cannot console you at this moment of tears; but our prayer is that God Almighty will grant you and the children the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. “Please be rest assured that management has begun an investigative/ disciplinary process to ensure that any of our staff found to be negligent in the unfortunate demise of your wife is sanctioned accordingly, to serve as a deterrent to others. “Please extend our heartfelt condolences to your children and other members of the family”.

SUNDAY Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013, PAGE 27

First Lady’s tricycles for Katsina women


s part of the activities to mark the 2013 Inter national Women’s Day, Dr. Fatima Ibrahim .Shehu Shema, wife of the governor of Katsina State, through her Women Empowerment Programme, distributed 204 tricycles popularly called Keke-NAPEP to six women each in each of the 34 local government areas of the state including 34 women living with HIV/ AIDS. The Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (ABU) trained business administrator, while donating the items, emphasized the need for the society to stop Mrs Fatima Shema test running one of the trycycles. Inset: grinding machines donated by Mrs Shema stigimatizing people living with HIV/AIDS as it is no longer a death sentence as it was being viewed in time past.” You can live a normal life even as you con- our women. She also gave out grinding machines with better managers of resources if given the right tract the virus once you are on time with your medica- complete accessories which were distributed to a group opportunity. That opportunity is what the state tion. It is about living a purposeful life,” Mrs Shema of 15 women plus N50,000.00 take-off grant and 2 government has just demonstrated now. I bedeclared. The tricycles to women including people liv- bags of Groundnut and all the accessories for lieve that with this empowerment,we would ing with HIV/AIDS, according to her, is one of the groundnut oil extraction distributed with fifty thou- have succeeded in increasing wealth creation ways the state government is alleviating poverty among sand naira take-off grant. “Women, of course, are and reduction of poverty in our land”.

Give me my first child,man cries in court

Death of pregnant woman:

Widower seeks N100m damages

By Emma Amaize


ORTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD MR. Joseph Onome, widower of 32-year-old preg nant mother of two, Elo Joseph, nee Oyoro, who died, Sunday, November 25, 2012, following alleged by specialists, at the governmentowned General Hospital, who traveled for weekend, has slammed a N100 million suit against the Delta State Hospitals Management Board. The sum is for damages suffered by the claimant, because of the negligence of the defendants and doctors and nurses under their supervision and employment at the maternity/obstetric ward, both at the General Hospital, Otu-Jeremi and at the Central Hospital, Ughelli. He said it was the negligence of the defendants that resulted in a stillbirth and the death of his wife. Joined in the suit before the High Court of Justice, Otor Udu is the Medical Director, Central Hospital, Ughelli, Dr. Nwabua, Mmedical Officer, General Hospital, Otu Jeremi, Dr. Tuoyo Eda, Dr. Mike and Attorney General of the state. Onome is seeking, among other reliefs, a declaration that the negligence of the medical personnel in the hospitals, which resulted in a stillbirth and the death of his wife, was a wrongful act. The Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, FJHD, a human rights advocacy group, led by Ogheneabor Ikimi, is spearheading his legal battle. In an affidavit in support of his claim, the widower averred that when he got to the General Hospital, Ugheli, he met the fourth defendant, a Houseman, who, without examining his late wife, referred the deceased to a private clinic known as Celina Clinic, which he hand wrote on the back of a referral letter together with the said clinic’s address. He said the fourth defendant did that “on the pretext that the two medical officers and the two consultants, including one Houseman who C M Y K

BY Adeola Adenuga


z Oyoro...husband wants hospitals to pay for her death

were supposed to be on duty, had all gone for weekend even though the fourth defendant admitted that the said hospital had the facilities to handle the case of the deceased.” The claimant further averred that the fourth defendant later changed his mind and advised him to take the deceased to Life Care Clinic, a private clinic in Ughelli, as it was closer in terms of proximity to Celina Clinic since the bleeding condition of the deceased was getting more severe by the passage of time. He said the Medical Director of Life Care Clinic, in company of the second defendant delivered the deceased of a still birth, but the bleeding condition had grown worse, despite the several pints of blood the claimant was requested to purchase by the second defendant. According to him, the deceased was further referred at the said clinic by its Medical Director and the second defendant to the Central Hospital, Warri, but, because her health condition had worsened, she gave up the ghost on her way to the said hospital. The claimant strongly maintained that the defendants were negligent because they owed the deceased a duty “to adequately respond to the health condition of the deceased who was their patient by providing her with standard maternal health care delivery.” Onome’s words, “The death of the deceased and her baby would have been prevented by the defendants and doctors and nurses under their supervision and employment both at the General Hospital, Otu-Jeremi and at the Central Hospital, Ughelli if they had adequately and professionally responded to the health condition of the deceased.”

he premises of Agege Grade A customary court suddenly became a battlefield as a couple rained curses on themselves. The 35-year old man begged the court to grant him the custody of a child whose mother said did not belong to him. Lukman Fatoki told the court that he impregnated Latifat Olasunwon shortly before she married another man and gave birth to a boy in the middle of 2002. Fatoki said that Latifat left his house around Nov. 2001, adding that he didn’t see her again until five years after,that is, 2007. The carpenter, who lives at no 17, Seriki Street, Alagbado, Lagos told the court that Latifat came back after she had lived with another man and said the pregnancy she had for him was the little boy she came with. ”We started living together as husband and wife, she was pregnant and had a baby girl in 2008",the petitioner said in his evidence-in-chief. ”When the child was a year old, Latifat left my house and went back to her ex- husband. ”It was later she told me that the first pregnancy was not mine, that it was for her ex- husband.” He told the court that the child resembles him, adding that the former wife wanted to rob him of the child because the other man was richer than him. ”My children know that I am their father, my son used to come to my house but, of recent, their mother has poisoned their minds against me. ”Meanwhile, Latifat did not deny me of the second child because she got pregnant and delivered the child in my house, it is only the first born which is a boy that i am being robbed of. ”Because I am now married, I rented a house for her, when she had a misunderstanding with the man.Iit was later I heard that she was bringing all manner of men to the house. ”I am ready for paternity test, I want the custody of the two children.” The mother of two, Latifat, 32, denied the allegations, and said the journey was not smooth, adding that she was a victim of circumstance. ” I met Lukman in 1998.We lived together until 2002; we had no issue then. I left his house because he used to beat me”,she narrated ” I got married to another man in late 2002 and delivered my first child in 2003.


Vanguard ,

MARCH 17, 2013

Senate will get to the root of jobs-for-sale scam — Senator Omoworare zSays the president’s mindset on budget is wrong z’In Osun, only those in perpetual opposition are complaining’


enator Christopher Babajide Omoworare (ACN, Osun East) is the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter Governmental Affairs. He also serves on the Senate Committee of Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters; Rules and Business; Sports and Social Development. In this interview, Omoworare bares his mind on President Goodluck Jonathan administration, the Senate, and Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration, among other issues of national importance.



he Senate Federal Character and Inter-governmental Affairs Committee just concluded a public hearing into jobs-for-sale scam currently rocking the nation. What did you come out with from the assignment? Secondly, during the motion on that scam, some senators confessed that they gave money to their constituents to get jobs. Can the Senate be a judge over its own case, as some senators hands may not be too clean going by their involvement? I sincerely don’t think that I am qualified to judge my colleagues and, unfortunately, I was not here when the motion was heard. The Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-governmental Affairs hasn’t come up with any finding. It is pretty difficult to ask people to come and testify about job placement, job-forsale because a lot of them will not come up, and that was actually our experience. At the same time, we felt it was an opportunity for us to do this holistic which was one of the insights we now work so that, along the line, we will had. If other agencies were that see if there is a lacune in the computerized, probably, it would not procedure or the process which could had occurred. give room for such jobs for sale. Those riminal matters who were present at the public hearing The Civil Defence said they had know that our chairman actually pointed accusing fingers at our para- retrieved letters from about 5,000 military organizations-the Nigeria people and that there were matters Civil Defence, Nigeria Immigration, even pending in court-criminal Nigeria Customs and so on and so matters and we asked them to supply us with information about those forth. He did say that going by the report involved because we discovered that that had reached us, they (the the petition presented by Senator agencies) were most culpable of all the Ojudu, from Ekiti State with respect agencies. It was only the Federal Road to some of his constituents who paid, Safety Commission that made bold, we discovered that we must do through its Head of Human something about the system itself Resources, to say that it is not even because two to three months salaries possible for anybody that was not were paid to some people before they qualified or that was not yet fully now said they found that those people engaged to enter their payroll because did not qualify, so could not have been their system was fully computerized, given letters of employment.

• Babajide Omoworare


I was asked to step aside and I was detained on the grounds that I had a fake letter’. We are also looking into that. But the job has not finished yet; we have over three hundred ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs.




We were also opportune to meet a guy that came forward and said, ‘look, I was asked to bring money and I brought money and I got letter but on getting to Lagos where they were training, I was asked to step aside and I was detained on the grounds that I had a fake letter ’. We are also looking into that. But the job has not finished yet; we have over three hundred ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs. So we could not finish the job in two days, we actually took a third day and the committees on Federal Character, Inter-governmental Affairs and Labour met and said we will continue sitting until we go through the process and the procedures of recruitment by all the agencies. We invited some agencies and some ministries particularly because we received petitions. What matters most is that if anybody

has stepped on the floor of the Senate and gives money to his constituent to go and look for job, it is left for Nigerians to judge the person, that’s number one; secondly, it is left for the committee to limit the extent of the person’s involvement so that it will not affect the hearing and the report of the committee and; thirdly, most unfortunately but naturally, there is nothing anybody can do about it because anybody who has stepped on the floor of the Senate is privileged under the Legislative and Privileges Act.


ore employers And; fourthly, that becomes a matter for all of us because the truth of the matter is that all of us are under pressure to get our constituents employed. My last count of the CVs I have cannot be less than 2,000.I have been opportune to influence about 80 people to get employed and, without being immodest, I want to say that probably, I am one of the highest here. And this is without losing sight of the fact that you cannot put everybody in the civil service. The executive arm of government must be up and doing to open up the public private partnership relationship to open up opportunities given to people to set up industries on their own, instead of becoming employees to become employers of labour. You cannot do that by all of us wanting our people to get employed in the civil service; it’s not going to

Continues on page 29


Continued from page 28 work. But opportunity cannot come to me and I say I don’t have anybody because of my philosophy that the executive arm of government must make sure that we create more employers of labour than employees.

Vanguard ,

MARCH 17, 2013, PAGE 29

‘Senate will get to the root of jobsfor-sale scam’



s the Senate doing enough in terms of checks and balances? I respect whatever I met in the Senate, but I feel the Senate can still do a lot more with a view to some basic tenets of governance-freedom of speech, freedom of association and democracy in the true sense of it. Nigeria claims to be a federal state, but are we truly federal? Are we truly over sighting the executive the way we should? But I have also come to realize that it is a learning process, you can’t get there overnight. Mini-Sovereign National Conference C M Y K


• Babajide omoworare


isunderstanding on constituency projects I will take the same opportunity when it comes to me and the same argument goes when it comes to constituency projects. Constituency project is an aberration but, for a failing government, you don’t have any option. The only thing we can show for a period of four years is the constituency projects which you have influenced in the constituency arrangement which we don’t do. It is done by the executive arm of government and they make a lot of news over the fact that we determine the projects. Why am I the representative of the people if I can’t determine the projects? In the area of education for instance, the Minister of Education does not know Obafemi Awolowo University, I attended Obafemi Awolowo University, I grew up in Ife, I did my primary school in Ife, my secondary school in Ife and university in Ife. It is not possible for her to know my backyard more than me. So if there is any project going to Obafemi Awolowo University, it should not be the executive arm of government that should determine it, it should be us that should determine it. This also takes me to the issue of appropriation, which is the burning issue in Nigeria to the effect that of what effect can you, as a parliamentarian, offer the first reading, the presentation of Mr President when we have a joint session? To what extent can we tinker with the proposals dropped by the executive arm of government? And I have always been of the opinion that what the president brings is an estimate. We are the ones to determine but, unfortunately, we don’t have a congressional budget office here which we should have. So, we are the ones to fully determine this and we are looking into the issue, I don’t want to be a judge in my course, but I am of the view that we will do a good job on the issue of jobsfor-sale scan, you will soon get our report, it may take a little more time than we expected; we want to give every ministry, every department and every agency the opportunity to come and speak with us. And like I had said earlier, we are looking at how we won’t tarnish the report of the committee.

am not a fan of OBJ-former President Olusegun Obasanjo. However, even if he was going to be wrong, he would take a decision; if at the end of the day, his decision is wrong, let us criticize him for the fact that his decision is wrong. But the incumbent president does not take decisions, he takes too long and I think he does not even understand the rudiments of governance, the rudiments of administration and I think he needs to do a lot more and I think the Senate now stands in a peculiar position. Naturally, the House of Representatives will want to, maybe, bring down the rules, the Senate must moderate and ensure that the rules do not come down. But is the Senate saying that the aspiration of the people is being met? I am of the opinion that not at all times.

I personally have challenges with the president’s capacity to administer Nigeria, sincerely. He may be a good man but governing Nigeria means being more than good natured

It is not as if the Senate is actually not doing enough, but we could do a lot more because there are issues that come to us and we must be statesmen in every respect because we must not put pressure on the system which takes me to the PIB debate we had. At the end of the day, what I think we had, irrespective of anybody ’s opinion, was a mini-Sovereign National Conference, when people from all parts of the country could come and say, ‘look, we think enough money has been given to people from one part of the country and they don’t need more money under the host community section of the PIB and that that particular provision should be extracted, should be deleted from the bill’, and the other people will come and say, ‘oh, you guys are the ones that have taken most part of these jobs’. Don’t forget that Nuhu Ribadu, at a point, told governors of the North East that “you have so much money and you have not done anything with it’. So, it was an opportunity to have a mini-


Sovereign National Conference and I feel we are statesmen, we are senators representing our various senatorial districts but, whether we like it or not, we are senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We always have that in mind irrespective of the backslapping, the hugging and the shaking that go on the floor of the Senate. You must try your humanly possible best to see that Nigeria remains one while you are fighting for the infrastructural development of social amenities in your senatorial district and I think the Senate President has done very well in maintaining this cordial relationship among the senators but, like I said the other time, we could do a lot more because I am of the opinion that the president is not doing enough, the executive arm of government is not doing enough.


resident not doing enough I have said it on the floor of the Senate that I personally have challenges with the president’s capacity to administer Nigeria, sincerely. He may be a good man but governing Nigeria means being more than good natured. And a lot of decisions have been taken, but we have a lot of inaction. I

overeign Wealth’;’Fraud We do a lot of elder statesmen when we should look at the president eyeball to eyeball and tell him ‘you are wrong on this issue, no, reverse on this issue’, especially on the issue of budget. And I know the president was ill-advised to the effect that you just bring proposal and dump it on our laps and we approve it. Then, why are we going for all these rituals, all these rites called the budget process? So, if he brings the budget, let us pass it the following day and send it to him to sign, if we cannot tinker with it. Why are people afraid of the fact that we are raising the benchmark from 75 dollars per barrel to 79 dollars per barrel when in the past one or two years, I cannot recollect that the cost of petroleum has gone beneath 100 dollars per barrel? Why do people want to have more excess crude just as we argued when it came to the issue of Sovereign Wealth Fund? I don’t have any problem with Sovereign Wealth Fraud or Fund but my challenge is that it should not be taken from the money that belongs to all of us, under Section 152 of the Constitution. It should come from the money that belongs to the Federal Government under sections 80 and 82 of the Constitution, the Federal Government Consolidated Account and not from the Federation Account. So, I think the Senate can do a lot more by shifting a little bit to the left, the Senate is doing well enough, maintaining stability in Nigeria but the Senate should not dilly-dally when it comes to taking some decisions and talking to Mr President that in this particular respect or in this particular issue, you have not done well enough and we think you should go back on this issue.



Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013



Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013, PAGE 31


Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013

* Almajiris ... System fuelled by religious beliefs

By AbdulSalam Muhammad, Kano


or the Danmalam, other wise known as Almajiri, life outside home is not only harsh and hazardous but also comically sweet. Almajiri system is a process that exposes male children seeking Quranic knowledge in readiness for the harsh realities of life. Many people are lucky while others are not in the journey to achieve knowledge and self -dependence. The quest for the knowledge of Islam by the peasants of northern Nigeria compelled them to entrust their male children in the hands of Islamic clerics far away from home. The children live substantial part of their adolescence lives with the Mallam. This cultural practice dates back to the advent of Islam in the North in the 16th century. This class of special kids, aged between 4 and 12, abound in the neighborhood; they swell the population of active beggars on major streets struggling to live a life out of nothingness. They spot a nauseating look, haggard, dirty and deprived. The Danmalam is like the modern day slave worker, a kid born freely but


Their lives: short, nasty and brutish

zAmong them, some special knowledge seeking children who fend for themselves zThe moves to reverse status-quo orphaned by archaic cultural beliefs. Statistics made available to Sunday Vanguard in 2010 by the former Special Adviser on Tsangaya Education, Alhaji Aminu Sagagi, put the population of Almajiris, at that time, at over 50, 000 in Tsangaya schools in a state of two million people. The statistics further indicated that close to 80 percent of the number migrated from the neighboring states .

In every nook and cranny of Kano State, you find the Tsangaya schools under the tutelage of a local Mallam. The schools open thrice a week, and it is not the business of the cleric how the children eat. Most of the schools don’t keep attendance register thereby impeding close monitoring of their activities. Truancy is prevalent in the schools; this is aided by the fact that the lads thrown to the world to seek

knowledge have to fend for themselves. More often than not, the Almajiris are offered menial jobs in their host communities that attract little or no pay and, in most cases, are compensated with food remnants and old clothes. However, concerted efforts by successive administrations in Kano State to modernize their modusContinues on page 33


Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013, PAGE 33

Their lives: short, nasty and brutish Continued from page 32

operandi had always met a brick wall as the Mallams resist change they consider a clear signal to weaken the Islamic beliefs on the children. Yet the current Kwankwaso government in the state identifies with the children’s plight and set up a special body to cater for their needs .

Quranic studies. Sani told Sunday Vanguard that the Foundation sources its students from within the age brackets of 11 and 16 from the Quranic schools and undergo three hours intensive lecture under the watch of highlytrained professionals in Basic English, Basic Arithmetic and Hadiths. She revealed that the students, allowed to stay with their Quranic teachers outside the school, are treated to two meals everyday. The CAESI founder explained that 17 of the 32 children came out in flying colours during the last Common Entrance Examination in the state, a situation that guaranteed them slots in secondary schools. Sani further revealed that five of the 17 best students were under the sponsorship of one Mrs. Hanna, a German private school proprietor. She noted that the Foundation is working to include skill acquisition in its curricula to aid self -reliance among the graduating students. “We are compelled by the plight of the Almajiri boy in the street, born freely like every other child but abandoned to live a rough and harsh life from adolescence. We also recognize the population and the danger they are exposed to and we decided that we should contribute something for a better future”,she said. “As a mother , I feel touched and irritated each time I see these kids struggling for survival both on the streets and in the neighborhood and I felt I should mobilize likeminds to start a process that will lead

* Mohammed

* Sani

* Sa‘ad

to a change in the status quo”. Sani said “the foundation relies heavily on personal donations by members and patronages from public- spirited individuals in the state, stressing, “ we are geared on by the little impact we have made so far ”. Corroborating the CAESI

He added,”What we are doing in this Foundation is to change a life for a better tomorrow and we have every reason to be happy that we are making an impact in the society”. Speaking in the same vein, a student, Abdullahi Yahaya Sa’ad, said,


There is also the Child and Almajiri Empowerment and Support Initiative, CAESI, Foundation, a private initiative founded in Kano by Hajiya Rakiya Yahaya Sani, in 2008, to take the children away from the streets.The body has on its Board Professor Fatima Mohammed, Alhaji Kamsalem Mohammed, and Rev Dr Samuel Enaboakpe as Directors. CAESI, located in the high brow area of Sharada Industrial Estate, Kano,has taken no fewer than 32 Almajiris off the streets and gave them an opportunity at formal education without interrupting their

* Abdullahi

The Foundation sources its students from within the age brackets of 11 and 16 from the Quranic schools and undergo three hours intensive lecture under the watch of highly- trained professionals in Basic English, Basic Arithmetic and Hadiths’


founder on the success recorded by the Foundation, a teacher there, Mr. Tayo Oni, stated, “ I have an awesome experience. You have a situation where most of these children have completely lost hope on life because of their poor background, and equally have no ability to transform their lives and suddenly their lives witnessed a big transformation where each and every one of them have started seeing life from proper perspectives. “ I have seen in an Almajiri boy an intelligent person, ready to learn and contribute to the development of the human race. And I see an opportunity to help a fellow human achieve his potential in life”.

“Arabic and western education are two different worlds but, in the final analysis, both are highly complementary of each other. I now have a better perspective of life. The western education has not only boosted my public relations with people from the other divide but has also exposed me to understanding their difference and lives”. Sa’ad recalled, with nostalgia, how some of his mates in the Quranic school disapproved of his decision to join the Foundation three years ago” but are now envious of the level of my sophistication and achievement that they want start before it is too late.” The former Almajiri, who is among the best students enjoying the German scholarship in a private school, revealed that he hails from Jigawa and that his parents are alive, and “they are happy with the progress I have recorded within a short period

of time”. Sa’ad, who is already nursing an ambition to be a computer engineer, said, “ I am struggling to be one to help myself, my family and give back to mankind in recognition of what someone has done to change my life”.Sa’ad is not alone on this journey as Zaharadeen Muhammad, 14, dreams to be a policeman. “The school has exposed me to the other side of the world, it’s a good combinations and my ambition is to become a mobile policeman to enable me contribute back to the society”,hesaid. CAESI Foundation is doing a good job.I don’t have beg now to survive for I have been exposed to know that it’s a worst form of human degradation”. Another student, Hassan Sani, 12, said his enrolment for formal education by the Foundation “is definitely an eye opener, for I have come to see the world in the right perspective. I am giving my full attention to my studies and I am also begining to nurse an ambition now to be a medical doctor ”. He added,” I believe as a medical doctor, I should be able to help the world and the human race”. Sadiq Abdullahi, 15, another student, said, “I want to be a soldier to defend the unity and corporate existence of my fatherland. I have come to recognize that those who are trying to straighten my life come from different backgrounds and that has raised a lot of questions that if people can forget their differences to take some of us from the streets, then our country is worth dying for ”.


n its part, Kano State government under the leadership of Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso is thinking of reversing the plight of the Almajiri children. The governor recognizes the enormous problem associated with the Almajiri system and has called on stakeholders in the North to adopt a holistic approach to resolve it. “We set up a committee on the Almajiri syndrome which has since submitted its report and same has been recommended to the 19 northern states governors for adoption”, Kwankwaso explained recently during a media parley. ”We have mandated the committee to conduct a head count on the Almajiris in the state as we have concluded plans to feed and train them so as to enable them live a better life” According to the Kano governor, “ the problem of Almajiri is a challenge of the past which is a result of broken homes and the children now grow in the street where they feel abandoned . Kwankwaso warned that “the problem if not hastily addressed poses imminent danger to our collective security as some of them remain canon foddesr for trouble makers in the society”.



Petroleum Industry Bill and oil blocks controversy T

HE Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is in the news again. This time not just about suffering a setback due to slow legislative process in the National Assembly since 2008, but the controversy surrounding oil blocs allocation in the country, which is militating against prompt passage of the bill. While the Chairman, Senate Committee on Business and Rules, Senator Ita Enang, revealed that 83 per cent of oil blocks in the country are owned by northerners, a top official of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), who spoke under anonymity, added that the highest percentage of oil blocs in Nigeria, aside the indegenous companies is controlled by the multinational oil firms. He added, “The data presented by the Senate Committee was just on indigenous oil companies. There are more details about oil politics in Nigeria that the people are yet to know. For instance, the multinationals control the greatest percentage of oil blocks in the country from the aggregate oil output. Then, in financial allocation, 55 percent goes to the Federal Government, while 30 per cent is shared among the multinationals and only a little fraction is given to the oil communities where these resources are taken from. Government uses the Petroleum Act of 1969 and the Land Use Decree of 1978, which permit government to take over any land where oil is discovered to collaborate with the multinationals and other business tycoons in the sector to cheat the oil communities.” Speaking with Sunday Vanguard, a former Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Downstream Petroleum, Senator Abubakar Umar Gada, said, “In law making, there is due process that must be followed. Government should ensure that due process is strictly followed to facilitate the immediate passage of the bill to enhance economic growth and development. When handling the issue of PIB, national interest must be the over riding principle. “Also, government should curb oil theft by mapping out the strategies to prosecute persons caught in illegal business of diverting petroleum products from the pipelines in order to stem the tides in crude oil theft in the country. Anyone found culpable of oil theft must be brought to book. This is the only way through which criminals must be made to

of that process is that it will go through the a t t o r n e y general’s office.” The position of IOCs: Before the review of the bill, the International Oil Companies (IOCs) doing business in Nigeria had e x p r e s s e d reservation about the fear of monopoly by government. As such, the fresh Diezani Allison-Madueke President Goodluck Jonathan impetus by government to fast desist from destroying public Force on the Review of PIB and track the process of signing goods. Nigeria derives greater the PIB Technical Committee to the bill into law for percentage of its revenue from submit the reviewed bill to stakeholders in the sector is to oil to run other sectors of the President Goodluck Jonathan, sanitise the industry for economy, as such, oil theft the minister said, “The bill will capable investors to come in. constitutes a major leakage ensure that going forward, the The major objectives of PIB: from the income flow of Ministry of he PIB was designed to government.” Pe t r o l e u m Resources is streamline operations in professionally run, and that it n whether the National engages professionals in the the industry, to further Assembly has made any oil and gas sector to work enhance more revenue law to give the government a within it, which is not the case generation geared towards strong legislative backing to at present. The review of the economic growth to make function as a sentence foreigners who bill, which lasted for about six NNPC conspire with Nigerians to months, was painstaking and commercial venture, by rupture the pipelines and has been infused with such raising money from capital divert products, he said, details as fiscal regime, market for its operations and “Right now, the National domestic gas, reconfiguration to bear the costs of its Assembly does not have such of the NNPC and transactions. The initiative was law, but, in the near future will administrative roles within the to curtail the level of do something practical about oil sector to fast track corruption in the Corporation in order to make the sector it. And beyond that, oil development. bunkering is a criminal offence and anyone found guilty must be made to face the wrath of the law.” 10 percent allocation to host communities in PIB: On 10 percent allocation to host communities in PIB, some Northerners are saying the host communities must be given seven percent from the 13 per cent that goes to the states in Niger Delta region, while the states retain six percent. But some Labour leaders are supporting the “The reconfiguration of viable for greater productivity. passage of 10 percent allocation to host communities NNPC was to ensure that going Surprisingly, the previous in PIB that is before the forward, it becomes the administration formally came commercial entity that it ought to an end by May 29, 2011, but Senate. to be, such that, we can grow a the Bill that had passed Legislative procedure: By last quarter of 2012 fiscal first-rate national oil company through the first and second year, the petroleum minister, that will grow over the years to reading, and was thoroughly Mrs. Diezani Allison- compete with other national oil scrutinised by the Senate was Madueke, sent the revised firms, such as the likes of not signed into law. Endorsement of PIB by version of the bill to the Petronas, Petrobras, among t h e r s . International Monetary Fund National Assembly for o consideration. The Bill, which The President directed that the (IMF): Notwithstanding the has been in the Senate since Ministry of Petroleum joins government criticism and reservation 2008, received urgent relevant attention, as PIB Technical stakeholders to embark on the expressed by the IOCs about Committee set up to re- final overview, and prepare it the possibility of the bill to monopoly for examine the legislation for presentation to the Federal create reviewed the bill to remove Executive Council. This is not government, considering the certain clauses, with a view to a small bill but a critical bill for mono-cultural system of ensuring a level playing Nigeria ’s economy and for our Nigeria ’s economy, the bill ground for International Oil oil and gas sector. At this received wide acceptance as it Companies (IOCs) and local point, government will do the was formally endorsed by IMF. IMF expressed firms operating in the industry. final review and put it in front The Speaking while leading a of the FEC for approval. Part satisfaction that the legislation delegation of the Special Task





The incessant case of oil theft has become one of the major challenges in the sector, as it accounts for an estimated $1.8billion loss, annually


was designed to ensure a level playing ground for IOCs and local firms operating in the industry. Also, local investors said that the bill would enhance influx of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into the country, sanitise the industry for serious investors to come in and create jobs to tackle the prevalent problem of unemployment in the country. Before the review, some investors complained that nonpassage of PIB contributed to the decline in FDI by over 29 per cent, though other factors like security challenge and lack of adequate infrastructure development were mentioned. PIB and deregulation of the downstream sector: Some stakeholders who spoke with Sunday Business said that government needs to fully deregulate the downstream and encourage people to invest in refineries for the bill to achieve the set objectives in the long-run. They believe that once the sector is deregulated, challenges associated with scarcity of petroleum products in the country will disappear. Our investigation revealed that the Bill needs immediate passage to prevent the country’s downstream sector from sudden collapse, as Nigeria ’s economy loses over $287million on monthly basis for non-passage of PIB into law. PIB and privatisation of refineries: s investors expect the passage of the Bill, most stakeholders are calling on government to privatise the refineries to enable the plants function optimally. In a chat with Sunday Vanguard, some stakeholders in the industry said government should privatise the refineries and speed up the project of building new refineries in the country, otherwise government will continue to spend money and nothing tangible may come out of it. They advised government to encourage private investors to build refineries. However, few months back, it was widely reported that Nigerian government formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding with US-based Vulcan Petroleum Resources Limited and a local firm to build six oil refineries in the country. The project estimated at the monetary value of N697.5 billion ($4.5billion) aims to have a refining capacity of 180,000 barrels per day, but since then, nothing has been said about the project. Oil theft: The incessant case of oil theft has become one of the major challenges in the sector, as crude oil theft is currently estimated at over $1.8billion annually. Government is advised to device a means of prosecuting persons caught in illegal business of diverting petroleum products from the pipelines in order to stem the tides in crude oil theft in the country.




HE future looks uncertain for Nigeria’s oil industry as its biggest customer, the United States (US), is becoming self-sufficient while East and West African rivals like Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya are boosting supplies. Current exports from Nigeria to the US, according to reports, have declined due to domestic energy boom. This means Nigeria will earn less for its oil and struggle to replace reserves unless it can end years of industry sluggishness. Analysts say Nigeria’s woes may become more complicated if legal uncertainty, political wrangling, corruption and insecurity are not properly addressed. They also are of the opinion that the country will lose its place in the international market if the Petroleum IndustryBill, PIB, is not passed

Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia make Nigeria’s earnings from oil uncertain into law, adding that continent rivals are fast catching up, and hungry for returns to boost their smaller economies by tempting foreign oil and gas companies with better terms and fewer bottlenecks than Nigeria. Speaking at the 10 th Aret Adam Annual Lecture Series, Chairman/Managing Director, ExxonMobil Producing Nigeria, Mr. Mark Ward, explained that, in 2011, Nigeria exported about 2.3 million bbl/d of crude oil. He also noted that US is the biggest importer of Nigeria’s crude, with 34 per cent of export volume. Europe (30 percent) and Asia (17 percent) follow closely. “However, exports to the US from Nigeria have declined in recent times,

in favor of domesticallyproduced crude,” Ward stated. “In 2011, US import of Nigerian crude decreased in volume overall, with the trend sustained in 2012. Reported shipping schedules for this year show that Nigeria cut exports in February to 67 cargoes (about 2.19 million bpd), compared with 75 cargoes for January 2013. He was, however, optimistic that the changing supply dynamics in North America might not necessarily affect Nigeria’s production as demand remains strong in China and India. “But we expect competition will tighten as exporters, including Nigeria, seek new markets outside of

the US.” Quoting from the Energy Information Agency, EIA, report,



net exporter in 2030.” Accounting for over 95 percent of Nigeria’s export earnings and

Nigeria’s woes may become more complicated if legal uncertainty, political wrangling, corruption and insecurity are not properly addressed

Ward stated that US oil production in 2012 exceeded seven million barrels a day - the first time since 1993. “The US is projected to be one of the world’s largest producers by 2020; driven by faster than expected development of shale oil in North America and a


about 40 percent of total revenues, Ward said the country ’s oil and gas industry should take a look at natural gas, where North America’s shale boom has had a more dramatic global impact. “As you can see, gas is an abundant, widespread resource, with

remaining global resource estimated at more than 28,000 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF),” the ExxonMobil MD stated.. “The gas resource is split into conventional and unconventional gas, with unconventional gas making up about half the estimated remaining resource. In North America, it is higher – about two-thirds of the remaining resource. “Access to North A m e r i c a ’ s unconventional gas has shifted global LNG market dynamics, with new technology spurring domestic production at significantly cheaper rates. This will almost eliminate the need for imports into North America, and make more LNG available to Europe and Asia Pacific”.

‘N100bn released for debt management okay’ BY UDEME CLEMENT


N operator of Small of M e d i u m Enterprise (SME) in Lagos, Mr. Silas Igwe, has commended the initiative of the Federal Government on the recent release of N100 billion for strategic debt management in the economy, saying the idea came in the nick of time to ensure effective debt management aimed at controlling domestic debt stock in the country. In a telephone chat, he stressed that the N75billion allocated for domestic debt, if adequately utilised, will handle the issue of domestic debt instrument, which often falls instead of raising more funds. He added, “The coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has declared that the development was part of

the measures to force down the high cost of funds, this we believe will help the economy tremendously. “Aside from domestic debt, something should be done also about the high lending rate, especially for operators of SMEs doing business in Nigeria . For instance, the Commercial banks have raised the lending rate too high, thereby making credit facility for

the real sector very difficult.With the latest development, SME operators should be able to have easy access to credit facilities to run their businesses. Banks must not give entrepreneurs very stringent conditions for granting loans. The apex bank should ensure that the new arrangement favours entrepreneurs especially in the area of start-ups”

Assistant General Secretary, organizer , ATSSSAN, Comrade Ajagbe Femi Adebayo (2nd left) with cross section of Aero Contractor staff that were locked outside the gate of the company till further notice by the management of the company in Lagos.

How Imoke is bridging the gap between mentors and young entrepreneurs BY EMMA UNA


T was an evening of music, food and heart-warming experience sharing as 28 mentors and 32 young entrepreneurs as well as captains of industry converged at the Transcorp Hotels,

Calabar for The Bridge Leadership Foundation’s Mentoring Dinner. The dinner, to c e l e b r a t e t h e Foundation’s first set of young entrepreneurs and their mentors, saw the graduation of the mentees who were enrolled in the Foundation’s 6-month

long programme. The event was also used to officially kick off the 2nd batch of the programme which saw 19 business owners and mentors enrolling. Speaking at the dinner; the Ag. Director/Consultant of The Bridge Leadership Foundation, Mrs. Ini

Onuk, said;“Tonight we celebrate our wonderful mentees who have shown commitment, hard work and dedication to the mentoring programme; we are also grateful to our mentors who had decided to share their lives with these young people; thereby investing in their future”. Highlights of the event

were the launch of the Mentoring Year Book, a compendium of the experiences of Mentors and Mentees who participated in the programme and the conferment of the awards of Mentee and Mentor of the Year on Mr. Anthony Ekolgbe and Mr. Ignatius Atsu.


‘Why Nigeria, others must jettison small farms’ EL-

Mr. Bernie Jones is the Director of Biosciences for Farming in Africa, B4FA, Media Programme. He is a graduate of Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities with degrees in computer science, psychology and cognitive science. He speaks on B4FA and what it is trying to achieve in Africa. Excerpts: HAT is Biosciences for Farming in Africa (B4FA) all about? Biosciences for Farming in Africa is a programme specifically designed to encourage informed discussion about the potential application of biosciences and genetics for farming in Africa. It is to designed to see if recent advances could bring about a positive change on farms and in communities in Africa and whether they could create a vibrant, sustainable and diverse agricultural sector. It is to


see to a change that would translate Africa into playing a major role in helping to feed the world. Why did you pick on Africa of all continents? In the first place, Africa is a hotbed of activity in agricultural biotechnology – from crop breeding research initiatives for tackling local pests to commercial growing of genetically modified crops. This continent’s projected population is put at 2 billion out of the world’s projection of 9 billion. Meeting the needs of this population therefore requires a massive increase in food production. This means that more food would have to be produced, globally and to satisfy the food demand, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has predicted that food production will need to increase by 70%. This is a huge challenge, but there are also many opportunities. What has B4FA for an

continent. What are the specific challenges for the farmer that you have discovered in Africa? One, serious challenge is Africa’s population growth. Another is the farmers’

Mr. Bernie Jones ordinary African farmer? The situation is that global population and, particularly that of the developing nations with specifics on Africa, is growing unabated. The people of these nations would need to be fed in spite of their growing number. Meanwhile, land and water resources are increasingly being degraded and depleted as a result of many activities. These activities by man, which are not limited to farming, have serious implications for developing countries, and in particular for the African

Natural herbal products need prompt NAFDAC approval – Okegbue across Africa. Duly approved by NAFDAC, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Dr. Nzeribe



S natural herbal products are g a i n i n g acceptance worldwide based on their potency in treatment of ailments, manufacturers are also intensifying on improving their products as well as introducing new ones. One of such is Nature Inventory Inc., a US based company that has edged out its competitors in the manufacture of Organic Wellness Oils & Tinctures for the treatment of health conditions. The products include Repro-Bab for female infertility, Cardis for the treatment of high blood pressure, ReproFab Tincture for urinary fibroid, Spermazine Tincture for the treatment of low sperm count and poor libido, MP Tincture for curing male sexual dysfunction, Joint Support for the treatment of arthritis and Skinny for the management of poor metabolism. These products are available in Nigeria courtesy of Natures Treasures Limited, an indigenous company with sole permission for the distribution of the products in Nigeria and

It was a rigorous process getting our products approved by NAFDAC; it actually took one year before we could get approval for eleven of our products.


Okegbue (JP), explained that one of the challenges faced by the company was getting these products approved by NAFDAC. According to him, “it was a rigorous process getting our products approved by NAFDAC; it actually took one year before we could get approval for eleven of our products. Aside that it was a great hurdle before we secured the confidence of our partners in USA to allow

us market these products based on several negative stories they had heard about Nigerians but, as a patriotic Nigerian, I had to defend my beloved nation by making them understand that Nigeria is better than all the negative stories they had heard”. The CEO harped on the need for regulatory authorities to expedite action in the registration of products towards encouraging local manufacturers in the production and distribution of the products. He also stressed the need for improved power supply, subsidizing duties for imported machineries and availability of funds from banks to help i m p r o v e entrepreneurship in the country. All products on the stable of the company are natural and have no side effects. They are also available at pocketfriendly prices. Okegbue disclosed that plans are underway in partnership with the manufacturers in USA to set up a factory in Nigeria which would no doubt help reduce unemployment in country.



By applying existing and available agricultural advice and technologies, the productivity of African agriculture could double


over-dependence on the manual method of subsistence farming in the face of this growth. Again, resulting from over-usage, single-cropping and climate influences, the African land, like I said

earlier on, has been depleted and degraded. And subsistence farmers in Africa rarely have access to the best available seeds and planting material. These are huge challenges. But B4FA found out that one possible solution is for farmers to combine their expert local knowledge with recent advances in agricultural science in order to produce the needed food. And the added advantage for the farmer is of course that growing more food can mean more money in his or her pocket, allowing them to invest more in their farms, in their children’s education, in their families and communities. So in addition to growing more food, we are talking about the ability for real locallevel economic development and growth. It is the recent advances in agricultural science and the effect that they could have on farmers in the subcontinent that Biosciences for Farming in Africa is discussing here.

How have you studied Africa relative to acceptability and use of these advances? Africa has approximately 33 million small farms representing 80% of all farms on the continent. Smallholder farmers, the vast majority of whom are women, are a particularly important group as they produce as much as 90% of agricultural output in Africa. Importantly, poor quality planting material, depleted soils, limited water resources and losses due to pests and diseases have kept African farmers’ yields at one-quarter of the global average. Few farmers use modern high yielding, locally adapted seed. Just by applying existing and available agricultural advice and technologies, the productivity of African agriculture could double or treble with the new agricultural technologies that are being developed. These are reasons enough for Africa to accept and use these advances.


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New Pontiff, old challenges ....10 facts you must know about Pope Francis BY SAM EYOBOKA, CALEB ANYANSIN AND OLAYINKA LATONA WITH AGENCY REPORTS


ATHOLICS in Nigeria harbour no ill-fillings that one of their own did not emerge pontiff and have cheerfully received the news of the emergence of an Argentine cardinal as the 266th pontiff of the Catholic Church. There were silent speculations among Nigerian Catholics that Anambra State-born Francis Cardinal Arinze had an outside chance of emerging as the first black Pope based on his experience. Spokesman for the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN, Rev. Monsignor Raulph Madu, his Lagos Archdiocesan director of Social Communications, Rev. Monsignor Gabriel Osu expressed gratitude that a Pope emerged from the 2013 Conclave after just five ballots, saying “thank God we have a Pope. Habemus Papam! The fact that the new Pope is from Latin America is indicative of the universality of the Catholic Church,” just as the umbrella body of Christians, CAN tasked the new Pope on spiritual rebirth. Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) charged the new Pope to envisage a new dawn for Christians all over the world to witness the birth of spiritual dynamism that will revitalize dormant moral values. In a congratulatory message addressed to the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) and Catholic faithful all over the world for the emergence of the new Pope, National President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor said: “I share in the joy of a Latin American Pope with the hope that a Nigerian Pope will, by this feat, emerge among the Cardinals we presently have in Nigeria. ”Going through his biography, I believe that as a doctrinal conservative and a man after social justice, Pope Francis is coming into the papacy with distinctive spiritual charisma, one that is based on positive interfaith and inter-cultural dialogue and a desire to serve the Catholic community worldwide in order to gain God’s good pleasure. ”I pray that he strives to make the Cardinals who elected him and, indeed, the millions of people who believe in his ideas feel the message of faith in God. I also pray that the Pope should, in his speeches and actions, envision a new dawn in which Christians all over the world shall witness the birth of spiritual dynamism that will revitalize dormant moral values, an age of tolerance, understanding and international cooperation that will, ultimately lead to a single inclusive civilization. ”May the beginning of your ascension become the sign and instrument of reconciliation, justice and peace that would bring forth joy, hope, peace and harmony in the world,” the CAN president stated. According to Monsignor Madu, a situation where Europe produces about 67 cardinal-electors with Italy alone having 30 and Latin America C M Y K

Pope Francis....He is an embodiment of intellectuality that has about 22 cardinals could emerge as the Pope is indicative of the universality and unity of the Catholic Church. “It is an indication that what takes place at the Conclave is the prompting of the Holy Spirit which cannot be questioned by any man,” he explained. Madu maintained that the election of a Pope has not and will never be likened to what transpires in political

said, adding that the universality, unity and love cannot be denied. According to him, Catholics do not see themselves as Nigerians first, rather we see ourselves as Catholics before regarding ourselves as Nigerians and that is why we would not have qualms as to who emerges as the new pontiff. “You know that is one of the problems of the country—ethnicity and nepotism. We were not expecting a

While the church is undoubtedly declining in membership in the West, it is thriving elsewhere. For there is far more to this ancient institution than PR gaffes circles because it is a highly spiritual endeavour, “or else how can one explain the emergence of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the Pope of 1.2 billion strong Catholic Church? In a Conclave made up of over 60 Europeans, 11 Americans and an Argentine who has never leaved in Rome to emerge as Pope. It has to be God.” In a similar development, the spokesman of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Rev. Monsignor Gabriel Osu said the church is universal and nobody can introduce politics into the inner workings of the church. “All you need to appreciate the universality and the unity of the church is for you to have watched what transpired at the Conclave which produced Pope Francis. “You cannot go into the Conclave as a Pope and come out as a Pope,” Osu

Nigerian Pope. We were expecting a Pope out of the mind of Christ and we have gotten one. If you watched what happened Wednesday you would seen the new man’s demonstration of humility, love and the urgent need for a fresh start. Everything about him is simplicity. He is an embodiment of intellectuality; a Jesuit. His pedigree is very strong.” The Lagos archdiocesan director of Social Communication therefore enjoined Catholics and all men of goodwill to rally round the new Pope and pray for him, especially at this crucial moment of the church. Challenges before the new Pope Meanwhile as the new Pope settles down to the enormous task ahead of him, Catholics all over the world are of the opinion that Pope Francis has a gigantic task to give the 1.2 billion

Catholics a thorough spring clean. If there is one thing above all that the Catholic Church does brilliantly, it is symbolism, and the past few weeks have been rich in symbol and ritual, not least the moment when Pope Francis stepped on to the balcony at St. Peter’s Basilica and on to the world stage, dressed in the white cassock of a pope. He spoke of being bishop of Rome – that’s churchspeak for being not a grand pope but a simple pastor. He wore the ornate papal stole for but a few moments, stressing once again the simplicity, not the grandeur of his office. And he chose the name Francis, the name of the poor barefoot friar, as well as the name of one of the greatest saints of the new pope’s order, the Jesuits. Above all, his election is an election of firsts: first Jesuit pope, first from outside Europe for 1,000 years, first Latin American pope. And Catholics so far seem to like him: his humility, his back story as the son of migrant workers, his shunning of the fripperies of office. Liberals are focusing on his solidarity with the poor; traditionalists like his conventional view of sexual morality. For too long it has seemed as if the Catholic church has had its doors closed on the world, a tragedy for those Roman Catholics who had been so thrilled, so excited, when the second Vatican Council began and Pope John XXIII urged the windows of the church to be flung open. What the Catholic church needs now is not just those doors and windows to be opened up, but also a thorough spring clean. To clear out the dirt and dust and shake things up, from reform of the way it has been governed to a rethink about how it has dealt with child abuse and a confirmation of its role, standing shoulder to shoulder with the poor and the dispossessed. Francis will need to first set a new tone, then change the personnel at the top. While the church is undoubtedly declining in membership in the west, it is thriving elsewhere. For there is far more to this ancient institution than PR gaffes. For many people it is vital to their wellbeing, providing services such education and healthcare. Its priority is always to nourishes people’s faith, but even in this it has faced a struggle in Francis’s own backyard, facing competition from Pentecostals in Latin America. Can it yet again offer hope to the west? This is in many ways one of the toughest asks for Pope Francis – when there is so much evidence that much of Catholic teaching is rejected by an increasingly secular society. But that society is not in many ways a happy society – one where consumerism has been so rife, and now at a time of economic decline it seems adrift. A pope who can offer a new optimism, a sense of meaning and purpose to the west, would transform the church’s original heartlands. How Francis will do that will not be

Continues on page 39


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Continued from page 38 by throwing out the church’s traditional teaching on sex – the Catholic church moves step by step, working out reform while holding on to tradition. And Francis is very much a traditionalist on personal morality, speaking out forcefully on gay marriage. But he is also essentially a pastoral man. He understands the difficulties of life; this was evident last year when he spoke out against priests who refused to baptise the babies of single mothers, denouncing them as “the hypocrites of today, the ones who clericalise the church”. Probably the most westerners can hope for is a more compassionate approach. Francis needs to tell people with utter conviction that the church is on their side. In the past few weeks all the talk has been of management: the need for better governance, for a 21st-century approach to running the Vatican show. It even got to the stage where people said the papacy needed Jesus with an MBA. The wisecrack veils the complexity of the problem. What the bishops of the church mean by reform of the way the church is run concerns the relationship between them and the Vatican head office, or Curia. What the media tends to mean is the more sensationalist aspects of Curia dysfunction – what was hinted at in the Vatileaks documents. Both need sorting out – and among the documents awaiting the new pope is the document produced by three cardinals on Vatileaks, which Benedict XVI apparently locked in his safe to await his successor. The 19th-century French priest and political theorist Félicité Robert de Lamennais warned that “centralism breeds apoplexy at the centre, and anaemia at the extremities”. That neatly sums up the vast task awaiting the pope from Argentina as he tackles the church’s difficulties. He will need to be as innocent as a dove and as wise as a serpent to bring it off.

10 facts you must know about Pope Francis

THE fact that Pope Francis has only one lung is just one of 10 unusual facts about Pope Francis. Besides being a pope with one lung, Pope Francis has washed and kissed the feet of Aids patients in a hospice, has been trained as a chemist, and has criticized priests who refuse to baptize babies born to single mothers. For many Catholics and nonCatholics who are wondering whether a pope with one lung will have the strength and stamina to deal with controversial topics like sex scandals, Pope Francis’ life as a child, teen, young man, and former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio will speak for itself. 1. Born as the son of an Italian railway worker Pope Francis was born as Jorge Marion Bergoglio on December 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital city, to Italian immigrants Mario José Bergoglio, a railway worker, and his wife, Regina María Sívori, a housewife. Growing up among five siblings with hard-working parents gave Pope Francis the values which define him today; family, love, charity, humility, frugality, the ability to connect with people, compassion, and being down to earth, C M Y K

Pope Francis....Pope Francis has never lost his connection with ordinary people.

New Pontiff, old challenges 2. Losing one lung When Pope Francis was a teenager, he had a lung removed as a result of a respiratory illness and lung infection. According to lung expert Dr. Zab Mosenifar from Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,

Even after Pope Francis was appointed auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires, he remained humble and spent his time caring for the Catholic university, counseling priests and preaching and hearing confessions “Without seeing and testing him, I would comfortably say he functions at 85 to 90 percent capacity of someone his age that has both lungs and hasn’t taken such good care of himself.” Dr. Mosenifar also mentioned that Pope Francis lost his lung most likely more than fifty years ago when lung infections were treated via surgical removal instead of antibiotics. 3. A master’s degree in chemistry

After studying chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis received a master’s degree in chemistry. According to a Catholic Herald report, Pope Francis “studied liberal arts in Santiago, Chile, and in 1960 earned a degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of Buenos Aires. Between 1964 and 1965 he was a teacher of literature and psychology at Inmaculada high school in the province of Santa Fe, and in 1966 he taught the same courses at the prestigious Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires.” 4. The Road Less Travelled Pope Francis entered the Society of Jesus on March 11, 1958, but was not ordained priest until Dec. 13, 1969, because of his years of studies and pursuit of a variety of interests in philosophy, literature, and teaching. He was already 32. Despite his late start, however, Pope Francis was leading the local Jesuit community within four years, holding the top post from 1973 to 1979. Pope Francis’ life and focus as a Jesuit and as a unique individual continued despite being promoted to higher positions. Even after Pope Francis was appointed auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires, he remained humble and spent his time caring for the Catholic university, counseling priests and preaching and hearing confessions; tasks that are not usually performed by “superiors.” “On June 3, 1997, he was named coadjutor archbishop. He was installed as the new archbishop of Buenos Aires February 28, 1998.” 5. Simple apartment, cooks his own meal, rides the bus Becoming the new archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 did not change who Pope Francis was as an individual. He rode the bus, visited the poor, lived in a simple apartment, and cooked his own meals. Even in Rome, Pope

Francis did not live in the archbishop palace but lived in an apartment where he continued to cook his own meals. Besides his low-key lifestyle, Pope Francis was part of a larger social entity by creating new parishes, restructuring administrative offices, and starting new pastoral programs such as a commission for divorcees. 6. The defender of the family who “washed and kissed the feet of Aids patients” Pope Francis is the author of books about spirituality and meditation and is the co-author of the book “Sobre el Cielo y la Tierra” (On Heaven and Earth) which is available on Kindle. While he is an outspoken person as a defender of the family and is against abortion and same-sex marriages, he is also the same human being who, in 2001, “ washed and kissed the feet of Aids patients in a hospice” according to the Guardian. 7. Condoms “can be permissible” Unlike many officials in the Catholic church, Pope Francis believes that condoms “can be permissible” to prevent infection. Also unlike many other church members, Pope Francis has never lost his connection with ordinary people. On March 13, 2013, CBS New York wrote that, “He’s lived those 76 turbulent years on little buses and bikes and convents, in dusty lanes all across Latin America. … Bergoglio often rode the bus to work and regularly visited the slums that ring Argentina’s capital. He considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the Church.” 8. Pope Francis practices what he preaches Talking about “social outreach” is easy, practicing “social outreach,” however, is part of the essence of Pope Francis from childhood until now. According to The Economist, Pope Francis told his fellow Argentinians “not to waste their money on plane tickets to Rome to see him created a cardinal by John Paul II in 2001, urging them to give it instead to the poor.” 9. The heart makes a man, not his clothes When Pope Francis came out onto the balcony on Wednesday as new Pope Francis, he came out in a white cassock instead of the traditional red cape and papal stoll. “He even chose to wear his own, simple cross — devoid of diamond and jewels — as he stood on the balcony taking in the incredible scene below.” 10. Expect the unexpected Even though Pope Francis was believed to have been the runner-up in the last papal conclave in 2005 that elected Pope Benedict XVI, hardly anybody expected Pope Francis to become the new pope in 2013. Not only becauseof Pope Francis’ age or because of his Jesuit background but also because of his “association with priests involved in liberation theology, a movement previously frowned upon by the Vatican.” Expecting the unexpected appears to be a major theme in Pope Francis’ life. Who would have expected that a child from a railroad working family in Argentina who did not become a priest until he was 32 would become the leader of the Catholic church at the age of 76? Pope Francis faces many challenges as the leader of the Catholic church. However, if anybody can bring upon much needed change, it is – unexpectedly – a pope with one lung.


Churches not allowed here




HE message of the birth of Christ was first brought to mere shepherds, sleeping out of doors. “Then the angel said to them, Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2: 10-11) Why would anybody be interested in the birth of a Saviour in the city of David? Who would have believed today the report of the angel? If someone sends us an email saying, “I bring you good tidings of great joy,” what would we expect to hear? What would represent good news to us? I think it is fair to say that for most people money would represent good news. If we were to win the lottery, or if someone were to send us a great deal of money, that news would qualify as “good tidings of great joy.”

Jesus is the kind of saviour we don’t want

Saviour from life Bestman Chinem heard the report that some company was giving out free cell-phones. He did not wait to be convinced but dashed there to get one. But how would we react to the report that a Saviour has been born? A Saviour? What kind of a Saviour? Would we even be sufficiently interested to pay a visit to the new-born child? Indeed, the “good tidings of great joy” concerning the birth of Jesus turned out to be bad news to many. For Herod, this “Saviour” must not simply be ignored. This “Saviour” must be killed. It is not merely that he is not the kind of Saviour we want; he is a big threat to us all because he is determined to save us from our life and lifestyle. Some people were robbing a bank in the dead of the night. A man walked in on them and switched on the light. Then he said: “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12). What do you think the armed robbers did to him? They shot him dead. Why did the king of glory leave halcyon heaven to come down to this sinful world? Jesus says: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). But were we not alive before he came? No! The life we lived was counterfeit. It was the life of the dead; circumscribed by death. It was a life of sin and sickness denied of the presence of God. It is therefore necessary for us to relinquish it in exchange for the true bread of life Jesus offers. Jesus says: “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:25).

The wrong saviour That makes Jesus the kind of saviour we don’t want. The Messiah came with a major assignment: to save from sin. C M Y K

The angel appeared to Joseph to clarify matters concerning Mary’s pregnancy: “She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21). However, while sin is God’s preoccupation, sin is man’s occupation. The principal thing God heals is sin. But the last thing we want to be healed of is sin. Man is a sinner by practice. This means left to us we cannot be saved. Jesus maintains with men salvation is impossible. (Mark 10:27). There are so many things we want, but salvation is not one of them. We want houses, we want cars, we want lands, we want positions; but we don't want salvation. God is not unrighteous: he will not give us what we don't want. He will only give salvation to those who want it. He will only give salvation to those who yearn for it. He will only give salvation to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. (Matthew 5:6). Jesus met a paralytic who had been sick for 38 years at the sheep gate in Jerusalem and asked him a seemingly strange question: “Will you be made whole?” At first glance, this does not seem to be a nice question to ask a man who had been sick for that long. But Jesus knew the man was not really interested in getting healed. As a matter of fact, he did not even know the precise nature of his sickness.

Sin sickness Hear and understand. Man is only aware of sickness when it affects the body. God is aware of sickness when it affects the soul. Man is a shepherd and bishop of the body. God is the shepherd and bishop of the soul. (1 Peter 2:25). Man is concerned when he is sick that he should be made well physically. God is concerned when we are sick that we should be made whole spiritually. Man would do anything to save the body from physical sickness. God would do anything to save the soul from sin-sickness. That is kingdom dynamics. Sickness cannot kill: only sin kills. No man has ever died of sickness. Sickness only kills the body, but sin kills the soul. However, sin is the least of the concerns of men, in and out of the church. If we were given a choice between having our sins forgiven and being healed of a deadly disease, frankly, many would choose physical healing over salvation any day. I have never met anybody who liked sickness. But most people love sin. One of the peculiarities of sin is that it is pleasurable. The prophets of God are insistent in warning against the pleasures of sin. Sin kills the soul, while sickness only kills the body. Therefore sin is infinitely more deadly than sickness. Jesus says: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the

soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28). Men fight sickness tooth and nail. When there is sickness, Christians wrestle in prayer. When there is sickness, we spend a lot of money on research looking for a cure. When there is sickness, we spend all we have on doctors and medical bills. In the ministry of Jesus, people moved heaven and earth in order to be healed of diseases. Some even removed the roof of a building in order to get a paralytic to Jesus. But when there is sin, we don't bother. When there is sin, we don't wrestle against it. When there is sin, we enjoy it. And so Jeremiah declares: “the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” (Jeremiah 8:20). We are not saved because we don't want to be saved. We are not saved because we don't want to forsake sin. We are not saved because we don’t hate sin. We may not be fornicators but we don't hate fornication. We may not be liars but we don't hate lying. But the man who stands in the righteousness of Christ must detest what is evil. The psalmist says: “you who love the Lord, hate evil.” (Psalm 97:10). (Continued).

Resurrection Praise holds first convention


ESURRECTION Praise Minis tries for Africa recently concluded its first annual convention with various clerics including Bishop Sam Eke, Bishop Oladele Oladipupo, Rev. Gabriel Obubah, Rev. Ebere Osigwe, Rev. Robert Ayensu, and Bishop Paul Adeleye in attendance, reports OLAYINKA LATONA. General Overseer, Archbishop Samson Mustapha Benjamin ministered, saying that the church decided to hold the convention as a means of drawing more souls to God and reappraising the growth of the church in the last 10 years. Theme: 'Jesus is coming soon'.


HOSE born in Nigeria 900 years ago and others who made unquantifiable sacrifices on behalf of this country; either during the nationalist struggles or paid the supreme sacrifice on the field of war to keep the nation one will not survive one week in today's Nigeria. Many of them, civil servants, lived freely in any part of the country. Railway workers, P&T workers, as well as traders freely resided wherever they wanted in any part of the country. Last week, I had this mail which says a building belonging to The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, at Gusua in Zamfara State was set ablaze by yet to be identified persons three months after the incidence. The RCCG parish building was torched by alleged hoodlums on January 25 this year. Quite naturally, sympathizers visited to commiserate with the leadership of the church with some making promises to arrest the peperatators of the heinous crime and bring them to book. Three weeks after the fire incidence, a delegation from the community paid a sympathy visit to the church and empathized with the leadership of the church. After the normal exchange of pleasantries, the visiting community leaders dropped the clincher: “We sympathize with you for the fire incidence, but we must tell you that we will not allow you to rebuild this place as a church.” Infact, he added: “We have actually come to let you know that you have six months within which to vacate the site.” That was when it dawned on the pastor and his congregation that Christians were not wanted in the community. After several prayer sessions and reassured by biblical promise that wherever you set your foot, that land will be yours; members were just slowly picking themselves together with a view to remodel the church to the shame of the devil. The pastor immediately dispatched a protest letter to the Zamfara State governor who, in his reckoning, is the only authority in the state that can either authorize their reconstruction work or in the alternative approve another location for the church. As minutes are ticking towards the six months quit notice from the community leaders, the pastor and his congregation are still undergoing an endless wilderness period not sure if his SOS letter actually got to the state chief executive officer and if there would be a miracle call from his office before the expiration of the deadline. Exactly 41 days before the above incidence in Zamfara State, a Living Faith Church on Airport Road, Ilorin, Kwara State, still under construction, was razed down. The founder of Living Faith Church, also known as Winners Chapel is Bishop David Oyedepo, a first class indigene of Kwara State who had contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of the state including the establishment of a state-of-theart private university. The only offence Oyedepo and his church had committed is that they dared to tread where angels and saints were not expected to go. The story goes thus: the church had acquired a land at Check-Point area along Ilorin-Ogbomosho Road for the purpose of building a church. After the acquisition of the required statutory rights of occupancy, they started construction work. Trouble started when the immediate past vice chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Isaq Oloyede allegedly appeared at the construction site on December 3, 2012, ordering the workers to stop work immediately because, according to him, the land on which they were building belongs to Muslim Students' Society, MSS. According to the report, the former vice chancellor, instead of opting for the legal option to settle the dispute amicably for the interest of peace, allegedly threatened to, among other things, mobilise 1,000 students to demolish the church if it didn't stop the construction work. Nine days later, on December 12, 2012 the church was razed down and nobody has been apprehended. For how long shall we continue this master/slave relationship? Everyday we mouth the need for a united Nigeria but at who's expense? Why will a group be regarded as superior while the other inferior always? As the National Assembly is currently considering another constitutional amendment, it would be worthwhile for members to save a looming national catastrophe by genuinely and sincerely deliberating on the basis of the nation's unity before the planned centenary celebration to mark the amalgamation of the two protectorates.

SUNDAY Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013, PAGE 41


Unbelievable as it may appear, fresh facts emerging suggest that there was indeed a surface-to-air plot by the dreaded Jamaatu Ahlil Sunna Lidawati wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram. So, how did Nigeria’s intelligence community react and how was the plot foiled? This is the exclusive report of Nigeria’s emerging dangerous skies.


t was meant to inflict maximum embarrassment and damage. And had it succeeded, the nation would still have been reeling under the effect of a tragedy of monumental proportions. The attack was meant to be direct: Bring down President Goodluck Jonathan’s plane. According to intelligence sources, that was the plan of the Jamaatu Ahlil Sunna Lidawati wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram. And whereas very senior government officials were playing it down penultimate Saturday, Sunday Vanguard discovered that but for the C M Y


The surface-to-air plot that failed zMr. President was the target - Okupe zWe are not ghosts – Boko Haram

“massive intelligence network that was activated prior to and during the President’s two- day visit to Borno and Yobe States, which had the Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, on the entourage as well as constant monitoring by the Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, and the Director General (DG),Department of State Security (SSS), Ita Ekpeyong”, the sinister motive of the sect may have seen the light of day. In fact, intelligence sources said

the plot was on two legs. None succeeded.


And although the visit of Jonathan has continued to receive mixed reactions from a cross section of Nigerians as either belated, unproductive or needless, the closest admission that there was indeed a plot to bring down the President’s plane came from one of his spokespersons. Dr. Doyin Okupe, Senior Special

Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, alluded to the scary nature of the plot last week in a televised interview. Okupe first pooh-poohed the much celebrated earlier visit of some opposition state governors before hitting the nail on the head. His words: “Let me talk about the APC governors who went on a dance parade to the market square and were waving hands. And Nigerians were even saying that they were courageous. Continues on page 42

The surface-to-air plot that failed



PAGE 42— SUNDAY Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013

The governors that went to Borno were not the target. 30 governors can go to Borno State, Boko Haram can not be bothered about that. The President is their target. And that is what makes the difference

Continued from page 41

“I hope now that the events that happened immediately after President Jonathan left Borno would teach everybody a lesson. “The cache of arms that were uncovered by the JTF is enough to engage the Nigerian Army in a war for three months. “What were rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns doing? “The governors that went to Borno were not the target. “They were not consequential in the consideration of the Boko Haram. 30 governors can go to Borno State, Boko Haram can not be bothered about that. “The President was their target. “And that is what makes the difference. “So, what was demonstrated was foolish bravery. “Look at the ammunition that the JTF seized. “What that demonstrates is that there is clear and present danger in Borno as at the time of the President’s visit and it is only the Commander-in-Chief who is sure of his troops and who is in control of his army that can go there and not just go there but sleep there overnight. “Even whenever Obama and Bush went to Afghanistan, they didn’t sleep there. The strength of leadership and the commitment and the sacrifice are things that are commendable”.



ndependent investigations by Sunday Vanguard revealed that at least a month ago, when it became inevitable that Jonathan would visit Borno and Yobe States, an activation of high- level intelligence activities were initiated. Interestingly, the activation came just at about the time when seven foreign construction workers were abducted in Bauchi by another terror group, Jama’atu Ansarul Musilimina Fi Biladissudan, Ansaru, for short, which translates as Vanguards for the protection of Muslims in black Africa. Mind you, Ansaru is a break away group from Boko Haram and is thought to be more radicalized, according to intelligence sources.


Co-incidentally, the massive hunt for the kidnappers, served to deflect attention from the massive intelligence activities that were being carried out in the North East geopolitical zone, with undirectional focus on Borno State. Fortunately, just as the Ansaru kidnappers were being hemmed- in by security forces, the intelligence activities in Borno State were yielding its own results. Now, information pieced together


Doyin Okupe by Sunday Vanguard suggest that the cache of arms discovered by the JTF penultimate weekend in Borno had been tracked within that same period of hemming- in the Ansaru abductors. It was gathered that using electronic devices which track materials and substances used in manufacturing these weapons of war, the intelligence agencies were able to hem- in the insurgents in whose possession the weapons were. Now, what made it very difficult for the insurgents to move the weapons and set up sites for its deployment, particularly the anti-aircraft missiles and rocket launchers, was because the insurgents, too, have their own back channels through which they are able to sometimes have access to useful pieces of information which aid their own operations. Information, last week, pointed in the direction of a possible and deliberate plan to use some of the

weapons that were eventually seized.



ndeed, beyond the plot to en gage in a surface-to-air campaign, Sunday Vanguard was also made to understand that the insurgents had expected a weak underbelly. With some of its members detained in some strategic facilities (which cannot be revealed on these pages) scattered around Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, the group had hoped to also use some of the weapons for a jail- break campaign. It was learnt that the focus of this leg of the plot was the military barracks. “While the President would be carrying on with the business of state, they had hoped to storm the barracks and effect the release of some of their colleagues. “Unfortunately, the intelligence



guri, the Borno State he Joint Task Force, JTF in Maidu Saturday) that it has ate capital, said yesterday(penultim and recovered asts oris terr ted killed about 52 suspec in the last ten days, while it sorted arms and ammunitions with nel dur ing the rai d. als o los t two of its per son Colonel Sagir Musa, in an Spokesman of the JTF, Leuitenant iduguri, said, “Based on Ma in email statement to journalists ort, series of operations were information and intelligence rep ce Operation RESTORE ORconducted by the Joint Task For State. The latest was the one DER in the last ten days in Borno arters and Jajeri in MaiduQu conducted at Bulabulin, Bayern yesterday, Friday, 8 Februguri metropolis between 3 – 8 pm ons under the period stated, ary, 2013. During these operati t led to the death of 52 Boko there were exchange of fire tha manders of the sect. 70 terHaram Terrorists including ten com period under review, the JTF rorists were also arrested. In the d and no civilian casualty was lost 2 personnel, 3 were wounde recorded. unition, uniforms and other ”The under listed weapons, amm operation; include, 3 Anti items were recovered in yesterday’s Grenade Tubes, General PurAircraft Guns, 10 Rocket Propelled Rif les . AK 47 17 Gu ns, Ma chi ne pos e ing to Sagir are 3 G3 Rifles, ”Other weapons recovered accord 12 RPG Chargers, 1x 36 Hand 1 Pistol (Lama), 20 RPG Bombs, 33 AK 47 Magazines, 11 FN Held Grenade, 1 Teargas Rifle, 68 Assorted Ammunitions, 2 Magazines, 3 G3 Magazines, 11,0 ed Anti Aircraft Stands, 1 Box Techanical Vehicles with mount rds and 2 Knifes, 5 Walking of weapons cleaning kit, 4 Swo s, 1 Multi Links Router, and Talkies, 4 VHF Hand Held Set Assorted uniforms and kits”.

agencies already had information regarding this plot, too, and were equally prepared”, a senior SSS operative said. “The fact that assorted uniforms of security agencies, especially those serving in the Joint Task Force, were recovered, is said to be fueling the intelligence that there was indeed a plan by the group and their sponsors to breach the security of the president. “What security agencies are after are the sources of these weapons because of the huge foreign exchange needed to procure them; why were they procured days to the President’s visit; and how come they are weapons that could either bring down an aircraft, plane or helicopter?Why the assorted uniforms like that of JTF? Are they for easy penetration?” (See photograph) As with the surface-to-air plot, the major challenge for the insurgents was how to move the weapons.



herefore, it was in the bid to force their way out of their enclave that the gun dwell, which the JTF reported, ensued – JTF claimed to have killed 52 insurgents but the group has come out to dispute the claim. The group has also responded to President Jonathan’s assertion that amnesty cannot be granted to ghosts, a reference to the clandestine approach of the group and its refusal to be identified in the open.



istory records that sometime in April, 1994, the President of Rwanda, a Hutu, Juvénal Habyarimana, was assassinated when his plane was shot down near Kigali International Airport; just as his counterpart in Burundi, a fellow Hutu, Cyprien Ntaryamira, was also killed in the attack. What followed was some two months of systematic killing of Tutsis numbering over half a million by Hutu militias. It was the possible re-enactment of this spectre of doom that got many Nigerians worried when the news was first splashed last weekend that a deliberate attempt to breach Jonathan’s security, via a campaign of surfaceto-air attack, was hatched but had been foiled. Investigations into the amassing of the weapons of war are still on-going.


Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013, PAGE 43

My father asked me to choose between the family and the God of Idahosa — Bishop Osa-Oni

the the best of their ability.

’Charm planted by a teacher nearly killed me’ ♦

By Lekan Bilesanmi


taboo! That was what venturing into full-time min istry was in the late 1980s when John Osa-Oni became a pastor. But the man, who today is the Bishop of Vineyard Christian Ministries International,Lagos, was undaunted. Before then, he had faced huge challenges on account of his faith. In one particular instance, his acceptance of Christianity triggered a family crisis in the course of which his father asked him to choose between the family and the God of the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa, whose Church of God Mission he (Osa-Oni) was attending. In another instance, he was a victim of a charm planted by a teacher in his school, a situation that saw him partially dead, and coming back to life almost at the point of burial. In this interview, Osa-Oni speaks on the challenges of life, his journey in the ministry and his close relationship with Idahosa, the man who popularised tele-evangelism in the 1970s. He speaks ahead of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Vineyard Ministries and 20 years of his consecration as a bishop. On this occasion, scheduled for between April 3 and 7, Osa-Oni is being elevated to the position of archbishop. Excerpts of interview:

It is common with pastors to face challenges. Can you share with us those that came your way? I have been taught to always look forward especially when challenges come. So the various challenges, for me, are stepping stones for greater heights. When you look back at challenges, you get distracted. Of course challenges did come but I never saw them as one and that is why I don’t have any in the last 25 years of the ministry. It has been 25 years of testimonies for Christians in the country and individuals all over the world on what Vineyard, one of the front


line churches, has impacted. When you are focused, you are naturally going to see less distractions. Vineyard has been very focused in the last 25 years. Taboo to be a pastor You cannot quantify the number of lives you are touching. Thousands of lives have been affected. We have raised and trained both Christians and Muslims to university level across the country. We have rendered medical care to various communities in the country. It was a taboo to be a pas-

Osa-Oni...some of our friends had their Bibles burnt pastoring’, they would scream. Before then, mind you, I had been in the ministry evangelizing for about 40 something years, that is, since 1972. Those days, we had a lot of attacks, such that some of our friends had their Bibles burnt by their parents. In the 70s, occultism was very rampant, it was the most predominant thing then. Everybody exhibited his strength through occultism and, so, most of us who came out from paganism,


It has been a journey of 25 years. How did it start? My journey started from the campus in University of Lagos when the Lord ministered to me to set out into ministry. I was reading accounting in the school at that time. And in those days, it was like a taboo to venture into full-time ministry, I had to take up a secular job,worked with UTC Motors and Egunjobi Sulaimon and later for my brother and friend, Dr. Tunde Joda, the Senior Pastor of Christ Chapel,as an associate pastor. I left my secular job completely in December 1985 and started full-time pastoral work in January 1986. Since then, the journey has been fantastic.

In the 70s, occultism was very rampant, it was the most predominant thing then. Everybody exhibited his strength through occultism and, so, most of us who came out from paganism, and suddenly found ourselves in church, it was tough being a Christian then

tor about 29 years ago when I started full-time ministry; when you stepped out to ministry, your parents were never happy with it especially having gone through university and you now returned home to say, ‘dad, I am going into


and suddenly found ourselves in church, it was tough being a Christian then. It was tough coming out to say you are now a pastor, serving Jesus; the first question they would ask you in Yoruba is,’Who is your parent in this community?’

Who would you say you fashion your new found religion after? Certainly not your parents they all knew. Some of us stood our grounds and, today, we are grateful for it. Can you recollect a particular moment of your tribulation because of your belief? That should be 1974, I was chased out of the house by my parents around 12 midnight. They called a meeting and asked me to make a choice between the family, that is the Oni family, Archbishop Idahosa and Jesus Christ. I chose Jesus Christ even though they didn’t allow me to mention the name of the second person before I was given a dirty slap on my face and they said, ‘Pack your things from this house’. They locked the door against me in middle of the night. I had to sleep in one of the kiosks in the market. But I have no regret because I still went to school the next day; it was only after I left school that it dawned on me that I didn’t have a home to return to. But I heard a voice: ‘The day your father and mother forsake you, that day I will take you up’. And since 1974, God has never let me down because He raised up brethren in the church who took care of me to

How were you converted to Christianity? There was a time I went to stay with my uncle in a place called Egbefa, I was about 15 years old, I was in school. Two teachers were fighting and they set charms for themselves. Unfortunately I was the first person to pass through the trap; from that moment, I took ill. I fainted seven times. On the 7th time, I heard a voice, by this time, I was already brought back home to my father, they had already dug my grave because, according to them, it was more than fours that I had been in coma, you know they don’t bury young children generally within the community, it had to be done in the forest because it was seen as a bad omen. As the grave was being dug, I regained consciousness and ran out of the house to the backyard where we planted cocoyam, I plucked a leaf and took a black snail with it and started shouting, ‘ I have seen it’. And people were astonished and began asking,’ who did you see’? And what I saw was a man with a rod who drove me back from heaven,saying,’ go back, go back and serve me’. But my father ’s interpretation was that it was my grandfather that drove me back to come and serve the gods. But it was a teacher in school who later told me that it was Jesus that spoke to me and not the ancestors as my father made me to believe. So when I got to Benin, I got hold of this Gideon pocket Bible and knelt down by the bed and made a confession that was in the Bible for those who wanted to give their lives to Christ. That was how I gave my life to Christ, not under or through anybody. From that moment, my life changed such that I was attending church programmes regularly until 1974 when my zeal for God became very strong that there was a family meeting because of me. Of course I packed my things and left Benin when the situation became unbearable. I came to Lagos in 1975 to stay with an aunt. It took me two days before I could locate her. In between those two days looking for my aunt’s house, I was sleeping at the park, that is Midwest Line Park, Jibowu, Yaba. Later, I went back to school, Archbishop Aggey Memorial Secondary School, for my WASCE . Your sur name was Oni. Why the change of name? I changed my name from Oni by adding three letters to make Osa-Oni. I really wanted to separate my name from the

Continues on page 46

PAGE 44—SUNDAY Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013

The structure of PDP might hinder Jonathan from moving Nigeria forward — Pat Utomi *Hopeful about the APC… *Calls for dissolution of Nigerian Governors’ Forum *‘I am not running for anything, but…’



HY did you suddenly withdraw from political and public scenes after the elections in 2011? I don’t know how that perception came, but it’s not correct. I gave so much in 2007 to trying to create an agenda for political life in Nigeria. In 2011, my effort was at a single objective of bringing together the oppositions. Though, the egos of individuals got in the way of letting that happen. I did not give up on political life. I simply thought I should focus more on grassroots activities. So, I went back, taking some of my civil society roots, to continue work with the poor and the weak at different levels. For me, returning to my root, the grassroots, has been the new emphasis. From public life, I never withdrew. In fact, I’ve been more active. Many interpreted your said activeness in 2011 for the subtle execution of the SouthSouth agenda, and that your actions were to ensure that Jonathan had a smooth platform… People can run to any conclusion that they want to. If my actions were to ensure Jonathan had an easy way, C M Y K

Prof. Pat Utomi.....I always wanted the different parties to fuse into one have you ever seen Jonathan and me since he became president? My goal was to help bring together a merger, and I slaved for it. Part of my anger is what I sacrificed to make that happen. We took up a hotel in Abuja for a meeting with all the candidates, and we thought we had narrowed it down. The idea was for everyone to stay in that room

person if he so desired. Now that you’re in a more influential party, what’s your plan for 2015? I tell people often that my favourite desired position is that of a local government councillor because it is closest to the people and would really afford me the opportunity of affecting people’s lives. However, it was important for


As political parties galvanise ahead of the 2015 general elections, former presidential candidate and foremost professor of political economy and management, Prof.Pat Utomi, in this interview, declares his hope in the emerging All Progressive Congress-APC- and also faults President Goodluck Jonathan’s competence. Utomi, it would be recalled, was a presidential adviser in the Second Republic’s government of Shehu Shagari. He had entered full-time politics in 2007 when he joined the African Democratic Congress under which he vied for the presidency. After that, Utomi formed another party, the Social Democratic Mega Party- SDP. Following the unimposing performance of the SDP at the 2011 elections, he heightened his gospel of a two party system, thereby joining the Action Congress of Nigeria which recently metamorphosed into the APC.

The problem is not the people in the PDP, but its structure. The nature of the PDP is such that it cannot bring progress no matter how some people may want to try because the fundamental essence of the PDP is “let me get my own share”


and decide who will go and who will be the running mate. In the final evening, one person did not show up after he had set the day. I felt so bad because they had the resources and I was spending my own hard-earned money to fly back and forth. When I came back to Lagos, I decided to endorse Shekarau and to let him step down for any other

me to help set the tone when the political arena was completely bereft of ideas. That’s why I got into the arena, playing some of the roles that I have played. I’ve just finished discussing my Widows’ Support Centre. The centre was actually set up nearly a quarter of a century ago, to help very poor widows. Whenever I look at

the impact it has had on the lives of those widows who have passed through it, I’m thankful. So, the centre of my passion presently is how I could affect the weakest, poorest and all of these people who have been denied justice in the society. You are one of those promoting the ACN, CPC, ANPP and APGA merger. How powerful enough is this merger to unseat the ruling PDP in 2015? I’m hopeful that the APC will be strong enough to move Nigeria in a different and more fulfilling direction. You see, the problem is not the people in the PDP, but its structure. The nature of the PDP is such that it cannot bring progress no matter how some people may want to try because the fundamental essence of the PDP is “let me get my own share”. So, their results will always be bad outcomes for the progress Nigeria will make. So, it’s in Nigeria’s fundamental interest to have a change so that the PDP will have a reason to sit down and have a rethink. That shift in power is what will make Nigeria develop in a new way that will lead to progress. You’ve been a proponent of merger and alliance. What’s the difference between what you were trying to do with the SDP and the APC that is emerging now? I always wanted the different parties to fuse into one. I’ve also always expressed my views that we should have two major political parties. This is not to say that anyone who has a different view cannot create his own party because parties are a way for people to express their dissatisfaction. Everybody knows that such will help raise our understanding of those issues of dissatisfaction. Would you say the APC is the kind of merger that you anticipated? The most important thing is that political parties get together and create a difference in the lives of the people of this country. This happened in Zimbabwe’s politics and in Senegal. If we really want to save this country, we must see power change hands. It’s not a matter of the PDPs are bad and the

APC guys are good. No. It is the movement from one to the other that leads to progress and learning. Is the SDP dead? I do not know. It’s not in my place to pronounce life and death. What I do know is that after 2011, I said very clearly to all my partners that since people are not willing to come under a new umbrella, all of us should go back and join maybe the biggest one around us. I tried to persuade everybody and I set the example by joining the ACN. Are you in support of INEC ’s deregistration of parties? Yes. I am in full support. But why is the SDP not in the list of deregistered party? I don’t know! I’m not the one registering or deregistering. Are you saying you won’t have contested it if SDP was deregistered? I won’t have! I was not a member of SDP at that time, anyway. Remember I told you I left the SDP immediately after the 2011 election. Let me tell you about my political background because I don’t believe in changing parties. The first party card I carried in my entire life was the ACN, and that was in 2006 in Asaba. I contributed to the finances of the ACN both in Delta and Edo State in 2006, 2007. When it became obvious that the structure of the party was not going to allow regular primaries, I thought my whole purpose of entering the political arena, which was to frame the discussion of the primary process, would be lost without the primary process. That was how the idea of going to take over a small party that will agree to merge later with the ACN came up. That was how the ADC initiative started until Chief Enahoro called me and we decided to come up with the SDP. You said you left the ACN for reasons that had to do with the primary process. How sure are you that those shortcomings no longer exist in the party? In a way, that’s a myth question because what we’re now trying to do is to create two major political groupings. That’s the most important fact for now. There are rumours that Continues on page 45

SUNDAY Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013, PAGE 45

ANAMBRA 2014 The qualities Peter Obi’s successor must have, by Obidigbo


BY BILESANMI OLALEKAN Dr. Chike Obidigbo, from Umunya, is a graduate of universities of Salford, Manchester, and Lancaster, UK; one time lecturer; journalist; and an industrialist engaged in product manufacturing and job creation for over two decades. He is presently the chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi states, and a member of National Council of Small and Medium Scale Industries.


HY politics? Thought you were contented with your success in business? I believe that politics is not a field destined for any group of people. Politics is about adding value to the lives of the people, it is not about a field of any group of people. Anybody that has something that can be enjoyed by the society must find a way of getting into politics. I am from Anambra State. I have got lots of opportunities there given by the people of Anambra , Enugu and Ebonyi states. I was a product of the Federal Ministry of Education because I enjoyed the Federal Government scholarship for many years and, some how, you feel that, having benefitted from the commonwealth, there might be a need for you to make your own contribution towards the growth and welfare of the society. At this point in time, what does Anambra State need? Anambra and Imo states have the highest number of unemployed graduates. Anambra and Edo states have the highest number of girls who are educated but roaming the streets. What does it take to curtail this massive activity that is not impacting positively on the society? Anambra State with some other states in the South- East and some states in the South- South have the highest number of criminal activities, that is, kidnapping, ar med robber y. These are activities that come up as a result of non- availability of opportunities for the young ones to be employed; therefore, what do we need at this point in time? We need employment opportunities, we need the youths to be empowered, it is only when we do this that we reduce crime, and when we reduce crime, we would have succeeded in reducing the massive movement of business activities from the South-East and when that is done we can then begin to attract more

provide more because I know how to go about it. Aspiration is one thing, platform to actualize it is another. On what political platform are you hoping to actualize this aspiration? I have got invitation from a lot of parties in the state but I have decided to stick to APGA. For how long have you been in politics? Not too long ago. You see, people were The youths have a afraid that the lot of energy which democracy was not going to last long in is being wasted. I the country and that think in my position is why people that have genuine and capacity as a business in politics turned their back manufacturer of from it because they proven capability, I don’t want to be rubbished because have something to there is a lot of that offer in politics but, today, things are changing for the better. And when you see that things are changing, based on a particular need of people are accepting issues, the country at a particular and no longer talking about point in time. Take America for money, they are now talking example, Nixon was a show of about who is going to solve aristocratic, Reagan was the this problem, who is going to American showmanship, Bush deliver our youths from this was more of a fighting type, problem, out of this quagmire Clinton was about economy, they are into, it is question Obama is about international time and this is one of the diplomacy. All these things revelations I got in the course have their time. The time for of my extensive published Anambra now is economy and works on the Igbo economy. I I know that of all the people was confronted by people that that have come out, I am the I was asking questions, and most qualified and suited to they, in turn, asked me why embark on the economy of not go into politics so that Anambra State. I am an some these questions can be industrialist providing jobs at answered, and that was when my small level, if I become the I began to think that perhaps governor of Anambra State, I I could salvage these will have opportunity to problems we have been

Dr. Chike Obidigbo investors into the South- East and when we attract more investors to the South- East, we create further growth in the economic of the Igbo nation. I have previously done a lot of published works on the economy of the Igbo nation and I know that what we need now is to create an environment that will support it. The youths have a lot of energy which is being wasted. I think in my position and capacity as a manufacturer of proven capability, I have something to offer. And that which I have to offer is what is needed at this point in time. In every civilized country of the world, president emerges


talking about. So it is not an ambition I have been nursing for a long period, it is a pressure from the people who believe, given the opportunity, I would make a difference if I get into Government House. And that is why when they came calling, it was not difficult to make up my mind. That is why I chose APGA because I am a very choosy person because I want to have my freedom to work. I am not interested in the money, I am not interested in the name, I am contented because I have a business that gives me a good name. I have friends that know me too well that I am clean and therefore if I get in there, I will maintain my image and I will do the work and everybody will see it that is benefitting everybody in the state. What are the items you want to tackle when you get into office and possibly the ones the incumbent is doing that you can improve upon? In governance, to the best of my knowledge, everybody that comes on board, has his own idea of what he wants to do and what he wants to achieve. It is unfortunate that in this part of the country, people go into governance because they believe they have the money to run and win election and when you set the money aside, and look at the man behind the money, you see nothing. We have had many governments in the past, Ezeife came and did his best even though there was not much on ground to show; Mbadinuju came, he also did his best and every Anambrarian did not see much on ground what he did.

‘The structure of PDP might hinder Jonathan from moving Nigeria forward’ Continued from page 44 Buhari would be stepping down; will you be running for the presidency? I am not running for anything. Whatever my party says I should do, I will do; even if it’s local government councillorship, I’ll be happy about that. Recently the PDP Governors’ Forum was carved out of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, how do you view this? It comes down to the same problem that we’ve always had; the pursuit of power over purpose. We’re very clever in pursuing power but we’re very limited in the pursuit of the purpose of power. The Nigerian Governors’ Forum, I would say, has become a threat to democracy in Nigeria, and I think it needs to be disbanded. It has become a bully and has not been used for what it was created for; finding ways of making governance better. Now, it is

used as a powerful block in the fight between the centre and the body. The thing is a bloody failure, and the civil society should find a way of forcing its dissolution because it has prevented politicians from serving the Nigerian people well. How would you assess the performance of the federal government? Pretending that Nigeria is not making progress in any direction is a flawed argument. But the question is: “Is it the result of governmental action?” Nigeria is in a position right now to become one of the greatest economies in the world because of a number of natural developments, part of which is the youth bulge(which we should sensibly take advantage of) and the demographic dividend. In two critical interventions- education and healthcare, the federal government has been a total and complete disaster. But there’s progress taking place

despite these; ridiculously, there’s the triumph of politics where we are focusing more on politics than on policies and delivering the things that would bring a better quality of life for Nigerians. Given the resources available, I will say the performance of the federal government has been very poor. Given how much money we’ve poured into power supply, it still is a challenge! But one good thing is that the continued failing of government elicits to a situation where it is deciding to withdraw from arenas like power supply in the name of privatisation. Ultimately, I believe a private sector that is enabled will bring Nigeria the progress that it deserves. Recently, the court declared that Jonathan can run for a second term; how do you view that? It’s of no consequence to me. We are in a democratic society and people should be able to do whatever they want to do, as long as it is not against the law. So, I don’t know why he

had to take the matter to court. Based on his performance, will you, if given the chance, let him come back? I will not vote for him. I did not vote for him the last time, and I will not vote for him tomorrow. With complete respect for his person, I don’t think he has the capacity to move Nigeria to where it should be going. He doesn’t have the capacity! What you need is competence, character and commitment. I doubt his competence, I’m not sure about his character and I’m worried about his commitment. Is this just him in person or the PDP? I’m talking about both. Do you believe there will be elections in Nigeria in 2015? I hope that there will be. However, I advise we have a national conference before then. Nigerians should sit down and determine our modus operandi as a people. Then, elections will make sense.

PAGE 46—SUNDAY Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013

How Bayelsa stopped political violence —Information Commissioner Deacon Markson Fefegha is the Bayelsa Information and Orientation Commissioner. In this interview, Fefegha declares that the Governor Seriake Dickson administration focus is on transforming education, infrastructural development and security of lives. Excerpts:


ANY people think Bayelsa is experiencing a new style of governance. How has it been? Let me describe this administration as a love gift to Bayelsa people, especially because it was inaugurated on a day known as Valentine’s Day. And to us and every indigenes of the state, there were high hopes to transform the state. When the burden of history fell on Governor Seriake Dickson to transform Bayelsa, the state was a period characterized by insecurity, violence and the citizens had lost hope. The people were so despondent, many did not believe that we will rise up to the challenge of transforming the state. But, today, so much has been achieved. But let me say that the government has only functioned for seven months. By our calculation, it was only in April that the governor appointed his Commissioners and what he was doing initially was to lay the building blocks for the foundation to effective takeoff of governance. Because without the Commissioners and other aides he could not have done anything alone. And it was when we all sat down in April when we came on board that we started formulating policies and one of the first was the Appropriation Bill that was sent to the House of Assembly

to be passed into law and contracts awarded. But when we thought government had taken off, the flood came like tsunami and destabilized the system of governance. And the focus of government was more on how to rehabilitate those displaced internally by the flood and we all suspended all we wanted to do and went all out to see how we could salvage the remains of our infrastructures and at the same time put the building blocks gathered together by this administration intact. And we had a burden to help the displaced persons. It was not an easy period. The flood disorganized us and broke the flow of governance. It slowed us down. Bridges were lost, roads were torn and the load was heavy. Also while trying to recover from the flood, we had the ill-fated helicopter crash that killed the Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa and our son, General Owoye Azazi. But with all that behind us, we have tried to be focus and forge ahead. Now that the trying period is over, what is the main focus of the administration? One of the major focus of the administration with a view to driving the economy is education. From the onset, the governor did not mince words when he realized that Bayelsa State is the epicentre of the Niger Delta and is the place where every Ijaw man has come to stay. And it became a responsibility that we have to take care of youth unemployment. Bayelsa was also a centre for restiveness in the past. Five years ago, it was difficult for us to sit here and chat. Even going home without looking behind you was difficult. But, today, everyone in the state can close his eyes and go to sleep. This does not mean we do not have one or two criminal incidents.

Deacon Markson Fefegha The governor, from the beginning, declared that we are set to fight crime and criminality. The Governor, being also an experienced man in the area of crime fighting as a former police



kidnapping, it is not peculiar to Bayelsa.The only thing we are set to battle now is sea piracy. For this reason, we have set up an anti-piracy squad known as “Doo Akpoo”. This is the government of restoration and we don’t want to use the existing security apparatus to maim or kill people like they had in the infamous security outfit known as Famou Tamgbe in the state. This time around, our focus is to rehabilitate the youths involved in crime. So, we have been able to arrest criminal activities to a reasonable extent. And that is why you see some night clubs still functioning. Such activities were not possible six years ago and this is the legacy that we have come to put in place. But the education policy seems lost in all these? It is not. What we have done is encourage the people to have free and compulsory

We emphasis that we can only match our development when our people are soundly educated

officer, a lawyer, Commissioner for Justice and a lawmaker, applied the battle with human capital development and education. In doing this, the administration decided that one of the things to be done is to first fight crime and criminality. One of the things we did was to pass a bill into law prescribing political violence, crime, criminality and cultism in the state for peace to reign. And though we still have incidents of


education. It is a cardinal plan of this administration. And for this reason, we have awarded scholarship to deserving students. Because it is a government for the Ijaw people, we have also extended the scholarship to students in neighbouring states that are Ijaw speaking, that is Edo, Cross Rivers and others. We emphasis that we can only match our development when our people are soundly educated. For

instance,in the Information Ministry, when we decided that we must transmit the Ijaw Culture to the nation and the world, we know we must have adequate and qualified manpower. This is the more reason we are sending our students to the United States and the United Kingdom. Last year, we gave out N1billion for scholarship grants. And this year, we have decided to add more because our people have shown new hunger for education. The money was not enough. We have decided to double it to allow more of the people to benefit. We have also initiated another phase of the scholarship that is coming because we want our people to be educated. Now that we have taken our children out from the den of cultism, what they are to do next is to be taught how to read and write and give them skills. And that is why we reopened the College of Arts and Science. We have also moved the College of Education from Okpoama to Sagbama because of proximity and easy access to the place. Government says Bayelsa has become a huge construction yard? How well has the infrastructural policy been implemented? That is the major policy of development and development of the state. On road and buildings,we have opened up the city on three flanks. We have opened the state for development with roads. Of course,you are aware that in the state, there is traffic jam in town but this is for the good of the state. The people of the state have started bearing the pain because they know that it will be smooth soon. All we are doing is that every road in Yenagoa must be dualised. We have also opened the roads to the East and the West through internal roads. It is not just small roads but with double lanes. We want to open up the road and build fly over bridges through Amassoma Road and Tombia. Another one is at Opolo roundabout. We want to ensure that the road links Immirringi Road and Otuoke.

‘My father asked me to choose between the family and the God of Idahosa’ Continued from page 45 Oni family. And, today, OsaOni has overshadowed the original Oni name such that most of my siblings have changed to Osa -Oni. Many of them now bear Osa-Oni. What kind of person was Idahosa,your mentor? He was a man of faith. He was the Abraham I knew. The Abraham of the Bible, I only read about him, but he(Idahosa), I touched him. He was the one that told me that small men were not ideal, but you can be bigger than you think. He was the one that pushed me forward in the ministry. For example, Vineyard Ministries was only five years plus when

Osa-Oni...Idahosa was a man of faith he came with my friend, Bishop Oyedepo, and the late Bishop Illuputaife, to consecrate me as bishop because he saw something I could not see

then. He is a man I cherished so much such that his photographs are everywhere in my office,. He was a man that pushed me to destiny, that is why I can never forget him. He was a man that didn’t eat alone. He never ate alone and I copied that from him. I don’t eat alone too. He never kept malice with people. If he had misunderstanding with you, that is where it stops, it does not go beyond that, that is what I do too. Today is today. Tomorrow is another day. Did you envisage you will come this far when you started the church? I think it is about destiny .I discovered that whatever lit-

tle thing that I may want to do usually gets out of hands to become something big. That is why we call the first week of April, here in Vineyard, Destiny because that was when it was founded. Whatever brought us to where we are today is mainly destiny. How did you meet madam? She came to visit my friend at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos; that was when I first saw her. Then when her senior sister was to wed in 1983, we all left campus for the place. We went to her house for the engagement and, before you knew it in 1985, I finally met her in her church, Christ Chapel, where I proposed to her and she said

no way because she never dreamt in her life that she would marry a pastor because, at this time, I was a full-time pastor to serve God; unlike now that everybody wants to marry pastors, it was not so some 28 years back. How did you convince her then? I didn’t convince her, I was just praying about it. Even though there were other ladies too who wanted me, I was convinced in my heart that she was the one for me. In those days, we prayed before anything could be done unlike now. Now, people just look at the physical appearance, that is all.



Let it go

f you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be, see ya next week, cheers!

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PAGE 48—SUNDAY VANGUARD, MARCH 17, 2013 08026350360

Kaye Whiteman’s delirious Lagos in Focus I

n an event well attended by mostly, Lagos Literati, 77 year old British journalist, Kaye Whiteman, was the centre of attraction as the writer and former editor of the West Africa magazine, was last Thursday, hosted by the Committee for Relevant Arts (CORA). The event which held at the Kogi’s Art Gallery, Freedom Park, Lagos served as occasion for conversations around Whiteman’s book titled, “Lagos: A Cultural & Historical Companion”, with the likes of Taiwo Ajayi Lycett, Dejumo Lewis, Odia Ofeimun and Toyin Akinosho of CORA, Keith Richards, the former Guinness Nigeria MD and currently the MD of Promasidor Foods Nigeria limited, etc in attendance. Kaye’s book which documents the history of the city by exploring its founding stories, founders, tradition, lore and culture of the people, is no doubt, a master piece that would remain a reference point for so many years. Kaye Whiteman arrived Lagos in 1964 as a journalist with the West Africa magazine and began writing for Daily Times. That singular visit made him fall in love with Nigeria and ever since then, he has made Lagos his second home as he has not stopped visiting the country. He is currently a columnist with Business Day newspaper. With a Master ’s Degree in Modern History from the University of Oxford, Freedom Park, which was a former colonial prison, the writer showed his value for history when he insisted that the programme be held at same venue. On this, Jahman Anikulapo, a co-founder of CORA, said, “Freedom Park didn’t feature in the book yet Whiteman insisted that the event should take place here”. During a session moderated by Deji Toye, a lawyer and poet, with Tolu Ogunlesi, Toni Khan, and a Dutch journalist, Femke Van Zeiji , Whiteman, led the audience into what he called his Lagos, from the

year 1964. He showed no challenge while mentioning prominent areas such as Ajegunle, Amuwo-Odofin, Surulere, and Tinubu Square. The British Journalist at the end, emphasised the need to renovate and preserve historical landmarks in Lagos. An excerpt from “Lagos: A Cultural & Historical Companion” which was read by Deji Toye, did justice to reminisces on late Ken SaroWiwa, a Niger Delta activist, playwright and novelist. The portion Toye read featured a conversation between Mr. B and Alali, two characters of Saro -Wiwa’s ‘Basi and company’ on the challenges of living in Lagos.



Kaye Whiteman arrived Lagos in 1964 as a journalist with the West Africa magazine and began writing for Daily Times


ommenting on his reason for authoring the book on Lagos, Whiteman said, “I wrote the book on Lagos because I was asked to do it and I liked the idea. I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t lived here. You have to live here to understand it” he said adding, “I can’t say that I understand Lagos but this is my book of my Lagos.”

“I have found more fulfillment in finally being able to write the book that I have written, I have written so many articles in some


publications but now that I have done this book, I feel able to do more. I can do two, three more books. I have my memoirs to do.” He told the enthusiastic audience about his interview with former military president of Nigeria, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. According to him, “He is a very charming man, but, I had to ask him each question three times.” One unforgettable experience for Whiteman is night life in clubs such as Kakadu Nightclub. “I have never seen anything like it. It was an open air nightclub.”, he said and to buttress this, he composed a song about Lagos nightlife titled Oyinbo, where you dey go? with Tunde Kuboy He said the ‘Oyinbo, where you dey go’ is “repeated three times and before the answer, ‘Na Peoples Hotel for Ajegunle.’ The discussants also debated on the choice of the cover of his book which is a picture of old Oshodi, featuring Molue buses, which is almost going into extinct. Lolade Adewuyi, of Lagoscityphotos., explained that the book’s publishers contacted him for photographs and it was from the collection that the image was selected. He however opined that he would have preferred it if the publishers use a picture of the Lagos Marina skyline on the back cover as front cover photo as it was more contemporary. Whiteman’s book was launched at the La Scala Restaurant, MUSON Centre, Lagos on Wednesday.

Godwin Ekpe’s two books for launch BY PRISCA SAM-DURU


timanik Suites, Grace Bill Road, Eket, in Akwa Ibom State, will on March 30, play host to lovers of literature and the state’s Literati as one of Nigeria’s budding authors Godwin Ekpe launches his two poetry books. The 1998 graduate of Geology from the University of Calabar who also holds a Masters in Geophysics from the University of Port Harcourt, with the release of The Mirror of Self and The Soul of a Poet has ventured into the deep world of poetry. As a geologist with extensive experience in the oil and mining exploration industry, Ekpe, who hails from Akwa Ibom by turning to poetry as a proper means of relating to the public, decided not to restrict himself to the wooded world of rocks and earth’s underlays so as to be very relevant in society’s going-ons. To achieve this goal, some of the poems dwell on patriotism and nationalism; some on love and

romance; some on religion and the supernatural, while some are based on the beauty and the economic values of the planet Earth. Yet, in quite a number of the poems, the author assumes a crusader-town-crier disposition and lampoons those in positions of authority and leadership. According to the budding, simmering and compelling born geologist-po’et, the poems are poised to “comfort the distressed; stimulate rational thinking and practice within the polity; charge, encourage, and promote attitudinal reorientation on ethics and moral values; and above all, foster love for Piety and respect for the dignity of humans and nature”. Certainly, Ekpe is a poet to watch out for as even Comrade John Ukam, fiery activist and veteran lecturer, himself a poet, confirms Ekpe’s writing capability when he said of Ekpe’s book, The Mirror of Self, : “The

writer ’s art is sometimes very mysterious. In other times it becomes so tangled with human activities, so much so that one begins to wonder why it is so…. To consider a geologist and a geophysicist like Godwin Ekpe to consider writing a worthwhile venture is really interesting. He is not into ordinary writing…”. In the book, The Soul of a Poet, Dr. Ndee Ehirim, another accomplished lecturer, scholar and writer, noted that, “The author as a richly talented and highly focused ambidextrous personality raring to stamp his identity on Nigeria’s literary garden, especially in the poetry genre”.


Chief Sam Odighi Udinyiwe Igbe -A Cultural Icon, A purist

By HON JOSEF OMOROTIONMWAN oday, this Column is taking time off from politics and all the associated issues of corruption, to treat our esteemed audience to the profile of a great personality who, if we were asked, would be the Column’s nominee to lead the crusade against corruption, injustice and other social vices in which Nigeria is totally immersed. Chief Sam Odighi Udinyiwe Igbe, mon, you are a humanist, administrator, educationist, a philanthropist extra ordinaire, a Gestapo, an uncompromising purist, incorruptible crusader against social misconduct, a cultural icon and social critic. You are the Iyase (Traditional Prime Minister) of Benin Kingdom. In essence, you are the Chief of Chiefs and the leader of leaders. You were born on 13 September 1929. You had your primary education at the erstwhile CMS School, Benin City. In all respects and by all known standards, you have distinguished yourself in several ways and you are destined to make bigger history than you have already made. Without much ado, we shall proceed to highlight a few points about this eminent Chief of the Benin Kingdom, which bespeak him as a man who has distinguished himself in numerous ways: Chief Igbe, it cannot be said that you were born with a golden spoon in your mouth or that you were born into any form of aristocracy. Whatever you are today is by dint of hard work. You understood very early in life that, if the future must be bright, today’s education must be right. Yo u h a v e l o n g b e e n p r e p a r i n g yourself for a respectable leadership role in the affairs of your community and the larger society. This is one way of explaining that you have spent a good part of your life for selfdevelopment through education and management training. In your iron


determination to succeed in life, you were not to be deterred by any obstacle on your way. After your primary education, you proceeded to the prestigious Edo College, B e n i n C i t y, w h e r e y o u obtained the Cambridge School Certificate in 1952. Thereafter, you underwent a p i v o t a l t e a c h e r ’s t r a i n i n g c o u r s e a t St . A n d r e w ’s College, Oyo. From 1952 to 1954, you were a Third Class Clerk in the Colonial Civil Service. You had a short sojourn in the teaching profession where you were a c l a s s t e a c h e r. Yo u w e r e recruited into the Nigeria Police Force in the pioneer set of the Cadet Sub-Inspectors and you were trained at the Nigeria Police College, Ikeja, for 12 months. In 1978, you retired voluntarily from the Police Force as a Commissioner of Police. Yo u r s h a s b e e n a l i f e o f g r e a t productivity and service to humanity. Yo u s e r v e d o n t h e B o a r d o f t h e erstwhile Midwest Hotels. At various points, you were the Chairman of many Government Boards, including Agbede Warake Farms and Midwest Transport Services Limited (Midwest Line). You were also a Commissioner in the Midwest Public Service Commission.

Yours has been a life of great productivity and service to humanity

At the traditional front, you were initiated into the Palace of the Oba of Benin in 1979 as a palace functionary, where you have since progressed by promotional appointments to the title of Iyase (The Traditional Prime Minister) of Benin Kingdom. This makes you the Head of the Oba’s Chiefs. To say that you are a lover of sports is an understatement. You are, indeed, addicted to sports. In your capacity as a sports addict, you have served as the Secretary of the then Nigerian InterService Games, Chairman of the Nigerian Basketball Association and

Member of the Nigerian Football Association. On retirement, you formed the Nigerian Rubber Board Football Club, which later became the Flash Flamingoes Club. Our High Chief, you are a writer and the author of many good books, including The Nigeria of Our Dream, which is scheduled for presentation to the public in the next few days. You represent everything good to every good person. You are indeed, a jolly good fellow. It is instructive that your involvement in the activities for the development of humanity has been of immense benefit not only to Nigeria but also to the entire h u m a n r a c e . Yo u h a v e faithfully served a wide and varied constituency, always ensuring that justice is applied with universal equality. You have never been found wanting each time you were called upon to contribute your quota to the development of the community and society at large. Good news: Our merciful God has not finished the good work He has started in your life. He has blessed you with excellent health – at 83, you can easily pass for 60. God has also blessed you with one wife and seven fantastic children who are making waves across the globe. Today, you are the proud father of a High Court Judge and the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly. Expect more. In recognition of your immense contributions to the growth and development of the nation as well as your total immersion in the service of humanity, this Column is pleased to confer on you, Chief Sam Odighi Udinyiwe Igbe, mon, The Aw a r d o f E x c e l l e n c e, with all the honours, privileges and immunities thereto appertaining, this fourteenth day of March in the year of our Lord, Tw o T h o u s a n d a n d Thirteen.

Poems By Kelechi Ugwu REMINISCENCE I sat under chains,under a master, potfilled to be one day as wild as the wind but under a pot of gold I sit tear filled for my daily bread. Apprenticeship was orderliness when the burning days held no doubt in them,where our oil lubricated our iron, when we awoke three feet above our neighbours in mind,body and offsprings and a necklace went for a beaded chain. Speak to me Wazobia,why does Kofi dress better than you and why does a necklace go for ten beaded chains? Why did servitude give us rest and pad up our collar bones? why does Chika deny Dele the riverbed we negotiated so hard to lie on? Why does Aliyu rucksack Godiya? Why does our Kola not give us light and life and we plead on our cushions for a hand full of wool? Explanation Free from colonialism, the Nigerian, seen by the poet through the eyes of his people still lives in poverty despite their manifest destiny. Reminiscing; colonialism seemed to bring about stability and the natural resources of the land more adequately allocated to the common man resulting in a better standard of living. The lack of adequately equitable distributive measures of our natural resources has resulted in nationalism based on ethnic and familial lines putting to heart the question: whether Nigeria exists or not.

THE INTERPRETERS I have thought about what the budding future said, how we must stab with our pens, breaking the hard blood cakeness of the earth above. Tradition the initiator emasculating, wanting to cover for only charm reveals. I have often counted my stars and saw no sun like seed in a deprived ground. This is where i will get my manhood back, Yonder, Italy and the flamboyant north; directions of a moustached servant. Oh the pollen must bear on winged backs, or the wind. So, go! go away! A child from a mother to another mother where familiarity and pains earn you her breast and earns you her dark adjectives. Basking in the high walked privacy for the dark, the addictive revelation was town crier on his tomb, where many brothers were betrayed by invention. The elders disperse the loamy earth beneath fuelling restless feet as I curse our gold that was before us, when the rains came on our way to the farm.


Re: Minister of Aviation declares war on Yoruba 1 BY JOE OBI VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF Putting a lie to the claim that that South West is marginalised in the Aviation Ministry


N almost twenty years of writing this column, I have never written any article in support of anyone because he is ‘my brother ’; neither have I written one against anyone because he is not ‘my brother’, Dele Sobowale asserts in an article under the above headline in the Vanguard newspaper edition of February 24. Everyone, according to the self acclaimed ‘’Area Boy in the Media”, from the North to the South, East and West, received the same amount of treatment (vitriol?) from him. Well, we cannot ascertain the veracity or otherwise of this spurious claim, but, in a space of one week, Dele, writing in his column, ‘’Frankly Speaking”, has suddenly become an advocate for one man-Wale Babalakin of Bi-Courtney, a man from the same ethnic stock as Sobowale; producing in the process, two articles in defence of a fellow Yoruba. It must be a very dramatic turn in fortune and perspec-

tive for Sobowale. On February 18, he began a ‘’series” that is certainly bound to redefine his persona; for good or bad. Writing under the headline, ‘’Who wants Babalakin Dead”, Sobowale took on the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) for daring to execute an ex parte order of court in respect of Bi-Courtney, a company owned by Babalakin. Every Nigerian is aware of the role Bi-Courtney played in the failed LagosIbadan Expressway contract which the company won. AMCON was only doing its legitimate duty, going after chronic debtor companies of which Bi-Courtney is one. But this does not sit pretty with Sobowale who is insinuating bias and ethnic cleansing against Babalakin-read Yoruba - in this instance. I am however aware of several other companies in Nigeria which AMCON is also beaming its searchlight, using the same strategy but Sobowale has never seen anything odd about the tactics of the organisation-until nowthat is! I have, however, been inevitably drawn into this because of the ‘’series” which has now ominously berthed at the doorstep of the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah, OON. Writing under the above headline, Sobowale al-

leged that the Aviation Minister is at the heart, indeed ‘coordinating’ the efforts aimed at the ‘’persecution” of Babalakin. Oduah’s ‘sins’, according to Sobowale, is her insistence that Nigeria and her people cannot be given the short end of the stick with regard to concession and lease



geria must have a fair deal in any transaction under the Aviation Ministry. It is this insistence that Nigeria cannot, and ought not to be short-changed in order to satisfy an individual or corporate entity’s whims and caprices that has piqued Sobowale so much so that he has elected to prosecute a

The Yoruba race is too enlightened to be hoodwinked into fighting a war that is neither just nor rational but dressed elegantly in ethnic robes

agreements in the Aviation Ministry-not under her watch! We do not intend to interrogate the way Bi-Courtney even emerged as the ‘preferred bidder’ for the MM2, we leave that story for another day. But the point has to be emphasised, and very strongly too, that the Bi-Courtney ‘Concession Agreement’ remains one of the most horrific in the history of concession and lease agreement in Nigeria today in its audacity for an orchestrated rip-off of the Nigerian state. And the minister insists Ni-


proxy ‘’war”, dressed in ethnic garb against the Aviation Minister. All the talk about sack of staff of the Yoruba stock is not only unfounded and baseless but ultimately diversionary. Yoruba has fared better than other ethnic nationalities in terms of employment opportunities under Princess Stella Oduah. Anyone who cares to know should start from an audit of her personal aides. The Yoruba are more than fairly represented. The point has to be made that the institutional reform the Minister is implementing has

no ethnic or religious face. All those who are qualified and competent have been given a fair and equal chance to prove their relevance to their organisations irrespective of where they may hail from. So the entire gamut of Sobowale’s claims of ethnic cleansing through unjustifiable sack and dismissal are just diversionary. To be sure, the allegations are only a veiled, yet obvious pretext to launch a campaign for Bi-Courtney’s claims of spurious exclusive rights to all domestic airports in Lagos State! Now to the real question of war. To be sure, the Aviation Minister will not engage in any kind of warfare with Dele Sobowale. Pitiably, the Yoruba nation will not join him to prosecute what is clearly a self-declared war. The Yoruba race is too enlightened to be hoodwinked into fighting a war that is neither just nor rational but dressed elegantly in ethnic robes. In the end, Dele Sobowale will be left to fight his self-declared war all alone-and against himself. The outcome is never in doubt. Dele Sobowale will be vanquished-by Dele Sobowale. Joe Obi is the Special Assistant (Media) to the Hon. Minister of Aviation. He contributed this piece from Abuja.


A look at the tenure of a former governor


O politician in Taraba State has had the good fortune of Rev. Jolly Nyame. He is easily the state’s most widely recognized political figure and had the privilege of being the longest serving governor, having served on three occasions over a period of almost 10 years. Like in states where poverty is endemic and education low, he governed the state in ways best he found appropriate. And indeed he enjoyed not only the goodwill of the people but also the widest political latitude to set a nascent state on the path of development. Yet, he stood in the dock in 2007, accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly stealing N1.64 billion belonging to the state between 1999 and 2007. He similarly faced a 41-count charge relating to alleged money laundering, breach of public trust and gratification. This is why many political

analysts and social critics have rated the administration poorly. Faced with a passive citizenry, the government ignored its responsibility. The administration, reportedly failed to articulate a clear and pragmatic development objective



A study on the last dispensation in Taraba provides a window into the moral bankruptcy of the ruling class. It represents a reality of the Nigerian system


for the state. The interest of the largely rural population was ignored. Under Nyame, Taraba remained on the periphery as the citizens suffered poverty, lack of water and electricity, poor educational standards and colossal unemployment. Whereas many Tarabans could whimsically excuse the marginal performance of his predecessors

(many of whom were non-indigene military administrators), such record by one of their own was simply indefensible. When it mattered the most and the opportunity was most auspicious, economic and community development did not come to the state. To many people, the approach to development was at best haphazard and at worst pedestrian. The state continued to rely on federal allocation rather than consolidate and diversify its revenue base. As the state remained closed to investors, the quality of life deteriorated and unemployment heightened. Secondly, there was no conscientious effort at developing education in the state. Even among his Mumuye people, Nyame was unable to effect any meaningful change in this regard as the bulk of the people do not have access to basic education. A study on the last dispensation in Taraba provides a window into the moral bankruptcy of the ruling class. It represents a reality of the Nigerian system whereby people are not groomed for politics or public office but rather stumble across it by happenstance. In a predominantly rural state, the status quo went unchallenged

due to the absence of an active civil society and private media. Despite being widely held in high esteem as a shrewd politician, Nyame has consistently proved dissappointing. For instance, when it came to choosing his successor, he opted for Danladi Baido. When he eventually settled for Danbaba Suntai, he wanted a man he could dictate to. On both fronts, he failed – Baido’s choice did not go through and it was not before long that he fell out with Danbaba. Yet, he seems steeped in selfdelusion of grandeur and importance even after losing in the last elections when he contested for the senatorial seat in Taraba North. He says he is politically astute, yet he continues to make blunders. Nyame is the Dabang Yorro – the highest traditional title among his people, the Mumuye – yet he takes sides with ‘outsiders’ against his own people. His posture during the 2011 elections when he worked against his kinsman, Sen. Anthony G. Manzo, from the Taraba North senatorial seat is instructive. By this and other acts, Nyame cannot look good in the eyes of his Mumuye people.

•Udoka, a public affairs analyst, is resident in Jalingo (

SUNDAY VANGUARD, MARCH 17, 2013, PAGE 51 us dull; even play should be somewhat worthwhile. t is becoming a I matter of some concern to me that a new desperation and aggression is


EEPING an open mind is, in my view, an obvious coming of age. Wisdom is actually an acceptance of possibilities even if they are beyond experience, culture and available information. Wisdom is leaving room for other people's truth even when they run contrary to all we hold dear. I have often run foul of some readers who find my none judgemental or non condemning view of life a weakness. I had a title for this column but I am leaving room for the possibility that my conclusions may not be as obviously right as I think. Patience is a virtue most admired, even lovely. Unfortunately I have very little of it. I place a high value on time and the uses of that time. Time is valuable because the management or mismanagement of it directly reflects on productivity and therein lies the basis for my impatience with those who waste my time because that messes up my productivity.


o everything there must be a purpose and one shouldn't get caught up in a wave of activity that is not productive. I have been mulling the subject of gatherings and congregations for a while and I am thinking that it may be safer to go through life solo than to be caught in a gathering or congregation that one is not certain of. Take friendship as a

good example. It is not only a moral obligation to investigate a person before we open up our lives. It is a safety issue. I am not suggesting we hire investigators and stalk potential friends but there is always wisdom in allowing for a period of grace to get to know people, to study them before letting them into our lives. That same principle should be applied to gatherings and there are some life experiences that have taught me by tears and heartbreak to be wary. Gatherings and congregations are both assemblies of people, except perhaps that the latter is for religious purposes. In a way they are both larger bands of friendships and each member must have something that they derive from the association. Social gatherings are more for entertainment but they also serve a purpose of identification whether by deliberate intent or as a residual by product/consequence. Both assemblies are endorsements of common goals, beliefs and social practices. A Buddhist, for example, cannot be a member of a church as he doesn't identify or believe the same doctrines. So how does this tie in with time and productivity? I will explain. I find every gathering or congregation feeds on an investment of time and even money. The majority of them offer no returns on productivity and while I totally agree with the saying, that all work and no play makes


Gatherings and Congregations

becoming part of the recruitment drive for assemblies. I reserve the right of association and should be able to choose who I hang out with for want of a better phrase. A friend of mine used a term that intrigued me last month. He was describing a group of friends who gathered to pray and do other things supposedly to further the gospel. He found out later that there were other spiritual forces at play in the group and that there seemed to be

Time is valuable because the management or mismanagement of it directly reflects on productivity and therein lies the basis for my impatience with those who waste my time because that messes up my productivity


some sinister and very evil occurrences that nobody queried. He had chill inducing experiences that are too evil to even write about and he concluded that he had been lured into "a congregation of the dead". I have had similar experiences with people who congregate for reasons that are malicious, sometimes even ungodly and evil. The elders say all lizards lie on their stomach but some stomachs are full of evil.


n my view everyone has the right to express themselves in any way they choose as long as they generally do no harm. I don't invest my time in judging or even observing anyone's choices but I loath being dragged into gatherings or congregations just to further agendas that are not my own. My better half received a phone call from a school chum he hadn't seen in over 30 years and that call inspired this column. After the surprise and pleasantries; the chum demands some money towards a party in a state rather far away. He says this gathering is very important and that he expects everyone to gather round him to make the occasion great. Its not an unusual call and I get a few similar ones myself but I wonder why people feel obligated to form gatherings that require money and time investments from people outside of their influence? I have lost count of the number of weddings I have been called upon to finance and my answer is always no. Why must you have a gathering you can't afford? A lot of people are getting sucked into religious quicksand and social quagmires by persuasive arguments and even flattery. There is absolutely nothing wrong with socialising and gathering to celebrate; it can be fun. My grouse is with the gatherings that present evil in the guise of good and the papers are full of horror stories of religious houses that are houses of slaughter. The question we all need to ask ourselves about any gathering or congregation should be three fold. e should know W why we gather, who has most to gain and what really is the agenda?

If those answers come back satisfactorily then no problem. On the other hand if they come back with more questions, one just might be at best wasting valuable time and resources or at worst be in the congregation of the dead.

Lagos House: A new clerk with a new mandate BY ROTIMI ADEBAYO VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF A tested bureaucrat in the saddle in the Lagos assembly


IGHT from 1983, when the first civilian governor of Lagos State , Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande,

formally inaugurated the Lagos State House of Assembly, the position of the Clerk of the House has always been occupied by tested civil servants. The recent confirmation of Mr. Ganiyu Olusegun Abiru as the fourth substantive Clerk of the Lagos House of Assembly perfectly fits this tradition. Born on 6 August, 1956, Abiru started his elementary school at Ago-Iwoye Methodist Primary School in 1963 and obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1969. He attended Ansar-Ud-Deen High School, Ago-Iwoye from 1971 to 1973, but moved over to the popular Methodist Boys High School , Lagos in 1973 and completed his West African School Certificate In flying colours in 1976. Before furthering his education, he worked briefly as a Clerical Officer at the Nigerian Ports Authority, Apapa,

Lagos, between 1976 and 1977. He attended The Polytechnic, Ibadan for his Advanced Level West African School Certificate, which he successfully completed in 1979. He instantly secured admission to the University of Lagos, Akoka and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) Degree in History in 1982. Abiru had his National Youth Service Scheme at Ransome-Kuti Memorial Grammar, School , Yaba Lagos the following year. While there, he served diligently and ended up establishing the school’s Literary and Debating Society, and the Muslim Students’ Society. He secured employment into the Lagos State Civil Service as a Higher Executive Officer (G.D)i in 1983 and was posted to the Ministry of Finance where he was put in charge of office management. He was later reassigned to the Lagos State Agricultural Land Holding Authority where he was promoted to be the Authority ’s Secretary in 1992. He took time out of his schedule to pursue a Master ’s Degree in Personnel Psychology at the University of Lagos. Other places where he has worked include the Central Licensing Authority in the State Ministry of Transportation, where he was Secretary, ; the then Public Works Bureau ( Public Works Corporation also as it’s

Secretary),the State Muslims Welfare Board, the State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, and the Lagos State Civil Service Commission. During his stint at the Muslims Welfare Board, Abiru initiated a rev-



During his stint at the Muslims Welfare Board, Abiru initiated a revolutionary approach that completely put an end to the traditional rowdiness that normally came during the screening of would-be pilgrims


olutionary approach that completely put an end to the traditional rowdiness that normally came during the screening and interviewing of wouldbe pilgrims. It was that effort deployed that laid the foundation for the success recorded by the Lagos State Pilgrims Welfare Board in 2004, which actually enabled the state to win the national award as the State with the Best Be-

haved Contingent in Nigeria. Again as the Director in charge of Recruitment and Appeal at the Civil Service Commission, Abiru joined to reorganize the Commission. But for the reorganisation, the career of of some 3,000 civil servants would have been jeopardized as they would never have had their appointments confirmed. Abiru was appointed the Executive Secretary, Ikorodu Local Government on 4 August, 2004. He was promoted a substantive Director on Salary Grade Level 17 on 1 July, 2008 and assumed duty as the Director, Finance and Administration, Lagos State House of Assembly almost immediately. He started acting as the Clerk of the Assembly in October, 2011 after the retirement of his predecessor. A member, Nigerian Institute of Management, N.I.M., and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management,Abiru has pledged to put in his very best to enable the Lagos legislature to continue to remain the reference point and the clear leader of the 36 Houses of Assembly in the country.

* Adebayo is the Chief Press Secretary to Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Alausa, Ikeja.


Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013


‘I thought I was going to die’ zThe endometriosis pains of a celebrity BY SOLA OGUNDIPE I have lived with endometriosis since the age of 13. I was sent to boarding school in England when I was seven. I went to prep school. It was during the first few days in secondary school that I began my periods (menstrual). They called the ambulance and I was hospitalized for 10 days because the pain started and wouldn’t stop. I thought I was going to die, the first two days, I was in the infirmary with the matron and she kept saying, ‘O Adenike! We understand that you miss home, we understand that it’s a rite of passage, we understand it is difficult for you, we understand that every girl must go through it, but just bear it’. I’m telling this story because it happened in England and, supposedly, the white people, who knew best, yet had no idea what was wrong with me. Every female student they had dealt with had had a normal period and coped with it, so they could not understand why I was dramatizing. They thought I just wanted attention. The pain was so intense I passed out. They called the ambulance and I was hospitalized. The challenge was now to get me to stop bleeding.

Nike Oshinowo...They could not understand why I was dramatizing. They thought I just wanted attention. The pain was so intense I passed out. They called the ambulance and I was hospitalized


TWO-hour encounter, last week, with socialite, entrepreneur, rolemodel and former Miss Nigeria, Chief Adenike Oshinowo, rekindled memories of Nigeria’s first celebrity fitness video ,“Nike Oshinowo: Fit, Forty and Fabulous”, which she packaged. Delectable and delightful, the former beauty queen, now 47, still radiates an aura of self-assurance, wittiness, vigor and vivacity that women several years younger would die for. Decisively and convincingly, she speaks about her long-term association with endometriosis - a disorder that occurs when the endometrium (cells lining the uterus) grow in other areas of the body, causing excruciating pain. Medical experts identify endometriosis as a significant factor in unexplained female infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and other gynaecological problems. Oshinowo holds her audience spellbound with the story of her personal experience with this disorder during her reproductive years. One thing is certain; her relentless campaign against the pain of endometriosis is no fluke. The goal, she points out, is to let women who feel the pain and trauma of this female health disorder know that they are not alone. From her perspective as someone with long-term experience of the malady, she puts a face to the disorder. It is a deep, soul-searching account of an epic phase of her existence. Excerpts:

Challenge L iving with endometriosis is a challenge. When you see your doctor, your doctor just tries to treat the symptoms and assumes the pain revolves around your menstrual cycle. But this is not so. This pain affects every single aspect of your life. I, as Nike Oshinowo, have never had an examination without my period, I have never traveled without my period. There are so many things I have never done without my period. When I am very happy my period comes. When I’m depressed, my period is there. I learned to just cope with it. I love the quote that women wear their pain like stilettos. That is what I have been doing. At 40 Until I turned 40, Nigerians didn’t know I suffered from endometriosis .When I turned 40, I granted an interview and Nigerians understood why I never drank alcohol. You cannot be on medication and take alcohol. It was finally understood why I was so clean cut and into healthy living. At last it was understood why if I come to your party, at 8pm I had to go home to bed and to take my pain killers; because when you live with endometriosis, you live with pain. I have a library in my home. It is a library about pain. I have so many books on pain cure. Ignorance It is extraordinary the effect that endometriosis has on your life especially

if you are ignorant. Ignorance is of two types - knowingly or unknowingly. My mother, unknowingly, was ignorant, because nobody had educated her about endometriosis. She had two daughters, one didn’t suffer every month, the other did, but my mother didn’t bother about it. She just figured the one that suffered would grow out of it, especially since the doctors just recommended pain killers. Pain I talk about this pain, now, so that mothers, when their young daughters are starting their periods for the first time, and it is traumatic, they will go and sit with the doctors, ask questions and have it checked out. Mine was left so late in life in spite of the fact that I grew up in England. It was frightening. I wish I had someone to blame, I wish I could blame the doctors. I have had so many surgeries I have lost count. I remember when Michael Jackson died and they talked about a drug he had been taking and I exclaimed –’ oh yes, I have taken that drug!’ You try everything to make the pain go away, so all I know is that I would not want a child of mine to suffer endometriosis. No. The only way to make sure that does not happen is to educate as many as I can. Understanding Everyone understands what cancer i s . People know how to check for breast cancer, and are aware that, for cervical cancer, you do a pap smear. But endometriosis is not that easy. There are symptoms mothers and fathers, nurses and aunts and other caregivers can watch out for so that there would be no needless suffering like I had. I am living with endometriosis. I was born with it and there is no cure. Hopefully by the time I have menopause it will be better because once you stop menstruating, everything is over. Hopefully! Have a baby One ignorant doctor told me to try to have a baby because once you have a baby, the pain would all go away. I thought to myself that if I had a gun I would have shot that doctor, and I would have been locked away and there would be no one to give me pain killers. The reason for that relief generally is that when you are pregnant, you don’t have periods and a long gap of not menstruating actually abates the symptoms of endometriosis. Challenge But the challenge is the pregnancy. How do I get pregnant to get to that stage? It was wonderful meeting Dr. Abayomi Ajayi (of Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos), who is so passionate and knows so much about the disease, in spite of the fact that he is a man and he is so willing to share his knowledge. Whatever I can do to stop a girl of 12, 13 or 14 not to suffer the pain of endometriosis, until she experiences menopause, I am willing to do. I’m working for endometriosis. Menopause I’m 47, and I’m looking forward to menopause. Menopause is slowly creeping up on me. People like us look forward to it because it gives us a breather. I have finally learned how to

Continues on page 53


Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013, PAGE 53

The endometriosis pains of a celebrity Continued from page 52 cope with the pain, how to live with endometriosis, and to manage the disease. It takes up a huge amount of my time and life. One pastor once said to me that I have to reject it. He told me not to say “my endometriosis” but to refer to it just as a disease because it is, really, a disease. He said I must reject it. Well, I rejected it, but it didn’t go away. It is still here and I’m learning to cope with it. I hope those coming after me won’t have to cope the way I am. I expect they will have more relief because they would have been educated. Symptoms The number one symptom is severe pain, pain that you cannot imagine. That pain during periods is known as dysmenorrhea. A lot of people confuse dysmenorrhea with endometriosis. Dysmenorrhea could be a symptom of lots of things, but anyone experiencing painful periods should see a doctor. Unfortunately, endometriosis cannot be diagnosed without putting you to sleep and doing a laparoscopy to see what is going on. There are many well equipped clinics around and it is easy to diagnose because our doctors are so well versed in laparotomy. It is not normal to have pain during periods. Sister When my sister started her periods, I was ready to help her. We are a close knit family. We love each other. She started in the evening and I thought to myself, this girl smiling doesn’t know what is coming. I thought everyone suffered like that, that every woman suffered like I suffered. I didn’t know it could be different for other women. But, she had dinner and went to sleep. I could never eat. Sleep? Forget it. Pain killers were my best friend. I simply knocked myself out, but couldn’t afford to sleep carelessly. I stayed up all night so that I could be a good sister when the pain came, to tell her I had the medicine and that she wasn’t going to die. But, nothing! She woke up in the morning, still nothing. By the third day, I was so envious about my sister. In fact, my first experience of envy was towards my own sister because she had pain-free periods. Till today I do not understand why. Why me? There is this thing about e n d o m e t r i o s i s that it is a disease not truly understood because we haven’t done enough research. Where does it come from? How you get it is still not thoroughly understood because enough awareness has not been created. Unlike HIV/AIDS and cancer, a few years ago, there was no hope for a cure but now there is more awareness and people do not die of these disorders as before. But it is not the same about endometriosis. This makes me wonder. Is it because it is a female thing? Is it because I’m a woman, considered a 2nd class citizen in the world? Must I suffer because I’m a woman? You wonder and ponder over these things. I need answers to these questions. Why do I have it and

my sister doesn’t? Is it hereditary? Someone should tell me. If I give birth to a girl, would she have endometriosis? This is why we need serious awareness. My sister doesn’t have this disorder. My mother doesn’t have it, but then, I look at my mother’s siblings and I discovered I have a sister that doesn’t have a child. I wonder if she suffered from endometriosis. I have a distant male cousin that doesn’t have a child. Does it also affect boys? There are so many unanswered questions. If I lock you up in a room for a month, you won’t finish answering my questions. I have so many questions. We live in a country in which we believe in symptoms more than the causes.

Nike Oshinowo...One pastor once said to me that I have to reject it. He told me not to say “my endometriosis”. Well, I rejected it, but it didn’t go away. It is still here and I’m learning to cope with it. I hope those coming after me won’t have to cope the way I am

No to sex with W omen endometriosis do not want to have sex because it’s painful. It is very, very painful. So you do not want to have intercourse once and it is painful, you’ll not want to go there. It’s not something you are going to look forward to. I have read books on this. And even when you try to forget the fact that you do not want to, half the time you are bleeding. You are either bleeding, or you do not want. So, on the average, my friends’ periods last about 5 days, mine, if I’m lucky, lasts 7-10 days and if I’m super, duper lucky, lasts less than seven days; if I have eaten what I should, and exercised constantly, it’s not so bad. Exercise works. If you look at a girl’s menstrual cycle, 26-27 days, remove the 10 days she’s been menstruating

things may not follow, can advise appropriately, infertility may follow, or told to have baby quickly, donor, or give appropriate advise. See the doctor If you have a daughter with pain, she would talk because she would think she is dying. I thought I was dying because I was ignorant. Go with her to see a doctor when there is pain. There are different tests. Doctors test with their hands, then they use the scan. I did that. The important thing is that when something goes wrong, pain is not normal, something is wrong, not to decide what to do, but, as a good mother, you take her to the hospital. Breaking the silence Endometriosis is as old as day but women do not talk, because they

But it is not the same about endometriosis. This makes me wonder. Is it because it is a female thing? Is it because I’m a woman, considered a 2nd class citizen in the world? Must I suffer because I’m a woman? You wonder and ponder over these things. All I know is that I would not want a child of mine to suffer endometriosis. No. The only way to make sure that does not happen is to educate as many as I can and remove the days she doesn’t want, when she has pre-menstrual tension. When every part of you is sore, on those days, you are not going to want, and even on the remaining five or so days that you are ‘OK, you are not going to want to have intercourse because it is going to be painful. You just don’t want to. So you cannot have a proper relationship with a man. Pain: Between menses and endometriosis Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference, that is why it is necessary to do tests. If all these symptoms are on, it is not the one you take analgesics. The pain from intercourse occurs when there is the presence of endometrium. If diagnosed early and you interrupt the sequence, other

are embarrassed to talk about anything down there. What a woman is going to tell you is that she doesn’t like to sleep with her husband? To get a woman to start talking to you about her periods, even that will make you to be seen as a loudmouth. Even talking about her periods, it is not easy to get a woman to start talking about it. But doctors are able to pick it up because they are infertile. Women are expected to have children in these parts and, if they are incapable of that, they have to find out why. Then they go to the doctor who traces it to endometriosis. Ultimately infertility would arise and they have to go to a fertility doctor. Face of endometriosis The face of endometriosis isn’t par-

ticularly glamorous. Even me, with my independent view, my laid-back attitude, it’s not easy. When I thought about it, I have a mother and family. I know what happened when I turned 40 and I talked about my endometriosis. I got thinking and I almost put it off. But I said no, this is time for action, we can’t keep postponing it. If they had postponed the research and awareness campaigns into HIV/AIDS or cancer, there wouldn’t have been the breakthroughs we have today. Knowledge is power, information is king How do you get people to talk? It is awareness, awareness, awareness. The more I talk about it, no matter how embarrassing the more awareness I’m creating. Talking about it is embarrassing; I’m not immune to embarrassment, by the way. Before coming here, I took my shame, locked it up and put the key in my bag and said I would face you and tell the truth the way it is. Endometriosis, a disease A disease is something that is not supposed to be there, and that is what endometriosis is. You are not supposed to have endometrial tissue in your abdomen. Surgery removes it, but the moment you menstruate, the pain comes back. My understanding is that I have a uterus, every woman does. Something lines it. Just like when you want to bake, you line your pan with baking paper. That baking paper or lining is the endomentrial tissues. But mine isn’t just confined to my uterus. It’s in my fallopian tube, it’s everywhere. Everywhere this tissue is, when you menstruate, that tissue will be doing the same thing. And you feel pain. Anywhere that tissue is, it behaves as if it is in the uterus. The purpose of menstruation is to shed the lining and come out. I know someone who has endometrial tissue in her gut. Even in the brain. When you menstruate, it also menstruates and you feel pain there. Menstruation is made to shed and come out. I have traced it back to the Old Testament. The woman that wouldn’t stop bleeding and you wonder why? So it has been since the beginning.


7th CBN junior tennis tourney, a success story – stakeholders By FRANKLIN OHAEGBU


he just-concluded 7th Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Junior Tennis Tournament, which ended on March 9, has been adjudged as a successful event by stakeholders. This, the stakeholders noted, was based on the fact that no fewer than 152 players drawn from 10 states across the country participated in the tournament that ran from March 4 to March 9. Some of the states that sent players to the event, included Anambra, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Imo, Ilorin and Kaduna. It is believed that the attendance at the justconcluded edition was impressive, given the fact that only five states turned up at the 6th edition held in 2012. However, one remarkable thing about the immediatepast tournament was the fact that ‘an upcoming star’ in the making, MaryLove Edwards, from Lagos, was identified at the tournament. The 7-year-old Edwards, during some matches against players that were even far older than her in the Girls U12, thrilled the audience by the quality of tennis that she played. She became ‘a giant killer of sorts’ as her performance was so impressive that it hardly

reflected her age or height. Against one 10-year-old Bose Are, from Ilorin in the semi-finals, she made mincemeat of her opposition by outplaying her 9-0 in a pro set. Edwards, standing at 4 feet tall, did not lose any match in the entire round-robin series. She ‘stole’ the show during the competition as she edged past all her opponents with ease, to win the title. Indeed, her performance earned her the ‘Most Valuable Player,’ (MVP) in the competition from the International Tennis Academy (ITA) junior circuit panel. Mr Sam Egbuchunam, President of the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, who was moved by the superlative performance of Edwards, awarded her ‘a life membership of the prestigious club’. One of the glamorous additions to the fun during the tournament was an exhibition match that featured a former Super Eagles skipper, Austin ‘Jay Jay ‘Okocha and veteran Nollywood actor, Kanayo O. Kanayo. Although both were casual players of tennis, they nevertheless entertained guests at the club, at the end of which the flamboyant Okocha prevailed, 6-2 over the actor. Ugo Okoroafor, the Director, Corporate Communications,

CBN said in his address: “the future is bright for tennis as the Bank is looking up to players who have got this talent and can take it to the next level. “I am happy to say that we are pleased with the result we have seen and the talents on display. “These are rare talents here, especially that of MaryLove Edwards who won in her category given the fact that she was the youngest amongst them. “It goes a long way to show that these talents can further be nurtured and groomed to greater heights,’’ he said. Sani Ndanusa, the President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), who doubles as president of the Nigeria Olympic Committee assured that the NTF would do all in its powers to make her (Edwards) a world class player. He then thanked the sponsors and the National Sports Commission for their support toward the staging of the championship. Ndanusa noted that the CBN was one of the contributors to the development of tennis in the country. NAN reports that the event, which featured four categories (U-10, U-12, U-14 and the U-16) had a new category, (the Futures), to bring the total categories to five. The event was organised by the ITA, in conjunction with the NTF and bankrolled by the CBN.

Eto’O remains world’s highest paid footballer *Earns 20 milliom Euros p.a. By TUNDE OYELEKE


OUR-TIME African footballer of the year, Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon who plays for Anzhi Majachkala of Russia has for two consecutive years retained the number one spot of the world’s highest paid footballer despite the renewal of the contract of the current world best player, Argentine Lionel Messi of Barcelona FC of Spain. The upward review of Messi’s salary by FC Barcelona from 10.5million euros which hitherto placed him in the ninth position to 16.5million could only catapult the Argentine stiker to second position behind

Africa’s richest player. However,the development has changed the hierachy at the top rankings as his former team-mate at Barcelona FC, Zlatan Ibramovic of PSG of France with 14.5millions euros who hitherto occupied the second position was pushed to the third and Manchester United and England’s striker,Wayne Ronney who earns 13.5 million euros moved to the fourth position. Manchester City ’s Yaya Toure of Cote d’Ivoire, twotime winner and current holder of the African Footballer of the Year award whose take home is 13 milion euros was displaced to fifth position while his team-mate Sergio Aguero (12.5million

euros) now occupies the sixth place Toure’s compatriot,Didier Drogba, ex-Chelsea FC player, now playing for Turkish club, Galatasaray whose 12 million euros places seventh, completes the list of the top three African players in the top ten of world’s highest paid footballers.

GIANT-KILLER ...Little Marylove Edwards turned out the revelation of the 2013 CBN Junior Tennis Championship held in Lagos recently.

Milla lambasts CAF for ignoring African legends


ormer Cameroon international Roger Milla at the weekend refused to comment on Issa Hayatou’s reelection to the presidency of the Confederation of African Football (Caf), but blamed the body for the lack of status for retired African footballers. The 60-year-old former striker said Caf had ignored the labour of all the great players the continent has produced and instead gave priority to Uefa players and officials, who are regularly invited to top competitions like the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), according to him. “My last Afcon was in 1988. Caf has never invited me to any of the editions as a guest since then,” Milla said in Yaounde.

“Rather, they (Caf) invite players and officials from Uefa and give them special treatment while ignoring retired African footballers, who had laboured to bring the continent’s football to this level. “They say those players from Europe are great players and would help to promote African competitions, but that is shameful. We are the great players in Africa and we should be the ones to inspire the younger generation,” he said. The 1990 World Cup sensation also condemned Uefa for showing little regard for African footballers during the body ’s different competitions.


Emordi confident as Rangers battle Vital’ O E NUGU Rangers made the trip to Burundi for the first leg of the first round in the Caf Champions League against Vital’O today and their coach, Okey Emordi, named a squad without Super Eagles’ trio, Chigozie Agbim (not cleared), Chibuzor Okonkwo (not registered) and Sunday Mba, who is a player in dispute. But Emordi is confident of

Cup, Heartland, who are still smarting from the home defeat in the hands of newcomers, Nembe City in the local league, will play host US Bitam at the Dan Anyiam Stadium. Lobi Stars also played at home yesterday against Liga Muculmana de Maputo (LDMM).Heartland and Lobi Stars were drawn bye in the preliminary round. Heartland must be up and



f Izilein were to be incharge when the Falcons lost their supremacy to the Equatorial Guineans or the Cameroonians who denied them the 2012 London Olympics ticket, then the injustice meted out to him and his other technical staff would have been understandable.

Who will help coach Izilein? I don’t want to bore Nigerians with what happened in South Africa in 2004 with the Falcons but the bottomline was that the girls protested the none payment of their accummalated allowances. Even assurances from top government officials that they would be paid their money fell on deaf ears. It however, took the effort of Izilein who was almost on his knees appealing to the players who are young enough to be his daughters for them to agree to suspend their protest and agree to return home. Trust Nigerian officials, someone must lie to shift the blame of international embarrassment from the managers of football and so they found a scape goat in Izilein, who was reported to the authorities as the ring leader of the protest and infact allegedl encouraged the girls to carry the Biafran flag. They knew that then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was one who didn’t


doing against their Gabonese opponents who humiliated Desportivo de Guadalupe from Sao Tome and Principe 17-1 on aggregate in the preliminary round. Franck Corbin Guedegbe scored four goals for US Bitam at the Stade Augustin Monedan de Sibang in Libreville when they won 12-1 against Desportivo de Guadalupe in the second leg on March 2.

leaving the Prince Louis Rwagasore Stadium in Bujumbura with a result against the Burundian champions. “I have a squad capable of winning games. We have worked with players we have for this game rather than bother ourselves with those who are currently unavailable,” said Emordi, who the Caf Champions League with Enyimba in 2004. L-R: Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), MTN, Larry Annetts, General Manager, In the first Consumer Marketing, MTN, Kola Oyeyemi and MTN Director, Gbenga round of the Caf Oyebode, at the MTN Extravaganza Night held at the Lagos Polo Ground, Confederation venue of the just concluded MTN co-sponsored Lagos Polo Tournament. INCE this is a period of granting of amnesty or presidential pardon by those in authority, I beg today to make a case for one who has no godfather but worked tirelessly to place Nigeria’s name on the continental podium in 2004 in far away South Africa. Coach Godwin Izilein has been in pain since 2004 after leading the Super Falcons to win the African Women Championship, the same feat Stephen Keshi achieved by leading the men, the Super Eagles to their third title last month. Izilein’s feat may have not been taken seriously because the Falcons have been a dominant force to reckon with in Africa, winning the African title as if it was their birth right. It seemed so at the time until Equatorialm Guinea, Cameroon and lately South Africa’s Banyana Banyana started inflicting pain on the Nigerian girls.

Shittu seeks FA Cup glory

want to hear anything about Biafra in his war against MASSOB and sold the lie. No one has however come out to tell Izilein, Mrs Lizzy Ogiemwonyi, Assistant coach then and former Falcons captain and goalkeeer, Mrs Ann Chiejine who served as Welfare Officer of the team then, their offence and why their entitlements were denied them.


he affected officials have written several letters of reminders to the NFF but till date nothing concrete has come out of the appeal. In one of the letters written to the current NFF president, Aminu Maigari in February 2012, Izilein stated that Maigari’s predecessor, Sani Lulu Abdullahi promised to pay them but he couldn’t fulfill it before he left office. He has also written to Godfrey Gaiya, Chairman of the House Committee on sports, stating their plight, but whether Honourable Gaiya even acknoledged receipt of the letter is another matter entirely. May

STRANGED Super Eagles defender, Danny Shittu is hoping to make an FA Cup impact with his club Millwall and justify his decision to shun an invitation to star for the Eagles at the last Africa Cup of Nations. Shittu headed goal against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park lifted Millwall to a semi-final slot against Wigan Athletics on April 13. And Shittu declared that Millwall a championship side, have a very good chance to play in the final. Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City are the other clubs still in the race for the FA Cup. Chelsea will face Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in a replay after they posted a 2-2 draw against United at Old Traford. The winner of the tie will meet Man City in the other semi-final. “We have a chance of getting to the final,” Shittu told “I am so proud to be able to lead Millwall out at Wembley. It is a dream for me and to have scored the goal to get us there is just amazing.”

FIFA medical chief frowns at ‘desert world cup’


IFA’s medical chief says he is against organizing the 2020 World Cup in the summer heat of the desert nation Qatar. Michel D’Hooghe’s opinion on Friday added a strong voice to the debate whether Qatar should stick to the traditional slot of June for a World Cup or if the tournament should be moved to another part of the year to allow for a more temperate climate. Even though D’Hooghe said that games and trainings sessions would be held in climate conditioned temperatures of 21 degrees C (70 degrees F), the many fans and officials attending the month-long tournament would be faced much more with the scorching desert heat. FIFA President Sepp Blatter said that for the time being ‘’it is a problem without solution.’’

be the lawmaker is not bothered that people who worked for the country are being denied their legitimate wages. Asccording to Izilein, the accummulated unpaid bonuses to him and his two colleagues totalled $12, 750. His is $12,000, double what the players received as is the practice while Mrs Ogiemwonyi and Mrs Chiejine are owed $9,250 and $7,500 respectively. On the presidential largesse given by the government for the Falcons triumph, the players got $1 million each. Mrs Ogiemwonyi and Mrs Chiejine were supposed to get N1 million each while Izilein was to get N2 million. All that have remained a mirage. If one may ask, was Izilein found culpable in inciting the players to protest in South Africa? If yes, who investigated him and why was the result of the probe not made public? If there was no probe, why then is the man and his colleagues being punished unjustly? This injustice is too much and should be looked into with a view to correcting it and compensating the affected oficials with an apology. If they were found guilty of inciting the players, I don’t think it will be wrong to ask for pardon for them as this is the time for pardon for wrong doers in our

country. What is good for the goose, is also good for the gander.

Still on Mba


arri Wolves boss Amaju Pinnick said during the week that for maligning the club’s name, Rangers of Enugu must offer them apologies in two national newspapers and television stations respectively. That is before they can start talking about the real owner of Sunday Mba. When the league opened last week, Mba could neither play for Rangers nor Warri Wolves. Despite being invited to camp for the impending World Cup qualifier between the Eagles and Kenya in Calabar on Saturday, Mba risk losing his place in Stephen Keshi’s plan. Keshi has said he may be forced to drop Mba as the ownership tussle may affect his concentration in camp, stressing that he only needs players who will be mentally and physically ready to deliver the three points against Kenya for him. Here is calling on the NFF to act fast to settle this matter. Pinnick has said that the NFF should act fast to declare their findings after the investigation it carried out. I believe that is the wise thing to do in the interest of both Mba and the nation.

SUNDAY Vanguard, MARCH 17, 2013

Mikel: Chelsea can cope with ‘rush hour’


UPER Eagles midfielder, John Obi Mikel said his club Chelsea can cope with the rush for FA Cup, Europe League Cup and top four finish in the

English Premier League. Chelsea set up an FA Cup replay against Manchester United on April 1 at Stamford Bridge, they will face Rubin Kazan in the Europa League

Cup quarter-finals and as they square up against West Ham today in a premier league tie, Mikel stated that it was a test for the players and they can handle the pressure. “Yes, of all teams we can cope with it. We had a similar thing with the FA Cup and Champions League last year. “If you play for Chelsea you know you have to play loads of games every season because we manage to go far in every tournament. “It’s a test for the new players, something quite strange for them, but for those of us who have been here for a long time we know how the fixtures work out for us. “We’re prepared for it and we just need to keep going and improving. There is a lot of talent in that dressing room, big characters, great players and we have shown it many times over all the years. “There are so many games coming up but we have the team, we have the squad to cope with this. Hopefully we will end the season very well and get good results. Once we get on a roll things happen.” Chelsea are hoping to pay back West Ham the 3-1 defeat they suffered at Upton Park when Rafael Benitez made his first outing as interim manager. Mikel: “They are a very strong and physical team and one we have to watch out for. “We were so in control the last time we played them, but then they started kicking the ball and making it more difficult for us.”

GETTING PREPARED … Super Eagles players warming up before a match in Calabar. They will be back there on Saturday to battle the Harambee Stars of Kenya in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.

African Youth Championship:

Super Eagles SA 2013 win inspires Flying Eagles BY JACOB AJOM


HE Flying Eagles of Ni geria will begin the defence of their African Youth Championships title in Oran, Algeria today against the Eaglets of Mali. Coming so soon after the 2013 Afcon where Nigeria humiliated Mali 4-1 on their way to the trophy, the young Malians have vowed to make things difficult for their Nigerian counterparts in this opening encounter. But Coach John Obuh is aware of this and has declared that his boys are not going to underrate any team. He has decided to field his best for this encounter as the outcome will go a long way to determining which direction his title defence will take. Coach Obuh has taken to Algeria a squad that has a mixture of experience and youth which includes the captain Abduljeleel Ajagun, who was part of the squad that lifted the trophy in South Africa in 2011. He has also included Mohammed

Goyi Aliyu, Aigbe Oliha, Edafe Egbedi and Olanrewaju Kayode from the Nigerian U-17 team As part of their preparations, the Flying Eagles played a couple of friendly matches with some local NPL teams where they obtained some mixed results. The team traveled to Egypt where they beat fellow U20 finalists Egypt 3-1 last month. The two sides drew 0-0 in the other match. The Flying Eagles also lost 20 to Tunisia in another friendly match as Obuh’s boys warmed up for the Algerian finals where apart from Mali, they will also battle Gabon and DR Congo in Group B. The Malians on their part have also done well in terms of preparations as they took a tour of Morocco. They lost 2-1 to a Moroccan side made up of local players. The Eaglets also played warm-up games against Egypt U-20 side and local Moroccan club sides. Coach Mousa Keita has included five players based in

Europe, with four of them playing in France, the other being midfielder Boubakary Diarra who is with Torino in Italy. FC Nantes striker Adama Niane and fellow France based striker Tiekoro Keita will add the fire-power upfront . Boubacar Diarra from TP Mazembe will be expected to shore up the defence.

CROSS WORD PUZZLE ACROSS 1. House of Reps Speaker (8) 5. Assistant (4) 7. Praise (5) 8. Upright (4) 9. Lantern (4) 11. Tradition (6) 13. Lagos masquerade (3) 15. Exclamation (2) 16. Pig’s nose (5) 18. Agent (3) 20. Glitters (6) 24. Forward (5) 25. Nigerian state (6) 27. Boring tool (3) 29. Ghanaian fabric (5) 31. Perform (2) 32. Oshiomhole’s state (3) 34. U.S. currency (6) 36. Vow (4) 38. Musical quality (4) 39. Inclination (5) 40. Eager (4) 41. Damages (8)

DOWN 1. Sample (5) 2. Niger state town (4) 3. Observe (5) 4. Lecture (6) 5. Everyone (3) 6. Use (6) 10. Inquires (4) 12. Carpet (3) 14. Colour (6) 15. Resistance unit (3) 17. Coax (4) 19. Rollicked (6) 21. Hatchet (3) 22. Satisfied (4) 23. Nigerian state (3) 26. Cry of derision (3) 27 . African country (6) 28. Endure (4) 29. Child (3) 30. Spoke (6) 31. Adorn (5) 33. Baking chambers (5) 35. Asterisk (4) 37. Possessed (3)

RESULTS Man U 1 Reading Everton 2 Man. City Aston Villa 3 QPR Southampton 3 Liverpool Stoke 0 West Brom Swansea 0 Arsenal CAF Champions league Kano Pillars 4 AC Leopard

0 0 2 1 0 2 1

TODAY’S MATCHES 1:30 4:00 5:00 5:00

Sunderland Tottenham H. Chelsea Wigan Athletic




vs vs vs vs

Norwich C. Fulham West Ham U. Newcastle U.




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SOLUTION on page 15

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