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Anambra State governorship election held yesterday was captured by our photographers, Akpokona Omafuaire and Nath Onojake.

Mr. Tony Nwoye, PDP candidate, addressing journalists after his name was missing in the voters register.

Chief Willie Obiano, APGA gubernatorial candidate, casting his vote.

APC governorship candidate, Dr Chris Ngige, casting his vote at Nkwor Ide Public Square, Idemili South. An octogenerian being accredited to vote.

A polling unit set up right under a huge billboard of Mr. Willie Obiano, the candidate of APGA, in Awka

Chief Willie Obiano, APGA candidate, and voters on queue waiting for accreditation at Eri Primary School, Aguleri Ward . Voters at Otuocha on queue waiting to vote.

An NYSC member, Shobowale Ibironke, presiding officer, Awka South Ward 001, counting the votes before party agents and voters after the election.

85-year-old Chief Michael Iwoba, a pensioner, being accredited to vote at Eri Primary School, Aguleri.

Voters protesting late arrival of materials at Nsugbe.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 17, 2013 — PAGE 5

Continued from page 1 the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Comrade Tony Nwoye, to vote, because he, like several others, could not find his name in the voters register. Senator Chris Ngige, the All Progressive Congress, APC, candidate, half way into the time earmarked for voting, alleged that his strongholds in Anambra Central were deliberately deprived of voting materials, a development that was also shadowed by the strike action embarked upon by INEC ad-hoc staff in the area. In several areas, voters seeking to stop manipulation of their votes took the law into their hands as they barred INEC staff who refused to display clean copies of unmarked result sheets from commencing accreditation or voting. The voting exercise was nevertheless peaceful throughout the state as heavily armed security men made a strong show of enforcing the restriction of movements ordered by the police throughout the state. The 349 collation and returning officers for the election were brought from Cross River State. The team is headed by Prof James Ekpke, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, who is the returning officer. 15 Resident Electoral Commissioners were to come and join six national commissioners to supervise each of the local government areas, but only a few came. As voting progressed in many areas, the APC, in a statement, said it would not accept the results unless voting was conducted in parts of the state where voting was yet to be done by midafternoon. At press time, the authorities had rectified some of the errors as voting was ongoing in some areas in Anambra Central where voting materials arrived belatedly. There was a huge turn-out of voters even though a significant number of those who came out could not vote on account of slips in the voters register. By yesterday evening, as results from across the state started trickling in, the ruling All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, candidate, Chief Willie Obiano and the APC candidate, Ngige, were running neck and neck in many areas declared, with the PDP candidate, Nwoye, tagging along the two frontrunners. As preliminary results

ANAMBRA GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION

Commotion reigns! emerged, especially in Njikoka and parts of the state capital, Awka, supporters of the APGA candidate went into celebration, singing songs of victory and thronging drinking joints to celebrate. Besides Nwoye, his father, Chief Okafor Nwoye, and mother could not find their names in the voters register in their Nsugbe Ward 1 in Anambra East local government area when they came to vote and were therefore excluded from voting. Several other people in the ward, who had their voter cards, could also not find their names in the register and were therefore denied voting too. The PDP candidate had come into the polling unit located in his village square and left shortly after he was told that there were problems in many wards in his stronghold. By 2.30 pm when he returned, all the people accredited in the ward had voted and he went straight to check his name in the register only to discover that his name was not there. His parents, who were at the polling center all day, could not vote along with hundreds of other people who had cards but could not find their names in the register,

Ploy to rig

Nwoye told reporters that it was a ploy by INEC to rig him out, adding that in his polling station where 400 voters were supposed to vote, only 89 people found their names in the register. He said that he made several efforts to reach the INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, to complain about the development, but the chairman did not pick his call. Ngige voted at 1.30 pm at his Alor Ward 1 polling unit in Idemili South local government area, following which he complained of irregularities in the exercise, especially in his strong holds in Anambra Central senatorial zone. According to him, many places in Awka South, Awka North, Dunukofia and Idemili North did not receive materials for the voting. There were also reports that materials did not arrive early at Nkpor in Idemili North LGA and there was so much

SOLUTION

Some aged people waiting for accreditation at Eri Primary School, Aguleri, during the election, yesterday. anxiety there.

Commotion

In many places visited, only APC, PDP and APGA had agents, especially around the Anambra Central and North senatorial zones. At Igboukwu in Aguata, INEC’s attempt to stop those who came late after accreditation to vote almost caused commotion, forcing officials of the electoral body commission to reverse themselves. Many places in Nkpor and Obosi in Idemili North complained that materials were not brought by INEC and it was gathered last night that officials of the commission assigned duties in the affected areas were arrested by security operatives.

el Rufai confined

The troubles for the APC were worsened by the confinement of its Deputy National Secretary, Malam Nasir el Rufai, who was barred from leaving his hotel room early in the morning yesterday. el Rufai had arrived Awka on Friday and checked into Finotel Hotel in the outskirts of the town. Ngige alleged that the restriction of the movement of el Rufai was part of the rigging plan by INEC,” the APC candidate said. “el Rufai is a communication specialist and he is supposed to be manning my monitoring room. So I am surprised to hear that he has been restricted. “I went to see him in his hotel room and saw many security operatives. They removed the key to his room and were following him about. Even when he went to eat, they still followed him and claimed that they were protecting him even when he did not solicit their protection. “ Continuing, he said: “From the reports reaching me directly, we discovered that there is a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise Awka South, Idenmili North, Idemili South, Dunukofia among others. Idemili North alone has 180,000 voters and it was a place that I scored the highest votes. Idemili South is also my base. Part of Anaocha including Adazi Enu is also my stronghold. In all these places, there was shortage of electoral materials. As I speak to you some of the voting centres have not got voting materials, while majority of them do not have result sheets. Some got their accreditation materials at 1:00 pm. “With this we can say that there is a deliberate attempt to suppress the wishes of Anambra

Central people. Why is it that it is in my strongholds that the NYSC ad-hoc staff would go on strike?” The turnout at other polling units in Idemili was very impressive and voters queued and were casting their votes up to 5pm. APGA candidate, Obiano, voted around 1pm at his Aguleri polling station and voting was still going on when Sunday Vanguard visited area. The candidate of PPA, Mr Godwin Ezeemo, was accredited at 11.30am. He complained to reporters that he was informed that some people were busy thumb printing in a house in Umuchu Ward 2 in Aguata local government area. Governor Obi restricted Meanwhile, Governor Peter Obi was prevented from moving freely around the state. At the Governor ’s Lodge, Obi told reporters that security men asked him not to move about as a result of the restrictions imposed on the state for the election. The governor, however, left the Lodge at 11:50 a.m. for accreditation at Agulu after police clearance. None of his security aides followed him as policemen on election duty escorted him to the place and back to the Lodge. Obi said he had no problem with the arrangement made for a successful election, adding that he would always support any measure taken to guarantee free and fair election at all times. Though he wondered why the restriction should affect him being the Chief Security Officer of the state, he added that he accepted it as part of the sacrifice for the sanctity of the electoral process. The governor also dismissed the complaint by the APC on the confinement of el Rufai asking why the former minister should leave his base in Kaduna to partake in an election in Anambra State. As results came in last night, the APGA candidate was making a good show in many areas of Nawgu in Dunukofia, Nimo in Njikoka, Aguata and Orumba South local government areas. The APC led in Ward 7 in Awka South followed by APGA. Final collation was taking place at the INEC headquaters in Awka

Tilting election

In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the APC said the logistic problems that bedeviled the election were contrived as it demanded the immediate

removal of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukogu, who it accused of incompetence and collusion with APGA to tilt the election. APC said it was totally astonished to learn that INEC confirmed that materials meant for Idemili Nort local government area, which has 180,000 voters, had been hijacked, without saying who hijacked the ballot papers and why, and without explaining why the materials meant for APGA and PDP strongholds were not hijacked. “Before the election, political parties were given voters registers that largely contained the names of most voters. However, about four days to the election, Prof Jega said at an interactive stakeholders forum that there were problems with the registers, which would be rectified before the election,” it said. ‘’However, when the supposedly-corrected registers were brought back, most of the authentic names in them have disappeared, without explanation.’’ APC said it also complained about the fact that the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Anambra, Prof Onukogu, was very partial and unprofessional when he conducted the 2011 election, ‘’In 2011, when Prof. Onukogu conducted the general elections in the state, he was very partial. During the Onitsha South 2 House of Assembly constituency and Idemili South House of Assembly polls, he declared the results of both inconclusive, only for him to announce the results at 12 midnight. After we challenged the results in court and a rerun was ordered, we won both constituencies. ‘’We subsequently petitioned INEC and the Commission assured us that the same person will not be allowed to conduct subsequent election. Alas, he was left in place to do another damage to INEC as an institution through his glaring incompetence and partiality, which have seriously affected the credibility of this governorship election.” Also speaking at his Nnewi home, Labour Party candidate, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, lamented that most eligible voters in his Nnewi Ichi Ward 2 polling unit could not vote. “There are a lot of inconsistencies especially on the voters register. For instance in a ward that has about 700 voters, you will discover that only seventeen names will be found in the register. This situation does not speak well and does not signal that we will have a free and fair exercise,” Ubah added.

Poll cancelled

In a related development, yesterday ’s election was cancelled in about 65 polling units in Anambra Central. Sources said the election in the polling units is rescheduled for today. As at the time of going to press, the APC issued a statement signed by Mohammed demanding fresh election in the following LGAs of the state: Idemili North, Idemili South, Awka South and Ihiala. The party said the combined registered voters in these LGAs where election did not take place or where wholesale disenfranchisement occured is about 380,000. The party has already sent its petition to INEC.


PAGE 6 —SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

Kokori: Soldiers, kidnap kingpin’s boys in gun battle EMMA AMAIZE & FESTUS AHON

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OLDIERS have recovered arms and ammunition from alleged members of the Liberation Movement of Urhobo People, LIMUP, a militant group formed by suspected Delta State kidnap kingpin, Kelvin Oniarah, presently in the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, after a gun battle in Kokori, Ethiope-East Local Government Area of Delta State. The soldiers, who acted on a tip off, reportedly made the recovery after the gunfight in one of the kidnap kingpin’s men’s hideouts, an uncompleted building in Kokori. Three suspects, including a classmate of Kelvin, were said to have been arrested and are undergoing interrogation in connection with the arms. In a related development, some suspected LIMUP members, on Tuesday, abducted a Kokori leader, identified as Chief Fred Enufo, and took him to their den at the outskirts of the town, where they gave the entire Kokori chiefs terms on repossession of a rifle lost by the group. Spokesperson for the Joint Task Force, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, told Sunday Vanguard, on Thursday, on phone, that one AK 47 rifle, three magazines and 86 rounds

of 7.62 mm special were recovered after the shootout. He said following a tipoff that some kidnappers and other hoodlums were converging at an uncompleted building in Kokori, soldiers went to the place to find out but were confronted by the hoodlums, who opened fire. Nwachukwu confirmed that the soldiers returned fire, overpowered and arrested three of them,

adding, “During interrogation, the suspects confessed to being in the Kelvin gang and one of them said he was a classmate to Kelvin. We are still investigating.” The chief, kidnapped and later released by the gang, was accused of leading the Kokori Council of Chiefs on a self-seeking mission to Warri to apologize to the Ovie of Agbon kingdom, HRM Ogurimerime , Ukori I, over his plight.

R-L; Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and Special Adviser to the Governor on Trade and Investment, Mrs. Adenike Aboderin, after Ogun State was honoured as the fastest growing state economy at the 2013 Business Day State Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards held in Lagos.

Bo 8, kills father Boyy, 1 18, with concrete blocks

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n 18-year-old boy, O l a l e k a n Adetoyinbo, who resides in the Irojo neighbourhood of Ilesa, Osun, has allegedly killed his 56-year-old father, Mr Ayodele Adetoyinbo. The boy has since been arrested by the police for interrogation. The suspect, on returning from school, was said to have had a heated argument with his father, who accused him of stealing some empty containers. The boy reportedly hit his father on the head with concrete blocks and the man could not recover from the injury inflicted on him. The man, it was learnt, was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died. DSP Folashade Odoro,

the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Osun State, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Mrs Dorothy Gimba, confirmed the incident at the weekend. Odoro said the suspect was arrested by a team of police detectives attached to the Police ‘B’ Division in Ijamo, Ilesa, for murder, adding that the boy had made a confessional statement. “Argument ensued between the boy and his father; he hit his father’s head with cement blocks and the man sustained serious injury on his head which led to his death,” she said. The PPRO said that the police commissioner had ordered a full-scale investigation into the incident.

From left: The late Baba Omojola's daughter, Titilope; the widow, Yewande; son, Akinola; Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, President, Campaign For Democracy, during the night of tributes for the deceased activist at the National Stadium,Surulere, Lagos.

Ex-Edo PDP guber aspirant injured in auto crash BY SIMON EBEGBULEM ,

Benin-City

MR Kenneth Imasuagbon, a former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, was flown to London yesterday following his

PDP crisis, a blessing in disguise ---Tukur BY DAPO AKINREFON

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HE National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, says the crisis rocking his party is a blessing in disguise. Tukur, however, dismissed the insinuation of imminent implosion in the ruling party. He restated the party’s claim that it had not been notified of the verdict of an Appeal Court ordering the reinstatement of its sacked National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. He stressed the need for members of the PDP to work with unity of purpose, insisting that this was the way forward. The PDP chairman said this, on Friday, in Lagos, at a reception to commemorate his recognition as 'African Man of the year 2013', by the Congressional Black Caucus of the United States. Tukur stated that the PDP was in a class of its own for having the most

diverse membership nationwide just as he called for unity within the party especially in the a South-west region. He said “It is my prayer that the unity of purpose being exhibited here today would translate into political unity for the success of our party in the South-West in the coming elections,” he added. According to him, “The problem our party is passing through is a blessing in disguise; we have to thank God that it is now a thing of the past, notwithstanding the exaggeration that the press is giving what ordinarily is a family feud.” He argued that differences of the nature the PDP had witnessed in recent times were not unexpected in a party as big as the PDP which main focus is democracy. Said he: "Each and every member of our great party is given freedom of expression; we dialogue and discuss freely, in the process we disagree, and

this we all resolve amicably. “You will recall that almost all our members who left the party usually came back, because it is the only party in the country that allows freedom of expression and dialogue rather than operate a

formal system, like others where directives are given for compulsory implementation by other leaders and members. God forbid that! “Our party says election not selection; our party says consensus not imposition.”

Start amnesty programme third phase – Ex-militant leaders BY SIMON EBEGBULEM ,

Benin-City

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x-militant leaders in the Niger Delta, yesterday, pleaded for the commencement of the third phase of the amnesty programme. The group, in a meeting in Benin-City, noted that the 3rd phase of the amnesty programme had been approved by President Goodluck Jonathan, wondering why its implementation was yet to commence. In a communiqué signed by Gen. Ajemiri Saturday and Gen.Luke Ojuemi, they appealed to the National Assembly

and the Presidency to ensure the commencement of the new phase of the programme to avoid any act capable of forcing them and their colleagues back to the creeks. “We are happy that President Jonathan has approved the 3rd phase of the programme but we are appealing to every one concerned to begin the implementation. But if they fail to listen to our plea, within 14 days, we will be obliged to take our destiny in our own hands and we will ensure that Abuja will record the eventful day ”, the communiqué said.

involvement in a motor accident. The accident occurred on Thursday when his car had a headon collision with a truck. He was rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UNIBENTH) where he was attended to by doctors before his family decided to fly him abroad due to the seriousness of his injuries. The Edo PDP chieftain was airlifted at about 4:55pm from the Benin airport by Flying

Doctors Nigeria in an air ambulance. Shortly before he was flown out, the man, popularly called “Rice man” because of his philanthropy of distributing rice to the less privileged for the past five years, described the accident as an assassination attempt on his life. He said the manner the truck driver swerved in the direction of his car convinced him that it was an assassination attempt.

EKITI 2014

Violence worries rights group

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head of the 2014 gubernatorial contest in Ekiti State, politicians have been asked to ensure violence and sustain a culture of peace and transparency. At a press conference held in Lagos, yesterday, the Nigerian Human Rights Community (NHRC) regretted the pockets of violence that took place in the state, warning that conscious efforts were being made to demonise the state government and its officials. The press conference, addressed by the NHRC Deputy National

Coordinator and Assistant Secretary General, Mr Tayo Adegbuyi and Mrs Moyo Arufa, blamed the recent killings on the desperation of agents of one of the gubernatorial aspirants, accusing him of plotting to cause disaffection in the state and return a culture of violence and hate. The NHRC is a coalition of 135 NGOs and civil society groups. The group said Governor Kayode Fayemi has the full, unconditional support of the human rights community as the election draws near.

Torey's death, shocking ----Mimiko

ndo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko O has described the death of former Military Administrator of the state,Col. Mike Torey, as shocking. Condoling with the family of the deceased in a message issued in Akure yesterday, Mimiko said the former MILAD lived an exemplary

life and would always be remembered for his good works. He said the former Military Administrator was part of the developmental process of the state as he contributed his quota to its growth. Mimiko prayed God to grant him eternal rest and his family the fortitude to bear the loss.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 17, 2013— PAGE 7

$5bn missing from Excess Crude Account — Amaechi

*Accuses Finance Minister of denying Rivers $200m water fund BY SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North

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HAIRMAN of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, is alleging the disappearance of $5 billion from the Excess Crude Account and asked for explanations from relevant government agencies. The Rivers State governor spoke at a retreat organised by the NGF at Giginya Hotel, Sokoto and attended by many governors. Besides about 15 governors present at the retreat, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, National Chairman of the breakaway faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), aka nPDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, former Kwara State governor, Dr Bukola Saraki, Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mohammed Uwais, also attended and spoke at the event hosted by the Sokoto State governor, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko. The governor asked Nigerians to rise up and ask questions on how the nations resources are being managed by the NNPC and the Finance Ministry in a bid to prevent the a Federal Government from short changing the other tiers of government in revenue allocation. Amaechi said it was shocking to discover that the ECA, which had a balance of $9 billion in January, had inexplicably dwindled to $4billion without explanation by the Federal Government. The NGF chairman said, “The Excess Crude Account in January was N9billion. That account belongs to the federal, states and local governments. Today it is N4billion. We don’t know who took the N5billion. “Nigerians need to ask where the money has gone and why their money is being used as private funds.” Amaechi chided the Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for refusing to sign a loan agreement with the African Development Bank to free $200 million for the provision of water in Rivers State because of alleged disagreement between him and the President. According to the governor, the ADB and the state government had already signed the appropriate documents for the loan only for Okonjo-Iweala to develop cold feet. He said, “The ADB and Rivers government met and negotiated and they agreed to give us a loan of

$200 million to improve water supply in the state. “We have all signed our own side of the loan agreement but the Finance Minister, who is highly recognised globally, has refused to sign the document to enable us to draw down the loan to provide water for the people of Rivers State on the allegation that Amaechi has some political disagreement with the President.” Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tambuwal, lamented the imbalance inherent in the Nigerian presidential system, which has given too much powers to the centre at the expense of other tiers of government and weakened democracy and good governance. Tambuwal said that the enormous powers vested on the Federal Government under the presidential system has turned the country into a unitary system, thereby deleting the essence of federalism. “Nigerian’s federalism is peculiar as no other presidential system in the world has practised the type that is being run by Nigeria. It is unfortunate that the basic tenets of federalism, which we copied from the United States, are not being implemented in Nige-

From left: Newly sworn-in Supreme Court Judge, Hon Justice John Inyang Okoro, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, Retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice James Ogebe and Justice Mary Odili during a reception for Justice Okoro in Abuja.

ria.” He said the centre should give certain functions to the states and local governments as is the case in the presidential system operated by many countries around the world. Also speaking, Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said the unitary system of government in Nigeria had robbed Nigerians of their creativity and innovations and called for a change of the system so as to deepen democracy

and good governance. Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State called for a system of government that promotes good governance, merit and competition and eliminate corruption and underdevelopment. The host governor, Wamakko, explained that the meeting was to examine the myriad of challenges facing the nation and to explore solutions to them in the interest of the people.

Wamakko said that it was time for Nigerians to move above political sentiments and face the real challenges facing the nation. Meanwhile, the governors demanded an urgent end to the opaqueness in the operations of the nation’s oil industry to give room for more transparency in the sector. The demand is contained in the communique issued by the governors at the end of the retreat. In the communique

Nigeria must tackle poverty to stop conflicts — Chinese envoy BY VICTORIA OJEME

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HE Chinese Ambas sador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Deng Boqing, has called on the Federal Government to tackle poverty and underdevelopment in order to prevent conflicts. He stated this while answering questions from journalists after the opening of the International Conference on Traditional Methods of Dispute Resolution organized by the embassy and the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, in Abuja. He said conflicts come

from three roots: poverty and underdevelopment; ethno-religious dispute and territorial dispute which comes from history. Boqing pointed out,” Nigeria and also China can increase food and other necessities for our people; we can reduce poverty and people can enjoy their

lives. Diversity is the heritage of civilization. If different civilizations can learn from each other, if communication can continue among the people, we can learn from each other and respect the diversity. “War is the last choice. Wars always make people

DFID to create 30,000 jobs in Nigeria By BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO

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2 states in Nigeria are to benefit from the Department For International Development’s, (DFID); Growth and Em-

ployment in States Business (GEMS3) programs aimed at creating 30,000 jobs by 2015. The Project Manager of the DFID GEMS3, Alexandra Mehnaz, stated this

NATIONAL CONFAB: Yoruba Obas committee warns against no-go areas BY DAYO JOHNSON, Akure

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HE chairman of the Yoruba Obas Conflict Resolution Committee, Oba Obateru Akinruntan, has thrown his weight behind the proposed national dialogue, saying it is a panacea for a united Nigeria. Akinruntan, who is also the Olugbo of Ugboland, is the paramount ruler of the oil-rich Ilaje area of Ondo State.

suffer. If we can prevent conflicts, if we can dialogue and communicate, we can prevent wars”. The IPCR Director General, Joseph Golwa, said the conference was organized to revive indigenous methods of settling dispute which are culturally friendly and people-driven.

Speaking with newsmen after his fourth coronation anniversary held at Ode Ugbo, Akinruntan said all “nationalities should let us talk about our togetherness.” He continued: “Nobody should stop anybody and there should not be any no-go area; all issues should be discussed. ”It is an opportunity given by President Goodluck Jonathan to Nigerians to talk about their country.

So let us use this ample opportunity judiciously for our own betterment and generations yet unborn. “It is only when we talk and hear each other out that we can understand each other as a people striving to become one nation. I was in the United States when the announcement of the conference was made. I was so elated that we are gradually getting there.”

yesterday in Lokoja during the GEMS3 - Business Environment Focus Group Discussion workshop for women entrepreneurs facilitated by the Office of the Special Adviser to the State Government on Youths and Women Advancement. ”The aim of the focus group discussion is to understand the issues and concerns of women entrepreneurs by stimulating a robust discussion on issues of business growth. The outcome of the workshop will feed into the GEMS3 intervention in land, tax and investment reforms already ongoing in the state,” Mehnaz said. ”GEMS3 is targeting 695,000 people to experience an increase in incomes by 2015; 250,000 of which must be women.”

signed by Amaechi, the NGF Chairman, the governors noted with dismay the continued conduct of the operations of the NNPC in darkness and the loss of huge revenue by states. They also asked Nigerians to eschew docility in the face of mounting impunity and demand and better accountability and responsibility from their leaders. The state CEOs reiterated their demand for state police as guaranteed under a federal system of government in order to strengthen security in the country. Other governors present at the retreat were those of Zamfara, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Borno, Niger, Jigawa, Osun, Oyo, Kano and Kwara.

Indian hospital crashes fees BY VICTORIA OJEME

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HE only Indian spe cialist hospital in Nigeria, Primus International Super Specialty Hospital, has announced a downward review of its medical charges by 30%, including offer of free consultancy from 18th to 30th November. The hospital management said the decision to crash its fees is part of its corporate social responsibility and to open its services and state of- the art equipment to patients, majority of whom cannot afford to go abroad. Nigerian patients who travel abroad for treatment is reported to cost the nation $300 to $400 million in foreign exchange annually. The hospital’s Public Relations Officer, Alh Umaru Jibia, in a statement in Abuja, said his employer, in addition to providing free consultation to patients in the area of joint replacement, spine problem, internal medicine, diabetes, ENT, gynaecology, neuro surgery, dental, ophthalmology and general surgery, it is reducing cost of medical treatment during the period of the camp. “MRI charges will be from N50, 000 onwards while CT scan will be from N25, 000 onwards. Radiology, laboratory services will cost 30% less while pharmacy drugs will cost 20% less. The surgical procedures are at very reasonable charges during the camp period,” the statement said. The hospital has been conducting free camps since its inception three years ago with about 23,000 patients benefiting from free consultation and other services.


PAGE 8 —SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

Oduah, Reps and ‘leaked’ reports BY JOE OBI VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF The continuing intrigues over the NCAA’s bullet proof cars

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HE idea by those behind the ‘leaks’ was ostensibly to dehumanize and demonize the nominee to the Supreme Court before the American public and in the court of public opinion. But at the end of the controversial hearing, the nominee was confirmed and he got the job. Before that nominee assumed his position in the court, he spoke addressing many issues including what he considered the planned, coordinated, orchestrated and well funded effort by some people to find him guilty even before trial. He described it as an attempt at ‘hitech lynching’. As events unfolded in the past two weeks or so on the subject of purchase of operational vehicles including two bullet proof cars (which some writers and commentators also refer to armour-plated/armoured cars) by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA); the alleged roles of the supervising Ministry of Aviation, and the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, and the diverse positions taken by individuals and groups, it has been difficult not to recall and relate what has been going on as akin to the phrase of attempt at hitech lynching of Oduah. At the risk of naivety, I want to assume that the issues and allegations are well known to the partisans to warrant a detailed and exhaustive recall. So we will summarize. The NCAA ordered, procured and/or leased operational vehicles. Thrown into the basket are two BMW bullet proof cars that were not appropriated for fiscal 2013. The bullet proof cars enjoyed duty waivers they should not have enjoyed. The N255 million committed to the bullet proof cars was insensitive and wasteful. The N643 million for the operational vehicles, even after discounting the N240 million appropriated by the National Assembly in fiscal 2013, was beyond the Minister to approve without reverting to the Federal Executive Council(FEC). Due process was not adhered to including allegedly ignoring the Public Procurement Act.

‘Leaked’ report So when the issue of Oduah moved from the cacophony of voices and the charade of ‘protesters’ to the setting up of a probe panel by the House of Representatives, I reasoned that a measure of sanity is returning to the discourse. The fear remained that there may be some panel

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VIEWPOINT

Fresh fodder It’s important to note that calls by individuals and groups for Oduah’s sacking commenced the very day the story broke. Indeed the campaign to oust Oduah from the Aviation Ministry started immediately President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan assigned her the portfolio. She was derided as having no experience in the industry and of being a square peg in a round hole. Critics were somewhat shamed when she doubled down and went to work and began an amazing transformation(a cardinal principle of the Jonathan government) and remodelling of our airports. But it was obvious the critics were not pacified and this became manifest whenever there was a mishap in the sector. After the air mishaps, the orchestrated controversy over bullet proof cars procured by the NCAA has provided a fresh fodder for the enemies at the terminal. In the quest to stampede Oduah out of office or get her sacked by the President, some anti-corruption ‘activists’ have procured protesters to further the plot. Talking about protesters, the Nigeria variant, there was this true incident in Abuja during the Presidency of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. A group was as usual procured to sit-in with placards at a particular institution with a view to getting the leadership removed. A perceptive middle ranking officer of the institution that was besieged, acting on his own, discreetly interviewed some of the protesters and was told that each person was paid N1,000 to carry the placard for a few hours. Quickly the officer went into the office, prepared a fresh set of placards in favour of the institution and its leadership, arranged money, came out, retrieved the offensive placards from the ‘protesters’, gave them the new placards with positive messages and N3,000 for each ‘protesters’. By the time the original sponsors of the ‘protesters’ arrived the venue of the sit-in with their horde of hastily arranged photojournalists, they met ‘protesters’ carrying placards they did not bargain for. I leave you to imagine their disappointment and then to ruminate on the ‘protesters’ we see sometimes on national television. It has to be said that not all protests are rigged.

If the report and recommendations ‘leaked’ to the media ahead of submission to a Committee of the whole House were to be believed, it would then appear that the House of Representatives probe panel members on Oduah worked from the answer-Get Oduah out by all means

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members with mob mentality but there was also a feeling that there could just be one or more sober elements in the panel. From ‘leaked’ reports to the media, the House Panel has written its report which formed the basis of their recommendations to the whole House. If the report and recommendations ‘leaked’ to the media ahead of submission to a Committee of the whole House were to be believed, it would then appear that the House of Representatives probe panel members on Oduah worked from the answer-Get Oduah out by all means. Let us analyze their findings and recommendations taken from newspaper reports: *President Jonathan should sack Minister Odua for bursting her approval limit. *Oduah breached the Appropriate Act 2013 by allowing an agency under her watch to procure vehicle not captured in the budget. *Minister bypassed public procurement process. *A clean bill of health for First Bank but the executed lease purchase agreement should be revoked. *Other recommendations which obviously were designed to fulfill all righteousness, we will ignore them for being inconsequential. It is interesting that a member of the House probe panel told a newspaper that there was nothing in their findings that suggested that Oduah derived or would derive personal benefits from the transaction and that the bullet proof cars were not bought in her name. Drawing from the findings so far, it would appear that if Oduah was guilty of anything, that thing would be indiscretion. And indiscretion

in this instance cannot be equated with corruption. Anticipatory approval Anticipatory approval for a contract is part of government business in our clime. The N255 million for bullet proof cars by NCAA will surely be covered by this mode of doing business. If the Minister gave approval(which of course she did not do given the documented evidence she directed the agency to do the “needful”), the sum which lease arrangement spans over 36 months would still be accommodated within her approval limit. The argument that by so doing Oduah would be committing succeeding Aviation Ministers is a non-issue. And I will explain. The Federal Minister of Works will be stupid to limit the lifespan of contracts for road repairs and construction to terminate with the duration of his stay in the Jonathan cabinet. In any case, how would he know how long he will serve. Nothing that says he will be in the FEC and in the same post till 2015. He, like others, serves at the pleasure of the President. In like manner, the bold statement in remodelling our airports cannot begin and end with the initiator-Oduah. In other words, future Aviation Ministers will have to continue with contracts entered into under her charge as long as such contracts are not incurably bad. 2015, Jonathan, Oduah More important is the fact that the travails of Oduah have little, if anything, to do with corruption. It’s more about 2015 and Jonathan. For those who choose to live in denial, they are free to do so. Princess Stella Oduah inspired an NGONeighbour to Neighbour-that gave hell to those who opposed Jonathan ahead of the 2011 presidential election. Neighbour-ToNeighbour was a formidable movement and a nightmare to opponents of Jonathan. If Jonathan needed Neighbour-ToNeighbour in 2011, he will need it more for the yet undeclared re-election quest in 2015. The plot of Jonathan haters is to discredit Oduah and weaken the credibility and moral standing of Neighbour-ToNeighbour when the time comes. They have started with the President’s party-the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP). Nobody needs a prophet to confirm that Jonathan will seek re-election. But he should realize that his opponents in the forthcoming contest will not take prisoners. Prisoners can be a burden and a distraction. They would rather apply the Italian solution. But for as long as he is the President, Jonathan holds the aces. *Onuoha, a former media manager, is a commentator on public affairs


SUNDAY

Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 9

WHY IS RIVER BENUE NOT PART O F THE DREDGING?

River Niger dredging on course to boost North/South economic activities

River Benue extends to north eastern part of the country. I am interested in the dredging of River Benue up to Cameroun. It is a priority of the Federal Government to see that river Benue is dredged and put to commercial use.

—Hajiya Ciroma

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ajiya Maryam Inna Ciroma was, early this year, appointed the CEO/MD of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA). In this interview, she bares her mind on Nigerian ports and sundry issues. NIGERIANS KEEP WONDERING WHAT NATIONAL INLAND WATERWAYS AUTHORITY D O ? When you mention NIWA, some people think it is all about dredging of River Niger. Many people do not know that this agency has been in existence even before the first republic. People do not know the functions of the agency simply because NIWA was not projected to the outside world. The situation must change. WHY WAS RIVER NIGER D R E D G E D ? The dredging of the River Niger was done to aid transportation of goods and services down south, up north and to boost economic activities on our water ways. If the river is busy, it will boost economic activities in the riverine areas which invariably will improve the well- being of the people and their standard of living. The dredging was also done to decongest the ports and ease the movement of goods coming from the south up north. After dredging, it is a natural phenomenon that as water flows it carries a lot of sand and other materials which also requires constant dredging to ensure that the channels are free from obstacles that can block the free movement of vessels. Dredging is done 3-4 kilometers away from the channels; what we do is to pack the sand away from the channel and, when that is done, the sand can never return to the channel. WHAT IS THE STATE OF OUR PORTS? At the moment, the river is not as busy as it ought to be.

WHAT MEASURES HAS THE AGENCY PUT IN PLACE IN THE AREA OF S E C U R I T Y ?

We have completed Onitsha port and Oguta port is at 90 percent completion. The Lokoja port is not abandoned. When I came to the agency as M a n a g i n g Director, my first

*Ciroma...working to ease pressure on road transport

port of call was Lokoja port because I believed it is a priority as Lokoja is the headquarters of the agency. I was briefed but I expressed dissatisfaction with the low pace of work going on in the port. But the contractors have doubled their efforts to complete it. The Oguta port is also a point of interest to the government, it was awarded at the same time with that of Baro which is also on course. If we have all these ports in place, economic activities on the river will improve because the ports will complement each other for effective economic activities. NIWA is working assiduously to ensure that all the ports are completed so that the river can be effectively put to use. WHAT IS THE AGENCY DOING IN THE AREA OF PUTTING THE PORTS INTO COMMERCIAL USE? We are going into public private partnership (PPP) to operate the ports. When the ports are in operation through partnership with private investors, the river will be busy. Government is investing in public enterprises, which is the reason there is PPP to ensure maximum utilization of government facilities. It is a good thing and NIWA will not be left out in this arrangement. Immediately Onitsha port was commissioned, government tried to ensure that it is operated by private partnership. That process is right now in top gear and I

understand that NIWA is also partnering with the World Bank in concessioning the Onitsha port along with other river ports that are on-going. As soon as that is completed, other ports will follow.

We are holding stakeholders meetings so that people can know the advantage of haulage by water. We are starting with Onitsha traders since Onitsha port is completed. We are in the

The dredging of the River Niger was done to aid transportation of goods and services down south and up north and to boost economic activities on our water ways HOW DO YOU INTEND TO HARNESS THE DREDGED RIVER NIGER? After the completion of the River Niger dredging, the next step is to involve in advocacy on the need to utilize the river. This is an alternative to road transportation. One of the activities of the agency is to sensitize our people on the usage of the river in the area of transportation. For instance, we have big time companies that haul goods by road; if these companies are sensitized on the need to carry the goods on water, it will first reduce pressure on the roads, the lifespan of our roads will increase while the high rate of road accident as a result of too many long vehicles on the roads will go d o w n .

process of having a stakeholders meeting in Onitsha to see how best we can convince them to use the river for transportation of their g o o d s . HOW OFTEN DO YOU TEST RUN THE RIVER C H A N N E L S ? It was done once during my predecessor ’s tenure and there is need to test again because it is a continuous process to know the channel is suitable for the passage of vessels. We are expecting proposals from vessel operators before the agency enters full commercialization of the ports. I was in Idah few weeks ago to inspect the jetty and I am satisfied with the progress recorded there, the jetty is almost completed.

The security of the river is very important to safeguard the people and their goods. Government has put in place a security outfit under the control of the National Security Adviser and that includes all agencies that are in control of Federal Government assets and NIWA is part of that because we operate the waterways including the oil pipe lines in the river. Besides our patrol boat, we have also put in place total surveillance to ensure the waterways are safe and devoid of piracy. We have also installed a modern security device called software security. The first phase has been completed along the dredged River Niger. This will enable someone moving from Lokoja to Idah to communicate on the radio so that if there is problem on the river, the headquarters can be communicated for quick response. There is total coordination between the maritime agencies in the area of security. We have provided many projects that have direct impact on the lives of host communities where we have projects and we also encourage our contractors to as well assist communities with their basic needs. During last year flood disaster, relief materials were provided to many communities where the effect of the flood was high. NIWA built a community hall in Lokoja. We also support Lokoja annual fishing festival with life jackets and we sponsor the event. The agency provided books to primary schools in Idah and other riverine communities in Kogi State.


PAGE 10 —SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

Lagos State bedroom cabinet 2015

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WO weeks ago, an uncouth fellow, most likely not a Christian, and brought up badly, sent me a message as a rejoinder to my simple arithmetic which showed clearly how the so-called progressives have been short-changing Christians SINCE 1979. A more thoughtful one asked me if I was not sacrificing merit for rotation by canvassing for a Christian governor in 2015. To the one with sense, I sent back a question: “what is merit and why is it that no Christian has been found in Lagos State with merit for it?” Thereafter, the exchange of messages ended. But, on my part, that is not the end of the matter. I want anyone to tell me that quality which an aspirant for the office of Governor of Lagos State must possess which can only be found in Muslims and no single Christian. I want them listed for all of us to read. However, as an economist, I have known for a long time that political office holding has become a means to distribute the

wealth of every state in favour of those related to those who manage to grab power. A never-do-well, whose brother or father becomes Governor of a state suddenly starts riding Hummer Jeeps and commanding millions; if not billions. Where is the merit? A few weeks ago, that fact was again re-emphasised for me. There were two appointments being celebrated. Several newspaper adverts were taken out by a third person, a member of the State House of Assembly, collecting millions with no better qualification than over two hundred thousand Lagosians. They were all from the same family. Haba! Is it possible that all the people worthy of high office can come from the same family? Again, I ask: where is the merit? All that has been achieved right before our collective eyes is a vast distribution of Lagos State wealth. Even if Lagos is totally Muslim, it would still have amounted to inequity. But, Lagos State is not. Since 1999, we have experienced this growing discrimination, based on religion, which should not be. Christians have supported every candidate brought out by the so-called progressives. All we have received in exchange is the “Spare Tyre” position – as

To be a critic: Say nothing positive, do nothing positive and be nothing positive Praise those of your critics for whom nothing is up to standard. - Dag Hammarskjold HE British Prime minister, David Cameron last month announced that the UK will issue 200 million sterling pounds in Islamic bonds, or SUKUK. For those not in the know, SUKUK is Arabic for legal instrument, a financial certificate like a bond, that is where the similarity ends. The difference between the two is that SUKUK, is not interest based as it is not permitted in Islam. So when the mischief-makers in the Osun chapter of the People's Democratic Party, PDP, and the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, have gone on to criticize Osun State for this astute financial move and declared instead the governor and the administration is moving towards Islam-

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ising the state. If they had taken the trouble to look around the world, they would know that all forward thinking countries are making this financial decisions and it has helped many countries move out of the financial doldrums . Malaysia is the biggest SUKUK market in the world and the bulk of dealings are attributed to nonMuslims, and they found it to be most attractive means of capital and so what have they got to say to that? SUKUK has been available to all regardless of their religion. Here in the UK, when Cameron announced this, it did not cause any ripples or raise eyebrows in the country nor does come as a surprise in the international financial quarters. And of the move Cameron said in front of delegates who gathered in London for the 9th annual World Islamic

the Deputy Governor has been called by an Igbo politician. As everyone knows, the Deputy Governor is just a shade better than the gate-

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“Power is the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance”. Max Weber, 18641920. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 197).

has suffered. For all I know, it is still happening now. In other states, the Deputy Governor has good chance of succeeding the governor. Here in Lagos, he/she can forget it. “Who born dog? Abi?” I read an interview granted by Mr Joe Igbokwe, the ACN/APC Publicity Secretary in Lagos State, in which he made the claim that selection of candidates for office, including Governor’s office, had never been based on religion and the next one will not be different. Igbokwe, as an appointed spokesman for APC, and whose appointment is strongly influenced by one person, is not differ-

Anyone, who believes the easy access to the bedroom of power confers no economic advantages, must be the first person to answer when “LIAR” is called. Nothing distributes wealth faster than access to political power anywhere in the world

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man in Governor ’s office and can be removed, faster than the cleaner, when the Governor wants. Since 1999, there had been two Governors in Lagos State. But, we have had five Spare Tyres – all Christians. They are removed on the flimsiest of excuses, and sometimes without any. One of the former Spare Tyres told me that major decisions of government were frequently taken without any input from the Deputy Governor’s office and, high level appointments are made and announced before the Spare Tyre knows about them. Such has been the humiliation which the highest placed Christian government official in Lagos State

ent from Reuben Abati. He is an echo; not a voice. He has a job to do and that is to please his employer. So, what he proclaimed was the official line; at best an opinion. What Igbokwe and others cannot deny however is the fact that, in Lagos State, as in other states, politics had become the most potent weapon for distributing a state’s resources among its citizens. Jobs, contracts, scholarships, Mecca and Jerusalem Pilgrimages, land allocations, appointments to lucrative boards and commissions etc, invariably end up being inequitably distributed among those close to the corridors of power. And what closer

Economic Forum on the 29th of October that he wants " London to stand alongside Dubai as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world,". This move is not new in fact, the acceptance of Islamic finance has been responsible for several British landmarks in last couple of years including the Olympic Village, Harrods and the new addition to London's sky line the Shard. It has helped finance the

Cameron's announcement comes as putting an official blessing to an Islamic finance industry that is already active in the UK in particular. Britain is not the first European country either, as about a decade ago, German state of Saxony-Anhalt issued a $123 million Islamic bonds, or sukuk and we all know that Germany is a predominately Christian state. What makes this significant is that sukuk is now opened to a long established financial market like Britain. Most importantly, it helps bridge the gap between religions, cultures and it is a pragmatic step in the right direction. So other places around the world are building bridges, these Naysayers in Nigeria, would like us believe that there is a conspiracy theory on how Islam wants to take over a state. How low would these people stoop to peddle their brand of religious hatred and incitement of violence and discrimination? It does not seem that this cynical trouble rousers are this deluded or arrogant to think this cheap shot will go unchallenged? So roll on a robust salvo from the APC spokesman, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi who accuses them (the PDP and CAN) for being mischievous that that sukuk is an attempt to islamise the state by Governor Rauf Ar-

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While Osun is forging ahead, taking its people of all religion and creed towards growth and prosperity, these nay-sayers are busy banging the drum of discontent

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funding of the Athletes Village for the Olympic Games hosted by London, the power station in Battersea area through a 400 million pound provided by Malaysian sukuk, to 1.5 billion sterling undertaken by Dubai sukuk to help finance London Gateway, the first UN deep sea container port.

relationship can there be than that of the Bedroom Cabinet – wife, mother, father, sister, brother, son-inlaw, daughter-in-law, etc of the governor or the political leader. An appointment with the Governor, for which others wait anxiously for weeks, months, and sometimes, for ever, can be obtained by members of the Bedroom Cabinet the same day they think of it. Anyone, who believes the easy access to the bedroom of power confers no economic advantages, must be the first person to answer when “LIAR” is called. Nothing distributes wealth faster than access to political power anywhere in the world. Let me provide a real example, names withheld, of course. Two days after INEC had pronounced a candidate the elected governor of the state, a visitor knocked on the door of his junior brother, who was known as a “pet” of the Governor-elect. The junior brother had an old banger for a car. But, that evening he became the proud owner of a brand new Toyota Camry – fully licenced and insured. The visitor “just wanted to come and congratulate him”. He also left an envelope containing “fuel money for the new car ” – a mere N500,000. Visitor promised to come back after the inauguration of His Excellency to “wash it properly”. More loot was on the way. Within days, the poor brother could not count the number of bales of Guinea brocades and cartoons of food and drinks – including choice wines – he received. Overnight, this poor struggling fellow was worth more than ten million. Within six months he had left his three bed-room apartment and was resident in GRA. That is the power of the Bedroom Cabinet.

The Bedroom Cabinet literally mints money irrespective of the governor’s performance in office. So, those wanting to beat back the Christian protest about discrimination by pointing to so-called performance must prove to us that none of our former governors’ families had benefited materially from their tenure beyond the statutory remuneration packages approved by law. Everybody else buries his mother and father with his own money. This year, a mother and father were buried, extravagantly, at Lagos State’s expense. If that is not wealth distribution, somebody should tell me what is. Four years and three months of Jakande’s government, eight years of Tinubu’s government and another eight years of Fashola’s government will mean that the Bedroom Cabinet in Lagos State, for twenty years and three months, under elected governors, had consisted largely of Muslims. As one of my Igbo friends says about such things, “They hold the yam and the knife and you can’t blame them if they throw large chunks to their families first”. The rest of us are lucky to receive the crumbs – if anything at all. So, that is the bottom line. Whose Bedroom Cabinet will control Lagos State in 2015? Christian have filed out since the 1950s to vote for the progressives candidates; usually Muslims. All I see is wealth distribution by the Bedroom Cabinet. And, all we are saying is “Enough is enough”. P.S. For those who want to send me insults and abuses let me help you out. Try fool, mad man, frustrated, lunatic etc. On the other hand you can request for my list of 1,000 insults to use against me. It won’t get you anywhere. Visit:www.delesobowale.com

egbesola. Osun is blazing trails and others a tagging far behind including the Federal Government who issuing sukuk finance major government projects such as health and Oyatomi noted that the earlier criticisms that trailed the state government decision on the Sukuk bond by the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) can only be a niggle for the sterling body of work that Aregbesola and his government had been responsible for. It was said now that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, have disclosed that the CBN, the Debt Management Office (DMO) and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), are exploring ways to use Sukuk to build airports, railways and refineries. So these Naysayers would like us to believe that all these people, institutions and countries are wrong? So is the Federal Government also attempting to islamise the Nation? The hype of the ignorant, the insolent is to mis-educate the masses, the easily misguided and for those who are gullible and take in every word they say as gospel truth. These people thrive on spreading their brand of

hatred and chaos purely to divide people along religious and tribal lines. This approach is well worn and so why do some people still fall this time and time again ? The distractors often wear the cloth of respectability and piety but there is nothing honourable about their motive so do not let them fool you. They are not serving the people but themselves, they are out for all they can get and do not care so this time they have shot themselves in the foot and exposed the level of their hatred for progress and order. You see, this does not serve them well. They should be ashamed of themselves while Osun is forging ahead, taking its people of all religion and creed towards growth and prosperity, these nay-sayers are busy banging the drum of discontent. Do ask them please, what they have done for their people lately? I assure you, they cannot answer that truthfully and they have no intention of doing anything worthwhile either. All they do and are good at is to stick their oar in and shout foul at every given opportunity. The facts are there for all to see; Osun raises head and shoulders above the rest while other state heads are missing the opportunity to move their respective states out of penury . They instead feed the gullible more of the same; insecure and fearful.


SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 11

Kogi Governor’s Convoy Again!!! Ajaokuta road, which killed his Aide-de-Camp, Idris Mohammed. The Governor was reportedly rushing from an assignment at Ayingba to a reception in honour of his predecessor in office. This suggests that the accident occurred probably because his convoy tried to make sure he met up with the appointment. Analysts who imagined that Kogi State functionaries would learn

ly crash which killed a police corporal, Lamidi Akeem, attached to the speaker’s convoy. The recklessness of convoys is however not a Kogi state affair. Niger state for instance, recorded one in January when the convoy of its deputy governor, Ahmed Musa Ibeto, ran into two people on a motorcycle and killed them. The deputy governor was reportedly on his way to Kalgara area of

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rofessor Festus Iya yi, erudite scholar and literary giant is gone forever; courtesy of the convoy of the Governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada. The University of Benin Don was killed last Tuesday when a vehicle in the convoy of the governor collided with the one conveying Iyayi and some other delegates to attend ASUU’s National Executive Committee meeting in Kano. Those who blame the governor for the incident have a point more so as the Federal Road Safety Commission has now revealed that Kogi State failed to send nominees to the convoy drivers’ training organized by the Commission. It probably explains why the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Abdulwahed Omar attributed Iyayi’s death to “executive lawlessness/impunity on the part of the Kogi State Governor who is fast acquiring for himself an accident-prone reputation”. On December 28, 2012, Wada was himself a victim of the insane driving of his convoy along the Lokoja –

Iyayi raised these issues at a public lecture before he died: “Government spent three trillion naira bailing out the banks; it spent 500 billion naira bailing out the airlines.... How come when it comes to education, government suddenly says it has no money? It is because they have contempt for education

some lessons from the incident were mistaken, as the state was again thrown into mourning four days later. This time, it was the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Momoh Lawal that was involved in another ghast-

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the state for the final ceremony of the state’s Qur’anic competition. In 2012, Edo, Nasarawa and Kaduna government convoys killed seven people. Surprisingly, the convoys do not really care about who

PhD, Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos,

08116759758

How lecturers underdeveloped the universities (1) ic, because it means the permanent extinction of the possibilities latent in that person. Prof. Iyayi's premature death is both tragic and ironic: it occurred at a time when the current strike in which he played an important role for ASUU was nearing its end, thereby denying him the opportunity to benefit from the financial concessions President Goodluck Jonathan made to the union recently. Moreover, it is a very powerful message for ASUU to reexamine some of its antiquated strategies for dispute resolution with government and mechanics of decision-making by the union. Some relevant questions in this regard include, why must representatives of all local chapters of ASUU travel by road to venues of meetings no matter the distance? What is wrong with each branch chairperson sending its decision on any matter, including strike, through fax, email and other forms of electronic communication to the national headquarters for final ratification by NEC? In addition, why did ASUU not consider the option of teleconferencing, which conveniently removes the necessity of travelling either by road or by air, thereby making the possibility of accident almost zero? Per-

haps, Prof. Iyayi's death would compel ASUU leadership to reassess critically its modus operandi to eliminate frequent travels and reduce unnecessary stress in decision-making processes to the barest minimum. Having said that, we commiserate with the immedi-

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HE title of our dis course today is cloned from Walter Rodney's incisive critique of the brazen exploitation of Africa by European powers entitled How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. But despite huge differences in the content of Rodney's work and our analysis, there is a fundamental intersection: just as the developmental trajectory of Africa was adversely affected by contact with Europe, quality education in Nigeria's public universities is steadily being eroded as a result of unwholesome attitude to work by an increasing number of university teachers. Before we analyse some of the ways in which academics have contributed to the decay in the university system, I must express sincere condolences to the family of Festus Iyayi, a Professor of Business Administration at the University of Benin and former President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Prof. Iyayi died last Tuesday in a car accident on his way to the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of ASUU in Kano. Dr. Ngozi Ilo, National Welfare Officer of the union and Dr. Anthony Monye Emina, Chairman, ASUU UNIBEN branch, sustained injuries; they are now being treated in a hospital. Of course, the death of any human being is trag-

their victims are. Otherwise, those of Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and that of Senator Chris Anyanwu, representing Imo East in the Senate would probably not have rammed into each other during last year ’s Christmas season. But they did and there was enough time for one group to manhandle the other in the presence of their principals making it appear that the posture of a convoy reflects its owner ’s disposition. Sometimes, it is not easy to know the owner of a convoy. Just 3 days ago, a convoy of seven vehicles allegedly shoved off a tipper at the U-turn end of the LagosAbeokuta express way which in turn killed two persons and seriously wounded nine others. Lagos and Ogun state governments suspected to own the convoys disowned them to the media. The menace of reckless convoys is not restricted to the high ways; intra-city movements are not spared. Not too long ago, one writer had to use the internet to appeal to the Inspector General of Police to look into what was described as the incessant fear in the people whenever vehicles in the convoy of the Assistant Inspector General of Police in Zone 11, Osogbo were on the roads. Painfully, the nation is not likely to see a change of heart on the part of government drivers. Although the Federal Road Safety Corps had said at its

25th anniversary that it was set to enforce the use of speed limiters on vehicles to reduce the rate of accidents, the Nigerian system would as usual make the plan inapplicable to convoy vehicles. Nigerians may thus prepare themselves for any eventuality in the circumstance. Indeed, Abuja residents in particular have to be cautious of the multiplicity of government convoys in the federal capital territory. Oh yes, there are no less than 37 for the FCT Minister and 36 state governors who for sundry reasons spend more time in Abuja than their state capitals. The ever long Presidential convoys are there too together with those of all political office holders listed in the Order of Precedence Act. Now and again, the ordinary Nigerian who is going about his legitimate business in a supposedly free democracy is pushed off the roads so that the privileged few can drive as if they are en-route the world beyond. At a recent international conference, one European journalist wanted to know from me why we have so many emergencies in Nigeria. His question was premised on his experience during a visit to Nigeria where in a couple days he saw too many vehicles blaring sirens like ambulances and fire engines to clear the way. Was I supposed to tell him the truth that they are VIP convoys and incur the

wrath of those who think that washing the nation’s dirty linen in the public is the handiwork of the Nigerian media? Who knows what the foreign journalist saw and where? What bothered him may have been the convoy of a local government chairman which in Nigeria can be longer than that of the American President! Meanwhile many of the nation’s political office holders have expressed shock and sympathies over the death of Professor Iyayi. In order for their messages not to fall into the now familiar governance by condolence posture, it would be nice to address the following issues Iyayi raised at a public lecture before he died: “Government spent three trillion naira bailing out the banks; it spent 500 billion naira bailing out the airlines; it spent another 100 billion naira for the textile firms; it even had money to give to Nollywood and the Stock Exchange, private people who arrange deals, they had money to give them, about 350 billion naira. How come when it comes to education, government suddenly says it has no money? It is because they have contempt for education; they want people to remain in ignorance so that they can continue to toy with the destiny of Nigerians. It is not that they don’t have the money; they have a lot of money”. Adieu, Comrade Festus.

embarked on the journey that claimed his life. The Kogi state government should compensate Iyayi's family and families of those injured by the accident immediately. In addition, we strongly suggest that the Federal Road Safety Commission must be alive to its responsibilities by enforcing approved speed limits on the convoys of top government officials. The tacit assumption that Mr. President, governors and other "sacred cows" are above the law contradicts the very essence of democratic governance predicated on the legal axiom that no one is above the law. If so, why are we still witnessing government-approved reckless driving in a civilian dispen-

for public officials. Concerning the indefinite postponement of its planned NEC meeting, everyone understands the emotional turbulence and dislocation in ASUU leadership right now. However, since nothing in this world can bring Prof. Iyayi back, the national President, Dr. Nasir Fagge, in concert with members of his executive, should have declared a fiveday mourning period as a mark of respect for our departed colleague and reschedule the meeting for 18 November, 2013. The strike has gone on for too long, and delaying it further is not in the interest of anyone. In fact, prolonged or indefinite suspension of the meeting would merely worsen the exasperation of students, parents, lecturers, university management and other stakeholders whose livelihoods depend on the functioning of universities. On a personal note, as a human being and member of ASUU, I feel the pain of losing a colleague. But life must go on since, according to William Shakespeare speaking through Julius Caesar, "death, a necessary end, will come when it will come." Having paid our dues to late Prof. Iyayi, we now return to the main theme of our discussion, namely, the culpability of lecturers in the decay in teaching and learning in our universities. When ASUU embarked on strike in 2009, I wrote an essay calling on the union to embark on critical selfexamination. Having taught continuously for eighteen and half years and served in different capacities in the university system, I know that although inadequate funding is one of the biggest problems of our universities, poor attitude to work by an increasing

number of lecturers is equally devastating. Moreover, I felt that, rather than fixation with organising indefinite strikes ASUU should begin to lay emphasis on helping inexperienced academics to acquire appropriate skills for effective teaching, research and service to the university community. Till now, I am convinced that even if government disburses all the money in our Central Bank to the universities alone, without dedicated teachers and prudent creative managers of human and material resources at various levels of authority in these institutions, the situation would merely improve marginally. Hence, I argued for a paradigm-shift by ASUU from indefinite strikes to pragmatic measures aimed at helping academics develop skills for best practices in every aspect of their work. Expectedly, while some colleagues railed against me for condemning frequent strikes and criticising lecturers publicly, others agreed that many lecturers are misbehaving and underperforming both in the classroom and at the management level. Since ASUU leaders consistently ignore the voice of moderation with respect to malignant indefinite strikes, I will continue to state my candid opinion on the issue, because speaking one's mind in spite of what the majority might think is one of the linchpins of intellectual honesty. ASUU leaders and activists should know that a sizeable number of lecturers are not happy with the union's growing notoriety as a "strike machine" and that self-criticism is one of the best indices of mature intellectualism.

ASUU leaders and activists should know that a sizeable number of lecturers are not happy with the union’s growing notoriety as a “strike machine” and that self-criticism is one of the best indices of mature intellectualism

ate family of Prof. Iyayi, and wish Dr. Ilo and others quick recovery. Certainly, for most lecturers, expression of grief by President Jonathan and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on the death of Prof. Iyayi is insincere. Atiku Abubakar, when he was in power, did not support ASUU, whereas President Jonathan has continued the unserious attitude of his predecessors to FGN-ASUU agreements. Indeed, if Mr. President had implemented the memorandum of understanding reached with ASUU last year, the current strike would be unnecessary and Iyayi would not have

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sation, as if the roads belong to the President, governors, legislators, etc? Top government officials are yet to appreciate the fact that Nigeria is under a democratic government now, albeit a flawed one. Hence, they easily forget that ordinary Nigerians have the right to move freely on our roads without fear of intimidation by sirenblaring vehicles driven by lunatics. In this connection, we recommend that the driver responsible for the accident should face justice whenever he is discharged from hospital to serve as a deterrent to other power-intoxicated drivers working

TO BE CONTINUED.


PAGE 12—SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013 life doesn't give us a choice; the manner and passage of death is a divine call. Wednesday would definitely take the cake as the official worst day of last week. It was the day I attended the funeral service of a young man, full of hope, goodness, humility and dreams. I looked at the faces of fellow mourners and we were all just numb; some of us didn't even know the young man but we knew his father; loved his fa-

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AST week was not a particular ly great week. Monday began with a first appointment at a morgue. I was there to support a younger sister who had the grim task of collecting the body of her 30 year old brother. In between filling forms and fulfilling all protocols, tempers flared and emotions raged but nothing could distract from the fact that the sky was falling. In that same morgue was the body of the young man's father billed for collection later on. The duo of Tunji (Father) and Tunji (Son) Okusanya had tragically died along with four of their employees in a plane crash on the 3rd of October 2013. To say Monday was grim would be a mild exaggeration and I was to make a return trip to the same morgue the next day to pick up a permit we left behind. When a sudden and tragic event of such magnitude occurs, there are simply no words appropriate or adequate to comfort the bereaved. The best one can do is be present and I was thankful to be able to do at least that, if nothing else. There are many things we take for granted in life. We take the air for

granted. We take love and affection for granted. We take the ground for granted and even the sky. Its unimaginable that the ground beneath us will disappear or that the sky above us will crash. Its unthinkable to imagine life without the pillars that keep us standing but life is never without a tragic twist. When I first found out my mother had terminal cancer, the sky began to crumble above me. That disease took over the horizon and her eventual death brought the sky to a fall. I have often wondered whether sudden death was preferable to a slow and painful one and I am still undecided. The last year of my mom's life was not a picnic but I had the chance to say goodbye. I had the opportunity to make more memories and say things that needed to be said. On the other hand watching her slowly and painfully succumb to cancer almost drove me and my siblings insane; it felt as if the grim reaper (death) had moved into our house and stained everything with a pale shadow. By the time she died; we were all drained and depleted emotionally, financially and physically. So who can say what fate is preferable? Thankfully

Festus Iyayi’s death nin City. They remained authentic and resolved in their fight for social justice and for environmental rights. In Ninmmo’s house, you could expect to drop in unannounced, get a warm dinner, enough liquid restorative for your patched throat and a lively and long debate on the state of Nigeria and the world, and there could be Abdul Oroh, or Odia Ofeimun, or Ike Okonta, or

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T’S again, one of those sad weeks in Nigeria, when tragedy struck and coloured the already melancholic landscape of our lives. The true nature of tragedy is that it is always that quiet, preventable death at an obscure bend in the road. The killing last week of novelist, scholar, and labor activist, Festus Iyayi is that kind of tragedy: his death is a totally needless and preventable death. If he had not been compelled to rush off to Kano to signoff on the final negotiations between the Federal government and the striking union of Nigerian University professors, perhaps he’d still be alive today in Benin city. If the Nigerian public transport system were reliable, and there was a usable, quick rail service from Benin to Kano, as ought to be, perhaps Iyayi might not have found it necessary to do the long haul on the highway by his car. He probably did not trust the airlines either and was leery, as ought any sensible man, to embark on a journey in the crash-prone airlines in Nigeria from Benin to Kano, with its uncertain results. Nigerian aviation is a dangerous zone of experience, and people have been warned repeatedly that the state of some of the planes that ply the Nigerian air space are such as should drive us all to tears. Anyone who flies in Nigeria simply has a death wish. Festus Iyayi may have thought all these through, and practical as ever, may have embarked on his road trip to Kano with the gritty resolve that saw him battle Alele-Williams and the Babangida government to a halt in the 1980s. Late in the 1980s and 1990s, Festus Iyayi and Ninmmo Bassey were our social and political anchors in Be-

Iyayi’s death should force us towards rethinking this culture of road hugging and overlordship by governors and other powerful political office holders who drive everybody else out of the road whenever they are on the road, or failing which, risk death, like Festus Iyayi

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any group of the fierce intellectual and activist kind, and you could expect to end up eventually in Festus Iyayi’s home, and be treated to the same level of generosity of spirit. My last visit with Festus Iyayi was in 1997 with his close,

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When the sky falls...

We should make peace with life, enjoy it, make the best of the time we have been given, no matter how long or short. At some point in time, the sky will fall, all that we know and trust will be tested, shaken maybe even shattered. We can only trust in the grace of God to persevere and eventually prevail

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annihilated a dynasty; hate that took 2 generations of men; hate that tore many hearts into pieces, this really just felt like hate. I have no theories, no insight; like everyone else, I am stunned and grieved at the loss. I choose to believe the integrity of the God we serve and know that he will make all things beautiful in His time; even this. In this same week, another beautiful soul will be buried, Vivian Jemide died last week just a few days shy of 50! Beautiful, vivacious, lively Sis Viv, was electrocuted in the shower of all places!! She leaves behind a husband, children, sisters and friends who are all shell shocked at this unexpected tragedy. For her family the sky has fallen; preparations for a birthday have been shelved and in its place is a burial, a wake! Its a sobering week, one that calls us all to make peace with the inevitability of our demise. We should make peace with life, enjoy it, make the best of the time we have been given, no matter how long or short. At some point in time, the sky will fall, all that we know and trust will be tested, shaken maybe even shattered. We can only trust in the grace of God to persevere and eventually prevail.

ther and we had come to stand by our brother and friend even in death. We were burying a father's pride and joy in his prime, the boy that should have taken the baton from his dad, was being buried just days before him. This felt like a nuclear bomb of hate; hate that took a tree and its fruit; hate that

I end with a quote by Olatunji Abimbola Okusanya, it was poignant and heart wrenching to read, contained in the biography, written by him on the 17th of August 2013. " We are busy building empires, lasting dynasties, celebrating luck and all...the sad part is every bit of it ends HERE.. It makes no sense going through all this and not preparing for the place that actually needs a whole lot of hustling to enter... Olatunji Abimbola Okusanya 19832013. Rest in peace...

bosom friend the poet, Odia Ofeimun, with whom he began life as young reporters at the Observer newspaper in Benin in 1968, in the thick of the Nigerian civil war. That experience as a war reporter shaped Iyayi profoundly: it made him not only suspicion of power and those who use it; it gave him the clear insight that shaped the work that he did both as a novelist and as a political activist. It forced him to a greater empathy with the victim. His novel, Heroes, which won the 1986 Commonwealth prize for fiction, was a testimony to his abiding nationalist and humane spirit and his move towards historical expiation. Iyayi was like that: a man driven to the defence of the powerless; a man with a high sense of justice and obligation; a tireless fighter for the common good. It was his stubborn and principled stance that led him to that epic confrontation with the powerful Professor Grace Alele-Williams and the Babangida-era attempt at the asphyxiation of the Nigerian public university system which has today borne its fruit in the catalepsies that has virtually destroyed the Nigerian university and kept ASUU on the perpetual Maginot line. Iyayi fought for the Nigerian university; for its restoration as the epicenter of liberty and national development; and for its secular and rational character. He died in the service of public education in Nigeria, crushed under the weight of a governor’s insurgent convoy on the road to Lokoja. Benin City this week lost one of its clearest voices and intellectual icons. Festus Iyayi died because Nigeria is still drawn to the primitive show of power that would warrant the governor of a state to be driven in a speeding relay of cars and in a convoy of extremely armed and out of control cars that have resulted in numerous accidents. No one knows where these powerful men are often speeding to in such great speed, or why they’ll need such display of childish power on the roads. In the military era, it could be explained that the soldiers were getting their flagging erections up by driving the bloody civilians out of the road. They could do that because they did not need the votes,

and they were, in any case, not quite subject to civil laws. The soldiers introduced that culture of armed and speeding convoys because military rule was government in a hurry: a permanent state of emergency. When Nigerians fought to restore democracy, one of the things they wanted out was the sense of siege that came with emergency rule. Why then should an elected governor in a civilian administration continue to be driven in a loud and speeding convoy of armed vehicles on a public road? The result today is that a lead vehicle in the Kogi state governor ’s convoy killed Iyayi. For what? One of the central problems that’s led to this deadlock between ASUU and the government is to be found in this tragedy: the life of an accomplished intellectual and university professor like Festus Iyayi is reduced to nothing more than pulp by a vehicle conveying a powerful politician who probably on a good measure would not match Iyayi’s intellect, accomplishment, and contribution. Iyayi’s death should force us towards rethinking this culture of road hugging and overlordship by governors and other powerful political office holders who drive everybody else out of the road whenever they are on the road, or failing which, risk death, like Festus Iyayi. A governor is like every other citizen, and should be entitled to a single police orderly for as long as he is on official duty, and should drive within the traffic laws and as unobtrusively as any other citizen on the road. It is about time that Nigerians pushed for this primitive assertion of power and unnecessary privilege to stop. The Kogi state governor must today exemplify how not to use the public road. Iyayi’s death should not be in vain and should lead to a cultural shift to more sensible, more civilized conduct by the governors and other authority figures. If they’re in a hurry, let them use the helicopters, and not drive the citizen off the road. Meanwhile, the governor ’s driver should be tried for manslaughter, and his driving license suspended. It will sadly not bring Iyayi back, but he’d certainly, as the great teacher he was, want some lessons to be learnt from this tragedy.


SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 13

JONATHAN’S SECOND TERM

Another case for Doctrine of Necessity *’And the illegitimacy of legitimate choices

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ho will tell the President? Who will tell President Jonathan that wisdom and decency have taken flight from his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP? That is based on the assumption that he does not know; or that he is being deceived; or that he is encouraging this flight of reason by not acting to stem this tide. It is a sad commentary. For Nigerian politicians, there is something inescapably indecipherable about the choices they make. You do not need to be a soothsayer or one imbued with the power of clairvoyance to see through the folly of the actions – and inactions – of the Nigerian politician. This postulation accepts the premise that the Nigerian politician pretends to know what he is doing – whereas he does not – and members of the public, on the other hand, pretend to be following him – whereas they merely tolerate and suffer

him until the next set of public office holders swindle them into delivering public office via what is described as election. There appear to be conflicting pieces of evidence to suggest that the Nigerian politician is smart, intelligent and committed. Yet, his (or her) actions and lack of same present conflicting scenarios that at once exhibit tendencies that distract and are a source of national embarrassment. Let us wax biblical: In the book of Proverbs, it is written that you should not answer a fool according to his folly lest you be like him; and in the next verse the book says answer a fool according to his folly lest he thinks he is wiser. This is a simple message on how to and how not to respond, when to and when not to respond, where to and where not to respond and so on. Therefore, when in the 18th century, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel warned against “optimism about developing ideas for the future”, he was merely

saying that there is a season for everything we do or intend to do. Hegel’s point, as reflected in the Introduction to The Politics Book, was that “we cannot predict how we will appear to those in the future, not whether what seems common sense to us (today) will be seen as persuasive by our descendants (in the future)”. But the warning of Hegel about a sense of overconfidence in the belief that the ideas of today would be so effective for tomorrow’s challenges comes to light. Yet, when on December 22, 2002, inside Aso Rock Presidential Villa, then President Olusegun Obasanjo summoned an expanded caucus meeting of the PDP to deliberate on and agree to a rotation policy (for the office of the President) of eight years for Southern Nigeria and eight years for Northern Nigeria, those leaders of PDP thought they had found an enduring idea that would last for all times. But as in all affairs of mortal man, the factor of the

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BY JIDE AJANI

Hegel’s point, as reflected in the Introduction to The Politics Book, was that “we cannot predict how we will appear to those in the future, not whether what seems common sense to us (today) will be seen as persuasive by our descendants (in the future

omnipotence and omniscience eluded their thinking. Seven years later, just some months after two years of Umaru Musa Yar ’Adua, a northerner, as President and Commander-in-Chief, he kicked the bucket and his deputy, Jonathan, a southerner, took over, there was hue and cry about the rotation policy of the PDP. The only way out of the logjam at that time – a solution that was proffered on this page but which was pooh-poohed by the shortsighted loyalists of President Jonathan in late 2010 – was the introduction of another Doctrine of Necessity - in any case there was nothing

wrong in Jonathan becoming a beneficiary of two doctrines in a spate of 10months. How the doctrine would have worked would have been the summoning of another expanded caucus meeting of the party where its participants would have had to deliberate on and agree to the need for a more Machiavellian, pragmatic approach which would first repudiate the resolution of the meeting of December 2002 (where Jonathan himself voted affirmatively); and then insert a clause which would ensure that, without prejudice to the 1999 Constitution, the rotation

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PAGE 14 — SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

circumvent the ruling of the Court of Appeal. Certainly, the last has not been heard about this matter and I am sure that truth will prevail over falsehood.”

Tukur

Oyinlola

Baraje

Jaja

PDP and the rule of impunity G

OING by the unfolding scenario and the show of ego in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, one does not require the services of a soothsayer to conclude that the leadership of the party has locked out its aggrieved members out of the much sought peace in the ruling party and gone with the keys. Immediately after the judgment of the Court of Appeal reinstating Prince Oyinlola, the G 7 Governors and the Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led splinter group asked Oyinlola to go and resume at Wadata Plaza and warned that any other person who parades himself as the National Secretary of the PDP should be committed to prison for contempt of court. According to the group’s legal adviser, Eric Opia, Oyinlola does not need any other oath of office to return to work as PDP National Secretary as he subscribed to PDP’s oath of office alongside other members of the NWC that were sworn-in at the Eagle Square on March 24, 2012, adding, “ According to the legal expert, the import of the verdict by the appellate court, which did not attach any condition to its ruling, is that Oyinlola is the validly elected PDP National Secretary. That has also been the position of INEC which monitored the National Convention of PDP held on March 24, 2012.” Against the backdrop of the Baraje group endorsement of the resumption of Oyinlola as National Secretary at the PDP national secretariat, the group immediately appointed the National Organising Secretary, Hon. Nasir Isa Abubakar, to replace Oyinlola in acting capacity. Many political watchers believed the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee, NWC, would have given itself a soft landing by using the penultimate Wednesday Court of Appeal judgment in favour of Oyinlola to chart the path to peace by reconciling with the Baraje group aka `New PDP’. They contended that Tukur should have honoured the judgment of the court by allowing Oyinlola resume and thereafter decide to do anything with him him. The Appeal Court verdict of the three-man panel, chaired by

Justice Amiru Sansei, had upturned the January 11, 2013 judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Abdul Kafarati, which declared that Oyinlola’s nomination and election as the National Secretary of PDP was invalid, null and void and ruled that he should be sacked. The Appeal Court said that the High Court lacked the jurisdiction to interfere in domestic affairs of a political party. Kafarati had given the ruling based on two separate judgments of the Federal High Court, Lagos, which nullified the Southwest zonal congress that produced Oyinlola, a former governor of Osun State on PDP platform, as candidate for the position of National Secretary to the March 24 National Convention of the party held at Eagle Square, Abuja.

Total obedience

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BY HENRY UMORU

Also suspended were the Chairman of the splinter group of the PDP and a former acting National Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje; the group’s Deputy Chairman, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja; and the National Vice-Chairman of the PDP, North-west, Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure. Announcing the suspension at the end of the emergency meeting of the NWC, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, noted that the leadership of the party withheld taking a decision on the matter for a long time because it had been appealing to the aggrieved members without result.

‘Political identity theft’

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iting Section 58(1) of the PDP Constitution 2012(as amended) as reason for the action, Metuh said, “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Party shall have

Analysts said Tukur ought to have honoured the Appeal Court judgement the way he did to the verdict of Justice Abdul Kafarati of the High Court which sacked Oyinlola in January

Analysts said Tukur ought to have honoured the Appeal Court judgement the way he did to the verdict of Justice Abdul Kafarati of the High Court which sacked Oyinlola in January. In total obedience to the Abdul Kafarati judgment, three days after, the PDP National Chairman, Tukur, precisely on January 15, replaced Oyinlola with his then only loyalist in the NWC, the Deputy National Secretary, Onwe Solomon Onwe. Before then, it had been in-house fight in the working committee where Tukur appeared to be alone, but had the support of Onwe. But rather than obey the judgment of the Appeal Court by asking Oyinlola to resume at Wadata Plaza for peace to return to the much overheated PDP, the political quagmire in the party got messier on Monday as the national leadership wielded the big stick by suspending Oyinlola.

power to discipline any member who says or does anything likely to bring the Party into disrespect, hatred or contempt; engages in disorderly conduct at meetings or rallies or at any Party functions; engages in any conduct likely to cause disaffection among members of the party or is likely to disrupt the peaceful, lawful and efficient conduct of the business of the Party; engages in unauthorised publicity of disputes within the Party or creates a parallel party organ at any level. ”We have witnessed an attempt at political identity theft where some unknown people, our brothers who are aggrieved will collude with some known individuals to attempt an identity theft, where some people will claim your name, your birth date, your job, your complete identity, that has failed, the court has pronounced on it”. He continued: “We have countlessly appealed to our

brothers that this is not a production of drama, or a production of Nollywood movies. This is a serious matter, it is a party administration. ”The NWC in line with its constitutional right and the provisions of the constitution and after preliminary hearings as stated in our Constitution suspends forthwith from the PDP the following: Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Sam Sam Jaja, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Ibrahim Kazaure. ”The suspension of these four members of the National Executive Committee because of their past position in the party, past and present, wherein they are members of the national executive and according to our Contitution is only the national that can make pronouncement on it is for breach of section 58 1b, g, h and I. ”The provision of our constitution stated that anyone who talks or says anything, likely to bring the party, the PDP into disrepute, hatred or contempt has committed a disciplinary offence. ”Anyone who engages in disorderly conduct at meetings, or rallies at any party functions including walkout at conventions, taking a walkout, engaging in disorderly conduct is guilty of an offence against that constitution, ”58 1h, anyone who engages in any conduct likely to cause disaffection among members of the party or is likely to disrupt the peaceful, lawful and efficient conduct of the business of the party has committed an offence. ”Section 58 1 (i) anyone who engages in un-authorised publicity of dispute within the party or create a parallel party organ at any level is guilty of an offence against the Constitution of our party. “ Reacting, Oyinlola, who described the action of the leadership of the party as an attempt to circumvent the ruling of the Court of Appeal, said, “This is part of the impunity we are protesting against. None of us has been queried or requested to give explanations for any alleged offence. And if they are reacting to the issue of the ‘New PDP’, why did they decide to leave out the serving state governors, senators and members of the House of Representatives who have been very vocal? ”It is all an attempt to

‘End of party’ Oyinlola insisted that the party got it wrong by suspending him, insisting that he remained the PDP National Secretary and boasted that if the lingering political crisis rocking the party were not resolved, it will be the end of the party. According to him, no serious party will assume that seven sitting governors are irrelevant to its growth and development to the extent of asking them to go if they wish. “I want to pray that reason will prevail and peace to return and if the problems in the party are not solved, that will be the end of PDP”, he said. Oyinlola, who noted that the Tukur-led NWC was clearly ridiculing the judiciary as well as denigrating the rule of law and destroying the very basic foundation of constitutionalism in the country, added that the PDP National Chairman was declaring a needless war against the judiciary. Relying on Section 57 of the 2012 Constitution of the PDP (as amended), Oyinlola explained there was a breach of the Constitution by Tukur and the NWC for suspending him illegally without first asking that a disciplinary Committee of the party should first communicate with him, adding, “Even then, I need to stress the unconstitutionality of this act of suspension of Oyinlola, a member of the National Executive Committee of the PDP. In saying this, I wish to invite the attention of Nigerians to the provisions of section 57 of the PDP constitution which states in detail, the procedure for disciplining members of the party. Specifically, section 57 (4) states that “where an allegation is made against a member of the party, the Disciplinary Committee shall inform the member in writing of the allegations made against him or her. Nobody has till date informed me of any wrong doing against my party. ”Again, Section 57 (6) is even more apposite here. It gives the consequences of not giving a member a fair hearing before a disciplinary action is taken against him or her. It states: `Any decision taken against a member who has not been informed of the charges against him or her, or, has not been given any opportunity of defending himself or herself shall be null and void.’ ”As to Tukur’s NWC suspending me so as to preclude me from enjoying the relief granted me by the Court of Appeal , I wish to shock them by informing them of the futility of their action. They should have been diligent enough to read section 57 (7) of our party’s constitution. It states: `Notwithstanding any other provision relating to discipline, no Executive Committee at any level, except the National Executive Committee, shall entertain any question of discipline as may relate or concern a member of the National Executive Committee, Deputy Governors or members of the National Assembly. That is what our constitution says. I am a member of the NEC and so

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SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 15

PDP and the rule of impunity Continued from page 14 Tukur’s NWC can only submit a complaint to NEC concerning me or any other member of the party listed above.’

Twist

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he PDP National Publicity Secretary, Metuh, on Thursday, defended, in very strong terms, Baraje, Oyinlola, Jaja and Kazaure’s suspension, saying the action was carried out in strict compliance with the party’s Constitution. He buttressed the suspension by citing Article 57 (3) of the party’s Constitution which he said, “expressly empowers the National Working Committee, NWC, to suspend anybody at the national level and to refer the matter to the disciplinary committee”. The PDP imbroglio took a twist one week after the Appeal Court judgment, when the national leadership of the party disclosed that it was yet to receive the verdict and accused Oyinlola of not serving it the judgment, saying he slept over his right. Metuh said, “There is no resort to self help, PDP is no a charitable organisation to help people settle down. He was negligent enough not to serve us the court judgment; he slept over his right, if someone sleeps over his right, we cannot help. We have not been served the court judgment. PDP cannot act on what it has not seen.” The PDP spokesperson accused

The aggrieved governors are Sule Lamido of Jigawa State; Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara; Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano; and Murtala Nyako of Adamawa who later formed the Baraje-led splinter group with Oyinlola as the National Secretary. The group also has Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State in its fold.

War of letters

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Metuh Oyinlola, Baraje and Jaja of adopting selective amnesia in addressing the issue of suspension slammed on them, saying the party has only one Constitution that was applicable to everyone but which they used during their time in the PDP leadership to satisfy their whims, adding that they were complaining because they had now fallen prey to their antics and the Constitution being used against them. Metuh said Baraje was the National Secretary when, at a meeting of the Ogbulafor NWC, he supported the suspension of members of the PDP Reform Group. According to him, Baraje, as National Secretary of the party in 2010, signed the press statement suspending former Senate President, Dr. Ken

Kazaure Nnamani, a member of PDP National Executive Committee, and other key officers of the PDP Reform Group when they were clamouring for reform of the party. He added that Oyinlola and Jaja as National Secretary and Deputy National Chairman respectively were part of the officers of the party that on 13 November 2012 sat and approved the suspension of the National Vice Chairman, Northeast, Alhaji Mohammed Girigiri Lawal. Oyinlola and the Tukurled NWC came on board on March 24, 2012 after the national convention of the PDP. But soon after they formed the NWC, trouble started and the `umbrella’ began leaking, culminating in the walk out staged at the venue of the August 31 special national convention by some aggrieved governors.

eanwhile, Oyinlola has written to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, that the electoral body should henceforth ignore all correspondences not signed by him from the PDP national secretariat. In a letter dated November 12, 2013, Oyinlola, who insisted that he remained the National Secretary of the party as as result of the Appeal Court judgment which set aside the earlier judgment of Justice Abdul Kafarati, pointed out that the Court of Appeal, Abuja is a superior court of competence jurisdiction. He also wrote the national leadership of the PDP, saying that as the authentic National Secretary, Chief Administrative and Accounting Officer of the ruling party, nobody should sign any official correspondence emanating from the national secretariat except him, just as he urged Tukur and members of the NWC to adhere strictly to this in line with the Constitution and the appellate court verdict. The PDP also wrote to INEC intimating the Commission of the suspension of Oyinlola and

others. Moves to resolve the PDP crisis have not been successful. The first attempt to bring the warring factions together was initiated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo who led some elders of the PDP to meet with the leaders of the party as well as those of the splinter group. The meeting was deadlocked as issues raised did not go down well gone with the Baraje faction. At the meeting, it was gathered that the splinter group argued that Tukur must be sacked and a new convention put in place against the backdrop that the last convention was not acceptable to them, even as they asked for the recognition of Amaechi as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum by President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that the suspension placed on the Rivers governor by the PDP must be lifted. But Tukur insisted that the demands of the group were not responsible, adding that the NWC was validly elected . It was learnt that President Jonathan might demand the backing of the governors for his second term if he was going to respond to some of the demands of the rebel group especially the sacking of Tukur. Following the failure of the peace moves, Jonathan initiated meetings with the PDP NWC and the Baraje group the last being the one scheduled for October 7 which was postponed. Before the October 7 date, the Baraje faction issued a statement calling for its postponement because it’s members went for hajj.

Another case for Doctrine of Necessity Continued from page 13 policy of the party would be observed. In simple terms, the new resolution would be hinged on the existential need for pragmatism and the necessity of the prevailing circumstance(s) so that whoever takes over in the type of circumstance(s) Jonathan endured would be spared the needless distraction that has gone on since September 2010. This is because, in the final analysis, the one cannot nullify the other in terms of choices. The choice of any Nigerian to seek the office of President and Commander-in-Chief is guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution and no other set of rules or resolutions can infringe on that right. But because a few individuals who appear to have held President Jonathan hostage using his re-election ambition cannot think beyond where crumbs can fall into their hands, they are rendering an otherwise simple matter shambolic. The crisis in the PDP today is about 2015 and Jonathan’s ambition. Whereas the Court of Appeal has pronounced that Olagunsoye Oyinlola is the bonafide National Secretary of the parent PDP, his

suspension after the fact by the selfsame party is mere display of motor park mentality, an act of executive recklessness anchored on lawlessness – nothing more than an embarrassment to Jonathan who is the leader of the party. It would not be the first time the PDP would toe this line. In the build up to the 2007 elections, Obasanjo dumped the PDP governorship candidate in Imo State after he had been duly recognized by law, thereby creating a vacuum. So the announcement by Olisa Metuh suspending Oyinlola is not new. And to imagine that all these are being done in the name of President Jonathan sends a very wrong message. When, on this page, we admonished President Jonathan to do what is right and legitimate in a presidential manner, we did not mean he should become gung ho as his party leadership is now doing by insulting the judiciary. Is the President listening to counsel? Yes he appears to be listening; but he is listening to the wrong people. Is President Jonathan pro-active? Yes he is. But he is acting out the wrong script. Lyndon Baines Johnson,

LBJ, took over as America’s President after the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He sought re-election and won. He was to seek his constitutionally guaranteed second term but a number of events conspired to thwart that effort.

F

or Nigeria, if some people in the PDP do not want Jonathan to seek a second term, they should mobilize against him from within the party. And to those who are demonstrating loyalty by embarrassing the President, all they need to do is be more creative and inventive and stop this garage-boy mentality of acting after the fact of a court judgment. If what is required is another ‘Doctrine of Necessity’ to put a stop to the over-heating of the polity, let the PDP leadership do that through the instrumentality of a NEC meeting or another special national convention. That way, those who don’t want Jonathan can look to another party to stop him – if they can. The added benefit is that those clowning around Jonathan as loyalists would spare the Presidency the needless embarrassment of

acting like touts. Unfortunately for President Jonathan, even those who have better ideas of handling the situation are hamstrung by the charlatans who have held him hostage. So rather than allow for clear-headed approach to some of the conflicts in his party, the hawks continue to push opponents to the edge of the cliff, forgetting that each step taken inches both closer to the edge. In all of these, it is legitimate for some individuals to seek to stop Jonathan from seeking second term but it is illegitimate for them to do it by ambuscade or in a devious manner. President Jonathan and his handlers have all legitimacy to seek a second term but the resolution of December 22, 2002, must be repudiated – because that is the only thing those who refer to an agreement on rotation hold dearly – just as acting after a court judgment is not better than the action of gangsters. It was on this same page that the challenges of a gentleman President were laid bare. However, acting in a manner that suggests a total lack of decorum would only provide detractors the needed weapon to shoot down whatever good this

administration lay claims to achieving. President Jonathan has had enough distraction to last two tenures in just under three years of his first term. Replaying the script which mighty Obasanjo played over and over and which made him diminish in stature is not what the Jonathan Presidency needs. Just as some people said Obasanjo did not do anything in eight years, there would always be those who would say Jonathan has not done anything as President. These are fallacies of ad hominem. The bigger tragedy is why would a President and Commander-in-Chief allow opportunists to continue to commit all manner of indecent acts in his name and in the name of his administration? The suggestion is that as 2015 inches closer, there would be more acts of indecent nature. Whereas, all that is needed is for the PDP to make it clear that the 1999 Constitution as amended is on the side of Jonathan to seek a second term. And whoever does not agree can seek to thwart the bid legitimately. The PDP crisis is a distraction President Jonathan does not need.


PAGE 16 — SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

For 10 years, I bore the pains of a mother with down syndrome child

— Misan-Arenyeka

By FUNMI AJUMOBI & ESTHER OYENGBULA Trinity House, a church headed by Pastor Itua Ighodalo, early this year, launched a group called ‘The Focused Group’ as part of its corporate social responsibility, CSR, to look into how children with special needs can be educated and integrated into the society as well as looking into how their parents can be encouraged and get the right information for their upkeep. This interview with Mrs Delphine Misan-Arenyeka, the co-ordinator of the group, is an eye opener to parents seeking answers to questions about their children with special needs. Excerpts: God for the support of my husband, family and people around me, they helped us and we began to grow. We found out that there wasn’t really anywhere we could go for information. The experience was like flying blind, which is the simplest translation of the experience. Not knowing where to get help from, how to source for therapist and where to get medical support was a big issue for me. Thank God we could afford to go to different places to access quality medical services, what about people who are unable to access information or medicals for their children with special needs? Why were you selected to coordinate the initiative? The initiative is of Trinity House, it just happens that because I have been in this journey, Pastor said I should coordinate it because you can only do what you have experienced. This is because I feel the pain, and I know the challenges. It is just like grieving, if you have not lost a child or a spouse, you cannot grieve in the same way a person who has. You can only

,,

What gave birth to this initiative? I have a child with special need and some how my pastor, Pastor Itua, felt it was necessary for us to enlighten people on how to deal with children with special needs, how to educate children with special needs because, in my interactions with him, I had spoken to him about what I do with my child who has down syndrome. How did you discover that your child has down syndrome? When he was born, we didn’t know he had down syndrome, it didn’t show because it didn’t present the typical symptoms; so we didn’t know until I went to the UK with my family on vacation where a family member had arranged for us to do routine medicals that had nothing to do with him. When I was having my checks, one of the doctors was just looking at me and the child wondering what was going on. ‘Does this woman not know that something was amiss with her child?’ I had that child through Caesarean section in Nigeria in a fantastic private hospital with a pediatrician in attendance but nobody said anything to me. If I hadn’t gone to do medical check, that means I would have been in the dark. A child that was already two years! And as a mother, you don’t go looking for signs or symptoms of illness, though he had a little delay in milestones and every time I went to this same pediatrician, she kept telling me that children are different and every child develops at his pace. Before that time, I had my first son who was already six years old. When he was barely eight months, he was walking about; by the time he was a year old, his vocabulary was superb, so wide that everyone kept saying that this one is going to be a professor and truly till date he is a fantastic child. How was the experience like at the beginning of the journey as a parent with a special need child? Coming back from the UK with that kind of report at a time for my second son who was almost two years old was like my life actually stopped. But thank

don’t know what to do, where to go. In this part of the world, because of lack of information, parents of special needs children often grope in the dark, looking for answers, to the many questions, solutions and information. What is the aim of the initiative? The aim is to synergise all stakeholders involved in the care of children with special needs for better management and to seek better ways to educate special needs children such that they can live, to a large extent, independent lives and not become a burden to family members all through their lives. We cannot continue to wait for government. So, in June this year, we decided to have a meeting with the stakeholders. It was a forum that brought stakeholders together under one umbrella to synergize our efforts. We had people from foundations and non governmental organisations dealing with special needs children, like: cerebral palsy, autism, and Down syndrome.

* Misan-Arenyeka...We actually need a paradigm shift in our way of thinking check ahead of what ever challenges that might crop up. People need to know these things because a child that is not healthy, how can that child learn, how can you put that child in school? As a mother who has traveled this road for about a decade, what are the best methods to educate a special need child? When you teach a child with special needs, you teach him with visuals to make learning effective, using physical materials and objects to enable the child to recognize and learn. We have parents who have special needs children who have locked them up because of shame and reproach and sometimes purely because they don’t know what to do. We have cases where parents just drop their children in special needs schools or care centers and expect magic to happen; unfortunately, it doesn’t happen that way. Parents must take responsibility for their child. Anyone who

When you teach a child with special needs, you teach him with visuals to make learning effective, using physical materials and objects to enable the child to recognize and learn. We have parents who have special needs children who have locked them up because of shame and reproach and sometimes purely because they don’t know what to do

sympathize, you cannot empathize with the person. In the course of doing these over the years, we found out that we (my husband and I) have become a reference point, in that, when new parents who have special needs children have issues, we get called and we talk to them with the little we know. We can only guide with information, but we need to have a data bank, where people can access information, where to go for medicals, what kind of medicals the child needs. Having traveled this road for ten years, Pastor Itua felt that there are so many people who are in the same situation but

What are the major issues? Apart from seeking better ways to educate special need children, we also have plans to ensure that states who have special centers have enough information and we also want to seek ways to help parents of special needs children unwind for at least two hours. How often does your son go for medical checks? My son does certain test yearly to know if his endocrine glands are functioning well. At some point, we had to check his spinal cord, not because he had cerebral palsy but because children with down syndrome have issue between the sixth and seventh vertebral. So parents need to

has a child with special need will tell you it is the most difficult thing that can happen to you. But at the same time the children are amazing and we needed to get to a point whereby we can have a forum of some sort, a place where people who need information can go to and get the right information. It helps to know the challenge of a special need child, because we have children who have been tagged dimwit, halfwit, dullard because they don’t understand mathematics or can’t recognizes letters and therefore can’t put words together to spell properly and teacher who lack adequate training will just condemn such

children. But if you know the need of a particular child, you can educate the child. Just like every child, you don’t teach children at the same pace, likewise children with special needs. You need to know where they have strength and where they have weakness and teach them along the paths of strength. Medically, is there an explanation on what causes of down syndrome? Medically there has been no explanation, although it has been attributed to dietary, people need to recognize the fact that there is just something that is happenstance or natural. If my husband and I were not enlightened enough to know that this is not my fault or his fault, we would have been at each other’s throat and sadly that is what happens in most families. Many women have been ostracized, called demeaning names because they had children with special needs. In Nigeria it is the mother that suffers. We actually need a paradigm shift in our way of thinking. There was a case where one of the caregivers in my son’s former center alleged that she had to resign from her place of work because her relatives said she would have children with special needs which is not true. For the case of down syndrome, how does one explain the fact that during the course of multiplication one particular chromosome just breaks off and attaches to another and becomes 47 instead of 46? How does a man or woman have control over something that is happening inside, that you will begin to blame your partner? How successful has it been educating your special need child? When we came back from the UK after all the assessment, we were told specifically not to put him in a special need school because they understood that he had a mild down syndrome. So he has intellect capacity like any other child but it has to be done at his own pace.


SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 17

the former governor was there at the commissioning of the tourism centre by the Vice President.

Nigeria won’t break up

How will your successor emerge? Does Bauchi believe in zoning or what method will be used in selecting the next governor of the state?

—Gov. Yuguda * ‘How my successor will emerge’ By SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North

Six years after taking over the mantle of leadership of the once agrarian Bauchi State, Governor Isa Yuguda has brought in a lot of positive changes to the state and given it a notch in terms of development projects. But as his tenure draws to an end in 2015, the governor, in this interview, maintains that he will not interfere in the process that will lead to the emergence of his successor, as the people of Bauchi State will handle it from the grassroots to the top. He also explains why Nigeria should not break up. What is the difference between the Bauchi of today and that of six years ago, when you took over as governor? I think the difference could be best appreciated by those who were here six years ago and returning now. My predecessors did their best but, sadly, the situation I met on the ground on assumption of duty was not the best for our people. So many things were not in good shape and in all sectors of the economy, ranging from health care services to education, water supply, security, transportation system, there has been a very remarkable change and we thank God that the Almighty God has made it possible for us to go this far. I feel very happy that my leadersthe President and the Vice President- appreciate what I have been able to do. I am happy that I have been able to do something to make my party, the PDP, also proud and in keeping with the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President and to show that the philosophy is also working here in Bauchi and delivering democracy dividends to Nigerians. So nobody can accuse the President of not superintending over his governors and lieutenants to deliver on their promises to the citizens of Nigeria. The President stands to be happy when his field commanders, like us, are doing well and when he goes to NEC meetings he can beat his chest that he and his governors are working to move Nigeria forward. Which of these projects is very dear to your heart? I can say that all are very dear to my heart but the one that is very very dear to me is the Bauchi State University established by me. We have been unlucky before now to get admission placement for our students because we don’t have one Federal University in Bauchi even though we are one of the oldest states with high population. We don’t have tertiary institutions that can offer places for our children; we

are happy now that the university will solve some of our problems because education is the key to development. Any society that does not get its education sector right will never develop. I am very happy that I have carried out a lot of interventions in the field of education in the state. These range from rehabilitation of infrastructure and facilities, giving attention to teachers’ training and procurement of books and instructional materials to promote teaching and learning at all levels. My happiness is that we are seeing the result in passes in NECO and WAEC examinations. So I feel that having invested in establishing the university, it is a great thing to us as a people. How far has Bauchi gone with its independent power project? We have gone far; we are only waiting for the signing of the loan agreement by the Minister of Finance. That is the only bit I am waiting for, which is what the EXIM Bank of China is also waiting for. We are listed as one

*Yuguda...God brought Nigerians together that have given rise to low revenue to the Federal Government will soon abate and things will get better. A good succession plan is germane to ensuring the stability of the state at the end of your tenure. So what are you doing about the emergence of your successor? It is expected that a good man-

I am loyal to Mr. President who has taken a decision on behalf of Nigerians, having been ordained by God to rule Nigeria. I don’t believe that Mr. President can short-change Nigerians of the beneficiaries of the soft loan to be granted by EXIM Bank of China. Once that is done, the Chinese will move into Bauchi and they have promised to complete the project within nine months. Do you think you can complete all the numerous projects, which your administration has started, given the paucity of funds that is affecting the country? Well, we have structured the financing of the projects in such a way that all the projects would be completed within the time available to us as a government. So, it all depends on the way we are able to package the financing. I am satisfied that given what we have on the ground and given that every financing arrangement has been put in place, we will complete the projects despite the financial constraints we have at the moment. We are hoping that the challenges we have will soon fizzle out because we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Some of the things

ager should have a succession plan. That is important in management anywhere in the world. As a trained manager, I am expected to plan for succession. But when it comes to leadership at the level of a governor, it is slightly different because so many things come into changing political leadership. There are so many things that come into play in political leadership even though we do know that leadership comes from the Almighty Creator. He decides on who is going to be the leader and when he is going to lead. That is why we say we cannot play God by saying this or that is going to be our next leader. Everything belongs to God and He decides who should be and not be. We cannot question him. Much as we rely on that, God will also expect the human leader to make his own input and leave the final decision to Him. I have heard some alluding to the fact that the President will anoint someone to take over from me and so on. I do know that I am also close to the President and I

do know that he has absolute confidence in my capacity to advise him. I also know that he always wants the best for my state and since he believes that I am a good manager, who has done well in Bauchi, he will always trust my judgment. He is also a good manager of human beings and will believe in the judgment of his field commander like me. The speculation that I am interested in anointing my Secretary to Government is not true. I have not come out with any choice yet. I have not come out with any name that this is the person I am supporting. I will not do that because I believe in collective responsibility in decision-making. So, I believe the people that will emerge as contestants will come directly from the people of Bauchi right from the grassroots. It is going to be a bottom-up approach and not the other way round. It is not Yuguda that will impose a governor on the people of the state. It is the decision of the people including me that will make it possible. I am not going to impose anybody on the state. I have already set the machinery in motion for the grassroots to start the process of coming up with possible governorship candidates. They can be profiled by the stakeholders and thereafter come up with a personality that will carry on our own vision driven by me. They should look for people who can continue from where I would have stopped so as to move the state forward. They should select somebody who will carry on with our dreams and meet their yearnings and aspirations when I leave the scene. Such is the kind of person we are hoping and praying for. Once they come out with such, I will not say no and Mr. President will not say no. You can see how I inherited the Yakari Games Reserves from my brother and friend, Ahmed Muazu, and I have successfully completed the project. The credit still goes to him and I am happy that

You see, we all want peace and stability in our country. And if we are learning the ropes to deepen democracy, let the best person come out and rule. We believe that no community has the monopoly of best people or worst people. So, in every zone in Nigeria, or in every zone in every state in Nigeria, you must have a good person just as you have criminals, witches, robbers, kidnappers and rapists. So you have ideal Nigerians in all nooks and crannies of our state. So if the constitution of Nigeria says for the purpose of stabilising the country, this is what we should do through zoning and the application of Federal Character in the interest of the nation so that everyone should have a sense of belonging, so be it. So if I bring out somebody from a certain section of the state, who is a hard sell, it is my party that will lose. But you will remember that in 2007, I came from the same zone with Governor Muazu but the people of Bauchi insisted that I must be the governor. I don’t think there was any election like that of Bauchi in 2007 and 2011 when I came for second term from the same zone with Muazu. You can therefore appreciate the fact that people are happy with a person or governor who is working for them irrespective of where he comes from. But the bottom line is that we need equity and justice. If there was somebody who could equally match my own profile, maybe I would have been defeated in 2011. But once they knew I could perform, they still voted for me despite the fact that I am from the same zone with the former governor. But like I said, we should be able to ensure justice and equity in the selection of the next governorship candidate. So, I will expect that we do a lot of headhunting. Our team will do headhunting for the best and factor in justice and equity as no zone in the state has a monopoly of good people. What is your take on the proposed National Dialogue? Well, I am loyal to Mr. President who has taken a decision on behalf of Nigerians, having been ordained by God to rule Nigeria. I don’t believe that Mr. President can short-change Nigerians. There is nothing wrong in talking. Let us sit down and talk to ourselves and if there is anything that anybody feels about his own country, let him come out and say it. To me, I am a Nigerian before any other thing. If somebody is looking at it differently, he should come and say it. It is God that brought us together. Is anybody coming to ask God for making us one united people? If God wanted it, he would have created us as the Chinese with one billion people in one big country with one dominant language. Let us meet, talk and see where we went wrong and what can be done to make Nigeria better as a family.


PAGE 18 — SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013 08056402376

Lagos Open: Showcasing beautiful sides of Ghetto By PRISCA SAM-DURU

I am happy this project took place because it is only arts and culture that bring people to unusual places.” Explaining what Project Space is all about, Emeka disclosed that “it was acquired more than ten years ago, and was developed gradually with personal funds from private exhibitions across Europe.” Now, it is open for art gatherings and events as a way to contribute to the culture of Lagos art circuits as well as keep the structure utilized whenever the artist is outside the country with his family in Germany.

CREATIVITY

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Redefining the society My interest is so much on Public Space, that is using art to influence what goes on in the society. The project is on Ajegunle and it is all about redefining our society through art . Changing stereotypes about a particular space and also, using public space effectively for nation’s development. The Ajegunle Open was a collaborative project in which residents of Ajegunle were involved with invited artists who put ideas together during discussions. “Last time we worked on only one street in Ajegunle but this time, we expanded our

B

*The

open space project

scope” as the project took place at Abukuru and Orodu

,

ROJECT Space, Lagos, an art centre for re search, encounter, exchange, collaboration, residency and contemporary art, last week, held a project tagged “Lagos Open Ajegunle invitation 2013”, during which invited artists, in collaboration with residents of the Ajegunle engaged some public spaces in selected streets in the Ajegunle community. The street art project which kicked-off Monday 11 th November, 2013 and ended on Friday had artists from around the world with the residents of the area storming Ajegunle where they displayed nothing less than creativity in the areas of Installations, Performances, Graffiti, Photography, Music, AJ Couture etc. The finished product was however, presented on Saturday 16th November. During the unveiling of “Lagos Open – Ajegunle Invitation 2013” international public art project at Badore, Lagos, where Project space is located, Nigeria’s multitalented artist based in Germany, Emeka Udemba played host to writers, artists, and journalists at a cocktail. Emeka who has displayed such impeccable artistic ingenuity in his years of experience as a visual artist, said “I paints when I feel like painting and dance when I feel like dancing” As an artist, I have right to do whatever I want to do and use any material depending on the message I want to pass across. Art has gone beyond painting, even mere thinking is art.”

according to Emeka is to enable participants through

I am happy this project took place because it is only arts and culture that bring people to unsual places

streets as well as Maracana Stadium. The aim of the project

,

different genres of art, create stories with regard to the selling points of the areas

that were covered, in order to project the positive side of Ajegunle in addition to attracting tourists to interesting sites. “Ajegunle is just like any other space but has been stigmatised, so if we keep on waiting for Government to redefine it and show the level of transformation that has taken place there, it will be in vain.

eing in Badore instead of concentrating in a particular area is for expansion besides, the cultural eddifice is ideal for artistic production. The space affords artists a chance to make art relevant enough to engage society and engender social change. The crowd present included Kora Award winning musician Ade Bantu, Marc-Andre Schmachtel, the director of Goethe Institute, Lagos, etc

Ways to new beginings from Adeleye’s books BY JAPHET ALAKAM

event is the governor of Lagos State, Raji Fashola and other eminent personalities. Speaking about the books, the author said that Burden of a country is a story that needed to be told. The 421 page book published by Bosem Publishers Nigeria Ltd, Lagos traces the childhood story of the author living in a society blessed with abundant mineral and

PRESENTATION

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ORRIED by the epileptic state of the Nigeria economy which has led to widespread unemployment and forced many good brains to leave the country, a Nigerian and one who is interested in the Nigerian project, Tunde Adeleye, has come out with a blue print on how Nigeria can regain its lost glory. Adeleye, a management consultant who has experienced the two sides of life, having worked within the academic and consultancy sector as a business and management consultant and trainer in England as well as in Nigeria after an indepth research has come out with three new books. The books are Burden of a country, A personal and social narrative on Nigeria’s socio-political and economic under achievement, Core Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs and Arise and Ignite Your Life .

capital resources, but which was mismanaged through corruption by past successive leaders in Nigeria. “It is a socio-economic and political commentary about Nigeria from 1960 and highlights the root causes of brain drain phenomenon of the 1980’s. It is a powerful indictment on the poor leadership of Nigeria, which has led to the progressively slow pace of economic growth for many decades.”

*Adeleye The books which will not only inspire , but incite the reader to take action to fulfill his dreams will be officially presented to the public on Tuesday, November 19th at the Afe Babalola Auditorium, University of Lagos, Akoka. Th event which will be chaired by the book loving governor of Ekiti State , Kayode Fayemi is scheduled to start at 11.00 am. Also expected at the

Prof Ikulayo's biography for presentation

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HE public presentation of a book on the former Acting Dean of Education and former Head of Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education at the University of Lagos, Akoka Yaba, Professor Philomena Bolaji Ikulayo, will take place at 10.30am on Thursday, 21st November, 2013 at Prof Amos Utuama Civic Centre,UNILAG. The book according to the 65 year old Ekiti State born Lecturer and writer, “is about my life, work and achievements, but particularly, to bring to limelight my contributions to my environments and the extension of my service to the National and the International World Sporting Organisations and the academic world at the tertiary education level.”


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 19 08056402376

Artistic Disciples at the mercy of fake, inhuman middlemen

Unlocking the hidden powers to succeed By JAPHET ALAKAM By JAPHET ALAKAM REVIEW

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*Head gear frames and body wear under production (INSET) Christopher Igiebu Ojor Ojior

By USMAN ABUDAH

I

f really there are saints amongst us the living, I haven’t had the singular opportunity to run into any or introduced to any either, other than claims that have never been established even in the witness box of a court of law. But there are still claims that have sounded more than traditional chorals which are embellished in absolute truth because these lyrics bear realistic compositions of daily life happenings which the artistic disciples render. In the artistes’ surroundings are the genuine cavers, composers, dancers and instrumentalists whose individualistic interests are based on inheritance, apprenticeship and also on communal understanding amongst them. This is to ensure that the inheritance is sustained towards keeping the identity of the various communities on the map thus keeping their ancestors happy in the other world which we all would later on join them on the role call as the dead. There are these talented disciples whose productions unfold very exciting designs which cannot be traced to any academic root, either in writing through research or sponsored grants from foreign agencies. I would restrict myself to a few areas that I have on my own under took trying to satisfy my burning desire to see these disciples at work and hear what gains they get in their pursuits. The result is painful and smacks of cheating on the part of those who define themselves as promoters of “our tradition and cultural heritage”. This crop of un-tidy ele-

ments carry an air of absolute falsehood by deceiving the rural based genuine practitioners with the nauseating and irritating claim that “the government and traditional rulers sent them to invite them” to ceremonies. As true and sincere disciples they are, they don’t ask questions, but would want to know how they would go there or who will provide transportation. Of course, the little exposed ones would dare ask

,

CULTURE

masquerade costume maker. For record purposes, I met this middle-aged amiable gentleman, who presently works at the health department of a local government council. He is Christopher Igiebu Ojior Ojior who is a tailor by training and was taught the artistry of masquerade costume production in Sapele, Delta State by Mr. George Okafor from Nsukka. “I have been a tailor since 1963 and when I came back

There are these talented disciples whose productions unfold very exciting designs which cannot be traced to any academic root

what would they be paid as they would not go to their farms during the period of being away from home. “We don’t have sponsorship and after this outing, we would see what government would do for you people”, they are told this tale of insincerity. Some wouldn’t budge, others would insist on being paid and the picture is clear, the funny characters would offer pittance, with promises of putting words on their behalf before government.

This is the prevailing situation between the rural based disciples and the city-based disciples of deceit. I might be compelled in future to reveal specific cases of fraudulent case studies if reasons become imperative. I make bold to state here that even in government agencies that are supposed to tell the artistic disciples their realistic usefulness in promoting the themes of our peoples’ artistry are not better. In my usual self sponsored trips in search of these genuine disciples, I was recently in a sprawling quiet village somewhere in the Edo North Senatorial District to meet a

,

home, there weren’t much customers, so I decided to concentrate in costume production,” he calmly opened up. Mr. Ojior Ojoir, with an air of pride, added. “All my children, including my wife Juliana all assist me when they are back from school and the farm. It’s in the family and when I die, they would continue”. reminded him that death doesn’t come-calling by age. he chuckled and continued: “I know”. Mr. Ojoir Ojior is a devoted member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church Mass Centre of which he is also the chairman. As we chatted off record, a church member strolled in to remind him of the meeting slated for 5pm.

I

He expressed his delight over my coming and asked: “what are you going to do with this our talk today?” he asked, smiling at me calmly. “I thank you for letting me into your selfless service in promoting creativity. Just wait, you will hear,” I replied, smiling at Alabi, head of a masquerade troupe who was my escort.

Abudah is Founder and Director Afenmai Heritage and Cultural Studies, Auchi.

and leadership. With the firm belief that there is no better way to succeed than to follow the footsteps of those who have already done so, the author shared insight of indigenous conglomerates in Nigeria and the brains behind them. They include, Bishop David Oyedepo, of Living Faith Church Worlwide; Stella Okoli, Emzor Pharmaceuticals; Aliko Dangote, Dangote Group; Cosmas Maduka, Coscharis Group; Fidelis Ayeabe, Fidson Healthcare; Obiora Chukwuka, Greenlife Pharmaceuticals amongst others. These are people who differed all odds and applied the right keys to become successful, how they started, challenges and where they are now.

EGARDLESS of how old you are, where you live, where you’re from or what your career goals are, everybody’s ultimate goal in life is to be happy and successful. Though this is the dream of all, but several factors have made it impossible for many to actualize that. Like the biblical Deborah who is on a rescue mission and one who wants many to succeed , Deborah Ukoh, a pharmacist and lover of God after an indept research, came out with a new life changing book entitled Successful People, Volume 1; Strategies and Principles that will unlock your hidden powers to succeed. In her insightful style, the author in the 120 page book published by Rehobot Media Koncept takes the reader on a systematic journey that profoundly redefines the concept of success. Success to her is more than an idea, it is a state of mind. According to her, God’s plan for you is all round success, whether you are a success or failure, you are the determinant. Your colour or look makes no difference, the important thing is what is inside you, that is Successful People, Volume 1; the contents and Deborah Ukoh;Rehobot Media what you can make Koncept, Lagos, Nigeria; 2013; out of it. PP. 120 She goes further to say, “ True success is the accomplishment of an Fused with biblical references for assignment or the attainment of effective digestion, the author a desired end. It is essentially whom I can describe as a successthe product of discovery or of ful woman has through the book purpose.” unveiled the secrets of making Chapters one and two wealth in all endeavours. talk about the real you and your Written in very simple dream, and here she points out language for easy readership, the that your dream is your blue- revealing and motivational book print to success, your vision de- is a very good addition to a list of termines your outcome, so you the motivational books in the book must be able to see the end of stand. It will help the average man your dream. who believes that he can not make Deborah who is of the view that it to sit up. Apart from few unaeveryone is designed for great- voidable errors, the author also ness went on to highlight the 12 went too far in the analysis of the pillars that are vital to achiev- different successful people and ing success. She did not stop their companies , to the extent that there, she also mentions the prin- it looked like an advertorial for the ciples and core values of the suc- companies. Such can be avoided cessful- to include commitment as she has already made her points to the vision, passion, character, earlier on. But that notwithstandcustomer focus, excellence, the ing, I recommend the book, it is entreprenueral spirit, energy good for you

Group wants Iyayi immortalized

T

HE Chairman, League of Patriotic Lawyers, Barrister Abubakar Yesufu, has joined other Nigerians in mourning the death of Professor Festus Iyayi, calling on Edo State government to immortalise the literary icon. Speaking during a press conference in Benin, where he had gone to commiserate with the late don’s wife, Yesufu, who was the president of Students Union, when Iyayi was the chairman of ASUU, University of Benin chapter, described the loss as a “personal one”. He described the late Professor as a fearless defender of the voiceless for over three decades, saying “Iyayi, together with Tunde Fatunde, helped in

mentoring me as a leader of students union. He was an astute academician, firm believer in the autonomy of the university, especially the appointment of vice chancellors, and a gadfly to erratic university administrations”. “Because he refused to compromise and demanded justice on behalf of his colleagues and due to his consistent pro-student ideology, was denied his professorial chair for more than two decades”. The league, therefore, wants Edo State Government to proceed without let or hindrance to name Auchi Polytechnic after the fallen icon and let the driver of the Kogi State government that led to the accident be prosecuted for manslaughter. C M Y K


PAGE 20 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 17, 2013


SUND AY V ANGU ARD, NO VEMBER 17, 2013, SUNDA VANGU ANGUARD, NOVEMBER

P AGE 21 PA

Email: vanguardwoman@gmail.com (08054650907- SMS only)

BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA

F

OR multifarious reasons ranging from sociocultural stereotypes to unenthusiastic promoters, daring the hip-hop/pop music industry has been spinechilling for female folks, prowess notwithstanding. The overwhelming dominance of the male folks in the industry naturally inspires them to tilt towards gospel and other lessmacho music genres. Except for Ogun-born Adesola Adesimbo Idowu a.k.a Weird MC who courageously invaded the scene with her Simply Weird album in the early nineties. Although this also obtains globally, women in Europe and America however seem to compete more favourably with their male counterparts, judging from their mammoth presence in the industry. This piece celebrates the few female hiphop/pop acts that have proved their mettle in the past few years. These ladies came, saw and conquered!

Heroines who have stood up to men

•Tiwa Savage

•Omawunmi Megbele

•Waje

•Seyi Shay

•Sasha

•Coco Ice

•Chidimma

ers.

own clothing label, Eclectic.

Tiwa Savage:

Currently the only female on Mavin Records, Tiwa is one of Nigeria’s leading female acts with vibrant international presence. Her electrifying stage performance skill is reminiscent of A-list American female acts like Beyonce. The University of Kent Business Administration graduate had done remarkable backups for George Michael, Mary J. Blige, Destiny’s Child, Chaka Khan, Spice Girl, Emma Bunton, Kelly Clarkson, Andreas Bocelli, Sting, 50 Cent, The Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, to mention a few, while abroad, before going solo. Her successful graduation from the Berklee College of Music did the whole trick and by the time her debut single titled ‘Kele Kele Love’ was released in Nigeria, the song won its way to the top of several music charts. Earlier this year, her debut album, Once Upon a Time,hit the market with its eclectic mix of R&B, Soul and Pop. Also a notable songwriter and TV presenter, Tiwa is extraordinarily talented!

Nigerian artistes and international figures like Chaka Demus and Pliers. Omawunmi released her debut single ‘In The Music’ in 2008, a song which remained number one on various radio stations and got multiple nominations and awards. In 2009, she released ‘Wonder Woman’, an album with hit songs like ‘Ma Fi Mi Shere’, ‘Chocolata’ and ‘Today Na Today’, which sold 100,000 copies in one week! Her latest single Somori is presently ruling the airwave.

Omawunmi Megbele: Chidimma Ekile:

Following her success at the Idols West Africa reality TV show in 2007, Warri-bornOmawunmi has never attempted a sidelong glance at the industry. The Ambrose Alli University graduate of Law with a certificate in French from Alliance Francaise is a goddess of beauty and brain! Little wonder in two years Omawunmi grabbed the Best Female Vocal Performance and Next Rated Artiste at the 2009 Hip Hop World Awards. The Afro-pop artist has performed on stage with top-notch

The Kedike crooner is endowed with an eccentric vocal. Chidimma came into limelight when she won the MTN Project Fame in 2009. She later released her first single Jankoliko which was followed by her debut album titled ‘Kedike’ in January 2012. The Kora Award-winning pop-soul queen took another leap both nationally and internationally with three brand new singles ‘Bless My Hustle’ featuring Phyno, Kite and Jolly.

W

aje:

Edo-born Aituaje Iruobe a.k.a Waje is an amazing artiste with a heterogeneous range of vocal coverage. The University of Nigeria,Nsukka, graduate of Social Work took a courageous step into stardom when she fully launched her music career, after singing in her church choir for years. Her first major breakthrough was in PSQUARE’s hit single,Do Me. Waje thereafter emerged first runner-up in the MTV Base South Africa and Zain Nigeria reality TV show, Advanced Warning. Waje has shared the stage with international artistes like Jean and Kerry Hilson.She has worked with a lot of artistes making hit singles like ‘One Naira’(MI featuring Waje) and ‘Same Guy’(Omawunmi featuring Waje). She won the Best Female Vocalist 2011 Nigerian Entertainment Award and Best Female Vocalist 2011 Hip hop World Awards, amongst many oth-

S

asha:

Yetunde Alabi a.k.a Sasha got nicknamed the “First Lady” of Nigerian Hip Hop because of her undiluted prowess. Her debut album ‘First Lady’ has ceaselessly grown her fan base and her first single ‘Adara’ won her the Best Female Artiste award at the 2009 Women in Entertainment Awards in England. Sasha was nominated in two categories (Best female video and Best cinematography) by the prestigious Sound City Video Music Awards for her second single “Only One”in same year. She was the first ever Nigerian female artiste to perform at the 20th anniversary of the World Music Awards in October 2008. The genius has also shared stages with Boys2Men, Dru Hill,Rihanna, Shakira, P. Diddy, John Legend and R.Kelly to cut the list. Our dear queen of hip pop is also always full of activities as a designer of her

Seyi Shay:

Seyi Shay stormed the Nigerian music industry and before anyone could say Jack, she had pitched a tent for herself. The graduate of Business Management had hitherto built a reputation for herself as a former member of the Matthew Knowles (Beyonce’s father) managed UK Girl group before signing-up with Silverbird-affiliated Flytime Music. She recently left Flytime to set up her own, J Management. Seyi has just released two songs, Raga Raga and Chairman, featuring Kcee, which got her over 8,000 downloads in d space of two weeks. To her credit are ‘Loving your way’ and ‘Irawo’.

Coco Ice:

Mojisola Sowode a.k.a Coco Ice is one rapper giving the men a run for their money. Her hit single ‘It’s me’ is still rocking the airwaves. Coco strongly believes women have left the kitchen and bedroom for the world stage.


PAGE 22—SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

"The widow and orphans maker with food for the undertakers!" 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: sunvanguardmail@yahoo.com

WRPC road as Uduaghan’s albatross Dear Sir,

I

F there is a developmental challenge that has become a nightmare to the Delta State government for some years running, it is the nuisance constituted by the gridlock of traffic jam at the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company,

WRPC, entrance on a daily basis all year round. The WRPC like the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company, PPMC; the National Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, and the Nigerian Gas Company, NGC, are all subsidiaries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and are located in the same environment that cut across Warri South, Okpe and Uvwie local government council areas of the oil rich Delta State. Indigenous and located in this same environment are about 11 fast developing and expanding Itsekiri, Okpe and Uvwie communities of Ekpan, Ubeji, Egbokodo, Ifiekporo, Aja-Etan, Ijalla, Jeddo, Ugbokodo, Ughoton, Omadino and Obodo respectively that have attracted a large chunk of urban residents from the main oil City of Warri where the cost of renting a room or a 2-bedroom flat has long gone beyond the reach of the common man. The truth of the matter is that besides the high cost of housing in these fast evolving communities bordering the NNPC conglomerates is the modernity of the various state –ofthe art architectural designs of buildings springing up in these towns

and villages. They are truly not compared to the old fashioned structures of the old Warri metropolis of colonial times. But the snag in all of this splendor and euphoria is the difficulty of getting to your offices and cosy homes daily due to what can be termed an “evil traffic jam” that cannot be explained as it has become an enigma ossified in a puzzle. The most implicated cause of the hold-up is the very irresponsible manner NNPC fuel tankers and others from different parts of the country are parked along the NPA expressway and move about in the only one-way entrance “SHAGUOLOR” junction that leads not only to the NNPC conglomerates but also to these local communities. Another cause of the traffic jam is

that there are no other outlets or link roads into or out of these NNPC multimillion naira spinning offices, banks and evolving communities, thus making the Shaguolor junction the only way in and out of the nightmare no matter where you are going to or coming from. It is indeed a very painful experience when a journey of less than five minutes to your home or office can take you upwards of two to three hours. In fact no reasonable explanation can be offered or is acceptable in the circumstances as to why NNPC or the state government have declined to address this naughty road hardship question all these years to ameliorate the excruciating pains the residents and motorists have been passing through.

One of the salient facts about NNPC operations in the Niger Delta region is its failure in under taking major social corporate responsibility venture like road construction unlike what obtains in Chevron where it can afford to embark on major developmental projects so long as it would sustain job efficiency and create good working relations with her host communities as in the Chevron Recreation and Clinic road off the NPA expressway. As the dry season approaches, it would make sense, as promised already by Governor Uduaghan to immediately commence job on these areas of stress to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.

Emmanuel Arubi, is resident in Warri

RE-MURDER AT MIDNIGHT: Cultists stab ‘lady, 25, to death, week after graduation Dear Sir,

REJOINDER

T

HE attention of College of Education, Agbor, Delta State has been drawn to a report by Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South on page 25, November 3rd edition of Sunday Vanguard with the above caption, wherein it was reported that: “Radah was allegedly murdered

by assailants suspected to be from College of Education, Agbor, in the house of her aunt at about 2.00am while she was on the ~uame bed with another girl”. The Management of College of Education, Agbor, hereby states tha~u there is no iota of truth in the statement that Radah was allegedly murdered by students of College of Education, Agbor. This is more so as the writer· did not make proper investigation on

the allegation made as his conclusion is based purely on hearsay. The College is therefore demanding an immediate retraction of the allegation in Vanguard Newspaper.

J.K. Aigbogun, Public Relations Officer, For Provost College of Education Agbor Delta State


SUND AY Vanguard , NO VEMBER 17 , 2013, P AGE 23 SUNDA NOVEMBER

Feeling down in the dumps? Book a dirty weekend!

W

HEN last did you enjoy a dirty weekend? A weekend you went away from the mad crowd with only one thing on your mind - to have a surfeit of sex?! A few weeks ago, I ran into Jaiye, a much cherished ‘chop-and-wipemouth’ of years back and recalled a lovely dirty weekend he planned on the spur of the moment a few years ago. A friend had invited him to a wedding in Togo, and I was to come too! A day before the trip, Linda, my younger friend, the ex-stewardess raising a daughter whose father she would never know, dropped in for a chat. She’s currently involved with a much older man who spoilt her rotten. I was happy for her - she deserved all the lucky breaks she could get. When I told her about my weekend away, she snorted. “I hope it works for you,” she told me. “Paul (her new man) took me on a weekend away recently to his country home of all places! The way he talked about the building and its surroundings gave me an impression of a spa, so I eagerly went with him only to discover the place was smack in the middle of nowhere. Nobody lived in it except some few hands at the outhouse who helped on the farm. So all we did was eat, watch video films since the telly couldn’t pick up the signals from most television stations, and have sex - you could scarcely call it love-making. “The man’s penchant for pounded yam is unbelievable. Thank goodness he had a good cook who could

pound the living daylight out of the yam! It was a novelty at first to eat the stuff with fresh vegetables and bush meat but after a couple of times, I got fed up with it. Eating was the next best thing to sex. We scarcely had much to talk about because of the age gap. In the meantime, lover boy, who I’m sure must have come with enough supply of viagra, was for ever pouncing at the slightest opportunity; I couldn’t get away fast enough and it will take a lot of arm-twisting for me to get away for any weekend whatsoever with him. And I must first know the destination!” ,. I assured her Jaiye was nothing of the sort. A bit of a rascal, he is a real adventurer whose escapades bugles the mind. The last time we’d met in London, I was very happy to have a friend around after about a week with my cousin and his wife. He checked in at the Churchill and I didn’t need that much persuasion to move in with him for the five days he spent there. The double room with fresh fruits, assorted chocolates and fluffy towelling robes were welcoming indeed. The next morning, we were still at it hammer and tongs when a key turned in the lock. ‘Who’s that?” we chorused, diving under the bed covers! A maid apologised and quickly shut the door. This happened again twice more, and we were about to complain when we realised that in our eagerness to have fun, the do-not disturb sign was turned inward, leaving a please -

make-the-room sign for the cleaners. The next evening, Jaiye treated my cousin and his wife to dinner which was lovely until he dragged us to a posh wine bar. The bar was all sophistication with the literature on each of its cocktail more interesting than the concoction handed to us. But we were happily slushed by the time we left the bar. We were all walking merrily along in the cold night when Jaiye herded us to a door-way purportedly to watch a film. He paid for the four of us and my jaw almost hit the floor when we saw the film that was playing and the beady eyes of the perverts that were watching. “Blue film!” cackled my cousin as he excitedly took a seat eagerly joined by his wife. I reluctantly sat through a few minutes of the obscenity when I noticed dark images of the fingers of one of the viewers that had been reflected on the screen and dancing all over the nude

bodies. The culprit was my cousin whose wife was now looking disapprovingly at him. I gave Jaiye a nasty nudge and stood up - the men most reluctantly followed. On the way out, they both sniggered suggestively and asked if we wanted to buy any sex toys - the assortment of gadgets on display was enough to make you puke! They were discreetly exhibited in a glass box on the way out - a lot of them looking extremely life-like! The rest of Jaiye’s stay was most enjoyable indeed and he took us to his club on his last night. He had this old-model Mercedes he drove around, courtesy of his associates. Instead of driving straight to the club, however, he parked the car a few blocks away. “The club is posh you know,” he explained, “and members are lords and millionaires. The snooty doorman is bound to look at this claptrap of a car with distaste

and might not ask for it to be parked.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! As we got to the entrance of the club, the doorman, with a posh accent asked for the keys to Jaiye’s car so it could be properly parked. Jaiye told him not to worry, that his chauffeur had gone to park his car! It was the most idiotic thing to do as far as I was concerned and the amount on the bill for our meal and house-champagne as Jaiye produced his credit card, would keep me in luxury for a week if I were to spend it in less up market surroundings! So this Togo trip wouldn’t be boring if Jaiye’s escapades in London were anything to go by! We went in one of his posh cars and he drove. “No matter how loyal your driver is,” he told me, “he’ll sing to ‘madam’ if the bribe is right.” A chronic philanderer indeed. After a few couple of stops on the way for some refreshments, we eventually arrived our destination. A very impressive looking five-star hotel with the presidential suite Jaiye asked for taking almost half of a top floor. “What do we need all this space for?” I asked him. “It’s only for two nights~ ·Darling”, he reasoned, “don’t you want to be spoilt?” Put that way, who was I not to forget my penny-pinching ways? . And spoil me he did. He ordered an elaborate dinner to be served in our suite. So while piped music filled all the rooms, the meal was served by four waiters dressed in’ immaculate white uniforms. I was impressed alright, but didn’t

think all this show of ‘ wealth was necessary. With all that food and good wine, the night was a bliss. Bright and early the next morning” Jaiye was up, asking me to get ready, that we were going to town to do a bit of site-seeing. The town looked dingy after the hotel’s surroundings but we browsed through some interesting shops, bought a few interesting items before Jaiye took me to the local market. He made his way to a shack that was obviously a buka and plunked himself on a bench. We were given curious looks by some of the customers but he ignored them, ordering the local khenki and fish stew and bottles of the local beer’. Talk about jumping from the sublime to the ridiculous: “You can turn up your nose all you like,” said Jaiye with a twinkle in his eyes, “but the food here is good and cheap. An opportunity for you to see how the other half lives here!” I was all for it. I love eating for a start, and the fresh tilapia fish stew in front of me was steaming hot. I dug in with relish! Unfortunately, it almost spoilt my appetite for the wedding feast later in the evening. A very lavish party by that country ’s standard, it wasn’t a patch on the no-holds barred Lagos weddings! It was a well-rested and well-loved me that eventually made my way to my flat at the end of our tryst. So when next you feel down in the dumps, book yourself a dirty weekend!

08052201867(Text Only)

Forward bend posture

A

lady I know once said to me, ''I want to do yoga, but how soon do I start to see results?'' I simply looked her in the eyes and shot back, “about half the time that it has taken you to acquire your excess baggage.” Trouble with most people when they take up some fitness regime to correct what they have allowed to go wrong with their bodies, is the expectation of a miracle - instant results. But, fat bodies like fast food will bring problems in their wake. Apart from the seriousness that accompany crash exercises, there is also the problem of anxiety to be dealt with. I think the best attitude with which to get into a fitness routine is resolving to make it’ a way of life.’

Dr. George Sheehan advises, “become a life long athlete.” What is meant is constancy and diligence in practice. This done, everything w i l l c o m e y o u r w a y, namely, shamefulness, fitness, strength of body and mind, in short, all the good things that a healthy body has to offer. A certain amount of curiosity and a self-help mentality are also very necessary qualities to inculcate into the personality make-up. Read up on good eating and other healthy living habits and seek to make them a part of your life. It is not good to do all the wrong things, then one day look at yourself in the mirror and say: I don’t like what I see, I want a bit off here, a bit off

there, oh, my God, a bit off everywhere, really? The fact that you are reading this means you want a change for yourself. A change for a healthier, more responsive body. Having made the deci-

The Leg Pull

sion, resolve to have the tenacity of purpose. It will be your greatest asset in your bid to improve on your body. With it, your ‘dream’ body will become your ‘ real’ body. The following are some yoga exercises to help you reduce weight, firm thighs and the buttocks. A must for ladies with the problem of cellulite.

The Leg Pull, jausirasana in sanskait, is done this way. ‘Sit with legs stretched out before. Now place the sole of the left foot against the upper inside of the right thigh. Raise both arms overhead. Lean backward as far as possible and coming forward grab hold of whatever part of the right leg you can with both hands. Be careful not to over strain. 'Bend your elbows and pull the trunk slowly downward and at the same time turn the right shoulder downward and the left shoulder upward. Breath slowly and deeply. 'After a comfortable while, release hold and gently straighten up. Perform similar movements with the left leg. Go over from right to left legs three times in all.' Apart, from the ‘self-

massaging’ effect of this posture to deal with cellulite and tension, fatigue are also relieved throughout the legs. The Locust, the next exercise effectively deals with excess weight, firms, streamlines and develops the buttocks, hips, thighs and legs. To perform the Locus, lie face down with the chin on the floor and place the fists on the floor beside the thighs. Breathe in deeply, regaining the breadth, push legs as high as you can. Remain a while like this, then bring down both legs and exhale. Take a short rest and repeat. If it is too difficult raising both legs in one go, take the described position, but raise one leg for a while, lower it, and then repeat with the other leg.

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


PAGE 24—SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

bunmsof@yahoo.co.uk

08056180152,

SMS only

Male infertility is soaring, so why continue to blame the woman?

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HY do male doctors con tinue to lay blame for infertility on women? Do women themselves automatically assume infertility is their fault? Or could the driving factor be that invasive and complex fertility treatment for women are hugely lucrative for those carrying them out? These are questions urgently begging for answers as infertility problems continue to rise. To the outside world, Babalola has an enviable life. Happily married to an attractive medical doctor with a comfortable home and a secure business, he is a father figure to his wife’s six-year old daughter. There is however, a yawning chasm ion Babalola’s life – his wife of four years was not yet pregnant after two years of marriage and it’s all down to his low sperm count. He is part of silent epidemic of male infertility – a problem growing at an alarming rate and one which is now affecting thousands of young, otherwise healthy men. At least one in ten couples now need medical help to have a baby - and for half of them, the problem is the result of poor sperm quality. Infertility specialists fear this growing problem among men is bringing us closer to the day when most couples will need medical help to have a family. Last year, a major French study revealed sperm counts and quality have fallen sharply since the Nineties. The trend is believed to be linked to diet, lifestyle and ‘gender-bending’ chemicals. The researchers, who used data from 126 fertility treatment centres, said their conclusions constitute a ‘serious public health warning’. But what is being done to al-

leviate the problem! For now, it seems, very little. Investigation has shown that most doctors barely address the problem of male infertility, choosing instead to focus on the woman if a couple seek treatment over their inability to conceive. When Babalola and his wife went to their doctor after struggling for two years to conceive, the doctor referred them to a renowned gynaecologist - by definition a specialist in women’s problems, despite the fact that Kofo, Babalola’s wife must have been fertile because she already had a daughter from a previous relationship. Kofo was subjected to several invasive examinations and tests which continued for more than a year and at one stage left her with a dangerous post-operative infection. Unsurprisingly, they all showed she was fully fertile. It was only then that medical attention was directed towards Babalola. It was then tests showed he had a very low sperm count. The couple were at last referred to a male infertility specialist. Babalola was distraught. “If they had checked me at the outset,” he moaned, “they would have saved us money on the expensive tests on my wife”. Sam Abdalla, clinical director of London’s Lister Fertility Clinic, admits he is astonished at the ignorance about male infertility that seems to exist today. According to him: “All the guidelines make it clear you do the basic tests on both partners before you do anything else. I can only think doctors who don’t specialise on fertility just don’t know men are as likely to be infertile as women. On an average, out of the 200 million to 500 million sperm released

during male orgasm, only 50 to 100 will complete the journey to the egg without getting lost or dying from exhaustion. The journey can take up to six days. Only a few dozen will have sufficient strength left to attempt to drill into the egg and only one will make it. This natural selection - ensuring only the healthiest sperm succeed - has propagated the human species for thousands of generations. “It is now failing before our eyes, but the problem remains a taboo which many men - including doctors - find too embarrassing to discuss. It seems they would rather subject women to pointless and instructive tests than risk damaging fragile male ego.” Babalola’s story bears this out. “It was after I was referred for tests that it was discovered there was problem with a blocked duct which meant I wasn’t producing enough sperm. “Thanks to my wife’s medical background, we sought medical help abroad.” Kofo, his wife picked up the story: “Fertility tests routinely per-

formed on women are far more painful and expensive than men’s. Apart from taking blood samples,:to check hormone levels, dye is injected into the ovaries to check eggs are being produced. The womb, the tubes from the ovaries and the ovaries themselves are probed under general anaesthetic using a keyhole surgery, and a different operation may be ordered to scrape tissue from the lining of the womb. . “Men, on the other hand, are often not tested at all until after the women. A lot of doctors don’t really know that much about infertility and it doesn’t occur to them to check the men.. With some couples, the fact that the infertility is due to a male problem may not even be mentioned. Thanks to my old colleagues who are now in specialist hospitals, through whom the most current male infertility treatment called the ICSI - Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm In-

planted and nourished a giant seed of love in my heart. And like the stars at night,you glitter in my heart like the twinkle little stars. Akachukwu Ferdinand, 08063819314

TEN WAYS TO LOVE

Y

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: sunlovenotes@yahoo.com Please mark your envelope: “LOVE NOTES"

One in a million

I may love to change many things in my life but I will never change my love for you,for you have

(1) LISTEN without INTERRUPTING (Proberbs 18) (2) SPEAK WITHOUT ACCUSING (James 1:19) (3) GIVE without SPARING (Proverbs 21:26) (4) PRAY WITHOUT CEASING (Colossians 1:9) (5) ANSWER without ARGUING (Proverbs 17:1) (6) SHARE without PRETENDING (Ephesians 4:15) (7) ENJOY without COMPLAINT (Phillipians 2:14) (8) TRUST without WAVERING (Corinthians 13:2) (9) FORGIVE without PUNSHING (Colossians 3:13) (10) PROMISE without FORGETTING (Proverbs

jection - was used. Here a semen sample is scanned under a highpower microscope by a technician searching for a single healthy sperm to be injected directly into the woman’s egg in the laboratory. Thank God the treatment worked for us resulting in our two twin sons.” So why is male infertility on the rise? According to Sheena Lewis, Professor of reproductive medicine: “The number of men with infertility problems is growing rapidly. It is no longer a personal issue, it is a major public health issue. Environmental factors must be the cause, and if we don’t check out what they are and do something, the problem will accelerate. Evidence showing that sperm concentrations had halved since the Forties first began to emerge 20 years ago. Since then, an avalanche of other research has shown sperm quality deteriorating year on year. Incidence of cancer of the genital organs in young men has also inexplicably doubled since the Seventies. Research published only last month shows more than one in 20 baby boys is now born with undescended testis, trebling the risk of testicular cancer which usually strikes in young adulthood and often results in infertility. “Chronic unfitness and obesity can also sabotage the reproductive capacity of men, and long-term harm from cigarettes can be passed from smoking father to nonsmoking son. It’s also known that by-products from the plastic that mimic the effects of female hormones are damaging to sperm, as are by-products from car pollution.” Another big cause of the infertility epidemic is the cult of selffulfillment. On one hand, we are now in-

creasingly promiscuous, suffering epidemics of Chlamydia and other sexually-transmitted diseases that affect fertility. On the other hand, couples are leaving attempts to become parents later and later, allowing age and increased exposure to lifestyle and risk factors to take their toll. A different kind of high?! (Humour) As the man wakes up from a routine operation to have his tonsils removed, he sees a group of doctors standing around his bed. “What’s wrong?” he asks nervously, looking at their solemn faces. “I’m afraid there’s been a mix-up in taking your tonsils out, we’ve given you a sex change operation instead. We’ve taken away your penis and given you a vagina.”: “Oh no!” Wails the man, “this is dreadful. It means I’ll never experience another erection”. “Now, hold on a minute,” replies the surgeon, “that’s not necessarily true. You can experience another erection. It’s just won’t be yours.” When the price is right (Humour) A man and a woman are sitting in a hospital corridor waiting to be called. They strike up a conversation. “I’m here to give blood,” she says, “It’s N2,000 a pint, what about you?” “I’m here to donate sperm,” he answers, “it’s NI0,000 each time.” “Oh really,” she says looking thoughtful. Some weeks later, the same two people meet again at the hospital. “Have you come to give some more blood?” asks the man. “Uh, Uh,” she says, shaking her head and keeping her mouth closed.

13:2) Chris Onunaku 08032988826/08184844015.

Chris Onunaku dekris4real@gmail.com 08032988826/08184844015.

My only woman

Do you know that the twenty four hours in a day is not enough to spend my love with you, one week is not sufficient for me to enjoy the world with you. Ten years is still not enough to live with you. Each time I'm with you I wish time could be timeless, let it not rotate, let it not click, let us just be there swimming in the ocean of our love. I love you. Kelechi Ndubisi (KC) Kconeofafrica@gmail.com, 08032900530


SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 25

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*Natives turned refugees by conflict

BENUE MASSACRE

Blood, tears trail surprise assault that killed dozens *How children, women escaped - Eye witness By PETER DURU, Makurdi

T

he unrestrained incursions of Fulani herdsmen into parts of Benue State of late, has left, in its trail, sorrow, and free flow of tears and blood in the affected communities. Though the recurrent crisis dates back to over three decades, the recent bloodbath in parts of Agatu, Guma, Gwer West and Makurdi local government areas of the state has left a huge death toll in the communities which could be estimated at well over 450. The besieged communities have also continued to count their losses in terms of destroyed farmlands, economic trees, houses, huts and farm produce. From Obagaji to Naka, Guma to Makurdi, its tales of woes, destruction and decimation of families and their sources of livelihood. Women, children and the elderly are not spared in the theater of war that has no respect for the sanctity of human life. Investigations showed that the attackers, who engage mercenaries. invade Benue from neigbouring Nasarawa state from where they strike their targets in guerrilla style and beat a retreat to their safe

The latest attack came two days after some assailants struck Ikpele and Okpopolo communities in the same Agatu, killing seven persons and displacing over 6,000 farmers haven. persons were killed by The attacks have led to the emergence of refugee camps at Daudu, Oshigbudu, Obagaji and Omola in Kogi State. Bothered by the carnage, Benue State government and it’s counterpart in Nasarawa, only recently, convened a peace meeting in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, where a truce was called and a peace treaty signed by the state governors. That particular peace meeting came on the heels of similar peace meeting at Yelwata where the feuding parties agreed to sheath their sword. Despite these efforts, the crisis seemed to have defied truce. The crisis took a frightening dimension when, penultimate Saturday, over 36

suspected herdsmen who overran seven villages in Agatu local government area of Benue State. The latest attack came two days after some assailants struck Ikpele and Okpopolo communities in the same Agatu, killing seven persons and displacing over 6,000 farmers. Reacting to the penultimate Saturday incident, a native of one of the attacked communities, who preferred anonymity, tearfully told Sunday Vanguard: “They (Fulanis) took us unawares, they invaded our villages from Loco in Nasarawa State and Omola local government area of Kogi State. “But as I speak to you, well over 36 persons have been killed on our own side while

*Chief Abomste many are missing; the situation on ground is horrible; women, children and the elderly have all fled the communities to safety.” When contacted, the Benue State Commissioner for Works and Transport, John Ngbede, an indegene of the area, confirmed the attack which came barely 24 hours after he decried persistent bloodbath in his community. Ngbede said, “Apart from killing unarmed farmers, the invaders also engaged in the burning down of houses, farmlands and economic trees; the truth is that the unrestrained incursions is taking its toll on our people.” In his reaction, member representing Agatu constituency at the Benue State House of Assembly, Sule Audu, said seven villages had been sacked while many had been killed and several persons missing. According to him, the villages affected in the latest attack include Ello, Okpagabi, Ogwule-Ankpa, Ogbangede, Ekwo, Enogaje and Okpanchenyi. While lamenting the lack of adequate security presence in

the communities, the lawmaker said, “Only few soldiers are on ground who don’t even have mobility to match the strength of the invaders. The herdsmen come in large numbers, sometimes they are over 5, 000, spreading across all the communities and unleashing terror on my people without resistance. “We hear that their next target is Oshugbudu. You can imagine what less than 40 soldiers on ground can do to stop armed invaders numbering up to 5,000”. In his reaction, however, the Benue Secretary of Myetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of N i g e r i a (MACBAN), an umbrella body of Fulani herdsmen in the state, Alhaji Garus Gololo, debunked the claim that the invaders were members of his group. Gololo said that since a reconciliation committee was set up by the Ochi’ Idoma to broker peace between the herders and Agatu natives, there had never been a reason for them to fight. He said, “I don’t know which people are attacking Agatu in recent times. We don’t have any Fulani person currently residing in the area and, as I have said earlier, we need peace, so it couldn’t have been my people”. In his reaction, Chief Daniel Abomste, the paramount ruler of Tyoshin kingdom, an area bordering Agatu, said, “The solution to these senseless killings is for government to create grazing routes for herdsmen in this country. “It is only when that is done that the herdsmen, who now move around with sophisticated weapons, will be confined to a particular area for grazing, but, if that is not done, we might not see an end to this unimaginable carnage in our hinterlands.” Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, a deputy superintendent, Daniel Ezeala, confirmed that there was escalated fighting in Agatu. He, however, assured that a combined team of the police and army had been drafted to the flash points.


PAGE 26 — SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

08116759757

Warri is now safe, come and invest – Kes Agbosa, Chair, Rebirth Initiative

Group plans first fiesta in Dec to celebrate newfound peace EMMA AMAIZE, Regional Editor, South

M

R. Kes Agbosa is the Chairman of Warri Rebirth Ini-

tiative, WRI, a group of Warri boys and girls, between the ages of 40 to 70 years, who came mutually in 2009 to reconstruct the appealing affection and concord that existed among the diverse ethnic groups in Warri between the 1950s and 1970s. Chiefly, the non-political organization wants to reposition Warri for human, communal and infrastructural expansion. Agbosa, aka Original Warri boy, spoke to Sunday Vanguard on how the idea of the Initiative came about and the focus in years to come. Excerpts: What is the Warri Rebirth Initiative all about? Warri Rebirth Initiative was actually set up to address and build upon the love among Warri boys and girls. It was four years ago when one of us lost his life and we all came together to do the burial, we saw that the love that we enjoyed in Warri when we were born has been lost by the tragic events of the ethnic crises that engulfed the two. But at this point, we came together as one again and the love that we exuded made us come together to start off what we now refer to as Warri Rebirth Initiative to relieve the love and unity among the ethnic nationalities in Warri as one family. That is living together, knowing that in unity, we will always progress but in disunity, you will always fall,

hence we decided to come together again. So, four years on, how have the spirit of the old Warri been rekindled among the residents? Well, it is effervescent, we have been having quarterly meetings and if you attend any of the meetings, you will see what I am talking about, the attendance cuts across all ethnic nationalities in Warri- Urhobo, Itsekiri, Ijaw, Igbo, Isoko, Yoruba, name it, they all attend, just like Warri boy. Even at our executive meetings, held twice a month, you see the multiplicity of membership, I think in that respect, I think we have taken a long stride in bringing the family back together in one house. In Nigeria and beyond, many view Warri as a temperamental oil city and until date, this image is still there, how is WRI trying to rewrite the name of Warri? You see, I must say that this impression is erroneous, no Warri boy or girl is a troublemaker. It is our belief that the ethnic problems that came up that time were the handiwork of outsiders. No Warri boy or girl was involved in such thing; no people who love themselves so much will carry arms against themselves. That is why today when you attend our meetings, you find these same people in love. Those who caused the problems have left this town. Therefore, it is wrong to hold that Warri is a troublesome place. Not in the least, the troublemakers have left here, that is why we are together again. You appear to be propounding another theory of happened during the Warri crisis; we thought it was a clear case of brothers killing brothers? Truly, it is strangers that came to foment

trouble in this town, really, if you into the records, how many Warri boys do you see that were detained for any such offence, none, none was detained. If they were involved in killing themselves, why was none of them was detained, none of them, that is the truth of the matter. Beyond the reunion meetings and all that, how is the group facilitating development of Warri? You see, we have been involved in trying to make a mega city out of Warri for some time, but we have discovered that it is a very gigantic project. In any case, we now feel that it is better to have people who know about these things to come, invest, and improve on the town. As I talk with you, we are in the process of registering Warri Rebirth Foundation, a Non Governmental Organization that will attract investors to come and do physical development in Warri. Actually, this one of the ways we are looking at and secondly, we are talking with other Warri boys and girls, who have a way to address some things in the Warri development scheme. People expect patriarchs and prominent leaders like the Olu of Warri, Chief Edwin Clark and others to be part of the Warri Rebirth Initiative for people to know that the talk about relieving the old Warri has penetrated deeply, where are they in the project? Frankly, we have been building the foundation of the formidable house all these while, thank God, the foundation is now ready, now we have to move up.

'W e tteac eac h culture, ccharact haract er and 'We each haracter confidence in CKA' BY ALADE AROMASHODU HE City of Knowledge Academy (CKA) has promised to T provide excellent co-educational

academic facilities benchmarked to world standards. Children in the secondary school are provided leadership training, ethical orientation as well as academic grooming in an excellent environment of Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. Founder of the school, Mrs BeloOlusoga, said, during a media tour, that CKA would lay emphasis on good upbringing that is appreciative of the Nigerian culture. “With ethical pillars of culture, character and confidence, CKA is determined to begin a quality cultural re-orientation that would spur pupils’ interest in indigenous values”, she said. “The school management would enhance social awareness, conscience, empathy, diligence and academic excellence, while developing mind, wealth, among the pupils. The pupils are selected future leaders with the capacity to bring lasting positive change within Nigeria and the world.” Belo-Olusoga cautioned that financial status alone will not guarantee pupils admission, as the

school will assess whether the parents and pupils share their ethical goals for making a significant positive impact on the world. “Culture is a huge part of our heritage that has been taken for granted in the quest to provide quality and well rounded education for Nigerian children. So, while much emphasis has consistently been placed on the provision of infrastructure, educational resources, qualified teachers including curriculum content, this (culture) important tool that could be used to bring about development has been neglected. We should revive our basic moral values of honesty, respect, hard work and integrity,” she said. “For me, culture and integrity are really important. You have children, who can’t speak their local languages; who don’t know the meaning of their names. Our children will be confident about who they are. By the time a person finishes from CKA, you will know that this is a well brought up individual who is morally sound and has empathy and can stand his ground with any child from anywhere in the world”. In her submission, Ms Biola

Lamikanra, Head of School, noted that school rules will not be sacrificed to satisfy any parent’s whims. She went on: “I have been a teacher for a very long time. I am totally confident and there is no parent I will allow to do things we do not allow.” On professionalism on the part of the teachers and staff, Lamikanra opined that CKA has employed the services of the ‘best of the best’ teachers whose careers have taken them to the top schools in Nigeria and internationally in addition to teaching a combination of the Nigerian and British curricula, adding that “CKA pupils will be required to learn vocational subjects.” She restated the school’s plan to present education in a new, exciting and interesting way by introducing innovations. She went on: “In line with British curriculum, they will take the checkpoints and the IGCSE examinations in Year 9 (JSS3) and 12 (SS3). She added that the school plans to run A Levels, and would ultimately switch to the International Baccalaureate (IB)” she added. In a chat with Mr. Abayomi Owodunni, a parent of a pupil who was present during the media tour, he praised the school management for the vision, saying he had made the best choice for enrolling his son in the school.

CKA Founder with a handful of students

SEPLA T brings e SEPLAT eyye care tto o oil and gas festival

P

articipants at this year’s edition of the annual conference of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) were pleasantly surprised when they were offered free eye checks by Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc. Seplat, through the team of medical

personnel it provided at its stand, attended to over 200 people over a 2 day period during the conference. Most callers at their stand, which was besieged immediately word spread, received counselling, eye drops, medication and reading glasses all at no cost. The company noted in a statement made available to us that it decided to provide free eye checks “because we have been carrying out the same programme with huge successes in our areas of operation under the hugely popular SEPLAT EYE CAN SEE PROGRAMME, one of our key CSR programmes. We believe that the eyes are the windows to the soul and this initiative extends our CSR interventions in this regard.” Seplat, which has in the space of 3 years, emerged as the largest indigenous oil producer has made significant investments that will position her as the biggest gas producer participated in this year's NAPE conference and exhibition which started at Eko Hotel on November 10 and ran till November

14th. The company was event sponsor of the registration booth and the Ice breaker cocktail.

'A child's future dependent on solid educational foundation' By CHRISTOPHER NJOKU tudents have been urged to inculcate a reading habit at their early age in order S to prevent future learning problems. This was

disclosed by Mr. Odubowale Joseph, the guest speaker at the matriculation ceremony of Loral International Boarding Nursery and Primary School, Igbesa. Joseph noted that children read less and, because of that, they get less information, saying that they spend most of their time watching television or staying on the internet, and most of them do not seek right information. “Nigeria is a country with so many resources, but until you read and discover some of these resources, you may remain on the same level. That is why students are encouraged to read more so that they can lead others,”the guest speaker stated. He observed that parental activities also affect children. “Parents do not have time for their children. They need to spend time with their children, learn and understand them before they would know how to help the children. They should not force a child to read, as that would destroy the moral of the children. The government also needs to bring more emphases on reading; they could go to schools and mapout some measures of rewarding children who set out special time in reading. If government can come up with programmes such as reading competition, give the children some set of books, also give them time to read ahead, then later evaluate them. This will encourage other children to read,” he said. The headmistress of Loral International Boarding School, Mrs. Obiagelli Oraka, explained that 47 pupils are inducted to the school which is “a home away from home”. The matriculating students are admitted into nursery one to primary six. Today, we are also barging our new prefects,” Orako said. According to her, Loral is a school designed to meet the developmental need of the children, to enable them fulfill their destinies. “A child's future depends on solid educational foundation,” she added.


SUNDAY

Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 27

How TAC helps Nigeria’s foreign policy in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific — Osunyikanmi •‘Drop in graduates’ quality affecting demand for volunteers’ BY VICTORIA OJEME The Director General of the Directorate of Technical Aid Corps (TAC), Mr Pius Olakunle Osunyikanmi, speaks on the mandate of the

body

Nigerians are not aware of what Technical Aid Corps is all about. What is its mandate? The Technical Aid Corps is almost like the outward expression of Nigeria’s foreign policy. Nigeria’s foreign policy has essentially, as its centre piece, Africa, and, of course, prior to the establishment of the Technical Aid Corps, Nigeria has always, through the frame work of its African brotherliness, been of assistance to brotherly African countries through cash donations. But ,over time, the issue of accountability and profiting arising from this cash donation became contentious. Nigeria’s policy formulators thought it wise that there was a need to re work the entire framework of assistance to brotherly African countries or needy countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. That was what essentially led to the creation of the Technical Aid Corps, so it was a movement away from cash donation to provision of manpower needs to recipient countries but, in terms of the foreign policy outlook, this comes in form of concrete donations, concrete outward expression of Nigeria’s foreign policy. Most times foreign policy is talked in the abstract format but here is the concrete expression; expressing the Nigerian foreign policy in flesh and blood; now you have young elements from the country, well educated, well schooled being sent out as ambassadors of the nation, sent to also look into the development challenges of brotherly African countries and also in the process of trying to contribute their quota to reverse the intensity of poverty in these locations. So it is an expression of Nigeria’s foreign policy. Since its creation, how many volunteers have been posted out under this scheme? Since 1986, we would probably be talking of a figure in the neighbourhood of fifteen to sixteen thousand In the average; we have between four hundred, five hundred volunteers that are sent round. Remember this is based on request from recipient countries and so the number of volunteers is determined by the request from recipient countries. The average we send is about five hundred to six hundred every year, I do hope in the current year we would be increasing the M

any

•Osunyikanmi ...We face the challenge of poor awareness number to about a thousand, a thousand two hundred because there seems to be a kind of renewed interest and I think from their perception of the change in leadership in Nigeria and the current policy orientation of the country. Which region or countries has hosted members of the corps most? Africa is the centre piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy and of course we also know that there are some development challenges in Africa. From East Africa o Southern Africa to North Africa and Central Africa, of course arising from the developmental challenges of these African nations, it follows therefore that one could reason that there will be a lot of huge gap in manpower requirement and they have taken the advantage of the program; human resource in Nigeria to leverage on the Technical Aid Corps to a very large extent, the bulk of our volunteers serve in a number of these African countries but our focus covers the Caribbean as well as the Pacific; in other words, we have volunteers in countries like Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago. Since its creation, have there been any instances were TAC participants were deported by host countries on account of misconduct? Well they are very few incidences arising from recipient countries working not

in terms with the relevant agreement through which volunteers are posted to their countries. We have similar issue with Zambia where a number of our volunteers were not treated in line with the accepted agreement but that is always far in -between and we have enough at hand to look into the framework of the agreement. In Zambia for example we had an experience where a medical

between Nigeria and their host countries. What challenges do you face in managing Technical Aid Corps and what are the programme you have marked out? There are quite a number of challenges, particularly the challenge of trying to bring about the quality of the program. In the past, countries were falling over themselves to receive volunteers based on the fact that the quality of volunteers then was exceptional and very high and the process through which they were recruited was competitive, but, over time, there seemed to be a sort of drop in quality. And we have a few challenges to be able to restore that quality. That is one; the other challenge is to be able to meet the manpower requirements of recipient countries. They are moving away from the traditional middle level manpower to demand for top level manpower. For example, in the medical field, they are moving away from requesting for general practitioners to requesting for consultants. Of course, even though our framework of agreement does not preclude us from sending consultants, the token we currently pay volunteers will not be sufficient for such top level manpower. So we are working on our structure to be able to create another level of platform where we would be able to deliver this top level of manpower required in line with the request of the recipient country. Perhaps the biggest of all the challenges would be to get the people of Nigeria as well as the recipient countries to be well

In the past, countries were falling over one another to receive volunteers based on the fact that the quality of volunteers then was exceptional and very high and the process through which they were recruited was competitive. But, over time, there seemed to have been a sort of drop in quality

doctor was served a deportation notice but again the Nigeria government through the Nigerian nation was quick to draw the attention of the Zambian government to the fact that these people are there on their request and and we demanded that they operate within the framework of that agreement and of course Zambian had to withdraw the deportation notice served on the volunteer. But this is just one of the very few incidences arising from perhaps over-zealous officials who would be probably unaware of the agreement

aware of the framework of our operation. Over time, there seems to be less interest or knowledge of what we actually do or what Technical Aid Corps is all about. But again we also believe it is the challenge that we would be able to tackle by aggressive publicity getting the people to really know what TAC is all about and the benefit to the nation as well as the benefit to the recipient countries, getting the host countries to know part of the technical assistant offered from Nigeria to them and they should also see it within

the framework of Nigeria/Africa brotherliness. As a non- career diplomat, how do you withstand high politicians interfering in the scheme? You also need a little political influence to be able to tackle political interference but it is also good I left from a position of political importance for this place. I would be able to explain to the politicians on why we need to keep to what the standard should be and being from their stock they should be able to understand. What is important is that we make the process clear enough for everybody to understand what the requirements are and the procedure to follow. Once this is clea,r of course, it will be difficult for anyone to have cause to compromise this standard because they would be ascertainably and we will insist that everyone complies.

How do you manage the relationship between you and the ministry of foreign affairs since you are not an insider? If you consider me as an outsider you may not be totally correct; remember that I served as special adviser on international relations for two years; I have had a good and extensive work relationship with top officials of the ministry. Yes I am not a career diplomat but I have a lot of experience and claim to the foreign policy dimension of the Nigeria state. What is important is for you to understand the structure of the ministry and to also understand the principle behind the formation of this directorate. You must also understand the fact that this directorate does not exist the way other agencies exist in relation to their supervising ministries. This is the implementation arm of the ministry of foreign affairs and by extension it is like the second arm of the ministry of foreign affairs; so our activities are integrated, closely linked with the activities of the ministry of foreign affairs. So there is no way we would be able to divorce our activities but again my knowledge of the structure in the ministry and my personal relationship and working knowledge of the directorate puts me in a very lead position to be able to build a sort of union between our activities here and the activities of the ministry.


PAGE 28 — SUND AY SUNDA

Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013,

STAND-OFF IN SOUTH - WEST OVER NATIONAL CONFERENCE

The convener is insincere — Lai Mohammed BY DAPO AKINREFON

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LHAJI Lai Mohammed, the Interim National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in this interview, lampoons those criticizing the party for opposing the proposed National Conference. He explains why the APC had decided not to throw its weight behind the conference. Excerpts: Mixed reactions have greeted the proposed National Conference and your party has been in the forefront of those against it. What informed this decision? Anybody who read our statement will not be in doubt of our position. Firstly, we said we are not against any genuine, honest attempt to discuss the Nigerian question. However, we refuse to be taken for a ride when the convener is insincere, without credibility and is confused. The greatest obstacle to this conference is the credibility of the convener. The convener had robustly defended his position on why there should be no National Conference. He found an ally in the National Assembly, in the sense that the Nigerian people have spoken via the 2011 elections and sovereignty lies in the elected representatives at the various levels. Now, all of a sudden, the president found himself enmeshed in a corruption scandal, security challenges, unemployment, ASUU strike, decayed infrastructure and he saw his ranking plummeting to its lowest ebb. He was then advised by his spin doctors that the only way out of quagmire is to give to Nigerians a Greek gift. Most progressives are thrilled with the idea of a National Conference. But they also made it clear that whatever National Conference we are going to have, must be sovereign. Again, his local advisers saw the rising profile of the APC and saw the opportunity to throw a clog in the wheels of the APC by dangling the carrot of the National Conference. Their thought was clearly to divide the APC along North and South. Don’t forget that the South-west has been clamouring for a Sovereign

National Conference, while the North, before, was adamant if there was going to be any National Conference, it will be sudden. We said we are not against any genuine attempt to solve the national question, so we support the National Conference provided the convener is sincere. But we now said that in this instance, it is clear that the convener is insincere because he does not have an agenda. When the convener first raised the issue, the day he was swearing in the Advisory Committee, he called it national conversation but while the committee was boasting to everybody that there will be no, no, go areas and that it was going to be a genuine National Conference, the president threw in the dabbler that the outcome of the conference will be subjected to the approval of the National Assembly reducing the whole thing to constitutional amendment. So, how do you expect us as a political party to sign in to this kind of deception and diversionary tactics on the part of the president? The antecedents of the past National Conferences are pointers to the fact that anytime a sitting president calls for a National Conference or whatever name, he has only one thing in mind. It is either to perpetuate himself in office, like the case of Babangida, transmit from a military president to a civilian, like the case of Abacha, or seek to elongate his tenure like Obasanjo. At the end, nothing happened. We will probably support a National Conference where the convener is sincere and where he is not confused and that will be subjected to a national referendum. But it should have been expected that the APC governors and some leaders of the party especially from the South-west will consult with eminent personalities within the geo-political zone before taking their decision because the impression being created is that they are acting the script of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu? Is the APC a South-west party? How many governors are in the APC? There are 11 governors, how many of them

*Mohammed...Jonathan pandering to spin doctors are from the South-west? Only five. Some people are deliberately ingenious and because they want to arrive at a conclusion, they overlook their fault? How do you think, for instance, that Asiwaju could rail road people like Tom Ikimi, Buhari, Modu Sheriff, Yerima, Shekarau, Fashola, Al-Makura, Shettima, and others into taking a position? The APC governors met and deliberated over this, came to the party and gave the party their position on the matter. We are not the only group that has given reasons this conference should not hold. I

the National Assembly, so people should think. The argument of those in support is that if a conference is not held before 2015, it might be dangerous for us to conduct another election considering the crisis situation in the North? What has changed between 2011 and today?Was Boko Haram not existing in 2011? Was there no corruption in 2011? I think it is quite ingenious to say that if the National Conference is not held between now and 2015, elections will be impossible to conduct. Of course that exposes the agenda of Mr President that he does not

How do you think, for instance, that Asiwaju could rail road people like Tom Ikimi, Buhari, Modu Sheriff, Yerima, Shekarau, Fashola, AlMakura, Shettima, and others into taking a position? think we should make a distinction between a political party and an ethnic nationality. The advisory committee has been going round holding town hall meetings and this is gaining momentum... If it is gaining momentum, that means it is becoming popular. Is there any way that the APC can stop anyone that wants to attend the conference? If the government comes out with a position today and says this is how you are going to elect your members of the National Conference, what are we going to do? All we can is not participate, we cannot stop it. We have never said people should not go, all we are saying is that we do not believe in the sincerity of the convener, it is a waste of time and even the convener has said at the beginning that whatever you say will be subjected to the approval of

want elections at all. If he does not want elections, all he needs to do is say that he is bound to popular demand that the conference will be sovereign and will be subjected to a national referendum and that whatever they say is final. But of course he will not say that because he is not sincere. In all the other National Conferences we have held before, the president comes up with an agenda first, he does not set a committee to go and look for the agenda. But he is now saying that we Nigerians are the ones to set up the agenda. The leadership of the APC has been going round to meet with some leaders of the New PDP, but there is this insinuation that it is a plan to sell the rights of the Yoruba to the North... When did it become unconstitutional for a group to meet

with other Nigerians? There is only one purpose why political parties are formed, it is to form government. We do not form government by excluding some people, we form government, especially in Nigeria where you have multi-cultural values, multireligious values and multiethnic nationalities and that is all we have done. We are not stretching our hand of friendship to a particular geopolitical zone. During our visit, we also mentioned it that those who are propagating that message are mischievous. Is it not an open secret that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was the choice of the North? That time they were not selling Yoruba to the North. Are Rotimi Amaechi, Rochas Okoroacha and Adams Oshiomhloe from the North? And of course, we are not limiting our visit to the the seven governors, we are continuing our meeting to other major stakeholders of this country. It is not only these seven governors that we are going to visit because we are on a rescue mission and, if you want to rescue this country, you better forget about ethnicity because if this country sinks, every ethnic group will sink with it. Is it true that APC manifesto states that you will abide by the dictates of the 1999 Constitution and that you prefer it to a National Conference? Any political party that does not recognize the Nigerian Constitution as the ground norm of all our laws is not a political party because we all derive our laws from the Constitution. It is in the Constitution that we can form political parties. For us, the Nigerian constitution is sacrosanct, what that means is that we shall do nothing to undermine the constitution. If tomorrow, there is a new Constitution, we will still be bound by it. So, I think they are stretching things too far to say that because the APC says that the Nigerian Constitution is sacred, we are not going to support the National Conference. In any event, at the time our manifesto was put in place, did anybody ever think that the president was going to talk about National Conference? The manifesto was put in place in February this year, we submitted our manifesto to INEC in May. So, I will say those saying that are stretching things too far. But you agree that the Constitution needs thorough amendment. We are the foremost in arguing that the Constitution is not perfect, we are the foremost in arguing for a branded federalism. Our point is that we do not believe in the sincerity of the convener of this National Conference. All this is about credibility, it is not about the concept but about the convener himself. The credibility of the convener is at stake and he has even confirmed our fears by not having a single agenda.


SUND AY SUNDA

Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 29

STAND-OFF IN SOUTH - WEST OVER NATIONAL CONFERENCE

APC is standing against the people — Odumakin BY DAPO AKINREFON Mr Yinka Odumakin is the National Publicity Secretary of the Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere. In this interview, he takes a swipe at the All Progressive Congress, APC, for kicking against the National Confer-

ence proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan. Excerpts:

In recent times, you have taken a decision that is favorably disposed to the National Conference proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan. What is the basis of your optimism? Dr Tunji Braithwaite said at the town hall meeting recently, that the conference is a divine agenda to perhaps give Nigeria a lease of life because Nigeria, as it is, is heading for the precipe. Next year will be our centenary celebration and there is a widespread mood among those who are frustrated with the way Nigeria has distorted the aspiration of its people. And that may be the year to put an end to Nigeria. Here is President Goodluck Jonathan who, two years ago, said there was no need for a National Conference. All of a sudden, he changed his mind. I think it is something that all those who want this country to continue, who love this country and who believe that there is an alternative for this country before it disintegrates, should grab with both hands to ensure that we sit down for the first time in our history since 1914 that we were amalgamated to discuss this nation. The North and South did not meet until 1946, though amalgamation took place in 1914. There is a structural imbalance. So, this conference has given us an opportunity for the component units of the country to come together, for the first time, and discuss their union of how they want to live together so that we can live in peace and harmony. The suspicion is that President Jonathan has been stifled by the North, which is clamouring for power and that his sudden change of mind is spurred by the fact that he wants power in 2015. Well, sceptics are free to their opinions and I think the issue is that the credibility of President Jonathan is at stake or that he wants power but I think that should not be the consideration of those who love this country. It

*Odumakin ...APC not in politics for the people is just the fact that he has provided a window for reforms and we should turn that window into a door. I have said it before that the fears of the cynics is that they doubt Jonathan’s intention and also that they do not want Nigeria restructured. The major groups, given that the Okunrounmu panel has been going round the country, there is an emerging consensus that every section of Nigeria wants a conference. There may be divergence on how we should compose and there is the consensus that representation should be on the basis of nationalities. There is a kind of understanding that the existing geopolitical zones should be used as basis for representation. Every section of this country has accepted the conference but the only people who are against this conference are the All Progressive Congress. What informed your allegation? It shows that they are in politics not for the people but about themselves. I think they have this thinking that this is their best time to go to the centre. They have been recruiting people from the Peoples Democratic Party which they said was a corrupt and useless party, they have been going round to meet governors to join them. There are some delusions in their approach, they must be poor students of history to think that they can vote any sitting president out of office. So for a group of people to think that one man will be in charge of the armed forces and they will still defeat him, I want to see them making that history. More importantly, people, over the years, have been talking about true federalism and the rest this is an opportunity for us to achieve that,and to now begin to raise all kinds of excuses to frustrate the desire of our people to get out of bondage shows one thing, they want to lead the people they do not understand. It takes the Yoruba people to come to a consensus on any issue but once they come to that consensus, it will be difficult to change position. Those who did it in the First Republic saw it, those who followed Abacha in 1993 to 1999, what happened to them? From the 1950s, what the Yoruba have fought for is Nigeria’s autonomy, true federalism, now they want to

have that autonomy and some people want to stand on their way and say they cannot have it saying they should wait till after the 2015 election. They are deceiving our people. Go and ask for the APC manifesto today, it is there that they are committed to the same Constitution that enslaves our people. So if they say we should wait till after election, who are they deceiving, when they have written in their manifesto that they are committed to the existing Constitution? They just want to do ‘Gbajue’ for our people or one chance. And our people will not fall for that. From what happened in Akure and Lagos, it was clear that there was no organisation in Yoruba land that is not in support of this conference. Afenifere, Yoruba Unity Forum, OPC – everybody was there! It was clear where we are. So they are standing against the people and I watch

the conference. That in Ekiti State, a Kayode Fayemi would not think that: what does Chief Afe Babalola or Wole Olanipekun think about this matter? Let this conference hold, after that, you will come and face the Yoruba people. How do you think this conference can be useful such that the Yoruba race can make the best out of it? Of the tripod in Nigeria, Yoruba is the only one that has never questioned the corporate existence of Nigeria. After the legislative crisis of 1946, the Sadauna was quoted to have said “the mistake of 1914 has come to fore”, that is the amalgamation was a mystic. And in the revenge coup of 1966, the theme was ‘Araba’, lets divide Nigeria. In fact, after the 1953 motion by Enahoro for independence, the North came out with their own agenda which amounted to nothing but confederation.

They just want to do ‘Gbajue’ (to deceive) for our people or one chance. And our people will not fall for that them and laugh. One man came in the plane, he had not even stepped down from the plane and he said he does not want the conference and all of you now say that is the thing. Were the present governors in Yorubaland the same governors in Yorubaland in 1999? How can we talk about constitutional development and issue for Nigeria and some people, who are governors in the Southwest, would not think they should consult their leaders those who are the authorities in their states? That Fashola would not even ask Mr. Tunji Braithwaite: ‘Sir, what do you think about this matter? before taking sides with a man who just jumped down from the plane, who has not talked to anybody? That in Ogun State, Governor Ibikunle Amosun would not go to Kola Ajibola, a former Attorney-General, a former World Court judge ‘what do you think sir, about this matter?’ before following a man who just came from the plane and was takling about

When the Igbo got frustrated, they took up arms against Nigeria for three and a half years. In fact, at every point, in spite of what they did to Awolowo between 1960 and 1965, Yoruba never took arms against Nigeria, to say let us divide the country. For five years, we engaged Abacha; there was no resolution that we should divide Nigeria. So we believe Nigeria can prosper through federalism and Yoruba will be going to the conference asking for true federalism and regional autonomy. That is what we want out of this conference because we know the benefits and we know that dangers of not having it. Any experiment with a unitary Constitution in a multi-ethnic and multi-lingua nation is bound to fail. And if you are in doubt, go to Sudan two major nationalities on unitary constitution were at war for over 50 years. In Cyprus; the Spanish speaking and the Turkish speaking, for over 1,000 years

they have been together, there is still tension. In Syria today, the Kurds have been asking for autonomy for a long time. Even the problem in Iraq was because the one million Kurds there were asking for autonomy. Yugoslavia has disappeared from the world map since 1991. So we believe that for Nigeria not to disintegrate, we need to come together, understand ourselves and then constitute ourselves in a way that we can live together in peace and harmony. Why Nigeria is not working is that it is said that the speed of a convoy is that of the slowest moving vessel. That is, if you have ten vessels and there is one among them that does not have locomotion like the rest, that will be the speed of that convoy; except the others get frustrated and decide to break away from that convoy, they will continue to move at the same speed. That is what Nigeria has been doing in 53 years, because we are not exposed to the same level of speed at the same time. Between 1955 and 1965 when Awolowo led Western Nigeria, the least we spent on education was 29.8 percent in any year. There was even a time he spent 41 percent. Now suddenly you came and say you want...unitarism - you want to standardise - you want all of us who have not invested that kind of money to go at the same pace. So for as long as your son cannot score 200 in JAMB, my son who scores 201 does not have a place in the university whereas your own son who scored 100, because he is not from my area where I’ve invested in education over a long time, must go to the university while there is no space for my own. The second thing, it is said that birds of identical pulmage flock together. That is the normal thing, but in order not for birds of identical pulmage to flock together in Nigeria, Nigeria puts all the birds in one cage and locked them up and then because the birds are not in their natural habitats because birds are supposed to fly - but they cannot fly anymore, then start to peck and bark at themselves inside the cage. But now the president has gone ahead to say the outcome of the conference is to be submitted to the National Assembly as part of the ongoing constitutional amendment, which those who against the idea have further pointed to as part of the flaws of the proposed conference? The statement made by the president was a convenient excuse for those who don’t want the conference ab-initio. Well, even if President Jonathan said we would take it to the National Assembly, which we have disagreed with, is it not better than them who said they are committed to the current Constitution that enslaves our people? We have disagreed with the president on that and I think the president himself must have seen what the people are saying. The final authority lies with the Nigerian people and it is very clear. The president put his view on the table but his view may not be the view. When we finish, the National Assembly promulgates our constitution into law; they will repeal the current the present decree which Abdulsalami promulgated; Decree 24, and put in the new Constitution that has been produced by we the

people.


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SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 31

‘Count me out of Ugborodo crisis’

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Why many Nigerians are prone to fake drug drugs — Opaluwah *The procurement model that earned him MAN award By CHRIS OCHAYI

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ngineer Samson Ameh Opaluwah is the immediate past Director of Procurement in the Federal Ministry of Health where he served diligently and recorded monumental achievements. Opaluwah, during his stewardship, ensured that priority was given to local pharmaceutical manufacturers, following which the nation’s economy recorded multiplier effect, especially in the area of job creation. Subsequently, the Kogi born technocrat was redeployed to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in the same capacity as Director of Procurement. Recently, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, PMG-MAN, rewarded him with an Award of Excellence Service’. Opaluwah, who dedicated the award to President Goodluck Jonathan,in this interview, says “the award is something I value especially as I will soon be disengaging from the public service on account of age”.

How do feel on your recognition by PMG-MAN? The award is what they called recognition by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, PMG-MAN. That is the group of manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, having industries or factories that produce drugs and medicaments for the Nigerian society. They reviewed their performances over the past few years and they decided to honour some public and civil servants that have impacted on their operations and on their successes, and in their own wisdom, they considered that my tenure as Director of Procurement in the Federal Ministry of Health, I was very beneficial to their industry and their group, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. And that is why I was honoured with the award. What criteria did they use to single you out for this award? Well, during the award ceremony, they cited the fact that before I came in 2010 on my duty tour to the Ministry of Health as Director of Procurement, they were not receiving orders from the Ministry of Health. But during my tenure, every year in the procurement of Ministry of Health, manufacturers were given preference. Of course, there was of the multiplier effect on our economy, because people who have set up industries are employers of labour. They helped not to produce drugs for the society and for government to buy but they also employ our people. So when we patronise them, they employ people and the pressure on governments as regard unemployment is reduced. And there is also the multiplier effect that they buy their raw materials from smaller

companies within our economy who also employ people within our economy. So, that was why under the direction of the Minister of Health and the Permanent Secretary, we decided to give local manufacturers preference. And in the course of that, Mr President also used that initiative to pronounce that the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, should first of all consider locally produced goods in their procurements before imported ones. Do we still have locally produced drugs around, because what we see mostly here are imported drugs? Let me say that may not be strictly correct. What is happening is that the bulk of drugs that you find in the pharmacies are actually Nigerian produced drugs. But you also will find that they are imported drugs. For one reason or the other, others are also into the business of importing and selling drugs. So those ones, the law does not stop them doing that. But what the ministry intended to achieve which I have just said, during that period, was that not that we will not patronise imported drugs, but that the local manufacturers should also be given patronage, and indeed preference. Did you award certain percentage to local manufacturers? The Procurement Act indicates

that in the advertisement you must indicate that local manufacturers are preferred. It is not as if we give a particular percentage because the competitive and transparent nature of public procurement still has to be complied with whether you are local or you are foreign. But there is an advantageous scoring for local manufacturers allowed by the Act if you have indicated it in the advert. While at the Ministry of Health, what were the steps taken by the Ministry to checkmate the influx of substandard drugs flooding the country? The Ministry of Health, during my tenure, did not have any incident of fake drugs. Why that is so is one, drugs manufactured locally must comply with NAFDAC standards from the source. And in the stores before they are accepted, the NAFDAC registration and all other clearances are mandatory requirement for receipt of those drugs. But, just like every other loophole, people might import drugs that are not up to standard and infiltrate the system. If not, government has put in place facilities to ensure that fake drugs are checked and NAFDAC is doing a very good job on that. The effects of substandard drugs on end users are alarming. What do you advice? Doctors will tell you also that there is a lot of abuse in our system by people carrying out self-medication. By the time you have gotten your system corrupted by various drugs, some of the drugs that could actually attend to your ailment could no longer work because you have done a lot of damage to your system. But having said that, I can see some of the activities of NAFDAC as going in the line to checkmate all that you are saying.

ousin to Delta Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart, Chief Emami Ayiri and Ugborodo National Youth Financial Secretary, Comrade Besidone Eyengho {alias-Kiki), has denied being part of recent crisis in Itsekiri community of Ugborodo in Warri S/ West LGA, Delta State which reportedly led to the death of a member of vigilante group.Eyengho said in a statement that it was preposterous for anyone to link him with the November 6 incident, saying the link cannot be verified by the Ugborodo community and security agents. He, however, ascribed the renewed crisis in Ugborodo to the quest by sea pirates to regain dominance of the waterways after they had been chased out of the area by security agencies. Eyengbo accused a leader of the community who fingered him as being part of the crisis of spreading an allegation he cannot substantiate. “It is a taboo for the leader to be involved in spreading the allegation. According to the report, I was fingered to have killed somebody with blood stains in a boat in a picture that accompanied the story. I make bold to say that the claim is barbaric and lacks evidence,”he stated. Eyengho, who is also a former PRO, National Association of Itsekiri Graduates (NAIG), said the crux of the matter is the leadership tussle in the community between Hon Thomas Ereyitomi and Hon David Tonwe.

Ogulagha monarch bags award

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ARAMOUNT Ruler of oil rich Ogulagha Kingdom in Burutu local government area of Delta State, His Royal Majesty Elder King Joseph I. Timiyan, Torububou I, Ebenanawei of Ogulagha Kingdom has been given an award of the “Best Peace Keeping Traditional Ruler in Niger Delta” by the World Confederation of Businesses WCOB, Dubai. In a statement by top chiefs of Ogulagha Kingdom, Chief Prefugha Karawei, public relations officer, Ogulagha Traditional Council of Chiefs, Chief Freason B. Dose, Chief Alfred Abu, Chief David Sunday, Chief John Diegbegha and Chief Samuel Timiyan respectively., “our paramount ruler was given the meritorious award by the World Confederation of Businesses WCOB, on 29 th September, 2013 at Atlantic Ballroom-Atlantic,PalmDubai”. They congratulated their monarch for the meritorious award given to him in recognition of his unrelenting contribution towards sustainable peace in the Niger Delta region, and Ogulagha kingdom in particular. They also commended the monarch for his peaceful and quality leadership that has fostered lasting peace co-existence in Ogulagha kingdom.


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Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

FG needs massive investments in infrastructure for inclusive growth — CBN governor .Says Nigeria must tap into international markets for more funding . `Africa’s infrastructure deficit is found in power sector’ BY UDEME CLEMENT

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HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the governorship of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in the last four years has been more of a probing period for sanitising the banking sector to prevent the system from total collapse. Sanusi who took over from his predecessor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, on June 4, 2009, came with a blueprint to overhaul the sector of sharp practices and corruption, which were very prevalent in the banking industry in Nigeria. For some financial experts, Sanusi’s monetary policy framework has greatly transformed the industry to enhance relative stability and growth, with positive multiplier effects on other sectors of Nigeria’s economy. Some of the reforms include banking recapitalisation/merger of weak banks, deposit and withdrawal limits for individual customers and corporate organisations, cashless policy, e-banking with ATM, credit cards, electronic money transfer and internet banking among many others. Cur rently, the apex bank is giving support to the Federal Government on infrastructure development. Sanusi recently gave a keynote address at the biennial regional conference, on financing infrastructure for sus-

tainable development in West Africa, organised by West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, where he spoke on the importance of developing the country’s infrastructure to achieve inclusive growth and development.

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about ALKING i n f r a s t r u c t u r e

development in an economy like Nigeria with numerous challenges, is it public or private sector driven? Looking at infrastructure development the world over, it is primarily public sector driven. I am making this point clear because private sector is not going to build rural roads and finance those projects, which would not bring them profits on their own even if they are the beneficiaries of the wider economy. So, what is important is to identify those projects that are profitable and could stand on their own, such as large commercial city ports and have Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects of that, while government should be prepared to focus on other major projects to ensure provision of public goods and services in the economy. Brazil, China and other developed economies received government intervention in infrastructure development to create an enabling economic environment for businesses to thrive. For

Nigerians must remember that we still have a long way to go in the power sector, that handing over of assets to successor companies is not the end of the road example, the government of United States built the roads in America. So, it is very important for us to manage government resources prudently in order to make provision for infrastructure development and stop thinking that the private sector’s effort only can tackle the enormous problems associated with inadequate infrastructure in our country. Erratic power supply has been identified as a major barrier militating against economic growth and development in Nigeria. So, with the privatisation of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and handing over of assets to private investors, how is the CBN going to support the new initiative? We would continue to give ev-

ery support we could to any initiative that has to do with economic growth and development within our limitation. What is important now is the successful privatisation of PHCN and handing over of assets to successor companies. It is an important step to ensure power supply in the country. But beyond that, there are still a lot more to be done in terms of investments in the sector to enhance optimum production. For instance, there is the urgent need for more investments in gas to power projects, fixing the transmission equipment and improving metering and collection system to meet the demand of consumers for domestic and industrial consumption. Cur Currr ently ently,, do we have suf suf-ficient power plants to generate the amount of electricity needed for a

population of over 160million? We still need a lot of investments in the sector because even if you build power plants at strategic locations across the entire country without adequate gas supply to those plants, you would not be able to generate electricity. So, Nigerians must remember that we still have a long way to go in the power sector, that handing over of assets to successor companies is not the end of the road. Do we have infrastructure Master Plan in Nigeria to give direction in developing the power sector like what obtains in advanced economies? We have infrastructure Master Plan that is being worked on by the Federal Ministry of Planning and I am aware of that. Also, there are work groups working on different components of the Plan. So, we do have an infrastructure Master Plan currently. Aside from that, we need to diversify funding by tapping into international markets that are very lucrative and looking for diversification into Africa. The South African government is already doing that, Kenya is also tapping into

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SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 33

‘Africa’s infrastructure deficit is found in power sector’ Continued from page 32 international markets and it is extremely important for other African countries to tap into these markets to diversify their funding base, because this is one of the key ways of financing infrastructure. In doing so, they would take advantage of these financing markets for funding infrastructure in their countries. Infrastructure is capital stock in facilitating the provision of public goods and services. This stock includes transportation, water, power supply, education, Information Communications Technology (ICT) and roads. This implies that, infrastructure remains an essential requirement, which must be put in place to enhance development. Socio-economic development could be fast tracked with the provision of efficient infrastructure to provide a linkage to the global economy and at the same time creates a multiplier effect, which benefits the entire society either directly or indirectly. Infrastructure development has been the subject of discussion at every forum. What pragmatic step is CBN taking to support the Federal Government in addressing this issue of inadequate infrastructure in Nigeria? Infrastructure development drives economic growth. As such, emerging markets and developing countries must increase infrastructure investments to enhance access to basic transport, clean water and energy for an all-inclusive economic growth and development. The World Bank Fact Sheet on infrastructure in the Sub-Saharan Africa shows that Africa’s infrastructure deficit is found in the power sector, whether measured in terms of generation capacity, electricity consumption or security of supply. Africa’s power infrastructure delivers only a fraction of the service found in other developing economies. The Fact Sheet also stated that 48 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa with a combined population of 800 million generates about the same amount of power as Spain with a population of 45million. The same World Bank Fact Sheet estimated the cost of redressing Africa’s infrastructure deficit at $38billion of investment per year and further $37billion per year in operations and maintenance, which is an overall price tag of $75billion. The total required spending translates into some 12 per cent of Africa’s GDP and there is currently a funding gap of $35billion per year. Also, in 2011, African Development Bank (AFDB) report, the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD) reported that the infrastructure need of SubSaharan Africa exceeds $93billion annually over the next decade. At present, there is an under provision leading to a financing gap of more than $50billion. According to the same report, the poor state of infrastructure in the region reduces national economic growth potentials by two per cent points and productivity by as much as 40 per cent annually. For infrastructure financing options, a mix of sources and

increasingly private and innovative ones would be needed to close the gap. The right mix deepens on factors like financial development, indebtedness, business environment and preferences in each country. How could PPP play a major role in this? PPP is a preferred model for infrastructure financing. It is seen as contractual engagement, which allows for private sector involvement in the supply of infrastructure assets and services. PPP brings innovative private funds to infrastructure. PPP raises efficiency by leveraging on private sector management expertise and innovation. It has not been fully embraced within the region, though some governments within the region have increasingly used them for financing infrastructure. Country experiences point to several preconditions for successful financing of PPP projects. These include having adequate institutional framework and transparent legislative as well as regulatory framework. The use of long term sovereign infrastructure bonds among the financing tools has been successful in raising capital for large scale infrastructure projects in Brazil and other emerging markets such as Chile and Malaysia. In Africa, Kenya pioneered the use of infrastructure bond when it adopted the Local Currency Infrastructure Bonds in 2009. Since February 2009, Kenya has successfully issued three infrastructure bonds with a total $1billion, which paved the way for corporate bonds issues by private or state owned companies, including the electricity utility. Kenya’s success with infrastructure bonds is partially attributed to the use of the bonds as collateral to acquire bank loans while the banks could pledge them as collateral for their operations. What are the economic benefits of Diaspora bonds? These are bonds issued by a state government to nationals residing abroad to tap their savings for the purpose of infrastructure development in the home country. The World Bank describes such bonds as, retail savings instrument issued in relatively small denominations, for sale to that segment of the Diaspora that has some money stashed away but lack the capital organising power of an entrepreneur. These bonds have been used successfully in countries as Isreal, which has raised an estimated $25billion over the last 30 years through this medium. Thiopia, which has a sizable Diaspora population and was among the world’s 10 fastest growing economies in the past decade, launched its second Diaspora bond, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Bond in 2011. Infrastructure and Diaspora bonds are good financial instruments. However, they are relatively new financing mechanisms. So, there is the need for West African economies to understand the associated intricacies and learn from the experiences of early adopters. Efficiently working

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

There is the need for West African economies to understand the associated intricacies and learn from the experiences of early adopters infrastructure is a necessary condition for sustainable development within the region. It is a stimulant for growth and development, as it would facilitate trade and investments in the West African economies. Countries in the sub-region would be better-off if they put their resources together to provide infrastructure as public goods within the region. You handled the official opening of the biennial regional conference on financing infrastructure for sustainable development in West Africa, organised by West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management. What would you describe as the significance of the programme? The biennial regional conference confirms the institute’s capacity to contribute meaningfully to burning economic and financial discourse by strengthening cooperation among institutions in the subregion through its policy advocacy programmes aimed at improving the welfare of our citizens. In recognition of the significant contributions that the Institute continues to make in filling capacity gaps in the sub-region and beyond, many credible international organisations have established

a framework for strategic cooperation and partnership with the institute in ways that could facilitate the attainment of goals and aspirations of the sub-region in terms of capacity building. The programme would be of immense benefits to countries within the region giving the quality of experienced professionals and technocrats gathered to review the current infrastructure polices and challenges in the sub-region, and to proffer practical solutions predicated on evidence based research. The conference would also propose useful policies and strategies to strengthen infrastructure financing within the region to pave the way for sustainable development. What has the apex bank been doing in the last four years to enhance infrastructure development in the country? The Banker ’s Committee in Nigeria has taken various steps to support infrastructure financing in the country. The journey started in 2009, with a retreat in Enugu to strategise on ways to boost lending to the most critical sectors of the economy to accelerate growth. The three key sectors identified include power, agriculture and transportation. The Committee resolved to adopt

a more collaborative approach for financial services-led national economic developmental agenda. The CBN played a role in providing support for the electric power privatisation, which is crucial to this administration’s transformation agenda. The Bank in 2011 approved a grant of $10.0million to the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) to support the engagement of Human Resources and Actuarial Valuation Adviser for Successor Companies of PHCN. In addition, the bank provided long tenured, fixed and single digit interest rate funds for power investments through the N300billion Power and Airline Intervention Fund (PAIF) in 2010. As at September 30, 2013, the sum of N109.3billion was disbursed to 20 companies by 11 deposit money banks. The fund has among others, financed the construction of 125 kilo-meter gas to power pipeline and the generation of about 800 Mega Watts (MW) of power mostly by manufacturing companies principally to guarantee stable and reliable power supply. The bank also financed the drafting of the National Infrastructure Financing Policy in 2012. The key thrust of the policy was to provide a framework for leveraging private finance for infrastructure development, promoting the involvement of specialised funds and multilateral agencies in the financing of development projects, diversifying and developing non-bank sources of long-term finance for infrastructure financing and recommending incentives that would stimulate local and international project and finances to invest in infrastructure in Nigeria. The initiatives recommended by the Policy document include implementation of Infrastructure Project Development Facility (IPDF) to finance the development of a pipeline of bankable PPP projects, establishment of a government resource fund as an independent source of funds for providing direct government support to infrastructure projects, establishment of long-term refinancing mechanisms for infrastructure assets, provision of fiscal incentives to designated infrastructure projects, establishment of a clear legal and regulatory framework as well as development of standardised procurement process for private financing of infrastructure. Others include establishment of standard process for delegation of authority by the Federal Government on infrastructure development, implementation of a capacity building programme for public stakeholders and encouraging implementation of shared investment appraisal services for pensions fund administrators.


PAGE 34—SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

Power sector reforms: PHCN privatisation, a game changer… BY GODWIN ABIOLA

T

HE potency of electric power in driving the wheel of economic growth and development of any country is best appreciated from the palpable effects it exerts on the overall well-being of the people. From big multinationals to cottage industries, even up to the petty trading businesses, all of which form the nitty-gritty of a country’s economic life, reliable and quality electric power supply is most coveted in the context of what it adds to production efficiency across a country ’s economic value-chain. For Nigeria which boasts of abundant potentials such as large population which also translates to a large market, good share of natural resources including gas which serves as fuel for thermal power generation that provides about 80 per cent of her energy supplies and perhaps, huge portfolio of investable finance as witnessed from the financial commitments of her banks in the almost concluded privatisation of 15 successor generation and distribution companies created from the unbundling of defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the provision of reliable electric power to homes and businesses is one item that had been approached with so much hope and yet experienced so much frustration for decades. Until 2010, when Nigeria really took up the gauntlet of addressing her electric power issues through the launch of the “Roadmap for Power Sector Reforms” by President Goodluck Jonathan, the country has merely lived on a fluctuating power generation figure of about 3,000 megawatts (MW) and with very little hopes for improvement in existing power generation and distribution capacity. Past governments had huge budgetary allocations to the power sector, but paid little attention to the sector; instances of power project management and some other forms of corrupt practices had marred whatever efforts that were aimed at improving the country’s electric power sector which has an installed generation capacity of about 10,000MW; this was, however, to change with the enactment of the Electric Power Sector Reforms (EPSR) Act 2005 and the subsequent unbundling of state owned power utility, PHCN, into various generation and distribution companies for privatization, amongst other provisions in the EPSR Act 2005. The Act was to give the country’s power sector a new lease of life especially with the establishment of key elements that should drive growth in the capacity of the sector; the creation of a regulator, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to, amongst other responsibilities, establish and monitor fair but costreflective electricity tariff as well as behaviours in the electricity market; setting up of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity

PHCN: If TCN does not deliver the goods in 2014, there will be a crisis of sorts when the 10 NIPP power plants come on stream Trading Company (NBET) Plc, a sold to core investors who will must pay a late penalty fee equal government-owned bulk be expected to ramp up to Libor + 5 per cent for the electricity buyer that now carries capacities within specified number of days for which they out contract management and timelines as, however, agreed. were in default while the bulk trading (on behalf of the Also, TCN, under a three-year preferred bidder for Kaduna distribution companies) until management contract of distribution company, which has such time as the industry has Manitoba, will, within the new a separate time-table, is expected developed the settlement, electricity market, play out its to pay a total of $163 million accounting, managerial and role as a responsible and within six months, thereby governance systems required for responsive market participant completing the $1.419 billion successful bilateral contracting. that could be sanctioned by that was originally targeted from NBET is also expected to help NERC for defaults; instances of the sale of all 11 distribution Independent Power Producers frequent and unnecessary system companies by the government. (IPPs) grow their capacities with collapses will have to be For the generation companies, its management of power checkmated to ensure reliable a total of $1.077 billion was purchase agreements (PPAs) with transmission of generated power received from the core investors them. to distribution points and by the same August 21, 2013 Other early milestone ultimately to consumers. payment deadline date for equity achievements that came with the Having established the stakes in Egbin, Geregu, Kainji EPSR Act, preparatory to the privatisation guideline through and Ughelli, while the core overall objective of handing over operations in the sector to private management, include: the setting up of the Nigerian Electricity Liabilities Management Company (NELMCO) to manage all legacy liabilities of defunct PHCN; engagement of a management contractorManitoba Hydro International of Canada-to manage operations of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) for efficiency as a corporate entity and not the usual government business units that lack corporate governance. The real deal Jonathan’s strategy document, the National Council on investor for the fifth generation “Roadmap to Power Sector Privatisation (NCP) and its company, Shiroro, completed its Reforms”, clearly gave clear implementing arm, the Bureau of $111.6 million payment a few timelines and approaches to Public Enterprises (BPE), the days late and will also pay a late consummate government’s plan stage was then set for a penalty fee equal to Libor + 5 per to hands off operations and competitive sale of PHCN cent for the number of days for management of Nigeria’s power successor companies; preferred which they were in default. Also, the preferred bidder for bidders for the various successor sector. The document indicated companies emerged and by the Afam power plant is expected to government’s commitment to payment deadline of 21 August, pay a total of $260 million within resolve specific obstacles to 2013, private sector core six months, based on a different For Sapele private sector investment in the investors had paid a total of time-table. sector as well as its overall $1.130 billion for 60 per cent Generation Company, its strategy with regards to the equity controlling stakes in nine preferred bidders are still in divestiture of successor distribution companies, namely default, as they only paid $119.9 companies of PHCN; it Abuja, Benin, Eko, Ibadan, Ikeja, million out of the $201 million explained that the hydro Jos, Kano, Port Harcourt and that they promised to pay by the deadline date. The NCP, generating plants in the mix will Yola. The core investors for the however, referred this default be concessioned while 51 per cent shareholding in thermal Enugu distribution company, situation to the Federal Ministry generating plants and 60 per cent however, paid $126 million late of Justice and, as such, depending distribution companies will be and so the NCP directed that it on whether the reserve bidder or

Transmission is the ‘life-blood’ of this entire electricity ecosystem and it is also potentially the weakest link at present. Unfortunately, the board of TCN is yet to get its act together

the preferred bidder ends up acquiring this asset, the gross proceeds from the sale of the seven old PHCN generation companies could either be $1.65 billion (best case) or $1.55 billion (worst case scenario). While it is clear, from the foregoing, that there is unfinished business with the privatisation of Kaduna distribution company as well as with the Afam and Sapele generation companies, the NCP also approved the sale of two newly-completed PHCN power plants (Olorunsogo and Omotosho) through debt for equity swaps with the Chinese contractor that built these plants at valuations of $177.3 million and $217.5 million respectively. Accordingly, a grand total of approximately $3.3 billion should accrue to the coffers of government from all PHCN transactions. The Jonathan-led government on November 1, 2013, lived up to its pledge and handed over successor PHCN companies without outstanding encumbrances to their new core investors, thus setting off a possibly irreversible path for Nigeria’s power sector. While the privatisation process had challenges like the longstanding government’s negotiations for settlement of issues related to the labour force of defunct PHCN who by the way will majorly retain their jobs in view of the costs of their replacements, the prospects of witnessing real changes in Nigeria’s power sector squarely rests on two major elements: the integrity of the regulator, NERC, and the transmission network, TCN. But more emphasis has been placed on the TCN; in the words of the chairman of the Technical Committee of NCP, Peterside Atedo, when he addressed a meeting of the Bankers’ Committee in Abuja, “the sector is still saddled with unfinished businesses.” Atedo, who covertly referred to the TCN as the possible impostor in the new electricity market, also questioned the management board which has spent more time squabbling, perhaps, in expression of its objection against Manitoba as the preferred management contractor. “Transmission is the ‘lifeblood’ of this entire electricity eco-system and it is also potentially the weakest link at present. Unfortunately, the board of TCN is yet to get its act together. Since the appointment of a chairman and some initial board members was announced some months ago, so much time appears to have been lost in squabbling over who does what, when and how? If TCN does not deliver the goods in 2014, there will be a crisis of sorts when the 10 NIPP power plants come on stream,” Atedo said at the Bankers’ Committee meeting. With cautious hopes, Nigerians expect good returns from the power sector reforms of the Jonathan-led government, but how soon and reliable this will be, indeed, rest on the willingness of participants in the electricity market to play by extant rules considering its operational mix; standard electricity markets are run by rules, Nigeria’s case should not be an exception if electricity market must grow to benefit the citizenry. ·Abiola is a freelance journalist.


SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 35

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rofessor Ben Nwabueze (SAN), constitutional lawyer and leader of eminent group of Nigerians, The Patriots, in this piece, spells out the nature and character of the proposed National Conference, its primal purpose and modus operandi

In February 2005, President Olusegun Obasanjo suddenly convened what he called the National Political Reform Conference (NPRC), comprising motley of persons handpicked by himself and the State Governors as well some members of certain ethnic groups and other associations -–a completely undemocratic body with no mandate from the people or from the ethnic nationalities and civil society organisations. There was no enabling law establishing it and backing up its work.. Its role, as announced by the then Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi, SAN, in an interview in The Guardiannewspaper of February 9, 2005, was only to make “ recommendations which the National Assembly and the Presidency will look into and see how to integrate these views into our Constitution.” In other words, the conference was simply part of a process of consultations to aid the Presidency and the National Assembly in the discharge of their functions with respect to the amendment of the Constitution. The NPRC thus differed totally in nature and character from the proposedNational Conference. The NPRC was dogged by crisis and, after some months of deliberations, ended abruptly in confusion. Its failure is, to some extent, a product of defects in its character and structure. It was, in the apt characterisation of it by the print media, a mere talk-shop lacking power to take legally binding decisions, which made the entire exercise a farce, a charade. The charade did not end with the abrupt disbandment of the NPRC, but was continued by National Assembly Joint Constitutional Reform Committee (JCRC) under the chairmanship of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ibraham Mantu, whose main object was to obtain, by fraudulent manipulation, a semblance of public approval for the elongation of the President’s and State Governors’ tenure of office – an even greater farce. The JCRC conducted so-called public hearings for two days in one centre in each of the six geo-political zones. PURPOSE AND A LEGAL FRAMEWORK Being thus a palpable fraud, a farce, and programmed to come to nothing, the 2005 NPRC cannot in any way be equated with the proposed

*Obasanjo...organised abortive confab

*Jonathan...his conference needs legal framework

Between Jonathan’s National Conference and Obasanjo’s reform confab, by Prof. Ben Nwabueze The NPRC was dogged by crisis and, after some months of deliberations, ended abruptly in confusion. Its failure is, to some extent, a product of defects in its character and structure National Conference, or be used as a basis for saying that the latter will also come to nothing. As conceived, the proposed National Conference has a specific purpose, namely, to discuss and agree on the terms and conditions to be embodied in a new Constitution as the basis on which the diverse nationalities and peoples comprised in Nigeria can live together in peace, security, progress and unity as one country under a common central government. This is the primal purpose of the proposed National Conference, the crux or pivot of its agenda, and to which everything else is ancillary. Given the above primal purpose for it, the initial problem facing the Conference is to fashion out a Legal Framework

for convening and holding it, and for holding a Referendum to approve a Constitution adopted at the Conference. Without such a Legal Framework, the Conference cannot effectively take off as conceived, and will be doomed to fail as did the 2005 NPRC for the reason, among others, that, as earlier explained, there was no law establishing it and backing up its work. The task of fashioning out appropriate Legal Framework for the proposed National Conference has, happily, been entrusted to a Presidential Advisory Committee. No Committee of this type, with wideranging Terms of Reference, was set up in 2005 as a prelude to the convening of the NPRC, and to lay the foundation for its successful outcome.

*Nwabueze In any case, as earlier stated, fashioning a new Constitution for Nigeria was never part of the agenda or purpose of the NPRC. Some years ago, in October 2001 to be precise, The Patriots prepared such a Legal Framework in the form of a Bill, titled the National Conference and Referendum Bill, which it submitted to the Presidency and the National Assembly. The Bill, after some revision, was re-submitted to the two bodies in 2013. It was

also submitted to the Presidential Committee on National Conference by letter dated 31 October, 2013, to help it in making recommendations to the President in terms of its Terms of Reference. The long title of the Bill describes it as “A Bill for an Act to make provisions for convening a National Conference of the peoples of Nigeria for the purpose of discussing and adopting a new Constitution to be submitted for consideration and approval by the people of Nigeria at a Referendum and matters ancillary thereto.” The long title thus provides a clear enough description of the character of the Conference proposed. This is reaffirmed by a declaration in a Preamble that the Conference is “a Conference of the nationalities and ethic groups comprised in this Nation so as to give them the opportunity to exercise their inherent right to determine democratically for themselves the Constitution by which they wish to be governed in one united Nigeria” (emphasis supplied). The Preamble further declares that the need for the Conference arises from the fact that the Constitution under which the Continues on page 36


PAGE 36 — SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

‘Between Jonathan’s National Conference and Obasanjo’s reform confab’ Continued from page 35 country is governed “came into existence as a result of a Decree enacted by the Federal Military Government.” The Bill then goes on to spell out the machinery and process for the selection or election of delegates, quorum at the Conference, conduct of proceedings, method of taking decisions, oath by delegates, Secretary and other support staff, laying before the National Assembly of draft Constitution passed by the Conference, publication of the draft to the public, and the process for holding a Referendum for the approvalof the Constitution by the entire mass of the people, which is to bestow legally binding force upon it. A Referendum of the people to approvethe Constitution is the most fundamental aspect of the whole process. It is no doubt a novelprocess in the country, but that is what is legitimately due to the Nigerian – an opportunity, for the first time since the creation of the Nigerian state in 1914, to adopt, through Referendum, a Constitution by and for themselves in exercise of the constituent power inherent in them as a‘people, not just to make an input in the amendment of an imposed Constitution. It is their birthright as a sovereign people, a birthright of which they have long been denied, first, by our British colonial masters, then, by our military masters, and, now, by our so-called democratic rulers in the Presidency and the National Assembly. There is no justifiable reason for continuing to deny them that birthright. Given an existing legal order, constituted by a Constitution, the principle of the Rule of Law, by a Legislative Assembly, a Presidency, a Judiciary and other instrumentalities of government, such as we have in Nigeria, a National Conference to adopt a People’s Constitution, and a Referendum to approve the Constitution so adopted, must be authorised by a law enacted by the National Assembly and assented to by the President, in the terms set out in The Patriots’ Bill. There is no way a Referendum can be held in the country under the existing legal order without an enabling law prescribing how it is to be conducted, its outcome and the force of the result in law. People cannot just troop out to vote in a referendum. Anything else outside the legal framework set out in The Patriots’ Bill can only take

place by way of a revolution, such as happened in the eight African countries where the Conference took place outside the pre-existing legal order. It is doubtful, to say the least, whether such a revolution can take place in Nigeria, as things are at present. The impediments are too many and too great. Sections 16(1) and 17(8) of the Bill deserve to be specially noticed. Section 16(1) provides : “The Chairman and Secretary of the National Conference shall certify the Draft Constitution as passed by the National Conference and lodge authenticated copies thereof with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives who shall cause it to be laid before the appropriate House but the said Draft Constitution shall not be subject to any change or amendment by any of these authorities.” (emphasis supplied). Section 17(8) says : “……..the Draft Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria adopt-

does not confer upon the Conference the character of a Sovereign National Conference. It is a contradiction, both in ideas and in terms, to demand a Sovereign National Conference when a sovereign government is still in place and in control; you must first displace or emasculate the latter before you can have an SNC, as was the case in the eight African states of Benin, Togo, Congo (Brazzaville), Niger, Mali, Chad, Gabon and Zaire in the period 1990 to 1993. For the sake of a proper understanding of the meaning of the term, “Sovereign National Conference”, it needs to be explained that the provisions in The Patriots’ Bill to the effect that a Constitution adopted at the National Conference “shall not be subject to any change or amendment” by the National Assembly or the Presidency (section 16(1)), and that the Constitution, so adopted, “shall become law and be binding on all persons and authorities” directly it is ap-

From the contest of power over this issue between the sovereign government and the people as the ultimate sovereign, the National Conference may emerge as a sovereign body ed and passed by the National Conference shall become law and be binding on all persons and authorities when and if there is a majority of ‘YES’ votes at the Referendum approving it……..” Thus, the National Conference and Referendum Bill prepared by The Patriots sets out in clear enough terms an appropriate Legal Framework for the proposed National Conference. The Presidential Advisory Committee may propose amendments to it. THE VEXED QUESTION WHETHER THE CONFERENCE HAS THE CHARACTER OF A SOVEREIGN BODY The Legal Framework for the convening and holding of a National Conference and a Referendum, as set out above,

proved at a Referendum (section 17(8)), do not make the Conference a sovereign body, in the strict sense of the term, inasmuch as the finality of its decisions and the legally binding force of the approval of its decisions by the Referendum derive from a law enacted by the sovereign legislative authorities under the country’s existing legal order. But refusal by the National Assembly or the Presidency to enact into law, the provisions in sections 16(1) and 17(8) of the Bill, or to abide by them after their enactment into law, will be a test of the ability of the Nigerian people, in spite of the impediments, to assert and demonstrate their power and supremacy as the repository of

*Nwabueze...referendum must approve conference outcome the country’s sovereignty and the source of the sovereign power exercised by the legislative and executive organs of government. From the contest of power over this issue between the sovereign government and the people as the ultimate sovereign, the National Conference may emerge as a sovereign body. In the meantime, and until such eventuality does occur, we will do better to get on with the job of working hard to ensure that the National Conference, operating under the Legal Framework set out in The Patriots’ Bill, adopts a suitable new Constitution for Nigeria, rather than allow ourselves to be bogged in the quagmire of the quibble whether the Conference is or is not a sovereign one. ENSURING THE ADOPTION OF A SUITABLE NEW CONSTITUTION BY THE CONFERENCE Ensuring that the National Conference adopts a suitable new Constitution for the country raises a problem perhaps more troublesome and more perplexing than the issue of fashioning out appropriate Legal Framework; the problem is not taken care of by fashioning out an appropriate Legal Framework. Unless the adoption of a suitable new Constitution for the country is ensured and is realised, it (i.e. the Conference) may become

a talk-shop, as did the 2005 NPRC, without achieving its primal purpose, which is to give us a new Constitution. It would thus be a failure, as asserted by those opposed to the idea. To ensure the accomplishment of this primal purpose, the Conference, when it convenes, must have before it, a Draft new Constitution to form the basis of its deliberations; without this, its meetings are bound to become a talk-shop and will not accomplish their primal purpose. Clearly, a situation where every Nigerian or every member of the Conference may submit a Draft new Constitution for consideration by the Conference will result in the Conference having before it too many Draft Constitutions, which may make it difficult for it to accomplish its primal purpose. Thus, the problem boils down to the issue of a modus operandi for the Conference. What should be the Conference’s modus operandi, such as will enable it to adopt or will facilitate the adoption by the Conference of a suitable new Constitution for the country? Fortunately, the Terms of Reference of the Presidential Advisory Committee bring it within the competence of the Committee to recommend an appropriate modus operandi for the Conference, and how a suitable Draft may be pre-

Continues on page 37


SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 37

Continued from page 36 pared and brought before it for consideration. The Committee is mandated “to make recommendations to government on structure and modalities for the proposed national dialogue/ conference”. The word, “modalities”, seems apt to cover making recommendations on a modus operandi . This is supplemented by the omnibus clause in the Terms of Reference, viz “to advise government on any other matters that may be related or incidental to the proposed national dialogue/conference”. A modus operandi as to how it is to operate or function in order to accomplish its primal purpose is certainly a matter “related or incidental to the proposed national dialogue/conference”. We should therefore await whatever recommendations the Committee may make on this crucial question. But, whilst the Committee’s recommendations are awaited, it seems clear that we cannot run away from the imperative necessity of having a Constitution Drafting Committee. The Okurounmu Presidential Advisory Committee itself is not envisaged as a Constitution Drafting Committee, and is neither intended nor mandated by its Terms of Reference to function as one. The job requires a specialist committee of experts. A Constitution Drafting Committee was part of the modus operandi used in making the 1979 Constitution. The Federal Military Government (FMG) had in 1976, by an executive instrument, set up a Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) of 49 members (the 50th member, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, declined to serve) composed of prominent lawyers, men and women knowledgeable in the principles and practice of statescraft, and other seasoned experts/specialists (the 49 Wise Men, as they came to be known), to prepare a Draft Constitution. A Draft was duly prepared by the Committee. Thereafter, the FMG enacted a Decree establishing a Constituent Assembly – the Constituent Assembly Decree 1977 – corresponding more or less to the proposed National Conference. As constituted under the enabling Decree, the Assembly had 230 members, of whom 20 were appointed by the FMG, seven were the Chairman of the CDC (Chief FRA Williams SAN) and the chairmen of its six sub-committees (I was one of the six), and the remaining 203 members were elected, not directly by the people, but by the local government councils acting as electoral colleges. But the important point to note as regards the issue of modus operandi is that the Draft Constitution prepared by the CDC was laid before the Assembly and formed the authorised basis for its delibera-

* Senator Okurounmu...steering Confab Committee

*Late Chief FRA Williams...chaired the CDC that produced 1979 Constitution

Nwabueze on Jonathan’s national conference and Obasanjo’s reform confab tions. The enabling law required the Draft Constitution to be presented in the Assembly in the form of a Bill, which the Assembly was to deliberate upon following a procedure of first and second readings and detailed clause by clause consideration in a committee of the whole Assembly. The procedure allowed for amendments to be moved by members. Indeed, an amendment seeking to replace the presidential system proposed in the Draft with the parliamentary system of cabinet government was rigorously pressed upon the Assembly in two different forms and lost : see Proceedings of the Constituent Assembly, Official Report, vol. 11, cols 1943 – 55; cols. 1981 – 8. The Chairman of the CDC and the Chairmen of its six subcommittees, sitting in the front benches, were assigned the responsibility of piloting the Draft Constitution Bill through the Assembly. It needs to be stated, despite the controversy that arose over the issue between the Assembly and the FMG, that the 1977 – 78 Constituent Assembly was not a mere deliberative body, and that the substance, content and form of the 1979 Constitution were the product of its decisions, notwithstanding a few changes surreptitiously slipped in by the FMG at the last minute after the Constitution Bill had been passed by the Assembly. Such, then, was the modus operandi used in making the 1979 Constitution. Recognising the imperative necessity of having before the proposed National Conference

The character of the proposed National Conference, and its success or failure, would be determined, to a great extent, by the credentials, the personality and forcefulness of character of its Chairman a suitable Draft new Constitution to form the basis of its deliberations, I formed in the course of the Uyo National Political Summit the idea of getting a team of prominent lawyers, political scientists and other experts with specialist knowledge to work with me to prepare a suitable Draft new Constitution and, when the Draft is ready, to re-convene the Uyo Political Summit to have a thorough and critical look at it, and make such revisions and changes as may be considered necessary. The reconvened Uyo Political Summit would be a kind of mini National Conference. Leaders from the various geo-political Zones attending the Summit will be duly inducted to mobilize and enlighten participants from their Zones on the provisions in the Draft in order to facilitate deliberations on it and its adoption at the National Conference proper. As I said in my last letter, dated 31st October, 2013, to the 15 members of my Committee of lawyers, political scientists and other experts, drawn from the six geo-political Zones,, “unless the National Conference, when it con-

venes, has before it a Draft New Constitution, to be piloted by people well acquainted with its provisions and well inducted on what is necessary to be done to get it adopted, the Conference may lose focus and degenerate into a talkshop and end without achieving anything, like the previous ones”. My Committee will commence sitting on Tuesday 19 November, 2013 and work through that week, from 11 a.m. with a break for lunch. The venue of its meetings is my residence at Ajao Estate, Isolo, Lagos. In preparing a Draft, we will look at Drafts prepared by Pronaco, The Patriots, the amendments/revisions made on the 1999 Constitution or under consideration by the National Assembly, and proposals from other quarters, as well as the constitutions of some other African countries. When my Committee completes its work, then, its Draft, with changes made on it by the re-convened Uyo National Political Summit, will be sent to the Presidency, the National Assembly, and the Presidential Advisory Committee if its life/

mandate has not expired by the effluxion of the time given to it to wind up its work and turn in a report. But there is a snag arising from the fact that my Committee has no official status. President Goodluck Jonathan may wish to consider giving recognition to the Committee by constituting it an official (i.e. a Presidential) Committee, and by inserting in the National Conference and Referendum Bill, a provision authorising the Draft new Constitution prepared by the Committee to be laid before the Conference and form the basis of its deliberations and decisions, and to be piloted before the Conference by the members of the Committee, just as was done in 1977/78 in the making of the 1979 Constitution. CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE CONFERENCE It needs hardly be emphasised that the character of the proposed National Conference, and its success or failure, would be determined, to a great extent, by the credentials, the personality and forcefulness of character of its Chairman. He or she must be a person with a considerable measure of acceptability in the Northern and Southern segments of the country, and whose mind, attitude and disposition are not known to be unduly conditioned or otherwise affected by the NorthSouth Divide, which must be acknowledged as among the worst of the country’s many afflictions – a person who, therefore, commands the confidence of the generality of people in both segments. In addition, he or she must be a person whose age and condition of health leave him or her sufficient physical strength as well as mental and emotional stability to be able to withstand the enormous strain and stress of piloting, mediating and moderating the proceedings of the Conference, which are expected to be stormy, even acrimonious, a task that would tax the patience of even the Biblical Job. It is as well that the President, as the authority to appoint the Chairman of the Conference, should start right away to give serious thought to the choice of a person to chair it. The choice is not going to be an easy one, because there are not many Nigerians that meet the above criteria. The chairmanship of the Conference may be said to be among the matters the Presidential Advisory Committee is mandated by its Terms of Reference to offer advice to the President under item (ii) thereof, viz to advise “on structure and modalities for the proposed national dialogue/ conference”; in any case, it is certainly covered by the omnibus clause, viz “to advise government on any other matters that may be related or incidental to the proposed national dialogue/conference.”


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SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 39

EDUCATION

AGRICULTURE JOB CREATION

EDUCATION RSSDA manages the State Governor's Special Overseas Scholarship Scheme through which it aims to enhance the state's human capital base. Over 1,200 young Rivers State men and women, including the physically challenged, are currently studying in ten overseas countries for degrees in various fields, such as medicine, engineering, ICT and geosciences.

AGRICULTURE Songhai is an integrated world class farm, a centre of excellence for enterprise training and transfer of skill to local farmers and research into agricultural techniques and varieties. Songhai rivers Project is being strategically developed as the main hub of the agricultural programme in the state.

JOB Through the RSSDA skills Acquisition Programme, young Rivers men and women are trained in several relevant fields to become employable or self-employed. The programme includes the Overseas Skills Training Schemes in Norway and Namibia in partnership with UNITAR. The Workmanship & Technical Training Centre (WTTC) Bori is our flagship training institute which will drive skill acquisition in engineering, carpentry, masonry, tilling and catering.

RSSDA....so no one is left behind www.rssda.org


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IYAYI, DEATH AND A GOV’S CONVOY

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re the drivers in the convoy of Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State reckless or fate simply played a cruel joke on the governor to give him negative publicity? Four fatal crashes involving Wada’s convoy in 11 months make this question apt. Death toll from the incidents is five. This is inspite of the sacking of four Kogi Government House drivers on the orders of Governor Wada just so discipline can be instilled. Interestingly, Wada's convoy is described as a crawlingconvoy because of the slow speed of between 60kmph and 80kmph that he has ordered as limit. But fate must indeed be cruel, very cruel, to Governor Wada. On December 27, 2012, while many people were still in Christmas mood, the convoy of Wada was involved in an accident. The governor ’s official car was worst hit in that accident which occurred as he was returning from a

Tragedy at the edge of victory programme in Anyigba and left him fatally injured. The latest accident of last Tuesday involving Wada’s convoy and a bus belonging to the University of Benin (UNIBEN) chapter of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) killed a former president of the union, Professor Festus Iyayi, injured two other officials of ASUU and the bus driver. The accident occurred on LokojaAbuja Road as the ASUU leaders made their way to Kano for the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union. For Iyayi, it was death at the edge of victory as the NEC meeting had been called to consider government proposals on their demands that have led to a four-month old strike. The proposals were some kind of triumph for ASUU to redress poor universities funding, and there were prospects the strike would have been shelved at that meeting. Now Iyayi’s death has put the ASUU NEC meeting on hold.

When the December 2012 involving Wada’s convoy happened, it set tongues wagging. Many people gave it spiritual undertone. They

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BY BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO, Lokoja

Lesson

He said the late ASUU leader was found strapped to his seat dead, holding a newspaper in his hand

cited what they alleged as the governor’s interference in the Ohimege stool of Kotorkafe and that of the Attah of Igala. Those in this school of thought alleged that the governor had unduly interfered with the traditional institution and the accident

was to teach him a lesson. Ridiculous as it sounded, some even argued that it was only Wada’s official vehiclepurchased about a month earlier–that was involved in the accident to buttress their c l a i m . The accident claimed the life of the governor ’s ADC, Idris Muhammed, while the driver sustained serious injuries and Wada himself was admitted at the State Specialist Hospital before being taken to Crest Hospital, Abuja. The idea of flying him out for adequate medical attention was later jettisoned after he showed some signs of s t a b i l i t y . The front tyre of the Wada illfated car was said to have pulled out while on high speed and the vehicle somersaulted several times before plunging into an uncompleted building. It was gathered that the governor on the said day was in a haste to return to Lokoja, the state capital, for the Friday Jumat prayer after leaving Ayingba around 1.pm.

The accident occurred at Eleta-Jimgbe (a suburb in Lokoja), about five minutes drive to the mosque. ”It is serious. Only the governor ’s vehicle was involved; nothing happened to other vehicles in his front or those at the back,” a source s a i d . The source further said that the ADC, who was not putting on his seat belt, died on the spot as he was flung out of the car while Wada, his orderly and driver were treated at the State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, before being flown to Abuja for further treatment.

Mother dies, baby lives

The second accident involved the Kogi State Government House ambulance on May 5, 2013 along Ganaja Road, Lokoja. A nursing mother was knocked down by the ambulance. The unidentified woman was returning from church riding on Okada when the ambulance, in a bid to

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SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 43

Why Iyayi made ill-fated trip BY SALIHU MOH. LUKMAN

T

The ASUU leader we knew

he name Festus Iyayi symbolizes struggle for academic freedom, democratization of our educational system, national development and socialism. He was the President of Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) in the 1980s and in 1987, under his leadership, the Babangida administration banned ASUU, terminated the employment of Prof. Iyayi from University of Benin and subsequently arrested, detained and tortured him. It is to the credit of Prof. Iyayi and ASUU leadership that ASUU survived those repressive measures and is operating based on its founding principles. Most organizations, even when they survive, hardly are able to make any claims to values. No doubt, the 1980s was a defining period for popular organizations in Nigeria. It was a period that the Federal Government, under the military, virtually declared a war against freedom to organize and, to that extent, declared leaders of organizations as subversives. In the circumstance, organizations like ASUU, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) faced direct attacks especially under military rule between1984 and 1999. During this period, these organizations were banned severallyand the leadership persecuted, victimized, arrested and detained without trials for months. Laws were promulgated by government to justify these and in some cases, these laws besides coming with ouster clauses that disqualify our courts from entertaining cases bordering on enforcement of fundamental rights of victims (most of whom are leaders of these organizations), they in some cases even face charges of life and death sentences. Without any questions, the capacity of organizations to survive those dark periods was challenged and leaders like the late Dr. Mahmud Tukur, Prof. Iyayi, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Alh. Hassan Sumonu,Alh. Ali Ciroma, Comrades Wahab Goodluck, Dapo Fatogun, the late Chris Abashi, Lanre Arogundade, Hilkiya Bubajoda, Emma Ezeazu and many others were illustrious in their contributions. ASUU provided the intellectual foundation for the radical orientation of these organizations to resist and outlive military rule. Sadly, NANS is way distant from its radical nationalist orientation of the 1980s. NLC lives in virtually its old glory. Both for NANS and NLC, values may just be limited to bearing a “Comrade” title with hardly any meaning. More than any organization, ASUU has remained consistent and was able to grow a community of leaders with organic links to wider society. Unlike NLC and NANS, the community of leaders in ASUU have till today sustained ASUU’s organizational focus, orientation and commitment to broader values of

not engaging the Abdulsalami transition programme in1998 in an organized way. On account of this mistake, people like the comrade now in government have taken individual decisions and may have forgotten their own history. This highlights a strong disconnect between those of us who have passed through the mentorship of people like Iyayi. One cannot but salute the capacity of that old community of leaders that include Prof. Iyayi, Dr. Fashina, Prof. Olorode, Alh. Sumonu, etc. Somehow,these leaders must be going through traumatizing experiences of having to absorb all these shocks and continue to provide unwavering leadership in the struggles for Nigeria’s development. Part of the criticism against ASUU is the fact that it has only one weapon of fighting bad governance and dictatorship. That weapon is STRIKE. Under democracy, there are other weapons, which include lobbying National Assembly. Of course, given the realities facing us, it is legitimate to have low confidence with respect to outcomes of engagement with National Assembly. There is also the fact that strikes have worked very well for ASUU. Since the early 1990s, all ASUU strikes have succeeded in terms of winning demands. In some ways therefore, ASUU and its leadership are only responding instinctively.

Options to strike

Clockwise: Jega, Sunmonu, Fashina, Arogundade...they will miss Iyayi dearly

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It was this link that explains Prof. Iyayi’s role and why he was traveling for ASUU NEC meeting on the fateful day

national development, which has underpinned its demands and struggles over the years. In the Nigerian context, ASUU is one of the few non-governmental organizations that have been consistent and in many respect still linked to all its leadership since it was founded. It was this link that explains Prof. Iyayi’s role and why he was traveling for ASUU NEC meeting on the fateful day, Tuesday, November 12 and lost his life. The pain of Iyayi’s loss has made many of us to ask questions that are at best immaterial. Of course, for many who only knew Prof. Iyayi remotely, their response reflect a confusion of what may happen to

the expected suspension of the three months old ASUU strike.

‘Iyayi made us’

For those us who were privileged to know Prof. Iyayi, I am not sure any word can convey our feeling. It is a feeling that borders on admiration, respect and obedience. I was privileged to serve as NANS President 1988/ 89 at a time when Students’ Unions were banned in almost all tertiary institutions in the country. In July 1988 when we were elected, our primary mandate was the re-activation of Students’ Union structures in the country. In the face of repressive measures, a team of more than 20 students leaders from all over the country was basically reduced to a team of four. The first person that resigned from that Exco was the NANS Secretary whose father being a Deputy Commissioner of Police was threatened. For many of us, it was a period that exposed us to the fact that there are Nigerians that have broken all barriers and risen above all primordial sentiments. These Nigerians related with us in very special ways. Although not older than their children, they discussed every issue with us with respect, treated us like their peers, which in many respects challenged our intellect. In the process, we had good access to

academic literature. Prof. Iyayi, the community of intellectuals in ASUU, patriotic leaders of NLC and other Nigerians really made us who we are today. Without the support of these people, many of us who grow through the ranks of the student movement would have simply evaporated into the confused Nigerian society that recognizes no skill or talent. Unfortunately, some of us who are privileged to find themselves in the corridors of power forget this fact. A good example was the way one of us in the current government described Dr. Dipo Fashina as a “character” during the January 2012 fuel subsidy strike. This was to say the least an uncharitable statement coming from somebody who was a product of the sacrifices of people like Iyayi and Dipo. As brothers and comrades, we have a responsibility to be brutally frank to each other.

Calamity

Part of the calamity that has befallen us is the fact that we made very stupid mistakes on account of which some of our best are today serving one of the worst governments produced in this country. I am certain this will be contested largely on opportunistic grounds. However, I can accept that, at the end of it all, the basis of all justifications is simply our stupid mistakes of

Perhaps, we need to find ways of engaging some of our leaders and mentors such that they are challenged to act more logically and scientifically. I have no direct answers with respect to this but I believe that strike, especially the current one, may not be the best logical and scientific answer to the problem of breach of contractual agreement. There are certainly other solutions. The best tribute we can give to Prof. Iyayi is for us all as a nation to commit ourselves to finding all the options at our disposal to address the problem of irresponsible conducts of our governments and leaders. Prof. Iyayi would have been very much alive with us today but for the irresponsible conduct of our federal government to breach the agreement it willfully entered into with ASUU. On account of that breach, unquantifiable amount of resources have been wasted, including loss of lives. The loss of Prof. Iyayi is the high point. May it be the turning point such that as a people we are able to commit ourselves to rescuing this country? May the death of Prof. Iyayi awaken all of us to the need to discover new ways and methods of solving all our societal problems especially those created by the irresponsible conducts of our governments and leaders. Finally, may the death of Prof. Iyayi serve as the watershed in the struggle for higher education in the country such that strikes become the remotest of weapons and least employed? Rest in peace Prof. Festus Iyayi! *Lukman, a former students union activist, was assistant general secretary of Nigeria Labour Congress. smlukman@gmail.com


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THE THOUGHTS OF THE LATE ASUU LEADER

Some people out to kill public universities — Prof. Festus Iyayi *’The road to quality education’ PROF. FESTUS IYAYI, a former National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), until he was killed in a road crash on Tuesday, was Head of Department, Business Administration, University of Benin. In Iyayi’s last interview with Sunday Vanguard, he defended the university teachers strike. He insisted that ASUU members were prepared to stay at home for five years if the demands that led to the strike were not addressed. Excerpts:

ASUU IS BACK IN THE TRENCHES WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. WHY ARE YOU ON STRIKE? The short answer is this: Government believes that Nigeria should continue to be not just a second rate country but a third rate country because the quality of development, the kind of society you have depends on the kind of education that the people have and the quality of education that exists in the countr y. In 2009, ASUU reached an agreement with government about how to rehabilitate and revitalize universities. That agreement was a product of three years negotiation from 2006 to 2009 and government agreed in that it will provide funding for universities to bring them to a

,,

BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE, BENIN

From 2009 to 2012, ASUU waited for the Federal Government to implement that agreement and what government did was to believe and present the argument that what ASUU was looking for was money and so, they implemented part of the salary component; they did not implement the agreement on funding

level that we can begin to produce graduates that will be recognized worldwide and can also be classified and rated among the best in the world. People keep talking about universities rating, but no Nigerian university features among the first 1,000 now in the world because of the issue of lack of facilities. So, from

2009 to 2012, ASUU waited for the Federal Government to implement that agreement and what government did was to believe and present the argument that what ASUU was looking for was money and so, they implemented part of the salary component; they did not implement the agreement on funding. As academics, if

you pay us N10million a month and we do not have the tools to work with, that money is worthless because we want to be able to conduct research, teach students the latest that is available in the world of knowledge. Those tools were not available and are still not available. So, in 2011, precisely in December, ASUU went on strike to force government to implement the funding part of that agreement. What did the government do? They apprehended the strike in January 2012 and the Secretary to the Federal Government invited the leadership of ASUU for a meeting in his office. We went there, discussed with them on the basis of which, on 24 January, 2012, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with government under the title,

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Continued from page 44

‘NEEDS’ Now what should be those things? Government set up a committee called the NEEDS A S S E S S M E N T COMMIT TEE and it went round the universities and what it found was shocking. First, if found that the students – teachers ratio was 1-400 on the average instead of being 1-40. It found out that the classrooms were grossly inadequate and could accommodate only about 30 percent of the number of students that needed to enter those classrooms; they went round and found students standing in their lecture theatres with other students writing on their backs; they found lectures going on under trees in some of the universities; they went to laboratories where they found people using kerosene stoves instead of bushing burners to conduct experiments; they found specimens being kept in pure water bottles instead of the appropriate places where such specimens should be kept. They found chemistry

classrooms, we use chalk boards, the same thing in the sixties, but people are using multi-media facilities, mark boards where you can download information. That is not available here and government is not interested in that. No country develops without a sound educational system and the foundation is not the primary school incidentally, it is at the university level because it is the university that trains other levels. For instance, if you want to teach in the primary school, you need people who attended the Colleges of Education; if you want to be teacher at the Colleges of Education, you must have a degree from the university; so, the university provides the manpower for other levels of education and that is why you must concentrate efforts on university education. If you don’t do that, other levels of education will suffer and that is what has been happening in Nigeria.

IYAYI: My dream for universities labs without water; they found people doing examinations called theory of practical and not the practical and you will imagine what the practical ought to be. And when the report was eventually presented to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Federal Executive Council, we understand that Jonathan said that he was

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“MEETING OF THE SECRETARY OF THE GOVERNEMNT OF THE FEDERATION WITH THE ACADEMIC STAFF UNION OF UNIVERSITIES, “and signed by Prof. Nicholas A. Damachi, Per manent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, on behalf of the Federal Government. The most important of the items signed was 3.0, that is, “funding requirements for universities”. And this is what the Federal Government said it would do: ‘Government reaffirm its commitment to the revitalization of Nigerian universities through budgetary and non- budgetary sources of funds; government will immediately stimulate the process with the sum of N100billion and will beefed it up to a yearly sum N400billion in the next three years’. As we speak now, no a kobo, not an iota of intervention has taken place in universities. Yet, government itself in the various studies that it has done said that it recognizes the pathetic situation of the universities. In order to implement this agreement, government first gave a reason saying, ‘oh, for us to apply the funds, let us first of all identify the areas of priorities to which the funds will be applied’. Government also said, ‘ we are not going to give the money to the universities, what we are going to do is to identify the projects, we will them call on government agencies such as the CBN, PTDF, ETF to deliver the projects to the universities that would then be cost’, so the money is not coming to the universities, government will then do the costing and get people to come and do all those things such as the rehabilitation of the laboratories, classrooms and a variety of other things.

anything. A professor came from Bayelsa State recently to the University of Benin, looking for journals, we went to the library because we have an e- library and he could not do anything there because for two days, there was no light in the library. If you go round here now, lecturers have generators in their offices to be able to work; every department

As academics, if you pay us N10million a month and we do not have the tools to work with, that money is worthless because we want to be able to conduct research, teach students the latest that is available in the world of knowledge. Those tools were not available

embarrassed and did not know that things were all that bad. It was on that basis that they said that this money should be spent. As we speak, the money has not been provided, no intervention has taken place and the academics are tired. We negotiated for three years, 2006-2009, we went on strike in December, 2011 and government apprehended that strike; we signed MoU in January 2012 and, between then and now, nothing happened. That is why we are on strike. We are saying, ‘look, rehabilitate the universities’. As a reporter, you can go around our classrooms and you will see what our classrooms are like. In this era, it is the quality of knowledge that you acquire that will determine the position you occupy in any part of the world. We did this and government did not do

has two or three generators to be able to do their work. Is that what a university should be like? If you go to the students’ hostels, they in a sorry state, they live 12 in a room; they are like piggeries, like potteries, they now have what they called short put, they excrete in polythene bags and throw them through the windows into the fields because there are no toilets. If you come into this building (faculty building), there are no toilets and if walk round you will find f a e c e s sometimes in the classrooms because students have no place to use. And it is like that all over Nigerian universities. Academic staff has said enough is enough, we cannot continue to work under these conditions especially when government gave commitment in 2012 that this matter would be addressed and up till now

nothing has happened. We had several meetings between 2012 and now and they will say ‘next week this one will happen; in two weeks’ time that one will happen, give us one month, this one will happen’, nothing has happened. And when students leave here, they apply for programmes outside of Nigeria say to the United Kingdom, United States and other countries for their Master ’s Degrees, PhDs or other postgraduate programmes and they are told that they cannot be admitted because their degrees are suspect. Shell here in Nigeria spent millions of dollars in retraining graduates, people who have made First Class after they have left the university and, when they tested them, they found out that they had problems. How can you take an engineer who has not conduct an experiment, all he did is the theory of practical? He does not know how the equipment works. We have said that we cannot continue. If you want a properly educated student population, you have to provide the facilities. That is why ASUU is on strike. ‘NOT INTERESTED IN MONEY’ What government has done in the past is to say that we are on strike because of money, now they don’t have that excuse. It is true that part of the agreement we have with government also talked about earned academic allowances, but academics are saying that we are not interested in that; we are saying government should rehabilitate facilities and once they are rehabilitated and they are up to standard, we will now come back to work. If you go to our

AGAINST THIS BACKDROP, MORE PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES ARE BEING APPROVED BY GOVERNMENT. WILL THIS SOLVE THE PROBLEM? Even the National Universities Commission (NUC), which is, incidentally, licensing private universities, has itself now drawn attention to the crisis of quality in many of these private universities. You know what government does? We have a refiner y in PortHarcourt and another in Warri. I was just talking with some people recently and they said, oh, ‘Port-Harcourt refinery is in a state where it can refine whatever amount of crude oil sent to it; its plants are all now working’, but, as at today, government has not sent crude oil to it and they cannot process anything because they want to import. Nigeria is the only OPEC member-country that sells crude oil to its refineries at the international price; where else does this happen? Is it the same price you sell yam in London that you sell in Nigeria? Does that work? It doesn’t, but they use international price to sell crude oil to refineries, to make it impossible for the refineries to process crude and then they go to Spain and other countries to import refined products. ‘PLOT TO KILL PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES’ So, what is happening is that government wants to kill public universities just as it has killed its own enterprises so that it can invite people to come and buy over the universities? Unfortunately, it will not work because universities are not like enterprises. In the UK, most of the universities there are the public ones; in the US, most of the universities are state owned; the one you hear about, HARVARD, is a private one but most of the

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Continued from page 45 universities in the world are owned by government because education is a social service; the revenue and tax collected by government comes from the people, the common wealth, that is the fund that is used in funding education. And what government is doing is to under fund public universities; give them a bad name and provide an excuse to license private universities many of which borrow lecturers from public sector universities, many of which do not have the equipment which public universities ought to have, that is the fact. And many of the private universities focus on the social sciences, law and arts; they do not go into engineering, medicine or sciences because you need a lot of capital outlay, you need to spend a lot of money building laboratories. I went to Oxford University last year and they showed me a laboratory that was built last year, a huge building where people from different parts of the world went to conduct experiments. It cost billions of Pounds and no private sector person will like to invest such money because the returns on such investment cannot be recouped quickly. So, private sector universities are gimmicks provided by government to say that they are better than the public sector universities, but then, how many people are there? How much fees do they pay and how many people in Nigeria can pay the sum of N350, 000 and above paid in private universities? Those universities are not meant for the children of ordinary Nigerians and development has to be about the ordinary people and it cannot be about the rich. So, there is no way, not in this century, not the next or in a life time that private universities will become more important than public universities.

'How to fix universities'

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The way forward is that the ruling elite in Nigeria must be sure of what it wants. We have an example; many years ago, Ghanaians were here; they flooded our universities and then when the Ghanaians rulers saw what was happening, they took a step back and said, ‘lets us change direction’. They closed down the universities for three years or so, rehabilitated all the facilities and brought the students and the lecturers b a c k . N o w, t h e C B N Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi disclosed that Nigerians spent about N62billion paying school fees for 75,000 Nigerian students in Ghanaian universities. Our people are in South Africa paying fees there, but who are those going there? The children of the rich. Ghanaians are in Ghana universities but they are not paying what Nigerians are paying in their universities. So, the way forward is that

When the report was eventually presented to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Federal Executive Council, we understand that Jonathan said that he was embarrassed and did not know that things were all that bad. It was on that basis that they said that this money should be spent

government makes up its mind that Nigerians must have a place under the sun and that place under the sun can only be guaranteed with a sound university system at the top. It must make up its mind; is it that you close down the university system for three

years or so, do what should be done and then invite students and lecturers back? For instance, in the University of Benin, you don’t have a foreign student and, if you go to other universities in Nigeria, I don’t think there are foreign students. When I

came to the University of Benin, I was interviewed by Prof. Smith, a Briton who was the Dean at the time, and many people from different parts of the world were here as teachers and students. But, right now, they are not in Nigeria; instead, Nigerians are everywhere. That shows that the system has collapsed. When we went to the National Assembly, Sen. Uche Chukwumerije and his colleagues told us that they were on the knees, ‘ recall our students because they are on the streets posing dangers and problems’, and we said, ‘it is better for them to be on the streets than on the campus of universities lear ning ignorance’. You cannot teach ignore to people or half knowledge to the people because they will be more dangerous to the society. If you have a doctor that is not well trained, and you say ‘go and remove an appendix’ and he goes and remove your heart because he doesn’t know where the appendix is, it is better not to have doctors than one who will go and remove your heart than the appendix. That is what government wants us to do and academics are saying ‘no, for once, let us do the right thing’; we are prepared to stay at home for between three and five years until these problems are resolved. We are not asking for money, facilities must be provided to make the universities truly what they ought to be. In terms of how to solve the problems in Nigerian universities, when the

financial crisis broke out in 2007 and banks declared that they were in trouble, government brought out N3trillion to bail out the banks. First, they gave the banks N239billion, another N620billion and N1.725trillion making a total of N3trillion. Then the aviation sector said it was in distress, they gave the aviation sector N500billion and they gave even NOLLYWOOD billions of Naira. ‘MIDDLE LEVEL TECHNICAL EDUCATION’ These sectors are important, but they are not as important as the fundamental which is the education sector. If you can give the banks N3trillion and the universities are asking for about N1.5trillion, the same way in which they sourced the money which they gave to the banks which they are now saying that they should not pay back, they should be able to do more for education. So, nobody should come to us and say government has no money. They can bail the banks out with N3trillion,banks that are owned by the private sector, but they cannot fund the education sector because the World Bank has told them that Africans do not need higher education, what Africans need is middle level technical education; that is what the Okonjo-Iwealas and the Goodluck Jonathans are for. So, let them do what they did in the case of the banks to education; if they do that, the problems will be solved.

Tragedy at the edge of victory Continued from page 42 catch up with the governor ’s convoy which was returning from Odu, in Dekina local government area where he had gone to monitor council polls, rammed into the Okada rider with his passenger, the woman, and crushed her from behind; killing her instantly. However, luck smiled on the woman’s three-month-old baby also on the motorbike who survived the accident. The Okada rider, who sustained injuries and was rushed to a private clinic, gave up the ghost the next day The third accident followed when the governor ’s convoy knocked down a male student of the Kogi State University, Anyigba, killing him in the process too. The latest accident involving the convoy which killed Iyayi happened at Banda village along the Lokoja- Abuja highway. Sunday Vanguard gathered from the Kogi State Specialist Hospital that the female lecturer in the ASUU bus, Dr. Ngozi Ilo,

who sustained fracture in her left leg, and the male passenger and driver who sustained injuries were treated at the hospital. Eyewitness said the accident involved the rear vehicle in the convoy of Wada and a Toyota Hilux with registration number ED 357 USL belonging to ASUU, UNIBEN branch. He added that the ASUU vehicle veered off the road, somersaulted three times before colliding with a tree in the bush, killing Iyayi on the spot and injuring the two others. Sunday Vanguard gathered that seven security aides of the governor in the vehicle that hit Iyayi’s vehicle also sustained injuries and were treated at the Government House Clinic, Lokoja. The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Olakunle Motajo, who confirmed the accident, said preliminary investigation revealed that there was wrongful overtaking on the part of the vehicle in the convoy, saying comprehensive investigation had

c o m m e n c e d . Olakunle confirmed that Iyayi’s corpse had been deposited at the hospital morgue where the injured ones were receiving treatment. Sunday Vanguard also gathered that the governor did not know that the accident had happened since the other vehicles were far ahead into Lokoja when the accident occurred. The death of the activist The Chief Medical Director of Kogi State Specialist Hospital, Dr. Paul Amodu, while speaking with Sunday Vanguard in his office, said the late Iyayi must have died as a result of the injury he sustained in his heart in the course of the accident. Amodu said “The late Professor Iyayi apparently sat at the left backside of the vehicle. And at the collision of the two vehicles, he sustained a penetrating injury straight to his heart”. He said the late ASUU leader was found strapped to his seat dead, holding a newspaper in his hand. The CMD, who, however, said

there was a bottle of NOVASC an anti - hypertensive drug found in the vehicle, said he could not ascertain that the professor died as a result of hypertension since he was not aware of his medical history. Dr. Ngozi Ilo, the National Welfare Officer of ASUU, who sustained injuries during the accident, was confirmed to have fractured her leg. The orthopedic consultant at the Kogi hospital, Dr. Chizoba Osita Nwokite, who treated her, said she was fractured at the upper tenth side of her libia plateau. He said a POP had been fixed on the leg but it may take up to six months before she can make use of the leg again.

The other lecturer who was injured in the accident, the CMD said, only sustained a bruise at the arm tibia and has since recovered fully. Meanwhile, Wada, who visited the emergency unit of the Kogi hospital to commiserate with the victims and also the mortuary to see the remains of Iyayi, expressed shock over the incident.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 47

Adieu Mike Akhigbe, the NNS Fearless BY TUNDE OGBEHA TRIBUTE IN BRIEF The late former chief of the general staff (CGS) and the two other Musketeers

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IKE, I find it unbelievable and difficult to talk about you in the past. I remember how it all began in 1967 during the interview process that preceded our admission into the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA). You, Dave (Senator David Mark) and I hobnobbed as if we came from the same home. While it was understandable between Dave and I, who have been together as boys in the Nigerian Military School, Zaria, you became the tripod of our brotherhood and friendship. And you did this seamlessly. Together, we grew from boys to men. Our coursemates called us ‘the three Musketeers’ and we lived to the billing. We did a lot of things together both good and bad but mostly good things. Our Creator, the Almighty God, has called you to his side and one leg of our tripod has been removed and you are irreplaceable. But I will continue to remember our last two encounters. Precisely last December 26, my family and I were at your London residence for the Christmas celebration and I will hold the discussions and jokes we

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TRIBUTE

so mighty a Defender. From Him who loves me now so well what power my soul shall sever? Shall life or death, shall earth or hell? No, I am His for ever. Amen”

shared very dearly. Also, in February this year, you, Dave and I had what has turned out to be our last physical contact of final reunion of the body. You were upbeat and very optimistic about your treatment and recovery process. All our subsequent phone chats never betrayed emotions of an impending death. And I was hopeful of another re-union. The last phone call of October 21, 2013 from you laid this hope to rest. Your subsequent departure remains a shock that left devastating effect on me. I will miss you. As Christians, the Bible teaches us to give thanks in all things and situations. We give thanks to God for giving you to us and for uniting us as brothers and friends until He called you home. Like Paul, the Apostle, you have fought the good fight, you have fin-

We nicknamed you NNS Fearless because of your character, you were brave, adventurous, courageous, compassionate and hardworking. I was therefore not surprised that you rose not only to the pinnacle of your profession (Navy) but became the number two citizen of Nigeria. A position you accomplished with patriotism, dedication and commitment. In all your assignments you excelled. You played very significant roles at critical times in the history of our country. You were a blessing not only to NDA Regular 3 or Edo State but to Nigeria and they will equally miss you. You lived a committed and practical Christian life, full of love, humility and compassion , touching and enriching lives for everyone without discrimination. I am proud of your achievements. On behalf of my family, I pray that the Lord will grant your soul eternal rest and peace until we meet at the feet of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen Adieu my brother and friend, NNS FEARLESS. *Ogbeha, a retired brigadiergeneral, was a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

You lived a committed and practical Christian life, full of love, humility and compassion , touching and enriching lives for everyone without discrimination. I am proud of your achievements

, Late Mike Akhigbe ished the race and you have kept the faith. To Josephine my sister and the children, thank you for taking a great care of Mike particularly during his trying times. Life will not be the same again for all of us with the departure of Mike, but I pray the good Lord will grant you and the family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. My consolation is in the words of the hymn by Rev. J G Small 1866

”I’ve found a Friend; Oh! Such a Friend, so kind, and true, and tender; So wise a Counsellor and Guide,

Leadership and the succession challenge BY GABRIEL EKEFRE VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF The need to groom successors for public good

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EADERSHIP and succession are probably the two most critical is sues in governance, whether in a military dictatorship or democracy. In neither forms of government do you have the two issues treated with kid gloves, for, one determines, to a large extent, the success of the other. The successful handling of leadership and succession brings very much to bear on the nature of governance itself. In a democratic setting such as we have in Nigeria today, the issue of succession is as important as leadership itself. If an incumbent administration is not generally seen to be good, in terms of delivery of democracy dividends, the electorate wants to participate fully in the process that would usher in a refreshing difference. If the administration is seen to have delivered on election promises, people participate in the process that would ensure the status quo is maintained. From whichever perspective it is considered, the people not only have their say in the process, they also have their way in the leadership that emerges. The question has often been asked about whether or not elective office holders should play active roles in the process that produces their successors. This question is pertinent against the background of the suffocating involvement of, in some cases, outright dictatorship by incumbents in the succession process that would usher in their administration’s post era. The question is generally answered in the neg-

ative sense in the Nigerian context, because of the abuse of the right of participation of incumbents in the process which, as it is for other citizens, is guaranteed by the Constitution in the first place, but which leaders subject to abuse, through direct imposition of successors or manipulation of the process to achieve a predetermined objective. But thank God for democracy. Our current democratic experiment is replete with cases in which parties lost in areas that were considered their strongholds; in areas where victory was a foregone conclusion, because it was the people’s way of showing their resentment to manipulation. That is one of the beauties of democracy. The critical question on the issue of succession is not whether or not an incumbent should be interested in who succeeds him. It is taken for granted that he cannot be indifferent to the issue of his successor. He must be interested, at least for the simple reasons of consistency and continuity. There is also the question about whether or not he should be involved in the process that produces his successor. Again, the question must be answered in the affirmative, for, it is taken as a given that he would go beyond showing a passing interest in his successor. The knotty issue is the extent to which he should be involved in this process. If a leader has put in place, over time, policies, programmes and physical development that are seen to have raised the standard of living of the people at the end of his tenure, it is wishful thinking to expect that he would be aloof in the process that is expected to lead to the emergence of the person to whom he would hand the baton of governance. The issue to worry about is how he goes about it, as well as his motive for getting involved, which could either be selfish or altruistic. In 2006, the then president, Olusegun Obasanjo, did not hide his preference for

Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, then governor of Katsina State, as his successor. He did everything to ensure no other aspirant, including those generally considered better materials, emerged presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2009 elections. Other aspirants were reportedly blackmailed and coerced into withdrawing from the race of the last minute, to pave the way for his preferred

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VIEWPOINT

A leader who has set a standard for development would certainly not want his performance to be rubbished by a successor who has neither the vision nor political will to at least maintain the standard, if he cannot raise it

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aspirant. The result was the emergence of a president that spent more time battling an ailment that eventually took his life, rather than attending to the affairs of the country. But it is not always a mishap, as was the case with Yar ’Adua. The emergence of Babatunde Fashola as governor of Lagos State, some say, with the active involvement of Bola Tinubu, has been a blessing to the state. A dark horse whose position as chief of staff to the then Governor Tinubu made him the most unlikely choice as a successor, Fashola has made the performance of his former boss to pale into insignificance. It is such that nobody

seems to remember today that Tinubu actually achieved a lot in his eight-year tenure. The infrastructural transformation of the state is attributed to Fashola. The present governor is given credit for the beautiful face that Lagos wears today, as if Tinubu did nothing in this regard when he was in office. The BRT buses have been re-christened Fashola Buses. There are songs of praises for Fashola wherever you turn to in Lagos. Worthy of mention, however, is the fact that if Fashola is a success story today, the credit must also go to Tinubu, who was able to recognize gold in its raw state. That is how succession should be. A leader who has set a standard for development would certainly not want his performance to be rubbished by a successor who has neither the vision nor political will to at least maintain the standard, if he cannot raise it. A key component of governance, whether in the corporate or political world, is continuity. In the corporate world, for instance, where succession policies are firmly in place, leaders groom successors. It shouldn’t be different as far as political office is concerned. But grooming successors should not be for the purpose of imposing them on the people. Since an aspirant must first scale the party hurdle at the primaries to become the candidate, the incumbent should not go beyond selling to the party somebody with the capability to take the country (or state, as the case may be) to the next level. It is to be expected, of course, that the person must be sellable to the electorate. It is important that, at the end of the day, it should be seen that an incumbent’s involvement in the process that produced his successor was for the good of the public, not for his selfish desire.

* Ekefre lives in Lagos (gabek@gmail.com)


PAGE 48 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

ASUU Jan 2014 date to end strike: The need to rethink BY TUNDE FALOLA VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF

Why university lecturers industrial action should be shelved FTER a marathon meeting with PresA ident Goodluck Jonathan penultimate week over the strike that has kept

students in public universities out of school, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) fixed last Tuesday for a meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) to review its action. Unfortunately, one of its past presidents, Prof. Festus Iyayi, while on his way to the meeting, was involved in a motor accident that took his life. In his honour, ASUU shelved the meeting till January 2014, effectively extending the strike for another two months. The death of Iyayi is unfortunate and it is only natural that ASUU should defer to the man who spent all his adult life serving humanity and our nation through his scholarly works and activism. Indeed the whole nation was pained by this unwarranted loss. “I join in mourning the renowned academic and award-winning writer who rose to national prominence in the 1980s with his courageous leadership of ASUU in its struggle for a better working environment for teachers and academics in the nation’s university system,” Pres-

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VIEWPOINT

Although the circumstances of the postponement of the NEC meeting are quite understandable, the length of adjournment is certainly unjustifiable having regards to its overall negative impact on the university education system

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ident Jonathan said in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, on the fallen academic. But would this justify ASUU’s tactical extension of its strike for two more months in spite of all stakeholders’ deafening call for the reopening of our universities? The answer is definitely negative. Students have been idling around town for several months at great financial and social costs to parents and the entire nation. The negative impact of this industrial action has been visible and direct, attracting calls for its termination particularly when government has demonstrated enormous good faith towards the implementation of the 2009 agreement that ASUU has brought to contention. Notwithstanding ASUU’s recalcitrance at every turn of the tortuous negotiations,

the Jonathan administration had been moderate and considerate, making farreaching concessions. It should be noted that only three of the nine demands at the table remain contentious and unresolved. And three levels of government have negotiated the issues with ASUU without success. First was the team led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), and then the Vice President’s team; and when both failed, the President, himself a teacher, was persuaded to intervene. Mercifully, President Jonathan’s intervention moved the negotiation forward necessitating the ill-fated NEC meeting scheduled to review the concessions proposed by government. The negotiations were heavily hampered by ASUU’s rigid position that the 2009 agreement was not up for renegotiation but implementation. The three outstanding issues relate to earned allowances; revitalization of the universities; and composition of the Needs Assessment Committee. The earned allowances were put at N95billon by ASUU. Government argued that it is the responsibility of universities to pay it from their internally generated revenue. But since the universities could not pay, it offered to pay on their behalf. It subsequently offered N30billion and when this was rejected it moved it up to N40billion. ASUU insisted on its demand for N95billion. ASUU posited that under the 2009 agreement and 2012 Memorandum of Understanding, government committed to provide N350billion mobilisation and N400billion annually to upgrade universities’ infrastructure to world class stan-

dards; and that any unutilised fund could not be mopped up by government. Government had a different understanding of the issue and denied any MOU, but said since it had become an issue it would pay N100billion as mobilisation and grant N220billion annually. In making this concession government argued that the demand was unrealistic because government could not avoid it and that the universities lacked the capacity to utilise the N400b annually, adding that mopping up of unspent funds is a regulatory requirement of its fiscal policy. Overall, ASUU demanded N1.3trillion as funding deficit and wanted it be offset in three years, but government, in spite of its reservations, proposed a five-year disbursement plan. Although the circumstances of the postponement of the NEC meeting are quite understandable, the length of adjournment is certainly unjustifiable having regards to its overall negative impact on the university education system. Postponing the meeting till January is a circuitous way of circumventing the wishes of its members. And it gives credence to the suggestion in several quarters that the strike has left the realm of an industrial dispute over the future of our university education system and forayed into the murky waters of politics. This should not be so. ASUU should listen to the voice of the students, their parents and other Nigerians who want the citadels of learning reopened for what they were built for: academic pursuit.

Prof Festus Iyayi, smiling all the way to heaven TRIBUTE BY OKOH AIHE TRIBUTE IN BRIEF

The glorious passage of an activist

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R Festus Iyayi died on Tuesday November 12, 2013; bumped into eternity by the recklessness of a convoy driver in Kogi State where high profile crashes are featuring high in official agenda. The death marked the glorification of a humanist who tried to change the world with his large heart and big ideas. A professor of economics at the University of Benin where he lectured for decades, Iyayi was legendary for his radicalism and trade unionism which he used to place a mirror of reality to the faces of the leaders whether military or civilian. Plus his academic epaulette, Iyayi was revered for his creative writings which earned him a Common Wealth Prize for Literature for the book Heroes, a blistering focus on the Nigerian Civil War. His other books are Violence, The Contract and Awaiting COURT Martial. Some say Iyayi shouldn’t have been on the road riding in a bus; after all he is a big professor. I agree with the second leg of the sentence but so many people didn’t know Iyayi at all. He was always a team player and never sought personal comfort alone. The Iyayi I know couldn’t be flying knowing that so many other people across the country were in pains because of a strike action that shouldn’t have been. Sleep wasn’t a good partner on Tuesday night. My mind went to the conversation we had at the wake keep for

Late Dr.Festus Iyayi the late Professor Ambrose Alli, former governor of the old Bendel State in

1989. Although reporting the event for The Guardian Newspapers with the hopes of an appointment, I had told him that a friend was inviting me to join the teaching staff of the University of Benin. In a flash he told me to remain with The Guardian. That was it. He helped to change my life. Severally I had thought over that conversation over the years. This was the height of his brush with the authorities. The school authority led by Prof Grace Alele-Williams was trying to crush his spirits by sacking him on behalf of the military government which proscribed ASUU. Could the treatment in the hands of the authorities have influenced his advice to me? I don’t thinks so. His persecutors didn’t know him. Iyayi wasn’t just a fighter. He knew how to endure pain before sweet victory. These people perhaps never read any of his books or did a psycho-analysis of his fictional characters. Iyayi had a good laugh when he won at the Supreme Court. Sleep is difficult this Tuesday night. My mind goes to his collection of short stories, Awaiting COURT Martial. That

particular story which is the title of the book, for me, one of the best collections in the country, features a cheerful character, Alubiya. I am looking at Alubiya now in Iyayi, an infectious personality that would endure pain for others in order to bring light and sunshine to the world. A distinct and stout character, tough and robust, unpredictable in conquering heights just for the world to have peace. That is Alubiya. That is Prof Iyayi. Here is Iyayi on Alubiya: Alubiya had a heart bigger than his ribs could carry.....I have a black and white photograph of Alubiya and myself.....It is now a little bit yellow and must have been taken at time when Alubiya was perhaps five and I was fourteen. Both of us have black underwear on in the photograph. I am leading him by the hand along the edge of the road and there is sand on our navels. Alubiya’s left hand is raised to protect his eyes from the sun but you can see that he is smiling and saying something to me. He was always laughing. Where he found the energy for such, lively and never ending laughter I can never tell. Yet with his permanent smile, Alubiya would take the pain for others. Once a fragile, squeamish pupil committed an offence in class and the teacher was going to give each pupil six strokes of the cane, Alubiya claimed responsibility and received some twenty-four strokes of the cane and some punches to his face. Iyayi behaved the same way as President of ASUU and bore the ferocious wrath of a military government that wouldn’t understand that a moment of weakness and human sympathy can lead to a better understanding of humanity. There was only one night that Alubiya’s never - ending laughter was interrupted by the dead weight of sadness.

Here is the reason Alubiya cried that beautiful night. “The teacher told us today that the World Health Organisation has solved the problem of chicken pox in the world. This means I’ll have no other problem to solve for the world.” Such innocence and enthusiasm to help others are some qualities Iyayi will be taking to eternity . The two brothers are in the army and the older one who doesn’t have a name, some kind of every man with evil at heart, has become the chief executioner for a bad regime. This was until one fateful night when Alubiya was brought to the secret firing range to be executed for a phantom coup. Beaten and traumatised, Alubiya is smiling at the face of authority. And his brother lost his nerves. Iyayi tells this story with unpredictable savagery in order to expose the uncanny brutality of military administrations. He reaches down to the depth of wrath and bestiality associated only with animals. Iyayi would always hide behind his characters to question “problems that were written on the face of the country, on the faces of the villages in those days and which have become worse today. Problems such as hunger and kwashiorkor, the mass death from malaria and yellow fever, the ignorance and illiteracy on the streets, the private looting of the public treasuries by those in positions of power, the distance of government from the villages......... the lack of the most basic and essential amenities such as drinking water and electricity, the nakedness of the people on the street, the heavy burden of unemployment.” Even as Iyayi goes home, these problems and many more remain stubbornly unsolved. But they will not disturb his glorious passage. Like the character of Alubiya in Awaiting COURT Martial, Iyayi will be laughing all the home, to his creator because he has played his role well. Like Alubiya he is laughing at the face of authority because he “knows that evil cannot last forever.” • Aihe is resident in Abuja


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 49 sameyoboka@yahoo.com

08023145567 (sms only)

A good leader must step on toes, says Emenuga PASTOR Chima Emenuga is the General Overseer of Destiny Revival Church, Lagos. He hails Anambra State and a number of years under the tutelage of Mountain of Fire and Miracles headed by Dr. Daniel Kayode Olukoya before, according to him, God led him to start Destiny Revival Ministry on November 11, 2007. Activities marking the 6th anniversary are ongoing and this interview with SAM EYOBOKA, Emenuga joined numerous other Nigerians to call on ASUU to call off their 4-month old strike in the interest of Nigerian children. Excerpts... The journey so far. OU are not alone on a ministerial journey. It may be rough but if you abide with God, He knows how to take you along. Honestly, if you want to do the work of God, in accordance with scriptural principles, without pursuing wealth or prosperity or fame, I think this is the hardest job on earth; because you will be insulted, accused, maligned and all sought which you must bear in the name of Christ. But in all, God must always bring you out. So the journey has been so good by the help of God. We fought many battles and still fighting battles and God is winning for us. Nothing good comes easy. When we started, a lot of people said we would close shop, some said we would go back and beg, many said all soughts but that was not the voice of God. The voice of God will always supersede every other voice.

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Are we going to see a day when Dr. Daniel Olukoya will come and preach here? Sure! If we are worshipping the same Christ, he will come. He is a good man, I speak good of him anywhere I go. Whether he likes it or not, I

warning strike. I don’t think the lecturers are doing the right thing by allowing the students to stay at home for four months because you cannot solve this problem in one day. You are talking about education, we have decay in many sectors including the power sector, transportation or even health. So you can not just stand in one place and say no. Again, like I said they should try stop politicising everything. Many of the students have become prostitutes and others have gotten pregnant, only a few of them have engaged themselves in other thing. Many of them have entered into dubious activities.

still see him as my father in the Lord. When the time comes, I believe he will come. Are you inviting the whole world to your anniversary? I pray that God will give us the money and time when we can feed as many as we want to feed. Party is an everyday thing. I will feed as many that will attend the programme that day. How did you feel when 25 people died in a stampede in your state, Anambra recently? It was a very sad thing! I felt sad, embarrassed and confused. We need prayers and deliverance in every state of the federation. Why should politicians use the church as a place of campaign? Pastors should be very careful because God will be angry with any of them who is conniving with bad politicians to work against the people. They should be neutral. I don’t belong to any party. I can speak against any evil in our nation, because I am a pastor and not a politician. So it was a sad development. ASUU has been on strike four about months now.... Let me state this first. It is

PASTOR Chima Emenuga

better for parents to train their children in Nigeria. When you send your children to Japan, US or France for study, when they return, they will not meet up. You need to train them with that Nigerian rugged spirit. As for the ASUU strike, I will say that many people lack God's conscience. When we were in primary or secondary school, teachers do not go on strike even when their salaries were in arears for months; it was on heard of be-

cause they saw those children as their own. But today everything is money. If the Federal Government has shifted grounds and have shown some sign of sincerity, I believe that ASUU would have ended this strike. the ASUU problem did not start with the Jonathan administration. The thing has been a normal trend in Africa; even in Nigeria. If government reneges on its current promise the lecturers have a right to go back on

National Conference How can you reconcile and have peace and make a headway without talking? There are many hidden satanic agents. They present themselves to be "defenders of the masses," but they know what they belong to. For God’s sake you are not the president nor the governor. So, why not allow the people to talk? If you want to insult the president or governor, go there and speak your mind. If there is discrepancy in a place, you can only work together when you sit down. Matured democracy do not go with enmity, but in Africa, if you are not in power...How many ex-presidents attend State of the Nation meetings? That is because of African mentality. Anybody talking against the proposed national conference is not a friend of this nation. Because how can you move ahead without talkContinues on Page 50

CAN, Clerics hail US move against Boko Haram, Ansaru BY SAM EYOBOKA

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MBRELLA body of Christians in Nigeria, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and other Christian groups have expressed joy at Wednesday's designation of Boko Haram and Ansaru Islamic sects as Forein Terrorist Organisations, saying that it was a welcome development. Reacting to the news, National President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor said: "I am elated. I am excited. Honestly, I feel fulfilled. It shows that if you believe in something, stay focused on it, eventually it will come to pass. It’s about the families of those who lost dear ones in their thous-ands. This is good for orphans,

the widows; about businesses and churches destroyed and the people left hanging, who do not know what to do with their lives any more. "When I say I feel excited, happy and fulfilled, it is not about me. It goes beyond me; it is this nation called Nigeria. This is good for us. Anybody who says it is not good needs his head examined. It is good for us," he added. Asked what Nigeria stands to gain from the development, he said: "The designation will send positive messages to the world and to Boko Haram and Ansaru that it can no longer be business as usual, because when the US declares an organization a foreign terrorist organization, FTO, it is a state-

ment that the whole world receives and acts upon. "Number two; what it also does is that the FBI, CIA and all relevant security agencies in the US and beyond will now legitimately be able to go after the sponsors of Boko Haram and those behind the sects," he stated. Spokesman for Northern CAN, Elder Sunday Oibe said it is a welcome development though it is coming rather late. “The sudden declaration of Boko Haram as a FTO is a confirmation of what the leadership of CAN has been campaigning for all these years. "What people have not realised is that Boko Haram is second only to Al Queada which has killed thousands upon thousands of innocent Nigerian in the last

couple of years. "So we are happy that eventually the US government had seen the need to recognise the two groups as terrorist organisations and we hope they will go after the financiers of both groups," he stated. Northern Christian Elders Forum, NOSCEF, in its reaction signed by its president, Elder Olaiya Phillips said: "The process of designating a group a Foreign Terrorist Organisation is one done in accordance with United States law and I imagine Boko Haram ticked the necessary boxes. I understand these include the fact that it is “a foreign organisation”, it “must engage in terrorist activity” and its activities must “threaten the security of U.S. nationals

or the national security of the United States. "In terms of consequences, I think the US will look closer at various accounts maintained abroad and the movement of persons know to be associates. None of this is objectionable but we must be vigilant that it does not represent the thin edge of a wedge of interference in our internal affairs. Of course, Boko Haram is part of a growing network of global terror, meaning that their activities cannot be viewed as purely domestic in any case. I do not know how this might affect the on-again, off-again attempts at dialogue between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government. Would those constitute consorting with a foreign terrorist organi-

sation? While the US and Nigeria have been cooperating, I would expect that cooperation to grow. "I am sure that among international terrorist organisations, Boko Haram will feel its legitimacy has been enhanced but overall its members will likely sleep less comfortably than they have been doing. CAN chairman, North East, Rev. Shuiabu Byal says: "Yes, an informed and developed country like America may have all the courage to make such pronouncements but it may have adverse attacks on other weaker nations that are not as sophisticated. We pray that God will help annihilate all forms of terrorism, our problem is the religion Islam in the north anyway.


PAGE 50, SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

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HRISTIANS are confronted with the following contradictions about David in the bible. David is “a young boy, untrained for war:” David is a “skilled warrior.” David is living at home: David is living with Saul. David enters Saul's service as a harp player: David enters Saul’s service as a Goliath-fighting warrior. Saul knows David and his father: Saul does not know David and his father. Nevertheless, these turn out to be minor contradictions. There are more major ones in the bible that effectively lead to the conclusion that the whole story of David killing Goliath is fabricated.

Choice of David The terms of the combat between the Israelites and the Philistines were ostensibly laid down by Goliath. Instead of having the two armies battle it out, he said: “Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” (I Samuel 17: 8-9). When David offers to meet this challenge, Saul is said to have told him: “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth." (I Samuel 17:33). It therefore beggars belief that Saul would then agree to

David Did Not Kill Goliath (2) put the fate of the whole nation of Israel on the shoulders of inexperienced young David. While fully acknowledging that there is nothing God cannot do, it is not credible that Saul would agree that Israel should be represented by David’s incompetence, after all no directive about this came from God. The idea that Saul may have been persuaded by David’s tale of having killed a lion with his bare hands just won’t cut it. Such tall tales are not believed without proof. Even more ludicrous is Saul’s agreement that little David should fight mighty Goliath without armour and with nothing but a catapult. Rather than provoke a revolt by his regular soldiers, Saul would have selected one of his trained and experienced military officers to do the job.

Two different killings And then there is the problem of the actual killing of Goliath. Did David kill Goliath with a catapult or did he kill him with a sword? The bible is double-minded, recording two contradictory oral traditions side-byside. As a result, David

After David became king, Elhanan killed the Philistine champion called Goliath killed Goliath twice. The first time, he killed him with a catapult: “So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and KILLED HIM. But there was no sword in the hand of David.” (I Samuel 17: 50-51). The second time, David killed him with a sword: “Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and KILLED HIM, and cut off his head with it. (I Samuel 17:51). We are then told what David did with Goliath’s head: “David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent. (I Samuel 17:54). This is nothing but pure fiction. David could not have taken Goliath’s head to Jerusalem at this time because the Israelites had not yet captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites. According to II Samuel, Jerusalem was not captured from the Je-

busites until after David became King: “The time came when King David and his men set out to attack Jerusalem. The Jebusites, who lived there, thought that David would not be able to conquer the city, and so they said to him, ‘You will never get in here; even the blind and the crippled could keep you out.’ (But David did capture their fortress of Zion, and it became known as ‘David's City.’)” (II Samuel 5:6-7). This suggests then that, in the original story, David was already king when Goliath was killed. Indeed, in the version crediting Elhanan with killing Goliath, David is already king and Elhanan is a member of his elite fighting squad. (II Samuel 21:19).

More anomalies The confusion in the bible account is compounded by the fact that while we are told in I Samuel 17:54 that after killing Goliath, David carried his head to Jerusalem; three

FCMI craves church unity at a Nigerian confab By OLAYINKA LATONA

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COALITION of international pastors, teachers, businessmen and women known as the Fellowship Covenant Ministries International (FMCI) has called on Christian bodies in the country to close ranks and collaborate with their pastors with a view to building the Body of Christ and the country. Making the call during a 2-day regional conference of FCMI in Lagos the international president of FCMI, Dr. Philip Goudeaux explained that corruption and injustice reign supreme in the world today because most pastors and members no longer carry out their duties effectively. Describing ministers as priests while businessmen and women are

*L-R: Mr. Israel Oku, General Overseer of Jesus Evangelical Assembly, Rev. David Esosa Ize-Iyamu, FCMI Senior Regional Director Nigeria, Nnanyere Prince Nwachukwu, FCMI founder, Dr. Philip Goudeaux and some other FCMI members. kings, the FCMI president said both kings and priests have same anointing, but for different purpose, stressing the need for both business people to collaborate with pastors for the propagation of the gospel. Dr. Goudeaux noted that the general perception that the church is in-

effective must be changed, noting that the notion arose from a lack of understanding of the symbiosis between the roles of the priest and king. His word: "It is painful that churches are being accused of extorting money from members through tithes and offerings. This is most unfor-

tunate. Some pastors may indeed be guilty by pursuing tithes instead of working towards the kingdom of God. "Kings and priests need to work hand-in-hand because the Church has a role to play in the development of the country,” he explained. According to Goudeaux, the aim of FCMI is to train kings (businessmen) and priests (clergy) to reach their peak potential in Christian leadership. “It is an international collaborative of pastors, teachers; and businessmen and women created to build and improve the leadership and business management skills of leaders in the Body of Christ” he said. Reacting to a statement that most Nigerian pastors live in opulence

verses later we are told he carried it elsewhere: “Then, as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.” (I Samuel 17:57). David was then made a General in the Israeli army, and we are told this promotion of a young upstart over older more-experienced soldiers pleased everyone including Saul’s officials. (I Samuel 18:5). This is nothing short of political propaganda.

City of refuge But the clincher is as follows. After ostensibly killing Goliath, David became so popular that Saul soon saw him as a threat to his throne. He was determined to kill him and David had to run for his life. Of all the places that David could find to seek refuge, he ended up in Philistine territory: “That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of GATH.” (I Samuel 21: 10). This is absolutely incredible. How could the arch-enemy of the Philistines seek refuge in Philistine territory? Of all the cities that David could choose for safety, he while majority of their members wallow in abject poverty, he said: “Really, I don’t believe that pastors should be poor, but I hold on to the fact that they must live and lead by example. "The Church of Christ was not established to fail but to succeed, and for it to succeed, these two must come together. The connection between kings and priests is powered by the “anointing”. That is why we also refer to FCMI vision as Two Anointing for one Vision.” Also speaking, the Senior Regional Director of FCMI, Nigeria, Prince Nnanyere Nwachukwu said the problem with some Nigerian pastors is that they do not develop or educate the kings on their responsibility. He said: “The Church of Jesus Christ does not belong to the priests alone. God’s purpose is that kings and priests must work together."

chose Gath, the very hometown of Goliath: “So David dwelt with Achish at GATH, he and his men, each man with his household.” (I Samuel 27:3). This is conclusive proof that David did not kill Goliath. If he did, the last place he would seek refuge would be in Goliath’s hometown. That is a sure way to get him killed. But according to the bible record, David not only lived for years among the Gittites, the people of Gath, he was even prepared to go to war on their side against Israel. However, the Philistine commanders objected on the grounds that he could not be trusted: “He must not go with us into battle, or he will turn against us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master's favor than by taking the heads of our own men? Isn't this the David they sang about in their dances: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?” (I Samuel 29:4-5). This is another giveaway. It shows that whatever tens of thousands David killed; they could not have been Philistines and certainly could not have included Goliath the Gittite. As a matter of fact, when David became king, his bodyguards were 600 Philistines headed by Ittai the Gittite. (II Samuel 15:18-22). If after all this you still think David killed Goliath the Gittite, then you are entitled to your gullibility.

To Be continued

'A good leader...' Continued from Page 49

ing? When you get there say your mind. If your mind is not accepted, you have expressed your opinion. Has the government tackled corruption? Everybody is talking about Federal Government. Corruption starts from the individual, the family, villages. If there is any road in Agege that vehicles cannot pass, is it Jonathan that will fix it? That is why I say, when a leader is in power, he needs help, he needs genuine advisers. He needs their support to carry out his vision because he may not know everything. What of a lecturer who demands sex from a female student before awarding marks? Is that righteousness? The problem we have in Africa is lack of Godly.


SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 51

Immortalising big names in world football F

OOTBALL fans would surely smile to themselves at such an instruction from their in-car navigation system, aware that Ozil is a supremely gifted footballer. Yet anyone who believes it is a far cry from reality should think again. Stumbling upon streets or squares dedicated to footballers is not as uncommon as you might think, and it happens all over the world. In 2012, when inaugurating a street in honour of the most expensive German international in history, Mustafa Semerci, mayor of Devrek, a Turkish town with a population of 60,000 inhabitants, declared: “He’s our son, we had to do this for him.” Ozil, incidentally, was born in Gelsenkirchen in Germany. Just a few weeks ago the same honour was bestowed upon Sir Alex Ferguson. The street formerly known as Waters Roach, situated close to the Old Trafford stadium, now bears the name of the 71-year-old coaching icon, who retired in the summer after 27 years at the helm of Manchester United. “I’m delighted with this honour,” said Ferguson, who won over 40 domestic and international titles during his coaching career. “When I came to Manchester in 1986 I had no idea where it would take me.” One of Ferguson’s predecessors at United, Sir Matt Bus-

* Alex Ferguson joins too

by, also had a street named after him in the 1980s in honour of his services to the club. Any homage to world football’s greats would not be complete without ‘The Special One’ Jose Mourinho. In summer this year his hometown of

Setubal christened the waterside promenade Rua Saude in the city centre ‘Avenida Jose Mourinho’ in praise of his extraordinary achievements in international football. Bundesliga side Hannover 96’s reasons for renaming a

Del Bosques extends stay as Spain’s gaffer

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PAIN coach Vicente del Bosque has confirmed that he has signed a two-year extension to his contract which was set to run out at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. The new deal means Del Bosque will be in charge for Spain’s qualifying campaign for the 2016 UEFA European Championships in France. “I can confirm that I have renewed until 2016,” he told reporters in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, ahead of Spain’s friendly match against the the west African nation on Saturday. Sports daily Marca had earlier reported that he had extended his contract. Del Bosque, 62, took over as Spain coach when Luis Aragones stepped down shortly after guiding the country to victory at EURO 2008. Under Del Bosque’s watch, Spain won the World Cup for the first time in their history when beating the Netherlands 1-0 after extra-time in the final in Johannesburg in 2010. Two years later they defended their European title in Poland and Ukraine by beating Italy 4-0 in the final in Kiev. •Del Bosque

street were rather more sombre. The German club now resides as the address RobertEnke-Strasse 1, in memory of the former international goalkeeper, whose suicide in November 2009 had an impact on thousands of people. Spain’s Antonio Puerta, who died in 2007 at the age of 22, also has a street named after him in Seville. Last year the city of Madrid felt moved to immortalise not only a player but a whole team. In the suburb of Boadilla the local council named a street ‘Spanish National Football Team Avenue’ and called a roundabout ‘Vicente del Bosque Square’. The objective was to pay a fitting tribute to the Furia Roja’s success at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In Mostoles, the hometown of Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas, the custodian not only has a street in his honour but also a commemorative stone, bearing the inscription: “I’m not a Galactico, I come from Mostoles.” Korea Republic’s Park JiSung was awarded a special tribute following the 2002 World Cup in his homeland by becoming the first living South Korean player to have a street named after him. ‘Park JiSung Road’ is in Suwon, approximately 30 kilometres from Seoul. The list of street names of famous players is seemingly endless, with Diego Mara-

dona (Argentina), Ivan Zamorano (Chile), Hugo Sanchez (Mexico) and Mario Gomez (Germany) all lending their names to thoroughfares across the globe. Players are not only glorified on public highways, however. Three slices of cheese, 600 grams of meat and generous helpings of onions and ham are the ingredients of a 30 Euro burger dubbed ‘Le Zlatan’ by a Parisian restauranteur in honour of Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It is even possible to drink FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi after one of the most famous wineries in South America named a variety of wine after the forward. All profits from the drink, known as ‘Leo’, go towards the Leo Messi Foundation, which supports disadvantaged children and youths. Whether it be a street name or a public space, a burger, statue, stadium or type of wine, footballers are immortalised the world over, from Brazil to Korea Republic and Spain. It is further evidence of the game’s power to transcend mere onpitch action. Next time you turn on to Park Ji-Sung Road, Spanish National Football Team Avenue or Avenida Jose Mourinho, take a moment to remember the people being honoured. After all, they have managed to do what many people only dream of: to leave a lasting mark in fans’ memories.


52—SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

Alampasu is Nigeria’s next safest hands— Joe Erico BY BEN EFE

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ORMER national team keeper and assistant coach of the Super Eagles, Joe Erico has tipped FIFA Under17 World Cup star, Dele Alampasu to be the next Super Eagles keeper whenever high flying Vincent Enyeama made his exits. Alampasu was voted best goalkeeper of the tournament in the United Arab Emirate and according to Erico noted for discovering youth talent, the young keeper is naturally gifted and will go far in the game. “When I first saw him play in the Legacy youth league I told my associates that there is our next national hero. “I did mention his name to coaches of the Eaglets, but they didn’t take him seriously. But I surprised when one of my fellow coaches told me that my prediction about Alampasu being the next national keeper has come true with him keeping the post for the Eaglets. “That was when I started following their games in the UAE. He is an exceptional keeper and more than often he kept the Eaglets in the tournament even though the

team have a character of their own. I see Alampasu becoming a great goalkeeper,” stated Erico. Alampasu himself has tall dreams, he wants to follow in the footsteps of his goalkeeping idol, Petr Cech of the Czech Republic and famous Chelsea FC of England keeper. The 16-year-old player who is of Togolese descent said he has learnt a lot from the FIFA Under-17 World Cup and that was why he upped his game after a poor showing in the Eaglets 3-3 draw with Sweden during a group game. In the final against Mexico, he pulled daring saves to keep the a clean slate, this include a header, which has goal written on it. Alampasu stretched backwards and plucked away the ball that was heading into the far corner, it was a save only a few goalkeepers in the world can pull off. “This is my first international experience and I’ve drawn a lot of information, especially in terms of the level of concentration you need to have at this level,” the youngster stated. Certainly Alampasu who sold pure water in the streets of Ogba, Lagos to help his parents

N

•Safest Hands... Dele Alampasu is on his way to topflight football, but he must have to keep working as he is a miles away from

football achievements. Perhaps the gold gloves he won at the tournament will be a constant

reminder that there is more laurels to be won only if he puts his heart into it.

No more cash for African medals, says Abdullahi BY BEN EFE

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PORTS Minister and chairman of the National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdulahi shocked Nigerian athletes in Abuja when he announced that there will be no rewards for any win in the continent. The NSC boss who was in the camp of the athletes preparing for the Commonwealth Games next year stated that the athletes must have to work hard and win at the global stage, since it was far too easy for Nigerians to dominate Africa. This came as a rude shock to some of the jun-

ior athletes who won medals at the last African championships in Mauritius. They have been waiting for the sports minister to make pronouncements on when and how they will be rewarded for their efforts three months after they topped the medals table. “I don’t know what to say. How can we work so hard, only to be ignored,” said a junior female athlete. “Does it mean that President Jonathan will not reward us like he did the junior athletes who won the AYAC?” It was not clear if the new rule is limited to ath-

C/River grassroots product shocks swimming champion

letes and other ‘less sports’. The minister made no mention of football. In another development, Abdullahi warned the National Team Weightlifters against the use of drugs as they prepared for the Commonwealth championship in Malaysia. Abdullahi gave the warning at the last trial screening in the National Stadium, Abuja to select the final squad that would represent the country. The camp opened on Oct. 22 with 32 athletes to prepare them for the 2013 Commonwealth

Weightlifting Championship billed for Nov. 24 in Malaysia. “Athletes do not need any performance enhancing drugs to win if given longer period to prepare with determination and dedication to excel.” He, however, noted that the use of drugs had been a serious concern to sports community worldwide with the current issue in Jamaica where some of their athletes were caught. “This issue of drugs has been a serious concern to sporting community worldwide as you can see what is happen-

ing in Jamaica that many of their athletes were implicated in drug use. “For us in Nigeria, we do not want to be associated with any band substance, there are times athletes want to win at all cost they are tempted to use drugs. “The National Sports Commission will always be willing to support all sports and correcting some of the mistakes that have been made in the past and I believe it will give us good results. “I have confidence that we are going to do well, it will be the major preparation toward the Glasgow Games next year.”

IGERIA swim ming federation officials have tipped Collins Obi of Cross River State to be a world beater after he dusted long standing Nigerian swimming veteran, Yellow Yeiyah in the 200m butterfly at the recently concluded Lagos Swimming Classics held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos. The meet sponsored by the Lagos State government attracted swimmers from the West Africa region, but the star attraction was 15-year-old Obi who took two-time Olympian and 2007 All African Games 50m butterfly silver medalist, Yeiyah to the cleaners much to the admiration of the swimming officials. According to federation’s president, Tunde Fatai-Williams, Obi was quite a revelation and he was working at taking the young lad and one other female swimmer from Cross River to Gambia to compete at the African junior championships for them get more exposure. “These young lads are good and they need more exposure. I have spoken to the Cross River State sports commissioner and hopefully, they should be able to sponsor the kids to the championships in Gambia. Speaking after his conquest, Obi stated that he was not surprised by his outing at the Lagos classics. “I have been training hard to come and beat them so I am not surprised,” said JSS three 15 year old swimmer. “I am looking forward to the National Sports festival and youth games. I want to winning medals for my State. And I will like to join the Nigerian police after my studies.” Veteran Nigerian swimming coach, Steve Onyeacholam said that Nigerian swimming will receive a tremendous boost, only if other States can copy what Cross River is doing with grassroots sports. “We are very pleased we what we saw. This is how it should be, having the young ones coming to retire the older swimmers and I would want to commended the Cross River state government for what they are doing.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 17, 2013—53

Gov Imoke accepts nomination for Nigerian Sports Award G

OVERNOR Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has accepted his nominations for the Sports Governor of the year award in the 2013 edition of the Nigerian Sports Award. The Governor was presented with the nomination letter by the Chairman of the Award Panel, Mr. Ikeddy Isiguzo at the executive chambers of the Governor’s office during a special reception organized by the state government for the victorious Golden Eaglets. Speaking during the presentation of the nomination letter to the Governor, Mr Isiguzo stated that the nomination of Imoke for the Sports Governor of the year award is a clear testimony to the immense contribution of the Governor to sports development not only in the state but the nation as a whole. Isiguzo explained that the Sports Governor of the year category of the award is being given for the first time in the 2013 edition of the Nigerian Sports Award to recognize and reward a deserving Governor for excellence in sports devel-

Group launches Indoor Game to enshrine democratic values BY CALEB AYANSINA

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YES, YES, YES.... Executive support for the Eagles was not lacking yesterday as host, Gov. Liyel Imoke (left) leads Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi (2nd left) and NFF President, Aminu Maigari (3rd left) to celebrate Nigeria’s qualification for the 2014 World Cup. Photo: Kehinde Gbadamosi opment. In his response, the Executive Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Liyel Imoke thanked sports loving Nigerians for the nomination and commended the organisers of the award while calling for support for him to win the category. “On behalf of the good people of Cross River State, I want to sincerely thank Nigerians for

this nomination for the Sports Governor of the year award and thank you the organizers, all of you please vote for me” he said. Governor Liyel Imoke and his counterparts, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state are the three nominees in the race for the Sports Governor of the

year award. The 2013 edition of the Nigerian Sports Award which is the second edition will hold on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at the Muson Centre, Lagos. The Minister of Sport Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi and the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Honourable Gbenga Elegbeye are some of the dignitaries expected at the event.

N Indoor Game called ‘Democracy Game’ to propagate values of democracy globally has been launched by a body known as Indoor Games Investors and Producers Ltd. At the launching of the game, weekend, in Abuja, the Chairman of Democracy Game Committee, Prof. Adekunle Akinyemi said the game was invented by Nigerian in 1994, and it had to pass through processes to ensure that it conforms to the international standard. Akinyemi described the game as “an educative, informative and entertaining master piece, as well as potent weapon to unify multifarious groups, the Nigerian nation is comprised of.” According to him, “the game incorporates the three tiers of government and the three arms of government, and has been beautifully decorated with the names and pictures of over 500 leaders and citizens. “There is an instruction on the card and it is explanatory enough just like the monopoly, you don’t need the designer to tell you how to play it. So, when you read these instructions you will be able to play the game.” He maintained that they would organize state and local competitions, and probably push forward for it to be included in the all African game, to spread the necessity of democracy in the African continent. Presenting the games on board and on cards, a member of the committee, Prof. Abiodun Akinpelu from Lagos State University (LASU) explained that “the game is to make democracy a household issue, make it all involving and participatory, it’s not meant for a particular level of Nigerians, it’s meant for all, democracy has to do with government of the people by the people and for the people. “So, this is for all, everybody should be involved, we want to groom our children to become meaningful politicians who will want to emulate the good ones. That is why we put the pictures there and make sure that we play the game according to the rule, because democracy has to do with rules.”

Orphanage Homes Sports Festival begins A

UNIQUE sports festival for orphans in Nigeria tagged Orphanage Homes Sports Festival Nigeria will be beginning in Abuja on Tuesday, courtesy of Challenged Children Charity Foundation (3CF), in partnership with the National Sports Commission (NSC). At the OHSFN fund raising dinner, held at the Ladi

Kwali Hall, Abuja Sheraton Hotels and Towers, represen-tative of the DirectorGeneral of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Honourable Gbenga Elegbeleye, Alhassan Saleh Yakmut, who is the director grassroots sports development of the commission, described the festival as cogent, that will give voice to the

From left, Adigun Yussuf, Captain, ABS Street Team, Mosan Okunola LCDA, Lagos,( winner Male category), Anouar Idrissi, Managing Director, Football Centre, Dubai, UAE, Kunle Abioye, Team Coach, ABS Street Team and Taiwo Oyetade, Coordinator ABS Street Team at Football Centre, Dubai during the training tour of winners of MTN Lagos Street Soccer 6 in UAE. C M Y K

voiceless. He said that the organizers, Challenged Children Foundation (3CF) did a unique thing b choosing sports as a tool of giving the children a sense of belonging. “3CF identified with an international activity – sports that is a well known universal language. Whether an individual is tall or short, the business of sports is a business of everybody. The Commonwealth Charter has even states that sports is a fundamental right, making it important for everybody to have an enabling environment to engage in sporting activities. “Today’s act is unique act for unique people that the Lord is happy with. Express way to Heaven in the Holy Quran can be assessed when assistance is rendered to orphans and the quickest way to hell is when you mess up with an orphan,” he emphasized. He explained that the NSC earlier made a pledge of one million naira for the festival but would be reviewing it upwards in view of the importance attached to the project.

Also speaking, human rights activist and former member of the House of Assembly, Honourable Dino Melaye said that it was unfortunate that the only time Nigerians remember the physically challenged is when it is time for them to represent the

country at Paraly-mpics, describing the act as unfair. He called on Nigerians and public spirited individuals to make deliberate efforts at touching the lives of orphans, if Nigeria were to make any meaningful progress. Speaking to our Sports correspond-ence,

Coordinator of 3CF, Barriste MrsUgonna Uzor Kalu said that the maiden edition of the festival will feature two sports; athletics and football, while subsequent editions will include three other sports, basketball, volleyball and table tennis.

Portland hosts 2016 World Indoors

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ORTLAND in the United States and Birmingham in Great Britain will host the next two World Indoor Athletics Champio-nships, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) said Friday. Portland will host the championships in 2016 with Birmingham picked for 2018. It will be the first time since the 1987 World Indoors in Indianapolis that the United States hosts a major intern-ational athletics event, although track and field was of course part of the programme at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The next edition of the event will be in Sopot in Poland in March.

The IAAF is in Congress in Monaco, where they will hold their annual gala today.

They also decided to award the 2016 half-marathon World Championships to Cardiff.


PAGE 54, SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013


SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013, PAGE 55

C M Y K


SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 17, 2013

Jonathan, Mark, Oshiomhole hail Eagles over Ethiopia, which earned Nigeria a slot at the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil. “President Jonathan joins other proud and happy Nigerians in applauding the Super Eagles’

BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU & JOSEPH ERUNKE, Abuja

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday congratulated the Super Eagles on their 2-0 victory

2014 World Cup: Eagles’re first African side to berth in Brazil BY JACOB AJOM, Calabar

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UBSTITUTE Obinna Nsofor sealed the 2014 World Cup ticket for Nigeria as he came off the bench to score Nigeria’s second goal on a wet U J Esuene stadium in Calabar Saturday night. The Super Eagles played without tension, no sence of urgency nor was there any sign of pannick on the side lines. It was a match the Nigerians applied minimum force to see the aggressive Ethiopians off. Victor Moses converted a penalty mid way into the first half. The Ethiopians dominated play in the midfield but the Nigerian defence that was reinforced by the presence of Chelsea defender, Kenneth Omeruo refused to yield. The second half began in the same manner with the Eagles giving the visitors much room to operate. On noticing the dominance of the visitors, Keshi introduced Sunday Mba in place of Brown Ideye. Egwuekwe also replaced Omeruo while Nsofor was introduced in place of Victor Moses. Nsofor soon made his presence felt with a well taken free kick, thirty metres away from the opponents half. He sealed Super Eagles qualification to Brazil.

ECSTASY ... Super Eagles Victor Moses celebrates his goal for the team at the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar yesterday. Photo: Kehinde Gbadamosi

Qualifying Togo for the World Cup remains special to me — Keshi

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ESPITE the accolades that have trailed his exploits with the Super Eagles that were crowned with a ticket to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi says qualifying Togo for the 2006 World Cup. Answering questions in a post match briefing at the U J Esuene stadium after leading the Super Eagles to qualify for Brazil, Keshi said, “I feel qualifying Togo for the World Cup was special and unique. It was unique in the sense that almost 80% ofmy players were home based. ”Secondly, achieving that in a group that had the likes of Senegal, Zambia and another strong team makes it special.”

Keshi, however stressed that his experience as a player in Nigeria’s first qualification for the World Cup in far away Algeria in 1993 and Saturday’s qualification for Brazil 2014 in Calabar came under different scenarios. ”In 1993, we needed a draw, and we were playing away from home. The situation today(Saturday)

*Keshi

was different because about 60% of the job had

been done. But the pressure was there because

CROSS WORD PUZZLE ACROSS 1.Nobel-winning Archbishop (7-4) 5.Sailor (3) 7.Consumed (5) 8.Domesticates (5) 9.Ovum (3) 10.Electricity counting gadgets (6) 13.Highlander (4) 15.Poem (3) 17.One that contests (9) 20.Nigerian tribe (5) 22.Cereal (5) 24.Demoted (9) 27.Pig’s pen (3) 29.No one (4) 30.Sulks (6) 33.Away (3) 35.Presses (5) 36.Till (5) 37. Swine (3) 38. “The Man Who Saw Tomorrow” (11)

DOWN 1.Sleeping vision (5) 2.Possessor (5) 3.Tax (4) 4.Depressing (9) 5.Argentinian dance (5) 6.Wash lightly (5) 11.Greek letter (3) 12.Distress call (1-1-1) 14.English boy’s name (5) 16.Obstacle (3) 17.Bovine animal (3) 18.Mindfulness (9) 19.Alarm (5) 21.Help (3) 23.Village house (3) 25.Gnome (3) 26.Vast age (3) 27.Condescend (5) 28.Youthful (5) 31.Circular (5) 32.Trades (5) 34.Old Russian King (4)

everybody was talking about it.” 1

2

dogged and determined performance against the Ethiopians over the two legs of the final qualifying round which ensured away and home victories, and also ensured that Nigeria will be at the World Cup Finals for the fifth time,” Presidency statement said. “As the team and its handlers bask in the glory of being the first African country to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Jonathan urges them to rededicate themselves to excelling on the global stage and reaching for heights never previously attained by the country at the World Cup Finals.” Also Senate President David Mark and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu commended the Eagles and their handlers for making Nigerians proud by defeating Ethiopia 2-0 in the return leg playoff of the 2014 Brazil World Cup qualification played in U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar. The Senate President in his message of congratulatory message to the Stephen Keshi led coaching crew and the players signed by his Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh thanked them for sustaining the winning streak that has taken them thus far. Senator Mark noted that Nigeria is once again back to reckoning in the international sporting events saying that everything necessary should be done to make appreciable impact in Brazil 2014. Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State who also congratulated the Eagles said they have done Nigeria and indeed Africa proud by the qualification. “The Super Eagles have shown that they are indeed the Champions of Africa by emerging the first country from the continent to qualify for the World cup, joining the ranks of other great football nations like Germany, Netherlands, Spain and England, among others, who have already qualified”, a Government House statement said.

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SOLUTION on page 55

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32

Anambra Guber: Chaos rules!  

Vanguard newspaper 17112013

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