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PAGE 2, SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

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SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 3

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PAGE 4, SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

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SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013 — PAGE 5

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Jonathan begs ASUU, PHCN workers

assiduously to meet the lecturers’ demands. Jonathan, who was the special guest of honor at the first convocation ceremony at the University, acknowledged that the country is facing a lot of challenges, assuring that his government was poised to solving the problem confronting the education sector. ”Even to those of us holding political offices, those in the health sector, the police, the army, the Department of State Service(DSS), the thinking out there is that we are operating in the best environment. This is not true. ’If we all decide to embark on long strike ,definitely, we will all ground the nation.” The president reasoned that if ASUU members have genuine and patriotic mind towards pressing home their demands, four months was enough in achieving this. ”I urge every patriotic Nigerian to plead with ASUU to suspend their strike action and resume class. ”I promise to work with all Nigerians,what ever inadequacies we have with education,we are seriously working towards solving it. ”ASUU should temper their anger with p a t r i o t i s m . ”Long strike will definitely ground our educational sector. ”If you are talking to government and government is not listening, or government is not cooperating with you,that is a different thing entirely. The president promised that his government was steadily trying to solve the problems confronting other sectors of the economy ,including education by providing infrastructural facilities. He commended the founder of Afe Babalola University for establishing a first class privately owned university. On the demand of the state government on the establishment of airport and federal secretariat, Jonathan said N400million had been

President Goodluck Jonathan (3rd right) flanked by Governors Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State (2nd right), Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna State (3rd left), Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State (2nd left) and member representing Ondo Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon Joseph Akinlaja (right), on the President’s arrival at the Akure Airport, ahead of his inauguration of the 500 MW Omotosho Power Plant, in Ondo State, yesterday. earmarked in this year ’s budget for the airport. Speaking earlier, Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, made a plea on the establishment of an airport in the state. Fayemi noted that the state government had paid part of the N320million counterpart funding for the establishment of the airport. The governor noted that Ekiti was the only state out of those created in 1996 that is yet to have a federal secretariat. He disclosed that Ekiti was yet to be fully reimbursed on the N13billion spent on the construction of federal roads in the state, noting that only N2billion was paid to the state by the Federal Government. Speaking earlier,the founder of the university, Are Afe Babalola(SAN) said he decided to establish the N60billion university because of his love and concern for qualitative e d u c a t i o n .

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Babalola claimed that the institution was rated as the second best private university and number 16 in the country, saying his motive was to provide a world class university. He appealed to the Federal Government to come to the assistance of private universities in the country, especially in the area of research. Plea to PHCN workers Meanwhile, the President has urged workers of recently privatised PHCN to shelve their plan to go

on strike on the grounds of non-payment of their entitlements. According to him, efforts were on to pay the entitlements. Jonathan also assured Nigerians that electricity supply will reasonably stabilise before the middle of next year. He spoke while commissioning the National Integrated Power Project NIPP 500MW Omotosho Phase II power station in Okitipupa council area of Ondo State. The commissioning of the Omotosho NIPP is coming

16 days after that of Geregu power station. Jonathan said Nigerians should appreciate the efforts of his administration in transforming the power sector. ” I am not saying that electricity supply will be total but I want to assure that light will be reasonably stabilised before the middle of next year,” the President said. According to him, by the time his administration is through with transformation in the

power sector, the results will be likened to the reforms in the banking and telecommunication sectors. The President pointed out that all the ten NIPP which will add 4700MW to the national grid, will be completed by the end of first quarter of next year and be privatised. He commended Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, traditional rulers, and youths in the community for their supportive role in the realisation of the project. Earlier, Mimiko said the project will only have meaningful impact when transmission projects are completed. According to Mimiko, the state will soon complete and invite the President to come and commission a 30MW power station in Omotosho which was initiated by his administration. He commended the untiring efforts of Jonathan in transforming infrastructure in the country, noting that posterity will judge him positively. Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, lauded the political will of the President in effecting change not only in the power sector but also in all the sectors. The Omotosho Phase II power station was initiated in 2006 as a follow up to the existing 338MW Omotosho Phase I power station which was constructed with the financial and technical assistance of the government of China.

How the deal on Oduah’s $1.6m BMW cars was sealed *Controversy over actual cost lingers BY WALE AKINOLA & THEODORE OPARA

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ORE facts emerged, at the weekend, lending credence to the claim that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) may have bought the two controversial $1.6 million (approximately N255 million) BMW bullet proof cars for the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, amid the parastatal’s precarious financial situation. Sunday Vanguard learnt that the NCAA did not have the cash backing and hence the deal with Coscharis Motors and First Bank of Nigeria to finance the purchase was negotiated on hire purchase basis. “There is no way NCAA could have raised that kind of money in one lump sum.

Therefore when the pressure became unbearable that the vehicles had to be bought for the minister, the only option open to us was to explore how it could be done on hire purchase”, an NCAA source said. The source said the deal was sealed based on anticipatory payment. Explaining why the minister zeroed-in on NCAA to buy the vehicles, the source explained that it is one of the hard currency generating aviation agencies and payment for the vehicles was denominated in dollars. “NCAA is in this trouble because we are one of the hard currency generating aviation agencies. That is why the minister zeroed-in on us to buy the two cars because we were made to understand that payment had to be made in dollars,” the source said. “But it wasn’t as if the NCAA could afford to pay

for the cars, being expensive as they are. We have many issues contending for funds including training of staff abroad on aircraft air worthiness and so on. “We entered into anticipating payment for the cars such that the payment is spreed over a period of time based on our projections. The source explained that it may take several months for the parastatal to fully pay for the vehicles.” Meanwhile, the exact cost of the two controversial BMW cars for the Aviation Minister, at the weekend, remained shrouded in secrecy. Experts said the cost of the two cars should not have been more than $400,000 including freight charges as against the $1.6 million paid by the NCAA. The insinuation was that the vehicles were grossly over-priced. Efforts to get Coscharis

Motors, the BMW representative in Nigeria, to speak on the matter proved abortive as the president of the company, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, was said to be on a foreign trip to South-Africa and China. A Coscharis source said, “I am not competent to speak on the matter because the issue of armoured vehicles is strictly not for every staff, as most customers would not like people to know that their vehicles are armoured. It is usually confidential.” In the mean time, an expert argued that given the level of insecurity in the country, there was nothing wrong in armouring a vehicle for a minister especially given the part of the country the Aviation Minister comes from, saying what was worrisome was the amount being quoted for the two vehicles for Oduah.


PAGE 6 —SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013

Policeman kills colleague in Plateau BY MARIE-THERESE NANLONG

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Wife of the Governor of Ogun State and lead jogger, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, counselling people on early detection as the best form of preventing cancer scourge during the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) Jog for Life Awareness programme organised by BRECAN in Abeokuta, yesterday

ONFUSION e n s u e d yesterday in Jol, a village in Riyom local government area of Plateau State, as a Mobile Policeman, attached to the Special Task Force (STF) keeping the peace in the state, shot to death one of his colleagues. It was gathered that two children, between the ages of eight and 12, were wounded in the shooting . The kids were said to be

ORONTO DOUGLAS

Kidnappers reduce ransom from N500m to N10m •

We can’t pay more than N3m — Family

BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA, Yenagoa

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HE kidnappers of A u g u s t a Douglas-Ayam, the sister of Oronto Douglas, Special Adviser to the President on Research and Documentation, have reduced the ransom for her release from N500m to N10m. It was however reliably learnt that the negotiator for the family told the kidnappers that they could only part with N3m. The ailing woman was

abducted from her store last Monday night at about 8.30pm by nine armed men alleged clad in army camouflage and whisked away at Ogbia town in Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa State to an unknown destination in the creeks. Though the whereabouts of Mrs Augusta Douglas-Ayam were unknown, the kidnappers reportedly contacted her husband, Mr. Azibayam, at about 2am on Thursday asking for N500m. The ransom was

however reduced to N17m on Friday and later to N10m yesterday after failing to contact the presidential aide. It was learnt that the kidnappers slashed down the ransom to N10m after discussing with their victim’s h u s b a n d . But the troubled Azibayam was said to have told the caller that he could only afford N3million. The source, who pleaded anonymity said, “For the first time, the kidnappers were calm in their conversation. They didn’t sound furious this

time around. They simply asked that we should look for N10million. ”But the woman’s husband begged them to collect N3million. He told them he could only afford N3million. They asked him to increase the money to enable them free his wife.” The source expressed optimism that their sister could be set free by tomorrow (Monday). ”With the way the conversation is going, we hope that our sister will be released on or before Monday,” he said.

receiving treatment at the Vom Christian Hospital in Jos South local government area of the state. Spokesman for STF, Captain Salisu Mustapha, confirmed the incident, saying, “It is true that a Mobile Policeman attached to STF shot dead his colleague in Jol, Riyom local government area.

”Two children were seriously wounded in the shooting and are receiving treatment in Vom Christian Hospital”. Mustapha added it was not clear what informed the shooting and killing of the policeman, explaining that the officer had been arrested and was being investigated to ascertain his motive.

New book,’Zik, Ndigbo and their Southern neighbours’ out

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new book, ZIK, NDI-IGBO AND T H E I R S O U T H E R N NEIGHBOURS, written by Uchenna I. Nwankwo, has just been published and put into the public domain. The 370-page book is about the thrust of political development in Nigeria through the final phase of British colonial rule to present day. Its theme is the political convergence of three social forces, namely the thrust of Nigerian nationalism, the persistence of ethnic particularism, and the crystallisation of emergent class interests. It exposes the shenanigans that compromised Nigeria’s political well-being and advancement, while pointing the way forward. The age-old bitter struggle between Azikiwe and Awolowo and its impact are given

in-depth analysis. The author highlights the impact of the January 15. 1966 coup d’etat and how its leader, Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu was subsequently murdered in the Nsukka war-front through a brotherly conspiracy of the meanest order. The roles played by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the Nigeria-Biafra war are examined from new perspectives. The supposed motives in using hunger as an instrument of war; and the de-populating of Igboland and committing genocide against the Igbo are succinctly reassessed. The challenges militating against Nigeria’s advancement today and ways to stem these problems are equally put in perspective. It is a book that will surely create controversy.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 7

•Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; his deputy, Mrs Titi LaoyeTomori; and General Evangelist, Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Worldwide, Prophet. S. Kayode Abiara (right), during Abiaras’s courtesy visit to the Osun governor

•Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (middle), flanked by Hon Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour (left) and Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, during a dinner in the judges honour on their elevation to the Supreme Court, on Friday.

Aliyu to northern govs: Select your first eleven for National Dialogue •Atiku, G7 Govs in secret meeting BY SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North & UMAR YUSUF

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IGER State Governor and Chairman of Northern States Governors Forum, Dr Babangida Aliyu, says the North would embrace the National Dialogue being organised by the Federal Government with a view to sorting out knotty issues affecting the area and the country. The ‘Chief Servant’, who spoke at the turbarning of Daniel Madubualla at the palace of the Lamido of Adamawa, yesterday, made it clear that the North was not afraid of discussing any issue at the conference, knowing that its outcome could make Nigeria a better country. While extolling the talks, the governor, however, called on the 19 governors of the North to select their ‘first eleven’ teams to the conference so as to be able to understand the issues at stake and make necessary contributions. The governor said, “The North is not afraid of the conference being planned by the Federal Government. We should have nothing to fear because I believe strongly that Nigeria will come out of it a better country that it is today. “We should therefore embrace the National Conference and send in our first eleven teams and avoid dealing with charlatans and people who cannot discuss the issues at stake and bring about the required peace and united of this country. Commenting on the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the governor explained that the struggle of the seven governors of the party

against the leadership was to entrench a more democratic political culture in Nigeria and bring about peace, unity and development in Nigeria. Aliyu said what they were doing was not a personal fight but an altruistic march towards bringing about more democratic dividends for Nigerians at all levels. Meanwhile, Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State has said that the threat by the PDP to

treat the G7 Governors as criminals was a clear indication that the party leaders were openly opposed to peace and reconciliation. Nyako, who spoke through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mr. Ahmed Sajoh, described as unfortunate and uncharitable the comments credited to Olisa Metuh, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, that they would henceforth dealt with the G7 gover-

nors and the Baraje group as common criminals. Metuh handed down the threat following a court ruling on Friday barring the Baraje faction of the party from operating any further. “What Metuh said is unfortunate and unsuitable for the current political climate in which we have found ourselves. It does not also show that they are genuinely interested in peace and reconciliation, ”Sajoh lament-

ed.

Closed-door meeting

Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Aliyu and Nyako, members of the G7 Governors, held a closed- door meeting Friday night at the country home of the former vice president in Yola. Though the agenda and deliberations at the meeting, which started at about 9pm and lasted till midnight, were not known, political observers said the

meeting was in furtherance of the moves by the G7 governors and their PDP faction to chart a new political road map for the country. Anxious journalists who attempted to gain entrance into the house of the former vice president, venue of the meeting, were barred from doing so. A source told Sunday Vanguard that only Atiku, Nyako and Aliyu participated in the meeting to ensure its confidentiality.

Ondo stakeholders seek mass action against corruption BY DAYO JOHNSON, Akure

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N appeal has gone to parents to start war against corruption from homes. Some stakeholders in Ondo State including the traditional institution, the physically challenged, women organizations, human right groups, labour unions and the media made the appeal. They spoke at a consultative forum on the review of the 1999 Constitution organized by Human and Environment Development Agenda (HEDA). They urged government

at all levels to take the war against corruption seriously and strengthen the anti-graft agencies in the country. According to them, there should be no sacred cow in the fight against corruption.

They wondered how criminals and fraudsters get elected or appointed to offices at the expense of credible people. The stakeholders urged government to prescribe stiffer punishments for those found guilty of cor-

ruption. Two of the participants, Mr Ayodele Emmanuel Abiodun and Gbenga Awe-Joseph, said there should be mass action against corrupt individuals. The Executive Secretary

of HEDA, Mr Arigbabu Suleiman, said the stakeholders’ forum was necessary to sensitize the people about the on-going review of the 1999 Constitution and the need to participate in decisionmaking process.

National Conference is waste of time —Primate Ayodele BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA

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RIMATE Baba tunde Ayodele, General Overseer of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, has said the proposed National Conference is a waste of time and resources.

“The National Conference is a mere waste of resources and time because nothing good will come out of it. Even when decisions are taken at the end of it, they will not be implemented. When the time comes for a genuine national conference, we will all see the signs and be

convinced. But this particular conference has a lot of political undertones which I will not disclose because I am speaking as a prophet, not a political analyst. I therefore want to rename it a ‘corrupt national conference’”, he said. Ayodele also faulted the

leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, for lack of transparency, saying, “They go to Mr. President every now and then, but why can they not advise him on what to do and what not to do? Truth is bitter but you have to say it! CAN is corrupt and political!”

Road reconstruction: Lagos closes Mile 2 — Lagos Badagry Expressway BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI

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HE Badagry bound carriageway on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, LBE, will be closed to traffic between 7am and 12 noon today, to allow for construction of pedestrian bridge for the blue line rail project along the axis. Lagos State Commissioner for

Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, who disclosed this, said the move was part of concerted efforts to deliver the first phase of the Blue Line Rail Project, as part of the 10-lane, expansion road project of LagosBadagry Expressway. According to Opeifa, the contractor, Messrs China Civil Engineering C o n s t r u c t i o n

Corporation, CCECC, would be installing precast beams for the pedestrian bridge to take commuters into the rail station at Mile 2 and across the road. He explained: “The Badagry bound carriageway on the Lagos Badagry Expressway, will be closed to traffic between 7am and 12 noon on Sunday 20th October, 2013 to enable the

contractor install the beams. ”This notice serves as awareness information on the beam launch. We therefore advise motorists and other road users to use alternative routes to avoid traffic delays. ”We appeal for caution and cooperation from all road users to obey all traffic regulations and ensure traffic flow during

the period of closure. ”We are working with relevant Lagos State agencies to ensure free flow of traffic. ”The Lagos State Government sincerely regrets any inconveniences.” Meanwhile, motorists were advised to take alternative routes available, either through Festac Town or Kirikiri Road.


PAGE 8 —SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013

Activist Baba Omojola dies after National Conference presentation BY ADEOLA ADENUGA

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R O - N AT I O N A L Conference Organisation, PRONACO, Head of Secretariat and foremost revolutionary teacher and leader, Baba Oluwide Omojola, slumped and died yesterday in his hotel room while preparing to leave for his base in Lagos after making a presentation in Akure, Ondo State capital, before the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference. A statement by PRONACO, yesterday, said the activist collapsed and was immediately rushed to First Mercy Specialist Hospital, Gbogi Road, Akure where he was certified dead. “Baba Omojola, before his sudden passing this morning, was at the forefront of the advocacy for the convocation of the Sovereign National Conference, SNC, and was one the signatories to the communiqué of the National Political Summit held in Uyo between 2nd and 5th September 2013. The resolution of the summit specifically demanded for a Peoples National Conference for the country among others”, the statement said. “Baba Omojola, at yesterday’s (Friday) presentation before the Presidential Committee, insisted that the PRONACO draft Peoples Constitution adopted in 2007 under the leadership Chief Anthony

Enahoro of blessed memory should be the working document of the proposed National Conference. He later formally submitted the draft Peoples’ Constitution to the Chair and Secretary of the Presidential Committee before leaving the podium “Baba Omojola was co founder of PRONACO with Chief Tony Enahoro, Prof Wole Soyinka, Dr Beko Ransome Kuti, among others, who fought for the restoration of the present democracy in the country and the production of the draft Peoples Constitution produced by the Peoples National Conference of Nigerian Ethnic Nationalities between 2004 and 2007 “As a revolutionary teacher and leader, Baba trained and led a horde of political and labour activists who are currently leading the advocacy for a new Nigeria, where the diverse peoples of Nigeria can make and own their constitution and live a good and peaceful life “Baba will be remembered for his immense sacrificial contributions to political direction and development of the country; suffering numerous detentions in the hands of the Nigerian ruling class. Baba as a thorough bred and versatile economist has to his credit numerous thesis and publications that has continued to shape the life of the country”.

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From left: Patron, Egbe Omo Wesley Cathedral Olowogbowo, Lagos, Bro Kemi Thomas presenting a gift from the society to the daughter of the deceased, Mrs Kofo Williams-Davies to the delight of the public relations officer, Bro Aramide Tola Noibi (1st right) and other members at the funeral wake keep of late Madam Abimbola Afolasade Williams - Adisa, a retired Lagos State, Chief Magistrate at her Ebute-Metta, Lagos residence.

From left: Mrs Ugoji Nwakaego, Mrs Ononiju Angela, Mrs Olufunmilayo Edith, Prince Henry Odukomaiya, Chief (Mrs) Grace Odukomaiya Mr Elizabeth Osibajo and Mrs Arah Nkiru during the graduation ceremony & fund raising of the Lagos Anglican Bible College at Cathedral Church of St, Jude, Ebute Metta, Lagos. Photo by Diran Oshe.

Kogi House denies alleged plan to impeach deputy governor BY BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO

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He said, “The House on resumption will put an end to the mischief and the move to discredit the House. The House presently is focused and united and there is no iota of truth in the impeachment move by the Assembly against the deputy gover-

HE leadership of the Kogi State House of Assembly has denied reports that legislators have compiled signatures to impeached the deputy governor, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi. The reports alleged that 23 of the 25 members of the state House of Assembly have signed an impeachment notice to remove BY TONY EDIKE, Enugu Awoniyi on the grounds of X P E C TAT I O N S misappropriation of over that the Igbo socioN3 billion meant to alleviate the plight of flood vic- cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, would tims. But the Majority - Lead- articulate and announce er of the House, Hon. the Igbo agenda for the Yakubu Yunusa, who spoke National Dialogue, yesterwith Sunday Vanguard, day, were dashed as Igbo yesterday, said, “The leaders rose from the House is not aware of any meeting convened for that report on misappropriation purpose without agreeing of funds on last year’s on a common position for flood that ravaged the Ndigbo. The much publicized state.” Yunusa warned those Ime Obi, the highest deposting reports concerning cision organ of the organthe state Assembly on-line isation , held at the Nato desist as it was becom- tional Secretariat of Ohaing a recurring matter, not- naeze in Enugu with the ing that the legislators were single agenda of articulating Igbo position for the on recess.

nor”. Also, the chief press secretary to the deputy governor, Mr. Michael Abu, said the Kogi flood account that the on-line report quoted is domiciled in the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Accountant General and could not have

been single-handedly administered by his principal. ”About N760 million and not N3 billion was received by the state as donations from the Federal Government, corporate bodies and individuals; and, on request, an income and expenditure account was pre-

sented to the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Assembly in July this year,” Abu said. He said the funds received were judiciously utilized and advised online reporters to always verify their facts before posting stories.

Ohanaeze leaders yet to agree on Confab agenda

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Ekiti Immunisation Officer sent-off

dialogue rose after several hours without any consensus on the issue. Ohanaeze had expressed its support for the conference after it was announced by President Goodluck Jonathan but stated that its position would be made public after adequate consultations were made with relevant stakeholders and affiliate Igbo groups in Nigeria and Diaspora. Deputy Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Isaac Wonwu, who briefed journalists at the end of the Imeobi, yesterday, said the meeting was “inconclusive”. He said, “I have the

mandate of Ohanaeze to brief you on the outcome of our meeting. The Imeobi has sat to appraise the proposed National Dialogue by President Jonathan. In our view, we have looked at it critically and we are presently articulating our position and, as soon as we finish with this, we will be able

to get back to Nigerians on our position”. Asked why the meeting was brief in their communique, he said , “We have a responsibility as a group, we also want to ensure that we properly consult the nooks and crannies of Ndigbo and the governors before taking our position.

Salvation for all Evangelical Outreach

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HE Salvation for all Evangelical Outreach, a non denominational church, holds a three-night liberation prayer at Wilmer Crescent in Olodi Apapa, Lagos. The programme is scheduled to begin October 30.

According to Evangelist Oliver Anyanwu, the theme of the programme is “My set time of liberty has come”. He said the first day will be a sober reflection for participants and is tagged, “Let go the old and former things”.

RS F.O Ajibulu, who retired as the Deputy Director/Immunization Officer for Ado-Ekiti Local Government, has been described as a great mobilizer, committed leader and role model that has uplifted primary health care delivery in the country. The ceremony, organized in Ado-Ekiti by the National Association of Community Health Practitioners of Nigeria, (NACHP) Ekiti State Chapter, was attended by members of the association. The chairman of the Ekiti State Chapter of the association, Mrs Tola Olayiwola, said Ajibulu deserved to be celebrated as she had contributed immensely to the growth of the upliftment of primary health care delivery. The retired official was the pioneering chairperson of NACHP the state and served as the South West Zonal Coordinator, National Treasurer as well as a member of the Community Health Practitioners Registration Board of Nigeria (CHPRBN) at different times. Dignitaries at the send-off include Hon Biola Olasehinde, who was the chairman of the occasion; Hon Ranti Adebisi (Opomulero), the chairman, Ekiti State Local Govt Service Commission; Ekiti State Local Government Service commissioners, Engr Alaba Agboola, Prince Akintade Olayisade, Hon Ropo Ige and Chief Olanipekun, proprietor, FABUTAS School of Health Technology, AdoEkiti.

We will transform Anambra — Ifeanyi Ubah

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R Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, governorship candidate, Labour Party (LP) in the Anambra State, has reiterated his preparedness to bring about development in the state through his 25- point agenda if elected into office. Speaking with the leaders of Concerned Anambrarians in Aba who met him at the party secretariat in Awka, Ubah stated that it clear that his aspiration to vie for the guber seat is to address the crippling economy, infrastructure, health and social welfare challenges stunting development in the state. “I am a true Igbo son, grew up here, so I know the challenges confronting my people and I have the passion to address their general welfare and that is my concern for Anambra State,” Ubah said. He cited the issue of security as an example, asking, “How can you tackle insecurity in the midst of growing unemployment rate in the state?”. According to him, the rate of unemployment in the state has made him to set up a plan that would create 40,000 jobs in the first year of his administration if voted into power.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 9

From left: Pastor Samuel Orogun, groom’s father,Deaconess Elizabeth Otunla, bride’s mother , with the couple, Mr & Mrs Olugbenga Emmanuel Orogun with Elder Mathew Otunla, bride’s father and Mrs Grace Orogun, groom’s mother at the solemnization of the Holy Matrimony between Bose and Olugbenga held at Christ Apostolic Church,Oke-Imole Alaba-Oro Zonal Headquarters , Ajegunle-Apapa, Lagos , yesterday . Photos:Akeem Salau

From left: Mallam Nuhu Ribadu Ex-EFCC Boss; Justice Adolphus KaribiWhyte [RTD]; Engr Tele Ikuru, Rivers State Deputy Governor and Prof Epiphany Azinge, Book reviewer during the Public Presentation of the Book "Compendium of Nigerian Laws on Corruption, Economic and Financial crimes' to Mark the 50th Birthday Anniversary of the Rivers State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry weekend at the Presidential Hotel Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke

Cross section of Vangaurd staff with the newly wedded couple,Mr and Mrs Olugbenga Emmanuel Orogun

Dr. Olusanjo Bamgboye, Executive Director,National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna; Mrs Maryam Katagum, Head, Permanent Delegation and Ambassador to UNESCO; Prof Oladapo Afolabi, Chairman, Governing Board,RC-IRBM; Mrs Sarah Reng Ochekpe, Minister Of Water Resources; Dr Kwabena Kankan Yeboah, member, RC-IRBM; Baba Umar Farouk, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, during the inauguration of the board of UNESCO Category II Regional Centre for Integrated River Basin Management in Abuja.

One killed as Ekhomu, security expert, family are rescued from Edo kidnappers BY SIMON EBEGBULEM

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EN of the Joint Task Force (JTF), in the Niger Delta, yesterday, rescued one Mrs. Ekhomu and her children from suspected kidnappers along Benin Sapele Road, in Edo State while the husband, Dr Onah Ekhomu, a private security expert, escaped through

the bush after engaging the suspected kidnappers in physical combat. However, the kidnapping bid became bloody when the suspected kidnappers killed the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Thomas White Plc, Mr. Emmanuel Obiyan. Sunday Vanguard learnt that the incident occurred between Ehor and Iruekpen, along Benin-Auchi Road. The victims were on their way to Uromi for the Esan Professionals Conference.

The incident happened few hours before Governor Adams Oshiomhole signed into law the state Kidnapping Prohibition Law as amended, which prescribes death penalty for kidnappers. Sunday Vanguard learnt that the gunmen, who reportedly wore police uniforms, stopped the victims and informed them that they were under arrest. The suspected kidnappers were said to have ordered Mrs Ekhomu and her

children to a vehicle while Obiyan and Ekhomu were pushed to another vehicle. It was gathered that Ekhomu, on realizing that they had been abducted, engaged in physical combat the gun men who shot him in the hand before he escaped into the bush. Obiyan said was said to have been shot severally by the gun men before abandoning his body which has since deposited at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, where Ekhomu

Edo LG bye-election: Edebiri begs Oshiomhole to intervene BY SIMON EBEGBULEM

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HEAD of the T u e s d a y

rescheduled councillorship bye- election for Isi South, Ward 8, Uhumwonde Local Government Council of Edo State, a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and former governorship candidate of the ANPP, Mr Solomon Edebiri, has appealed to Governor Adams Oshiomhole to intervene in

what he described as the alleged imposition of the councillorship candidate in his ward by former ACN leaders. The councillorship candidate of the former ANPP, Andrew Ogbeide, had, last week, petitioned the national leadership of the APC, complaining that the name of the former ACN candidate was submitted to the Edo State Independent National Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) by the leaders of the APC as the candidate of the APC without

primaries. Edebiri, who lamented that primaries were not conducted before the name of the APC candidate was submitted to EDSIEC, warned that imposition of candidates may derail the progress of the party in the state, and therefore appealed to the governor to intervene in the matter. “I want APC to succeed in Edo State and that is why I am raising this alarm because the governor must help salvage this situation. I don’t like the way things

are happening in the APC that can boast of Governor Oshiomhole, Pastor IzeIyamu, Chief Ikimi and others because we are supposed to work together after the merger but now people are imposing councillorship candidate in my ward, that is not fair. “What I expect our leaders to do is to conduct primaries for all the aspirants so that the best will emerge. To send the name of the former ACN candidate is unacceptable and I appeal to the governor to look into it”.

was also rushed to for t r e a t m e n t . Meanwhile, Ekhomu’s wife

and her children were said to have been rescued near Sapele by the JTF.

Lagos council boss battle police Area Commander BY IFEANYI OKOLIE

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he face-off between the Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, Comrade Adewale Ayodele, and the Area Commander, Area ‘E’ Police Command, ACP Dan Okoro, has forced residents to call for a truce. Some residents also called on Ayodele to stop distracting Okoro and allow him do his job. The council boss had, in a protest, held at the Apapa Magistrate Court, Lagos, accused the Area Commander of engaging in brazen violation of human rights, state laws and traffic rules. He led a number of staff of the local government as well as some residents of Festac Town in the protest where he demanded the investigation and removal of Okoro.

Ayodele stated that the Area Commander had been flouting the directives of the Lagos State Government as regards traffic law. His words, “Dan Okoro should explain to us why we still find containers here and there in Festac Town. He should explain why we still have cases of kidnapping, armed robbery and abandoned vehicles in Festac Town. This is becoming unbecoming of an Area Commander. It is rather unfortunate that Dan Okoro has usurped the power of the DPO, making him irrelevant in the scheme of things. Or how could one explain a situation whereby the duties of the DPO are being hijacked by the Area Commander.” But the Lagos Police Command spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, told Sunday Vanguard that the council chairman was obstructing police investigation.


PAGE 10 —SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

Lagos State governorship 2015: A matter of numbers

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ARDON me for quot ing myself, but that statement had not received the attention that it needs from Christians living in this state. And, the sooner we got to discussing the critical numbers the better for all of us. For what you are about to read, I owe a great deal of debt to late Mr Udoh, our Standard Four class teacher at St Peter’s (Faji) Primary School, Ajele Street, Lagos Island. Mr Udoh was perhaps the most passionate teacher I ever had; but, he was most passionate about arithmetic which he drummed into our skulls in 1956 with cane and love in equal measures. His favourite statement was: “If you know arithmetic, nobody can cheat you”. To our tender ears that appeared like esoteric philosophy. What has arithmetic got to do with cheating? Politicians eventually provided the answer to the puzzle when they started shouting that politics is a game of

numbers. So, this struggle for equity by Christians is based on numbers that prove conclusively that there is inequity in the political system in Lagos State. Whether it has become institutionalized or was inadvertent will be determined by the outcome of the struggle for 2015. Let me run some numbers around which we can conduct this discussion, which hopefully will not degenerate into an argument or even a quarrel. All those reading this article must bear in mind that Christians in Lagos State had from the time party politics started with Herbert Macaulay, in the 1940s, supported the progressive agenda. The election for Mayor of Lagos was won by Alhaji Olorunimbe, who won even in Popo Aguda (Catholic Section) in Lagos Island. However, the periods which concern us the most start from the start of the Second Republic, 19791983. We went out and together elected a Muslim/ Muslim ticket for Governor and Deputy Governor – Alhaji Jakande and Alhaji Jafojo respectively. They were elected for the two terms and would have ruled for eight years – if the military had not terminated civilian rule after four years and four months. That means fifty-two (52) months. Keep that figure in

The land of sublime lunacy and ridiculous contradictions "To have once been a criminal is no disgrace. To remain a criminal is the disgrace" -- Malcolm X

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don't know about you, but Nigeria is in a per petual state of ignominy. We honour and fete the corrupt and the criminals, and then we punish the hard working and good people in Nigeria. Ever wonder why people think it does not pay to be good in Nigeria and why people think we all at it? Any wonder why it does not pay to be good at the same time we profess that we are godly and yet we serve ourselves and not others. These are the reasons why we have been at the crossroads and at the inescapably doldrums and we pray for divine intervention? If we are so intelligent and virtuous, we should then be helping and lifting the majority that are in grinding poverty and facing a dire future. No, we remain in the trenches and fighting tooth and nail for all the wealth we can gath-

er for ourselves and adulations. Frankly, I know nothing I write or have written will change our state of mind. That decision is an individual decision and one that we can only make ourselves and that is very much what Nigeria depends on right now. I have that old chestnut that one person cannot change things actually that is the only way things change; when an individual decides, makes the change within and in his or her corner of the world, that's when things change. We need individual social and collective responsibility without, which our nation will continue to hurl uncontrollably towards a cataclysmic trajectory. Truly, if we are responsible people should we not want the best for our young, our old, our country and ourselves? Or we are so connected and cannot operate in isolation and the present situation bear witness to that. What caught my attention were the peace summit of cult groups and its oxy-

mind. The Third Republic started on positive notes but ended in another military government. Because the leaders of the Progressive movement, in the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in Lagos,

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“The population of Lagos State is estimated at 20 million with 10 million being Christians. The ten million have no more control over their lives than ten million cows being driven about by nomads”. Dele Sobowale, September 26, 2013, at the Seminar organized by Christian Conscience at Alausa, Ikeja.

another opportunity to call us out, like the reliable cattle we Christians have always been. The Alliance for Democracy, AD, (remember them?), led by the remnants of people going by the badly battered title of Awoists, organized a primary and the first results indicated that, for once, Funso Williams, a Christian, won the election. But, the fathers of the Progressive movement, which most of us had equated with equity and fair play, had other ideas. I don’t blame the eventual winner for one minute. I would have accepted the tainted mandate too since every politician is in the race to win – fair or foul. It was perhaps providential justice

This struggle for equity by Christians is based on numbers that prove conclusively that there is inequity in the political system in Lagos State. Whether it has become institutionalised or was inadvertent will be determined by the outcome of the struggle for 2015

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der which no Christian was part of the inner caucus. At any rate, the choice was made months in advance of the period INEC stipulated for primaries. Even a fool knew it would be Fashola – another Muslim. With his first term, he added four years (48 months) to Muslim occupation of the Governor’s Mansion in Lagos State. Only a major catastrophe, hard to imagine, can prevent him from adding four more years, or another 48 months to the tally. As Mr Udoh would have asked, let us add up the figures. Unless my arithmetic has gone as old as I am, what stares us in the face is a situation in Lagos State in which Christians constitute half of the population in which by 2015, Muslims would have spent 244 months as governors of OUR (it belongs to all of us, Christians and Muslims, as well as non-believers), and a Christian only 14. To expect us to go to the polls in 2015 and grant four/eight more years to Muslim candidates, bringing the totals to 292 or 340 months to 14 months, is the greatest sort of injustice anybody or group can ask another group to endure. We will not accept it and we shall organize ourselves to fight this creeping institutionalization of inequity. This is not an anti-Muslim struggle; we appreciate the achievements credited to Governor Fashola. But, let nobody insult us by saying to us that we cannot find one Christian who can perform as well. What a man has done, another man can do or even better. Only God’s work cannot be surpassed.

could not agree on which of two Muslims, late Professor Agbalajobi or Dapo Sarumi, should be the candidate, one faction called on us to cast our votes for the “conservative” party candidate – Sir Michael Otedola of the National Republican Congress, NRC. He lasted approximately fourteen months. But, please note, Otedola would never have made it if Sarumi had stepped down for Agbalajobi, as he was asked to do. The Fourth Republic, which started in 1999, presented the Progressives with

that all those who were responsible for that travesty were later rubbished and sent into retirement in less than four years. Eight years (96 months) of Muslim Governor followed. Please bear that second figure in mind also. The 2007 selection was a foregone conclusion, even before the primaries started. Before that the “Progressive” party had changed its name to Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN for the 2003 elections. By then, however, it had become clear that primaries had been discarded for a selection process un-

ADVICE TO CANDIDATES FOR 2015 ELECTIONS “The future does not belong to those who are con-

moronic interactive peace summit. So the gathering of cult groups to discuss their concerns over the increased state of anarchy in Edo State in particular; the kidnappings, armed robbery gangs and other criminal activities! Well, that is rich, a case of the pot calling the kettle black don't you think? So what happened to the police force or are

ing in Edo. It would have been logical to find out the root causes of the level of crime in the state than trade one banditry for another. We cannot do a quick fix by pandering to criminals regardless of their calibre. If they stand for maiming, killing, creating mayhem, deny people the right to life, intimating and harassing lives and they know what to contribute to the common good? This brand of fraternity is built on criminal activities and so no better than any other criminal activities; same difference. There comes a time when men should put away boys and embrace adulthood, unfortunately, the longer these people are embedded in such association, the more difficult for them to act responsibly as a law abiding citizen. At the peace summit the roll call reads. Green Circuit (Maphites), Norsemen (Vikings), Black Axe, Eiye Confraternity, Family Fraternity of Nigeria and Avarian Organisation of Nigeria. They resolved to tackle them. For good measure they were in good company as there were representatives of Governor Adams Oshiomhole; the Iyase (traditional Prime Minister) of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe; representatives of the Edo State Commissioner of Police and that of AIG Zone 5 Benin and representatives of the Director,

Department of State Services .It gets better; the Commandant of Civil Defence and Security Corps, Edo State Neighbourhood Watch Council and the OC, SIB, AIG Zone 5. The chair of the summit, Donald Edeo-ghon, did acknowledge the damage to the reputation of the fraternities in last couple of decades, but he felt the coalition will help to crack the escalating crime rate in the state. He said: "If you remember, for over two decades, inter-group conflicts, which often resulted in violent and fatal crises, were the attributes of Edo State communities. And "Innocent lives and property of inestimable worth are destroyed on a whim.Armed robbery, kidnapping, thuggery and sundry social vices rose to unprecedented levels; it became dangerous to reside and function legitimately in Edo State and in particular, Benin". So he concluded that, "The situation looked bad, but then came the platform of Rainbow Consolidated Forum with a template for all seasons." This was priceless when Chief Igbe expressed" his joy" at what he witnessed and called on the groups not to disappoint, saying "you know I am going to brief the Oba on what I have witnessed here today." So who polices the vigilantes and who governs the ungovernable?

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We need individual social and collective responsibility without which our nation will continue to hurl uncontrollably towards a cataclysmic trajectory

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they moon lighting as cultists too? Why would the state governor send representation to such imbecilely gathering and why does his office need an alliance with such people of violence? Does he think it adds credibility to his office? Whatever the case, it is not the most effective way to alleviate the state of insecurity and penury for the people liv-

tent with today…timid and fearful in the face of new ideas and projects”, Robert Kennedy, 1968. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 71). If you plan to be a candidate for the 2015 elections, then, remember this. The 2015 is closer than you think. For a start, by the time you read this article, there will be only seventeen and a half months left to convince the electorate that you deserve their votes. For all candidate, but new ones especially, this is not a lot of time. However, you can pack a lot of work into the time available. Increasingly, the media will play a major role in the coming elections. There are two major things you must attend to immediately. They are: write a biography (even if you wrote one more than four years ago, write another one) focus on those aspects of your life history that are relevant to the position you seek; get a good Media Adviser/Consultant to drive your media strategy and operations and talk to him/her everyday. In everything you do or say, avoid telling absolute lies. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get away with total falsehood about ones past in the world of ICT. Information which you left on record somewhere and with an organization might resurface to haunt you. Most importantly, start now to build your campaign team and determine your approach to the coming campaign. Incidentally, while INEC regulations forbid campaigning now, it does not preclude organizing and grassroots activities aimed at getting positive recognition by the electorate in your constituency. I wish you luck.

Still on James Ibori The former Delta State Governor, James Ibori's case has recently ended in Southwark court in London. The prosecution and defence had closed their cases and filed their final briefs, and the order for retrial will have cost the court and the British taxpayer, so much money! The Ibori's defence counsel had made robust arguments against the crown prosecution confiscation request order of £90,000,000, using an independent UK forensic accountant expert and relying on the prosecution's own trial documents which contained all of 63,000 statements. The court was told that none of the 63,000 documents in the trial bundle has evidence that linked Delta State funds to any of Ibori's accounts in any way. The Met Police lead financial investigator, Detective Constable Peter Clark agreed that there were no direct payments from Delta State to any of the alleged foreign accounts of the former governor. Now Ibori counsel has asked: "It is denied that funds' going to Stanhope investment account is directly and indirectly from Delta State, there are no direct payments or indirect payment from Delta State to this account.


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 11

turbing story that aides of traditional rulers were using palace vehicles to convey perpetrators of political violence. The then Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim had to direct Police Commissioners and command’s Assistant Inspectors General of Police to educate traditional rulers on the security roles they could play during elections. In 2011, the governorship candidate of All Progres-

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N December 14 1991, governor ship elections were held in all the states of the federation. The conduct was generally hitchfree, but the result of the election in one state-Edowas nullified by the relevant election tribunal. The tribunal took the decision having convinced itself that the election was adversely affected by undue influence occasioned by a political broadcast by a Benin Chief alleging that the Oba of Benin had directed his people to vote for the eventual winner. Although the Court of Appeal later reversed the nullification, it became a moot point in Nigeria’s electoral history that partisanship by otherwise neutral royal fathers could serve as undue influence in an election Regrettably, many traditional rulers mar elections by allowing themselves to be unwittingly used by one candidate against another notwithstanding that all the candidates see them as their fathers. In 2010 for instance, there was the dis-

easy to ascertain in view of several conflicting reports about which candidates a particular royal father supports. In Anambra, where elections are less than a month away, the Obi of Onitsha is reported to favour Chief Willie Obiano, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). According to the media the traditional ruler commended the party for finally redressing the

In Osun State, frontline traditional rulers have already secured the same roles for themselves in the campaign train of Governor Rauf Aregbesola in the forthcoming governorship election in the state

sives Grand Alliance, APGA, during the April polls in Abia state, Chief Reagan Ufomba alleged that Governor Orji gave traditional rulers in the State between N1million and N2 million to buy votes for him during the election. Whether this allegation is correct or not is not quite

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imbalance in the political leadership of the state by choosing a candidate from the hitherto neglected Anambra North Senatorial District as its flag-bearer. 10 days later, another media report suggested that the monarch shunned the same candidate because he was foisted on the people by the

PhD, Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos,

08116759758

Nigerian history and the morbid obsession with national unity (5)

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NALYSIS of pro motions in the army between January 15 and July 28, 1966, as documented in official records and well-researched historical sources, demonstrates that Ironsi was fair to all parts of the country. Allegation that he refused to punish Nzeogwu and others implicated and detained for the January coup because most of them were Igbo cannot be sustained; it is a mischievous falsehood peddled by half-baked historians to justify the senseless and bloodthirsty revenge coup of July 29, 1966. Ruth First, in her book The Barrel of a Gun: The Politics of Coup d’états in Africa, reports that Col. Usman Katsina, a member of Ironsi’s SMC, stated that the Council had decided in one of its meetings chaired by the head of state‘ that Nzeogwu and others involved in the first coup would be court-martialled not later than October. Of course, the trial never held: Ironsi and his government were brutally cut down in a bloody coup masterminded by Lt. Col. Murtala Mohammed, Maj. Theophilus Y. Danjuma, Maj. Martin Adamu and, with a high degree of probability, Lt. Col. Gowon, inspite of shibboleths and denials by Gowon himself and his biographer, Isawa Elaigwu. In general, Ironsi was a

detribalised Nigerian and an honest man. Probably, he underrated the animosity of the Northern establishment against him. He was not a politician, and was totally devoid of cunning and showed very little aptitude for diplomatic shrewdness required for governing a complex fractious country like Nigeria. Like all leaders, Ironsi sometimes acted on wrong judgment and poor advice. Yet, he did nothing to deserve gruesome death from revenge-intoxicated soldiers from the North. If Nigeria were a country that takes justice seriously, as is the case in developed and even some developing countries, Gowon and Danjuma, who undeservedly are sometimes referred to as “elder statesmen” by favour-seeking journalists, should have been investigated and tried for the role they played in the murder of Ironsi, Lt. Co. Adekunle Fajuyi (Ironsi’s host and military governor of Western region), and scores of other military officers most of whom were Igbo. That will never happen. In Nigeria, “sacred cows” are above the law, because “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” The break-neck speed at which “things fell apart” in the country after the second coup and culminated in a tragic civil war

is one of the fascinating aspects of Nigerian history that require thoughtful analysis. In the mid-1960s, majority of prominent Northern political leaders and military officers favoured secession. Apart from discontentment with Ironsi’s unification policy, anti-Igbo sentiments in the North had gathered momentum, spearheaded by its military governor, Lt. Col. Hassan Usman Katsina, Umaru Dikko, Aminu Kano, and Inua Wada, following the bad example of Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa. The utterly reprehensible xenophobic gospel of hatred against the Igbo by Northern leaders and subsequent pogroms against the latter can be understood within the context of Patrick Wilmot’s theory that the Northern establishment has a tradition of defending and upholding its power in the society with ruthless tenacity. It responds to dissent and social change by deploying mass killings and violence because it lacks the capacity to manage social change through deliberation and consensus building. Thus, the 1966 massacre of Southerners resident in Northern Nigeria, particularly Ndigbo, was the North’s response to the fact the latter dominated the politics of Nigeria’s decolonisation from British rule to

resorted to intimidation and harassment in their uncanny bid “to influence judges to depart from their sacred oath of office and the path of honour and rectitude.” Indeed, some royal fathers jump the gun well before the crucial period of an election to carve a place for themselves in the hearts of would be candidates. A good example being one traditional ruler who was in his elements during the last publicized visit of our first lady to her state –Rivers- for some family engagements. The ruler, Nyewali of Rumeme community in Port Harcourt, assured Dame Jonathan of the support of the people for her husband come 2015. The monarch did not also forget to curse those he reportedly condemned as Northern apologists, accusing them of betraying their brother, President Jonathan by supporting a candidate of Northern extraction for the 2015 elections. Months after the traditional ruler played that role of being one of President Jonathan’s campaign managers in the 2015 elections, the nation is yet to know if the President would run. How then did the campaign manager know? In Osun State, frontline traditional rulers have already secured the same roles for themselves in the campaign train of Governor Rauf Aregbesola in the forthcoming governorship election in the state. One of the first to do so was the

Ataoja of Osogbo. At a public function in the state some months back, the Ataoja who reportedly spoke on behalf of th e Obas told the governor that “All Obas in Osun are saying emphatically that you should move forward, because, we know that one good term deserves another”. As if there was the need to restate this endorsement, by a more powerful source, the permanent president of the state council of traditional rulers, the Ooni of Ife has himself declared support for the governor ’s second term. The Ooni was said to have made his ‘open endorsement’ when the Governor visited his palace last weekend. Interestingly, the reasons which traditional rulers give for supporting a candidate particularly an incumbent are also of public knowledge. The only thing not too easy to know is what the governor does in palaces. Other things such as the recent classification of schools in the state are in the public domain. In earnest, even analysts who are not from Osun State are aware of Governor Aregbesola’s performance in the last 3 years. He has done well. Could he have done better? Osun people need not be surreptitiously guided to take a position. Even when it becomes expedient to do so, the lot would not fall on traditional rulers who are constitutionally mandated to be non-partisan and politically neutral.

which the Northern leadership was largely opposed. Another scholar and a conflict theorist, Herbert EkweEkwe, maintains that the leadership role Ndigbo played in the independence movement in addition to their more nationally-oriented political praxis were considered a threat by leading members of the feudal Northern oligarchy to its entrenched stranglehold in the North and the ascriptive political hegemony it exerted nationwide on behalf of

emergencies. Hence, according to Ekwe-Ekwe, Igbo immigrants in the North were the most vulnerable community in Nigeria during the period, and the ugly trend has continued until date. Of course, as late Prof. Chinua A. Achebe observed in his thought-provoking book, There was a country: A Personal History of Biafra, the Igbo as a group is not without its weaknesses. The very accomplishments of Igbo sons and daughters, especially outside Igboland, were counterbalanced by the dangers associated with “hubris, overweening pride and thoughtlessness, which invite envy and hatred or, even worse, that can obsess the mind with material success and dispose it to all kinds of crude showiness.” It is very likely that majority of Northerners, the flotsam and jetsam, reeling from the crushing heavy burdens imposed on them by an uncaring and despotic feudal system, hated the noisy exhibitionism and disregard for humility and quietness by some Ndigbo living in their midst. Such behaviour, certainly, does not in any way justify the vicious ethnic cleansing against them, which gathered momentum in May, 1966 and continued almost for the rest of the year. We have seen how Gowon might have been complicit in the cruel end of Ironsi, including the curious omission, in his first broadcast to the country, of any effort by the federal government to search for and rescue the kidnapped supreme commander. Most people do not know that in that speech Gowon intended to announce secession of the North from the rest of Nigeria. As we indicated already, leaders of Northern region led by the arch feu-

dalist, Ahmadu Bello, had used threat of secession to get concessions in the past. The clamour to break away reached feverish pitch in May, 1966 and pogrom against Ndigbo was part of the process. Thus, Gowon was ready to announce secession to please his puppeteers, the core Northern establishment. At the last minute, he changed his mind and announced, instead, that “I have now come to the most difficult part of this statement. I am doing it conscious of the great disappointment and heartbreak it will cause all true and sincere lovers of Nigeria and of Nigerian unity, both at home and abroad. ...As a result of the recent events and of the previous similar ones, I have come to strongly believe that we cannot continue in this wise, as the basis for trust and confidence in our unitary system of government has been unable to stand the test of time... Suffice it to say that putting all considerations to the test, political, economic as well as social, the basis for unity is not there, or is so badly rocked, not once but many times. I therefore feel that we should review the issue of our national standing and see if we can help stop the country from drifting away into utter destruction.” Logically speaking, the last statement by Gowon is inconsistent with what he stated earlier and sounds like an afterthought. If, as he claimed, from different angles the basis for Nigerian unity was nonexistent or has been rocked several times, the next logical step was to declare the consequence of that situation, which should be a statement of a radical step to arrest the situation. TO BE CONTINUED.

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Traditional rulers as election campaign managers

out-going governor. Whichever anyone chooses to believe does not take away from the fact that the utterances of some traditional rulers and the posture of candidates during elections show that to get traditional rulers to support a candidate is the goal of many parties and their flag bearers. As if the royal fathers are the beautiful brides of an election, everyone scampers for their support. Some analysts believe that this was precisely what the candidate of the Peoples Democratic (PDP) in the Ondo Governorship elections of 2012, Mr. Olusola Oke sought to do just before the election. Oke had during the campaigns allegedly promised to pay 5% of all monthly allocations of local governments to Obas to enhance their status and standard of living. What is the real value of the support of traditional rulers in an election? Can they stick out their necks for a particular candidate? It appears so going by the admission 2 weeks ago of a retiring Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Stanley Shenko Alagoa, that some judges collect bribe from politicians and traditional rulers to pervert the course of justice. He made the revelation while speaking at a valedictory court session in his honour at the apex court. Justice Alagoa, who bowed out of service after clocking the 70 years mandatory retirement age, disclosed that political gladiators often

We should review the issue of our national standing and see if we can help stop the country from drifting away into utter destruction

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British neo-colonialism. Moreover, in the 1960s, there were approximately 1.5 million Igbo immigrants in Northern Nigeria comprising a sizeable number of successful businesspersons and educated professionals who were often seen by conservative Northern leaders as an indicator of Igbo ambition and versatility aimed at national domination. Consequently, measures against these immigrants were usually top in the agenda of policy options available to the Northern establishment whilst responding to national politics, particularly during


PAGE 12—SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

Mac Onwuka Nwachukwu (1964-2013) their own. I was immediately struck by their brilliance. Any advantage I had over them coming from the city was merely cosmetic. I knew Bruce Lee and made fine karate chops. But they knew to get an artful grip on the wrestling grounds. Mac cer-

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N his earthly life, Mac Nwachukwu considered me his best friend. It al ways flattered me, but I’m afraid I did not always live up to his affection. I am alas far too in motion and I’m wont to leave businesses, including deep friendships, unfinished. It is for nothing that my eighth year old daughter, Priya, calls me “Hermes” – flighty and bilocated in many things. I could never achieve Mac’s sense of focus and obligation. He remained true and amused, and of course, as many a true friendship go, frequently frustrated by me. But he also trusted me and loved what he once wrote to me as my “extravagant spirit.” As I said, Macphilips’ high regard flattered me. We first met in 1975. I was a nineyear old “city boy” returning for the first time to my ancestral home in the East; in Mbaise precisely, from Ibadan. I was up to that point unaware of the deep pleasures of village life; I was an “Omolewa kid” – the shishy private school where my mother also taught in Ibadan – and could make not half a sentence in my ancestral Igbo language. My parents must have worried about the “cultural miseducation” of my siblings and I, for soon after our relocation, my father insisted that I must have at least a term of primary schooling in my village school. And so I was registered in primary Three at the St. Gregory’s School, Umuhu, and it was that term that began my friendship with Mac. We were possibly the two youngest in the class. The civil war had disrupted the schooling of many children, and right up to 1975, older kids were still in classes below their age. And there I was amongst them, a bit of a star. But I certainly did not dazzle them or outshine them in all things. They held

ten do not know: Mac Nwachukwu was almost an only son. For years in fact, he was an only son – until much later in his life when his younger brother was born. He had an elder sister before, and many sisters after him, including his beautiful immediate sibling, Anas, whom Mac loved to distraction. It was one of the greatest reliefs of his life, who felt liberated suddenly from the fierce love and expectations of both his parents who in fact were already whispering about hitching him even before he got out of high school. Those who have read John Munonye’s book of the title, The Only Son, may only begin to imagine the level of anxiety associated with such people in Igbo family psychology, and the particular implication of that status for Mac coming from the kind of old and traditional family from which he was spawned. He was an extremely protected and pam-

The shock of Mac’s death is unrelenting and cruel. But Mac battled death. He fought to live. His later life was marked by tragedy

tainly was without doubt one of the brightest kids in that class. In any case, Mac and I soon became fast friends. Mac taught me my first Igbo. He was one of those who helped me navigate the mysteries and boundaries of country life. His house was right behind mine, and I would use the back gate, through the back footpath, to his home frequently. We became so close that his parents gauged his goings and comings by my own goings and coming. His father, a well-established community leader, Nze Nwachukwu, a taciturn and serious man, once called me the twin brother Mac never had. I was in fact Mac’s friend who first lured him out of his protected cocoon or shell to a wider sense of the world. Mac was otherwise a very private and ruminating man. Cerebral and shy. There is a fact of his life that too many people with whom he made contact and established friendship later in his life of-

,

pered child. Some of his old friends would say he was over-indulged. It gave Mac’s character a complicated dimension: he was self-enclosed; sometimes self-absorbed, self-centered, self-effacing, and even sometimes profoundly emotionally needy. There was nevertheless always that generosity of spirit, and a great capacity for friendship that balanced him out. Ours was a friendship that was briefly disrupted when after that term I left again to the city. I did not see Mac again from 1975 until years later, by which time I was in the fourth form at the Government College Umuahia, and he had gone off to the Government Science School in Kaduna. We resumed our friendship in 1981. We were both home on holidays for the long vacation. He was a straight science student. In my company, he often said, he felt the dreariness of the sciences. I converted him

Ex-militant leader under fire over comments on Kuku

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ORMER agitators in the Niger Delta have condemned a state ment credited to Sobomabo Jackrich, aka Egberipapa, a former subCommander, for calling on the President to sack his Special Adviser on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Hon. Kingsley Kuku. The former agitators, in a press release issued by the Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ignore Egberipapa, saying he is a joker, who wants to play games with the amnesty programme and the current peace in the Niger Delta. The spokesperson of the group, Joseph Turu, said Egberipapa’s call was a surprise as he had been singing the praise of Hon. Kuku and wondered why he was now talking from the two sides of his mouth.”This is not new about Egberipapa. It is his style to run people down. This is his pattern of gaining attention when he needs money since he cannot continue with his nefarious acts in Rivers State,” Turu said. Another leader of the group, Tunde Agboufa, expressed shock at Egberipapa’s comment at a time the amnesty programme has been acclaimed to being properly run by Kuku.“His comment and attack on Kuku is deceptive, unfounded and targeted at smearing the good reputation of the Special Adviser to the President,” he said. In his comment, another member of the group, Matthew Daniel, said Egberipapa’s antics were well known and that his attack on the Amnesty Office

was misplaced.He also said the Amnesty Office should not be blamed for any delay in the payment of their monthly stipends.“This is a man who claims to be supporting Mr President and yet having nocturnal meetings with

those who do not see anything good in Mr President. “On the delay in payment of our stipends and allowances, Egberipapa will be unfair to Hon. Kuku if he shifts the blame to him. For instance, for the Sep-

to the Arts. I introduced him to Epicurus and to poetry. I would often show him my first poems, and he had to his dying day, copies of my juvenilia. It was because of me that Mac took an English honours degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. It was also on account of me that he came to the Vanguard after a brief stint at the Abuja Newsday. Mac Nwachukwu loved poetry and he loved to live. A few years ago, he developed kidney problems. His friends and many generous Nigerians rallied to his rescue. He received great treatment in hospital in South Africa. It gave him eight more years of life. Mac never stopped living. He had great hopes. He had enrolled in a doctoral program, and he and I often joked about someday retiring to the village as grand old men. But alas, that is never to be. Two weeks ago, I received the dreadful news, one Sunday morning. My friend Mac had just died. It was sudden and unexpected. He had returned from South Africa the previous week, where he had gone for routine medicals. From all accounts, he seemed in high spirits, and was in fact readying for Mass that morning when he suddenly took ill. He never made it out of the emergency ward. In a way, I had my own great fears. On my last trip recently to Nigeria, I was startled by his transformation. I worried secretly, and I told him my fears. He had bags around his eyes, and seemed increasingly weak. His wife Tina however frequently assured me that he was doing well. He had assured me he’d call me from South Africa. He never did. I was in fact just about to call him that Sunday morning when the news came. The shock of Mac’s death is unrelenting and cruel. But Mac battled death. He fought to live. His later life was marked by tragedy. The death of his father, followed almost in a quick relay by his mother, shattered the pillar of his life very suddenly. It affected him profoundly. It displaced him and placed a huge burden on him. Mac bore his burden stoically, and a lesser spirit could have buckled quicker. Alas, Mac, dear friend. The night has come too soon for you. I cry as I write this because I knew his promise. I have known his laughter and his pain. I felt his will to live. Death came just too early. But you will now rest my friend. Earth to earth.

tember 2013 stipend, we were informed that it was sent to the bank on September 27. Those who bank with Fidelity got their alert the same day but those with other banks received theirs at a later date. This is not Kuku’s fault but the banking system,” he said.

Ibadan violence: Eleven suspects arrested BY OLA AJAYI, Ibadan

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LEVEN suspects have been ar rested in connection with the violence that erupted on Friday at Idikan area of Ibadan, Oyo State, which left several people injured and 60 vehicles vandalised. Many women were reported to have been sexually assaulted when the violence broke out during a carnival organised by youths in the area. Also affected in the fracas were residents of Ayeye and Opooyeosa. Speaking with Sunday Vanguard yesterday, a top policeman who craved anonymity disclosed that policemen at Mapo and Iyaganku arrested some suspects who were alleged to have been involved in the burning of some vehicles. He said those arrested by policemen at Iyaganku were 11, but could not confirm the number of those arrested at Mapo area. According to him, about 20 vehicles were damaged during the crisis. He confirmed that a man reported at their station that he parked his commercial bus around 8pm on Thursday

but on getting there around 4:30am, it had been seriously damaged. In addition, the Caretaker Chairman, Ibadan North West Local Government Area, Mr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, who went to assess the extent of damage has ordered immediate ban of the carnival. Security agents were combing the area to stop spread of the violence. During the melee, dangerous weapons, including guns, knives and cutlasses, were said to have been freely used. Some of the vehicles reportedly damaged include a Toyota car, marked AA 621 RGB; EE 458GGE; AQ 602 AGL; AA759 MUS, among others. A victim, Mr. Amusa Sikiru said: “We could not come out to confront the hoodlums because of the time they were damaging our vehicles. If we had come out to challenge them and we got killed in the process, many people would assume we were at the carnival too. It is just unfortunate that these types of people are messing up the good job of Governor Abiola Ajimobi in the area of security. Are we saying there are no security operatives around Ibadan for the hoodlums to have a field day and dam-

aged all these vehicles and molested the women.”

Pa Eyakenyi for burial

C

HIEF Edet Effiong Eyakenyi of Eyakenyi’s family, Eyo UkangEyulor, Mbo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, aged 79, is dead. According to the burial arrangement by the family, opening of mourning house takes place Monday 21, October at the deceased’s compound, while wake keep/service of songs holds Friday 25th October and funeral service / interment follows on Saturday 26 at St. Leo’s Primary School, Okobo Ebughu, Mbo LGA. Thanksgiving service holds on Sunday 27th at Methodist Church, UtuUdim Ebughu. He is survived by children.

Late Elder E. E Eyakenyi


SUND AY SUNDA

Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 13

FG, SSTTATES BITTER BA TTLE O VER MONEY BATTLE OVER

A Federation Account in trouble! •Uncertainty dogs the economy BY SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North

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fter several failed attempts by the Federation Accounts and Allocations Committee, FAAC, to share federally collected revenue to the 36 states, the deadlock was partially broken penultimate week with the sharing of nearly N1.196 trillion to the three tiers of government for the months of August and September, temporarily ending the financial drought in many states and bringing some relief to the state governors and their people. However, the staccato style of collecting and sharing public revenue, which used to be a seamless and transparent exercise, leaves many Nigerians wondering what has gone amiss in the process and triggers the question: Where has all the money gone? Not many Nigerians seem to be aware of the drama that has been playing out at the meeting of the Federation Accounts Allocations Committee, FAAC, lately. In fact, if the plots had been recorded, they would have been enough to make a full length Nollywood film. The 36 states Commissioners for Finance, who have been meeting with the Minister of State for Finance at the Federal Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning monthly, have never had it so bad. None of them expected that a normal exercise of meeting and sharing the money that has accrued to the purse of the Federation at the end of the month could be turned into a muscle-flexing and tongue-lashing endeavour. But that is what they have been getting recently whenever they gather for the ritual of sharing what rightly belongs to the people of Nigeria. The drama, which ensued on Monday, September 16, in the Finance Ministry, Abuja between the Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, Mr Otunla, and the finance commissioners, drawn from states, was a shocker that rattled both teams and left sour taste in their mouths. The commissioners came to collect their August

arrears amounting to N140 billion, which they want liquidated by way of monthly augmentation by the Federal Government as was the practice in recent past. But the Federal Government disagrees with the figure and the practice of augmenting allocation based on budget projections. The Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, at a meeting with the states finance commissioners, made it clear that only the sum of N75 billion was outstanding as arrears of unpaid differentials for the year and not N140 billion as claimed by the commissioners. Ngama insists that, henceforth, monthly allocations will be shared based on accruals and not augmented based on budget projections, as they may not always add up.

Walkout

I •Goodluck Jonathan allocations and the balance of the shortfalls for July, but they returned home with empty purses and long faces to the chagrin of their respective governors and people. The bottom line is that the money that is being declared as accruals into the FAAC has been lower than the expected revenue as projected in the 2013 budget. According to the OAGF, the Federal Government only met its revenue projection for the month of July this year. By implication, government has been running short of its projections in the other months, raising the bar for a financial crisis in the country. According to the OAGF, the declining finances of the Federal Government was due to unrelenting oil theft and pipeline vandalisation. That claim, to many, may not hold any water because the strident cries of the past have since forced the Federal Government to dish out juicy contracts to former Niger Delta warlords to police the waterways and block those who are keen on stealing Nigeria’s crude and refined products. Currently, the House of Representatives is investigating why a whopping sum of $32 million was paid by the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Administration Agency, NIMASA, to a firm said to be owned by Tompolo, one of the exmilitant leaders, who is

•Okonjo-Iweala

Arising from non-remittance of full revenues to the FAAC for sharing to the three tiers of government, the states claim that they are being owed arrears amounting to N140 billion, which they want liquidated by way of monthly augmentation by the Federal Government as was the practice in recent past close to the corridors of power in Abuja. Nigerians are still divided on the workability of engaging former militant leaders, who understand the importance of trading in crude for arms and funds, as security contractors for the same business they effectively sabotaged for nearly five years until the late President Yar ’Adua offered the olive branch in the name of amnesty, which has boosted oil production to over two million barrels per day. In the days of the disruption, oil production was said to have plummeted to a paltry 700,000 bpd. The irony of the increment is that there is still not much money to share to the states. The situation appears to be that the more oil that is pumped, the less money that is paid into the FAAC for sharing by the three tiers of government. The OAGF insists that

government has been recording declining oil revenues since January this year. The Office maintains that apart from the surplus the government recorded in July, it has been witnessing a deficit for the rest of the months. “The Federal Government had projected a monthly earning of N702.54bn in the 2013 budget, but it only surpassed that target once during the first seven months of this year, earning N651.26bn in January, N571.7bn in February and N595.71bn in March, the OAGF said. “In the months of April, May, June and July, the revenue earned by the country was N621.07bn, N590.77bn, N863.02bn and N497.98bn respectively. Arising from nonremittance of full revenues to the FAAC for sharing to the three tiers of government, the states claim that they are being owed

n fact, it was the sharp disagreement between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the state commissioners that led to the walkout staged by the latter when the met on September 13, to share the funds meant for August. The commissioners, led by their chairman, Timothy Odaah, had assembled at the Finance Ministry headquarters on the invitation of the AGF, Otunla, hoping to get the arrears for July and the full payment for August but that did not happen, leading to a protest. Apparently fearing a face-off from the commissioners, both the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and the Minister of State for Finance, Ngama, stayed away from the meeting and left the AGF to deal with the commissioners. Otunla faced a revolt midway into the meeting. Odaah fumed, “We were invited by Minister of State for Finance, who is the chairman of FAAC, but we have not seen him. The AGF addressed a few of our executives and told us no money was available for sharing. We appreciate the efforts of the AGF but the minister has chosen the path of playing levity with our case. “We have been slighted and viewed with contempt to the extent that the interest of our states and local governments is suffering. He (Ngama) has treated our states and local government councils with contempt”. By their action and

Continues on page 14


PAGE 14 — SUND AY SUNDA

Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

• Amaechi

•Oshiomhole

•Otunla

•CBN Gov

A Federation Account in trouble! Continued from page 13 utterances, it is clear that the states do not believe the story being churned out by the Federal Ministry of Finance that oil revenues have dwindled. The belief among the state governors is that the funds coming into the general purse for sharing have been tampered with by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, so as to increase the federal share and further reduce their own. Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, known for his boldness and fearlessness, took up the NNPC the other day, accusing it of not remitting a total of N2.3 trillion into the FAAC, thereby increasing the financial woes of states, an accusation the corporation did not take lightly. Shortly after Oshiomhole had fired his salvo, NNPC returned fire, warning him to desist from raising false alarm aimed at distracting the corporation from its transformation agenda. The corporation claimed that it was not indebted to FAAC in anyway, having been consistently and promptly remitting oil receipts to the Federation Accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria. The corporation said it was not owing government any amount taking into consideration the amount it was paying on subsidies and associated costs of operations and losses. It did not however give any tangible figure to buttress its claim and the period for which such expenditures and losses were incurred. The NNPC’s statement,

released by Tumini Green, Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, said Oshiomhole’s allegation was aimed at distracting it from the pursuit of the transformation of the oil and gas industry. She said, “We wish to state without any equivocation that we do not owe the Federation Accounts any money as of today, taking into account the outstanding subsidies and other associated costs of operations and losses. “We have consistently paid all money due to the FAAC as we receive them.” Green however played into the hands of the governors when she admitted that not all revenues collected by the NNPC were paid directly into the Federation Accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria. According to her, some are being paid into the accounts of the relevant government agencies, like the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Department of Petroleum Resources. “But eventually, all these payments were credited to the accounts of the FAAC,” the statement added. Green stated that another important issue, which was not taken into account by critics, was the outstanding debts owed the NNPC by the Federal Government, especially from oil subsidy. She said, “Nigerians may wish to recall that in the wake of the January 2012 subsidy saga, there was no budgetary provision for subsidy to the NNPC, and again, in 2013 there was no budgetary provision for subsidy to the corporation”.

Instalmental payment

But it has emerged that the NNPC is still indebted to FAAC and that government is aware. At the belated sharing of the August and September allocations, Ngama alluded to the debt being owed FAAC by the NNPC when he declared that the corporation had so far made 27 monthly instalmental payment of

carefully manipulated by the minister to give Nigerians the false hope that all was well. At a recent meeting in Abuja, the governors were upset to learn that despite huge revenue earning of over $1.05 trillion reported by the Central Bank of Nigeria for July, the Finance Ministry was unable to remit the statutory allocations in full to states and local governments. While the CBN had boasted that the federally collected revenue rose to

By their action and utterances, it is clear that the states do not believe the story being churned out by the Federal Ministry of Finance that oil revenues have dwindled N7.6 billion into FAAC. The instalmental payment, according to Ngama, was to offset the debt the corporation was owing government. It was learnt that the corporation was still owing the FAAC six instalments of N7.6 billion; a revelation that rubbishes the denial by NNPC that it does not owe government. The 36 state governors are not happy with the way the finances of government are being handled by the managers of the economy, putting the blame on the doorsteps of the Finance Minister, Ngozi OkonjoIweala, who also coordinates the economy. They state CEOs are convinced that the economy had been messed up and the decay in the system

$1.05 trillion for that month, the Finance Ministry only distributed a paltry N715.845 billion. The governors, who discussed the development in the financial sector during their meeting, felt that the Coordinating Minister for the Economy was uneconomical with the true position of the economy and should give way for the interest of the nation. A governor, who attended the meeting, confirmed to Sunday Vanguard that they were convinced that the minister was merely joggling figures to give Nigerians the false impression that the economy was on a sound footing when the reverse was the case. “Most of the governors

want the finance minister to go because the indices on the ground do not match the figures she continues to churn out on a daily basis concerning the performance of the economy”, he said “We strongly disagree with the minister that the Nigerian economy has created the kind of jobs and attained the level of stability she claims when most qualified Nigerians are roaming the streets in search of non-existing jobs. “Last month, we were not paid all our allocations even though the CBN released figures showing that the nation even earned more revenue than the preceding months. “As a result of the action of the finance minister, all the states are being owed various sums of money arising from withheld monthly allocations. “We cannot allow this sort of deceit to continue unchallenged and Nigerians must ask the minister to quit now rather than stay on to manipulate the economy for the benefits of a few influential persons.”

‘I won’t resign

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ut Okonjo-Iweala immediately fought back, saying she would not resign her appointment since she was working hard to move the economy forward and change the conditions of Nigerians. She said she was not contemplating resigning but helping President Goodluck Jonathan to transform the nation through sound economic policies and programmes. “She said: “As you see me here, do I look any close to resigning? I dey kampe. “We should stop talking about political issues here. The economy should be managed for the good of Nigerians. That is why we are here. Let’s face the facts of the economy”. The grandstanding notwithstanding, the economy continues to receive favourable ratings from major assessors, like the Standard and Poor ’s and the International Monetary Fund. Because of their faith in the economy, Nigeria led a big delegation to the justconcluded meeting of the World Bank/IMF in Washington and they made elaborate swank about the robustness of the economy but that brag merely elevates the question: Where has all the money gone?


SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 15

LITERATURE

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he race for the 2013 edition of the prestigious Nigeria Prize for Literature, sponsored by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), which kicked off February, 2013, came to a positive conclusion last week, with The Sahara Testaments authored by Tade Ipadeola beating a total of 200 books, to emerge winner. The Ibadan based legal practitioner and poet,Tade Ipadeola who was born in 1970 has published three volumes of poetry-A Time of Signs (2000) and The Rain Fardel (2005). His short stories and essays have also been published in diverse media. In 2009, he won the Delphic Laurel in Poetry with his poem “Songbird” in Jeju, South Korea. His third volume of poetry which is the Award winning collection of poetry, The Sahara Testaments-a sequence of 1000 quatrains on the nuances of the Sahara, is his latest work. The book was published by Hornbill House of the Arts, Lagos. The Panel of Judges led by its Chairman, Prof. Romanus Egudu adjudged The Sahara Testaments the winning entry for the biggest literary prize in Africa which comes with $100,000 cash prize because “it is a remarkable epic covering the terrain and people of Africa from the very dawn of creation, through the present, to the future. The text it was explained, “uses the Sahara as a metonymy for problems of Africa and indeed, the whole of humanity. It also contains potent rhetoric and satire on topical issues and personalities, ranging from Africa’s blood diamonds and inflation in Nigeria...” It was also noted that “Ipadeola’s use of poetic language demonstrates a striking marriage of thought and verbal artistry expressed in the

2013 NIG. PRIZE FOR LITERATURE:

How Ipadeola’s The Sahara Testaments beat 200 others blending of sound and sense.” Ipadeola’s work beat two other stiff contenders who made the final three; Ogochukwu Promise and Chidi Amu Nnadi, to clinch the Prize. Promise Ogochukwu’s Wild Letters was adjudged to be of “High human relevance as reflected in her bold treatment of subject-matter such as the persistent menace of Boko Haram. Similarly, her poems consistently alert societal leaders on their obligations to the under-privileged, and a

,

By PRISCA SAM-DURU

the effective use of poetic devices such as imagery, irony and sound. However, many of his themes are very private and personal, making the collection scanty on national and universal issues...” Announcing the winning poet and collection at a world press conference held at the Coral Hall of the Ocean View Restaurant in Victoria Island, Lagos, the NLNG General Manager, External Relations, Kudo Eresia Eke, pointed out that it was in pursuant of excellence that his

Ipadeola’s use of poetic language demonstrates a striking marriage of thought and verbal artistry expressed in the blending of sound and sense

,

message of hope underscores the collection. However, the work contains errors of wrong word choice and the use of cliches, colloquialism, and some prosaic language.” On Amu Nnadi’s Through the Window of a Sandcastle, the judges decided that “The work is presented in elegant, well-crafted language, depicting contrastive experiences of pain, decay, pleasure and beauty. His work reflects artistic maturity, seriousness of thought, integrity and coherence, as well as

organisation is sponsoring the coveted Prize, so as to galvanise Nigeria to have more respectable people in the area of literature, for a better Nigeria. Kudo Eresia Eke noted that the NLNG by “sponsoring excellence will galvanize our country to be more reverential of excellence. We will also inspire other corporate organizations to do the same.” With his emerging winner, Tade Ipadeola has joined the league of past NLNG Prize

*Ipadeola

winner, a prize that rotates annually around four genres: poetry, prose, drama and children’s literature. Reacting to his win, an excited Tade Ipadeola said “this is joyful news, joyful news. This is the biggest prize in Africa and it is surreal. I am grateful.” It will be recalled that out of the 201 entries initially received for the prize which were first whittled down to the long list of 11, two female poets, debutante Iquo Diana

FG seeks UK aid to reposition creative industry BY CALEB ANYANSINA CULTURE

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EDERAL Government has called for support of the Authorities of United Kingdom (UK) in its bid to reposition creative industry in the country. The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, who made the request, when he received the Chief Executive Officer of British Council Worldwide, Martin Davidson, in Abuja, said it is of necessity to translate policies into economic development. Duke noted that the partnership of the two countries would enhance youths empowerment and capacitybuilding for young artists in Nigeria. He said: “It is therefore, important to work with British Council to reposition this sector that will help Nigeria

academy in Calabar to be commissioned soon. ”Also, government is determined to resuscitate theater and museum around the country. We will need your technical assistance in this area,” he added. uring the visit that turned interactive, Duke further noted that the government in its agenda had decided to open cultural center in UK in 2015, and that, the country’s cultural week would be celebrated there. “And I would like to seize

D

*Minister of Culture and Tourism speaking in a creative workshop

to translate policies in the industry to the growth and development of our country. “It is critical for us to look at the opportunity and possibility, using creative industry to foster growth and development among Nigerians, having been always said it eloquently that creativity is Nigeria biggest non-oil initiatives to create employment for our youths. “Creativity is the most

prominent soft-power that we can use in advancing our relationship, and as a pillar for development advancement of our crucial cultural diplomacy for young men and women, who have broken ground globally in the various aspects of creative industry.” The Minister said Nigeria would need technical assistance from the UK experts from its creative industry, to assist develop

curriculum for the creative

this opportunity to promote UKNigeria beyond the Centenary that will give birth to the 2015 Nigeria Culture Week in London, which will be the mother of Cultural Week around the globe. “And in this year proceedings our Centenary, we are looking forward to utilize this creativity as a major building-block to create job opportunity for our

young men and women” he said.

Eke and veteran Promise Ogochukwu were on the list. There was also a strong showing from writers in the diaspora like Afam Akeh, Obi Nwakanma and Amatoritsero Ede. With Ipadeola’s feat, the controversies of 2009 when the Panel of Judges decided that non of the contenders was worthy of the Prize for Poetry, have been laid to rest. As it is customary, Ipadeola will be presented to the public at a date which will be announced by NLNG.

Dominique Zinkpe’s Mystery opens at Alexis Gallery

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ward wining Beninoise artist, Dominique Zinkpè is holding his first solo exhibition in Nigeria titled Mystery, an exhibition of paintings, sculptures and installations. The exhibition which features about 40 works opened on October 19, at Alexis Galleries, 282 Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island and will run till October 26th. 2013. ominique Zinkpè who i s unarguably one of the most recognizable contemporary artists to emerge from his country is bringing to Nigeria personal style and versatility as a painter and sculptor. Some of his works talks about the culture and those things that unify Africans.

D


PAGE 16—SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

D’ artist’s expression of identity through Fireworks BY PRISC A SAM DURU CULTURE

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he just concluded exhi bition tagged Fireworks by Chike Onuorah, held at Terra Kulture, Lagos, shows that the Nigeria painter best known as D’Artist has succeeded in proving the point that irrespective of the challenges undermining Nigerian artists, he is bent on maintaining his energy in terms of consistency and creativity. This, Chike has succeeded in doing for the past 6 years by organising regular solo shows in other that the level of art appreciation and documentation does not dwindle. Last year, Onuorah exhibited Full Moon at same venue where he flaunted his ingenuity to his numerous viewers. The show was a huge success. The styles evident in Fireworks, a body of works that portrays a connection with the artist’s immediate past exhibitions also, speaks volume of an improvement on the identity Chike carved for himself years ago. In response to this, D’Artist who described Fireworks as “explosion of creativity” disclosed that the exhibition which greatly showcased such styles as Splashillino and Plastillino, which he coined years ago after the introduction of the ‘lino’ identity into his work, are largely portrayed in Fireworks. About four years after, Splashillino has maintained the leading style in the Fireworks show, taking along the

Amazon, one of the works by Chike Onuora

,

Plastillino series. The ‘lino’ family creation of Onuorah, which appeared in the pub-

to him, “showcase the consolidation of my styles vis-àvis time and experience.”

Through the body of works, the artist presented the metamorphosis his art has undergone especially with his lino styles in the last four years

lic, perhaps, for the first time, six years ago, include Crackilino, Splashillino, Plastillino and Grassillino. Most of the works showcased which are recent, according

,

Through works such as Journey of Life, Level Don Change, Amazon, Incredible Love and of course, the title piece Firework Onuorah positively, presented to view-

ers, the metamorphosis his art has undergone especially with his ‘lino’ styles in the last four years. The central theme of the exhibition as derived from the painting titled, Fireworks, which is a portrait of an unidentified face seems to be sending out to audience, some sort of warning best interpreted by the viewer. The painting titled, The Journey Of Life, derived from the vicissitudes of life and ‘lino’ style, strictly portrayed the message of the D’artist’s. Here, he flaunts his versatility by highlighting the message through poetry thus; “Like the boats sailing in the sea / Swaying to the rhythm of the waves / Maintaining the course no matter what may be…Make a choice to stay alive / For this is the journey of life”. As regards reasons for his consistency and improvement on his art, Onuorah explained that “It is that desire to conquer another possibility and create something else that just may never come into existence if I do not. This is my job, my hobby, my everything, my all. It is what I do and I’m loving it. I’m never in a hurry to let go of my works in a non- exhibition platform; hence, I always have a repertoire waiting to be exhibited, not mentioning those reserved for retirement.” “I love my work. I love being an artist. I always look forward to my next exhibition because my passion for work “is the tonic that keeps me going”. He concluded.

ABUJA CARNIVAL: We’ll harness cultural heritage,

creativity to rejuvenate economy —FG BY CALEB ANYANSINA CULTURE

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he Federal Government has promised to continue to harness peoples’ cultural heritage and creativity to rejuvenate the country ’s economy. The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke attested that the organization of Abuja Carnival had not only improved the socio-economic values of the Nigerian cultural products, but had also placed the country on the Global Tourism Map. Duke, who stated this during a Stakeholders’ Meeting/

Sensitization Workshop for the 9 th Edition of the Abuja National Carnival tagged; ‘A People for a Century, A People Forever’, in Abuja, noted that the carnival would be used as part of the centenary celebration. He noted that there was a need for Nigeria to emulate countries like Great Britain, Trinidad and Tobago and other countries in the word that use carnival as a huge source of revenue generation. The Minister said, “I’m of the opinion that with our collective efforts, we can harness our diverse rich cultural efforts, we can harness our divers’ rich cultural heritage and creativity to rejuvenate Nigeria’s economy, provide an alternative source of revenue for the nation and

improve Foreign Direct Investment in the culture and tourism sector.” He explained that the workshop was designed to evolve strategies to encourage the private sector ’s participation and partnership, as a means of attracting fund to complement the limited resource of the government. “There is no better forum than this to critically assess last year’s edition of the carnival with a view to identifying areas that can be improved upon in order to uplift the brand to international standard,” the minister concluded. uke noted further that China, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Equatorial Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago had all indicated their

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interest to participate in the carnival. arlier, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Nkech Ejele noted that the Abuja Carnival, inaugurated by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005 had no doubt “provided Nigerians a platform to come together as one entity to showcase our rich and diverse cultural heritage.” Although she recognized the fact that the country was facing challenges, “The enthusiasm and excitement shown by the participating states, organizations and friendly countries demonstrate the socioeconomic value of the carnival. “The carnival has also highlighted Nigeria as a safe, secure, exciting and amazing tourism destination, a fascinating country indeed.

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McPhillips Nwachukwu goes home

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he final journey of late McPhillips Nwachukwu, former Art Editor of Vanguard Newspaper who died on September 29, 2013 began last Tuesday with a Christian wake at his residence, Block 3, V close, 7th Avenue, Festac Town, Lagos. According to a funeral programme released by the family, on Saturday October 26, at 8.00 am, the body will leave Holy Rosary Hospital mortuary, Ogbo Nguru to his residence Nze Bart Nwachukwu’s compound, Ezuhu Umuhu, Okwato, Aboh Mbaise LGA. From 10.00 am to 10.30, lying in state at his family compound. The funeral service will take place at St Gregory ’s Catholic Church, Umuhu, Okwato by 11.00 am while the interment follows at his family compound.

Nigerian Book of Names and Meanings for launch

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he Nigerian Book of Names and Meanings, written by Aigbokhaleode K. Asimiafele. A poet, author, researcher, cultural anthropologist and a deputy director in the National Council for Arts and Culture will be launched on October 31, 2013 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. A statement by Mr. Lattif Bello, chairman of the planning committee, said the Presidency, Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, National Museum and Monument and National Gallery of Arts, are some of those that will grace the occasion

Nwando Achebe wins US third book award

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rofessor Nwando Achebe’s The Female King of Colonial Nigeria: Ahebi Ugbabe has been awarded a third book prize. Named in honor of Ama Ata Aidoo, the celebrated Ghanaian writer, and Margaret Snyder, founder of UNIFEM, the Aidoo-Snyder book prize is awarded by the Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association for the best scholarly book, published in the past three years (2010, 2011, and 2012), that prioritizes African women’s experiences.In selecting The Female King of Colonial Nigeria for the award, the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize Committee had the following to say: it “is a richly researched and elegantly written book, which exemplifies the dual purpose of the AidooSnyder prize most clearly because it is written by a woman, and prioritizes women’s experience. It is rare to find a history book that manages to balance rigor and a compelling narrative so well.


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 17

pensioner, if it a kobo that we are entitled to, please give it to us because we worked for it. We are not asking for more. But you will not let us have it. I am just applying this to the police. Look at the barracks the police are supposed to occupy, where they are being trained, is in squalor. So, when you look at all of that, why would corruption not be there? So, we are running two systems and, if you now ask the National Assembly, ofcourse, they see loopholes in that system; they want it because they too don’t want a system under which they would be jailed twenty years and so on and so forth.

This is the last interview granted to Vanguard in February, 2013, by Professor Omo Omoruyi shortly before he flew back to Boston, United States of America where he was undergoing treatment for cancer. Omoruyi died last Sunday.

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ROF. OMO O M O R U Y I , former DirectorGeneral of the defunct Centre for Democratic Studies (CDC), a political scientist, says Dr (Mrs) Oby Ezekwesili, a minister of education under the Obasanjo administration, should have written a memoir on her days in office to talk about government spending instead of shouting the way she did. He blames the sentencing of the police pension thief on the nation’s two legal systems: the Penal Code in the North and Criminal Code in the South, and calls for urgent review of the laws. He says two-party system is best for Nigeria. Extracts from the interview:

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Professor Omo

PROF. OMO OMORUYI’S LAST WISH

‘Two-party system is best for Nigeria’ — His case on the justice system, constitution amendment, political restructuring BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE, BENIN John Yakubu Yusuf for stealing N23billion police pension to two years imprisonment or an option of N750, 000 fine? I think there is something which you journalists do not know. You are missing a vital point; and that vital point is that we are running two separate judicial systems, that is, Penal Code in the North and Criminal Code in the South. The Penal Code in the North was a colonial contrivance which was brought about in order to accommodate Shariah. The Criminal Code is the one which applies to me and you in the South which is based on the normal judicial system that we have been used to. So, in attempting to harmonize the Shariah legal system of justice, before independence, the Federal Government or colonial government had to employ Sudanese and Pakistan justices to try and see what should be done with the Penal Code. What is Penal Code other than adulterated form of Shariah? That is why if you steal the whole of the Central Bank of Nigeria and you are in Kano, you will not get more

than two years imprisonment. You can make all the noise you are making, but let the National Assembly go straight to the matter of legal reform, not constitutional reform. That is one. Two, why should a man who stole police money, the police is Nigeria Police, it is not Bauchi police, be subjected to Penal Code? He should

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On Dr. Oby Ezekwesili’s allegation that the governments of the late Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua and Goodluck Jonathan squandered 67billion U.S Dollars left by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the Foreign Reserve and Excess Crude Account. It is unfortunate that the young woman had to come out in that form. If you are familiar with the way government works, she was not supposed to speak like that because if she was privy to some of those facts, she has access to the President and she would have gone to the President to ask what happened and so on. What I am trying to say is that there is what we call ‘Official Secret’ and for a person of her status who served the Federal Government at such a high level and was privy to certain facts and, if those facts are contentious, she should go and check them. It is not for her to go public and begin to make noise about them. If she feels also that she has to say something, she should write her memoir; not through a public lecture and begin to challenge officials of the Federal Government to a public debate. Debate what? You see, government is a continuous process and if there was something in the way the money was being spent at a particular time, it is not that somebody spent the money, you are asking question on what happened to what Obasanjo left behind. Was she Obasanjo? Obasanjo should be the one to say I left so, so behind; then, the Minister of Finance then is still the Minister of Finance today and they were together in Washington. She must not do that, she is more intelligent than that because I happen to know her. I would say they are using her, but the whole thing is politically motivated and it is in bad taste. What do you have to say on the judgment of an Abuja High Court that sentenced

legal system in the country?’ Professor Oserhiemen Osunbor, a former governor of Edo State who is now incharge of the country’s legal reform, this is his job to try to bring about the harmonization of the laws of this country. So, when you found a man who was fined N750, 000 just put his hand in his breast pocket,

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What is Penal Code other than adulterated form of Shariah? That is why if you steal the whole of the Central Bank of Nigeria and you are in Kano, you will not get more than two years imprisonment

have been subjected to the criminal justice system which you and I are used to; that would have dealt with the man drastically. They tried to see if it was Native Authority Police Pension. Number three, is Abuja a northern state, a Penal Code state, a Shariah state? Those are the issues the National Assembly should be addressing today, but they will not. They are busy talking about constitutional amendment and I said ‘ why don’t you do first thing first, that is, try and harmonize the

he knew already what he was going to be fined. And, how did he know? Like Rotimi Jacobs (EFCC lawyer) said, he was surprised that the man had that money in his pocket. He brought out the money, paid and entered his Mercedes limousine and drove away. Common, give me a break, it is not good. It is the audacity, the impudence and the way it was done; he was like saying ‘ who are you?’ And people for whom that money was meant are dead and are still dying. I am a

How do you see the Federal Capital Territory running the Penal Code? Well, it is running a Penal Code because it is a Shariah state today. It is unfortunate that many of these things are happening. That is not the way the founding fathers, Gen. Obasanjo, the late Gen. Murtala Muhammed and so on designed Abuja in fairness to them. Look, Obasanjo is also guilty. Since the founding of Abuja, how many, apart from the first man, I can’t remember his name now who became the Federal Commissioner, tell me a southerner who has become the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and, I am not talking of a Minister of State like the daughter of Chief Richard Akinjide. That is not a Minister; she is just carrying a bag following the Minister that is what we call Minister Without Portfolio. Jonathan is there now, why should Jonathan not appoint Okonkwo, Omoruyi, Durotimi, Okafor, Orubebe and so on and so forth as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory? But when we look back, Yar ’Adua’s father was the Minister for Lagos Affairs and we accepted it. But we don’t have the nerve; we don’t have the courage to do what is proper. We believe that if you appoint E.K.Clark’s son as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, ah, the heavens will fall. So, if you appoint a southerner the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, he will put his foot down and say, no way. I can tell you what I did; I built the present Law School today at Bwari, Abuja and, when it was being built, they started to put Arabic signs and inscriptions and structures, I protested. President Babangida upheld my protest and called Maj-Gen. Gado Nasko to leave it the way the professionals wanted it and so, they downed the walls and made the finest construction. Secondly, they were putting up a mosque and I said, no problem, we must also put a chapel; the two were built and they were opened at the same time. So, you don’t see one and conclude that Nigeria is an Islamic state. The government did not send me to jail for it, but we don’t have the courage to do such a thing today; that you are putting up a building in Abuja today and the first thing you want to see is a mosque. If you go to the Law School, as you enter, to the right is the mosque and to the left is the chapel. That is the house that I built, built by Omo Omoruyi, which is the

Continues on page 18


PAGE 18 —SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

Law School. We are the ones creating problems for ourselves, it is not the northerners.

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till on the country’s legal system, Nigeria appears to be two countries, running two separate legal systems. How do you see that? It is a serious matter. We fought this thing during the 1977/1978 Constituent Assembly and I am still on record as one of those who fought that matter to say, ‘look, we want a secular state; we do not want two legal system or legal system where they now wante d the Court of Appeal would also have a Shariah Court of Appeal, then, you have a Sharia Supreme Court’ and so and so forth. And on the basis of that, may his soul rest in peace, Dr. Mudiaga Odje, an illustrious son of Delta State, moved the motion for the deletion of Shariah. He said he did not see why he should be there and we all supported that. After that, they walked out, if you remember that. The history is there. And they have to be brought back and when they were brought back by Obasanjo and so on, in order to placate us, they said they were going to create a new division, but it did not work. We said no way, we will go back; they said no, they will not go back. So, it was the quest for two legal systems, two judicial systems that they found a way of introducing into the present Nigerian law and justice today. It is an unfortunate thing because I also remember and I was at Harvard then when Chief Obasanjo came to speak immediately he was elected President. He was asked three questions, one was on Shariah and two was on the Niger Delta. Speaking on the Shariah system, he said, nobody would introduce that; it was as good and dead. As we were leaving, I don’t want to mention one of the people who came with him, he said, the man is lying and, of course, he was lying. It never happened. Every state in the North started to introduce Shariah because, at that time, it was only Zamfara State that had introduced it.

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ow do you see Nigeria at 100 years in 2014 in view of where we are coming from? I take you back to the Financial Times of London of January I, 1914 where it was said that the wife of Lord Fredrick Lugard named the country Nigeria. It doesn’t matter, we are already in it. In my view, what we should have been doing ever since is to do what the Americans call a more perfect union, but successive governments in this country, successive leaders in this country never addressed this critical issue, whether military or civilian. It is unfortunate today that we are what we are; we are where we are with so many issues unresolved. These are issues of nationhood, issues of survival; I don’t want to start talking about whether Nigeria should break up, no; that is not the issue. The issue is how we re-negotiate this country as it is and we must do that. If somebody tells you you cannot renegotiate, then that person must be out of his mind. Who can lead it? I have always said that Jonathan can, his transformation should take the form of a political restructuring and that is the only thing he should do. His second term agenda should be how much of that transformation will be in the political realm. It is not economic because the economy can take care of itself; the politiC M Y K

cal theme has virtually overwhelmed us today; that PDP is not a party and it does not have an alternative and because it does not have an alternative, if people run away from the PDP, you have nowhere to go. You go to A C N; A C N has its own problem too. I suggested to a young colleague of mine and said, ‘America got to a stage where the American Political Science Association said, ‘let us organize a brain -storming session towards a two political party’. It is not that they don’t have other political parties, but you know the debate, Ronmmy and Obama, there were others who called themselves candidates, but they were not recognized as such. So, what we need in this country today is a two- party system. If there is anything that Babangida left behind as a legacy, it was that. He called me to help him fashion that and we did that. You might say it was brought about by a decree; no, it wasn’t correct, the way it came out with all the teachings that followed it, it wasn’t. We need a two- party system at the national and state levels.

‘Nigeria needs two-party system’

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hat we have today is not working. Now they are talking about merger; that is obubuyayah; that is a 419 because what you need is a re-alignment of political forces. If you do not like PDP, go to A C N, you don’t like A C N, go to CPC and so on. A merger is a recipe for disaster; it is not going to work. I can tell you because I have gone through this stage in my highly productive young days as a political activist. In the Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP), I was the National Secretary and I knew what happened before then in UPGA and NNA. Merger is not going to work. The A C N people mean

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Continued from page 17

should have the courage. That it is taking so long to try Farouk Lawan and others baffles me because when I was going to hospital, the matter was just surfacing and, when they phoned

So, what we need in this country today is a two- party system. If there is anything that Babangida left behind as a legacy, it was that. He called me to help him fashion that and we did that

well, but they are handling it the wrong way. The PDP should put its home in order; those who cannot carry on there should get out and join other parties like A C N. Let me tell you, when I was working with (former Vice President) Atiku, I spoke with his Special Adviser then who was a good advocate of two- party system, a colleague of mine from Kano, Prof. A D. Yahaya. I said, ‘Ali, what is all this?’ He said, ‘Well, if A C N, A C at that time, has four, five or six states, four years later, they can improve on that position, maybe, win another four , another four years, win another two, that is how parties developed’. Merger will not work; they may mean well, butit is not going to work.

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Professor Omo

o you think Jonathan has the courage to fight corruption against the backdrop of the reports indicting the NNPC and the Petroleum Minister which the government has not acted upon? Does he have the courage? That is what we are talking about. He

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me, I kept asking, ‘how is the Lawan matter?’, and they will say, ‘Oga, it is dead o, nobody is hearing about it’. It is now about this week or so that the matter is being heard. Why? So, in my view, he should use some people as scape goats. He should deal with certain people and that is what I like Obasanjo for. For instance, Afolabi was his master at Baptist High School Abeokuta. He did not call Afolabi by name, he called him my senior, did he not deal with him? Jonathan should deal with this matter expeditiously and they will say, ‘ah, this man could deal with his brother like this?’ Like what is happening in Bayelsa State, that is not going well and he is from Bayelsa. I don’t have the facts or figures, but things are not going well. He could do better. On the scramble for the 2015 Presidency and Jonathan’s chances ell, the election is a presi dential election, essentially presidential, essentially one person. Will he get the nomination

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of the PDP? If he doesn’t, will he go to another party? Whether they introduce ethnicity to it or not, in my honest view, Jonathan has the election to lose; he is the one who should say, I don’t want, nobody can push him out. I also read somewhere the Ibos said it is their turn and all that. But that is neither here nor there. What is it that the mega party is trying to do for Buhari? In my honest view, Buhari should retire. I like him a lot; I regret what I did with Babangida to push him out. I don’t want to hide my feeling; I aided Babangida to push him out.

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abangida appealed to me then that Buhari was not a democrat and I read everything about him and he wasn’t and, up till tomorrow, he is not a democrat. So, what are we buying and what do we want to buy because he wants to be President? The mega party they are trying to put together is a mega party of Buhari. If you don’t give him, he is out. He came to ANPP on two occasions; he destroyed that party and so on and so forth. And if A C N is not careful, A C N will become a Yoruba bound political party. They claimed that they could always win their election, but I have my fears about all that, but Buhari cannot appeal to the East, he cannot appeal to the South- south, he would appeal to the North again, the far North would on the basis of the Penal Code system.

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o, the PDP should put its home in order. There are many people in PDP who shouldn’t be there; Jonathan should be the one who should say, ‘this is my party and I will allow it to function’ to make himself a President, but he is not doing that. And he is allowing all these second term governors to destroy him now; Chibuike Amaechi, Dr. Aliyu Babangida, are second term governors who are not coming back, so, they are the ones coming together and people are flying a kite of Sule Lamido and Amaechi

ticket and so on and so forth. I am a Fourth Dimension man who is beyond the tripod. This is an opportunity we have for a nonIbo, a non- Yoruba, a non- Hausa/ Fulani to become the President of this country and yet they put all obstacles in his way of his survival. No, he should survive o. Do you think Babangida achieved his aims and objectives after overthrowing Buhari at that time? This is my disillusionment. In my memoir, I called it the delusion democrat. When he invited me, he wanted to make a name, he wanted to bring about democracy, he wanted to bring about a name and everything that Buhari was against and I came on board. So it is still one thing I did, which I don’t regret. What I regretted was that we thought with Buhari out, that was the recipe for a new political order. It did not work. We worked hard, but, at last, it didn’t. June 12 was the casualty and he should not have allowed that to happen, but it did happen. And, to me, it is one sore point which remains unresolved. So, the issues that were with us at that time are still the issues with us today. I keep saying, why was it that Abiola could not be President, why could Awolowo not be President, why could Azikiwe not be President, why could Ekwueme not be President, why could Olu Falae not be President?

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nd the same reason argued negatively, why could Obasanjo be President because that is the one they could use? These other people were people who were determined, have a mind of their own, their people loved them; the Yoruba loved Awo, the Ibos loved Azikiwe. Ekwueme was well supported by the Ibos at that time, Olu Falae was also well supported and of course, Abiola. Then, you went for a man who was not even supported by one fifth of his ward, that is, Obasanjo and you now used the machinery of the North to make him President, to be dependent on you so that you can now use him for whatever purpose, but, unfortunately, they did not succeed. When Obasanjo got there, he had a mind of own, they were disappointed. That is one part of the problem today. The general feeling then was that Nigeria was not made to be governed by a southerner who had the support of his people; it was supposed to be governed by a northerner or a southerner who was dependent on a northerner, which was an unfortunate part of the game. It is unfortunate. To me, I don’t have problem with northerners because the party card that I ever had was the NPC card. I have no regret and the revered leader, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, in 1964, during the UPGA/NNA debate, told Dr. Michael Okpara, ‘go with your oil’. This means he supported 100 per cent derivation; ‘go with your oil so that Nigeria can survive’ because, at that time, oil was in that part of the Eastern Region, not in the West. Azikiwe was a ceremonial President at that time. What the present northerners do not realize is that Sir Ahmadu Bello was the first northerner to support 100 per cent derivation. We should go back to record, but when we now raise the matter, they will say, no, no, Boko-Haram should come and take over, oil belongs to all Nigerians. This is not true. Sir Ahmadu Bello held that position and it was that position that attracted me further to the NPC.


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 19

.... CRIME AND NATIONAL SECURITY By Simon Ebegbulem, Benin-City

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e observe that you have a harvest of kidnappers. How were you able to apprehend them? Well, it is our job to Nigerians and we will continue to do it. We have arrested some of the kidnap kingpins. These ones here are the people involved in the kidnapping of some persons in Benin City. I can tell you that the war against kidnappers is ongoing. We are doing everything to make sure that the state is safe, we have a lot of them that have been arrested, some are being investigated. If you recall, I told you that these evil people like Kelvin (suspected kidnap kingpin arrested in Delta State) who have terrorized our people for so long will only run but they can never hide. Look at some of them today and I can tell you that more will be arrested. The police, the SSS and the army all working together to ensure that our state is safe. We are not relenting, the job of protecting our people is a tough one, but we are doing our best to ensure we work day and night. It has been very challenging but I give God the glory for the enablement to cope. There’s no doubt, there was an upsurge for about a month but it has started to come down because of so many measures that were taken. I just finish organising a town hall meeting with the stakeholders in Edo State. This is just an interactive session for us to know how we’re faring and what other measures we can take to improve on our crime prevention strategies. The people are our paymasters, so we must hear from them to know how we’re doing in the battle against crime and criminality. When you came to Edo, did you anticipate the challenges you face on kidnappers and even cultists? Edo State, like most other states in the South-south, has its own security challenges. I always remember what the Inspector General of Police told me when my posting came out. He said, ‘Ade go and fight crime and criminality in Edo State’ I had served as a Deputy Commissioner of Police at the Zonal Headquarters before I was posted to Edo. So I was aware of the challenges and I was prepared for them. Apart from kidnapping, other forms of crime are said to have reduced in the state. What was the magic? Let me first thank the Almighty God for crowning our efforts, for, without God, all we do is in vain. It involves a lot of hard work and dedication of officers and men under my leadership. We will continue to give our best to the good people of Edo State. Officers and men are working very hard to achieve a reduction in crime including kidnapping. Again, as you know, I am not an officer that sit in the office after giving orders. I move around to ensure that orders are implemented, I make sure that I take the lead because if, as CP, I am awake 24 hours, I don’t expect my DPOs to be sleeping. That is the secret. You lost four officers who went to rescue Chief Mike Ozekhome when he was kidnapped. How do you feel each time you lose men in such operations? As police officers, we are covered by insurance which takes care of the risks associated with policing. There are also entitlements for officers and men who die in the course of duty. But, to tell you the truth, I don’t eat each time I receive such news. It can

Police operations and a harvest of kidnap kingpins’ arrests in Edo T

*Arms recovered from suspects

he Edo State Police Commissioner, Mr Folunso Adebanjo, has been a busy man, no doubt, since he assumed office due to the relentless activities of kidnappers in the state. He has lost many men during operations against kidnappers in Edo and neighboring states. Only last Tuesday, Balogun paraded 55 suspected kidnappers and armed robbers among them two alleged kidnap kingpins, Emmanuel Otono and David Osamu, who have been on police wanted list for some time. After the parade, Adebanjo jokingly told Sunday Vanguard in pidgin English, “As dem (kidnappers) no want make I rest, dem no go rest too”. He also paraded one Oyigbe whose house in Sabongida Ora was allegedly used by kidnappers to keep victims until they regain their freedom. Among the 55 were also alleged child defilers, cultists and car snatchers. A cache of ammunition was also recovered from them. In this interview, the police boss vows to ensure that kidnapping is less lucrative in Edo just as he declares that the police, in collaboration with other security agencies, will apprehend more kidnap kingpins. Excerpts:

be disgusting and devastating to lose cop a colleague because I go back to think I have no regrets being a cop. It is a that it could have been me. That is very tasking profession. In fact, it is why I feel sad each time people the most tasking profession in criticize the police ignorantly. We are Nigeria. I had always wanted to be a doing our best for Nigerians and we cop as a young adult. I thought I will continue to do that to protect our could save the world from injustice. I people. But I can tell you I don’t like was very idealistic then. It is a good losing any of my officers on duty. That job because one can actually make a is a very terrible experience and difference by enforcing the law feeling that you cannot imagine. rightly. An average policeman works Devastation should be the right almost round the clock, not to talk of a description of how I feel. commissioner of police. Unfortunately, that is the price we pay What else would you have loved to to keep Nigerians safe. One cannot be if you had not been a cop? get used to such untimely deaths. I would have been a businessman and How do you compare Edo and other I know that I would have been rich states in terms of crime? enough to set up an NGO. I still have a dream of setting up a place where I Like I said earlier, each state or the can feed hundreds of people every geographical area may share the day and also set up a shelter for same type of criminal tendencies. homeless people. My own essence of However, criminal tendencies may be living is service to humanity. different from one state to the other depending on so many variables. But you should also know that Edo is the But you should also know that gateway to the Edo is the gateway to the North, North, South and South and East; so criminals East; so criminals traverse here to traverse here to commit crime. That is why commit crime. That there is this meeting the Assistant is why there is this meeting the Inspector General of Police usually calls Assistant Inspector to deliberate and share ideas and to General of Police exchange information usually calls to deliberate and share Challenges ideas and to exchange information. It The challenge as it concerns the may also interest you to note that I security of the state is usually and my colleagues, especially CP logistics. Security costs a lot of money, Delta, share information and hold including buying of sophisticated meetings on the kidnapping issue. gadgets. The Federal Government, They are just normal interaction the Inspector General of Police and between law enforcement/police the state government are doing a lot agencies. Most criminals do operate to improve on logistics. We will soon from one state to the other, while see the effect of such intervention. If some are transnational covering we can achieve this much with the countries. resources now, then giving us more Have you ever regretted being a

*CP Adebanjo... security costs a lot of money logistics will make us perform better. We are aware that sometimes you lead your men to operations, don’t you get scared of being killed?

If one is committed, you really don’t think too much about your own safety. Of course, I do take precaution. This is what some of us have learnt from the Inspector General of Police MD Abubakar. It is leadership by example. I don’t get scared because we’re doing God’s work, which says, “Thou shall not kill”; ours is to secure lives and property, of all Nigerians and residents alike. We are approaching the Yuletide season. How prepared are the police to fight crime? Everything is being done to reduce the incidents of crime and criminality. Ember months are known for increase in the rate of crime because people want to reap where they did not sow. We have drawn up a plan to checkmate them. Like we are winning the war on kidnappers, we will win other wars too. We are ready, any one found wanting will be dealt with. It is either you repent as a criminal or kidnapper or you don’t come to Edo State because if you do, you will face the music.


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

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o doubt, women are gradually taking their place in virtually every walk of life -be it medical, banking, aviation, military, paramilitary, journalism, engineering, to mention but few. Yes, it is inspiring to see the ‘modern’ woman be economically empowered, but what if the demands of these jobs become a thorn in the flesh of the home, resulting in defective family units and illbred children? From every nook and corner of the Nigerian society, it is glaring that the home is suffering from a sort of kwashiorkor only a fusion of proper family values can cure! However, striving for worklife balance may not be the issue because generally, the term work-life balance implies that an equal portion of time must be given to work and life. A better alternative to work-life balance, as suggested by researchers, is w o r k - l i f e effectiveness. Researchers Jeffrey Greenhaus and Gary Powell expanded this concept and recommended that work and personal life should be allies and that participation in multiple roles, such as parent, partner, friend, employee, can actually enhance physical and psychological well-being, especially when all of the roles are high quality and managed together. The key, in the opinion of Elizabeth Ajibola, Chairperson of the Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria -SWAN, is to develop creative solutions towards balancing the responsibilities and joys of multiple roles. Ajibola believes that some of the same skills and strategies such as planning, organizing, communicating, setting limits and delegating, used at work, could be borrowed effectively on the home-front for achieving a satisfying, fulfilling and effective work-life. Though there exists no single formula for attaining work-life balance and effectiveness, certain tips such as the following given by the Principal Partner, Comfort Olu Eyiyato & Co, Mrs.Eyitayo Comfort Olujumoke, could help.

*Take charge of your life Take control of your career. Examine your background to understand your own history, biases, motivation and preferences. Spending long hours on the job is not necessarily bad especially when you enjoy what you do.

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Your home doesn’t have to suffer!

*Plan downtime and stop cancelling or re-scheduling! Create a relaxation time for rest and other pastimes. Increase your joy by doing what makes you happy. Indulge in new hobbies, go on family outings and grow as a person independent of your career or business. If you want flexibility about work but are reluctant to ask about it during the interview process, look and listen for clues to see if the company is family-friendly or not. For example, do managers have pictures of their kids on their desks? Is there talk of regular mandatory meetings that start at 7 a.m. or 6 p.m.?

BRIEF

Women tackle unemployment with vocational skills

*Avoid passing work schedule home

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BY SUCCESS UZOKWE

Create a time limit on the amount of job-related focus that should be shared with your partner at the end of every day

However, if you do not enjoy what you do it can be burdensome.

*Avoid passing work schedule home For a career woman to improve quality of private life away from work, she must learn not to bring work home, including checking of e-mails or browsing. If possible, work telephone lines should be switched off at nights and weekends for quality time with family and friends.

BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA

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*Limit work talk with your spouse Create a time limit on the amount of job-related focus that should be shared with your partner at the end of every day. The real purpose of your relationship is to be connected at a deep, intimate and romantic level! Though work is a part of your life and relationship, making sure you don’t let that get out of proportion with the other aspects will keep things steamy because your partner is not your business associate (unless he is).

Contemporary Nigeria has no room for idleness because even overly qualified cannot get jobs. By acquiring a skills and going into entrepreneurship, more Nigerians would be able to escape the unemployed league. With only N10,000, I could go into the production of insecticides, germicides and stove thread which I have freely learnt in this 4-week training. With time, I could brand my products and gradually, I could become a big manufacturer.” Those were the sanguine words of a youth corp member who was among the about 2,000 persons who graduated from a free 4-week skill acquisition exercise organized in Lagos by the state Ministry for Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation. The training which took place in two make-shift centres in Ikeja, in collaboration with the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church, and in Ajeromi-Ifelodun LCDA, vastly comprised women and young girls who told Vista Woman they needed to be economically empowered to survive the increasing unemployment and under-employment situations in the country. Skills ranging from bead-making to detergent production, hair-dressing, decoration, tie &dye, catering and hat making were taught by seasoned facilitators. Another cheerful beneficiary, a practicing nurse, simply referred to as Mrs.Sanni, disclosed that already, she had made over 20,000 from the sale of beads which she produced during the course of the training.


SUND AY V ANGU ARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013, SUNDA VANGU ANGUARD,

P AGE 21 PA

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

Islam not against western education —Zainab, religious leader BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA

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lthough very religious, Zamfara State-born and bred Zainab Nuhu Maru is an embodiment of inspiration, especially to her fellow Moslem women. She is both assertive and intelligent in ways that are dominantly alien to most of her contemporaries. “Islam says ‘seeking for knowledge is compulsory for all men and women", she boldly echoed throughout this interview. A distinguished civil servant, Zainab is presently the Director of Administration for Special Assignments, Government House, Zamfara State. For eight years running, she’s been the Ameera of the state’s Muslim Students Society. She holds a Diploma in Public Account & Audit, a Degree in Public Administration and is almost rounding-off a Masters in Public Administration. In this interview, she speaks on her personal initiative, Support Development Association, which she founded years ago to enlighten women in her state. Enjoy!

You sound radically feminist and you know your society doesn’t uphold such… There’s improvement now because of the activities of non-governmental organisations. I was opportune to be part of a team taken to Malaysia and Egypt on the issue of maternal health, family and girl-child education. Our religious leaders are behind this because majority of them are

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What’s the idea behind Support Development Association? It actually began as a community-based organisation in my local government, Bukkuyum. My aim is to help women and also encourage them to get education; both western and Islamic. This is because Islam says ‘seeking for knowledge is compulsory for all men and women’. Every woman has the right to be educated! My mother was the first female religious leader in Zamfara State and she sent her daughters to school! As a matter of fact, she was given this appointment as the Ameera of Zamfara State by Senator Ahmed Yerima while he was governor. She is educated, knows the Quaran very well and knows her rights. If you understudy the rights Islam gives to women, you will marvel! Every religious right that it gives to men, it gives also to women! We have right to education, life, freedom, and whatever you can think of.

Islam however

did not specify the age but it says a girl should not be married unless she is mature, in the sense that she has started mensuration. ...some...do not know they are supposed to use their discretion

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very educated; they also take our traditional rulers along for each edition. This has been going on for four years and it has brought improvements in the state. Our traditional rulers are also seriously fighting against child marriage because virtually all patients in our Vesico Vagina Fistula-VVF centres were children who later on were abandoned by their so-called husbands. So, what we did was that each time we went to villages to sensitize parents against child marriage, we showed them pictures of these little girls suffering from VVF. Many are therefore beginning to deviate from the act.

*Zainab

Like pro-child marriage protesters argue, is it true that Islam supports child marriage? No. Islam however did not specify the age but it says a girl should not be married unless she is mature, in the sense that she has started mensuration. But you know, because of biological differences, some children start menstruation very early and might even look very mature. So, that’s the root of the argument. As long as a girl has started mensuration, according to Islam, she has become mature since she could now get pregnant. I however want to say that because some religious leaders are less civilised and uneducated, they do not know they are supposed to use their discretion. Before women in Zamfara State began pursuing education, what was the situation like in terms of child marriage, and currently, what developmental consequences has it caused the state? As a result of the fact that early marriage deprived our girls from getting education, most of the accomplished women in my state are nonindigenes! Now, our people

have realised! We have only two female permanent secretaries and both of them are not from Zamfara. The two female executive secretaries we have are also not from my state! Also, majority of our school principals are also women married into the state! Now, we have a continuing education programme by the state government which is helping women who were half educated prior to marriage. They are now being trained and engaged in the community mid-wifery programme. I’m sure most of your age mates were already mothers while you were busy acquiring university education; did you not feel behind? Not at all! I used to admire them each time I saw them with their children but I knew I would have mine someday. In fact, my friends got married after secondary school. Now, I have three lovely children and the oldest is nine years old already. So, I missed nothing by not getting married earlier! I met my husband while in the polytechnic and he is a very intelligent, understanding and religious man. He’s got his Masters degree already and he inspires me positively. He does not joke with Islamic

education, and even up till now, he goes for his Islamic classes. Finally, are you saying Islam is not against western education and does not out rightly endorse child marriage? Islam is never against western education. Though we did not have western education in the past, when you go down history, you’ll discover our women were very vast in engineering, medicine, to mention but few, and were giving advice. I will say it anywhere in the world: Islam is not against western education; it tells us to ‘seek for knowledge’. As a matter of fact, it’s a very sweet religion because it means peace! Islam does not tell anyone to give a child out in marriage; it only states that a woman is free to marry when she has started menstruation. It is now left to us to use our discretion and decide what time is appropriate because Islam does not specify the age. When we allow our girls mature enough and acquire at least secondary school education before going into marriage, they will be able to care for their husbands and children to the development of the society.


PAGE 22—SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013

Managing Insurance Brand

The Mijinyawa Way S OME of the response

Lawal Mijinyawa, E.D (Operations), Unity Kapital Assurance, Plc.

DIRECTOR (OPERATIONS), UNITY KAPITAL ASSURANCE, PLC. His office will be a challenge to anyone who is not in his/her element. Haven rose through the ranks - branch manager, regional manager and now director all in various companies. He discharges his responsibilities, today, as an ICON. His thinking is far from the mundane. He channels his energy in exploratory concepts that will positively impact on his company (Unity Kapital Assurance, Plc.) his clients, the insurance industry and the broad economic spectrum. For him, it will not be job-done, until insurance plays its role as the pivot of economic development in Nigeria and similar comparatively lowplaying economies, and until insurance service delivers on the critical value touch-points, such that will solve insurable public’s questions at all times. The market scenario for insurance industry today will look like this 75-80% compulsory insurancesdriven. Even within that sector, the vehicle or motor insurance is largely mocked by the no-option 3 rd party cover note. I know of a top end HNI (High Net-worth Individual) whose resolve, over 22 years ago, is to take Third Party insurance cover for every of his cars, no matter the purchase value. This person in reference takes delivery of

only new top end luxury cars; but all of those very expensive cars do not go for any insurance cover beyond Third Party insurance cover, because, according to this very rich man, at the end of the day, insurance cover amounts to nothing IN NIGERIA. Some practitioners in insurance will tell you the insurable public is to blame, because they do not take time

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to our opening article in our series on the INSURANCE industry in Nigeria came in horde. To some of our readers, the article was simply timely, while others saw it as reopening old wounds. To some of them whose reaction read quite youthful (as though they were preparing to buy their first car, the interest was huge. Lawal Mijinyawa’s thoughts on managing CLIENTS for insurance brands, resonated with over 70% of our readers on the plus side, as they made manifest in their responses. To one of our readers who sent in his response from Enugu (Emeka/Enugu), he was simply thankful we did what we did. He wrote “I am greatly spurred by that Lawal Mijinyawa’s down-to-earth statement: settle genuine claims and the client will drive your business. There lies the secret of all insurance business success”. To Emeka and many others of our readers, Lawal Mijinyawa has come to represent a new concept in INSURANCE offer. Mijinyawa has come to represent HOPE to some, C O N F I D E N C E , F R I E N D L I N E S S , DEPENDABILITY and an entire paradigm shift, for some others. When we decided to take a critical look at the insurance industry, our focus was on identifying those growth obstacles inherent; those peculiarities that are either unavoidably part of the business or persistent impediments perhaps because practitioners are not applying new global insights for the much needed change, to help instigate change. The public’s top-of-mind impression of insurance service offering is UNRELIABILITY or DECEPTION. But it is of utmost concern to some of us who have concerned themselves with developmental economics, that in developed economies, insurance is the economic growth driver. It is just unimaginable that any meaningful business transaction will take place in any emerging and developed economy without the appropriate cover against loss/risk. Lawal Mijinyawa is presently the EXECUTIVE

1998/99 when my car with comprehensive insurance cover was involved in an accident. The insurance company started throwing up all sorts of annoying questions, drawing my attention to all the terms and conditions under the policy. The experience was one of betrayal, and the lesson was hard and bitter. When we hear of health insurance in other economies, especially the developed economy, it sounds like fairytale down here. The questions are legion, without answers. The public’s apathy towards insurance is a function of bad (consumer) experience. And we know, like in the fundamentals of brand management, a brand will only succeed if it delivers on its promises at the consumer ’s value touch-points. Interestingly, consumer expectation will always grow from the given brand’s promise. So, disconnect and rejection will naturally come with bad consumer experiences; experiences that are clearly at cross-purposes with the brand promise and consumer expectation. As it is, enlightenment on the part of insurable public will go a long way to help

Consumer expectation will always grow from the given brand’s promise. So, disconnect and rejection will naturally come with bad consumer experiences; experiences that are clearly at crosspurposes with the brand promise and consumer expectation

to properly read through the policy documents before signing up for cover policy given that, for real, there are “terms and conditions” that guides the benefit payable to the insured, carefully tucked in the body of the contract, normally written in very tiny letters (fonts as low as 6points. What obtains, therefore, is that those carefully tucked-away escape routes come to play when loss happen and the insured comes for claims. It happened to this writer sometime in

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insurance appreciation, among the target market. Inadequate target market awareness will always be a dysfunctional element that will always count against the insurance industry, more than it will affect the target market, because it is simple: if you cannot not understand how it works, stay away. Lawal Mijinyawa believes individual corporate industry players and the entire industry owe it a duty to themselves, the industry, individual practitioners and finally the

public, to invest in awareness and enlightenment - and his company, Unity Kapital Assurance, plc., does that. Lawal Mijinyawa currently champions what we see as a paradigm shift in insurance service delivery, by the unique way he conducts his business. It was difficult tracking him for an interview because, even at such times when it seems he is free to sit down for a few moments, he quickly make known there are clients he needs to meet for many varying reasons. His work day does not end with the end of regular “ work hours”. His is a 100% CustomerCentric service delivery. He is concerned with all that concerns his client, from consultancy to advisory and technical aid services. Add to that, he believes he has to work with the Client’s time instead of his own time or what the average Nigerian will call ‘official work hours’. His passion for the profession is true, uncommon and persuasive. It has endeared him to observers like us. Interestingly also, Lawal Mijinyawa has gone about building customer confidence among those in first contact with him, leading to longlasting relationship and good refer rals. We can say his positive impact transcend his immediate work place, to help perception change for the entire insurance industry, from among some people within the insurable public, who have had the opportunity to meet him. His passion, commitment, belief and method of service delivery…all add up to what we have termed THE MIJINYAWA theory for efficient insurance service delivery. He has been king enough to give personal answers to some of those commonly asked questions on insurance, frequently asked by members of the public. We are preparing to publish his answers to some of such questions next week. But we can assure our readers, the questions we asked are critical and Mijinyawa’s answers are revealing. In the meantime, our inquest into the possibility of beneficial insurance cover continues. We shall ultimately get into the thick of our inquest as we go along.


SUNDAY Vanguard , OCTOBER 20 , 2013, P AGE 23

Are sugar daddies sad, middle-aged fools? W

HAT is it about middle age men and their Iibidos?” asked an exasperated Mariam at a recent chin-wag. In her middle age, she got divorced several years back from a husband she termed a serial adulterer. She went on: li”The other day, I was commiserating with a friend whose potly husband of 28 years had abandoned her and, apparently, all reason - for a woman his daughter’s age. She is your typical home-maker-Ioyal, dependable and discreet. She has quietly supported her businessman husband’s career throughout their marriage. How could he have deserted her for a floozy after all those years of love and selfsacrifice? She was naturally bereft ... “ The big question is: What turns a typical ‘for-thebaba-ke’ into a fullyfledged, grade-A lothario? “I’II.tell you,” offered Mariam. “The lustre of his successful career has magically rendered him highly attractive to women. He may not have qualified as a contestant in a Mr. Nigeria contest, but he has a sharp brain and a successful career that sees him rubbing shoulders with the most powerful people in the country. That’s why impressionable young women are attracted to him - they wouldn’t have found him nearly as alluring if he’d been some pen-pushing

nonentity earning enough to cater for a small family in a flat! Power and money, as the cliche goes, are potent aphrodisiacs, and when allied to the status of a successful career, the mixture is irresistible.” . As the discussion raged, it soon transpired that what got these women virtually boiling with rage was the report of one of their husbands in advanced middle age making an arrant fool of himself He was spotted by one of their adult children in ridiculously age inappropriate sportswear smooching at a disco party with his lissom personal assistant. What on earth was he thinking? “Certainly not of his poor wife and mother of his four children,” spat Mariam. “But then, we all know that decorum and common sense desert these daft men when they are in the grip of an infatuation with a young vixen in the office. And it happens to men in all walks of life: bankers, lawyers, doctors, accountants - they all seem to fall prey to an office junior - beguiled by their power and desperate to get a career boost - who strokes their balding pate and massages their burgeoning ego. “These men, gripped by a late - life surge of lust, seem to forget the sacrifices their spouse made towards their success. I’ve seen it again and again: men -

with devoted wives who raise their children, keep their homes spic and span and discreetly endure the decline in the physical side of their relationship - start acting like lust - obsessed adolescents the moment an impressionable young woman paysattention to them. adly, my own mar S riage came to grief over a similar scenario.

When I first met Jide, my ex, we were both accountants in a big firm. He was my senior of course, and as soon as he could, left with two of his friends to found a firm of chartered accountants. The fourth of the group stayed behind to pass the company’s work to the

new firm. “Once he’s found the success he craved, it was as if he felt entitled to have it all: a happy home life with me and our children, and the thrill of an illicit office dalliance with whichever moppet was most fluttered by the attentions of the man calling the shots in the office. So while I was ensconced at our home, raising our children, cooking the meals, keeping the house and somehow juggling my own career} Mr. hot pants frittered away money having a darn good time. Of course, wives and steady girlfriends are never invited to these shindigs, ensuring he could do whatever he wished with pretty office juniors.

“So what was in it for the girls? They may have believed it would advance their careers, certainly they would have enjoyed the intro into a sophisticated world and the association with movers and shakers. But was good sex the lure? Most unlikely! Because as my husband’s professional success advanced, it seemed his sexual potency declined commensurately. I knew of his affairs but turned a blind eye until the last one - the one that precipitated the end of our marriage. Even when I found Viagra in his pocket, knowing it wouldn’t be used for me, I kept mum. Afterall, I wouldn’t be the only wronged wife with a faithless middle-aged husband who enjoyed the authority and conviction she brought to her role. believe there is some I thing undignified about men past this physical

prime, their sell-by date so to speak, making idiots of themselves with younger women. An:affair may inflate their self-esteem for a while, but it usually does little for their career.; The point is that men in their 50s behaving like sexually incontinent adolescents lose the:credibility gained from their high-flying jobs. Tell me, how many successful career women in senior position - captains of industry, heads of parastatal – are rendering themselves cheap by having affairs with office

juniors? The idea of catching such women in a fumble with a messenger is laughable and preposterous. Yet successful men seem to think a liaison is not only a job perk, but also ultimate proof of their macho status. Well, it isn’t.

o why do they think S their egos need such boistering? In the end, they

must ask themselves how they want to be remembered - for their talent and achievements or for their petty sexual misdemeanours? Men like my friend’s husband may enjoy the thrill of their illicit fling. They may even go on to marry their young birdbrained girls. But what happens when they reach their drooling, incontinent dotage and their new wives are in their middle-aged prime. Will those trophy lovers stick around to push them in their bath chairs and spoon-feed them? I doubt it!” With Mariam spewing so much venom, she gives the idea that May-November relationships always end in tears. Some of them survive, leaving the bitter first wives reaching for their valium. I’m sure if Mariam were to cast aside her bitterness, she would discover that some top female executives are not aversed to the well-toned bodies of the male species. Afterall, they too, can afford to pay!!

08052201867(Text Only)

You can be more active and less tired

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ROPER body management isw the key toi being more alive, more active and less tired. What does proper body management entail? Well, there must be good nutrition followed by sufficient elimination. And then also there must be formed the habit of regular physical exercise and of deep breathing. Now, deep breathing happens to be the most important component in a healthy life. Oh, yes, it comes even before the food you eat. You stand a better chance of making the most of what you have taken in, if you have mandated the system well with enough breathing exercises. Well, you can’t build any form of tissue without blood and you can’t build a drop of blood without oxygen. So, you see how crucial

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it is to know how to, and practise deep breathing. You want to be bubbling with energy and full of enthusiasm for living?

Chandrasana (backsides)

You now know how. But there must be application, there must be commitment to habits that conduce to such. All true practitioners of yoga have one distinction abundance of enegy. In any given situation the yoga will always be the last to feel tired. It is most energy inducing regimen known to man and it is also a therapy form. You simply can’t beat yoga. All practitioners know so. Now lets get cracking. Try the following for waking up muscles and getting set for the daya. Chandrasana (sideways). Technique: Standing with feet together put

you hands up with palms together. Lock your knees as you bend to the left side. Maintain this position for as long as it takes to hurt. Then repeat on the other side. Benefits: This induces flexibility. C h a n d r a s a n a (backsides) Technique: Standing with feet together and knees locked raise the hands up as you talk a deep breath. Breath on thoroughly and been backwards. Stay in the position for a slow count to five. Benefit: This posture life the one above also conf flexibility on the practitioner. MATSYENDRASANA

Technique: As you sit with both legs outstretched draw up your right knee and place your right foot on the outside of your left knee. Place your right hand midway at your back and then twist as you look over your right shoulder. Your left hand should clasping your right thigh. Theen is malsyendrasana or the

two postuire. Benefits: This is yet another posture that brings flexibility. It also gives massive to the kidneys. Constipation sufferer aso get relief with the practise of this posture.

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


PAGE 24—SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013

bunmsof@yahoo.co.uk

08056180152,

SMS only

Marital sex is nothing more than another domestic chore! I T’S the end of yet another day and like thousands of women across the country, you’ve spent the evening on a list of duties - preparing dinner, policing the children’s home work and finally, sorting out the washing up so you’ll be ready to face yet another day in the morning. The house is quiet at last, all you hear is the telly in your bedroom as hubby listens to the Nine O’clock news. Then a voice - your husband’s - calls hopefully from the slightly opened bedroom: “Are you coming to bed now?” “That is the moment when I know that my day is far from over,” sighs Karen, a mother of three, 15 years married. “There is still one last conjugal chore to be performed. Yes, I’m well aware that sex is not a job to be ticked off my long list of things to do. But boy, does it often feel that way!” And, according to recent findings on conjugal sex, Karen is far from alone in dreading her husband’s advances. The findings discovered one in four women find sex a chore, with many claiming they would rather read a book. “I can think of hundred of things I’d rather do at bed time than have sex with my poor long-suffering husband,” continued Karen.’” “Sometimes it’s sleep, other time, it’s watching boring films on the cable. There have even been occasions when I have opted to mop the kitchen floor over love-making because, quite simply, it requires less input.”

nterestingly, many I married women feel the same way. According to

Morenike, a medical doctor, “it’s the nights when I come to bed and can hear my husband in the bathroom gurgling with mouthwash and ‘freshening’ that I start to panic. Sometimes, I manage to creep back

downstairs really quickly before he’s seen me and I spend the next hour or so in the utility room ironing next day’s clothes so I don’t have to come up with yet another excuse as to why I don’t want sex. A friend of mine admits to cleaning her teeth for 15 minutes until she hears her husband snoring. She’s obviously researched her husband’s habit extensively. According to her, she knew that as long as he’s in a horizontal position for long enough without moving, his heart rate would drop and he’d eventually fall asleep.”

o what’s going-on on S the matrimonial bed? Why is it that after ten or so years of marriage, the desire we all felt for our husbands seems to have dropped off a cliff? Paula Hall, author of Improving Your Relationship For Dummies, says it can partly be blamed on biology. According to her: “When we first get together with somebody, we’re producing PEA (phenylethylamine) - the chemical responsible for lust, fluttering stomachs and the fact we can’t keep our hands off each other. Unfortunately, that wears off after 18 months, which is the time in which evolution reckons you should get pregnant. After that, we’re producing oxytocin - a bonding chemical - which is also about keeping us together. Nobody, after a decade of marriage, feels huge amounts of lust for their partner - especially women who have around 40 per cent less testosterone than men. They have to work harder to keep their sex drive going. “As a result, female group discussions are now dominated by women bemoaning the fact that marital sex is nothing more than another domestic chore - something we know must be done at least once a month (like cleaning out the fridge) but

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"

My love for you

As the dew of mount Hermon never drys As the river never fulls the seas

ideally should be ticked off on a weekly basis along with changing the bed linen and Hoovering under the sofa. But how has it come to this? “I can still remember nights in the not-so-distant-past where I would climb into bed, look at my’ husband, and think without any prompting at all. “I quite fancy a bit of a romp”, says Karen. “Nowadays, I start avoiding the inevitable hours in advance. There are evenings when I have been known to flag up a headache as he walks through the front door at 6pm, and others where I will change into my ‘Don’t even think about it’ pyjamas. If he doesn’t get the message, then I strategically place a box of tampons next to his toothbrush mug and keep my fingers crossed!” aula Hall blames this P lull in female libido on the strain of modem life. “Sadly, it appears sex lives are taking a downward plunge within marriage,” she says. “Couples are finding that their priorities are elsewhere. It’s been revealed the average married woman prioritises a whole host of menial tasks over sex with their spouses including making up the kids’ meals and watching TV. The thing is couples need to work at wanting sex. It’s a

myth that sexual desire should be triggered by your husband. In a longterm marriage, you have to take responsibility for your own sex drive. Rather than getting into bed, looking at him and thinking: ‘Nope, it’s not working mate,’ focus your energy on creating the environment and circumstances to get your own brain and body in the mood. Read Fifty Shades Of Grey or other erotic books. Play lovely music and have a pampering bath. Do whatever it takes to; get in the right frame of mind.” ; aula strongly be P lieves that one of the pitfalls to a successful sex

life is waiting until you get into bed at night. She explains: “You go to bed because you’re tired, right? If you weren’t tired you’d probably still be doing a whole host of other things. So schedule sex at different times. Be creative. Wanting to want sex is half the battle. I tell my clients to work on the traffic light system. Red means ‘I don’t want sex.’ Green means, ‘I do.’ Amber is, ‘I could be persuaded.’ You need to learn to go on amber. If you’re

As the sun never falls from the sky So my love for you will never end. Come Chioma my Angel and taste my love. Dave Okpako, dave_okpako11@yahoo.com, 08063577548.

You mean the world to me! Only one thing will always reassure my daily activities and will always remain an integral part of my life and thoughts. That only special thing is my undiluted, everfresh and evergreen love to you for

constantly waiting for green, you may well forget it.” Helping Your Teenagers Cope With Divorce It’s easy to assume that older kids won’t be affected that much by our divorce. After all, they’re not children any more. Sometimes we even expect them to support us through difficult times. But the teenage years are hard enough for young people without the turmoil of their parents separating. That’s why it’s important not to dismiss their fears or concern. In her book: Divorce And Separation: The Essential Guide, Linda Jones gives these tips to help your teens handle a separation: ‘ ry to stay calm, no matter what they say in the heat of the moment. Teens whose parents separate often feel rejected, get angry or depressed and show signs of disruptive behaviour. This is normal, and it could also be mixed up with the emotions every teenager experiences. It may seem that all your teen is concerned about is how the divorce is going to affect their life. Get used to questions about who will live where, who will drive them to their friends’ houses and who will give them pocket money. Answer them with respect. Try to find a way of doing this that doesn’t give them negative feelings about their other parent - you may be divorced but he is still their dad. Don’t treat your teen as a shoulder to cry on. They are still your children and you should be there for them, not the other way round. Don’t try to be both mum and dad, but carry on doing what you’ve always done. Don’t expect your teen to fill the space left by your partner. It shouldn’t be their job to take on your ex’s roles and responsibilities even if they say they want

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to. Make sure chores that used to be done by your partner are shared out fairly. ive your teenager G some emotional and physical space. Let them go

to their room and play music at full blast if they want to. Remember, when a teen finds out their parents are splitting, they’re likely to feel very embarrassed. They may prefer to confide in friends rather than in you. Try not to disrupt the practical details of your teen’s life too much. If possible, don’t change their school or make them give up activities they enjoy. Enlist the help of families and friends to help you cope with any extra picking up or dropping off that your partner used to do. . alk and listen. Teens T are old enough to appreciate that sometimes di-

vorce is the best option. Tell them that things will get better and that in the long run, this decision is best for all of you - after all, who wants to live with moody or squabbling parents? And be ready to listen. Try not to allow your teens to bottle up their feelings, which may cause problems behaviour now or in the future. Resist the temptation to bad-mouth your former partner to your child. Your teenager should not be expected to take sides or to judge their other parent’s behaviour. Nor should teens have to carry messages between warrying adults. Finally, remember that nobody is perfect. You’ve both been role models for your kids up till now, so kicking away the pedestal will be hard to bear. But don’t beat yourself up if these challenging goals aren’t always easily achieved. The older the child, the more likely it is that they will be capable of looking to the future with optimism.

you really mean the world to me. Akachukwu Ferdinand. 08063819314

Spread the love

When a bird is alive it eats ants. When a bird dies ants eat it. Time and circumstance can change at any time. Don't devalue or hurt any one in life.You may be powerful today....but remember, time is more powerful than you!! One tree makes a million match sticks,but when the time comes, one match stick is needed to burn a million trees. Let's encourage one another to the acts of kindness. Please let's always spread the Love. Chris Onunaku 08032988826/08184844015.


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 25

LAMENTATION OF THE ORONTO DOUGLAS FAMILY

‘They kidnapped our daughter while still mourning the crash that killed Azazi, Yakowa, and marred our father’s burial’ BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA,

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Yenagoa

he abduction, on Monday night, of Mrs. Augusta Dou glas-Ayam, sister to the Special Adviser to the President on Research and Documentation, Mr. Oronto Douglas, at Ogbia, in Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa State, came as a rude shock to many. It was shock not just because of the relative peace being enjoyed in the state especially in the upland areas due to the establishment of Operation Doo Akpo, a special security outfit, by the Dickson administration which has succeeded in reducing crime but also because of the victim’s brother (Oronto Douglas) unquantifiable contributions to the Ijaw and Niger Delta struggle. Oronto Douglas, at the risk of his own life alongside other Ijaw youths, took on the military authorities and came up with the now famous Kaiama Declaration which highlighted the environmental injustice, despoliation and widespread poverty in Ijawland as well as internationalised the clamour for equity and justice within the Nigerian state by the people of the Niger Delta. It was therefore a sad commentary that armed gunmen could choose to go after the Douglas family. The event of last Monday is one that no family will wish to experience seeing one of their own seized by armed men clad in military camouflage. This unfortunate incident occurred at about 8.30 pm. The gunmen may have taken their time to perfect their plan before they struck given the ease with which they made away with their target who was said to be in her shop. The armed men, on storming the community, reportedly fired sporadically into the air to whittle down any possible resistant from the community folks and asked the boys at the jetty to lie flat while those that were at the shop started shooting and dragged the woman to a waiting boat and disappeared into the creek.

Release plea

The Douglas family pleaded with the kidnappers of their daughter to free her on humanitarian grounds. Head of the family, Romeo Douglas, said, in a statement Wednesday, that Augusta’s abduction was giving them concern because of her poor state of health. Romeo appealed to the hoodlums not to harm the victim. He said the family was confident that security agencies would handle the incident diligently and uncover the C M Y K

duce the ransom. “They (kidnappers) switched off the phone.” Efforts by the family to contact the kidnappers later through the number proved abortive as it was not going through. “We tried to call the number they used in calling the husband but it did not go through. The amount they asked for is outrageous. Where do they expect us to get that kind of money?” Another family source said, “We are worried about her health condition and this could put her in grave danger, adding, “It is pathetic that this is happening to us as a family at a time we are yet to recover from the helicopter crash that occurred during the burial rites of our father, killing ex-NSA Patrick Azazi and Governor Yakowa of Kaduna State.”

MEND claims contact with kidnappers

Mrs. Augusta Douglas-Ayam... ill before she was taken away by gunmen

We tried to call the number they used in calling the husband but it did not go through. The amount they asked for is outrageous. Where do they expect us to get that kind of money?

are up to the task and we are counting on their expertise. We appeal to members of public to avail the security agencies and the family of any information that they may have concerning this matter.” Though the Bayelsa State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Alex Akhigbe, said there was no security signal yet on the victim’s whereabouts, he nonetheless added that security operatives were combing the nook and cranny of the creek to rescue her and get the kidnappers arrested.

N500m ransom

motive behind the abduction of the mother of an eight-year old girl. He said: “Augusta Douglas-Ayam had just visited the hospital few days back over her health challenges. The family, therefore, wish to appeal to the kidnappers to release her unconditionally based on humanitarian grounds. “The kidnap of our daughter has increased our pain as a family that is still in mourning. The family have given all the necessary details and information to the security agencies to aid their investigation. “We believe that the security agents

But the kidnappers were said to have demanded N500million ransom for Augusta’s release. Though the claim could not be verified as the distraught husband of the victim declined to speak on the alleged ransom, a source close to the Douglas family told Sunday Vanguard that the kidnappers allowed the woman to speak with him. “The husband spoke with the kidnappers but he was troubled about state of his wife’s health,” the source said, adding that the husband pleaded with the kidnappers to re-

The matter took a twist on Thursday evening as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) claimed to have made contact with the kidnappers. The group claimed the kidnapping was a protest against alleged misuse of military helicopter during the burial rites of the presidential aide’s father, Pa Douglas, in Okoroba in Nembe area of Bayelsa State. MEND, in a statement by Gbomo Jomo, said though it declined to be an intermediary in the ongoing ransom demand, the kidnapping was a protest action against alleged misuse of Federal Government facilities. The statement read, “MEND have made accidental contact with the abductors of the sister of Mr Oronto Douglas, Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Research and Strategy. ”The gang in addition to seeking ransom wants to use the kidnapping to express their disgust due to the ostentation they witnessed during the burial of Pa Douglas which included the abuse of military helicopters which were used as a social shuttle service to ferry guests when such could have been put to better use. “As we do not wish to be dragged into playing the role of an intermediary with kidnappers, we have declined their request to get involved based on principles. “We however appealed to them to release the victim who was last seen looking well but harassed unharmed at the earliest.”

Police assures

Bayelsa State police command and the Joint Task Force are working round the clock to rescue the victim. Spokesman of the state police command, Mr. Alex Akhigbe, said, “We have our strategy and we are on their trail. Our ultimate goal is to secure her freedom and arrest the kidnappers.” The spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF), code named Operation Pulo Shield, Lt Col Onyema Nwachukwu, said the search had been intensified as gunboats had penetrated the creeks and expressed confidence that the woman would soon be rescued and her abductors arrested without payment of ransom.


PAGE 26— SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

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The rage of Abuja traders! *‘We are being defrauded by govt’ BY VICTORIA OJEME

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our years ago, Abuja Municipal Area Coun cil (AMAC) asked occupiers of stalls at Karu market to move out to enable it renovate the market that has unarguably fallen into disrepair , with stall owners and customers alike facing dire e n v i r o n m e n t a l challenges.Apart from the perennial flooding that often caused pool of stagnant and odorous water , the sanitation situation got authorities worried about a major epidemic; so, understandably, many people including shop owners and residents who patronize the Karu market, saw reason on the need to renovate the market.Original owners of the stalls who desired to move back to the market, as learnt by Sunday Vanguard,were also asked to pay a deposit of N200,000, with the assurance of moving back into the market in 12 months.But four years later, when majority of those who paid the initial deposit of N200,000, faced with no place to sell their wares, after waiting on the authorities of AMAC to live up to their promise of renovating the market in record time, had to move back into the uncompleted stalls. Investigations revealed that the allottees were shocked at the quality of the stalls, going by the promises made of block stalls. When Sunday Vanguard visited the market, it was discovered that the stalls were constructed with zinc, said to be prone to heat. It was revealed that majority of traders who deposited N200,000 with the hope of occupying their stalls in good time have since taken up residence in the stalls, owing to what some of them explained as their homelessness, as a result of investing all they had in paying for the shop.Some of the shop owners also complained of extortion by policemen drafted to the market to secure it, with shops , which have been turned into residence by the allottees made to pay about N500 daily as protection fee, while those who only come to trade and go are required to pay N300.One of the shop owners, who confirmed the C M Y K

Now, you have stagnant water everywhere and the whole place is smelly. Infact, I would be surprised if epidemic does not break out soon

*Uncompleted stalls ... Authorities allegedly failed to deliver after collecting N200,000 from each trader

development, Hajia Ramatu Yusuf, lamented, “They moved us out of the former place and asked us to come to this place. It is four years now, and we have not moved into any of the shops.“How can somebody put together a shop with zinc instead of blocks, and expect human beings to stay inside? Very soon we will be entering hot season where meningitis will be flying all over the

place.“Apart from rain destroying our properties, the police come to this market every day to collect money from us and these are shops that are yet to be completed. “All we are asking the authority to do now is to complete the buildings and start allocating it to the rightful owners”. On the health challenges in the market, a trader, who did

not want her name mentioned, said, “As you can see, the market is worse than it was before we were asked to move out to enable them renovate. “Now, you have stagnant water everywhere and the whole place is smelly. Infact, I would be surprised if epidemic does not break out soon. Then you can also see that some people are living inside

the shops. Of course, since the shops are built with zinc, you know that hot season could bring about meningitis for those who choose to live in the stalls”, she said. A trader who lives inside one of the shops, Mrs Ruth Adakole, said, “I am living here because I have no other place to live. I am a widow and I paid for the shop with the little money I had. We were told that the shops will be completed in 12 months. So, after waiting for one year and faced with no place to live, I had to move into the shop. If the shop had been completed in 12 months, I would have since recouped my investment of N200,000 from which I could have hired a house, but, unfortunately, that is not to be”. On the fear of meningitis outbreak, Adakole insisted that she had no choice than to move into the shop, saying, “What am I to do? If government can defraud us, innocent and law abiding citizens, what do we do?


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 27

08116759757 BY KOLA OMOTUNDE YOUNG

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Before

read this piece on the backpage of a news paper on 17 Oct, written by Abimbola Adelakun, and commend the writer’s informed views on many of the issues. I however have disagreement with the writer on some issues. The writer wrote: “My preliminary assessment of the re-classification remedy masquerading as a revamp of the education sector is that it is meretricious, and does not demonstrate genuine commitment to resolving the problems of education …. Why do governors go for artificial restructuring while they neglect the real issues of funding, curriculum content development, continuous teacher retraining among others? “ The question is valid when asked generally. However in the spirit of responsible intellectual discuss, I would have expected the writer to make effort to find out (through any sources) what the Aregbesola government may have done/or failed to do on these specific issues raised and then comment agreeing, disagreeing, or advising in relation to them. Otherwise, how do you expect a thinking government to respond without restructuring to optimise resources, between, for example, a school with 15 teachers and 120 students population and another with 30 teachers and 600 students, both with dilapidated structures. Now It is widely reported that Aregbesola’s government increased running cost of schools which he met at between N200 to N600 per month depending on the size of the school to N400 per pupil per term implying a movement from N600 Naira per states which have attempted term to N40,000 for a school with to implement it properly as one hundred pupils. It has also six years primary, three- year been reported that more than 2,000 junior secondary and threeteachers have been re-trained in year senior secondary. The collaboration with Osun State Uni- junior and senior secondary versity in a continuous process schools are run as distinct while substantial work has been schools with different strucdone in terms of curriculum and tures and administrative provision of instructional materi- heads. Aregbesola’s government’s als including books, learning aids and Opon Imo, the international- reclassification has not done ly acclaimed Tablet of Knowledge. anything to affect the strucGoing by the National Education ture and it is not the basis of Policy, there is no secondary school any of the current complaints as we used to know it in the 70s from the Christian Associaand 80s. Now what we have is the tion of Nigeria, CAN, or any nine- year Universal Basic Edu- religious organisations. The complaints are the fall cation – which enjoys financial support from the Federal Govern- - outs of the infrastructural ment - and three-year Senior Sec- upgrade and the need to ondary School which is entirely maximise physical, human state funded. The nine-year is fur- and financial resources. Did the writer check the ther divided in Lagos and some

NYSC seeks inputs from stakeholders on service delivery CALEB AYANSINA

Aregbesola’s reclassification state of any of such schools before and the replacement structures constructed by Aregbesola’s government which necessitated the restructuring and reclassification before using words like meretricious or madcap to describe such efforts? Must we in the name of demonstrating writing skill use such a word that if incorrect in usage portrays the user as not only unfair and discouraging of genuine efforts at nation-building, but also as indecent? Osun Baptist Conference has a mixed-sex secondary school in Osogbo founded in 2000 – Zion Baptist High School (in the premises of a school formerly called Newton memorial ) but are against mixing boys and girls in government owned school which name was

retained as Baptist school. Same Baptist changed Baptist Boys High School in Iwo to Baptist High School to put girls there several years ago and it is still a mixed –sex school till today after government take over. So in Iwo the complaint is different from Osogbo, it is Hijab and not mixing of sexes. If we must call a spade its name, CAN, Baptist, Muslims and any other religious organisation claiming ownership of the schools are being economical with the truth and except society rises up irrespective of our faiths against the indefensible, the self emancipation desired to make positive changes in our lives will continue to be illusory. Governments in the Southwest have been bound to free

‘How to end ecological, sea piracy challenges in Niger Delta’

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NON-GOVERNMEN TAL organization (NGO), Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, has held a two-day peace and environmental seminar under the theme, “Towards eradicating ecological threats and sea piracy challenges in Africa”. The seminar, held at the Banquet Hall, Yenagoa, Bayelsa state on 24th and 25 th September, 2013 had in attendance Prof. Godini Darah, seminar coordinator, (Dr. Mrs.) Bernice Adiku Heloo, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Republic of Ghana, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, HOD, Sociology and Psychology, DelC M Y K

su, Abraka, Otunba Kunle Folarin, Mr. Jude Ebitimi Ukori, Mr. Fredrick Igere, Comrade Pedro Bekenawei, Chief Godwin Orhadahwe, captains of industries, politicians, students, human right activists, environmental activists and others in attendance. In his speech during the seminar, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer, CEPEJ observed that the entire Niger Delta and the high seas within and outside the national borders needed adequate security. He noted that government officials

and politicians were responsible for most conflicts in Africa, saying that the issue of marginalization would continue unless we democratize the process and institutions of development. Chief Francis Doukpola, chairman, Bayelsa state post-flood management committee, who is also the chairman of the seminar, in his remark, said “hardly at any other time in recorded history has our world faced the same intensity and wide variety of environmental challenges as the conspiracy of natural ecological forces and human abuse or mismanagement imposed on us at the present time..

HRM King Alfred Diete-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass and Comrade Sheriff Mulade, National Coordinator, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ during the seminar.

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has called for inputs from all stakeholders including serving Corps Members (CMs) as the scheme strategized to improve its service delivery. To this end, the scheme has organised a 2-day Corpers Forum tagged; ‘Harnessing Ideals of Corps Members for a more Effective Service Delivery’, with a view to assisting Management formulate and implement policies that will enable it adjust to the changing needs of the public. Addressing the forum of 148 corps members from all the 36 states and the FCT, in Abuja, the Director General of NYSC, Brig. Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia, emphasized the need for the NYSC to harness the brilliant ideas from all stakeholders, particularly, corps members to inject more innovations into the scheme to enhance service delivery. The DG said that the recent incorporation of skills acquisition training and empowerment programmes, among others “are efforts geared towards attainment of a more effective and efficient service delivery. “As representatives of the vibrant youths of this nation, endowed with tremendous intellectual capacity and a wide horizon in different fields, management attaches much importance to the outcome of this forum. “I strongly believe that the ideas that will be generated here will provide useful platform for enhancing the operations of the scheme. My dear corps members, you have an opportunity to be part of history, let me therefore encourage you to approach the business of the forum with all seriousness and diligence.” On his part, the Director of Corps Welfare and Inspectorate Department, NYSC, Mr Solomon Ochim, said that NYSC was pursuing “common good of all Nigerians by engaging the virile segment of the youth populace, towards the transformation of the socio-economic and cultural landscape of Nigeria, where citizens can dwell together to fulfil their individual and collective aspirations.


PAGE 28—SUNDAY, Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

Erelu Abiola Dosunmu hosts Alake of Egba land

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t has been an unending song of celebration since thethcelebration of the 70 birthday of the Alake of Egba land, Oba Gbadebo Adedotun commenced some weeks ago. Ken Caleb Olumese’s Niteshift Coliseum set the wheel of the merriment rolling. Penultimate Saturday was the turn of the Queen Mother of Lagos, Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, who hosted the monarch to an afternoon of deluxe reception at her Victoria Island, Lagos residence. Photos by Sola Oyelese

L-R: Chief Femi Somolu, Erelu Abiola Dosunmu and Chief Allen Williams , the Majeobaje of Egba land

L-R; Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, presenting a gift to Oba Gbadebo Adedotun, while Oba Kole Ojutalayo, his Olori and others look on.

Benym Yesus (left) with Mrs Dehab Ghebreab

Lanre Ogunlesi (left) with Oba Gbadebo Adedotun.

Olori Abiodun Ojutalayo (left) with Olori Ropo Thompson.

From left: Dr Kola Alli, Erelu Abiola Dosumu and Chief Sunny Oyekunle

Onitsha stands still ffor or Ofala FFestiv estiv al estival

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he commercial city of Onitsha and environs last week stood still for the celebration of the annual Ofala Festival reputed as the biggest traditional festival in the South East. The festival was sponsored by national telecommunications operator, Globacom.

The Ogene Onira of Onitsha Kingdom, Chief Prof. Ngozi Okafo (right) and the Onoli Oguda of Onitsha, Chief Sam Chukwuedebe, presenting the trophy and cheque to the representatives of Agbalanze Youth

Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, arriving with his palace chiefs for the second day of the Ofala Festival.

The Obianamma arriving the Onitsha Ime Obi arena for the age grade competition. C M Y K

Nweje Ifeoma, winner of the Miss Ofala 2013 beauty pageant, displaying her N100,000 cheque

Glo's Div. Director, South East, Mr. Michael Ehumadu (right), presenting the Ofala Special Glo SIM pack to the Ogene Onira of Onitsha Kingdom, Chief Prof. Ngozi Okafo C M Y K


SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013 —29

Ne wY am FFestiv estiv al New Yam estival

Christian Ladies celebrate at 50

Sister J.A. Soetan (5th left), President of the Society, cutting the anniversary cake with other members.

FOLAWIYO Bankole Memorial Methodist Church, Ikate, Surulere, Lagos was in festive moodpenultimate weekend when the Christian Ladies Friendly Society of the church rolled out the drums to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The occasion started with a thanksgiving mass followed by other activities which include donations of state-ofthe-art doors to the church. Photos by Joe Akintola, Photo Editor.

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he Managing Director, Deacon Oil and Gas Ltd, Apapa, Lagos, Chief Iheanacho Ekedo, recently the popular Iri JI(new yam) festival in Lagos. Many important personalities graced the occasion.

Chief Ekedo (third right) with CEO, F&B Global Oil and Gas, Lagos, Ugochinyere Mba 1, Chief Fabian Obi (first right) and Chief Ide.

L-R: The Very Rev. E.O. Akande, preacher and minister in charge, commissioning the doors donated by the society while Sister J.A. Soetan ,President, looks on.

L-R:Chief Dosu Fatokun, chairman of the occasion , his wife , Chief (Mrs) Funmilayo and Mr. Ayo Adebayo. Chief Ekedo and wife (first and second from left), Chief and Mrs. Okoronkwo, Eze Francis Anukwu, Chief IYke Nwaizulame , Ide of Ihite Owerri, Chief Collins Ogbonna, Igodo Ego and Ugochinyere Mba 1, Chief Fabian Obi.

From left: Mrs. Kemi Awolesi, Prince Adediji Adedoyin, grand patron of the society and Sister Bolajoko Adedoyin, financial secretary.

From left: Sister Ibitayo, Sister Bolajoko Adedoyin, financial secretary and Mrs. Kemi Awolesi.

L-R: Chief and Mrs. Ekedo, their son Prince Emmanuel and Chief Ide

Ipole Ilor o goes ga or Olupole Iloro gayy ffor

INSTALLATION and coronation ceremony of Oba Babatola Ezekiel Oladele, the new Olupole Iloro Ekiti was held Saturday, September 28th at Iloro Ekiti, Ekiti State. Photos by Sola Oyelese

L-R:Princess Margaret Oluyide ,Oba Babatola Ezekiel Oladele, the Olupole, Princess Adegoke Ojo, the Regent of Erio Ekiti and Princess Adefunke Bosede Arowoegbe, the Regent of Erijiyan Ekiti . C M Y K

Oba Babatola Ezekiel Oladele with his Oloris

L-R: Oba Oladele receiving an award from Mr Micheal Oby on behalf of NYSC corps members serving in Ipole Ekiti


PAGE 30 — SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

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SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 31

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PAGE 32—SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

PDP crisis: Can PDP-GF save party?

Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, President Goodluck Jonathan and Alhaji Abubakar Baraje....Since the latest wave of the crisis started blowing, the PDPGF has made efforts to ensure truce BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE

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ITH the Sallah holiday over, feuding camps of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are expected to resume their search for peace this week. At their last gathering on October 7, they rescheduled the peace meeting for later this month after the Moslem celebration to enable them have a fuller house. In the interim, they agreed to implement past agreements. After weeks of topsy-turvy search for peace and flurries of allegations and counterallegations by the two warring camps, the next meeting is considered a make or mar one that will chart the way forward for the PDP. Since the last meeting, a lot of water has literally passed under the bridge. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), last week came out to recognise the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur-led PDP and disowned the Alhaji Abubakar Baraje-led camp known as new PDP, which includes the seven aggrieved governors. There is renewed romance between leaders of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) and some of the G-7 governors. Some APC leaders visited Adamawa State Governor and one of the G-7 helmsmen during the Sallah celebration and restated their invitation to the aggrieved governors to join the APC. Thus, leaders of the party have to double their efforts

The National Working Committee (NWC) met and we hope that we will be able to achieve full reconciliation with our aggrieved brothers, but this party is bigger than any person or any group and PDP will survive all interests on hammering out the reconciliation terms, consult and network more if they are really serious about ending the crises. It is also time for all organs and affiliates of the party such as the Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum (PDPGF), to play its strategic role. The new PDP sprout from the tree of acrimony between the presidency and Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) Chairman, Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, over NGF’s leadership. While the presidency wanted Amaechi to step down, the latter insisted on running, and his insistence led to the famous 19-16 election in the NGF with Amaechi as victor. Since then, the NGF has been split with Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State leading the other camp. Before then, the PDPGF led by Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, was also founded as vehicle

to rally the 24 PDP governors. With complaints coming from other governors like Babangida Aliyu of Niger, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara and other aggrieved leaders such as former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the deepening gulf between the presidencybacked Alhaji Bamanga Tukur-led PDP and the nPDP reached a climax on August 31, during the Special National convention in Abuja. The aggrieved members left the convention ground to another venue where they birthed nPDP and dished out a series of conditions for peace to return. The conditions include: President Jonathan should not recontest in 2015, Bamanga Tukur should be removed as PDP chairman, and state executive committees of PDP loyal to Nyako and Amaechi

should be reinstated among others. At the last peace meeting called by President Goodluck Jonathan, on September 22, it was resolved that further talks be deferred to October 7 At the end of the National Working Committee, midweek, the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, noted that the outcome of the October 7 meeting would determine the state and nature of the reconciliation efforts. “We have already engaged in a reconciliation agenda, as espoused by the National Chairman when he came to the office and we have been touring the country and doing it. We discussed the efforts and how we can continue. We mentioned our aggrieved brothers, we have left it for the meeting of October 7 to know how best to handle it. ”The National Working Committee (NWC) met and we hope that we will be able to achieve full reconciliation with our aggrieved brothers, but this party is bigger than any person or any group and PDP will survive all interest. This is a national party; the custodians of the party administration are ready and capable to handle all matters that affect this party after the peace meeting.” The October 7 meeting came and has passed with the leaders agreeing to meet again after the Sallah break. Before the next meeting, the leaders are expected to embark on aggressive fencemending offensives to get all to the dialogue table. It is also a time for the

Akpabio-led PDPGF to take action and ensure peace in the party in view of the broken down talks between G7 and the President. Since the G7 is composed of governors mainly, one question on the lips of observers is: can Akpabio utilize his salesman attributes to bring the combatants to the table? Since the latest wave of the crisis started blowing, the PDPGF has made efforts to ensure truce. Part of the efforts led to the recall of Governor Wamakko by the PDP hierarchy and the agreement to reinstate the Adamawa state exco, which is loyal to Nyako. However, the PDPGF is expected to do more. In recent times, it has been silent on unfolding events in the party. Hopes were raised ahead of the September 22 meeting in the Presidential Villa, where a truce was announced in a communiqué read by Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State. But 48 hours after the communiqué was read, the G7 governors and nPDP members visited the National Assembly and canvassed an eight-point agenda. The visit also led to commotion in the House of Representatives, with some members exchanging punches. The PDPGF did not utter a word on this development. It has also not made categorical statements on President Jonathan’s insistence that he has the constitutional right to run in 2015; the G7 insistence that Jonathan had an agreement with northern leaders not to re-contest, an allegation that the President denied in a televised media chat on September 30 among others. With some PDP hardliners describing most of the nPDP’s demands as unreasonable and PDP appears headed for the brink, will Akpabio allow his PDPGF to be decimated? Sources close to the governor, said he is respecting the terms of agreement of the September 22 parley to water down comments being made by stakeholders in the media to boost the reconciliation efforts. He is said to be working silently in concert with elders of the party including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former military leader, General Ibrahim Babangida and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih to salvage the party. Whether or not his efforts will yield results is a question of time.


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 33

How Senate, Gov Amaechi are running Rivers Assembly, by Senator Enang •Says no feedback on the Mbu redeployment resolution

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HE Senate, at the peak of the crisis in Rivers State House of Assembly, passed a resolution directing the Inspector-General of Police Abubakar Mohammed to redeploy the state Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, following his alleged role in the crisis involving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor Chibuike Amaechi. But about two months after, the CP still holds sway in the state. In an interview, Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Ita Enang, says the Senate has not received formal information on compliance with the directive. He also speaks on other issues. Excerpts:

BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU AND JOSEPH ERUNK The Senate recently took over Rivers State House of Assembly due to the crisis there. How far has the upper chamber gone with legislation in that state? Legislation in respect of Rivers State would only arise if, one, there is a matter in that state requiring legislation. Two, the three senators representing Rivers State have become the legislators for the state and we have become the legislature. If there is any matter arising from there, they will draw our attention fast. Secondly, if the governor of the state has a matter in which he needs legislative backing, he will write to us. But, as at now, we have not received any information seeking either a budgetary approval or an amendment to any law or a bill seeking to amend the law or a bill seeking to appoint a commissioner or any other bill. So, if you do not send a bill seeking to approve the appointment of a commissioner, we cannot consider such a commissioner. If there is no bill seeking for a budget to be passed, we cannot pass it. If you have not sent a bill that is requiring the amendment of any law, we cannot originate it because we have not found anything wrong in the way you run the administration of the state to which we are the legislature. Do you have a time frame as the legislature in that

state? We have a time frame under the Constitution. When it is over, it will be over. But, as at today, we are the legislature for Rivers State. I will not go into the details of that but the Constitution says six months in the first instance. What is the National Assembly doing to ensure that there is no repeat of what led to the taking over of the Rivers State House of Assembly? Well, I think we will ensure that, that does not happen and, of course, we gave the Senate President the mandate to interface and I believe he may be

By our regulations, we made a resolution and we asked somebody to do something. We are not yet aware because nothing has been reported to us that it has been effected or not effected. We are yet to have a formal situation; but when we have a formal situation, we will be able to speak and act on it.

will not speak because I have not seen the Standing Order of the Kaduna State House of Assembly. Of course, that is what is reported in the media. I have not confirmed that, that is what happened on the floor of the Kaduna State House of Assembly because I have not seen the votes and proceedings of that House.

Does that mean that you don’t follow up on your resolutions? When we pass a resolution, we communicate to the executive. It is for the executive to react and we have heard about the reaction. We follow up; it is

not all resolutions that are not implemented.

Nigerians are becoming worried about the relevance of the National Assembly in view of the fact that many resolutions are being passed but not implemented. What is the legislature doing to give bite to its resolutions and to disabuse the minds of the people that it is not a mere rubber stamp of the executive? I’m sure you have seen many actions we have taken which showed our independence and I’m sure that no state House of Assembly can do up to what we have done to show the independence and relevance of the legislature. We are not only relevant because we have certainly been able to deliver under the law and the Constitution. In fact, for example, if we don’t pass the budget, you don’t implement.

Is the National Assembly not worried about the situation in the Kaduna State House of Assembly where the Speaker was impeached by 18 of 33 lawmakers? At that stage, it remains the internal affair of the Kaduna State House of Assembly; it has not come to us yet and so we cannot speak on it. I

What do you think should be done to restore sanity in the aviation sector, given the increasing incidences of crash of aircraft? We need a complete overhaul of the aviation sector by asking for a technical audit of each of the airlines and aircraft by foreign experts, not manufacturers of these

We have a time frame under the Constitution. When it is over, it will be over. But, as at today, we are the legislature for Rivers State. I will not go into the details of that but the Constitution says six months in the first instance interfacing at that level with the governor and the political party (PDP) to bring about peace. At the height of the Rivers’ crisis, the Senate came up with a resolution mandating the Inspector General of Police to transfer the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Joseph Mbu, out of that state but the man is still there in that capacity...

aircraft, as to the state of the aircraft, because I have problem believing that they are being honest about the actual state of most of the aircraft that are flying in our airspace. Earlier in the year, when the PIB was passed by the Senate, Nigerians were full of expectations that the bill would go through all other processes without much delay. What is happening now? I think you know that the bill has been passed on the floor of the Senate and you saw that we held a public hearing on the bill. We are now at the stage of considering the report on the hearing and the chairman of the committee on the bill, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, is of the opinion that we should call and discuss with more persons. At this stage, I am sure that you know that we have met with the Minister of Petroleum Resources; we have met the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and other interest groups. They made their submissions and, having made the submissions, we will be considering them. The fear being expressed in some quarters is that some interests are not allowing the bill to see the light of day... It has seen the light of day by passing through the second reading. What we are doing right now is to bring out and look at the reports of

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PAGE 34—SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

BY IKENNA ASOMBA Hon. Dayo Saka Fafunmi is a two-time member representing Ifako-Ijaiye Constituency 1 at the Lagos State House of Assembly and also the House Chairman, Public Account Committee (Local). In this interview, the lawmaker bares his mind on the position of the House on the ongoing constitution amendment concerning local government autonomy, the states Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs), citizenship, removal of immunity for governors and the President.

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S somebody who holds a key position in the Lagos State House of Assembly, what’s the position of the House on the ongoing constitution amendment? I think the National Assembly has replaced about 27 clauses, which have been sent to states Houses of Assembly, for further ratification. Not all the clauses have been discussed on the floor of Lagos House, but the issue of removal of immunity for governors and the President has been debated while issues that border on citizenship which a lot of people misconstrued that the Senate voted in support of under-age marriage; local government autonomy and the scrapping of SIEC are currently being discussed on the floor of the House. But I don’t think most of the proposals will see the light of day because I don’t know how the National Assembly hopes to get the two-third concurrence to effect the amendments. I also don’t know how they will defend the issue raised by Section 29 (4b) which has to do with the maturity of a girl-child. The section states that any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age. But looking at Section 29 (4a), the constitution states that a citizen is said to be of full age when he/she is 18. Now, what people are agitating

‘PDP has hidden agenda over local govt autonomy’ is that sub-section 4b should be removed, because the section provides for marriage even to a teenager as young as 13 years. If a man marries a teenager, the girl is assumed to be of full age. But what we at are saying is that the girl-child must be given equal opportunity as the male child. The Senate has voted to retain sub-section 4b, but I strongly believe that most Houses of Assembly, including LAHA, will vote against that proposal . On the issue of removal of immunity for governors and the President, we should all be mindful of conscientious litigants and mischief makers who will go all out at any slight provocation to bring litigation against governors and the President. In fact, the removal of immunity will open the floodgate of litigations, so I don’t see how this proposal will scale through, because most states Houses of Assembly will want to immune their governors. It is even better to immune heads of executive governments, legislature and the judiciary, so that such a person, as far as he/ she is still in office, could discharge his/her duties dispassionately and without frivolous distractions from mischief makers. On local government autonomy, we will vote against it, because there’s no doubt that the autonomy which the People’s Democratic Party-led Federal Government is agitating for is not just financial autonomy for local governments, but they are just devising a means to entrench themselves in all the 774 local

Currently we are being seen as the major opposition party in Nigeria, but, very soon, PDP will become the opposition party. APC is built around ideology and not around people Hon. Dayo Saka Fafunmi governments in the country. This is because the autonomy they are preaching is autonomy to scrap the states Independent Electoral Commission (SIECs) and all elections, including at the local government level, to be conducted by INEC. I see this as a grand plan by the PDP to takeaway the constitutional powers from the states and giving so much power to the centre, which negates the fundamental principles of federalism. We at LAHA will vote against local government autonomy because we believe that the purpose of local governments is to bring rapid development to the states. But, with what is going on now, autonomy to local governments will amount to taking us back to the old order of 20 local government areas in Lagos. And you will agree with me that since we created 37 more local council development areas, rapid growth and development has been experienced in Lagos. Aside that,

the intent of the PDP-led Federal Government is to ensure that it has a stranglehold on the entire country. Looking at most local governments in the country and the level of underdevelopment at the grassroots. Don’t you think local government autonomy will spur the needed development since they will now get funds directly from the Federation Account? There is no local government that doesn’t usually get its monthly allocation from the Jack account. For example, in some local governments of the North, the chairmen get the funds, but what they do is that they share it; that is what is not obtainable here in Lagos and South-Western States. I have said it at different fora that it’s only in Lagos that you get a semblance of how a local government should operate. I’m not too familiar with local councils in the East, but I know

too well that in the North, there are some local councils you will visit on a working day but they will be under lock and key. It has never happened and it will never happen in the South-west. Back to the issue of autonomy, even if you grant autonomy, like in some of these northern states, grassroots development will still be far away from the people. In fact, more corruption will hold sway. So, autonomy comes with its baggage of disadvantages. So what should be done to checkmate unaccountability in local governments? The states Houses of Assembly have a major role to play here. They should hold their local governments accountable. They should in fact copy the Lagos State House of Assembly which checks the excesses of local council chairmen as a result of its oversight function to ascertain how funds disbursed to them are used to better the lot of the grassroots people.

‘Ho w Senat e, Go hi are running Riv er ‘How Senate, Govv Amaec Amaechi River erss Assembly’ Continued from page 33 the committee immediately we resume from Sallah vacation. And that was one of the reasons that we have adjourned, seeing that there are many reports pending in some committees and the number of people required in those committees, sometimes we cannot form quorum on the floor and in those committees. Like the PIB, there are four committees involved; one committee on petroleum upstream, petroleum downstream, committee on judiciary and committee on gas. In each of these committees, by the time all of us are in that committee, for example, I chair one of these committees but I cannot be absent from the floor of the Senate. Therefore, that is why we have adjourned and concluded that, come fire,

come sun, we should go and sit and tidy the reports. What about the areas of contention in the bill? That is why the committee meets; that is why the committee is asking, what do members say about this provision? Of course, given what we have and the reality of the law and the interests of Nigerians, what should we do? That is the essence of the committee. We are taking it clause by clause now to say no to some of them and we are going to see a tidy bill that will be acceptable to Nigerians. How soon do you envisage that to be? I am believing that as soon as we resume from Sallah vacation. That is why we are saying that we are to proceed on vacation so that

at that time, most of our colleagues must have proceeded on hajj. But we said, ‘look, let us go on break so that these committees will be meeting and then those of us, our Muslim brothers, that will be proceeding on hajj will be back by 15th and 16th, and, by 18th, the Sallah celebrations will be over. By 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st, the committees will be meeting and then, by the 22nd, the report will be ready and they will lay it before us. So, by then, Nigerians should be expecting a people-oriented PIB? Yes and let Nigerians not be worried about the PIB because it is not as if there is no law to regulate the oil sector. It is only that we just want to put all the laws together in one instrument

so that it will be easy when you pick up one volume of law containing everything about the petroleum industry,about gas, the upstream, the downstream, the service companies, the IOCs, marketing, subsidy, the Petroleum Technology Development Fund and all of that; you will see one law in one instrument and in one document. Some of the Senate committees appear to be busy now, undertaking some oversight functions. But we are in the fourth quarter of the year now, how have they been turning in their reports? If you see the Order Paper and the Notice that I published two weeks ago, I gave the list of the committees and the days they will lay the situational

reports on the floor. For a committee to be able to lay a situational report before the Senate, it has to go on oversight to see what is happening in the respective ministries. It is to comply with the situational report, that is why they have to go on oversight to see the projects on ground, see the contractors, see the ministries, find out how much money has been released for each of the projects, find out how much is remaining for that project and find out whether it needs more money in next year’s budget. Therefore, it is necessary for them to do the oversight now and part of why we adjourned is to give these committees enough time because most of them that want to write reports must see what is on ground before they write.


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 35

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

The national dialogue Nigeria needs Dear Sir,

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HE amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates by Lord Lugard in 1914 was said to have lacked the imprimatur of all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. It was viewed as a marriage of convenience aimed at fostering ease of administration of the two protectorates by the colonial masters but turned blind eye to the uniqueness, differences, complexities, needs and aspirations of the ethnic nationalities. This inconsiderate composition of Nigeria was echoed by Professor Isaac Mbachu of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna who defined “Nigeria as an amalgamation of disparate ethnic peoples that were brought together by the imperial power of Great Britain.” Sir Hugh Clifford, the British Governor of Nigeria described the nation in line with the above thought in 1920 as “… a collection of self-contained and mutually independent native states separated from one another… by vast distances, by differences of history and tradition and by ethnological, racial, tribal, political, social and religious barriers.” Sir Clifford’s apt view captures the real essence of Nigeria, the pivot and the apparently ignored differences which have had enormous bearing on the psyche of individuals and nationalities, thus; the imperative for a national dialogue. Calls for a national dialogue whether sovereign or not is not new in the political lexicon of Nigeria but it gathered momentum after the annulment of June 12

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elections. Afenifere and NADECO interest groups in the South West were at the vanguard of this call. Since then, the covert and more overt need to dialogue “Nigeria” and jointly chart a purposeful way forward had and has continued to resonate. From that time, political pundits and other interest groups aside of NADECO and Afenifere have not rested their calls for a dialogue. They have further speculated that our misfortune as a nation is tied to this lack of a sincere platform for cross fertilisation of ideas on whether to be or not to be together as a nation. Why agitation for dialogue? Nigeria in the eyes of many is simply glued together only by the map but has since been religiously, tribally and psychologically divided. According to Mbachu, “ years of lopsided and distorted federalism, poor leadership and corruption contributed collectively to a state of perpetual suspicion among the constituent ethnic groups in the country.” Olu Falae was equally of the view that; “the election of Obasanjo as president in May 1999 was widely seen as an attempt to help assuage the feelings of other ethnic groups in the country. It is difficult to posit that this move was successful as the events that unfolded later in the country revealed.” Beside socio-cultural conflicts, religious crises- mainly interreligious – were an enduring feature of the force that is capable of dismembering Nigeria. There could be a correlation between socio-religious crises and the poor economy, which has been the landmark of Nigeria since the second half of the 1980s. The political crisis which unfortunately plunged the nation into

a 30 month civil war, the military rules that accompanied it, lopsided allocation of government largess, and the annulled June 12 election have pitched the nation against each other. This breeds suspicion and has continued to pitch the north against the south. It is obvious that the pendulum of government presence in infrastructural development and even political appointments either at Federal, States and Local governments levels tends to swing to the ethnic nationality of the man at the helm of affairs. Were there purpose driven leadership, good governance and even good followership, mutual suspicion would not have sufficed. The mutual suspicion has virtually turned every ethnic nationality in Nigeria into marginalised entities. Moreover, Boko Haram insurgency

and demand for an Islamic State in the North, a call for the Sovereign state of Biafra in South-East; the demand by South-West for Oduduwa State and a clamour by militants in the SouthSouth for 50% derivation of oil resources are germane enough for a dialogue. The list of why we should jaw-jaw is endless. Therefore, this platform offers the timely opportunity. What kind of dialogue does the nation need at this moment? It is that of sincerity of purpose, of patriotism and constructive approach to national rebirth. The nation has outlived parochial sentiments and ethnic jingoism which rendered the previous two attempts useless. We should be bold to call a spade a spade. The time ticks. Sunday Onyemaechi Eze (sunnyeze02@yahoo.com)

The shame of a nation Dear Sir,

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LL those who were in the corridors of power since the 70’s till date, should bury their heads in shame that they did not use the huge resources at their disposal to upgrade our medical facilities that would have turned our country into Mecca for medical treatment like USA, Europe, Israel, India etc. They are not ashamed of themselves that no President, Head of State, top

government officials or the rich of other countries come to our country for medical treatment, but they shamelessly deplete our foreign reserves by going to those countries for medical check-up or treatment of the most common ailment that afflicts them, leaving the rest of us to make do with our hospitals and clinics that are nothing to write home about. Ifeka Okonkwo Plot 44, Ahocol Housing Estate, Phase II, G.R.A, Awka.


PAGE 36 — SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

27 YEARS AFTER PARCEL BOMB

I could have been killed like Dele Giwa — Kayode Soyinka

•‘After forfeiting varsity education to my siblings, I gave journalism a go’ Three years into his education at the Baptist Boys High School in Abeokuta, his father was retired from the Nigerian Tobacco Company and couldn’t get another job because he had come of age since child-bearing didn’t happen quickly for him. This was unfortunately when he needed to see his six children through school! The second child, Kayode Soyinka, therefore decided to sacrifice his university education for his elder brother and siblings, and this soon landed him in the world of print journalism as a reporter with the defunct Daily Sketch in Ibadan at age 18 in 1976. Despite the agony of watching his stories dumped in the news editor and sub editors’ waste baskets and never getting published for months, doggedness spurred him on as in two years, he transformed into a celebrity journalist. He was soon appointed the London Correspondent; a position he retained when he joined the defunct Concord Group at 22, working at the same time as its Bureau Chief. Kayode also worked with the legendary editor Peter Enahoro and Dele Giwa until his mastery of the ropes culminated in the birth of Africa Today, a pan-African news magazine presently on international news stands in about 90 countries around the world. The author of ‘Diplomatic Baggage: Mossad and Nigeria - The Dikko Story’, a book used in many universities around the world, Kayode recounts his thirty-seven year romance with journalism just a day to his 30th wedding anniversary. By Josephine Igbonovia Frustrating beginning E was covering the magistrate court in Ibadan while his senior colleague and tutor, Kayode Muritala, covered the High Court. Frustration, however, engulfed him each morning when he opened the papers for his stories- none was published and even when any eventually was, it came without his byline while Muritala’s by-lines flooded the papers! This went on for months until 18-year-old Kayode could no longer swallow his anguish. “One day, I left the newsroom and went into the sub-editors’ room next door to explain my pains. I said: “Sir, please I want to know why my stories are not being published. I spend a whole day in court, write my stories, but do not see them in the papers the next day!” The Chief Sub-Editor stood-up, tapped my shoulders very nicely, and said, ‘Kayode, the day you get the right story, you won’t have to come to this room to ask that it be published. Just continue to do your work’.”

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Getting the ‘right story’ Resolute on getting that ‘right story’ that would get his name on print, an opportunity knocked at his doorstep. He was resting at home one morning when he heard a bang in his neighbourhood. On sighting a motley crowd heading in a direction, he joined and soon discovered that a twostorey building had just collapsed in the middle of a naming ceremony, killing the baby, injuring family members but leaving festivity rams unharmed. He called a photojournalist from the office for a shot of the scene and thereafter visited the University College Hospital, Ibadan, where the victims had been hospitalised, for clarity.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when the next morning, July 8, 1977, that story was the front page lead of the Daily Sketch and the headline, ‘Disaster at naming ceremony: FALLING WALL KILLS BABY mother, 13 others seriously injured...but rams for festivity saved, looked so fascinating. For the first time ever, my by-line, ‘BY KAYODE SOYINKA’, was in print!”, he recalled. Resolution At that point, he made a personal commitment to always have his stories on either the front page, back page or, at worst, lead page three, which was the third most important page in the newspaper. He did not only maintain this but had his by-lines on almost each of these pages on certain days.

available and he was asked to go and cover the proceedings. There, he was the only teenager amongst editors from other media houses. The proceeding took a new twist, Kayode got a new inspiration and, by the following morning, he had the catchiest report and even the justice noted this during the next sitting. “Throughout the days I covered court proceedings, none of my stories was indicted for contempt! That’s why I say the best place to start, for a reporter who wants to do well, is the court”, he added.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when the next morning, July 8, 1977, that story was the front page lead of the Daily Sketch and the headline, ‘Disaster at naming ceremony: FALLING WALL KILLS BABY - mother, 13 others seriously injured...but rams for festivity saved’, looked so fascinating Rise to stardom From covering Magistrate Court, Kayode soon began covering High Courts - a sort of promotion. Another assignment that launched him into journalistic stardom was the case of one prominent Chief Shodeinde who had been sentenced to two years imprisonment and had gone to the Federal Court of Appeal. Editors were the ones handling that case, but one day, Kayode’s News Editor was not

Two years after At age 20, he became the Sketch’s Acting State Correspondent in the old Bendel State until he suddenly got a letter from the head office, sending him to London for an all-expense paid study at the College of Journalism on Fleet Street, the home of newspapers. While in London, he was appointed the paper ’s London Correspondent. “I was at that job when the Concord Newspaper was established in 1980.

*Soyinka (I) with former South African leader Nelson Mandela There was a crisis in Sketch and some of our colleagues were moving to Concord. Though I didn’t apply, Concord invited me to be their London Correspondent. At that time, I was destabilised for the first time in my journalism career because of the change that took place in 1979 in Daily Sketch, which brought in Chief Osoba as the Managing Director of the paper. I therefore resigned from Sketch and joined Concord. By the time I became the London Correspondent for the Concord, I was already 22, and that appointment opened a floodgate of global journalism opportunities for me. The first time I met Chief Abiola in London was to collect money from him, to pay for our bureau which I had been given the mandate to set-up. I did that tastefully and was eventually appointed the Bureau Chief ”, he explained. Peter Enahoro, Dele Giwa Always adventurous, four years later, Kayode left the Concord Group to work with Peter Enahoro who was the

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SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 37

‘Af or ar sity education tto om ‘Aftter ffor orffeiting vvar arsity myy siblings, I ga gavve journalism a go’ Continued from page 36 publisher of Africa Now, a leading pan-African news magazine, as General Editor. “Working with Peter Enahoro was like going to college of journalism again because he regaled me with Nigeria’s history. He writes better than the English man! When you look at Africa Today, it’s like the old Africa Now! So, for me, it’s a sort of pride that I have represented well the old journalists who tutored me. My career has always been one of opportunities given to me by people I will never forget”, he narrated. Newswatch letter bomb experience Few years later, he joined the Newswatch where he worked with Dele Giwa, Yakubu Mohammed and Ray Ekpu, and was again appointed London Bureau Chief. “It was while at the Newswatch the historic letter bomb was sent to us on October 19, 1986. Dele unfortunately did not make it; he died as a result of shock and fatal wounds that he suffered, being the one that had the parcel in his hand when he tried to open it. Miraculously, I survived. I did not have injury on my body apart from my eardrums which were badly affected and slight hair burns on my head. There were some stains of blood on my night gown I was wearing which must have come from Dele’s body. It’s a shame Nigeria did not get those behind the bombing. It will be 27 years ago this October 19. I thank God for life. I am 56 years old this year,

but when I remember my miraculous escape of the letter bomb, it’s like I am 27 years old because I could have been killed like my best friend and colleague, Dele, on that day. University at last! His success notwithstanding, Kayode did not rest on his oars though he had one of the best jobs in journalismbeing a London Correspondent. He went on: “As a London Correspondent, you are the representative of your newspaper on the global stage. I was not only covering the UK but was also covering the Commonwealth, OPEC, New York(United Nations) and South Africa, amongst others. All along, I, however, knew it would be advisable to have a university degree in readiness for the future. I therefore did a part-time degree programme in international relations at the UK campus of the United States International University, San Diego, Califor nia, and a master ’s in international journalism at the City University College of Journalism, UK. I was going to withdraw from the master ’s programme because of work but the school’s Senate decided to let me run it in two years instead of one year, on the grounds that they wanted me in the school. Perhaps Nigeria’s Kayode was becoming famous!” Cambridge invitation Now at 32, a real confirmation of his fame came when on the day he collected his certificate from the City University in 1989, a letter from the Cambridge University, England,

invited him to Wolfson College as a Visiting Scholar! His stint at Cambridge in 1990 was paid for by the Commonwealth and his book, Diplomatic Baggage, was written while at Cambridge. Africa Today On leaving the Newswatch, after 10 remarkable years of service, Kayode decided to establish a news magazine that would report Africa, just like his former boss, Peter Enahoro. “I had worked for 18 years as a foreign correspondent and did not want to waste that experience. My goal was to project Africa appropriately on the international scene, as against the projections we were getting from the western media, and, really, that’s what we’ve done with Africa Today since 1995. I’m grateful to Nelson Mandela who granted us the first interview for our cover. Institutions in the US and Canada subscribe to Africa Today, most western newspapers rely on Africa Today for writing their stories on Africa, and, as a matter of fact, they barrage us with telephone calls when they do not get copies. There’s a famous UK news magazine that comes out with an annual report on Africa- which the Nigerian press re-reports. Actually, one of our inhouse editors puts this together for them!”, he revealed. Gratitude Kayode repeatedly attributed the progress of Africa Today, which has also produced two sector-specific news magazines, Africa Oil & Gas Today and Africa Telecom Today, to God who

exposed him to even the business aspects of journalism at a young age. He would not forget in a hurry other great journalists like the former Daily Sketch’s Managing Director , Mr. Felix Adenaike, his first editor at the Sketch, Dayo Duyile, his Managing Director at the Concord Prince Henry Odukomaiya, his editor at the Concord, Doyin Abiola, and senior colleagues in Newswatch: Dele Giwa, Ray Ekpu, Yakubu Mohammed and Dan Agbese. Lesson “Journalism could be very frustrating if you do not have the mind to give it a long haul. It’s like running a marathon as far as I am concerned. Really, if I die tomorrow, apart from the stint I had recently in politics in Ogun State, I won’t be known for anything else but as a newspaper reporter, both in Nigeria and internationally. I’ve said it several times that what should be written on my tomb stone is `Kayode Soyinka, Newspaper Reporter: 1957-’ because journalism has given me everything I have in my life. Right from my days at Sketch, I’ve kept cuttings of my reports because, as far as I’m concerned, that’s my own P.hD. I’ve been able to send my two children to the best schools in the world and they are doing very well today. I’m most grateful to my wife for being so supportive and for not throwing me out all these years because of my consistent trips”, Kayode Soyinka remarked.


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Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

CNN/MULTICHOICE JOURN

A night of glitz for

Stories by JIDE AJANI, who was in Cape Town

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IFFICULT TASK: It was bound to be – selection of the best journalist, that is. But it was a task that needed to be accomplished. Of the over 1,400 entries for this year’s CNN/MULTICHOICE AFRICA JOURNALIST AWARD, 27 finalists emerged. And of the finalists, only 16 winners emerged in the categories up for grabs. As Isha Sesay and Macfarlane Moleli, the hosts for penultimate Saturday’s event noted, the finalists “should consider themselves winners” in their own right. This is because on the second-largest and second most-populous continent of about 1.033 billion population, being selected as a finalist in this ever difficult business is no ordinary feat. When a winner is announced for a particular category, the eruption of applause in the main hall of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, CTICC, venue of the awards, was almost always neardeafening. There were three nominees from Nigeria. Of the three Nigerian nominees, two won awards in their respective categories. The two winners are Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye of Sunday Punch in the UNICEF-sponsored Environment Category, and Tolu Ogunlesi, a freelance journalist for Ventures Africa, Nigeria, in the Coca-Cola Company, Economics and Biz Awards category. Ogunlesi’s story was an investigative report on the Eko Atlantic City. He dedicated the awards to the millions of down-troden people in Nigeria and around the world. Ogunseye’s story, The Rich Also Cry, focused on pollution in an estate where gaseous metal had created very serious medical challenges. The third nominee from Nigeria, Geoff Iyatse, who works for The Guardian, was defeated by Ogunlesi. The overall winners, South Africans, Msindisi Fengu and Yandisa Monakali, clinched the prize for their piece on students’ hostel which looked like prison cells in South Africa. This was the 18th in the series of the yearly event. Other freelance journalists who won awards were Noicola de Chaud, with a documentary in the Culture category and Florence Dallu in the Radio General News category. OTHER AWARD WINNERS One of the most outstanding awards is the Free Press Award always given for bravery and courage. This year’s award went to Woubshet Taye, an Ethiopian journalist, who is serving a jail term in that country. His wife received the award on his behalf. The other award winners were Gifty Andoh Appiah, Joy News TV, Ghana, for her story on public toilets, in the TV Bulletin category;

DOING NIGERIA PROUD: From left, Oluwatoyosi Ogunsheye, Geoff Iyatse and Tolu Ogunlesi - the two winners and nominee. Photographs by Jide Ajani

ROBBEN ISLAND PRISON

A peep into Mandela’s cell I

Nelson Mandela’s cell in Block B, always kept neat

t was a visit that evoked emotions of many kinds. It was also a visit to one of the most popular prison facilities in the world – Robben Island Prison. And one of the inmates who made the prison to attract global attention was prisoner 466/64, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Mandela, referred to as Madiba or Tata (Father of the nation), who was later to become President of South Africa, spent 18 of his 27- year jail term in Robben Island prison. He never gave up. The bold inscription on the walls of the docking area, THE HUMAN SPIRIT CANNOT BE MENACLED, or another, THE TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT, are testaments to the struggle and the never-say-die mentality of Mandela and his other freedom fighters during the anti-apartheid struggle. Even the very voluble and rambunctious President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, as well as the immediate past president of the same country, Thabo Mbeki’s father, served various jail terms on the island. For an island that was purely a colony for lepers, the conversion of the island into a prison facility came in 1961. It was a maximum security prison for political prisoners until 1991. The medium security prison for criminal prisoners was closed in 1996 A prison tour guide, Kolekile Mahlahla, who himself spent eight years as an inmate there, knows his trade very well. He knows the history of the prison from inception, though he was hauled in there sometime in the late 1970s. His own story was one of betrayal – a supposed friend he had met on one of his sorties in and out of South Africa for insurgency training, sold him out during interrogation. Narrating the story of what the inmates of the facility experienced, a story of immeasurable punishment both physically and mentally, Mahlahla was very graphic in explaining the suffering of the inmates. A few of the tourists, made up largely of journalists from different parts of Africa, could not but try to cover their water-laden eyes, a display of emotive response to the tales of woe as retold by Mahlahla.

Top: Pa keynote


SUND AY SUNDA

Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 39

EXCEPTIONALLY COURAGEOUS: That is the only way to describe the attribute expected of any potential winner of this category of award. The Free Press Africa Award recognises excellence and provides support to African journalists who report at continuing risk to their lives and safety. This year, sadly, the judges had too much choice in a category they hoped would diminish as the continent of Africa grows and takes her rightful place at the table of nations. But there are still too many areas where the media is not free and where journalists’work is restricted with laws Bondage in the TV Features category, and practices which impact on truly free sponsored by IPP Media. and fair journalism. In the final assesment, the judges decided to make the THE PANEL OF JUDGES award to Woubshet Taye. Mr Taye, who UDGING from the caliber of mem is imprisoned in Ethiopia, after being bers of the judging panel which scrutinised the works of the entrants, sentenced under anti-terrorism laws, was convicted for his work as the CNN and MultiChoice signaled the deputy editor of the Awramba Times. seriousness and intellectual depth of the Sentenced to 14 years in prison, earlier awards. There were 10 members of this year, he was moved to a facility far repute: Feraial Haffajee, Editor-in-Chief, City Press, South Africa, and chairperson from his family. Ethiopia is a jewel in the African of the panel; Debo Adesina, Editor-incrown for its beauty, its people, its Chief, Guardian Newspapers, Nigeria; history and, most recently, for its asBetty Dindi, Managing Editor, QTV, tounding growth rates. It is the judges’ Nation Media Group, Kenya; Jean-Paul Gerouard, Editor-in-Chief, France Televi- view that journalists like Woubshet Taye and his colleagues, Reeyot Alemu and sions; Anton Harber, Caxton Professor of Journalism at the University of the Witwa- Eskinder Nega, should be out of prison and working to build the prosperity and tersrandJoel Kibazo, journalist, media consultant and former spokesperson of the the freedom of a new Ethiopia. The judges make this award in recognition Commonwealth Secretariat; Arlindo of Mr. Taye’s work and in solidarity with Lopes, Regional Regulatory GM, MultiChoice, Angola; Arlindo Macedo Oliveira, his condition. The judges commend all journalists who continue to bravely Assessor to the CEO for Content (Proreport on issues and stories. After the grammes) Radiodifusao Nacional de awards ceremony, dinner followed. Angola; Amadou Mahtar Ba, Chief There was dancing and merriment. The Executive, African Media Initiative finalists who did not get the awards (AMI); and Kim Norgaard, CNN Africa took it with equanimity, celebrating with Bureau Chief. the winners. THE FREE PRESS AWARD

NALIST AWARDS

Africa’s finest

anel of discussants and below, e speaker, Dr. Jordan

Axcel Micael Chenney, of Le Defi Media Group, Mauritius, for his story on a Mauritian body-builder’s seeming extra-judicial killing, in the francophone broadcast category; Adrian de Kock, The Star, South Africa, in the photography category; Selma Inocencia, Rede de Communicacao Miramar, Mozambigue, in the Portuguese Broadcast category; Thanduxolo Jika and Media 24 Investigations Team, for their story on the Lonmin tragedy which dominated headlines in 2012, in the Erricson Digital category; and Lazaro Mabunda of O Pais, Mozambique, in the Portuguese News category. Other winners included Brenda Okoth of The Star in Kenya, for her story on transgender, in the MSD and Medicine category; Nassima Oulebsir, for her story on the children of the Maquis and their quest for identity in the Francophone print category; Passant Rabie of Egypt Today, for her story on the revolt of football fans and their quest for justice regarding some of theirs killed by the police in Egypt, in the Sports News category; and the duo of Roseline Wangui and Wambu Kurema for their story on Beads of

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it dawned on most of us why tourists and tour guides clashed. Only President Barrak Obama of the United States has ever been allowed to step into that cell as a tourist and take photographs from inside. This happened during his visit to South Africa last year. Immediately after his tour, the door was locked again and the key returned for safe keeping – only God knows where. In all, it was an experience that was at once educative and emotive. From left Pix 1: Tourists borading the ferry from Table Bay; Mahlahla in the middle at the centre court of Block B; Mahlahla, Vanguard’s Jide Ajani and The News’ Bamidele Johnson Before the ferry ride from Table Bay, Cape Town, to the island, we had been warned to wear winter jackets because of the type of weather we would experience. Indeed, a few of the journalists clothing appeared inappropriate because of exposure to wind. So, when Mahlahla told his audience that the inmates slept on bare floor before beds were introduced, many curled in horror at the experience. Yet, being determined inmates, there were moments of triumphs. Take, for instance, the agitation of the political prisoners that the needed to be allowed to watch television and that criminal inmates should prepare and serve them food. Both causes were worth fighting for. The reason the political prisoners wanted to serve as cooks was simply because it was only the cooks who had access to every part of the prison including, of course, Mandela’s cell, located in the ‘B’ Block, which was out of bounds to everybody except a special class of warders. The only way the political prisoners could have any form of communication with Mandela was if one of them served as cook. It was Mahlahla who schemed his way into the kitchen, disguised himself as a common criminal prisoner (it was easy for him because all

the criminal inmates were also scattered about the prison but did shifts and, therefore, did not know one another) got the apron and a food table and proceeded straight to Mandela’s prison block where he had a chat with Madiba. It was a proud Mahlahla who, afterwards, went back to his prison cell to meet other political prisoners whose daily lamentation was their inability to commune with Madiba. As his fellow inmates were talking about their feelings and how they hoped one day they would speak with Mandela, proudly, Mahlahla told them, “I have just spoken with him; I was with him some moments ago and Madiba is doing fine”. That was how, he said, “we were able to communicate with Madiba while taking turns to disguise as cooks”. The second agitation was perfected when they discovered that some officials of the United Nations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent had scheduled a visit. Deliberately, Mahlahla continued, “we staged a hunger strike just days before the visit and we knew that such an action would further embarrass the apartheid regime. Sensing what the backlash would be, the prison authorities quickly acceded to our demands which included

being allowed to watch a feature film once a week and also to ease the punishment of our brothers from the South West Africa Peoples Organisation, SWAPO, who were kept separately in D Block and were put through pain”.

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or Mahlahla, Robben Island cannot be described as his home but the Island was home to him for eight years. Because of his political background, even his modus operandi of guiding tourists round the prison benefitted from knowledge gained during training in those heady days of Umkhonto we Siswe, the militant resistance wing of the African National Congress, ANC. He told his own group of tourists that once any of us sighted another group exiting through the gangway of the ‘B’ Block, we should all head in. He said because of the importance tourists attached to viewing the inside of Mandela’s cell, tour guides and tourists almost always clashed, sometimes leading to unwholesome developments. To avoid this, he admonished that once any of us sighted another group filing out, we should head in. His strategy worked. It was during the struggle to take photographs of the cell of Prisoner 466/64 that

AFRICA’S FUTURE Symbolically, after the prison tour, journalists took part in a Media Forum on the future of Africa. Tagged AFRICA’S AGENDA 2063, it was a session organized by CNN and MultiChoice with a view to brainstorming on the future of Africa 50 years from now. The keynote speaker, Dr. Pallo Jordan Sweledinga, a one-time minister in post-apartheid South Africa, painted a very wonderful future of Africa 50 years from today. But he kicked off his speech with an explanation hinged on hope. His name, Sweledinga, which means hopefulness, he said, should not be misrepresented with the corrupted version she-wel-le-din-ga (permit the spelling), which means a hopeless future. Between hopefulness and a hopeless future, Dr. Pallo Jordan said all the indices of greatness reside on the continent, especially if a culture of focused leadership is enthroned – though his picture of Africa in fifty years was near utopian. Therefore, when the panelists – Norgaard, Adesina, Angela Quintal (Editor, Mail and Guardian, South Africa), Faridah Karoney (Group Editorial Director, Royal Media Services, Kenya) and anchor Sakina Kamwendo of METRO FM, South Africa – interrogated the expected contributions of journalists as a vehicle for the achievement of AGENDA 2063, there was a nearcommonality of positions.


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Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

Integrated Energy: Breaking into the league of huge power sector investors BY SYLVANUS OJEIKERE

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HE race was not meant for the lily-livered investor companies. Only the courageous were expected to take a plunge into it. And courage here, under the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, is determined by the emplacement of, and adherence to due process. The Federal Government, through the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), set the ground rules for the privatization of the 15 Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor (generation and distribution) companies. Immediately that was done and companies put in their bids, the process assumed a life of its own, forcing the BPE and the prospective investor companies to strive to keep up with the pace of the dictates of the privatization process. Given the critical nature and importance of the power sector reforms, the government and the public kept their eyes on the ball of the success of the exercise. If there was anything that parties in the exercise abhorred, it was the specter of failure. And for the investor companies, the first most important determiner of their courage to bid is availability of fund to pay up for their successful bids. Mobilizing mega bucks of bid prices was not a joke. Some companies and groups of individuals were understandably underrated and thus expected to default in meeting the March 21, 2013 deadline for payment of the initial 25 per cent deposit and the August 21, 2013 deadline for the subsequent 75 per cent balance. Failure to pay the balance would result in the forfeiture of the deposit. One of the companies that took the exercise by storm was Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company Limited, which was reportedly fronted by Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo, Mr John Olatunde Ayeni and Dr Olusola Ay a n d e l e . Perhaps, the questions on the lips of competing companies were: who are these people and where are they coming from? The first question was answered at the opening of the bids when their company emerged the preferred bidder for four distribution companies, namely Eko, Ikeja, Ibadan and Yola. But one of the bid rules was that no company could win more than two bids. They were later asked to select two of the four and they chose

Independent Power Project in Kwara State

Mr Olatunde Ayeni (left), and Captain Hosa Okunbo receiving share certificate and licence of core owners of Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company Limited (a PHCN successor company) from President Goodluck Jonathan. With them is Vice President Namadi Sambo.

Given the critical nature and importance of the power sector reforms, the government and the public kept their eyes on the ball of the success of the exercise. If there was anything that parties in the exercise abhorred, it was the specter of failure Ibadan and Yola Distribution Companies. But media reports about former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, being the chairman of the Board of Directors of the company, seemed to accord them some eminence. The second question was answered when contrary to

expectations Integrated Energy promoters were one of the earliest to mobilize and pay up about N8.8 billion representing 25 percent of the mandatory bid deposit for the two discos before the March 21, 2013 deadline; and payment of about N27 billion

representing 75 per cent balance of the bid price for both discos before the August 21, 2013 deadline. A clear message was sent to the investment world in Nigeria: Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company Limited is a story of how to break out from a quiet background into the limelight, nay league of huge power sector investors in the country. The company was able to mobilize funds despite the deliberately orchestrated harsh financial situations in the banks. It takes the business-mindedness, tenacity and sharp focus of the shrewd duo of Okunbo (the man his friends fondly call Captain Hosa) and Ayeni (the unassuming businessman) to leverage on global connections to drive and realize the dream of Integrated Energy Company Limited. Other directors namely Malam Aminu Ibrahim, Dr Haruna Usman Sanusi and Dr Olusola Ayandele have also contributed particularly to the success story thus far. But it is significant to situate the 55 year-old Okunbo and 46-year old Ayeni in the epicenter of the success storyfor their vigor in driving the process of making Integrated Energy Company Limited a solid power distribution company in the overall objective of giving light to Nigerians as part of conscious efforts by the Jonathan administration to transform the nation. And because of Okunbo and Ayeni’s youthfulness, their mobility across the globe sourcing for and exploring investment opportunities is incredible.

On September 30, this year, both men were at the State House in Abuja, together with other bid winners, to receive from President Jonathan share certificate and licence of core owners of their respective discos. Benin-born Okunbo, a passionate player in business and government circles globally who earned his wings as an airline pilot in the 1970s and achieved the rank of captain at 25 with the Okada Air and International Airlines where he retired in 1988 to venture into private business, relates with the President Jonathan administration positively as a wonder working government, whose Transformation Agenda is pragmatic. The agenda has set the Jonathan administration apart as an achiever who has embarked on bold reforms that its predecessors could not do in the power sector, Committed and hardworking Okunbo has continued to leverage on the administration’s Transformation Agenda and his increasing experience as a global investor with over three decades of experience in the energy sector of the Nigerian economy to navigate the investment terrains, especially the oil and gas sector as well as marine service industries; and has expanded his influence to partner other collaborators in major environmental, engineering and housing development projects globally. He is either chairman or director in more than 13 companies around the world, including Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company Limited. Ayeni, his “Siamese twin” in business, who is a seasoned Lawyer, shares a similar business background and vision with him. He is ViceChairman of the Board of Directors of the company. As a mark of his expansive business interests, he is chairman on the boards of several companies in Nigeria, including Skye Bank Plc and Aso-Savings and Loans Plc. As they expand their business frontiers, time will tell which other business terrains these quiet operators with the touch of Midas will break into in the manner they have done in the power sector. · Ojeikere sent this report from Abuja.


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 41

We did not seize Capital Oil — AMCON

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HE confusion that followed the takeover of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has been laid to rest with the clarification on the issue by Mustafa Chike-Obi, the Managing Director/CEO of AMCON. The AMCON MD “AMCON has not taken over Capital Oil but is managing it for a two-year period.” According to Chike-Obi, when Ifeanyi Ubah decided to run for the governorship position of Anambra State, “We gave him two choices; complete breakaway from the company for two years while he runs or he agrees not to leave for two years. He chose to run. So, we will appoint MD, CFO and another ED to run the company. He still owns it, but he cannot write any cheque or sign any money out of the company for two years.” Chike-Obi stated further: “We told him not to run for governorship, but if he runs for governor, he cannot run his company because we do not want to be seen as sponsoring a governorship candidate. So he agreed. He is gone to run for governorship. We have taken over the management of his company. When he finishes running, he can come back to the company, but he can’t do it for less than two years.” The clarifications made by Chike-Obi obviously became necessary based on various insinuations that Ubah opted for politics because the business of Capital Oil failed and was seized by AMCON. A legal luminary, Barr. Uchechi Oleka, pointed out that AMCON cannot seize Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd because it does not have the statutory powers to do so. According to him, the AMCON Act in Section 6(1) (0), amongst other things, says: “The Corporation shall have powers to give security for any debt, obligation or liability of any company…”

Chike-Obi’s explanation is timely because it sets the record straight on the misinformation that Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd is a failed business and that the takeover of any business by AMCON is something extra-ordinary. While it is obvious that the problem of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd began with the nonimplementation of a fully deregulated oil regime, the AMCON boss said that without the setting up of AMCON, most of the banks, most of the manufacturing companies, and

all the airlines would have folded up. He cited the case of an airline that is owing AMCON N70 billion but the aircrafts they have are worth about N75 billion. “We could take the aircrafts tomorrow; sell them in order to get our money back. But what will that do to Nigeria? The airline in question does about 65 percent of the domestic air travel,” Mr. Chike-Obi stated. He added, “In the manufacturing sector, of the 15 biggest manufacturing companies, AMCON is involved in 10 of them. In the downstream

petroleum industry, of the 10 biggest depots, we are involved in eight of them. Of the performing loans bought over by AMCON, the first one was Femi Otedola’s N191 billion owed 10 banks. If those loans ever went bad, assuming we ignored them and they went bad, everything we had done would have been wasted because we would have had another banking crisis.” Reacting to the issue, the Deputy Director Media, Ifeanyi Ubah Campaign Organisation, Emmanuel Chijioke Ibeleme, said, “the furore over whether or

not Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah is owing AMCON would not have arisen, in the first instance, If the downstream sector of the oil industry had been totally deregulated. Ifeanyi Ubah had built up the capacity of Capital Oil to a level where for it to effectively service its loans, it must import and distribute much more petroleum products in the country than the current partial deregulation policy would allow it. The insinuation, therefore, that Capital Oil business has failed, and has been seized by AMCON, is unfounded and baseless.”

FITC: Expanding its corporate governance roles beyond Nigeria BY ADEOLA ADENUGA

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INANCIAL Institutions Training Centre (FITC) was one of the organisations that participated in the three-day African Corporate Governance Network (ACGN) and the Africa Rising Conference held in Mauritius. The CEO, FITC, Dr (Mrs) Lucy Surhyel Newman, speaking on the conference, said, “The founding members of ACGN contacted FITC during its formative stages in November 2011, based on an introduction by the Global Corporate Governance Forum (the Forum) of the International Finance Corporation [IFC]”. According to her, because of the early introduction, FITC had an opportunity to attend the first meeting of the emerging network held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in January 2012 by virtue of which FITC had the privilege of contributing to derivation of the network’s key defining variables. “FITC is now an affiliate member of the ACGN and looks forward to partnership opportunities with the respective members of ACGN in areas

aligned to the objectives of the network and FITC’s service areas. Being part of the network will also enrich FITC’s capacity to sustain its continued improvement and corporate positioning aspirations, for more value add to its key stakeholders, who are regulators and operators within the Nigerian financial system, especially given their increasing expansion to respective African markets”, Newman said. “The main objective of the ACGN is to exchange and share knowledge, information, good practice tools and resources, as well as demonstrate good corporate governance within each member institution. The ACGN will also seek to create a common platform for advocacy and promote a consistent message regarding contemporary and emerging matters on corporate governance in Africa. In a bid to expand the network’s influence and reach, the ACGN will form strategic relationships with strategic multinational organisations with interests in enhancing effective corporate governance practices in Africa. The network has received immense support from the IFC [member of the World

Bank Group] and the NEPAD Business Foundation”. The event in Mauritius had many distinguished speakers, including Baroness Lynda Chalker, the founder of Africa Matters Limited, who spoke on “Why Africa Matters” and Nigeria’s Mrs Foluke Kafayat Abdulrazaq, non-executive director, United Bank for Africa and Vice President of the Bank Directors’ Association of Nigeria, who made a presentation entitled, “Nigeria: The rising giant”. FITC has been advocating for and delivering bank directors continued education series from 1984 to date and has also collaborated with the Central Bank of Nigeria in delivering bank directors training from 2006 to date, and has been collaborating with the Mortgage Bankers’ Association of Nigeria [MBAN] in delivering continued education series for directors of Mortgage Institutions from 2007 to date. In March 2011, the Global Corporate Governance Forum of the IFC signed a memorandum of understanding with FITC, to enable the FITC enhance its capacity to deliver Board Leadership and Corporate Governance Training, by giving

FITC access to the IFC Forum’s corporate governance knowledge materials and master trainers. In May 2013, FITC launched the localized curriculum for the Nigerian banking sector, in collaboration with the IFC-Forum, the owner of the copyright to the Corporate Governance Board Leadership Training Resource Kit. On July 24, 2013, FITC signed a Cooperation Agreement with the IFC, for the development of FITC as a Corporate Governance Center for Banks (“CG Center for Banks”). By this cooperation, the CG Center for Banks [FITC] would be developed under an indirect intervention model, whereby the Forum’s technical assistance would establish FITC’s sustainability. In turn, FITC would serve as a global knowledge management platform, developing and disseminating the Forum’s global knowledge management products, in particular the Governing Banks Supplement to the Forum’s Corporate Governance Board Leadership Training Resources Kit (Toolkit 3) to foster better corporate governance practices in Nigeria and potentially Sub-Saharan Africa.

‘Businesses that relocated abroad will return if ...’ BY ABEL KOLAWOLE Prince Ugo Obi is Executive Chairman of Royal Group of Companies that is into tourism and hospitality management, consultancy, manufacturing and importation. In this interview, Obi says government should create enabling environment for manufacturing to thrive in Nigeria. ON Nigeria market Nigeria has one of the biggest markets in the world. The Nigerian market is so big that it has opportunities for many finished products from the world market. If government creates the enabling environment for its business men today, the problem in the manufacturing and goods distribution will be a thing of the past. With industries here and there, youths will be employed, crime will reduce and business will boom. There is a big need

for our government to make Nigeria manufacturing friendly and conducive for business men to operate. On why manufacturers relocate I am not happy to have relocated my manufacturing company to Spain when that company ought to have created employment for Nigerians. The reason is that the infrastructure that ought to be in place to encourage manufacturing is not there. We ought to manufacture here and distribute to other African countries because Africa has a larger market than even Europe. But our handicap is lack of infrastructure. Nigeria ought to harness her manufacturing potentials for economic growth. Now that Nigeria is talking about Vision 20:2020, there is the need for government to look in manufacturing direction. And to achieve this, infrastructure must be in place. You cannot operate factories without power. The

Prince Ugo Obi government must fix our power sector. Again, no investor is ready to invest in a country where the security is porous as is the case with Nigeria. You must make sure that your investment and even the lives of the people making the investments are secure. Nigeria has a vast market but let us join hand with our government

The government must fix our power sector. Again, no investor is ready to invest in a country where the security is porous as is the case with Nigeria to develop it. When our country is manufacturing friendly, our market developed and secure, you will hardly see any Nigerian manufacturer manufacturing abroad. Even the ones who ran away will come back, because labour is cheap in Nigeria. Doing business in Spain

Doing business in Spain is okay because the government there knows the importance of creating the enabling environment for business. But Nigeria has business advantage. In Nigeria, labour is cheap and affordable unlike in Spain. Our great population ought to be a big business advantage for us in Nigeria. But we are not making use of that advantage due to lack of infrastructure and porus security network. Vision I want my Royal Group of Companies to be a conglomerate. Our wine is an international product and we are working to make it a household name in Nigeria and beyond; we have invested a lot to boost it, so that it will be acceptable all over the world. We are going to introduce more drinks into the market. We also want people to value our services in the tourism and hospitality sectors.


PAGE 42— SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

is concerned about the state of security in the nation. That is why I am happy that the president has taken a bold step in calling for a national conference to discuss the sovereignty of the state. If you ask me, that is the greatest thing he has done as a president. Let us discuss it, let us not hide anything because I do not think we have reached a level where we will go our separate ways. Let us agree to stay together.

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hief Omordi George Ugbomah was a Commissioner for Environment and Works in Delta State. Ugbomah, who is currently the Political Adviser to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan in Delta North, in this interview, comments on the performance of the governor, the National Conference and other sundry issues. Excerpts: BY DAPO AKINREFON

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he setting up of an Advisory Committee for a National Conference is generating mixed feelings in the polity. Do you support the move? I want to commend President Jonathan for taking such bold initiative. I call it bold initiative in the sense that, it is long over due. There have been series of attempts in the past to get this in place so that we can discuss that are fundamental in nature. So, it is a very good step in the right direction. Some persons have some negative feelings about it but I feel we cannot go on like that because there are certain things we must communicate among ourselves and put in proper perspective. We cannot keep pretending because there are certain things that are not good enough and are not acceptable to us even though they have been put in place by our colonial masters. So it is important that we discuss and bring all the issues to the surface. We just bring them to the surface, dialogue over them and agree. We cannot keep,pretending that all is well with the nation. What areas would be area of concern for the conference? The fundamental area is the nature of our coexistence because we were brought together by the colonial arrangement and we have been living within that logic. It will give us a balance that is tolerable and acceptable by all because we were coerced into it and we have tried to manage it. Fair enough, we have not disintegrated but the events of the past few years and particularly in recent times, are beginning to point to the face that, if we do not take time, we will disintegrate totally and that is why we need to discuss and bring to the floor all those issues we think concerns us as a people and establish a proper order that is acceptable to,everybody and the, we live along that line. That is why I think it is important. The question of how we should coexist as a people is very important. Right now, we say we have a federal structure, but to me, we are not operating federalism

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he PDP has been enmeshed in crisis for some time now, do you see any end to the crisis? The idea of a new PDP is just an expression., it does not affect the constitutionality of the PDP as a party. It is a reflection of so,e grievances from certain persons, which to my ind, is one of those things you see in party formations and party operations, particularly in a young democracy like ours. As we go ahead, we must be able to reach a level of resolution. We have had cases in the past

• Ugbomah

alleging that the election was rigged... We have also not outgrown this question of when we do election, they are always rigged. It is a common thing in this country. If not, I do not know who is APC in Delta state, all I know is that we have pockets of APC formation in Delta state. I do not know who is their chairman because when you talk about party, you must have a chairman and other structures put in place. I do not think there is APC, we only hear of the name. Though somebody contested on the APC platform but if you look at the whole thing, it has not really come to a level where we can seriously talk about APC let alone talk about going into contest and winning an election in a state like Delta where PDP has been existing for a a very long time and has consolidated seriously. Reconciliation PDP has done a lot of reconciliation because those

National Conference will reposition Nigeria — Ugbomah •Says Uduaghan committed to building legacies the way it should be. Now we have a quasi federalism, we do not even know whether we are operating a unitary system or not.

dialogue. If you look at Boko Haram, it is a not a sect that you can see, it has a base, they do not act by reflex. They have been consistence in their

where people have had to leave the party to join other parties, eventually, they came back to join the PDP. These things have been happening.

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ould you say Nigeria has failed in the last 53 years of independence... Nigeria has not failed. I will not say we have failed but I will say we are developing. If you read the history of developed nations you will know that they have gone through all these processes. For us, we have been trying to manage our entity as a nation state and along the line, we have been having a lot of contradictions which we have been reconciling. So, I do not think we have failed, we are marching ahead. But this thing is coming to a height where it is necessary that we should dialogue, we should not keep sweeping them under the carpet. We have certain things that should be made clear to us as Nigerians. There are no pretenses about it. Boko Haram had become a menace to Nigeria especially in the Northern part of the country. With the state of emergency imposed in three northern states, would say it has yielded any positive results? That is why we need to

Nigeria has not failed. I will not say we have failed but I will say we are developing. If you read the history of developed nations you will know that they have gone through all these processes operations and the way they behave , which means it is an organized structure aimed at executing certain programmed. It is also a reflection of things that are perceived not too good, rightly or wrongly. That is why there is need for us to discuss because all attempts to finally put them to rest have failed. The issue of a state of emergency being declared is good because it has given us a sense of appreciation that government

How has the crisis affected Delta state because some states controlled by the PDP have been polarized? In Delta state, the crisis has nothing to do with us. Delta state has nothing like new PDP and even those who left the party for one reason or the other, have all returned. That can also be seen in the level of performance which we recorded in the last bye election. But the All Progressives Party, APC, has cried foul

that were aggrieved, have all come back. So there is serious internal solidarity and reconciliation because everybody went to the field and did proper campaign for the PDP in Delta central. I also went there to campaign and mobilize because Delta state is PDP. And besides, the government of Delta state, under the able leadership of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has done well and is still doing well. We have been able to record tremendous achievement in the state. Two years from now, the administration of Uduaghan will be rounding up. How would you assess his administration? The success recorded in the bye election is a reflection of his achievement. He has done so well and he is still doing well. He is even working harder than before despite the fact that he is not contesting election and this is because he is committed and he has the passion for development. He is committed to leaving legacies and that is why he is doing projects that future generations will really appreciate and also laying proper foundations, he gives proper direction and that is why we are getting it right in Delta State.


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 43

Between Nigerians and the National Assembly BY EMMA AMAIZE, DAPO AKINREFON, CHARLES KUMOLU AND GBENGA OKE

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hould the National Assembly decide the fate of the National Conference soon to be held at the behest of President Goodluck Jonathan? That is the question on the lips of many Nigerians against the backdrop of the suggestion in many quarters that the conference outcome should be subjected to a referendum. Some eminent Nigerians share their perspectives among other issues.

Why National Assembly should not vet Confab report, by Senator Lee Maeba

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ormer senator representing Rivers South East senatorial zone in the National Assembly, Senator Lee Maeba, says the focus of the conference must be how to implement its report without passing through the National Assembly. His words, “We have had several committees in the past which include that of Karibi Whyte and others which passed through the National Assembly but never saw the light of day. “It must be stated clearly that there is no law that gives the National Assembly the mandate to work on the comprehensive opinion of people. So there must be an alternative way of implementing the report of the conference. “The form and focus will be better commented on when the Advisory Committee set up by the Federal Government has laid down the modality for the Conference”.

Cost of governance needs Confab’s attention — Peter Okocha

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ccording to Mr Peter Okocha, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart in Delta State, the conference should discuss the cost of governance. His words, “Let me state categorically that this conference must discuss the excessive cost of governance, resource control and regionalism. “When the Conference had been concluded and report compiled, there should be a referendum and not ratification by the National Assembly, else the report won’t see the light of day”.

Odumakin

Maeba

Our case for referendum,

by Yinka Odumakin r. Yinka Odumakin is the National Publicity Secretary of the Yoruba sociopolitical organisation, Afenifere. Odumakin maintains that for the National Conference to succeed, the outcome of the confab shall be binding on all Nigerians. Since the president has said the outcome of the confab will be ratified by the National Assembly, don’t you think it’ll

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Okocha to Mr President that the outcome of a National Conference is like what the Yoruba call the head of the elephant which can never be a play thing for an infant. While the National Assembly needs to be carried along in the process it must be emphasized that the mother’s breasts may be offered to placate a crying child but not the father’s balls. It is not the business of the National Assembly to decide how we the people of Nigeria are constituted .They are only lawmakers who can exercise legislative functions within the

The right approach is that once we finished a Peoples Constitution from the confab,the only authority that can vet the document is a referendum of the peoples of Nigeria after which the President will forward an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for promulgation only be duplication since we have House of Representatives members from each state of the federation? The President has put a view on the table but I don’t think that is the view. It is understandable that this type of lack of clarity may happen at this stage because this is a new turn for all of us in the country .We have never had a National Conference in 100 years that Nigeria was cobbled by the British. This is why it is good that the President has set up an Advisory Committee to guide us in a thinking through process before we get on the table. By the time the committee finishes its rounds with stakeholders,it would be clear

purview of the Constitution we have given to ourselves. All the wasteful exercises they have doing over the years in the name of Constitution review have been useless because we have not given them the Constitution that they can amend. The right approach is that once we finished a Peoples Constitution from the confab,the only authority that can vet the document is a referendum of the peoples of Nigeria after which the President will forward an Executive Bill to the National Assembly for promulgation only. They will not be able to add or remove a word from it. Their duty shall be only to repeal Decree 24 of 1999 upon

Lanlehin which the present Constitution claims its legitimacy for the new Constitution to take effect. There is a precedent for this as the parliament repealed the Independence Constitution of 1960 in 1963 for the Republican Constitution to take effect. The National Assembly members are agents of the Nigerian people and therefore can’t vet the decisions of their principals ,they can only implement . Good enough the President is a democratic President and not a military dictator whose words on issues like this are final. The essence of conversation is for us to be able to put points across. Nigerians are ready for this dialogue but would not want their decisions to be taken to those they hire for a term to tinker with their sovereignty. What do you think is the difference between the Obasanjo regime confab and this one? The Obasanjo regime confab was a limited discourse as it was dubbed a Political Reforms Conference with all its no-go areas and hand picked delegates. A National Conference is an assembly of nations and interests within the country that would discuss every issue of our nationhood and decide on the best Constitution of a heterogeneous country in a manner to guarantee peace ,justice and harmony .The nationalities shall elect their delegates freely and the outcome shall be binding save for whatever is rejected at a referendum. There is a whole gulf of difference between a talk shop and a Peoples Conference. Do you see the confab succeeding because some people opine that it won’t work? The confab just has to succeed

as this is the last ditch effort to pull Nigeria from the brink of disaster. If the Conference in Nigeria does not guarantee us a soft landing but fails and crash lands, then there would be trouble. It is quarter to midnight in Nigeria and conference failure means we are cascading to the abyss of the precipice. It is only the enemies of Nigeria that would want this conference to fail. What areas do you think, the confab must focus on? The basic agenda of the conference should be to ask the nationalities within Nigeria of they still want to cohabit. Once they answered in the affirmative the next thing is to decide how they want to be constituted. For we federalists, Nigeria must embrace federalism in its truest form as that is the only way its constituent units can get out of this lockdown and fulfill their manifest destinies in a positive competitive environment. There is no way all universities in Nigeria would have been shut down at the same time as is currently if they are managed at zonal levels.

Confab timing suspect, but … - Sen. Femi Lanlehin

Senator Femi Lanlehin represents Oyo South senatorial district. He wants Nigerians to give National Conference a chance. Excerpts:

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ixed reactions are trailing the setting up of a National Dialogue Committee. What is your take on it? The mixed reactions are not unexpected given the importance and the fundamentality of a National Conference. National Conference connotes the basis of the existence of a country. Do you support it? I support it. Although the timing might be suspect, let us give it the benefit of the doubt and a trial. I don’t think we can lose anything by talking. To that extent, it is something that we have all craved for. There have been different approaches to it; some have asked for a Sovereign National Conference, while some have asked for a National Conference, but, basically, one fundamental thing is that we should talk. How do you differentiate the conference organized by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the one being organised now because people are suspicious? It is a matter of sincerity of purpose. The fact that somebody does something and failed does not mean another person will do it and fail or that Continues on page 44


PAGE 44—SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

Continued from page 43 it should not succeed. I believe Nigerians have discovered that there is a need for all of us to come to an agreement, to have a common purpose, a fundamentally agreeable frame work within which we will all work to attain a good life for our people. As it were, people lack confidence in the system probably because they felt they were not part of it. For whatever reason, there seems not to be total support for the present system that we are operating. What do you think this conference should focus on? The focus essentially should be a system that is workable, a system that Nigerians believe in, a system that is equitable in terms of political and fiscal framework. It is so fundamental that the conference should have no-go areas and that is why when people say they want a new Constitution and not an amendment, my answer to that is that an amendment can be a new Constitution. There are fears that the conference might lead to the disintegration of the country. Do you share the same fear? I do not depending on how it is handled. It can only come to being if that conference is sovereign. Somebody must referee the whole thing no matter how little the interference is, somebody must midwife it. The fear of disintegration of this country lies in that conference being sovereign.

Conference is a step in the right direction —Gani Adams

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tunba Gani Adams, the National Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, believes the conference is a step in the right direction. He said, “I want to commend the action of President Goodluck Jonathan over his decision to convene a National Conference to discuss the issues that have combined to stunt the growth of our country. I believe the conference will proffer solution to most of the problems that have prevented the country from developing. I am also convinced that most of the problems that we are going through as a nation can be addressed by the conference.” Adams, however, expressed optimism that the conference would go a long way to address most of the problems besetting the country. “At the conference, issues like Boko Haram insurgency, how we would live together and how to move our nation forward would come up for discussion. For instance, the conference would avail all the

the present structure to create a new one.

Jonathan is diverting attention - Abubakar Tsav

Umeh

Tsav

The conference is a deceitful idea. It is being convened to deceive us and divert attention. I said it before that it is a waste of time. On what basis are the people who will be at the conference be chosen? The President should focus on basic things like corruption. He should reposition the police and the judiciary for a better Nigeria.

We must be careful —Chukwuemeka Ezeife

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Adams

Ezeife

former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, calls for caution on National Confab. His words: “The outcome of the conference should not be sent to the National Assembly. What we are doing might save Nigeria but we have to be careful the way we go about it. When we talk about National Conference, we are not talking about constitutional amendment. I want to make it

Between Nigerians and the National Assembly component units that make up Nigeria to state their cases, why they are angry, their demands and how to actualize the dreams of our founding fathers. The bulk of the

on Confab report – Victor Umeh

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ational Conference is very popular programme initiated by the President and should be

It is so fundamental that the conference should have no-go areas and that is why when people say they want a new Constitution and not an amendment, my answer to that is that an amendment can be a new Constitution problems besetting us have their roots in the mistrust among the ethnic nationalities. So, these ethnic nationalities will have the opportunity to state their cases, hoping that the problems would be addressed. “More importantly, I want to advise the committee to learn from the mistakes of the National Political Reforms conference set up by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005”.

Nigerians don’t trust N/ Assembly to act

supported. At the Conference those troubling will know that they need other parts of the country to survive. We do not agree to the idea of the President sending the report to the National Assembly because it is constituted on the faulty structural arrangement of Nigeria. Those against change are in the majority in the National Assembly. They are taking advantage of the structural imbalance in the country. If the report is sent there it will be killed. But the conference will lead to a new Nigeria and you can not expect those who are benefiting from

clear that the idea of sending the report to NASS is faulty. For instance, if the conference resolves to do away with the House of Representatives or Senate, do you expect the NASS to comply? You don’t expect the Assembly to favour any report that wants a unicameral legislature instead of bicameral”.

How Confab’ll succeed

– Prof. Ijomah

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rof Benedict Ijomah says unless the people of Nigeria revisit the Independence Constitution, which was the consensus reached by their founding fathers, any tinkering with the Constitution cannot save the nation. The academician, who pioneered the defunct SouthSouth People’s Conference, SSOPEC, in a statement, entitled, ‘The Proposed National Conference: Notes of Caution’, said the conference would fail if delegates come, wearing the toga of ethnic champions, instead of thinking as Nigerians. Commending President Goodluck Jonathan, however, for his boldness in agreeing to initiate the confab, he said, “My advice is that we

must realise that the suspension of the Independence Constitution, its replacement with so many others produced by the military governments, cannot keep this nation united.” The statement in part: “I have written in several papers that unless we return to the agreement which our forefathers reached, on the basis of which Nigeria agreed to be a nation; unless we return to the agreement which our forefathers accepted at independence; no tinkering of the Constitution can save this nation. “The South-South has seen a lot of deprivation, a lot of its resources have been used to keep Nigeria one. I have always believed, and I have said so in my book, ‘Nigerian Nationalism and the Problems of Socio-Political Integration’, that unless we return to the Independence Constitutional arrangement, we will be deceiving ourselves by believing that new arrangements can keep this country together.” “Therefore, President Jonathan must think very seriously. It is not enough to gather people to start fighting at a Constitutional Conference, because they will fight, because micro-nationalism has become so entrenched, and Nigerian nationalism has been sacrificed. “What can we do to think as Nigerians? That is a big question, because we do not think as Nigerians anymore. We think as Ibos, as Hausas, as Fulanis, as Ijaws, and as other micro-ethnic identities. If, therefore, we want a united Nigeria, President Jonathan must seriously think of conveying a conference in which members will think as Nigerians. “My advice to Mr. President is that regardless of what people say, he has a responsibility to call a conference of Nigerians, a conference of people who still believe in one Nigeria, a conference of people who will sit down and articulate the problems of Nigeria and how to solve them.” “I do not want to see delegates who come in to articulate Yoruba interests or Hausa interests or Fulani interests or Ibo interests. If delegates are invited to the conference on ethnic basis, then we must have failed before we started,” he added. He stated, “I am aware that people will want to be elected on the basis of various interests. But I think that what will hold Nigeria together is not a group of delegates selected on ethnic basis, but a group of delegates who first

Continues on page 45


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 45

Between Nigerians and the National Assembly Continued from page 44 and foremost agree that Nigeria must remain united, a group of delegates who agree to return to the agreement our forefathers had that made us one Nigeria. “If we go back to the constitutional conferences, especially the events of 1953 – 1954, the President will agree with me that the qualification for coming to this Jonathan’s conference will be, first and foremost, acceptance that Nigeria must remain one and united. And therefore people coming to the conference must be people who will agree to keep Nigeria one. “Let me also point out for those who probably did not follow the constitution of the country, that the Constitution of 1951 had envisaged a closely knit federation. But as a result of the disturbances in the North, especially the Kano riots in which many southerners were killed, it was then concluded that the envisaged 1951 Constitution was not workable. The colonial government decided to agree on a flexible federation that will grant regional autonomy ”. “The northerners had threatened that they would not return to Lagos again for any discussions, and announced an 8-point programme, which if implemented would imply that they would secede from Nigeria. The northern threat to secede was a very serious threat to the existence of Nigeria. “The colonial office then modified its envisaged 1951 Constitution, and therefore worked for greater regional autonomy for the country. Consequently, during the meeting of the parties in London between the Nigerian government and the colonial office from July – August 1953, a flexible constitution was agreed upon, what you may call the Regional Constitution of 1954.” “The Western Region on its part had also threatened secession if Lagos was not allowed to remain in the Western Region. So it would appear that the threat of secession has been with us ab initio. “Therefore Jonathan must ensure that in this conference, delegates are not allowed to put the threat of secession as an issue. Delegates must come to discuss one Nigeria. I believe that if this conference fails, it is capable of saying goodbye to Nigeria, and that will be a very serious and dangerous situation”.

Isa Aremu

Dialogue or diatribe, by Isa Aremu A deputy president of Niger Labour Congress, Comrade Isa Aremu, expresses, in this piece, concern over National Conference

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illiam Isaacs in 1999 did a seminal work entitled “Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together ”. I share his perspective of dialogue as “a conversation with the centre, not sides”. Many thanks to the respected columnist, Segun Gbadegesin, for mainstreaming my side talk or “off-the-cuff remarks” (in his words), on the controversial National Conference following my media interaction with some correspondents recently in Ilorin. Certainly a conversation with my main thoughts on the issue, not necessarily with a reported side talk would have been more fruitful. Whatever it is worth, Segun Gbadegesin came out as a chieftain of a boring monologue. He is definitely NOT a promoter of conversation. Witness his posted “NLC v. The people” of 4th of October in The Nation. He generated more heat than light in his unhelpful hysterical commentary and a “reload” of a predictable old position. It is unacceptable for him to mischievously pitch my constituency, NLC, against “the people” on account of what he terms my “off-the-cuff remarks”. With millions of organized members, NLC and “the people” are certainly not mutually exclusive. The received wisdom has it that

those who demand for equity must at least come with some clean hands. If you espouse dailogue (or is it conversation?) from the roof top, kindly lift those of us below out of polarization and channel our energy towards some better understanding. The bane of the modern proponents of SNC with its ever altered and distorted variants is their aversion to the very principles of dialogue. The late Aka Bashorun, my mentor, lawyer and one time NBA President initiated the demand for a

persuasions and their uncritical supporters. The problem of Gbadegesin is also the age of his ideas. My legitimate concern is that President Jonathan’s latter day embrace of a National Conference is an opportunistic and indeed belated diversion from the surmountable governance challenges he elected to solve. I stand to be convinced to the contrary through greater persuasion not a feverish dialogue-phobia, unhelpful polemics and a smear as promoted by Segun Gbadegesin and his co-on-line mob text supporters. Happily President Goodluck Jonathan was more measured in his response to the concerns of the cynics like me than the pen warriors of dialogue. In his address while inaugurating the 13-man National Dialogue Advisory Committee, ,Jonathan assured that `no voice is too small and no opinion is irrelevant’. He reassuringly observed that `the views of the cynics and those of the enthusiasts must be accommodated”. It is part of conversation too to express doubt about the socalled National Dialogue as the likes of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Bishop Matthew Kukah and Professor Ishaq Oloyede audaciously did. It would amount to literary terrorism to say APC is against the people, just because Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu said the proposed Dialogue is diversionary, a “Greek gift”. To say the church and Supreme Islamic Council are against “the people” just because

My legitimate concern is that President Jonathan’s latter day embrace of a National Conference is an opportunistic and indeed belated diversion from the surmountable governance challenges he elected to solve National Conference in the mid-80s. It was then not as fashionable. It was even riskier. Under the military dictatorship ala IBB, Aka courageously envisaged genuine conversation as part of the broad progressive strategy to ease out authoritarianism. Today with a Constitution and its imperfections, over 50 political parties, 35 state Assemblies, Senate and the House of Representatives, Aka Bashorun would have opted for deepening democratic process through improved elections rather than parroting the present day fashionable mantra-dialogue already discredited over the years by embattled regimes of varying

Kukah and Oloyede (one-time co-chairmen of similar failed project under OBJ) respectively expressed doubt about National Dialogue, would amount to dictatorship of monologue. The critical question begging for answer; is National Dialogue a genuine governance imperative or another unbudgeted diversion? As measured and conversational the President was in his address, he was still not convincing. We must first hold President Jonathan accountable for his electoral promises made without pressures before we can consider new issues he latched on under duress mid-term in

office. I search in vain for a National Dialogue, National Conversation or National Discourse at his inaugural address in 2010. On the contrary, I read about ”our total commitment to good governance, electoral reform and the fight against corruption”.

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ndeed the President

promised “ensuring the sustenance of peace and development in the Niger Delta as well as the security of life and property around the entire country...” . Also in equal measure we had presidential ”pledges ..... to improve the socio-economic situation .....through improved access to electricity, water, education, health facilities and other social amenities”. High sounding “National Dialogue” at this hour is not just a diversion from the above pledges. It also unacceptably adds to already high costs of governance. For as long as this new debate continues the President’s full time report on all these issues that affect the working class and Nigerian people in general may also suffer with all the implications for the development of the country. Are we a debating society or a functional productive republic? We promise to be part of the 20 leading economies in seven years. Are the other 19 economies agonizing through a wasteful divisive conference of ethnic nationalities or working tirelessly to combine growth rates with job creation and poverty eradication? President Goodluck Jonathan was very upbeat about the gains of the previous conferences. Labour ’s experience is not as encouraging. The latest constitution review actually set to deform labour when at the behest of some self serving governors, labour was whimsically removed from the exclusive list by the senators thus eroding labour gains and standards. I think the President needs genuine SWOT analysis of these past conferences. The weaknesses might very well outweigh the strengths. Even now the threats are higher for Nigeria. With the likes of Segun Gbadegesins exhibiting a nostalgia for the lowly trademarks of ethnicity and language (not even class) and getting romantic with failed state projects like Yugoslavia or the Soviet Union, we may very well be convoking a dangerous diatribe in place of useful dialogue for a better Nigeria and a greater Africa.


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A nation, not a tribe BY FEMI FANI-KAYODE

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was born on October 16, 1960 and consequently I celebrated my 53rd birthday last Wednesday. It was a quiet low-key affair in which, as is customary with me, I spent most of the day in fasting, prayer and sober reflection, surrounded by my loved ones, thanking the Lord for granting me yet another year of life and for delivering me from the hands of my numerous detractors and enemies. I also took the time to thank my dear wife and soul mate, Regina, for standing by me through thick and thin and for being such a blessing and my darling children who have had to put up with a father that is fast becoming one of the most controversial, misrepresented and misunderstood figures in Nigerian modern history- a title which I neither crave nor relish. It is because it is my birthday that I decided to share a few home truths today that will gladden the hearts of some but that may sadden others. Yet the truth must be spoken and even if my voice is drowned by the cacophony of dissent and rancour that sometimes trail such literary interventions, let it be on record that on this day the seed of truth and liberation was planted and the idea of a new beginning for a people that I have come to love more than life itself, my people, the Yoruba people of south western Nigeria, was berthed. And for these views, these ideas, these contributions and these philosophies, as disagreeable as they may be to some, I offer no apology. One of the basic truisms of nationhood is that we as a people must appreciate our roots. We cannot despise our roots and set them aside and expect to flourish. We cannot deny our family and claim to be a responsible member of the wider society. Yes we are Nigerians but every Nigerian has a foundation and a root out of which he sprouted. There is no such thing as a Nigerian who did not come from somewhere or who did not come out of a nationality that is a constituent and vital part of the wider nation. Nigeria is blessed with many proud, strong, distinct, noble, enlightened and sophisticated nationalities that make up the whole and each of them brings something or other to the table. From the Fulani to the Hausa, to the Nupe, to the Bini, to the Ijaw, to the Igbo, to the Kanuri, to the Idoma, to the Tiv, to the Urhobo, to the Itsekiri, to the Bacahama, to the Ishan, to the Igbira, to the Igalla, to the Efik, to the Ibibio, to the Isoko, to the Shuwa arab, to the Kataf, to the Kwale, to the Jaba, to the Zuru, to the Kilba, to the Kalabari, to the Ikwere, to the Gula, to the Gwari, to the Margui and so on and so forth, we all have something to offer and we all have a sense of self-worth and self-respect which was established and cultivated many years before Nigeria even came into existence. None of us must ever forget that beautiful root from whence we came for without it we become worthless. For Nigeria to be great each, and every one of its nationalities must first flourish and they must all be in a position to achieve their full potentials. I am a Yoruba man and I take immense pride in that. And contrary to the views of many, the Yoruba, like all the other wonderful nationalities that reside in the Nigerian space, are not a mere tribe. One of the most unfortunate aspects

of not being properly educated is the fact that those that suffer from that affliction often accept everything that their slave and colonial masters and ethnic overlords tell them and, without thinking, they swallow the fables and labels hook, line and sinker. When a supposedly educated person insists on labelling a nation of highly advanced people, who have existed for thousands of years as a distinct race, who have had their own empires, who are the most educationally and culturally advanced on the African continent, who have a single language with approximately 20 different dialects within them, who have contributed more to the industrial, commercial and intellectual growth of Nigeria than any other, who have a rich and illustrious history and heritage which few in Africa can match, who number at least 50 million in Nigeria alone and who constitute the largest number of African people living in the diaspora on earth, whose people have spread all over the world and have strong historical, cultural, religious and ethnic roots in Benin Republic, Ghana, Togo, Haiti, Brazil, Cuba and many other places, whose people have settled into and legitimately lay claim to Ilorin, Kaaba, Akoko Edo and other parts of northern and mid-western Nigeria, whose offspring and progenitor established many kingdoms including the Bini Kingdom, whose pantheon of gods and traditional religion of ifa is respected and practised in many parts of the world, whose historical,

• Fani Kayode

We can no longer be satisfied and content with the failed answers and ideas of a vain and fanciful unity that exists only in our minds and in our imaginations. An illusionary unity that our fathers and forefathers held so dear and even fought a civil war to maintain and uphold philosophical, religious and cultural contributions to Ancient Egypt are well known and well documented, whose level of sophistication and exposure to the knowledge of western education is second to none and whose sense of liberalism, justice, decency, hospitality and fairness is not understood, appreciated or reciprocated by any other ethnic group or nationality in Nigeria and so much more and that supposedly educated person still insists on calling such people, despite their sheer numbers and their homogenous geographical setting, a mere “tribe”, then you know that that person is truly misguided. You may call others a tribe if you so choose but not the Yoruba. We number as many people as almost the whole of the UK or France and far many more than three quarters of the countries on the European continent and our history dates back as far as that of the Celts, the Normans, the Vikings, the Romans, the Greeks, the Egyptians and the Anglo-Saxons. Our forefathers are amongst those that went to the best institutions of higher learning and citadels of excellence in the world like Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Durham universities as far back as the early 1800s and they became the first lawyers, doctors, scientists, intellectuals, poets, writers, journalists, philosophers, priests and free thinkers on the African continent.

Little wonder that our former colonial masters resolved in their hearts that we must never be allowed to take power at the centre because they saw us as their equals as opposed to being their serfs. We were right at the top whilst others were still living in villages in the deepest and darkest parts of the African forest. We forged and built great empires that we nurtured and protected with all that we had.

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urs was not a primitive inheritance but a noble and righteous one that was established by the Living God and the hard work of our forefathers. And it is the memory of those great and powerful forefathers that I invoke today when I ask how far has our noble heritage taken us in the contraption called Nigeria? How have we fared as a people? For better or for worse? Our children ask us, ‘’Was it always like this’’ and who ‘’were’’ the Yoruba? They no longer ask who ‘’ARE’’ the Yoruba but who ‘’WERE’’ the Yoruba? Sadly that is our plight today- a people whose children regard them as ‘’once were’’ and no longer ‘’are’’. We are still who and what we once were and it shall always be so no matter what Nigeria and the world does to us. We are a nation, not a tribe. And we are a nation that is craving for recognition and nationhood. A nation borne out of centuries of sacrifice, hard work,

perseverance and diligence and whose foundation is unsullied, noble and pure. We are a nation within a nation that is beginning to berth and that is eagerly waiting to be born. Today we invoke the spirits and rekindle the memories of our forefathers and we weep for our people. What do we tell them about how we fared after they left us and went into eternity? This struggle belongs to our generation yet the question needs to be asked- have we lived up to expectation as they did? Have we asked the relevant questions, provided the appropiate answers and fought the good and noble fight as they once did? We remember with great pride, great men and women of Yoruba stock that have passed on and we reflect on their noble struggle through the ages. Men and women that stood up when it mattered the most and made a difference like Samuel Ajayi Crowther, Sapara Williams, Richard Akinwande-Savage, Kitoye Ajasa, Cissie Obasa, Eric Moore, Herbert Macauly, Joseph EgertonShyngle, Curtis Adeniyi-Jones, Adeyemo Alakija, Theophilius Adebayo Doherty, Victor Adedapo Kayode, Akinola Maja, Joseph Akanni Doherty, Kofo Abayomi, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Wuraola Esan, J.C Vaughan, H.O. Davis, Adegoke Adelabu, Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo, Samuel Ladoke Akintola, Remilekun Adetokunbo Fani-Kayode, Frederick Rotimi Alade Williams, Bode Thomas, Adesoji Aderemi, Odeleye Fadahunsi, Oduola Osuntokun, Emmanuel Okunsanya Okunowo, Moses Majekodunmi, Adetokunbo Adegboyega Ademola, Benjamin Oluwakayode Osuntokun, Josiah Olawoyin, S.L. Edu, Samuel Shonibare, Matthew AbonmagbeOkupe, Dauda Adegbenro, S.O.Gbadamosi, Adeniran Ogunsanya, T.O.S Benson, Augustus Meredith Adisa Akinloye, Adekunle

Fajuyi, Samuel Ademulegun, R.A. Shodeinde, Olusola Saraki, MKO Abiola, Bola Ige, Micheal Ajasin, Abraham Adesanya, Ganiyu Dawodu, Adewale Thompson, Solanke Onasanya, Kudirat Abiola, Emmanuel Omotehinwa and dozens of others that are too numerous to mention. These names shall never be forgotten and those who bear them should hold their heads up high for theirs is a noble lineage. Yet many ask what is next for this great and illustrious nationality and this berthing nation called the Yoruba? How do we achieve our full potentials and become that which God has ordained us to be? Can this be done within the confines of the Nigerian state? Some have argued, quite rightly, that the way out is to have a Sovereign National Conference that will renegotiate the terms of our unity and revisit the very question of our existence as a nation. Yet the truth is that the forces that control the centre in Nigeria and that have controlled it since 1914 will never allow that to happen without a fight. It is their intention and desire to keep us together as one in a flawed and failed unitary state with it’s federal facade in perpetuity regardless of the grave damage that such a venture has wrought upon our people over the last 99 years. Successive President’s in the last few decades have offered governmentsponsored national conferences none of which are sovereign and each of which could not possibly solve our fundamental problems or properly answer our nationality question. The mantra has always been that the unity of Nigeria is ‘’not negotiable’’ and our resolutions were always subject to their approval or the approval of some unrepresentative and questionable National Assembly which hardly represented the interests and views of the numerous nationalities in our country. We have one year to go before we achieve 100 years of being together as one entity and I believe that it is time for us to have a rethink and determine how we want the next 100 years to be. It is time for us to question all these so-called ‘’settled issues’’, ‘’no-go areas’’, ‘’nonnegotiables’’ and ‘’givens’’. We can no longer be satisfied and content with the failed answers and ideas of a vain and fanciful unity that exists only in our minds and in our imaginations. An illusionary unity that our fathers and forefathers held so dear and even fought a civil war to maintain and uphold. Given the nature of those that control the centre today and their unholy intentions for the rest of the country we must revisit that question of unity and we must ask ourselves ‘’at what price?’’

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he world is not static- it is dynamic and it is changing fast. Kingdoms come and kingdoms go. Empires fall and empires rise. Nations break and new nations are formed. The world is changing and the great people and numerous nationalities that make up Nigeria must espouse that change, accept it and not be left behind. What was good for yesterday may not be good for today. And what is good for today may not have been good for yesterday. That is where we are today- on the threshold of change. And I believe that the time for that change is now. It is a new dawn, a new day and a new era. And I fervently believe that the God of heaven and He who sits above the circles of the earth is about to do something new, something refreshing and something very dramatic. Why? Because we are a nation, not a tribe


SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 47 sameyoboka@yahoo.com

08023145567 (sms only)

Freemasons show light to a dark world---Olorogun Taiga FREEMASONRY is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. For many, its biggest draw is the fact that members come from all walks of life and meet as equals whatever their race, religion, or socio-economic position in society. With value based on integrity, kindness, honesty, fairness and tolerance, Freemasonry provides a unique environment for all people to learn skills and achieve their potential and above all have fun. In this interview with PEACE ONYEUKWU, Olorogun Moses Taiga talks about the advent of Freemasonry in Nigeria and how they have impacted the lives of Nigerians positively. Excerpts...

colour, religion, political views on social standing. Freemasonry can boast of men of caliber and substance. The list of famous international masons includes prime ministers, royalty, writers, artists, and distinguished military members. Fourteen US presidents have been masons from George Washington to Gerald Ford.

Tell us about the advent of Freemasonry in Nigeria? The district grand lodge of Nigeria is part of the united grand lodge of England which was formed in 1717 as a philosophical fraternity whose members sought to further their education and spirituality. The grand lodge is headed by HRH, the Duke of Kent. Freemasonry is a benevolent, social and charitable universal organisation whose members focus on lessons that help them on a journey to achieve moral and spiritual enlightenment. What are the guiding principles of the organisation? The three principles on which Freemasonry rests are brotherly love, belief and truth; and the great virtues of Freemasonry are hope and charity. The sublime concept of relief finds its full expression in the wider context of charity. And as a landmark of Freemasonry, *Olorogun Moses Taiga it is so deeply embedded in the institution that its absence would radically modify the darkness. In pursuit of its mission the grand lodge essence of the order. Freemasonry does not of Nigeria has over the years granted relief through have an institutionalized system of worship various charity projects to those in need. Not only and it encourages its members to be active in does the district compliments the Freemasonry care whichever religion or church they belong to. project which offers support to freemasons and their dependants, it has also reached out to numerous What is its mission and how has it been non-Masonic groups and institutions. able to achieve it? Masonry has no other mission than to exalt What is the capacity of the organisation in and ennoble humanity to bring light out of

Meduoye prays against plane crashes By OLAYINKA LATONA

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ONCERNED with the recur ring problem of plane crashes in the country, General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church, Rev. Felix Meduonye, during a recent quarterly Holy Spirit Refreshing Vigil at the Foursquare Conference Centre, Idimu in Lagos, pleaded with God to make plane crashes in Nigeria a thing of the past. The theme of the event was ‘Night of Divine Intervention’. The cleric who narrated how he dreamt of the Dana Air disaster that claimed the lives of many Nigerians last year, stated that he also foresaw the latest disaster involving Associated Airline plane which claimed 15 lives. While praying for young people, the nation and its leaders, Meduonye stated that everyone has a responsibility to make Nigeria a place worth living in. Speaking on the vigil, the national secretary of the

church, Rev. Ikechukwu Ugbaja said it was a response to biblical injunction that men should pray without ceasing, pointing out that though it is a time for ministration to the needs of God’s people, it’s like killing many birds with one stone by getting the people to pray. “God responds to us when we pray, that is why we have so many testimonies”, he said, adding “it’s a time the Holy Spirit refreshes us. We have two periods; period of the word and the period of the wonders”. There were testimonies from people who said their lives had changed by reason of their attending the vigil programme. National Children Choir which was inaugurated by the general overseer's wife in September, also took time to perform. Rev. Meduoye urged the people to allow God to lead and direct their ways, so that they do not miss the way, noting that God wants His children to always remember that

they were once sinners who were rescued by Jesus blood. He noted that in Foursquare churches worldwide, communion is usually served once a month, in remembrance of

Nigeria? Nigeria is one of such districts with 36 lodges and over 1,000 members in the English constitution. There are about six million Freemasons worldwide. Freemasonry is universal and does not discriminate on grounds of race, the one who died and rose for us. Continuing, he said “if you don’t worship God, you will worship something. It’s human nature. When you worship God, He’ll intervene in your situation. He only intervenes in the situation of those who worship Him”.

INSECURITY: Nigeria may degenerate into anarchy if... ----Primate's wife, CPFN By CALEB AYANSINA

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BUJA --- WIFE of Primate and Presi dent of Mothers Union/Women's Guild, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Mrs. Nkasiobi Okoh has decried the deplorable security situation in the country, warning that Nigeria might degenerate into a state of anarchy, if care is not taken. Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (CPFN) charged all Christians in Nigeria to pray without ceasing for the peace of the country,

as there is bound to be problem at ‘this end time’. Chairman of CPFN, Abuja branch, Pastor Samson Akinsulure gave the charge in an interview at the end of 3day power-packed revival tagged; ‘The second coming of Jesus Christ’, in Abuja. Mrs. Okoh, who stated this in her presidential address at the 14th Annual Diocesan Women's Conference 2013 tagged; 'Christian Stewardship' in Abuja, said amnesty for Boko Haram members is Continued on Page 46

How has the Freemasons contributed positively to the development of the Nigerian society? Freemasons make major contributions to the societies through various charities. Like in University of Lagos we have written and received response from them to sponsor five students in Law, Engineering and Medical faculties. We have started with the University of Lagos but hope to spread to other universities. We are also building a hospital in Lekki right now for people to go for a free medical attention. We've donated to Kanu Heart Foundation, Blind Centre at Ebute Meta, Babsalam Motherless Baby Home, GRA, Ikeja, School of the Handicapped, Amuwo Odofin. All these charities are from one of our 36 lodges in Nigeria: every lodge has his own collection of charities because charity is very important to us. Freemason exists for the glory of God and the good of our fellow men, and the sincere desire to leave this world better than we found it. Can you let us into the District Grand Lodge of Nigeria Centennial? We are going to have a cocktail party at Eko Hotel on October 25 and the following day at 2.00 p.m. is the celebration of our 100 years anniversary. We are going to have a lecture to be delivered by former Ghanaian president, Mr. John Kufour. Expected at the grand finale is grand master, the Duke of Kent represented by his Pro and his grand secretary who is going to precide over the affair. We also have the assurance of the Grand Master and Grand Lodge of Nigeria, HRM, Obi of Onitsha, the Oni of Ife in attendance. We are expecting people from South Africa, Zambia and Europe. The District Grand Masters of Ghana and Sierra Leone are expected too. And at the launch we are going to make a presentation to Sickle Cell Foundation. Freemasonry is more relevant and important in the society today than ever as it encompasses and embraces all the fundamental principles of good citizenship.


PAGE 48—SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013

Little Saints celebrate as fate made Iris a gentleman’s wife By SAM EYOBOKA & OLAYINKA LATONA

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TANLEY Johnson was born some 30 years ago by an Indian woman to a Nigerian father but somewhere along the line something happened and he ended up at the Little Saints Orphanage in Lagos where he spent about 17 years. While there, the ardent Arsenal fan showed unadulterated love and affection for everybody especially the younger saints. He is said to be the first Saint to acquire a driving licence among the inmates. A graduate of the Lagos State University, Lagos, Stanley Johnson recently tied the nuptial nuts when he took former Iris Adunola Olatunde for a wife at the Ikoyi Marriage Registry to become the second product of the Little Saints Orphanage to join the elite club. A colourful reception followed immediately after at the Strong Tower Mission House, Palm-

L-R: Mr. Raphael Afolabi, representing the bride’s family; founder, Little Saints Orphanage, Rev. (Mrs.) Dele George, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Johnson, the new couple and Mrs. Yetunde Olamijuwon, bride’s mother during the wedding. PHOTOS: LAMIDI BAMIDELE. groove, Lagos. The couple started their hearty voyage over a decade ago at Legacy High School in Akowonjo area of Lagos where both lovebirds developved affection for one another, the affection which grew over the

years culminating into holy matrimony with the bride returning from Ireland for the ceremony. The groom, an embodiment of gentleness, who had just reunited with his mother, had to be nudged by friends and re-

lations to manage to thug along as Iris, a typical effervescent Yoruba lady gyrated to pulsating music supplied by in-house Grace Light Band led by Temitayo George of West African Idols fame. He acknowledged that his marriage was the beginning of a new life for him and "I think it is what most men would love to do or always looked up to. We started as friends at junior school." Speaking on the reunion with his mother, the Chemistry graduate, said: “It was unbelievable and surprising, emotional moment for me. I am happy that I found my mum and we are back together.” While appreciating the enormous contribution of the founder of Little Saints Orphanage, Rev. (Mrs.) Christiana Bamidele George, he stated: “Mrs. George is mother of all mothers. I appreciate all she had been doing for us in the home and I want her to know that I will continue to love her, remember the home. Despite my marriage, I am still part of the home and her family." A joyful proprietor of the home, Rev. (Mrs.) George also expressed gratitude to God for the success of the ceremony,

Nigeria may degenerate into anarchy if... inconceivable. She commended government's actions thus far to stem the spate of insurgency, insisting that the agitation for am-

nesty from some quarters on behalf of the perpetrators is worrisome. "Beefing up security, proscribing Boko Haram and de-

Anglican Bible College graduates 145

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AGOS Anglican Bible College (LABICO) owned by all the Anglican dioceses in Lagos recently held its 14th and 15th graduation ceremony with 145 students awarded certificates and diploma in Biblical Studies, reports OLAYINKA LATONA. The occasion witnessed by family members and well wishers, took place at the Cathedral Church of St. Jude’s, Ebute-Meta, Lagos. Speaking during the ceremony, the institute's rector, Ven. Bamidele Okunuga explained that the school was committed to the training of men and women with Godly characters and integrity for the mission field. He revealed that the college has graduated over 2,000 students since its inception out of whom some have become ministers, Sunday school teachers and others serving in their different capacities. Urging the graduands to make the college proud by discharging their duties effectively, Okunuga reminded them to remain the light and salt of the world since they were trained for good work and to solve problems of mankind. The school’s registrar, Ven. Oludare Otoki was optimistic

that the students would excel spiritually in the society because they had been imparted with spiritual knowledge that will help them understand the purpose of their calling. In his words: “We appreciate the church authorities for allowing and providing a good platform for interested candidates within and outside the Anglican Communion to learn more of the Word of God. The college is urging you to give back to your different denominations what you have learnt from the college. We hope you will go and satisfy the people's yearning out there and also make the church proud”. Barrister Joyce Odah, on behalf of the grad-uands thanked the church, college rector, registrar, lecturers and all those who contributed towards their achievement. Odah also encouraged his colleagues to go out and make the difference by fulfilling the Lord’s mandate. Awards were given to Adetiloye Elizabeth, Bello Ajibola, Okonkwo Chizitere, Anikezie Benjamin, Odukomaiya Abiodun, Dr. Anthonia Ugwu, Muobuike Alphonsus and Adeeko Adeleke for their excellent behaviour during the programme.

claring a state of emergency in three states by President Goodluck Jonathan is a welcome development. The call for amnesty for these troublers of Nigeria is worrisome. "The sponsors, leaders and members of the sect are not clearly known. If care is not taken, we will, as a nation, degenerate into a state of anarchy," she maintained. The Leader of Anglican Women also decried the current havoc wrecked on natives across the country, by Fulani herdsmen, kidnappers, saying that all these were recipes for lawlessness. Also speaking, the Primate, Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh said the conference was significant, taking cognizance of the important role played by women in the

family, church and the society. CPFN chairman, Akinsulure explained that the signs of the end time period compelled the fellowship to organise revival annually to preach the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Cleric decried the level of insecurity in the country, saying “there is no nation without its own challenges, so we should be praying for Nigeria. I believe one day, things will get better. Also speaking, the Superintendent, The Apostolic Church (TAC), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area, Pastor Jedidiah Enyieokop urged faithful not to entertain fears about the future of the country, saying that, God that knows the unknown would not allow the righteous to be forsaken.

saying: “Stanley and Iris' love is real. It is the Lord’s doing and I am very convinced that the marriage will endure. Our prayer is that God’s blessing should be upon them. I know that other children will emulate them and find their true love." She acknowledged that Stanley has always been very reserved; "I think it has to do with his dual nationality. He is half Nigerian and half Indian. He is very loving, caring even one of the children in the home actually thought that Stanley is his biological father because he did not know the difference then as Stanley always cared for him and they look alike. I am sure Stanley will be a responsible and caring father." Mrs. George advised other Nigerian children to know that no matter what they are going through "they can still find joy and happiness in life. Therefore they should cherish their home by responding with love. When some of the children are brought to the home they always want to run back into the street because of the liberty they get there, but unknown to them such liberty is not a good one. At such tender age they need to be controlled and supervised."

WINN marks 3rd anniversary

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OMEN in the New Nigeria for Em powerment and Positive Change, WINN, a non-profit, non-governmental, interfaith organization building women to take necessary steps to build their homes and by implication the nation, marks its third anniversary on Tuesday at GCC Centre, Kado, Abuja. Time: 1.00 p.m. A statement by the initiator, Apostle (Mrs.) Eunice Gordon, a pioneer in the crusade against sex-trade, prostitution, sexual perversion and pre-marital sex, said WINN has played a pivotal role in galvanizing Nigerian women together to contribute their quota towards the nation’s development.

Cleric preaches adherence to God’s word By OLAYINKA LATONA

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OUNDER of Jesus Gather-ing Evangelical Ministry, Lagos, Pastor Mike Ajiboye has urged Nigerians to not just be the hearers but also the doers of the Word of God as a way of curbing the high level of violent crimes prevalent in the society today. In a recent interview, Ajiboye said: “After hearing the word of God we should also act on the word because such will bring peace, love, blessing, understanding, wisdom, humility and development into the society.” He noted that failure of

Nigerians to love one another based on the recommendation of the Word can be blamed for the various socio-political challenges confronting the nation today. Continuing, he said the only solution to the crises in Nigeria could be found in adherence to the Word by showing genuine love for one another and good governance. In his words: “Let the Word of God penetrate our lives to know the fundamental truth. Since God is love, in order to give love we must also love. Ajiboye also advised ministers of God to proclaim undiluted Word of God and speak the

truth at all times irrespective of the consequen-ces. Drawing inspiration from the Bible, Pastor Ajiboye further warned on the dangers of not acting on God’s word and enjoined Christians to pray for the nation and her leaders to save the country from evil and intermittent crises. "Nigerians should not relent in praying for peace and unity to reign and those in authorities because it is only God who has the power to direct their hearts aright," he stated, noting that the ferevent effectual prayers of the righteous will deliver the nation from the cliutches of evil.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013, PAGE 49

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HEN I was a Research Fel low at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, I had a director who was boastful. He liked to drop names. He would tell you he spent the weekend playing golf with this General, or that he had just finished talking on the phone to that managing director. One day, the Holy Spirit gave me a parable. A rich master was boasting as usual to his poor servant about the high circles he moved in. The servant listened dutifully as he dropped the names of important dignitaries who were allegedly his buddies. Suddenly, the servant interjected with a cheeky question. “Sir,” he said, “do you know who I was talking to this morning?” The master was irritated. “Who could you possibly have been talking to?” he mocked. “I was talking to the Lord God Almighty,” replied the servant. The master was stumped. None of his highfalutin friends could be compared to God; the bosom friend of his lowly servant.

Repetitions God is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24). Therefore, we should be ever on the lookout for him. One of the ways God speaks to us is through the use of repetitions. This happens when we confront the same or similar thing again and again until it dawns on us that God is telling us something thereby. Please don’t call

GOD IS TALKING TO YOU (5) them coincidences. There are no coincidences in the life of a child of God. Instead, God writes messages on the practical details of our lives. The psalmist says: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD.” (Psalm 37:23). Sometimes you open your bible and may be drawn to a particular scripture. Then you turn on the radio only to discover the topic of that scripture is the subject of discussion. Then you have a chat with a friend and again he speaks to you about the same thing. You then begin to wonder if God is trying to tell you something. In all probability, he is. God loves to use repetition to attract our attention. Remember this: the gospel is repeated no less than four times in the bible. For example, Jesus used five loaves and four fishes to feed 5,000 men. Then he repeated this by using seven loaves to feed 4,000 men. Jesus repeated the miracle because he knew the significance of the first was lost on his disciples. After the second time, he set his disciples an exam, which they still failed. They continued to worry about bread. However, the very point of the repetition was to impress on them that he who has Jesus, “the

The silence of God speaks of a maturing relationship with him bread of life,” need not ever worry again about provision.

Conviction of the Holy Spirit This happens when we do something that displeases the Lord. We suddenly develop an acute sense of guilt over having said or done the wrong thing. I had a fight with my wife. I was very angry and said some nasty things. However, she did not fight back. Instead, she reported me in private to God. As a result, I got into deep trouble. The conviction of the Holy Spirit was so intense, it brought me to tears. I not only apologised profusely to my wife, I pleaded with her not to report me to God ever again. These matters can be handled just between us, I cajoled her. But I doubt she will heed my plea. On the other hand, we may disobey something God told us to do and, suddenly, we are overcome with guilt and remorse. Maybe you rudely brushed off a beggar who asked you for money. Then the Holy

Music rain as RCCG Glory Chapel stages concert

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T was a moment of praise, worship and thanksgiving as youths of Glory Chapel, Place of Refuge Area of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Agbelekale, Abule Egba, Lagos invited other Pentecostal choirs and individual talents from other parts of the state to glorify and adore their maker, reports OLAYINKA LATONA. The all night praise programme appropriately titled “Palace of Praise” witnessed a large turnout of worshippers for a time of refreshing. Soul-lifting renditions kept the congregation dancing and praising God all throughout the night as the host choir attired in a very unique uniform and the various groups as well as the inidividuals, literarilly

brought down the presence of God through praises. One after the other, the choirs took turn to thrill the audience with each trying to outdo one another. The children department of Glory Chapel were not left out, as the young lads displayed their talent through a dance drama titled; Iwo Lamo koko aye mi, while another kid, Akinsanya performed a track from her forthcoming album titled; Omo Rere. Area presbyter, Pastor Kola Ajiboye, was not left out as he rendered heart lifting praise and worship songs before preaching the only sermon of the night, titled; “Praise” where he said it is more profitable to praise and gratify God because battles are won during

praises, noting that most people have not discovered the importance of praise hence they only stick to prayers. Highlighting the essence of praise, he said: “Praise connects one to heaven, it is the highway to honour; praise accelerates miracle, builds faith, guarantees victory, increases joy and it delivers judgment”. He expressed satisfaction at the large turnout of youths for the concert and advised them "to always minister in spirit." Also speaking, Mrs. Rachel Arinomo described the concert "as superb and wonderful. You can see how the congregation was kept, not just awake, but alive to frenzied dancing and praises to the Most High all night long."

Spirit brought to your remembrance the scripture where Jesus says, “Give to those who ask you.” At which point you felt really terrible for falling short of God’s standard yet again. Such conviction is designed to help us get right with God; it is not just intended to make us feel bad.

Word of Knowledge This happens when God shows those he has endowed with the gifts of healings something wrong about the condition of someone. However, this knowledge also comes to those without the gifts, although on a more incidental basis. When it happens, it means God wants us to pray for the healing of that person. At the very least, he wants us to minister to him. As you are speaking to the person, God might whisper into your ear the words “stomach ache” or “digestive problems.” You might even briefly feel the pain yourself. Or he might flash an image of the person holding his tummy in agony. Alternatively, he might write the

M

ODERATOR of Gideon I Baptist Association under the Lagos East Baptist Conference, Rev. Israel Kristilere, has appealed to the Federal Government to meet the demands of striking lecturers. According to him, this is necessary to save the tertiary education sector and redeem the future of the nation. Kristilere, in an address at the third quarterly session of the association in Ikosi-Ketu, Lagos with a theme; "Building witnessing families: The necessity for spiritual growth," the cleric said what members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are asking for is nothing compared to the fat allowances of elected government functionaries. According to him: “One is certainly weary to reprimand ASUU when one genuinely compares what the lecturers are demanding

ailment in bold letters on the person’s forehead. I was praying about a lunch-hour fellowship holding the next day when I developed chronic stomach ulcer while still on my knees. I started rolling on the ground. I just knew supernaturally that the Lord planned to heal someone with that affliction at the fellowship. Don’t forget: God speaks as we enter into the pain of others.

Words of silence God also speaks through silence. Even when we are in a longstanding relationship with him, God suddenly gives us the silent treatment. He likes to do this in crisis situations; the very times we are particularly determined to hear from him. Don’t let this bother you. He did the same even to Jesus. Jesus validated the despair we feel when this happens by crying out like David on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Make no mistake about this; God would never forsake his children. He is right there with us in the fire of affliction; silently saying: “trust me.” Isaiah reassures us that in our affliction, God is afflicted. (Isaiah 63:9). The silen-

ce of God speaks of a maturing relationship with him. When you are unfamiliar with someone, you feel the need to talk. Silence becomes embarrassing. But when it is someone you know very well, the silence is comfortable and pregnant with meaning. You don’t have to talk. Nevertheless, you are still communicating as deep calls unto deep. (Psalm 42:7).

Friendship with God Teresa Seputis bought a new suit which she decided to wear to work. It was very cloudy, so she knew it would soon begin to rain. Careful not to damage her new clothes, she decided to take her umbrella. But then the Lord told her not to, assuring her it would not rain. Teresa found this hard to believe. Could she take her umbrella just in case? The answer was “No!” The Lord insisted it would not rain. Therefore, she was constrained to obey. It did not rain as she went all the way to work by train. But immediately she got to her office, drops of water started falling on her windowpane. “But you said it would not rain!” she queried the Lord. Suddenly, two feet appeared outside her window as a man clambered down from a crane. It was then she realised he was only washing her window. “I got you there!” the Lord said to Teresa. The Lord wants to be your friend. Enter into an intimate relationship with him today. To be Continued.

Accede to ASUU’s demands, cleric tells FG

Rev. Israel Kristilere

with what our elected officers corner to themselves in the name of entitlements. “It is no longer secret that what our legislators earn yearly is one of the highest in the world, while the minimum wage for the ordinary Nigerian is one of the lowest in the world,” he said. Kristilere therefore pleaded with the Federal Government to quickly accede to the

demands of ASUU. He also kicked against the proposed increase in tariff of imported vehicles, describing it as a “step in the wrong direction”. The move, he said, should be delayed for another five years until made-in-Nigerian vehicles have flooded the market. The cleric called on the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to dissolve the two factions in the Lagos State chapter of the body, which has been in crisis for over 13 years. Both factions, he argued, have overstayed their welcome and should be replaced. On the re-classification of schools in Osun state, Kristilere said the merger of mission schools with others is “insensitive to the nature, heritage and religious situation of the country.”


PAGE 50—SUNDAY VANGUARD,OCTOBER, 20, 2013

H

Love

People no longer believe in the idea of soul mates, or love at first sight. They are beginning to believe that a very few times in your life if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together. Cheers! i,

N e t w o r k i n g / Sponsorship

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tian and resides in Warri needs friends. 07063060657

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DISCLAIMER! Dear readers, please note that we neither operate, nor are we an affiliate of any match–making agency in or outside the country. Any reader who transacts business with any one claiming to be our agent does so at his/her own risk. Our mission is only to provide a platform for social networking. Also note that neither Vanguard, nor Yetunde Arebi will be liable for any error in the publication of requests which may result in any form of embarrassment to any member of the public. We therefore request that text must be sent through at least one of the numbers for contact. This notice is necessary to enable us serve you better in our refreshingly different style. You can send your requests to 33055. For enquiries, text or call 08026651636

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SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER, 20, 2013,PAGE 51

a sexy and beautiful girl, aged 18-23, for a serious love affair.07054024511 •Babalola, 36, needs a religious single Muslim girl, aged 30, for marriage.08087074640 0 8 1 3 8 8 5 6 9 0 0 , 08170141833 •Kings, 50, needs a matured and financially comfortable lady, aged 35 and above, who resides in Abuja for a relationship.07014043979 •Odi, 45, comfortable and good looking, needs a matured and decent lady, aged 30-50. 08024203445, BB pin 28A3C1EC •Chukwuma, 34, a graduate, employed and resides in Sapele, Delta state, needs a busty and educated girl, aged 27and above for a serious relationship. 08102570282 •Joe, a graduate resides in Bayelsa, needs an employed lady, aged 23-30, for a serious relationship.07035455423 •Daniel, 48, a medical doctor, needs a lady for a wife.08142372211 •Emmanuel, needs a nice and God fearing lady, for a serious relationship. 08034056458 •Wk, 33, resides in Lagos, needs a lady, aged 23-27 for a relationship. 08035041305 •A guy, honest resides in Ph, a student, needs a sugar mummy, aged 4550, for a serious relationship in Ph.08136589630 •George, 27, resides in Enugu, an upcoming gospel artist, needs a lady, aged 22-25, who is financially ok, for a relationship.08093949490 •Joseph, 25, dark in complexion and resides in Delta state, Warri, needs a mature lady, aged 30-35, for a serious r e l a t i o n s h i p . 0 7 0 8 8 5 2 8 9 7 5 , 08036456715 •Obina, 44, needs a caring and sexy lady that can pamper and pet him, for a relationship that will lead to marriage. 08142372211 •Peter, employed and resides in Abuja, needs a girl, for a relationship. 08024352273 •A guy, 40, needs a lady or a divorcee for a wife. 08163815251 •Tj, cool and nice, needs a mature and serious minded lady for a relationship. 07038591108 •Joseph, needs a decent and employed lady, for marriage, aged 20-25. 07034646782 •Donald, from Asaba, needs an intelligent girl, from Asaba, aged 25-30, for a serious relationship that would lead to marriage.07037744788 •John, 24, student, needs a slim girl only to meet up some of her needs. 08071315044 •Eddy 26, a student from Delta State and a student, needs a girl, aged

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good looking and a caring girl, for a serious relationship, within Anambra. 07034445484 •Bishop, 29, needs a caring lady that can assist him financially, for relationship. 08039458979 •Charles, from Enugu, needs a God fearing lady, aged 25-38,.that is well educated and employed, for a relationship. 08104698924 •Olu, 45, tall, a Christian, dark in complexion, educated, humble, employed and from Ogun state, needs a lady, who is a graduate, employed, humble and well mannered, aged.25-45. 07035982084 •David, 21 tall, handsome and sexy, needs a sexy girl for a relationship.07068391994 •Richard, 40, needs a lady, aged 30-50, for a r e l a t i o n s h i p . 08130243580 •Christian, 20, needs a lady, for a relationship that will lead to marriage.08163937553 •Wealth, 26, resides in Warri, needs a caring and understanding lady, for a serious relationship. 07068476392. •Onuh, needs a beautiful lady, aged 20-25 in Abuja, for a relationship, aged 2025 and must be a worker. 4rm.0 8149244058 •David from delta state needs a beautiful girl 4 a relationship.0 7031092628 •Joe, 32, from Enugu, needs a girl, aged 28-30, who is a graduate and ready for marriage. 07081869164, 08178653305 •Alvin, 35, humble and loving, needs a matured woman, either a divorcee, or widow, aged 38 -55, for a romantic affair.08153019135 •Emmanuel, tall, fair in complexion from Delta state, need a slim tall girl aged 20-24 for a serious relationship. 08061270384 •Frank, 32, from Edo state, needs a decent lady, aged 25 36 for a relationship. 07037462872 •Austin, 24, fair in complexion, slim, quite, handsome, and an upcoming artiste from Delta state, who is God fearing, for a relationship. 08160390111 •Maxwell, 5.8ft tall, slim, chocolate in complexion, employed and from Benue state but resides in Lagos, needs a matured lady, aged 3035, for a relationship. 08159596221 •Dovadje, from Delta state, needs a pretty lady, for a relationship. 08086059546 •Emmanuel, 29, resides in Minna, needs a lady, for arelationship. 08063626661 •Clement, light complexion and from Edo State, needs a girl, who is beautiful and responsible for marriage, aged 24-26.08031156750 •Mayo, tall, handsome and dark in complexion, needs a rich lady, aged 30 and above, for a good, loving and romantic relationship.08154480295

Sugar Cares Searching Female •Mandy, 24, sexy, bursty, pretty and very attractive young undergraduate needs a kind and generous sugar daddy for a sexual relationship 08105650856 •Princess, an undergraduate, fair in complexion, tall, slim, pretty and from Owerri, needs a sugar daddy, who can take good care of her .08032638739 •Munachi, 28, slim, a student and from Enugu, needs a God fearing sugar daddy for a romantic affair.08164098446 •Chioma, 24, sexy, busty an undergraduate, needs a kind and generous sugar daddy for a relationship.08102362446 •Amanda, a student and from Delta state, needs a sugar daddy. 08063249484 •Esther, 25, slim and beautiful, needs a sweet and capable sugar daddy, who can take care f her, for a serious relationship in Warri. 08135263545 •Nancy, 21, needs a sugar daddy for a discrete affair.08166245147 •Joy, 20, slim, tall, and fair in complexion, a student from Delta State, needs a sugar daddy that will take care of her. 08166668434 •Harriet, 21, slim and down to earth, needs a rich, caring and honest sugar daddy, aged 45 and above for a serious relationship. 08024452298 •Princess, 24, tall, fair in complexion, with a curvy waist, needs a mature and rich sugar daddy that will help her financially, aged 40-60. 08134308206 •Joan, 22, tall, light skinned, busty, wit nice shape, needs a sugar daddy that can take care of her.08137140059 •Angela, 25, busty, pretty and active, needs a kind, and generous sugar daddy for a sexual relationship.08102362446 •Ella, 22, dark in complexion, slim beautiful and resides in Delta state, needs a sugar daddy that can take care of her needs financially.08147754034

Searching Male

•Lester, 26, 5.6ft tall, from Delta state, needs sexy, beautiful, energetic, romantic and a buoyant sugar mummy, aged.3055.07068936763 •Victor, 21, needs a caring sugar mummy, aged25-40 for serious affair. 08032211405 •Emeka, based in Lagos, needs a wealthy and sexually starved sugarmummy in lagos on 08170096900 •A guy, needs a sexy sugar mummy, who resides in either Lagos, Abuja, P.H or Warri, aged 40-50, for romance.08106146277 •Taiwo, 40, needs a very fat and rich sugar mumm y. 0 7 0 5 8 8 0 1 3 2 2 , 08033671255 •Kelvin, 20, needs a sugar mummy in Ph. 07080753684


PAGE 52, SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013


SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013—53

Ethiopians seek redemption on twitter

LMC announces N50m reward for Glo Premier League clubs

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World Cup 2014 Qualifier: WORLD Cup berth appears unlikely after their home defeat to Nigeria but a growing legion of Ethiopian fans are taking to Twitter to lure overseas-based players eligible to represent the Walyas. Nigeria came from behind to snatch a last gasp 2-1 win over Ethiopia in the first leg of their playoff in Addis Ababa after two goals from Emmanuel Emenike helped them take a big step towards next year’s finals in Brazil. But Ethiopian fans have now found something to cheer about as their largely-domestic based Walyas - named after an endemic antelope - could be boosted by a small contingent of players plying their trade in Europe. After Arsenal’s 16-year old prodigy Gedion Zelalem - who is also eligible to play for Germany and the United States tweeted “Still proud” following Sunday’s loss, Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom took on the task of luring the young Gunner. “Hi Gedion. Good to hear from you. We hope you will play for Ethiopia soon,” he tweeted back. Tedros also contacted Norwaybased striker Askar Amin, who plays for top flight side Brann, via the micro-blogging platform. “I just spoke to Amin on the phone and he’s very positive about playing for our country. Thanks so much Amin!,” the official tweeted. Ethiopian fans have now launched what they dub a “Twitter diplomacy” campaign to snap up Arsenal midfielder Zelalem, under “#ZelalemForEthiopia”. “Join #ZelalemForEthiopia and share your thoughts if you want to see Gedion Zelalem to join the Walyas,” tweeted @Fahologist, a Kinshasa-based Ethiopian. Walyas’ coach Sewnet Bishaw said he would not contact Zelalem personally. “Unless he sends his application to the (Ethiopian Football) Federation, or calls one of the football officials or me, how can I bring him? I don’t even know his address,” he told Reuters. “If he decides to play for Ethiopia and asks us, then things will be easy.” Zelalem, currently sidelined through injury, impressed during Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Asia before he was named among the substitutes for the Premier League match against Fulham in August. Arsenal fans have labelled him the “new Fabregas” after the Spaniard Cesc Fabregas who transferred from the Premier League club to Barcelona.

BLOCKED OFF...Super Eagles midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi (R) vies with Ethiopia’s Shemeles Bekele during their World Cup 2014 qualifier football match on October 13, 2013 in Addis Ababa. AFP PHOTO

Moyes, RVP disagree on Man. Utd methods R

OBIN van Persie and David Moyes have reportedly clashed over the new Manchester United manager ’s training methods, with the striker believing the new heavy workload is to blame for a recent spate of injuries. According to Goal.com, Van Persie has told friends he is not happy with the greater emphasis on running and endurance that has been brought to training since Moyes took over after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. The report says the former Arsenal captain and the former Everton boss fell out in the run up to the 4-1 derby humiliation at Manchester City when Van Persie was ruled out with a groin strain. It says that Van Persie believes being over-trained was behind injury ending a run of 90 consecutive Premier League appearances and that the new regime brought in by Moyes does not suit his particular style of play, body shape and the fact he is now in his 30s. Not only that, van Persie last season’s Premier League Golden Boot winner is unhappy that Moyes did not opt to keep Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant Rene Meulensteen at the club, as he felt his compatriot’s training methods had a lot to do with keeping him fit.

Van Persie’s goalscoring form over the last three years has been remarkable - he finished top scorer in the Premier League for the past two seasons - and this has largely been down to the fact he has been able to play regularly. Manchester United continued with their poor run of form under Moyes. They were forced to a draw yesterday by Southampton. The champions had looked on course for what

would have been a ninth successive win over the Saints. Teenager Adnan Januzaj produced another moment of brilliance to set Robin van Persie on his way to put United in front midway through the first half. Captain Adam Lallana tapped in from a yard out with only a minute of normal time remaining to give the visitors a share of the spoils and leave United eight points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal.

TOTAL sum of N50m has been set aside by the League Management Company (LMC) to reward teams that participated in the 2013 Glo Premier League season which ends today. It is the first time the Champions of the season will earn prize money since the advent of Premier League football in the country back in 2005. The top prize of N10m will go to the champions in a graduated payment that will see the last placed team receiving N1m. Chairman of the LMC, Hon. Nduka Irabor announced the innovative Merit Award on Friday and said the payout has been introduced to sustain the competitive spirit that has seen the league in a photo finish such that the winner can only be determined at the end of matches on the final day. “It is an innovation we are bringing about to sustain if not raise the level of competitiveness witnessed in the out-going season and as we stabilize the League, the Merit Award will be reviewed upwards”, declared Irabor. He clarified that the Merit Award is different from the appearance fee which is distributed evenly amongst the 20 participating clubs and explained that, “the Merit Award will hopefully assist the clubs start preparations for next season’s activities and also help those being relegated settle for competition in the lower division”. Breakdown of the figures show that the runners-up will earn N7.5m while the 2nd and 3rd runners-up will be richer by N5m and N2.5m respectively. The 5th, 6th and 7th placed teams will receive N2.1m, N1.95m and N1.9m. Further down are the 8th, 9th and 10th placed teams that will be paid N1.85m, N1.8m and N1.75m respectively.

Golf: McIlroy 10 shots behind in Korea Open R ORY McIlroy appears to have little chance of breaking his 2013 drought after a four-over third-round 75 left him 10 shots behind at the Korea Open. The Northern Irishman, 24, began day two in a share of fifth but he missed chances on the front nine and went slipped further adrift after the turn. McIlroy, who has not won since changing his clubs at the start of the year, is one over par for the tournament. Kim Hyung-tae shot a 66 to take a four-shot lead into the final day. World number six McIlroy went out in level par at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club course near Cheonan after his only birdie of the day - at the par-five fifth - was cancelled out by a bogey at the next.

He double-bogeyed the parfour 10th and dropped further shots at the 11th and 15th. Overnight leader Hong Soon-sang could manage only a level par 71, dropping him into second on five under. Two-time major winner McIlroy is taking part in his first event since failing to qualify for last month’s PGA Tour Championship. “The story of the day is that I missed a lot of putts, missed a lot of chances for birdies at the start of the round and then missed a few short ones for pars in the middle and end of the round,” he said. “It is a struggle, especially where they’ve put some of the pin positions. It is tough to get yourself to commit to a certain line because you will hit a few and they will go through the

•Rory McIlroy break, and some turn more than others.” McIlroy, the top draw at the event, promised one final assault on Sunday. “Last time here (in 2011) I shot 64 in the last round so it would need something probably similar or a little better to have a chance,” he said.


PAGE 54 —SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013

Lagos State set to have a football policy —Gov Fashola’s aide M

r. Anthony Adeyinka OniAdeboye is the Special Assistant on Football Matters to Govenor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) of Lagos State. Since assumption of office, the new SA had swung into action with the determination to assist Govenor Fashola who is a football lover change the face of football in the state. Adeboye who possess an enviable pedigree in football administration had a media chat with journalists in Lagos where he spoke extensively on his plan to assist his principal to take football to the next level. Excerpts.

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HAT will you say in formed your appointment which is the first of its kind in the administration of Lagos State? Sincerely, I want to thank Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for offering me this appointment which I believe must have been considered based on my past involvement in football matters which has been well known to the Governor. I am not a fresh appointee in the administration of Lagos State. I had served for 11 years as a deputy provost/ marshal-general for Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), where I was in charge of discipline. Since I left school, I had worked with various football clubs since 1989 uptil date in various management capacities. Some of these clubs are Obanta United FC,Obanta Vigilance Insurance FC as Assistant Team Manager for 11years; VIP FC of Lagos where I was the team manager under coach Alabi Essien (known as father of all Nigerian coaches). I also had a stint with Stationery Stores FC under the chairmanship of Gloria Adebajo, Kwara United FC as consultant under the chairmanship of late Chief Adolphus Okafor. I need to mention here that my management of football clubs at these periods brought me in contact with notable players at the club level and in the national team. Players like Sam Opone, Kafaru Alabi, Festus Okosun, Abiodun Ogbodo, Toyin Ayinla, Tunde Sanni to mention a few. In the present, I have relationship with some players in the national team like Obafemi Martins, Edison Echiejile and a few old players like Sunday Oliseh, Ike Shorunmu, Joe Erico, Sam Okpalla e.t.c Presently I am a football consultant to Yaya Toure the current African Footballer of the year. What is your projection for the development of football in Lagos State and how are you going about this already? My project is to have a football policy for the state that will lead to compilation of data base of all players at the primary and secondary school levels, through which we hope to address the problem of age

Oni-Adeboye cheat in football. Also through this process we can develop our talents from those early stages to club football stage. I want to inculcate discipline in all our players from Under-7 to all age grades and also to ensure that all stadia and other sporting facilities in Lagos State attain world class standard. I have also set up a process for regular training programme for our football coaches. We are also working on introducing local development of football associations in all our rural area to develop grassroot football. The local Government Chairmen are working along with us on this plan. We are

also introducing football education into our primary school curriculum, which I think is the first of its kind in Nigeria. We are partnering with a German Division One club, Wedeblem FC, where I had visited recently to discuss modalities for working with the club. Is there a plan to re-enact the old glory of football in Lagos State like having a state football club, and a virile secondary school football competition such as the old Principal Cup? Our amiable Governor will soon give us a state-owned football club. Already discussion is on with the state

sports commissioner and chairman of Lagos State Football Association towards raising a team for Lagos. The glamour of competitive football in Lagos state is dwindling. No more motivation as it used to be, particularly at the secondary schools level. Secondary school football, like in the days of the principal club, is no more functioning as it used to be when the missionaries were running the schools. Those who played in the Principal Cup then were those that migrated to club football. Now we want to begin remotivation of the students and re-enact good footballing at that level. How do you think the various Government agencies responsible for sports development in Lagos State can work as a team to improve sports development in the state? There is a good team work spirit amongst the various Government agencies and appointees driving sports development in Lagos State. The head of the team, our Governor, is seriously encouraging team work among the agencies and appointees. Our commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Barrister Enitan Oshodi is also a good mobilizer and team player

carrying along all of us. All Government agencies are working jointly to develop sports in Lagos State. Governor Fashola is well determined to develop sports in the state, even with the way he is bringing major sporting events to hold in Lagos. How do you see our national team, the Super Eagles, the coaching crew and the players? Would you say we are on the right course? The blending experiment introduced by head coach Stephen Keshi to invite both local and foreign players into the team is working well. Kudos to the coach for raising international players from our local league through this experiment. He should bring back our captain Joseph Yobo into the team. Also Obafemi Martins, Osaze Odemwingie and Kalu Uche should return to the team as well, as their experience are still needed to help the younger ones. The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and the National Sports Commission should always release fund on time for proper and efficient preparation for our competitions. Our football administrators should also give our FAs free hand and wider power to run their affairs in the various states. No one should dabble into the affairs of the FA’s, as this is the intention of FIFA.

ARS portends great hope for African football – Airtel CEO T

HE Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Mr Segun Ogunsanya has predicted that the Airtel Rising Stars U-17 Championship will in no distant future become the feeder channel for national teams of African countries the telecommunication firm operates. Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Season 2 of the Airtel Rising Stars U-17 Africa Championship hosted by Nigeria, Ogunsanya declared, “it is a fact that this championship witnessed a high level of excellent soccer display by the participating countries, which clearly confirms our belief that the ARS platform will, sooner than later, become the feeder channel to Africa’s national teams and the best football clubs across the world” The ARS is the only privatesector age-grade soccer competition that offers a unique platform for both male and female youngsters to pursue their dreams across 17 African countries. He said, “The beauty of the ARS is that it offers a platform for both male and female youngsters to pursue their

dreams. As we all probably know, this is the only private sector grassroots soccer development initiative that brings 17 African countries together for one championship. That makes it a unique experience.” The CEO thanked Arsenal FC of England for its partnership, saying his company ’s involvement in grassroot football develop-

ment in Africa is in line with the vision of building one network and connecting Africa to her passions, in fulfilment of the brand promise of becoming the most loved brand in the daily life Africans. Meanwhile, Arsenal Legend, Robert Pires has described the ARS Tournament as the hope for budding young African footballers. He also

•Action at an Airtel Rising Stars U-17 Championship match.

expressed happiness at the opportunity to visit Nigeria for the first time. The Airtel Rising Stars U-17 Africa Championship season two was hosted by Nigeria in the city of Lagos across four match centres which included Agege Township Stadium, Legacy Pitch, National Institute for Sports Playing Field and the Main bowl of the National Stadium, Surulere.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 20, 2013 — PAGE 55

Bankers Games: Keystone in last attempt for q-final slot T

HE final group games of 2013 Nigeria Bankers Games comes up today at the Unilag Sports Complex. This is one match that carries a huge weight on it as it will determine the final two teams for the quarter finals of the group. It is a match of interest to Mainstreet Bank whose chances to make it to the quarter finals may be determined by the outcome of the Keystone Bank versus First Bank last group tie. Already on four points, First Bank is through to the quarter finals and would be doing Mainstreet Bank a world of favour by winning this fixture.tie. But the Elephant Boys also know they need a softer fixture in the quarter finals and will have to avoid the strong oppositions. A fourth place finish will leave them meeting Group B leaders, UBA and thus they

must strive to earn at least a point to climb out of fourth position. With just one point from their previous games, Keystone Bank on the other hand will be shooting for an outright win to overtake Mainstreet Bank that finished their

games on three points. Keystone Bank has been hard done by poor marksmanship and they look to Ladan Ibrahim and Ogechi Chukwu for rescue from the seeming goal drought which have seen them netting only twice in three games.On

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WINNERS... Lagos State Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke OrelopeAdefolure, (left) presenting the coveted trophy to Adigun Yussuf (Captain of the ABS Street Team from Mosan Okunola LCDA, Lagos, winners of the MTN Lagos Street Soccer tourney

HITESANDS g o a l k e e p e r, Emeka Maduike, was in inspired form as he helped his team to a Super Derby victory over Dowen College. The Super Schools Derbies series is a sporting platform sponsored by Daytona 24/7, Genesis Deluxe Cinemas, GET Arena, Ice Cream Factory, and Gold Cross Hospital. It encourages derby encounters between competitive secondary schools with outstanding sporting traditions. Maduike’s two crucial saves in the first half, both from free kicks, served to keep a dangerous Dowen College team at bay. In the second half, Maduike was quick off his line to prevent Dowen College Captain, Shehu Adesanya, from

shooting on goal after he had been put through by star midfielder, Daniel Thomas. Maduike was again called into action to make a save at his near post, when Uyiri Ashima sprung the offside trap. The match was eventually decided on penalties after the regulation time ended with no goals. But the drama continued in a tense penalty shootout, with Chidi Obi sending the home crowd into delirium, with the winning penalty for Whitesands to carry the day 5-4. After the game, Whitesands coach Uzoma Ignatius lavished praise on his young goalkeeper, acknowledging he was the difference between the two sides.

and Pajtim Kasami, both midfielders as well as Haris Seferovic and Nassim Ben Khalifa, both attackers. Infact, Rodriguez started in the game against Norway and was a subsititute in the game against Slovenia. That was after playing for Switzerland at the London 2012 Olympics. For Xhaka, apart from starring for Bayern Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga, was also part of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers and scored the lone goal in his country’s 1-0 win over Slovenia on October 15. All these were possible because Switzerland is serious with football

development and has serious academies for U7, U-9, U-11 and U-13 uptill U-21. Theirs is not like the win-at-all-cost attitude of our football administrators who want to use victories at the youth level as an end rather than a means to an end. Again, one is asking, where are all the players coach John Obuh used to prosecute the U-17 World Cup in Nigeria? The same thing happened to the 2007 squad of coach Yemi Tella. Even Chrisanthus Macaulay who emerged top scorer of that comepetition is still struggling to find his feet somewhere whereas some other players he beat to that crown are making

waves either for their clubs or country. So the lesson for us is that we should always try to use U-17 or U-20 competitions to develop young players who will form the fulcrum of our future Super Eagles like Switzerland has now done and even qualified for the 2014 World Cup before countries like England and France. And it is a good thing that the present U-17 players look relatively younger than previous ones and it is our hope that win or lose, they will grow to become future stars in the Super Eagles. That is the essence of U17 FIFA World Cup which we must not celebrate to high heavens each time we win it.

Where is Olajire’s ‘little’ Messi? T HE FIFA U-17 World Cup kicked off on Friday but Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets, three times world champions began another quest to wrest the title again yesterday with a 6-1 routing of Mexico who are the defending champions. The present team are handled by three coaches, themselves veterans of youth football at a time. Manu Garba who is the head coach was a member of the 1983 Flying Eagles squad, Nduka Ugbade captained the first set of Eaglets that made history by winning the first ever title in China in 1985 while Emmanuel Amuneke was a member of Nigeria’s All Africa Games squad to Cairo ’91. It is on record that Nigeria is the most successful country at the U-17 level, having won

current form, it appears a huge task for Keystone Bank and they must contend with the wounded egos of Yakasai Kabiru, Austin Onyeukwu, Leke Odusanya and Tosin Faniyi following their slump to Fidelity Bank in their last

Whitesands defeat Dowen College in Super Derby

on three occasions, 1985, 1993 and 2007 as well as reaching the final on the same number of times. After the 1985 victory, Nigerians and the world, including FIFA thought that within a short time, Nigeria would become a power-house in football when all or most of the 1985 set would have graduated into the senior national team. Even though the 1987 set lost in the final to then USSR, it was believed that by the way the team played, Nigeria was gradually getting it right. Even football great, Pele predicted after the 2005 Flying Eagles lost the final to Lionel Messi’s Argentina, that Nigeria would be the first African side to win the World Cup. In 2009, Nigeria hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup, that was after hosting the U-20 version 10 years earlier, and the squad had some marvelous

players, including one Stanley Okoro, who was wrongly dubbed Little Messi by NFF’s sokesman, Ademola Olajire, because of his supposed skill in football. That U-17 squad looked good for the title that year until they met Switzerland in the final in Abuja and lost 0-1. One expected the boys to graduate into the Flying Eagles and then into the Super Eagles but that was never to be as their growth became stunted like others before them. None of the players,including the socalled ‘little’ Messi has been heard of again. However, their counterparts from Switzerland have grown into big players. Five of those Swiss players were part of the players used to prosecute the 2014 World Cup qualifier. They are Ricardo Rodriguez, a defender, Granit Xhaka

Sylva Eleanya lives in our minds

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XACTLY a year ago today, our friend and colleague, Sylva Eleanya, alias Prof, slumped at home after returning from work that fateful night. It’s 365 days but it looks like just yesterday. I still find it difficult to believe that ‘Prof’ with whom I shared good moments at the Vanguard is no more. Prof is fun to be with especially at the Vanguard Canal, the

liveliest joint to be, where he wriggles to the beats of Owerri music usually dished out by Onyeka Obilor, in-charge of the Canal. You can never miss Prof’s baritone voice nor the gap-toothed laughter. He was a rallying point for all of us his friends. Our bosses like Mideno Bayagbon, Eze Anaba and Fred Udueme were always disarmed by his mannerisms even when

he erred. Our consolation however is that his wife has been able to soldier on from where he signed off and may God continue to strengthen her in the onerous duty of molding the children into respectable adults. That was Sylva’s dream, which he ironically discussed with me on our last day that fateful night. Continue to rest in peace Prof.


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 20, 2013

National Youth Games: NSC meets states directors of sports

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Eaglets crush defending champions •Await Sweden Tuesday

BY BEN EFE

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ATIONAL Sports Commission, NSC’s top shots are set to meet with directors of sports from the 36 States to ginger interest on the upcoming maiden National Youth Games billed for December 5-15 in Abuja. Most of the States citing paucity of funds are yet to indicate their interest in the Youth Games, which the NSC introduced to give a platform for youth sports talents in the country to showcase their prowess and the process the trainable ones identified and groom them for future international events. The meeting will be held on October 26 in Abuja where the logo and mascot for the Games will be unveiled on October 24. “Right now I can not give you the number of States that have indicated their interest. But we are having a meeting on October 26 with all the director of sports from the States and also all the technical officials of the sporting federations that will be participating,” said an NSC director in charge of grassroots sports. Meanwhile, Ondo State Sports Council boss, Idowu Akinbulumo stated that Ondo was intensifying training towards the games with the hope of topping the medals table.

We won’t underrate Sweden — Garba

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HIGH LEVEL... Christian Tovar of Mexico is challenged by Chidiebere Nwakali of Nigeria during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Group F match between Mexico and Nigeria at Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium yesterday in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Nigeria won 6-1. BY BEN EFE with fifa reports

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OLDEN Eaglets Coach, Manu Garba’s boast was not empty afterall as his wards made a bright start to their campaign at the FIFA Under17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirate with a 61 thrashing of the defending champions, Mexico in a Group F opening game at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain City of the United Arab Emirates. Kelechi Iheanacho scored four goals, while

Chidiebere Nwakali and Success Isaac took their turn to register their names on the score sheet. At the start of the game the Eaglets looked out of place, but somehow they survived the early rush by the Mexicans, their striker Ulises Jaimes missed a header with only three minutes in. The Mexican dominated play for most of the half, but failed to convert their chances. However, in a swift counter-attack by the Eaglets, Isaac rounded the goalkeeper and laid the

RESULTS Newcastle Arsenal Chelsea Everton Man Utd Stoke City Swansea West Ham

2 Liverpool 4 Norwich 4 Cardiff 2 Hull City 1 S’hampton 0 West Brom 4 Sunderland 1 Man City U-17 World Cup 1 Nigeria 2 Austria 1 Argentina 1 Sweden

Mexico Canada Iran Iraq

TODAY’S MATCHES U-17 WORLD CUP Slovakia Uruguay UAE Italy

v v v v

Honduras Cote d’Ivoire Brazil New Zealand

2 1 1 1 1 0 0 3

Tottenham

the near post. Chidiebere Nwakali scored Nigeria’s fourth goal in the 52nd minute, while Isaac made it five in the 60th minute. Iheanacho completed the routing in the 70th minute leaving the Mexican reeling with shock. The game was not easy for the Eaglets despite the scoreline as the Mexicans had more ball possession of 58% to Eaglets’ 42% and had seven corner kicks to only two from Garba lads who were however more potent in front of goal with 22 shots to Mexico’s 17. The Eaglets will play Sweden on Tuesday in their second group game.

CROSS WORD PUZZLE

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PREMIERSHIP Aston Villa v

ball for Iheanacho who hit it past two Mexican defenders in the 33rd minute for the opener. As if that was the tonic the Eaglets needed, Isaac got another break and he found Iheanacho who outwitted two defenders before slotting in the second goal in the 40th minute. A minute after the Mexicans pulled one back with Ulises Jaimes benefiting from a poor clearance by the Nigerian defence. Iheanacho made it three within seconds into the second-half. With the ball flicked from a long throwin, the livewire slammed it home, low and hard, at

4 pm

ACROSS 1. Nigerian state (5) 3. Snarled (7) 7. Of the dark race (5) 8. Respond (5) 9. Consumed (5) 10. Wit (3) 11. Church part (5) 13. Entrance (4) 15. Stitch (3) 17. Deed (4) 19. Hope (6) 21. However (3) 23. Thanks (2) 25. Curve (3) 26. Class (5) 29. Important (5) 30. Before (3) 31. Revise (4) 34. Mate (4) 36. Italian City (4) 39. Push back (5) 40. Heed (4) 42. End of day (5) 43. Exposed (8) 44. Halt (5)

DOWN 1. Rubbish (7) 2. Go in (5) 3. Proceeding (5) 4. Eye-socket (5) 5. Fortune (4) 6. Faculty head (4) 14. Newt (3) 15. Heavenly body (4) 16. Damp (3) 18. Keen (4) 20. Treaty (4) 22. Goad (4) 24. Always (4) 25. Beer (3) 27. Grow old (3) 28. Stray (3) 32. Lucifer (5) 33. Fashion (5) 34. Schemes (5) 37. Leer (4) 38. Otherwise (4) 41. Pup’s cry (3)

EAD Coach Manu Garba has said pointedly here that the Golden Eaglets would not underrate their next Group F opponent, Sweden in their second game at the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup after beating defending champions, Mexico 6-1 yesterday. The Golden Eaglets would return to Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday to face debutante Sweden and Garba said at the post-match media conference that the Eaglets would approach the game against the Europeans in a professional way. “There is no and won’t be any easy game at this tournament and we are not going to underrate Sweden because we beat Mexico 6-1,” he said. “We are going to approach the match against Sweden with the same manner as we did against Mexico because our objective is to win the fourth title for Nigeria.” He said the convincing win against the Mexicans was not unexpected given the pedigree of the team overtime. “The victory against Mexico is not going to have a negative impact on my players because they know what they have to do,” he maintained. “This is not the first time we are beating a team with such a high margin. We had beaten teams by 11-0 score line back home, so it is nothing new to us to score so many goals against the Mexicans. “We are looking forward to the next game against Sweden knowing well that all the teams at this championship are here based on merit,” he added. 1

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SOLUTION on page 5544

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Jonathan begs ASUU, PHCN workers