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Woman, child, three others die in boat mishap BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA


R A G E D Y yesterday struck at the Akenfa suburb of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State as five persons, among them, a woman and her child, were killed in a boat mishap. The incident, it was gathered, occurred at about 8 a.m. when two makeshift wooden boats collided while ferrying passengers across the over flowing Epie creek. The tragic incident occurred close to a bridge being built across the creek by the Niger Delta D e v e l o p m e n t Commission, NDDC. The identity of the deceased woman, said to be carrying a baby strapped on her back, could not be immediately ascertained. The other victims, described as artisans (mechanic and panel beaters) from the South Wester n part of the country and identified as Abiola, Biso and Abbey, were said to be going to the village to buy snakes caught in the flooding in Bayelsa.

The ill-fated boats, it was learnt, had almost completed crossing the creek, which is about 120 metres wide, when the unexpected happened. One of the boats was said to have collided with the other close to the end of their journey causing both to capsize. Eye witnesses said the natives, who could have rendered assistance to the victims, watched helplessly from afar ostensibly due to the alleged presence of a shrine close to the scene of the accident. According to the eyewitnesses one of the boat drivers and two other lucky passengers

managed to swim a s h o r e . The scene of the tragic accident was besieged by sympathizers including officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) when this reporter visited. A senior official of the FRSC, who spoke anonymously, said they had contacted the naval unit for assistance but at the time Sunday Vanguard left the scene, no help had come. A sympathizer said one of the deceased, Abbey, had just completed his house and was looking forward to the house warming when he met his untimely demise. Contacted, the state police public relations officer, Mr. Fidelis Odunna DSP, confirmed the incident.


12 mourners’ bodies recovered as bus plunges into river BY DAUD OLATUJI


MOTION was high, yesterday, when twelve dead bodies of 21 travelers whose Coaster bus plunged into a river along J4 expressway in Ogbere, IjebuEast local government area of Ogun State were recovered. The bodies were recovered 24 hours after the incident when men of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), Nigeria Police Force and Red Cross society launched an operation. The Coaster bus plunged into the river on Friday and got swept away before it was located 24 hours after. According to findings ,bodies of 11 women and that of the driver, a male, were recovered from the Federal Urban Mass Scheme bus with Abuja registration number BWR 428 XA. Sunday Vanguard gathered that many of the victims were travelling for a burial at Uronigbe in Oriohwon local government area of Edo State. Speaking after the recovery operation, the Ijebu-Ode Unit Commander of FRSC, Mr. Issa Seidu, said three people were rescued on Friday night and were rushed to a private hospital in Ore. Seidu said ,he got the information from one of the survivors that the passengers that boarded the bus were 21, including the driver. The FRSC boss attributed the accident to over speeding. “It is a clear case of over speeding on the part of the driver of the bus. If you look at the distance from which the bus ran into the river, which is about a kilometer away, it shows that the driver was on a

terrible speed. “It clearly shows that the driver was on a suicide mission. Although we don’t know the actually number of people in the bus, one of the survivors said they were 21 in number. “In all we were able to recovered 12 bodies and rescued three”. Also speaking, the information officer of NEMA South-West Zone 2, Mr. Ibrahim Farinoye, said the agency would commence search and rescue operation of the remaining bodies in the river. Relatives of the accident victims, who were at the scene of the rescue operation, could not hold back tears.

Continued from page 1

Dr. Alex Ekwueme (middle) flanked by his wife, Beatrice (right), and Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State during the cultural carnival to mark Ekwueme's 80th birthday at Okpala Square, Enugu, yesterday.

Ekwueme, at 80, personifies patriotism, selfless service —Jonathan *Igbo celebrate him BY BEN AGANDE


S a for mer Vice President, Chief Alex Ekwueme, celebrates his 80th birthday today, President Jonath an has

eulogized him as a living personification of the highest ideals of patriotism and selfless service. In a congratulatory letter, Jonathan extolled the former Vice President’s laudable contributions to national development over the years, saying that his “unassailable integrity and consummate diligence” have made him one of Nigeria’s most respected elder statesmen. “On the occasion of your landmark 80th birthday anniversar y, I join your family, friends, and wellwishers in thanking Almighty God for the richly fulfilled life He has blessed you with”, the president stated. “A thorough-bred


professional, an accomplished administrator and leader of men, an epitome of the highest ideals of selfless service and unwavering patriotism, your unassailable integrity and consummate diligence have combined to make you one of our most respected national icons today. “Over the years, you have consistently invested the benefit of your inspiring attributes in dedicated service to our dear country, while continuing to avail our generation of leaders of your enduring wise counsel. It is my prayer that Almighty God continues to keep and prosper you even as He blesses you with robust health and a life of perpetual fulfilment”. Meanwhile, the people of the South East geo-political zone, also yesterday,

celebrated Ekwueme’s birthday in a grand style. The colourful ceremony, held at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, was attended by people from all walks of life while different kinds of masquerades from different parts of Igbo land entertaining the guests. President Goodluck Jonathan, in his speech, described the former Vice President as a living symbol of the Igbo race, stressing that his birthday celebration should “mark a new beginning in charting a new approach in leadership in the whole of eastern Nigeria.” The president, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, reassured the entire Igbo race of his admiration, adoration and respect for Ekwueme, his

family and Ndigbo, as well as his (Jonathan’s) commitment to the course of the Igbo in the South East zone. But in his address, Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who also addressed the gathering, said the only way Nigeria can honour Ekwueme for all his service to the country was to ensure the creation of additional state in the South East so as to make the zone be at per with other zones in the country. He said this should be done as honour to the elder statesman now that he is still alive. He said the Igbo people should remove the tag of marginalisation from themselves since, according to him, nobody can marginalise the entire Igbo race. Rather, he stressed that the only feeling of marginalisation that exists among the Igbo was the selfimposed one.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala makes Forbes 100 World Most Powerful Women BY TONY NWANKWO, WITH AGENCY REPORT


IGERIA’S finance minister, Dr. Ngozi Okon jo-Iweala has

been listed in Forbes 100 World Most Powerful Women. She is ranked No. 81. For nine years FORBES has ranked the 100 most powerful women in the world. These, according to the statement, are the women who adhere to the traditional classifications of power (political and economic might) and those who have risen to the top of the social and cultural landscape. “It is our annual snapshot of women who impact the world”, Forbes stated. This year the list features eight heads of state – including Forbes No. 1, German Chancellor Angela

Merkel. US Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton is No. 2, Dilma Rousseff 3 and Melinda Gates is No. 4. In the list, U.S. Firlst Lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama is No.

7, while IMF chief, Christine Lagarde is No. 8, Oprah Winfreh No. 11 and Queen Elizabeth II is No. 26 on the list.

‘Senate Bill to stop workers casualisation coming’


HE Senate is currently putting finishing touches to a Bill that would ensure job security for Nigerians and put an end to casualization of workers by some employers. Chairman of Senate Committee on Labour and Productivity, Wilson Eke, said this in Ilorin when the committee visited Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labor Studies.

Other members of the committee at the MINILS are Senators Dahiru Awaisu Kuta and Christopher Nwankwo. Eke commended the Director General of the MINILS, Dr Niyi Olanrewaju, for his achievements at the institute since he assumed office and for his prudence in management of resources and dexterity in executing various projects of the institutes.


Oshiomhole frees two prisoners condemned to death BY SIMON EBEGBULEM


OVERNOR A d a m s Oshiomhole of Edo State has granted amnesty to two prisoners condemned to death in exercise of his prerogative of mercy. The governor said the prisoners, Monday Odu, who was sentenced to death for conspiracy and murder, and Calistus Ikem, convicted for conspiracy and armed robbery, were granted amnesty because they did not take the lives of their victims. He also commuted to life imprisonment the sentence of death penalty for two others: Tijani Mustapha, convicted for conspiracy and armed robbery; and Zubem Abduramma, convicted

for conspiracy and armed robbery; while Patrick Ojiefo, who was convicted for assault on a police officer while discharging his lawful duty and served 6months jail term in 1973, was granted pardon. Speaking after granting amnesty to Odu and Ikem, Oshiomhole said: “You have been condemned to death for murder but we have exercised the prerogative of mercy to release you from prison for the offence believing you have learnt your lesson. You can still be useful to society and useful to yourself.” While addressing Odu, 32, and a minor when he was convicted in 1997, the governor said, “We are letting you off the hook to go and sin no more. We will find a way to find a job for

you under the Edo Youth Employment Scheme. You have no reason to return to crime and that means if you do

anything again you are completely on your own.” He told Ikem, 52, and convicted in 1996, to be ready to work and cope with the rigours of life as

he returned to his family in Imo State. “You stole house hold items which could have taken your life. The government will give

you N200,000 and another N100, 000 to Monday Odu to go and start all over. I hope you will be able to make something positive out of

Why Nigeria’s economy is stunted – Daniel


MMEDIATE past governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has identified wastages in the nation’s polity and poor economic management as some of the problems hindering the economic growth of the countr y. Daniel also declared that accountants too have their own share of the blame because most of them have failed to give proper advice that could make the economic grow. The former governor spoke on Friday night in

Abuja where he was bestowed with the highest award of the Fellow by the Chartered Institute of Economists at its 2012 Dinner Award of Fellow Night. Daniel described the institute as the hope of the nation since others have failed. The former governor was inducted along with Prof Ajagbe Toriola of the Lead University, Ibadan and Otunba Obey Akinlaja of the Nigeria Agip Oil Company, Ogun State. The former governor ’s words, “When I was

informed that I’ve been invited to chair the occasion, I couldn’t understand why because I’m not an economist, a serving governor or holding any current public position. I must say that I’m very humbled by this gesture from this institute. ”The bane of our challenge as a nation, despite 52 years of our independence, is because our economy hasn’t been properly m a n a g e d . ”As governor for eight years, I saw wastages in

government circles. I have no doubt in my mind that until professional economists are giving their pride of place, the country will not move forward. The question is why then do we not have professional economists in key government circles?, he asked. He added, “I have always said that until we economically manage our resources, the resources will never go round”.


Presidency worried over N60bn constituency projects — Ponders judicial action on NASS power to alter budget BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN


orried over alleged irregularities in the N60 billion constituency projects in the 2012 budget, the presidency is launching an investigation into the constituency project scheme as conceived by members of the National Assembly, it was learnt at the weekend. Besides the probe, the administration, it was learnt, is equally pondering a judicial action at the Supreme Court to interpret the provisions of Section 81 of the constitution under which the National Assembly acts in altering the budget proposals usually laid before it by the president. The N60 billion constituency projects are pet projects chosen by federal legislators but executed by Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs. Many of the projects in the 2012 budget were said to have been stalled on account of alleged irregularities essentially centered on the failure of the projects to scale through the due process mechanism of government. The presidency’s probe of the projects is against the assertion of federal lawmakers that the administration has poorly executed the capital side of the 2012 budget, an issue that has recently caused barbs between some presidential aides and the top hierarchy of the National Assembly. Presidency officials are peeved that many of the projects dubbed as constituency projects are essentially “job for the boys”, a source revealed. “The truth of the matter is that many of the projects the lawmakers are worrying about are not implementable. They are not well thought out and many of them cannot pass through due process,” the source added. “The tragedy of the whole issue is that the Due Process office has been bullied to stay off projects initiated by National Assembly members. So you find most of the agencies being stuck with the implementation,” the source added. The constituency projects were introduced in the first term of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration by members of the National Assembly as a way of ensuring that the felt needs of their constituencies were readily addressed. The Obasanjo administration and succeeding

ones have, however, almost always neglected the constituency projects, rather, skewing implementation towards projects conceived by the administration. However, the legislators have insisted that the constituency projects being integral parts of the appropriation act should be implemented to the letter, an issue that led to the recent face off between the House of Representatives and the Presidency. Remarkably, many of the constituency projects alleged to have failed due process are federal constituency projects conceived by members of the House of Representatives. In the 2012 budget of the Federal Government, N60 billion of the constituency projects were distributed across the country with each of the six geopolitical zones getting N10 billion each. A source lamented that many of the projects cannot be implemented on account of the fact that they failed the due process mechanism of government. “Many of the Constituency projects included by the legislature are be-

lieved to be padded and may not have passed due process. The executive believed that the Due Process Office was mostly intimidated to leave the scrutiny of the projects and there by leaving the budget in jeopardy. It is not all the projects. Many senators were known to have initiated credible projects but the questions are hanging on projects of many Federal Constituencies.” Faced with the dogged determination of the federal lawmakers on the execution of the constituency projects, the Presidency, it was learnt is considering a judicial action at the Supreme Court for a clear interpretation of the provisions of Section 81 of the constitution. “A lot of distortions crop up in the budget process, due largely to the misrepresentation of Section 81 of the 1999 Constitution. The National Assembly seems to have developed the thinking that the power over appropriation lies solely with them. This is erroneous and the government may be forced to try this out in the Supreme Court,” a Presidency source disclosed.

•The President, EO Nigeria, Abdulrasak Shittu (left), with Dele Agekameh, Learning/Communications Director at the formal launch of Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, EO, at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Lagos.

We didn’t pay ransom on two kidnapped kids — Father BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU, Calabar


ATHER of the two kids kidnapped in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, Mr. Johnson Eko James, denied the

North plotting to truncate Jonathan’s administration, Southern Mandate alleges BY EMMA UJAH, Abuja Bureau Chief


HE violence in parts of the North is one of the strategies to truncate the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, a group, Southern Mandate, has alleged, but warned that it would spell doom for the nation. A top commander of the Boko Haram was reportedly captured in the House of a serving senator in Maiduguri, last Friday. In a communiqué issued in Abuja, yesterday, after a meeting of its members, the group said the Boko Haram insurgency was being used by desperate politicians to create an impression that Jonathan is incompetent of ruling the nation. According to the communiqué, signed by representatives of the three southern geo-political zones, the alleged move to use the House of Representatives to impeach the president on claims of poor budget performance was another leg to the grand plot against the

president. “It is common knowledge that the Boko Haram insurgency was masterminded by these enemies of progress and national stability to create a scenario of insecurity and portray President Jonathan as incompetent to govern the country. When the strategy was deflated and cracks emerged in their fold, a new Boko Haram with a wholly political agenda was born to wrest power from the South through any means and at any

cost,”the group said. “When there was insecurity in the Niger Delta region, no one called for impeachment of the president in power even as the agitations were genuine, unlike the case of Boko Haram which we consider as a secret violent political party with highly placed and influential individuals in the country as members, fighting at all cost to unseat a democratically elected president. That is just a single leg of the battle against Jonathan”.

allegation that he paid N1 million as ransom to the four-man gang to secure the release of the children. The victims were abducted on their way to school on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the other child of the family, Divine, 6, said he had to hide inside their mother’s car when he discovered that the kidnappers had abducted his brother and sister as three of them were being taken to school by the mother and immediately ran home to inform the father. The father of the kidsMaster Emmanuel Johnson (10) and Miss Treasure Eko (4) who regained their freedom Friday night-said that it was the work of God that his children came back to him hale and hearty without him paying any ransom. Briefing newsmen yesterday, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Osita Ezechukwu, said that

as a result of the pressure and raid that the police embarked upon, the kidnappers abandoned the kids at the army junction, Calabar. He said immediately police were informed of the kidnapping incident, they responded by searching for the children at all nooks and crannies of the state capital, adding that the kidnappers were pressurized by the quick intervention of the police to let go the children. Ezechukwu said the police were not at any time informed that ransom was paid; rather the children were abandoned by the abductors. One of the kidnapped kids, Emmanuel, said that immediately they were kidnapped, they were blindfolded and taken to an unknown destination. He also said that they were fed by the abductors and were not tortured.

1.1m cchildren hildren tto o suf e malnutrition in sufffer acut acute Nigeria, 7 other countries BY SUZAN EDEH


nited Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) 2011 projected figures suggest that 1.1 million children will suffer from severe acute malnutrition in 2012 in eight countries in the Sahelian including northern Nigeria. The other countries are Chad, Niger, Mali, Bukinafaso, Mauritania,

Northern Senegal, and Northern Cameroon. A UNICEF nutrition specialist in the D. Field Office, covering 10 northern states, Mr. Niyi Oyedokun, who disclosed this during an advocacy and sensitisation meeting on Sahelian nutrition crisis at the Tahir Guest House in Kano State, gave the projected figures of persons at risk of malnutrition as 18.7

million, children at risk of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) as 1.1million and children at the risk of moderate acute malnutrition as 3 million. He said surveys also indicated elevated levels of acute malnutrition in Northern Nigeria, underscoring a crisis situation in the states in the Sahelian belt. According to the nutrition specialist, “Poor

nutrition jeopardizes children’s survival, health, growth and development which slow down national progress towards developmental goals. The prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) was found between 5 to 15 percent in all surveys across all states and when the situation is beyond 10%, it is regarded as emergency situation.


ONDO 2012

Early results favour Mimiko •Akeredolu crashes in own ward •Continued from page 1 C

election conducted yesterday. Mimiko, who stood as candidate of the Labour Party (LP), defeated Rotimi Akeredolu, the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in Akeredolu’s polling unit at GRA Unit 6, Owo by 144 votes to 139 votes. Akeredolu was also defeated at the ward level by Mimiko, who took first position with 420 votes, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate, Chief Olusola Oke, who took second position with 292 votes leaving Akeredolu with 287 votes. Mimiko also triumphed at the polling unit of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, in RCM Unit 2, Arogbo Ward 1 in Ese Odo in the Southern Senatorial district. Kuku had campaigned vigorously in support of the PDP candidate. The governor polled 97, Oke 85, ACN 16 votes the unit. Where he voted in polling Unit 20, Ward 07, Mimiko overwhelmed his challengers by polling 348votes, to the 18 and 16 polled respectively by the ACN and PDP candidates. Mimiko’s deputy and running mate in the election, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, also delivered his Polling Unit 8 Ward 01 in Egure in the Northern Senatorial District handsomely to LP. The Ondo ruling party polled 143, ACN 26 and PDP 56.

The only exception to the Mimiko blaze is Oke’s polling unit where the incumbent was reported to have trailed Oke, who took first, and Akeredolu, who was second. In the unit, the PDP candidate polled 178 votes, ACN13, LP 3. Should Mimiko’s victory be confirmed, he would be the first governor of Ondo State, either as old or new, to be re-elected. The first civilian governor of the state under the old dispensation, Chief Michael Ajasin, who ran on the platform of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), was was only returned after the courts overturned the declaration of Chief Akin Omoboriowo of the former National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in 1983. Yesterday’s election was conducted under tight security with an overflow of security men all over the state. The tight security cordon around the state led to some anxiety. PDP candidate held Oke, the PDP candidate, was delayed for over onr hour for allegedly contravening the restriction order by the Inspector General of Police. Soldiers numbering about ten accosted him at Igbotako Motor Park at about 6.30 a.m. but was released at about 7.33 a.m. after the soldiers ordered those accompanying him to sit on bare floor for the period they were delayed.

Oke was accompanied by some security men in four Prado Jeeps and two Hilux vans. The candidate was said to have pleaded with the soldiers to allow him to go but they declined. After several calls, the leader of the security personnel released him. Speaking with newsmen, Oke confirmed the incident. Late arrival of materials Accreditation commenced in many areas of the state as early as 7.30 a.m., though there were some exceptions in some sections of the state where accreditation did not commence until late afternoon. Mimiko, who monitored the election from his base in Ondo, in the early hours of yesterday, expressed concern over the late arrival of voting materials to some sections of Akure. Voting was delayed into the mid afternoon in Isinkan/Ajebamidele Street in the state capital, as voting materials had not arrived even as at 2.30 p.m,, though accreditation was done earlier. Akeredolu, speaking from his base in Owo, however, expressed satisfaction as he voted in his GRA Unit in the historic town. Mimiko, in company of his wife, Kemi, voted at 2.30 p.m . Shortly before the governor voted, one alleged PDP agent (names with-

•80-year -old Mrs Adelokiki Mary being accredited at Ologbosere Unit,Igbotako, during yesterday’s gubernatorial election in Ondo State. held) was caught at Ward 7 Akure Garage, Ondo, close to Mimiko’s polling booth, distributing N10,000 to each security official. He was also allegedly caught with ballot papers thumb printed at a petrol station in the area. The man, it was learnt, was sent to Olokuta Prison, Ondo. Prior to the commencement of voting, Akure and some other sections of the state were enveloped with rumours of alleged alliance between some parties and the arrest of a serving commissioner in the state allegedly caught with guns. The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, and security officials, however, denied the rumour of any arrest of a commissioner. Arrests AT least ten persons were arrested across the state during the election for offences ranging from

possession of voters cards, double registration and carrying of cash. A middle aged boy was arrested at Holy Trinity Secondary School, Akungba Akoko South West for double accreditation. In Owo, two others, said to be PDP leaders, were arrested for carrying N1million and the party’s instructional materials on how to vote. Also, in Ondo, a PDP member (names withheld) was arrested with 100 voter cards and already thumb printed ballot papers. The PDP leader was arrested at Unit 22 Ward 7 near a petrol station close to Akure Garage. Police Commissioner, Muhammed lndabawa, confirmed that two politicians were arrested at voting centres in Owo. Meanwhile , the State Police Command has denied the arrest of two

serving commissioners over alleged electoral offences. There had been reports that the Ondo Special Duties Commissioner, Niran Sule Akinsuyi, and his education counterpart, Remi Olatubora, were arrested in Owo and Irele. The image maker of the command, Adeniran Aremu, said the report was not correct as the police were not aware of the arrest of the commissioners. Also, the State I n f o r m a t i o n Commissioner, Kayode Akinmade, said that the rumour was peddled by the opposition A C N to discredit the election. Akinmade said that after it was clear to the ACN that it had failed in the election, it resulted into propaganda. He equally disclaimed reports of violence he claimed to have been propagated by the ACN.

THE POLL EARLY RESULTS: Unit 5 Methodist, Akure: LP 97,CAN 30,PDP37. Leo junction Akure LP161 PDP42 A C N46 Ward 3 Aule Unit 8: LP 194 A C N44 PDP40 Ward 3 Unit 7: A C N 57 PDP42 LP 224 Igbara Oke Ward 1 Unit 2: LP 185 PDP 0 ACN 1

Polling Unit - St. Jones School Oyin Akoko Unit 2: LP - 15, ACN-14, PDP – 2

Ward 2: LP - 203, ACN-40, PDP – 19


ST Paul’s Pry Sch Ondo: LP:34, PDP:3, ACN:

FUTA Akindeko Unit 24: LP-104, ACN-36, PDP-28

8 Igbaraoke, Ward 1 Unit 2: LP-185, PDP-0, ACN-1"

OWO LGA WARD 9, UNIT 8: ACN-51, LP-46, PDP-15.

Ifedore Local Govt Ward: Igbraoke 2 Unit: St Josephs Pry School Unit 4: LP - 102, ACN - 30, PDP - 19.

Okitipupa, Erekiti Ward,Oriola/ Surulere Unit1: LP-48, PDP-34, ACN-19

Ijebu 1, Ward 4, Unit 12: Owo Local Govt: ACN:114, LP:75, PDP:24.

Ondo West Ilunla/Bagbe Ward, Unit Open Space at Gbelewu: ACN 27, LP 87, PDP 20

Ese-Odo, Apoi, Kanuri Unit 1: LP-48,ACN-6,PDP-14

Igbara Oke 02, Unit 14: ACN-28, LP-69, PDP-23.

Akoko SE,WD 7, Unit 3: ACN-23,PDP-31,LP-57

04 Ijomu Obanla Ijapo Estate, Akure South: PDP-38, ACN-48, LP-163.

Akoko North West, Ward- Oyin/Oge Polling Unit - St. Jones School Oyin Akoko Unit 2: LP - 15, ACN-14, PDP – 2

Akungba1 Akoko SW Ward 12,Ibaka V AUD skl PU9: ACN 107, PDP 38, LP 17

Akoko South-West, Supare2,Unit 10: ACN-19, LP-95, PDP-28

Ose LGA Ward 006/Unit 008: LP = 183, PDP = 41, ACN = 37, Void 19.

Okitipupa,Erekiti Ward,Oriola/ Surulere Unit1: LP-48, PDP-34, ACN-19

Idanre LG, Alade, Unit 10 Market Road, Ward 2: LP - 203, ACN-40, PDP – 19.

Akoko North West, Ward- Oyin/Oge

Idanre LG, Alade, Unit 10 Market Road,

Igbara-Oke, Ward1, Unit 2: ACN-1, PDP-0, LP-18

Owode/Imuagun Ilutun Ward 2 IDITALA 2: LP-22, PDP-58, ACN-13.

Oko Aro Idile Area LP1100 PDP39 ACN12 At Ijebu Owo2 (Akeredolu’s Ward): ACN 287,LP 420.PDP 294 Okitipupa




Igbotako St Stephen Unit: PDP-49, ACN-47, LP-42. Ilowo Ugbo Ward 3 (Oke’s Unit) PDP 178, ACN 13, UL 3

ONDO 2012

SUNDAY VANGUARD, OCTOBER 21, 2012, PAGE 9 Photos: Dare Fasube, Lamidi Bamidele, Bunmi Azeez

Scenes from the governorship election in Ondo State held yesterday.

•The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), (5th left) on queue for accreditation •Governor Mimiko, the Labour Party (LP) candidate in the poll being accredited

L-R:Mrs Veronica Ladunjoye(82); Mrs. Adebola Oke(98); Mrs. Felicia Famekon(83); and Mrs. Alice Omoduoye(70), at Ward 2 Igbotako 11 •Mimiko; his mother, Madam Muinat Mimiko; and Mrs. Mimiko.

PDP governorship candidate, Chief Olusola Oke, casting his vote at Unit 005, Ago Olori Alufa, Ilowo, at Ilowo, Ondo South

Military men ensuring security at a road block in Akure. C M Y K

•Voters searching for their names on the voters list at Ward 5 Unit 1 Ijebu Owo

•Oba Adesida Road, Akure.... deserted


Vanguard , OCTOBER 21


How Speaker Tambuwal brought President Jonathan down to earth The baggage of acrimony in a relationship What Mr. President took away BY JIDE AJANI

pulse, we are duty bound to communicate to you. “As I speak, interim field oversight reports from House Committees on the 2012 budget implementation are clearly unimpressive both in terms of releases as well as utilization and this is a great challenge to all of us. It is important to state, at this point, the clear provisions of Section 8 of the Appropriation Act to the effect that approved budgeted funds shall be released to MDAs ‘as at when due’. This is sadly observed more in breach. “The composition of the Public Procurement Council provided under the Public Procurement Act is very critical to budget implementation”.



Mr. President, Leave FEC Out of Budget Administration President Goodluck Jonathan

Aminu Waziri Tambuwal

An analysis of the vote of thanks presented by Speaker Aminu Tambuwal but which many have criticized as being embarrassing to President Goodluck Jonathan after his budget presentation to the National Assembly. But did he embarrass Mr. President? welcomed the former, Tambuwal was called upon to give a vote of thanks. With the usual niceties, Tambuwal declared: “On behalf of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I wish to most sincerely thank you Mr. President sir for making time to come to this hallowed chambers and formally undertaking this very important constitutional responsibility of the laying of the year 2013 budget estimates. “The House of Representatives Legislative Agenda prescribes under its National Economic and Budgetary provisions that ‘the draft budget should be submitted AT LEAST three months prior to the start of a fiscal year’ and already there is a Bill before the House for the amendment of Section 82 of the Constitution to conform with this. In this regard, the laying of the 2013 budget estimates by Mr. President to this Joint Sitting today,

reasonably meets these expectations”. After that the tone began to set. “I would have been done with my vote of thanks at this point except that the mention of certain salient points of critical


he acrimonious baggage that the relationship between President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal continues to carry has its foundation in the process of emergence of the latter. The events of June 1, 2011, running up to June 6, 2011, which led to the emergence of Tambuwal as Speaker, sowed the seeds of acrimony. Tambuwal emerged speaker against the grain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, zoning arrangement (the office of Speaker was zoned to the South West, without regard to common sense – the South West had only about half a dozen members of PDP extraction in a House of Representatives of 360 members). Adopting a paradigm spiced with nationalistic fervour, Tambuwal mobilized and got enough support to rout the rampaging leadership of the PDP. Whereas Tambuwal would not mind telling those who wish to remember that he has since moved on, some appointees around Jonathan, who would like to come across as selfrighteous, continue to see in every actions and inactions of the Speaker as being meant to ridicule Jonathan. There have been spats between the House and the Executive over many issues ranging from subsidy management probe, the proposition by the House that Madam Arunma Oteh of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, be sacked, to the implementation of the 2012 budget. Therefore, when, penultimate Wednesday, October 10, 2012, Mr President made his entry to present the 2013 budget – mind you, the earlier schedule would have seen the President present the budget a week earlier but the House insisted on some conditions precedent before any budget presentation – it was with bated breath. After Jonathan’s presentation, prior to which Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly, David Mark, had

interaction with the nooks and crannies of the nation, we are privileged to feel the peoples pulse more intensely and we feel same on behalf and for the benefit and guidance of all the arms of government. Surely Mr. President and his vice,

There have been spats between the House and the Executive over many issues ranging from subsidy management probe, the proposition by the House that Madam Arunma Oteh of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, be sacked, to the implementation of the 2012 budget

importance to our collective resolve for good governance is compelling. Mr. President sir, given that the 469 elected members of the National Assembly have closer


being the elected officials on the other side cannot be expected to be in 109 Senatorial Districts; worse still, 360 Federal Constituencies. Therefore when we feel this

“The sanctity of extant legislations and respect for the rule of law are critical hallmarks of true democracy, we therefore once more call on Mr. President to expeditiously constitute this council so as to free the Federal Executive Council from the burden of contract administration, so they can concentrate on the more sublime issues of their constitutional roles and responsibilities. Incidentally, the present constitution of the Bureau of Public Procurement has been identified as one of the bottlenecks to effective capital budget implementation. “It will be recalled that the 2012 budget contained a deficit and the main source of funding this deficit was domestic borrowing. Figures emanating from the Debt Management Office regarding domestic borrowing are however worrisome. At a whopping 33.6 Billion US Dollars, government appears to be monopolizing domestic borrowing to the unhealthy exclusion of the private sector. This is certainly a matter of grave concern because global statistics on sustainable debt-GDP ratio percentages can not continue to be used as guide for an economy that is not keeping

Continues on page 12


Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012, P AGE 11 PA

Shaky foundations for 2013 budget of consolidation - 2

“I strongly feel and I have shared with the governors, with Mr. President and Vice-President, who fully support that the Excess Crude Account must be built up to $I0 billion. We should strive to do that in the next few months and we keep that as a buffer” — Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, while briefing newsmen at the Annual Meeting of the World Bank and IMF.



ith the ruins of the 2012 budget staring Nigerians and the international community in the face, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala no longer strikes most Nigerians as the imposing figure she was during her first tour of duty. Coupled with her advocacy for the fraud called “subsidy removal” and the role she played in misleading President Jonathan to announce a fuel price increase on January 1, 2012, she has lost a great deal of credibility which her current call for increasing the Excess Crude Account to $10 billion will not retrieve. For a start, the Excess Crude Account remains an illegal account which no Minister of Finance in Britain, France, Japan, China or Brazil would have thought of creating – much less increasing. It violates the constitution which she had sworn to uphold. The entire scheme, or more appropriately, scam, is Machiavellian and intellectually and administratively dishonest. Let me repeat again, there is no legal Excess Crude Account, which OkonjoC M Y K

Iweala, the President and the Vice-President can agree with the governors to increase. The Minister of Finance, lacking any trump card to play this time around, had simply resorted to wanting to bully the National Assembly, the governors and, by extension, the people of Nigeria, in order to take risks with the Federation Account in the hope that she will at last have a positive result to show for her efforts. That is all. Since this year’s fight over budget, and disagreement is normal in any democracy, will mainly revolve around the benchmark price of crude oil, it is important for Nigerians, particularly the members of the National Assembly, NASS, to understand that the Minister of Finance is not totally honest with Nigerians about her motives for insisting on $75 per barrel as the benchmark. And she is not alone. The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, last week, while supporting the $75/barrel benchmark, was reported to have said that “There was a time when the price of crude oil went down from $140 to under $40”. It was a false statement – and that is being

polite. There was never a time when the price of crude went down so far and so suddenly in any one calendar year. The mere fact that top government officials have to dissemble in order to win the argument constitutes the cardinal reason for caution. On her part, the Minister of Finance had argued that benchmark prices are not fixed arbitrarily. Nobody can disagree with that. But, when she went further by implying that there is a “scientific” way of determining the exact amount, she was being clever by half. Let me explain why. Since the first Arab oil embargo, following the Yom Kippur War, which began on October 6, 1973, and which was again won by Israel , driving the price of crude from $3/barrel to $12 per barrel within weeks, every nation on earth had always attempted to guess what the average price of crude will be during the coming financial year as they


•Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

was movement of crude prices. There was no single occasion when Polaroid and Pratt Whitney adopted the same benchmark. The point being made here is that OkonjoIweala should not arrogate to herself a monopoly of how benchmark prices are determined. Neither should she expect us to accept that there is a universally accepted benchmark. There is no universally accepted benchmark – it all depends on the basic assumptions that were used to derive them. Nations which import I00 percent of their crude oil cannot adopt $75 as their benchmark when the Brent Crude is now priced at $120/ barrel. A judgment call by the Minister should not be elevated to the status of the Ten Commandments handed down by God. Obviously, by first of all selecting a target Excess Crude Account balance she wants to achieve; Okonjo-

Obviously, by first of all selecting a target Excess Crude Account balance she wants to achieve; Okonjo-Iweala had done an intellectually questionable thing – she had provided the answer. It is only by getting the NASS to accept $75 can she hope to achieve, at least, $10 billion balance in this dubious account called Excess Crude Oil Account.

prepared their budgets. Similarly, multinationals (e.g airlines) have also started their annual budgets by assuming a benchmark figure for crude oil. Polaroid Corporation, for which I worked as financial analyst in an office close to the Finance Minister ’s MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, was one of them. As it turned out, there was another Nigerian, an Old Igbobian, working with Pratt Whitney, an aircraft engine manufacturer, whose company also annually tried to guess what crude prices would be for the next year. We met often for drinks and we discussed various issues – among which


Iweala had done an intellectually questionable thing – she had provided the answer. It is only by getting the NASS to accept $75 can she hope to achieve, at least, $10 billion balance in this dubious account called Excess Crude Oil Account. In fact, having gone out of her way to manipulate the figures this way, one is tempted to believe that she actually intends to have over $10 billion in that account in order to convince the President that she is really “performing”. Nothing supports this suspicion more than her statement to the reporters – most of whom might not be

well-advanced in economics and finance. According to her, “I have discussed with the Governors that we need to build up our reserve to $50 billion (N8 trillion) or 61% of this year ’s budget”. Obviously, Okonjo-Iweala had deceived the governors, if indeed she got their agreement, to accept that 61% of next year’s budget, which is her true intention, should be left with the Federal Government, or more to the point, with her, at a time when the finances of every state will be stretched beyond limit. Again, let me explain why. In addition to dissembling about the real motives behind wanting $75/barrel benchmark, the Minister had also thrown in some scare tactics. She claimed that inflation will accelerate, jobs will be lost and infrastructure will suffer setback. That is a lot of drivel. Higher inflation will be experienced even if she is allowed to have her way. Food prices, which constitute a major component of inflation measurement, will escalate next year; so will rent on account of buildings washed away or rendered uninhabitable by flood. Removal of allocation for “subsidy ” means that fuel prices will climb again. All things considered, inflation will be in the order of 25% next year – regardless of which benchmark is adopted. It serves no useful purpose for the Minister to try to bully or deceive us to accept what logic rejects. You can’t bully reality. Incidentally, that was a statement I made to Professor Ojowu, a former Chief Economic Adviser to President Obasanjo, after he presented a laughable proposal in 2004. He lost his job shortly after. Granted, the budget for next year was prepared, largely, before the scale and scope of the national flood disaster became known. Even if one accepts the Minister ’s proposals on her own terms, namely, the need to save

Continues on page 12


Vanguard , OCTOBER 21

Shaky foundations for 2013 budget of consolidation - 2 Continued from page 11 funds for the rainy day, it is difficult to imagine what future rainy day could be more devastating than the one we currently experience. At least 20 states are in dire need of funds – over and above their budgets for 2013; the rest, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, have also suffered collateral damage as a result of the calamities suffered by the 20. Their needs are immediate – like yesterday, in fact. Of what use is salting away $50 billion for the future when the people for whom it

is meant are dying now. It is all well and good to talk about the long run; but if a balance is not struck between the present and the future, a lot of people might be dead before the long-run arrives. What has happened with flooding this year is a novel experience, not only in Nigeria, for which the standard World Bank approach to solving problems might be counter-productive; if not down-right dangerous. The Minister of Finance and the CBN Governor simply have to be told that they cannot keep $50 billion (which I still believe is their real

Mallam Sanusi Lamido

target) locked up, instead of having a significant percentage released to the

states to meet the current challenges which flood had thrown on their laps. In fact, if there was an agreement with the Minister, the governors, after declaring force major, should break it.


hey have two other reasons for disclaiming the agreement. First it is illegal to continue to operate the Excess Crude Account. Second, they have been tricked into signing an agreement based on partial disclosure. The Finance Minister and the CBN Governor want to pack away

$50 billion; not $I0 billion. To continue with the “agreement” will amount to a criminal neglect of their people. Finally, the Senate has already offered a compromise; the senators are proposing $78/barrel. To me, that is still giving the Executive branch more money than is necessary to keep and deploy – not necessarily in the public interest. After all, the most corrupt unit in the Federal Republic of Nigeria is still the Federal Government. Why give them more money to mismanage?

How Speaker Tambuwal brought President Jonathan down to earth Continued from page 10

41.48Billion US Dollars, a 26month high. “Concerns are however being expressed regarding the management and accounting reportage of our foreign reserve stock as to whether the figures reported are cumulative accruing inflows only or are inclusive of interests accruing from the management process or attributed to other sources of accretion. This matter becomes urgent especially when accruing management fees thereof is not reflected in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)”.

Crude Price Benchmark Low

“In our effort to address this concern, only yesterday, in passing the 2013-2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which is the basis for annual budgets, the House resolved to raise the oil price benchmark from 75 US Dollars per barrel to 80 US Dollars per barrel with the objective that the difference of 5 US Dollars per barrel be channeled exclusively towards reducing the deficit in the budget and consequently reducing domestic borrowing for same purpose by 66%. This will make available these loanable funds to our private sector which will stimulate the economy and jobs creation for our teeming unemployed youths. The House of Representatives however observed two critical omissions on the MTEF namely: (i) That the Revenue from Gas, running into billions of dollars, is not reflected, and (ii) External borrowing is similarly not reflected.

Mismanagement of Excess Crude Account “Another source of concern for the legislature is the management of the excess crude revenues. Since 2010 the Appropriation Act has legislated that the excess crude component of the Federation Account be operated under separate records for purpose of transparency and accountability. Besides, Section 30 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act makes it mandatory for the C M Y K

David Mark

Budget office to submit budget implementation Assessment reports to the National Assembly and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission on a quarterly basis and to publish same on Ministry of Finance Website. The President may be unaware that the National Assembly is neither availed evidence of implementation of this policy along with the records of Federal Governments portion of the excess crude funds nor the quarterly implementation reports, as required under the two Acts. Mr. President may wish to give appropriate directives to ensure full and speedy compliance by relevant agencies. “The trend of Nigeria’s foreign reserves has taken an upward trajectory in recent months, on the back of steady production levels and robust oil prices. The latest figure for the country’s foreign reserve, as of 04 October 2012, stands at


pace with global trends”.

“There must be transparency, accountability and probity in the management of our resources generally


Transparency, Accountability, Paramount “There must be transparency, accountability and probity in the management of our resources generally, given recent developments that indicate our exposure to unforeseen natural disasters. We certainly, for instance, cannot take the protection of our environment for granted. Mr. President, on our part we wish to promise early passage and diligent monitoring. It is important to remind ourselves that Nigerians would want to

see proof of that as quickly as possible. They no longer care for words, they insist on action. It is necessary that ministries, Departments, Agencies and all public functionaries concerned in the governance process are properly instructed on this fact so that they cease from considering beautiful excuses and explanations as achievements. “It remains for me to state once again that the pace of governance must take cognizance of the fact that the nation is grossly in arrears of its developmental potentials and expectations and accordingly a “business as usual” approach is totally unhelpful and unacceptable. “In concluding this short vote of thanks, Mr. President, let me restate our assurances that the National Assembly wants you to succeed and I say that for every legislator here today. The stakes are certainly high and as representatives of the people we know exactly how bad things are. We believe that this country can only benefit if we all work together to deliver our mandates. The National Assembly has no other motive than this”.

Mr. President Let Us Reason Together “I am compelled however to state that the National Assembly is becoming increasingly concerned about the disregard for its resolutions and public comments by certain functionaries of the Executive on same. I cite the Senate Resolution on the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the House Resolution on the state of insecurity of the nation, requesting Mr. President to visit and brief the House, the House of Representatives Resolution on the Security and

Exchange Commission (SEC), the concurrent Resolution of the two Chambers on Bakassi among others. This does not promote cordial relationship between the Executive and Legislature and consequently stability in the polity. “We must therefore, continue to work together to redeem this nation from the clutches of poverty and disease. The vaunted growth in the nation’s GDP must be reflected in the lives of everyone, not just a few people privileged to hold public office or those enjoying unfair public patronage.

Mr. President, Thank You “Mr. President, once again, thank you for this visit and may the Almighty God grant you the wisdom of Solomon as you steer this delicate ship of state. God bless Nigeria!” Indeed, after the Speaker’s speech, Jonathan requested for and got a copy of the speech. For those appointees who did not know what was happening before jumping to town to cry disrespect, Sunday Vanguard has been made to understand that unlike his aides, the President “left the chambers concerned about the issues raised by the Speaker”. A source in Aso Rock Presidential Villa said the only part that did not go down well was the occasion and not the issues raised”. However, without prejudice, the real essence of the actions of Tambuwal on that day appears to have been well taken-in by Mr President. It is only hoped that some of the very overzealous aides and ministers around him would not add poison and allow the message digest properly.

SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012,PAGE 13

A people rendered homeless.

(Inset: Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan)


I saw people hanging on trees to survive — Gov Uduaghan ‘How Delta is managing the catastrophe’


ANAGING the ravaging flood in Delta State has been a complicated affair for both the victims and state government. In some camps established for the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the state, 18 at the time of this report, facilities have been over-stretched. Besides, in one or two communities, flood has not only swamped relief materials sent to the displaced persons by government, but sacked victims from their makeshift camps. Indeed, the impact on the state is shattering and, at the time of this report, the surge has not abated. The governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who cut short his trip to the United States of America for the General Assembly of the United Nations, late last month, when the news of his state going under water got to him, spoke to reporters in Asaba, the state capital, Monday, on how he has handled the catastrophe so far and the challenges. C M Y K

GOVERNOR Uduaghan, looking visibly perturbed by the devastating toll of flood on the state, stated that when he left Nigeria, last month, with President Goodluck Jonathan to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations in the United States, the ravaging flood had only reared its dreadful head in Lokoja, Kogi State. He said the Federal Government was busy then trying to create alternative routes to the portion of the Lokoja-Abuja Road that was

cut-off by flood, but, about 24 hours later, he got a report from his deputy, Prof Amos Utuama, SAN, that the flood had to his state.


By EMMA AMAIZE, Regional Editor, South-South

“I can tell you that I was not myself when I heard that flood had spread to my state. I was worried about what my people, Continues on page 14

She refused to go the camp probably because of her hunchback and what people could tell her in the camp. She just did not want to stay in the camp and told me that all I could do to help her was to give her money to rent a house


PAGE 14 — SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012

‘DISPLACED PEOPLE OCCUPIED HALF OF BENIN - ONITSHA EXPRESSWAY’ Continued from page 13 meet the needs of the displaced persons. “Onitsha is virtually empty of mattresses. There is need for mattresses and other things, but we are providing as much as we can”, he added.

especially the victims, would be passing through and, while the summit was underway, with the host President Barack Obama delivering his welcome address, I had to take permission from my own President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to return to Nigeria with the next available flight”, Uduaghan said. “In fact, we had just finished seeing the President of France when I took off and, the next day, I started the initial assessment of impacted areas in a helicopter. This was to enable me get an overview of the disaster ”.



18 camps

From the first camp that was set up Saint Patrick’s College, Asaba, the governor said people have moved into 14 different camps across the

* Uduaghan with the victims

* Displaced people cooking


He continued: “After the aerial overview, I started the ground assessment by vehicle and boat. The situation is pathetic. My first encounter with the victims was at Oko communities in Oshimili South Local Government Area of the state. The three communities of Oko Amakom, Oko Ogbele and Oko Anala were flooded and the villagers gathered as refugees by the roadside. “I had to talk to them that we will open camps to offer them temporary accommodation from the rage of nature, but some of them were reluctant to come to the camp, one of which was already opened at Saint Patrick’s College, Asaba. “The displaced persons occupied half of the BeninAsaba-Onitsha expressway and it was obvious that there would not be movement from either Asaba to Onitsha or vice versa if the situation was not taken care of ”. Uduaghan said that later, Utuama and his team briefed him on the situation on ground, and it was palpable that the rampaging flood had taken its toll on the state. The governor said from Oshimili North to Oshimili South, Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West, Isoko North, Isoko South, Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Patani, Bomadi and Burutu local government areas, the people were affected in various degrees.. He explained that a lot of houses and estates in Asaba, bordering the River Niger were devastated by flood.

Onitsha is virtually empty of mattresses. There is need for mattresses and other things, but we are providing as much as we can

state, adding, “We create new camps when we see that the existing ones are becoming congested”. Some of the camps are located at ICE, Asaba, Illah, Osisa, Utagbe- Ogbe, AGGS, Ozoro, Saint Michael’s College, Oleh, Ogbe-Ijoh, Oharisi College, Ughelli,


Swamp Road, Warri, Ewu Grammar School, Ewu, Okwagbe, Otu-Jeremei, Community Hall, Bomadi and the 19th camp being proposed at a Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC, facility. “We used schools mostly as our camps; nobody expected the flood in the magnitude it

occurred even though the National Environmental Management Agency, NEMA, sent out warning. At this time, teachers were on strike in the state and the strike became a blessing in disguise, as we had to use the classrooms”, Uduaghan stated. “Our aim is to provide the necessities of life, including blankets, mattresses, food, water, medics and security in these camps”. According to him, it was little items that were stored by the State Emergency Management Agency that the government had to distribute to victims, but it was not enough and between then and now, there has been mobilization from people to

Uduaghan admitted that there have been challenges in the camps, pointing out, “In the camp, we have challenges of shelter; the schools we renovated came in handy. Initially, I heard the victims were fed twice day, but it is now thrice daily”. “We also have health challenges. It is the major challenge. First, you want to prevent communicable diseases, especially diarrhea and vomiting and that means you have to plan very well to provide water to take care of general sanitation and waste pollution. In fact, it is critical that sanitation is taken care of in such an environment, otherwise, it will lead to other things”, he said. As a medical, Uduaghan said he was aware that diseases such as tuberculosis, which, somebody, perhaps, came with from his community could be transferred to somebody else in the camp if proper sanitation is not in place, saying that emergency clinics were opened in the various camps with doctors and nurses on duty. The governor disclosed that personnel from the clinics were mobilized from government hospitals within and around the submerged areas, while the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, offered to send doctors. Some doctors, pharmacists and nurses were also learnt to have offered their services voluntarily. According to him, the government was hurriedly building a temporary structure in the Kwale Stadium to accommodate flood victims, as the earlier camp was not adequate. Uduaghan was also mindful that the government could not continue to use the schools as camps for the displaced persons for a very long time, as the students have to use their classrooms. Meantime, students in the affected schools were moved to nearby schools , while the Ministry of Education, Asaba, has been directed to come up with a

Continues on page 15


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012, PAGE 15

‘A HUNCHBACK LOST EVERYTHING SHE LIVED FOR’ Continued from page 14 holistic plan to tackle the situation for them not to lose in their academics. For the youths and women not be idle in the camps, he said skill acquisition schemes have been put in place at the ICE center to engage them, while the youths have formed six football camps, ranging from Chelsea, Arsenal, etc to keep their minds off wanton activities.

Mobile hospital

Camp commandants

To ensure orderliness in the camps, where allegations were rife that some persons were diverting food items, Uduaghan said government would appoint camp commandants to ensure that there was order and equitable distribution of relief materials to flood victims. He said he got a report that some persons were even sneaking into the camps to eat food provided for the displaced persons. He promised to as much as possible provide three square meals a day for the victims, but frowned at the attitude of some Deltans, who infiltrated the camps to feed whenever food was served and appealed to them to desist. The governor gave assurance that he would not do anything to stop the unwholesome attitude of those infiltrators who were not affected by the flood, but were cutting short the ration of flood victims. Uduaghan stated that lawlessness would be checked with a regulated system of operation in the camps and activities streamlined to ensure that when it was time for breakfast, everybody would come out for breakfast and when it was time for lunch, everybody would come out for lunch.


* Camp as new home

Review of camp facilities

The governor promised that he would continue to improve facilities in the camps to ensure that the IDP’s enjoyed the necessities of life. Uduaghan, who harped on the need for the medical units in the various camps to do their job diligently especially with professional expertise, enjoined them not to allow patients to buy drugs from outside the premises. His words: “The medical team knows what to do if there is shortage of drugs. They should use their professional intelligence to move to the next level because they know how to get drugs. They should not at any time allow patients to go outside the camps to buy drug with their own money”.

Stomach turning incidents

Uduaghan said the mental state of the displaced persons was very important, as anything could happen, if because of the distress, they resort to untoward and irrational actions. His words, “I think it was by the roadside when I went to Oko, I just saw a woman with a hunchback, and she was standing, looking hopeless and lost. She was looking very dejected and had no inkling that I was standing beside her when I came very close to her. From what I found out, she had lost her husband, had no

‘Even children are not spared of the trauma children and the flood had just washed away all her property. “She refused to go to the camp probably because of her hunchback and what people could tell her in the camp. She

just did not want to stay in the camp and told me that all I could do to help her was to give her money to rent a house”. Uduaghan, who had a lot of


The governor was happy that the mobile hospital, which the state government applied for before the disaster, but had not been put to use, became very useful during this period, saying, “It has facility for 20 beds and it has been set up in the Institute of Continuing Education, ICE, camp, which we are using as a pilot camp. We also provided an ambulance service for the displaced persons in case the need arises”.

I have seen terrible things in life, but what I saw in the flooding and displacement is very disheartening. I had to stand on top of a pick-up van to address people in one of the camps, I was moved to tears as I saw the body language of Deltans, whose only hope of survival is on what I will do for them as governor of their state


stories to tell about the plight of the victims, said, “I saw a baby, just delivered few days to the flood disaster, there was no pant or shirt on the child because the mother could not save her household property from flood. “I have seen terrible things in life, but what I saw in the flooding and displacement is very disheartening. I had to stand on top of a pick-up van to address people in one of the camps, I was moved to tears as I saw the body language of Deltans, whose only hope of survival is on what I will do for them as governor of their state. They Continues on page 16

PAGE 16 — SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012

‘WE ARE PREPARED FOR A LONG HAUL FLOODING’ Jonathan, who also saw things for himself, has directed the Minister of Agriculture to evolve a strategy on how to deal with the problem. Uduaghan said he was aware that government was already looking into whether to discourage import duty on rice or reduce the payable duty, and, because such staple food as garri and yam could not be imported, but grown on our soil, experts were looking at the varieties of cassava, plantain and banana that would mature in six months. “We are going to have store reserves to save for the rainy day”, the governor stated.

Lamentable deaths

Officially, he said seven deaths were recorded. Among them was an eight-year-old girl, who died at Cable Point, Asaba; another unnamed child; a 73-year-old woman at Illah; a community head in Ndokwa and three others at a camp. The governor put the total number of displaced persons as at Monday at 42, 271, but was quick to add that the number was that of those that officially registered in the IDPs’ camps.

* A victim in camp ... Where do I go from here?

were looking at me as I spoke to them as if their entire life was gone. “What we have been doing since the tragedy occurred is to give them hope, I and top officials of the government have been in the field to ensure that we give them basic help”.

People hang on trees

The governor pointed out that quite a number of victims refused to leave their villages, saying they were used to flood. Uduaghan narrated the story of a man, who refused to leave when flood hit his community and started to put up a new structure. He said the flood increased the next day and swamped the blocks he laid newly and he added more, but when the flood swallowed fresh layers of blocks he stubbornly added in the next three days, it was the man that was pleading that he should be evacuated. “There were people hanging on trees and on top of their houses”, Uduaghan said, adding, “Some Deltans have also been donating space to government to use as camps. One of them is a leader of the South-South, Chief Edwin Clark, who donated his property at Swamp Road, Warri and somewhere on Warri-Sapele Road, Warri”.

As at Monday, he said Patani community was totally under water, while a 15-room hotel, which a concerned citizen gave to government to accommodate flood victims, was submerged by flood a day after the owner made the offer. Also, between Asaba and Ughelli Road, flood had cut off a section and, if not for the ongoing construction work on Sector B of the road by the state government, the road would have become impassable.


The governor said, “We have made appeals to the Federal Government, philanthropists and public spirited organizations to come to our aid by bringing relief materials, but I don’t want to collect money from anybody. They should buy things with their money and bring. We still need things”. He said the Federal Government intervened through a presidential committee, headed by the Minister of Environment, which came to assess the situation in the state, as well as NEMA. The Federal Government had also announced cash grants to affected states and Delta, being in category A, was allocated N500 million, which is yet to be disbursed. Uduaghan said he was mobilizing to meet National


Continued from page 15

The water is still rising, we do not know when the water will stop increasing, and we are preparing for a very long haul the way things are going

Assembly members from the state in Abuja, some of whom lost their houses to the rampaging flood. He disclosed that he already met some of them and they were already coming with relief materials. The governor hinted that he would set up a committee, headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge, to advise it on how to expend the N500 million and measures to take to avert danger in future and other post-camp plans. According to him, the money was not enough, but the Federal Government was clear that it was just a start off, as a committee had been set up to raise more funds for the affected states. Nevertheless, he was quick to add that even when the money has not been released, rumour peddlers were at work that he (Uduaghan) would eat the money.


Jonathan’s overfly

Uduaghan also disclosed that when the president overflew the state during his tour of flood-ravaged states, last weekend, he saw the many farms, particularly plantain and rice farms, that were submerged. “There was a place, which from the helicopter, we saw that the entire plantation was submerged, we were seeing the leaves of the plantain all turned yellow and the roof of the two houses that were under water”.

Famine looms

The governor was unequivocal that hunger was looming in Delta and other flood ravaged states with the extensive damage to farms. He also said bush meatslike grass cutter, antelope, etc would be scarce, as the flood also killed a lot of them, but

No idea when flood will end

Uduaghan admitted that government was not yet perfect in the handling of the needs of the victims and could not have been perfect, but said it was doing its best to attend to their needs. Asked when the flood would end, the governor said, “The water is still rising, we do not know when the water will stop increasing, and we are preparing for a very long haul the way things are going”.

Victims comfort

He, however, said he was ready to spend anything to provide comfort for the flood victims, adding that it had not crossed his mind since the disaster took place to compute the money the government had spent in managing the crisis for what was uppermost in his mind was the comfort of the victims and not the money spent. Uduaghan also said there might be the need to present a supplementary budget to the House of Assembly in order to have legal imprimatur to source and expend money on the flood victims.



wept for Nigeria when the excerpts of Chinua Achebe’s MEMOIRS, were published in Nigeria. I instinctively knew that the season of media and social lynch-mobs had started. It is one of the inevitable, but unintended consequences of that book. Wounds which were gradually healing might once again be reopened depending on how we handle the intellectual bomb handed to us. It is my strong belief that we should defuse it; for, if we fail, the results will be disastrous beyond our wildest nightmares. If you are wondering why a normally “combative” columnist has turned mediator or peacemaker, then, let me declare my stand. I strongly believe in the unity of Nigeria and I will do anything to promote it – including holding my pen when it will be divisive to express my opinion on any subject. This is one of them. I will neither defend Awolowo nor attack Achebe. I will plead for all of us to lower the tension which this book has generated. As Shakespeare, 1564-1616, had

said, “I will blow the wind that profits nobody ” (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p273). Nobody will benefit from this one. Indeed everybody, Awo and Achebe included, will lose. Who among us, over 60, who attended a good school, up to the time the barbarians took over secondary schools, can fail to remember the advice to young men, and presumably young women as well, by Kipling? It is the sort of admonition which should be inscribed in the heart of everyone. Perhaps, if it is, we would not have lynch mobs who kill and maim without asking for evidence first. And lynch mobs don’t have to carry jerry cans of petrol or clubs; some of the worst now carry laptops, blackberries, and are called COLUMNISTS. “When all think alike; no one thinks very much”, Walter Lippmann, 1889-1974. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p245). There was no doubt in my mind what was going to happen once the excerpts were released. So, I deliberately paid more attention to two national newspapers, SUN and NATION. The two papers served as the weather vanes for Igbo and Yoruba currents of

Generation X All major religious traditions carry basically the same message that is love, compassion and forgiveness ... the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.”- Dalai Lama T has not been the best of times, in fact it has been the worst of time. It seems that not a day goes by that more bad news of atrocities are displayed in the news for us to digest. This diet is so bad for our psychological health not to talk of our physical health. The massacre that shook Mubi, a university town and commercial hub in north-eastern Nigeria, reverberated through the Nigerian community in the UK and am sure


more so in Nigeria. When I heard the news of Mubi and then, Uniport, my heart sunk even further. You see, no matter how much you hear such news over a period of time that one conditions one's mind to deal with the events by making all the necessary mental adjustment without affecting one so adversely. But, it does not get any better, in fact I did not think it could get any worse but it has. Where does our country draw the line on bad news and wanton atrocities? You cannot close yourself off to your surroundings. So you learn to filter out the gruesome and the not too gruesome and you

Nobody will benefit from this one. Indeed everybody, Awo and Achebe included, will lose


parading prejudice and fanning the embers of latent mutual hatred – all in defence of two individuals; one dead, the other at death’s door, without a thought to what they are doing to the living and the unborn. It is simply incredible. Unfortunately, among the first casualties of this season of journalistic lynch mobs are the journalists themselves. In virtually every leading print media house – DAI-

pers will be destroyed by this conflict. For once, we have an event of great importance about which no paper should write an editorial other than an appeal for peace. Permit me to end, at least for now, with a personal experience. I went to Vanguard on Tuesday October 16, 2012, to invite Uncle Sam to a book launch and to discuss the NATIONAL FLOOD MENACE. While waiting for the Publisher of the paper at the Canal

learn to feign, shrug it off and gather your composure and then,you anxiously wait for the next bad news. The death of the students in higher institution of learning is bad enough but for the reasons why they were killed is beyond me and any sane person. I have never felt so much revulsion like I felt when I heard the news and long after this shocking sinking feeling remains. Frankly speaking, the lynching and burning

nous crime by home grown psychopaths. Once we have crossed the line of what is commonly accepted as the norm then the country needs to take a long hard look at its citizens. Alas, the excuse that the voyeurs have is, that the dead deserve what they got as the authority would not do anything to enforce the rule of law. The question I have for these people is whether lynching is an alternative? Where do you draw the line


“If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs…you’ll be a Man my son”. Rudyard Kipling, 18651936’

thought on this matter. I deliberately left out the TRIBUNE because its own position is understandable. Even before the first articles were published, I knew that ALL Yoruba columnists would condemn the book and excoriate the writer; ALL Igbo writers would commend him for speaking the “truth”. I was 100 per cent correct. All sorts of “facts” and fiction were employed on both sides to score cheap points. Even the letters to editors and replies to columns followed the same pattern. It was totally depressing. Here are “the brightest and the best” from both ethnic groups


Achebe/Awo war: A plea for sanity –1

LY TRUST, GUARDIAN, LEADERSHIP, NATION, PUNCH, SUN, THISDAY, TRIBUNE and VANGUARD (Note the alphabetical order; it is deliberate. Nobody should read bias even into the order) – Igbo and Yoruba columnists/ journalists are almost evenly divided. Friendships have arisen out of these associations, joint ventures have taken place and even inter-ethnic marriages have occurred (one of our daughters is married to a journalist from Enugu State). Suddenly, a permanent schism threatens the working relationships in the news rooms nationwide. The first battle grounds for this senseless (no other word for it) “war” are the news room and the editorial board meetings. If care is not taken several newspa-

The morality valve has been missing or eroded over time and we have ourselves to blame

of four young men, should send shivers down the conscience of our people. The way that the young students were killed in Mubi was not the act of angry, irate people but an hei-


to common decency and respect for human life? I have always prided our country as having some moral, cultural modernity and backbone that excluded us from the mob mentality. I was

Bar, one of my Igbo colleagues came in. Hitherto, we greeted each other warmly and even shared a few jokes. As usual, I started with a joke to which no reply was given. Then, I said “Good afternoon”; to which there was no reply. He had a copy of the day’s Vanguard, which I took and wanted to read. He asked me to bring it because he has not finished reading it. Obviously, he assumed he knew my position on this issue. I went to the toilet and cried for Nigeria. How on earth do we build a strong nation out of this sort of thing? ONDO GOVERNOR’S ELECTION: BEFORE THE BLOOD-LETTING STARTS “Politics is a thoroughly foul, rotten world, we get nowhere through politics. It debases everything”. Henry Miller. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 192). Yesterday, an “election” took place in Ondo State; if what preceded it can be called election campaigns. The three leading candidates, Akeredolu (ACN), Mimiko (LP) and Oke (PDP) would be regarded as solid citizens in any country in the world – including Nigeria. To my mind any of them can lead Ondo State. But, such is the nature of politics in Nigeria that voicing a preference for one or the other two subjects the individual to personal attack. On two occasions, after listening to supporters of the candidates and the candidates themselves, I came away with the impression that Nigerian politics invariably destroys those relationships

which should have been forged for progress to take place. Not only that, violence follows. Mark my words, irrespective of who wins, peace will not be restored in Ondo for years to come. The blood-letting is just starting. Unfortunately, we have run out of the Yoruba Elders who could mediate the conflicts that will surely follow. Almost anybody worthy of the title Elder had taken sides openly and Yoruba politicians and their echo chambers in the media, never forgive or forget. Pity. CORRECTIONS *Dr On Bicycle. Last week there were two errors in the details of Chief Olufemi Daramola, KJW. The correct details are as follows. Sir (High Chief) Olufemi A. Daramola, (KJW). Alage (Okoba Igi II), Ilawe, Omou Ekiti, Ekiti State. * Dr Victor Hammond: He was the Managing Partner NOT Managing Director of Akintola Williams as written. My sincere apologies to the two Elder Persons; they know that I hold them in the highest esteem always. OCTOBER 1; OLDER PERSONS DAY We still need your help to pay Glover Hall for the use of the Hall on October 1, Any amount will be appreciated. Next year will be better. JUDICIAL “MURDERS” AND NIGERIAN POLITICS – 4 One Election Tribunal justice has dismissed virtually all cases before him on technicalities. For how long must justice be hostage to technicalities. This series continues next week.

wrong. The morality valve has been missing or eroded over time and we have ourselves to blame. I have been banging on about the politicians consigning our young ones to the rubbish heap and it is evident that the youths have no stake in their own future. They have had no moral role-model; all they see around them are grand thefts, corruptions, murders, violence, no opportunities, inadequate education and insecurities,absolutely no right to thrive from the onset and we expect for them to know how to behave? We have failed them and so badly too. I see the finger pointing has begun and the young are blamed for the ills in Nigeria . When are we going to apportion the blame and realise that we have created the monster and we all need to start from the home and lead by example. Take a good hard look at ourselves and let us at least try to attempt to

unravel what exactly happened and how we can work together to ensure such nefarious acts does not happen again. We need to invest in our young; to invest in their education , training and employment to prepare them for a better future and equip them with a good conscience. Right now, we have not prepared them for a positive future other than a dim existence. We have a government that has lost the will to lead, that has continued to protect its self–interest. “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter”- Chinua Achebe I have not bought my copy of the book so I cannot make any comment on its contents. what I however, find disconcerting is,some people's attitude to the fact, that Chinua Achebe had the gall to have an opinion and write it in a book!


Using the Judiciary to win elections in Nigeria who are less than worthy. Here, it is instructive to recall that although the real beneficiary of that fake election of 2007, the late President Yar’Adua himself faulted the election process, as many as 4 Supreme Court Justices including the CJN did not see the glaring defect. Why? Whether the rationalization of the dis-


ma. There is even the joke making the rounds now, that our Court of Appeal lacks leadership and direction. It is a great pity that whenever our nation takes positive steps to address its problems, there are usually some societal institutions and their operatives who always thwart any such a design. For instance, before now, the nation faced the difficult issue of prolonged election petitions which often distracted elected office holders from good governance. Thus the decision to strictly adhere to the limit of 60 days imposed by the constitution makes sense. But it obviously does not make sense for either the court or the defendant to use delay tactics to prevent the case from being heard. For our Courts to throw out a case after 60 days irrespective of the cause of the delay may meet the letter of the law. It would however not meet the spirit of the law. Accordingly, the Supreme Court must find a way of ensuring that justice particularly in election matters is not only done but seen by the average citizen to have been done. Otherwise, if Nigerians resort to political violence as a self help option, let the judiciary not exculpate itself from blame.

bling and confusing interview in the Guardian, Ofeimun said Igbo leaders should be held responsible for the genocide against the Igbo. It is a provocative statement. But the most concrete statement in his interview was his acknowledgement that, as a young reporter in Benin covering the Omo-Eboh “atrocities” tribunal, the “Nuremberging” of Mr. Giwa-Amu revealed the truth that the key leadership of the Midwest supported and aided the entry of the Biafrans into the Midwest. This was made quite clear by the

Federal authorities had hearkened to the plea for a peaceful settlement even while the Biafran forces were still in the Midwest, the Nigerian question would have been different today. I feel particularly puzzled by Odia Ofeimun because poets should not support genocide. Poets who support atrocities lose their sacred authority to the convenience of affiliation. The truth of the Igbo genocide is nonetheless unveiled between Wole Soyinka’s The Man Died and now Chinua Achebe’s There Was A Country. I am less puzzled by the statement last week by Mr. Femi Okunnu, the youngest minister in the Gowon war cabinet. As a member of that cabinet Okunnu bears

necessary, including the use of selective annihilation. He knows that the Biafrans had accused the Nigerians of poisoning their food sources and made credible and verifiable claims. He knows that all the talks he led including the last one in Monrovia in 1969, were not aimed at making peace or feeding the Biafrans, in spite of the charade. All that peace talk was a charade. The evidence abound. In fact as Gowon said to John J. Stremlau and quoted in his book, The International Politics of the Nigerian Civil war published by the Princeton University Press: “We were ready to talk [with the Biafrans] as long as the war continued. It was the only way to parry the threat of greater foreign intervention. As long as you talk people will wait.” It is thus extremely provocative to the victims of such violence to listen to these people defend atrocities. Ofeimun claims that young Igbo and Yoruba intellectuals have been so affected by the narrative that they are incapable of cooperating for civic action. This is not true. The evidence of Igbo-Yoruba cooperation is everywhere. The likes of Ofeimun continue to insert the ethnic angle to the war debate by imagining Awolowo and his group embodying an entire Yoruba will. No. The Igbo

do not accuse the Yoruba of war atrocities. The Igbo emphasize individual responsibility, and for public accounting of genocide. Only those who support and defend the genocide are culpable. The Igbo argument has never been that the leadership of Biafra was made of saints, did not make mistakes, or had no failings. The Igbo have argued against official policies that have victimized them in post-war Nigeria and the unwillingness of other Nigerians to acknowledge and make amends for the atrocity against the ethnic Igbo and thus make healing possible. The fear of the Igbo somehow has been made the beginning of wisdom in Nigeria. For a long time Biafra was a tabooed subject in Nigeria. The late Agwu Okpanku was in fact detained in 1970 for his piece in the Renaissance titled, “Killing Biafra.” Strenuous effort was made to erase the war from Nigerian public memory – to squelch, harass and intimidate every attempt to bring to light the issue of genocide and war atrocities. Achebe has been lambasted for bringing up the issue of Biafra, and for resurrecting old animosities. Soyinka’s book, The Man Died was banned when it came out by the Gowon administration.

CJN can do concerning the culture of justice for sale in Nigeria because a tree as our people say cannot make a forest. To make matters worse, the problem which we all imagined was restricted to judicial officers at the lower levels has since spread upwards especially in matters of elections. Oh yes, it was the Sokoto Governorship election petition which pitched the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Ayo Salami against the then CJN, Justice Katsina-Alu that

It is a great pity that whenever our nation takes positive steps to address its problems, there are usually some societal institutions and their operatives who always thwart any such a design

position of the pro-establishment justices by Wikileaks is accurate or not, it is a notorious fact that the Nigerian judiciary has judges at all levels who are materially compromised with ease. In other words, there is not much that our new

Denying the genocide HE images post ed on-line made me retch; and I have a steely stomach – what Seadogs would call “the liver ” – for such things. Food tasted like tar in my mouth for days. Four young men – Lloyd Toku, Ugonna Obuzor, Chidiaka Biringa, and Tekena Erikena - were publicly lynched in Aluu village, near the campus of the University of PortHarcourt. They were students of the University of Port-Harcourt. The incident happened inside of two weeks of the massacre of Forty-five students at Mubi. The executionstyle killing was done at midnight by “unknown gunmen” according to the reports in the media. We have certainly come to the newest low in Nigeria’s national culture of violence. The Nigerian psyche has been shaped by public violence from the street killings of “Wetie” in Western Nigeria, to the violent coups of 1966 and the genocidal war against Biafra. These events happening at the crucial moment of Niger-

put the National Judicial Council (NJC) in its present state of disarray. But has our Court of Appeal learnt anything from history? Going by the handling of the Adamawa Governorship election petition, this is a question that many are

weeks, the ACN alerted the nation on the grave implications of the failure of the Court of Appeal to act. Again, nothing was done. On September 18, 2012 when the deadline for handling the case was only 4days away, the opposition frantically petitioned the NJC alleging the obvious that the Court of Appeal was at the verge of allowing itself to be used to fraudulently win the election. 72 hours to the deadline, the CJN reportedly intervened and directed the Appeal Court to do its job. A panel which was then hurriedly constituted arrived the state capital-Yola- 48hours to the deadline. The next day, that is, 24hours to the deadline, the panel sat, wrote and delivered a judgment in a manner akin to how decisions affecting some local communities are made and pronounced by their Igwes in the famous African magic series. The Adamawa case therefore appears unfortunate. That the Court had to be compelled to begin the process of playing the role for which it was set up must have sadly put 2 quick thoughts in the minds of people. The first is that the judges were acting a script. The second is that the Court of Appeal was yet to recover from its recent dilem-

ia’s foundation have led to the mindless killings of today, from Maitasine to Boko Haram, from the Mubi executions to the lynching of the Aluu Four. The reason that it continues to happen is that few people have been brought to account for each occasion of the violence perpetrated in Nigeria. We have lived in denial and in complicity, to the extent that Nigerians have become increasingly numb to the nature of violence. It is called repression. It is the product of unhealed trauma. Nigeria is a highly traumatized nation and trauma has zombified Nigerians. The greatest violence that continues to haunt Nigeria is the Nigerian civil war and the genocide against the Igbo. It is at the core of the Nigerian dilemma. It is Nigeria’s greatest unresolved question. Chinua Achebe said so in his new book and rattled the snake of Nigerian apologists who have sought to diminish the truth. Last week I gave the example of the poet Odia Ofeimun. In a rather ram-




4 hours to the as sumption of office of Justice Aloma Muktar as the new Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), this column opined that it would be difficult to stop justice for sale in Nigeria. Some readers may have at the time felt that such a ‘pessimistic’ piece on the eve of a new era was not fair. They have a point especially against the backdrop of Aloma’s personal sterling qualities. It is indeed difficult to forget the last time Aloma shone like a star when she and two other progressive Justices of the Supreme Court Oguntade and Onnoghen - rejected the infamous 2007 Presidential election. But to assume that all will be well as soon as Justice Muktar took over the mantle of leadership of the judiciary is rather simplistic. This is because there have always been and there still are many judges in Nigeria

likely to answer in the negative and we cannot blame them because the story of the Adamawa case is not only easy to tell, it is also as comical as many episodes of the old popular television court drama - Icheoku. First, there was a governorship election in the state on February 04, 2012 which according to the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) was won by the incumbent Governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako. Second, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) presented a petition to the election tribunal challenging the said victory of the incumbent. Third, the tribunal upheld the declaration of INEC in favour of Nyako. Fourth, the opposition immediately filed an appeal against the ruling of the tribunal in accordance with the law. But rather than deal with the case expeditiously in view of Section 285 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, which provides that an appeal from a decision of an election tribunal must be heard and disposed off within 60 days from the date of the judgment of the tribunal, the Court of Appeal kept mute and did nothing. At the end of August 2012, when the case had become over-ripe for hearing; for as long as 2


We have lived in denial and in complicity, to the extent that Nigerians have become increasingly numb to the nature of violence

brilliant Oxford-trained Solicitor-General of the Midwest who had been accused of abetting the Biafrans. If the Biafrans arrived in Lagos with Banjo as was already the plan, and established a “Southern front” as agreed between Ojukwu and Awolowo; and if the


great responsibility, and owes Biafra babies like me profound apology, for there too was I among the picture of the dead and starving, but for the grace of God. The federal war aim was to destroy Biafra, defeat secession and secure a surrender by all means


He’s a lying, tearful two-timer! Dear Rebecca


AM 22 years old while my man is 30. Our relationship began about four years ago, and we intend to get married. My people know him very well. We can’t bear to be apart. He paid me visits when I was in Enugu. During one of such visits, I told him there were men asking for my hand in marriage. He wasn’t happy with this information and he started crying . He cries easily. Because of this, I gave him a strong promise that I will not leave him, no matter what. He always tells me to ask God to give me the right man, but that life without me is meaningless to him, and that he doesn’t have time for girls. This was until I found out that he has two other girlfriends. When I asked him, he couldn’t give a good explanation. He then asked if I thought I own the house with any other person. That I should leave him alone because he knows what he is doing. When I finished my course in Enugu and I came in search of a job in the same city where he lives I decided to be more watchful to know what he is doing. In spite of the fact that I live with my uncle, I visit him regularly. One day I caught him with one of the girls who had come to spend the night with him. That was about two months ago, and I’ve not been to his place since. He hasn’t come to apologize. What do I do? Call it quits? Maria, Abakaliki



understand your pain, but even though your people know this man to be your boyfriend, and you were both dating with the intention of getting married, there is nothing which really binds you together . He has not taken any formal step to show that he wants you for a wife . At 30 and after a four year relationship, he should have asked his people to talk to your people, even if he is not actually strong enough financially to set up a home with you yet. The fact that you have to tell him that men have been coming to ask for your hand in marriage, shows that you are not confident that he will marry you as he had promised, and you were seeking a reassurance from him. His response that you should ask God to send you the right person to marry, should have alerted you

to the fact that your relationship with him was not packaged, sealed and delivered. If he has made up his mind that

you’re the only one for him, he would have sulked a bit that you were allowing other men the chance to come close

to you. Instead, he shed tears. As things proved later, those tears were meant to fool you, as you discovered that he had

two other girls in his life. When you confronted him on this, instead of being remorseful, he countered with some silly and evasive answer. He didn’t deny the allegation, and later you caught him with one of them. Since then, he has not contacted you. If he were truly sad about the incident, he should have come to apologize to you, and do his best to prove that you’re the only one in his life. Frankly, I don’t see any great romance and hope in this relationship, and I strongly advise that you leave him alone. If he shows up at your place to apologize, tell him that you would both have to start the relationship again, and see where it would lead you both. If you agree too easily to continue from

where the relationship stopped, you could be in for another bout of infidelity and heartache. At 22, there should be no desperation to have a man to marry, although I know that most girls want to be able to brag that they’re in a relationship leading to marriage. It’s best for you to have several men as casual friends at present, so that you can have the opportunity to study and understand men better. There should be no promise of marriage, and certainly no sex. It’s best to wait for the right man from God, so, pray seriously about it. Your priority should be getting a job so that you can be financially independent to a certain extent, at any given time. Good luck.

I now prefer the other man! Dear Rebecca


Y name is Pre cious, and I’m in a 6 monthold relationship with an undergraduate who’s 24. I’m 23. There are several problems. He is too demanding, he has mouth and body odour. and he also talks too much, especially when he is in a gathering. I’ve tried talking to him about the ‘talking’’ but he always gets angry. He loves me so much and I do love him too, but we’ve not have sex. I’m now having a second thought about this relationship. There is this other guy who declared his love for me almost the same time as my boyfriend, but he changed his mind when he discovered that I was already in a relationship.I’m now beginning to develop fondness for this man. I don’t know what to do about this. Please send me a personal reply. Thank you. I really appreciate your work at Dear Rebecca REPL Y REPLY


OU did n’t say

what you do whether you’re a student, or are in training for a vocation, or whether you’re ready to settle down in marriage at present. There’s no relationship that doesn’t have ups

and downs, but as you’ve not specified that you are ready for marriage, I think that you shouldn’t take any romantic relationship too seriously, until you’ve settled what will make you financially independent in future. That is, have a profession first. So, if you are indeed fond of your boyfriend, remain friends with him. When you leave a romantic relationship, it doesn’t mean that you stop being friendly with your ex. This is why at dear Rebecca, we always

ter and we become disappointed. But then, people toss around the word ‘love’ anyhow. If this man loves you so much, he would have confidence and trust in your advice and wouldn’t get angry when you advise him on talking too much, and on trying to dominate the conversation whenever he’s at a gathering. He would have listened carefully, knowing that the fondness you have for him, made you decide to counsel him on a character trait that could turn embarrassing some-

A man who’s truly in love with you would pursue you relentlessly even if you have a boyfriend counsel people to establish a good friendship first before they start a romantic relationship. It’s friendship that sustains a relationship, not the burning love that we think we have for the other person, because in no time, that ‘love’ flies out of the window as we begin to discover some traits in his/her charac-

times, not only for you, but also for him too when someone tells him to ‘shut up’ when he’s interrupting. However, some attempts at counselling and correcting could annoy one if the advice is not tactfully given. So, the way you tried to counsel him may have been what got him annoyed. Also, if

you love him that much, you wouldn’t get put off with those complaints that you made about him, to the extent that you would find yourself developping fondness for the other man who you said seemed interested in you, but didn’t have the courage to ask you for a date because he felt you already have a boyfriend. A man who’s truly in love with you would pursue you relentlessly even if you have a boyfriend. It’s only when you’re actually married that he would leave you alone, knowing that you belong to another man. I wouldn’t advise you to make an ass of yourself, by going to hang around him, or disturb him with telephone calls or text messages to show him that you’re available for dates. It may not have been your having a boyfriend which prevented him from dating you, (unless he specifically told you so). You may not like to hear this, but there’s a possibility that he discovered something about you that made him stop in his tracks, and not pursue you. Yes, not every person would be attracted to what/who we are, so don’t think that once a man sees you, he wants to date you. My suggestion is that

you don’t pursue the second man at all, even when you’ve ended the relationship with your boyfriend. Let him discover that you’re free and then show interest in you once more. At Dear Rebecca, we believe it’s the man that should show interest first; then the lady can respond as she deems fit. That brings her respect. It’s terrible for a girl’s selfrespect if she shows interest in a man, and he shuns her! Ooops! The disgrace! As for your boyfriend, if he can’t take kindly to the remark that he talks too much, you certainly can’t talk to him about his mouth and body odour. Since you can’t bear it any longer, I suggest you call off the relationship quietly, by telling him that you want to concentrate on whatever it is you’re doing for a living, and stop dating, but that you can remain casual friends. Stick to your decision no matter how much he pleads for you to remain with him. However, don’t accept dates from men just yet,

especially if you’re both in the same town. Cool off and start again much later when you’re approached by a suitable man. If he tries to make trouble, report him to your parents or guardians.

•All letters for publication on this page should be sent to: Dear Rebecca, Vanguard Media Ltd, Kirikiri Canal, P.M.B 1007, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. E-mail:

PAGE 20 — SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012

0808 066 0660 (Texts only!)

What ‘take away’ do you expect when you attend a party alone?


AGOS is defi nitely an exciting place,” said this charming lady I recently sat next to at a birthday

bash. “My husband has just been transferred to Lagos from the Abeokuta branch of his office and I dreaded the things that could happen to my social life in Lagos. I needn’t have worried,” she said enthusiastically. “Before now, outings in our town house had been strictly for couples. Single girls seldom show up at social functions alone and whenever we had tiffs, my husband would rather dig his feet in the living room rug than take me to a function that I had spent weeks planning and looking forward to as a sort of punishment. ‘It, therefore, came as a breath of fresh air when we moved back to Lagos and discovered that not only did ladies saunter in and out of heavy parties in each other ’s company, they always out-numbered and outsprayed the men and stayed as late as they wished without worrying their pretty heads about how their husbands felt. For all you know, such ‘husbands’ are either non-existent or are out with other interesting ‘discoveries’. No matter what criticisms you have against this type of free-

dom, it is still good for the female psyche. You go out to let off steam and not necessarily to be mischievous as most men want to believe. “The fun of going out on your own or with your friends is to flirt with the opposite sex when the opportunity arises”, declared Gladys, a business woman who’s been married for years but prefers to go out alone. She assured our JJC friend to the Lagos Social circuit that the best was yet to be. That though she goes out alone, but when it is a family affair, her better half rears his useful head. “My family is comfortable” she continued, “so food and booze are never the consideration when I go out. My friends enjoy healthy gossip and we revel in that. Also, we meet a lot of interesting men who have successfully jettisoned their wives or partners and we all get together to ‘ rap’. The men say a lot of rubbish they dare not repeat in the presence of their wives and we tease them endlessly on how relaxed they are away from their matrimonial shackles. ‘My husband wouldn’t even think of me talking in such a brazen way. I’m always on my best

behaviour when he is around and this could be quite a yawn. What man in his right senses would flirt with a lady who has a scowling partner, what we girls refer to as an ADC, by his side when there are other intelligent, attractive and fancy-free women to talk to? And you never know who you run into. Most of the business cards we get are promptly thrown out of the car windows on the way home or conveniently left at the party. The few interesting ones you tuck into a corner that only you have access to. Who knows what could develop from such cards? Such ADC - less outings could go awfully wrong at times though. At a retirement party sometimes ago, a social-

ite and multi-millionaire came in and saw this lady radiating charm, elegance and rare beauty. He was knocked for six. He arranged to be seated near his object of fancy. The gods were on his side too - PHCN had just done its stuff and Sir Galahad sat, looking at the girl, enthralled. Once in a while, as he whispered sweet nothings to her, he mopped sweat from her lovely face. He even hijacked another lady ’s hand fan for the lucky girl’s benefit. What a good diversion from the unease PHCN had caused! Most eyes were on the couple, wondering where all these would lead to. A few hours into the party, the seemingly lovebirds were still going at it as if they were on stage. Then this sprawl-

The Locust for backpain


sible. Hands are together Elbows are straight,

she was a third `wife’ living on the largesse of her `husband’ when I met her at a cock-tail party. He said of his recent experience from his latest ‘find’. ‘’When she told me she didn’t have transport, I almost did a happy jig. Naturally, I offered her a lift and saw her to her door. Unfortunately, her ‘husband’ had already let himself in. He was livid when he saw me and because I was a bit tipsy, my reflexes were not as sharp as they used to be. Before I could gather my wits about me, he pounced on me and was really pummelling me. ‘By the time I’m through with you’ he threatened, ‘you will never go after another man’s wife again’. The blows continued to fall. ‘Hey, man you’ve got it all wrong’, I yelled. I had no choice but to defend myself. “Minutes later, when I staggered downstairs, my driver who was already relaxed expecting a long wait, took one look at my tattered agbada and hur-

riedly started the car without saying a word. You win some and you lose some, but no man wants to be surprised! If we’d had one or two outings, the bashing I got that night might be worth the bother! But to have to go through that baptism of fire for committing no offence really, rankled!”

and as close together as possible. Chin is stretched forwards on the ground

breathing. Repeat the posture two or three times. Relax in Makarasana. Benefits The practice of this Asana renders the spine supple and elastic. It relieves backache or strain on the spine caused by the hard work, etc. It also tones up the muscles at the back and the intestinal organs in the abdominal region and relieves pain in the lumbar and sacral regions. Above all, it aids digestion and relieves gastric troubles. Main Benefits: The Locust brings elasticity to the cervical (upper back) region, and strength to the lower back, but it is important to stretch the chin as far forwards as possible if these benefits are to be gained. When you first


Technique IE flat on the floor with face down wards and keep the hands by the side of the body with the fingers clenched into fists. Rest the chin on the ground by raising the head. Inhale and stiffen the body by pressing the fists against the floor. Slowly raise the legs as high as possible. Keep the legs in a straight line, while the two thighs, knees and ankles touch each other. The weight of the legs must fall on the body and hands. Contract the muscles of the buttocks, stretch the muscles of the thighs and further extend the position of the legs. Retain the posture for a few seconds in the beginning and gradually increase the duration. Concentrate on the upper portion of the body, i.e. above the waist. Slowly lower the legs to the floor and simultaneously exhale. Relax with normal

ing man came in, looking a bit lost. “May I help you?” asked the celebrant. “Yes,” boomed the man for all to hear. «I’ve come to collect my wife”. Of course, the wife heard the determined ring in her husband’s voice and shot out from her seat. You guessed right - it was ‘Juliet’, the man had come for. Romeo’s face was comical as he watched his jewel being whisked away by her rightful owner. For a moment, you could hear a pin drop. Then some of the men who’d been green with envy, started crackling and sniggering, their wives became a bit more relaxed and slightly sympathetic towards the poor Romeo who didn’t know where to put his face. ‘What a fortune man’ he grudgingly admitted, “in my days, no man walked away with a lady I was talking to, be he her husband or father!” One thing you don’t assume, when you run into unaccompanied women at parties is that they live alone. This was a lesson Larry, an older member of the bench learnt to his chagrin.He totally sympathised with lover-boy as he too recently experienced a shock with a lady he took home. “She never gave me the impression that

The Locust brings elasticity to the cervical (upper back) region, and strength to the lower back


attempt the Locust, you may be dismayed to find that your feet rise only slightly from the floor. Do not be discouraged. This

will improve rapidly with practice and time. Lower back is strengthened. Flexibility of the upper back is improved The Half Locust Both legs are straight Tune the raising and lowering of the leg to the breath. Chin is stretched forwards. The Full Locust Legs are kept straight and lifted as high as pos-

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

SUND AY Vanguard , OCTOBER 21 , 2012, PPA AGE 21 SUNDA


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Would you steal from your wife?


OU take careful note nex time you see a seeming moron tagging after his wealthy and brilliant wife who earns considerably more than he does and you’ll disco ver he’s only playing the adage that it takes a wise man to play the fool, so he could lay his hands on his money”, so declared a friend recently during a heated discussion. After the heat had cooled off, the topic of toy-boys a bit, and how the public had left them to their money-making and randy devise, the discussion these days usually swing back to the age-old situation of some men who don’t give a hoot how much their wives earn as long as they get a piece of the action! “Such men are spineless”, one of the girls concluded indignantly, but this good friend disagreed. “Let’s face it”, she continued: “making it in this country depends on pure luck - and how well connected you are, of course”. Take the case of a colleague of mine, for instance. When the Federal Government started selling plots of land ages ago, she bought about five in different locations for next to nothing simply because, her boyfriend then was on the committee allocating plots of land. Some of the plots were in the seedy areas of town that very few people showed interest in. “In the meantime, she got married to a man who earned a lot more than she did, but some ten years later, she had more money than her husband. Thanks to her ‘mentor ’, she got transferred to a local government and she made more than her salary every month; don’t ask me how! The plots of land she bought in the marshy areas turned to gold

dusts as they were now built up areas and she sold three of them. Two years later, she was the proud owner of a house she built with the proceed from the sale of the plot’of the land whilst her husband was made redundant. “At first, he wanted to be bitter but, his wife bought him a fairly used mini-bus and that took the heat off his resentment. The bus was to help him start a business. Unfortunately, he is a bum and has wrecked the bus. He now lives off his wife under the guise of helping her run the business she solely owns but, she tolerates him. “He is useful”, she defended her husband. “He takes the kids to school, runs around for the business and helps me sort out difficult customers. ‘He has his nuisance value and, if I were to employ two or three men for the sort of job he does for me, I wouldn’t get the same satisfaction and dedication”.


nfortunately, men who earn less than their wives can never shake off the stigma that they are nothing but leeches. Remember Joan Collins and her toy-boy of an ex-husband? After being often unfaithful to her, he had the guts to take her to court for irregular ‘maintenance cheque’. After they separated, the court awarded compensation in his favour after he’d whined that he was to be put back in the luxury to which he was accustomed whilst living with Joan. Joan refused to pay and he stole some of her money in lieu! Some years later, Joan got married to a younger thirtysomething husband at 69; thanks to her money. Seems the love of money can easily make a few men lose their self-re-

thoughts and one for evidence against them. Now come up with as much evidence for and against as you can and write it all down.


spect. Nearer home, there is this fifty-something-year old who got married a couple of years ago to a man who could hardly make his pay pocket stretch a week after pay day. Our ‘new’ bride, on the other hand, has a manufacturing company and is loaded. So, instead of asking her for money whenever he needed some, he would just wait until she was fast asleep, open her wardrobe and help himself to as much as he needed. “I caught him at it once”, said the wife “but I never confronted him .. He thought I was fast asleep when, in fact, I was waiting for him to sleep so I could say the special prayers my pastor asked me to say at 2a.m.! As soon as I pretended to be snoring, he crept to my wardrobe with a torch. I was annoyed at first and wanted to confront him, but what would be the point? So, these days, I just put in the bit of money I could let go as ‘public relations’ and he takes what he needs - never the whole thing at a time though! Clever rogue! Lets face it, things have changed from our childhood concept of Marriage. Matrimony is not as sacred as it used to be, and

if all it takes for you to be happy is to spend money you can afford on your man, where is the harm? Afterall, we women spend fortunes on fashion without batting an eye-lid. Paying less than that to keep a serviceable husband is what I consider a good investment! It also guarantees a warm bed every night!” Why Worry When You Could Be Happy? ccording to Elaine Foreman, a clinical psychologist: “Every one is feeling anxious these days. We all struggle to make ends meet and are fearful of what lies around the corner. The world is full of doom and gloom. May be you worry from the moment you wake up. Will you keep your job? What about the family? Are you facing disaster? And when you go back to bed you lie staring at the ceiling unable to sleep. But is there a cure? Here are some key worry-busting techniques she developed. These self help strategies can not only stop us fretting about the things we can’t change,


yet it hurt to be in love. Kamsi Sandra, 08066047789



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

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they help us clear our minds to deal with those we can. Worry-busting stage 1: Become a thought detective. In order to deal with your worries and the way they make you feel, you first need to track down the culprits that spark them off - your thoughts. Think about what was happening when you started to feel anxious. Perhaps you heard a rumour at work that management was about to start laying people off. Then ask yourself the following questions and write down your answers: What’s the worst that could happen? How could this affect my life? How could this affect the way others see me? Does this remind me of anything in my past that bothered me? What would my parents say about this? How might this affect the way I feel about myself? Worry busting stage 2: Hold a thought court. Most people don’t question their thoughts. By putting your anxious thoughts on trial, you may be surprised to find that many of them don’t hold up under cross examination. Draw two columns - one for evidence supporting your anxious

orry busting stage 3: Take a thought remedy. Think again about the worst thing that could happen and ask yourself the following questions. This will help you see that you can deal with the vast majority of your worries: Have I ever dealt with anything like this before? How much will this affect my life a year from now? Do I know of anyone who has coped with something like this? How did they do it? Can I think of something good that could result from this challenge? Worry busting stage 4: Axe your anxiety. Be your own best friend. This works because it helps you pull back from the overwhelming emotions that block good, reasonable thinking. Pick something that has been worrying you. Now imagine that a friend has the same problem and they are sitting opposite you asking for support. Talk out loud and try to help. You’ll be surprised at the amount of useful advice you come up with. Afterwards, write it all down and follow it yourself. Worry-busting stage 5: Create calm. Draw up two columns, putting your anxious thoughts in one column and a realistic alternative in the second. Don’t get carried away make sure it “is believable. For example if you’re worried about losing your job, it’ll cause some hardship but the odds are good that you’ll find another one. And your husband could offer to increase his hours if you need him to.

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The case for atheism (4) Keep in mind that a brilliant mathematician-scientist like Pascal formulated the wager that bears his name after a profound “religious” experience he had at the age of thirty-one, in 1654. That said, his wager is based on the fallacious assumption that God considers belief in His existence extremely important. (Remember, I have



N a general note, the fact that prominent scientists and intellectuals believe in God does not constitute a valid proof of His existence. Indeed, those who argue this way, aside from downplaying or ignoring completely the inherent fallibility of human beings also commit the fallacy of appeal to wrong authority (argumentum ad verecundiam, not argumentum ad hominem, as I mistakenly stated last week). Some believers think that Pascal’s wager is a good reason for believing that God exists. According to the French mathematician, Blaise Pascal (16231662), it is more prudent to believe in the existence of God than to be an atheist. According to him, if you believe in God and you turn out to be right, you will enjoy everlasting bliss in heaven, but if you are wrong you lose nothing. On the other hand, if you are an atheist and on the last day it turns out that God exists you will be condemned to eternal damnation, whereas if you are right it makes no difference.Over the centuries commentators have exposed the vacuity of Pascal’s wager.

Consolation based on false belief, such as dogmatic belief in the existence of God, is illusory and positively harmful

been using the masculine pronoun for God out of linguistic convenience. If there is God, the deity would be either a female or, more likely, a hermaphrodite) But supposing that the Christian God Pascal was interested in does not exist, and the God which actually exists prefers advocates of reasoned courageous unbelief and scientific curiosity to religious bigots, of what use is Pascal’s wager? Bertrand Russell, when asked what his response would be if

What next Nigeria ?


NY man is every man, we are all one and the same, cut from the same cloth ; capable of great

good and great evil. Inside every saint is a sinner, time and circumstance determine what the world sees. Violence is very repulsive to me; I particularly hate the sight of blood but even I am prone to unleashing that same force I find repulsive on someone when the right triggers are pressed. I never envisaged ever using a gun on anyone till robbers came visiting my childhood home. I remember kneeling before this man who was pushing my head back with a gun and wishing he would drop the gun; I would have used it without a second thought. Fear, hate combined with rage would have made me a killer just like the man holding the gun. Lately

he died and came face to face with God, demanding to know why he (Russell) did not believe in Him, replied “Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence.” Moreover, the notion that it does not make any difference if one believes in the existence of God, such that if it eventually turns out that God does not exist the believer los-

the world has been privy to a new low in human relations and it happened right here. Four young men were beaten, stripped before being burnt alive and this collective Nigerian show of shame was recorded and went viral on the internet for the world to see. There is a general consensus of disapproval and general revulsion at this particular gruesome massacre. Frankly, I lacked the guts to go online and view it but my imagination has not spared me some awful visions. I cannot bear to think of the last few hours of those lives; the panic, fear, the pain and eventual acceptance that they had been summarily sentenced to die is unthinkable. It is a tragedy on many levels and as a parent I feel it is worst for the parents. A lot of people apparently cried when they watched


es nothing is, to put it mildly, false. All theistic religions require that believers should worship, sacrifice and even die for God, hoping to be rewarded in heaven. Consider the enormous amount of time, energy and material resources devoteesof various deities have expended on worshipping and trying to please God since religion was invented.Therefore, there is a reverse Pascal’s wager, for it is much better to deploy one’s productive powers as a hu-

the said post but I don't even want to imagine what the parents must be going through. Losing a child is bad enough but knowing that child was stripped, paraded naked, tortured, mutilated and burnt alive is a pain that is gruesome, painful, heartbreaking and life shattering. For the sake of the parents; there must be retribution; it must be swift and fitting. There is and can never be an acceptable justification for the gruesome murders of the boys that will now go down in History as the "Uniport 4"(students at the university of Portharcourt). There have been many condemnations in the press worldwide; and while the revulsions and indignation is general, I am reminded of a quotation by Jesus "You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks". Lynching and mob justice is not new in Nigeria; if truth be told it has become a part of the culture. I have lost count of the number of lynchings I have witnessed and most times the mob is so

of faith, not a matter for science,” as theologians and religious devotees are wont to do, is of little use in deciding the question concerning God’s existence or non-existence. Some readers who accept the correctness of my arguments thus far might still maintain that belief in God is useful and important because of the role it plays in human life. Specifically, people cling to God because He inspires and consoles them in times of adversity. Now religion, historically speaking, offered explanations of the origin and nature of human beings and the universe in general. Again, it contains moral prescriptions by which believers are expected to pattern their lives in the hope of achieving blissful post mortem existence. In the first role, science has completely superseded religion; in the second, our sense of morality can be completely accounted for by a comprehensive analysis of the human and environmental conditions under which people live, move about and actualise their potentials without reference to a supernatural moral law giver. Still people find consolation in the idea of God as a merciful loving father. But that in itself does not prove that God exists. We all need consolation to cope with the vicissitudes of life. However, consolation based on false belief, such as dogmatic belief in the existence of God, is illusory and positively harmful. Scholars such as Bertrand Russell, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris to mention just a few,

havepersuasively demonstrated that human beings can cope very well by relying on their latent productive powers, not on a despotic, irascible, jealous deity up in the sky. Indeed, Russell was right when he recommended in his book, A Free Man’s Worship, that the best consolation is to look the universe squarely in the face, courageously accepting both its good and bad sides without being intimidated by the irrational cosmic forces that have shaped our evolution, while still retaining the passion to contemplate objectively The True, The Good, and The Beautiful. We do not need a God to handle life’s challenges. What we need most are knowledge, good health and kindness towards one another as members of one human family. With respect to inspiration, there is no doubt that belief in God has inspired great art and science, and motivated humanitarian activities around the globe. Still, the amazing discoveries of science especially in the last two hundred years are vastly superior to the superstitions contained in all holy books combined. Just think of the amazing discoveries spawned by the theory of relativity and quantum physics. Imagine the awe-inspiring world of organisms made transparent by the biological sciences through evolution, not to talk of the majestic universe revealed by contemporary cosmology and astronomy. To be continued

violent they will kill anyone who intervenes. I can't exactly say when it became acceptable to beat and mutilate another person before setting them on fire but I am in my forties now and this has been going on before I turned 10. We presumably have a legal system and a constitution in place but as common as this mob justice is, no law has been promulgated to

barbaric!! Why? If Aluu community is barbaric then so is every single Nigerian community. Once again I quote Jesus "You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." I don't have the accurate statistics but lynching and mob justice is a daily occurrence and prevalent everywhere in

erty but where does it end and how can innocence be verified before death is pronounced? So my question to us all is "what next?" I still haven't heard any official proclamation or decree forever banning the act of lynching and burning people! The Nigerian Bar Association has condemned the act but shouldn't they be fighting for a complete stop to the act backed if possible by a decree or even amendment in the Constitution banning any act of mob rule and mob justice? Fingering and putting the ring leaders on trial and punishing them to deter others is imperative. I am not a lawyer so I may not understand the workings of the legal profession but something has got to give. Vigilanteism is not an alternative to an ineffective law enforcement agency. Those who have


PhD, Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos,

man being to lead a more fulfilling and adventurous life than wasting precious time, emotional energy and scarce resources propitiating God. Ishudder whenever I think of the utter uselessness of believing in the existence of an alleged divine creator of heaven and hell fire, and of the almost unimaginable amount of human and material resources which have been wasted (and are still being wasted) in the name of God since the emergence of religion at the dawn of civilisation. In my view, those resources could have been far better utilised to promote scientific understanding of nature, society and humans. In the preceding discussion, we have looked critically at some of the most important reasons why people believe that God exists. We have seen that none of those reasons is satisfactory, especially if one examines the issue with open-mindedness and scientific objectivity. Of course, die-hard believers would always retort that religion is a matter of faith and has little or nothing to do with science or reason. Such immunising stratagem is dishonest. That God exists is an empirical assertion, irrespective of how He is conceived. Consequently, the best way to establish the veracity of the claim is to carry out the necessary investigation. I completely agree with Richard Dawkins that the theories of natural selection and big bang singularity render the God hypothesis superfluous. Recourse to the cliché that “belief in God is a matter

We presumably have a legal system and a constitution in place but as common as this mob justice is, no law has been promulgated to stop it

stop it or perhaps even a decree to deter and punish those who have appointed themselves judges and executioners. So why the outcry in this instance when so many people have been burnt alive for decades? There is an element of collective shame attached to this case that leaves us all feeling raw! All of a sudden the Aluu community has become a pariah derided for being


Nigeria. Those of us who haven't taken part have witnessed it and done nothing.The ministers, governors and everyone condemning it now have all witnessed it; we all have. They did nothing to stop it over decades so why jump on a platform to condemn what they all condoned? Some people blame it on the failure of the Police in guaranteeing the protection and sanctity of life and prop-

the power to stop it and don't are as guilty as those who put the tyres around the necks of Ugonna, Tekena, Lloyd and Chidiaka; the four boys cut down by the fiery flames of the raging mob.

SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012 — PAGE 23



Re: Olympics 2016


E may not all be sports men and women, but the humilia tion of zero medal recorded by Nigeria in the recently concluded Olympics was felt by many Nigerians. We are passionate about sports, and outside competitions do tend to unite the nation, at least for the period they last. This is why we rush home to watch Nigeria whenever she’s competing with other nations. Some employers know that their workers’ concentration and productivity on such occasions are usually at a low level, so, they release them after lunch. Some set up viewing rooms on their premises. For, no matter how much we dislike the way we’re ruled or what’s going on in the country, we do root for our country and want it to win. For us not to have any medal to celebrate, or even a medal that was almost ours to dispute, was tough, particularly for the athletes and their coaches who I suppose, must have done their best to prepare well for the outing. Only to find that their best was not good enough in any of the events. Tough luck! However, it’s all in the past now. Which is the way forward to winning at the next Olympics? That’s what should be the priority now with the government, Sports management board, the coaches, the athletes, etc. Some readers sent in mail to express their views. “Madam, the earlier these people pull up their socks and get to work at winning at the Olympics in Brazil, the better. It is disappointing that no medal was brought home at the last games, but we should stand up and dust ourselves up, analyze our performance, and strongly resolved that we shall never be down and out again. It would be silly to continue moaning over our non-performance, or, trying to find where to lay the blame. - Sid, Abuja.” “Yes, madam, the Chinese example, whereby children who show promise at a sport are quickly grabbed by the government for training at an early age, seems a good idea. But that can’t happen here because we don’t respect our government. You need firm national discipline and commitment for citizens to yield to their government. I, for one, wouldn’t allow any sport official to come take away my child for training. Who knows what fate will befall such a child? Our government is not committed enough to the people for us to trust them with our children. Also, what happens when there’s a change in governance? The new comers usually wipe out, whether good or bad, what their predecessors had put in place. What we need are serious professional scouts who go round meets looking for talents to train. They will now offer their proteges to the government. - Nwosu, Awka.” “It’s a crying shame that Nigeria won nothing at the recent Olympics. All the relevant people – sports officials, coaches, athletes, etc., should get together to honestly analyse the performance of each athlete, and see what was done wrong and what should have been done. Findings would be taken back to the government for deliberation. If we do this seriously, our performance at the next Olympics would be much better. ” “Madam, we don’t need to take away promising athletes from their parents to train for sporting events. With the high rate of criminal activities in the country, no parents would cooperate, and there’s no law saying we must release our children to the government for any purpose. The nearest thing to that, however, is for the respective States to have a Sports


Helen Ovbiagele

ple in at the last minute without actually proving them over a period of time. We have almost four years to prepare for the next games. We should start preparations seriously now. - Alfred. ” “I believe that we have great sports people all over the country, but the trouble is locating them, training them and sending them to competitions to prove their worth. For example, the Niger Delta people, who live in the Riverine areas are very good swimmers, and canoeists! Why can’t we train them to international standard and enter them in these two events? I can assure you that they will win very well, and bring home medals. Nat, Port Harcourt.” “I don’t know who puts together

Woman Editor

It’s a crying shame that Nigeria won nothing at the recent Olympics. All the relevant people – sports officials, coaches, athletes, etc., should get together to honestly analyse the performance of each athlete, and see what was done wrong and what should have been done College in their capitals where young people with talents in any sports can be trained/groomed at weekends and during the holidays, until they’re ripe enough for meets around the country, and subsequently for international competitions too. When the Commonwealth games and the Olympics come, the State government can release these athletes to compete for the nation. The welfare of these young people should be taken seriously and they should be well-catered for, and protected too. All these efforts should yield good fruits as time goes on. - Bam, Surulere.” “Mrs. Ovbiagele, this non-performance of our athletes at the Olympics didn’t come as a surprise to me. Lack of preparedness? Maybe. But I think all concerned lack the commitment that will spur sports people on to win. I heard that the money voted for the event by the government was released too late. Why? For an event of that magnitude, money has to be given at the right time to get the desired results. I won’t be surprised to hear that there was squabbling about the money in some quarters, and that this was motivated by selfinterest on the part of some. This is not unusual with us. Wasn’t there a time that officials failed to pay sports men their allowances when they went for an international competition, and the athletes went on strike there? Next to money issue is the fire-brigade attitude of drafting peo-

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Emilio Pucci Fall '08

the athletes who went to represent us at the games, but were these athletes the best in the events they competed in? I’m not convinced that we don’t have Olympic materials in the whole country. We should take a good look at how we scout for sports people, how we select them, and how we prepare them for competitions. Somewhere in these must lie the reason for our non-performance. But then, will the authorities take any serious action? I fear not. Like with other things in the country, they will let sleeping dogs lie until the next Olympics are almost here, and then they will hastily put together who they please, to represent us. - John, Aba. ” We thank all those who wrote in.


We're empowering girls for IT devt in Nigeria — Oreoluwa Somolu With technology pervading every facet of human life, there’s the urgent need for women and girls, who’ve been handicapped in this area, to acquire much knowledge. According to statistics, they comprise a larger percentage of Nigeria’s population, so, Nigeria’s move to becoming an IT-compliant nation may be frustrated unless these groups are catered for. Oreoluwa Somolu, the Executive Director, Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC), however seems to be on a rescue mission. The University of London-trained IT expert is passionately empowering women and girls in information technology. Here, she speaks about her life, love for information technology and W.TEC’s activities . Enjoy!!

BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA Background had my secondary school education at Queens College, Yaba, Lagos. From there, I went to the University of Essex where I studied Economics and graduated in 1998. I went on to do a Masters in Information System at the University of London, and then a one-year certificate programme in applied sciences in the US. There in the US, I worked for an NGO, Education Development Centre, for about four years before returning to Nigeria.


Returning to Nigeria After returning to Nigeria, I did my NYSC and then worked with an oil and gas firm for about two years before going to establish W.TEC. Actually, I had to take that step because it was something I had always wanted to do right from when I left secondary school. Ever since I attended a computer training school while waiting to proceed to tertiary institution, I’ve always enjoyed the fact that I could apply the skill to different areas. Even when I was in the UK studying Economics, I kept up my interest by trying to learn new things; I got involved in the business of typing and printing essays for students. I therefore realised that technology could be very valuable and empowering. The quest to explore more was what made me study Information System. One of the courses I took while studying for my masters was IT for Policy and Development. Through research also, I learnt that there were very few women, especially in Africa, using IT. I actually did my thesis on Gender and Technology for Development. Wo r k i n g with the NGO in the US enhanced my interest because my job was as a project assistant, researching on how men and women use technology and also how to encourage women and girls into the area of science and technology. My career gradually moved into that line, and empowering women with information technology has become dear to me.

We decided to empower Nigerian women and girls through active engagement with ICT. We teach them to use different tools in respect to learning, networking, leadership and activism, career advancement, to mention but a few. We actually have different programmes targeted at different groups of women and girls. Introducing young girls to ICT We have a regular camp targeted at secondary school girls. The camp is aimed at awakening early interest in information technology in the girls. It’s good to catch them early because at this stage, they’re still very curious and open to learning new things. For the duration of the residential camp, they learn how to use the computer, learn different applications, work on projects together, undergo career talks sessions, etc. We usually invite professional women and men who use technology in their work to come talk to them about how they apply technology to their work. We actually just had one recently. It’s basically a way of inOreoluwa Somolu....We encourage women to think about starting troducing the girls to the different catheir own businesses. reers they could take up, or the different things they could use the computer to achieve in their work. Also, we do try to encourage ment has endorsed our programme. What we await now is the Ministry of Education’s approval of our them to consider technology-related careers. going to work with girls in selected schools. E also have a structured pro Technology is particularly important for girls because gramme called the Young Women they are going to grow up to be mothers and their ICT Empowerment Programme, children would have to learn from them in different targeted at women between the ways. Also, we want to have more women contribute ages of 18-30; including gradu- to the development of technology in Nigeria because ates and undergraduates. this is relevant to all aspects of life. More importantly, More importantly, we en- it’s good for women to develop skills that they can courage women to think use for their day to day lives, for the general growth about starting their own of our nation because nations, including Nigeria, are businesses and also teach already computerizing a lot of things. them how they could use ICT to facilitate the business. We also have other specialised programmes, work with civil societies like Baobab and also engage in research.


It’s good for women to develop skills that they can use for their day to day lives, for the general growth of our nation because nations, including Nigeria, are already computerising a lot of things


Funding Funding is actually a major issue for a lot of NGOs, and W.Tech is no exception. Each of our girls’ camp caters for about 150 girls and we had to put a cost to the camp after doing several for free, due to the rising cost. We have girls from across Nigeria who come to attend our camp. But for very indigent girls who cannot afford the cost, we support them in possible ways. We therefore had to open up to sponsorships so as to enable us carry-on with our work. We are however presently working on partnering with the Lagos State government. Already, the govern-

Somolu with some of the girls.


PAGE 26—SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012


They are demonising Aluu community – Celebrated Author Elechi Amadi By Jimiota Onoyume



ď ŹElechi Amadi ...No Aluu indigene lives in that area.

Aluu over a sad incident they had no hand in Amadi, said the police should go ahead to prosecute any Aluu son or daughter found to have been involved in the brutal murder of the students. Continuing, he said there was no way indigenes of the


HE story of the murder of four students of University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) on October 5 at Omuokiri-Aluu community continued, last week, with the parade of thirteen suspects by the police at its headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital. Among those paraded was the paramount ruler of Omuokiri-Aluu community, Alhaji Hassan Walewa. The suspects were later charged alongside others at large at a magistrate court in Port Harcourt on a five-count charge which included conspiracy and murder. The court adjourned the matter to December 20. Magistrate of the court, Emanuel Woke, said his court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case because of its nature. He directed that the case file be handed over to the Director of Public Prosecution for legal advice and the accused be remanded in prison custody. The charges were read to them but no plea taken. Meantime, literary icon, Captain Elechi Amadi (rtd), has absolved his Aluu community of complicity in the killing of the four students. Amadi said Aluu is made up of nine clans, adding that the students were murdered in one of the clans nearest to UNIPORT. According to him, the part where the sad incident occurred is inhabited by strangers. He said Aluu community marked that area out for sale to strangers to erect residential buildings and student hostels. Besides the traditional ruler the others arrested by the police, according to him, were strangers. The novelist maintained that the police merely arrested the paramount ruler of Omuokiri-Aluu as part of their routine exercise. He said the media had chosen to demonise indigenes of

The killings occurred in one of the villages of Aluu. There are nine villages in Aluu. They occurred in the village nearest to the university, in an area allocated to strangers for residential building. No Aluu man was involved


area could break into the mob to rescue the students, adding that the police got there but did nothing. Excerpts: What is your comment on the killings in OmuokiriAluu community? Our press statements are never carried properly. The impact of our message is lost during the translation. What we are saying is that Aluu indigenes were not involved in the killing of the four students. The killings occurred in one of the villages of Aluu. There are nine villages in Aluu. They occurred in the village nearest to the university, in an area allocated to strangers for residential building. No Aluu man was involved. The only person arrested was the paramount ruler of the village. That was a routine thing. When things like this happen, they ask the paramount ruler where he was when it occurred. But all the others arrested are not Aluu indigenes. What effort did Aluu indigenes make to stop the killings?

How could they when it was happening in a part of the town where there are no indigenes. And it was early in the day or thereabouts. But it would not have been possible for Aluu indigenes within the neighbourhood not to be aware of the happenings in this age? But the police were there. So how can an unarmed citizen go to the mob to stop them? The police were there. Infact one of the sisters of the slain students said the police were there and one of them told the mob to deal with them. So there was nothing anybody could do. The natives of Aluu are being demonised. They are making devils of us. It is believed that we killed the students. But we did not. Let the police investigate the matter thoroughly; publish the names of the suspects so that the bereaved parents will know those behind it. But how come Aluu will allocate a portion of its land entirely to strangers with no indigene living in the area? The question you asked shows you are already prejudiced. This is the trouble with the press, they already have a stand. They refuse to look at the other side. It was one of the questions from readers since Aluu came up with the story that none of its indigenes was involved in

the killing. No Aluu indigene lives in that area. They have their compounds in Aluu where they live. So when you sell land it is the person that you sold to that lives there. It so happened that in that portion strangers have been buying and building. No Aluu man lives there. What if any Aluu indigene is linked to the killings? He should be dealt with, prosecuted. But the paramount ruler has been arrested in connection with the incident. People just imagine things. How will they parade people to an old man, people he did not know? These are strangers in the place. People just imagine things. You know where the paramount ruler lives? Very far from where it happened. Suspects speak The police allowed three of the suspects to speak to journalists when they paraded them at the police headquarters in Rivers State. Two of them said the police arrived Omuokiri-Aluu community before the murder. One of them, Mr David Chinasa Ugbaje, said he saw two police men when the four students were being beaten, adding that one of them pleaded that the boys should be set

Continues on page 26

SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012, PAGE 27

Country News

‘We are no killers!’ Continues on page 26 free. Continuing, he said the other policeman joined the mob in beating the students. Ugbaje, a cobbler, said the four students were first marched to his compound to confirm their story that they came to see one Bright. But when they got there, Bright’s door was locked. Immediately, according to him, those around started beating them. He said he and other neighbours in the compound had to push the riotous mob out of the compound when it became clear that the mob wanted to lynch them there. His words, “I was arrested as a result of what happened in Aluu. Around 7a.m. on that day, I left my house and went to my workplace. I saw a crowd beating four boys. I asked who the four men being beaten were and they said they were armed robbers. I was told they were going to my compound with the boys so they could point at the particular person who

they said they were coming to look for. “So, along the line, we went there, I opened the gate; they entered. I could not control the crowd. They pointed at one of our co-tenants door; the name of the person is Bright. Some people say they would break Bright’s door; but the door was locked. So they started beating the boys very seriously. “Along the line, two police men came around. One of the police was pleading but the other one even joined in beating the boys. At a point, the police said the boys should be handed over to them, but the crowd refused. I now said if they kill these people here, this house will be in trouble. I had to bring out my belt to start flogging people to leave the yard. “They took them out from my street. I now left the house. The two other suspects, Ikechuckwu Louis Amadi and Lawal Segun, in their separate

* The suspected killers comments, said they saw police men at the scene of the incident. Lawal, a taxi driver, said he was not part of the mob that murdered the students. He alleged that he pleaded with the mob to release them.

By Adeola Adenuga & Oluwatobiloba Adeyemi

By Bridget Amata



Ugona Kelechi Obuzor, a year two geology student, Biringa Chiadika Lordson, year two theatre arts student, Mike Lloyd Toku, year two civil engineering student, and Tekena Erikena.

‘My wife abandoned me with our twomonth old child’

21 years after, Ire burnt brick factor y resurrects fter 21 years of its dormancy, Ire Burnt Brick Industry has been resuscitated and opened for operations. Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who performed the official commissioning of the industry, described the revival as “a promise kept”. The commissioning was the climax of several months of strategc planning, re-development, re-equipping of the moribund industry. Fayemi stated that the resuscitation of Ire Bricks Factory and Odua Enterprise Centre (formerly Odu’a Textiles which was comatose for 23 years) was to expand the state’s resources, provide job opportunities, encourage new skills acquisition by workers and ultimately enlarge the middle class. The governor assured that Ekiti would henceforth patronize the factory and use a certain percentage of the red burnt bricks in all its projects across the state. It would be recalled that equipment worth 400 million Naira was delivered for the revival of the factory a few weeks ago. The factory was resuscitated through a partnership between the state government and Odua investment group. It is however expected to begin full operation before the year ends. The entire Ire community was agog as representatives of various groups in the town

On his part, Amadi said he saw four police men while the students were being beaten, adding that the angry mob insisted they were not going to release the boys to the policemen. The slain students were

Governor Kayode Fayemi

thronged the complex of the bricks industry in different attire and singing different songs in praise of the Fayemi administration. Fayemi, accompanied by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji (Dr) Ganiyu Owolabi, and other members of the state executive council, later commissioned an Enterprise Development Centre at Ilupeju Ekiti. The governor also commissioned three rural electrification projects at Iyemero, Oke Ako and Ilemeso. The gesture, Fayemi said, was a fulfillment of his electioneering promise to connect all parts of Ekiti state to the national grid so as to give the grassroots a new life and boost economic activities. Also commissioned was the new Ewu bridge to replace the old one which was built in 1934.

A 50-year- old man, Chukwugozie Opara, of 58, Yaya Abatan Road, Ogba, accused his wife of charming him to love her. Meanwhile, the wife, Priscilla, denied the allegation. The husband informed an Agege Grade A Customary Court, sitting in Lagos, that he did not know how he got himself attached to her, adding that he would not have slept with a lady of her type.”For six years, l followed her like a sheep being led to be slaughtered. If not for God, she would have killed me or made me mad”, he said. Opara also claimed that Priscilla made life unbearable for him as she was quarrelsome. ”One of our pastors in church that wanted to settle our quarrel died a few days to the meeting, and my wife said she was the one that killed him”, the husband stated. He said that the wife told him that she made her ex- husband mad, and adding that his wife abandoned their son for him when he was two months. He urged the court to dissolve the marriage and grant him custody of their only child. Priscilla, resident at 5, Aina Ajob Street, Ogba, denied the allegations and said she lived with Opara with a true and honest heart, but “he treated me so bad, and threw me out of the house”. She added: “I was told by one of our pastors that my husband was once mad, but I did not believe until he exhibited the trait”. She agreed with her husband that the court should dissolve the marriage but grant her custody of her child. The court dissolved the marriage “because it has broken down irretrievably”. It granted custody of the only child of the marriage to Opara (the plaintiff).He ordered that Priscilla should have access to the child every holiday to enable his mother see him and give motherly affection.



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:

Post-flood famine: Which way out? Dear Sir,


HE inveterate flood debacle in Isoko communities has left no fewer than 100 thousands people displaced and distraught. The major confronting quandary with Isoko flood victims is that the transitory relief camps being provided by the Delta State governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan is gradually being waterlogged by the untold flood. The flood has wholly derelict havoc on over 50 Isoko communities which prompted the Isoko Stakeholders’ Forum to deliberate on the next line of action to flood victims in the region that brought together the crème da la crème of Isoko extraction. No day passes by without Isoko people recounting their losses to the iniquitous flood disaster. Despite the fact that the Federal Government recently allocated N17.6 billion to flooded states while Delta falls into the A state where N500 million is disbursed to flood victims, yet many are still living in agonizing pains of privation of the flood that refused to go in spite of government measures to tackle future flood in Nigeria. The fears of many affected flood victims is that the money given to the state to ameliorate the sufferings of the people will not be appropriately disbursed if not properly monitored by those in authorities of leadership.Isoko region is mainly located along the coastal riverine areas which flood greatly affected farmlands and property worth billions of naira destroyed in a quantum of time.

No amount of relief funds from the state or federal governments can prevent the high profile starvation which the sudden flood disaster has caused to Isoko land. The two local governments, Isoko South and Isoko North have been submerged by the flood.Most of the Isoko people major in farming and fishing and as such if the flood disaster is not properly managed crime rate will increase. It is not enough for government to give directives to flood victims to vacate their motherland without providing enough

relief materials to cater for the growing flood challenge in Isokoland. Unlike in Bayelsa State where the state government is assiduously working to the extent of inviting a foreign company to process garri for the immediate needs of the suffering Bayelsans against future food crisis in the state. The continuous water rise in Isoko communities has definitely created another unknown fear of Delta State being submerged by the flood. The costs of food items,transportation and accommodation have suddenly in-

creased by 90 percent. Most of these affected flood Isoko communities are Ivrogbo- Irri, Ada, Irri, Olomoro, ofagbe, Iyede- Ame, Umuti, Oyede,Umeh, Oleh, Ikpide, Ozoro and others.It is time for Delta State government to start constructing first class drainage system in flood pone areas now to avoid future disaster. By Godday Odidi, O8058124798, 08063458693, @ 20 Oro Street Ajegunle Apapa Lagos.

SOS to Uduaghan on Ovwawha sub-clan roads Dear Sir,


write to remind our amiable governor of an earlier write-up three years ago that never received the attention of the government, state or local government council. Ovwawha sub-clan in Ughelli South Local Government Area comprises of five communities of Otutuama, Esaba, Ophorigbala, Ighwreogun and Otitiri. These communities have a long standing problem of the absence of good motorable roads that can link them together. During the dry season, the bad surface and undulating nature of the roads with the attendance of several wooden bridges hardly allow the use

of vehicles for movement. In the rainy season, the roads are totally submerged by flood, right from Okwagbe boundary line to Otitiri. The inhabitants of these communities at this time resort to the use of canoes, outboard engine boats and speed boats as means of transportation. It is a pitiable situation that requires urgent attention. Please, endeavour to visit and see things as they are. You will definitely weep for these communities for the long neglect and cut – off from the rest part of the state and Nigeria. In view of the foregoings, I wish to draw the attention of the Delta State government by appealing to the state executive governor and his deputy to have one moment thought on the construction of the devastating and nogo-area roads leading to these

communities. The resultant effects include easy access to the communities, prompt evacuation of farm produce, exploration and exploitation of the abundant mineral resources (Oil, Gas, Silica sand, etc.) on the land, easy transportation to the various markets, and outlet route for neighbouring Ijaw communities amongst others. Sir, I and the entire members of the five communities would remain grateful for your legacy being established in the minds of the people of this sub-clan as you come to our rescue. Please our Executive Governor and Delta State Government help us!!!

Agbon Napoleon writes in from Ughelli South , Delta State.


Petrol price hike amid scarcity: ‘Some marketers now buy product at N105 per litre’ The scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) commonly known as petrol, which hit Lagos early last month, is worsening by the day. While the scarcity has spread to neighbouring states like Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and Kwara, most filling stations getting supply of product dispense it at N130 and above, instead of the official pump price of N97. Also, some service outlets monitored sell mostly at night. The Western Zonal Chairman, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gases Worker (NUPENG), Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, speaks on the need for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to urgently repair Arepo distribution pipelines vandalised recently by hoodlums, in order to boost fuel supply to the Western axis of System 2B. is responsible W HAT for the persisting scarcity of fuel to the point that some people are selling at N130 and N125 per litre instead of government’s official pump price of N97, even when NNPC has raised daily supply of fuel? To start with, the people within the region where fuel is supplied through the Western axis of system 2B of NNPC will continue to experience scarcity until Arepo pipelines are repaired. The reason being that, without these pipelines, there is no way the trucking of product can be effectively done. The damaged pipelines are the sources of product to Mosimi the headquarter of system 2B in Shagamu. While from Mosimi, the product is pumped to Ibadan , from there to Ilorin , and from Mosimi again to Ore and Lagos . Therefore, the continuous denial of the distribution network makes all the areas getting supply of petrol from the axis of system 2B to have shortage of fuel. Again, what NNPC is doing now is not helping the situation. For instance, they identified three loading points such as NIPCO depot in Lagos , Folawiyo close to Wharf and Capital Oil. These are the facilities NNPC is using to dispense product. When you get to these areas, what you will see are long queues making it impossible for them to load freely due to congestion. There are many loading points in Lagos that can make dispensing of product faster. Why is NNPC picking just few? Aside from that, I see no reason Arepo pipelines are not fixed until now. Unless government wants to tell us that they have surrendered security of the country into the hands of C M Y K

hoodlums, such that ordinary pipelines can not be repaired because of hoodlums. If government cannot secure ordinary pipelines, what happens to the lives of the citizens? We have the army, the navy and police that can be mobilised to the site and forcefully repair the pipelines, for them to function again, and even put security surveillance at the area, but that is not done until now. These inefficient approaches of government trying to resolve this issue by leaving the major distribution channels unrepaired can not bring succour to problem. Government has not increased fuel pump price despite it inability to fix the vandalised pipelines. Why are some marketers selling at N125 and above? To be candid, pump price remains N97per litre. You know Nigerians with their attitude. Whatever product is scarce in the market must be made to attract increase in price. This is exactly what is happening. Some of those selling above the official pump price also get their product through the black market rate. Some buy between N97 and N105 per litre and in business people must make profit. So, government can provide lasting solution by repairing the vandalised facility for product to be effectively



Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo will not go the same way. So a responsibility of governfar, I have not seen any seri- ment. What exactly do you think ousness on the part of government. You can see that the are the basic things governsame set of people held gov- ment needs to tackle now? Government should focus on ernment to ransom by refusing to bring in product. Since they two basic things such as serefused to bring in product, curity and power supply. I am and what government has is not saying education is not not sufficient for daily con- good, or in any way blaming sumption, that is why we are government for investing in experiencing persisting scar- education sector but security must be given serious attencity of fuel in the country. Before the presentation of tion. It is only when people are 2013 budget with a bench secured that they can think of education. For instance, ordinary pipelines can not be protected not to talk of the citizens. Look at what happened in Port Harcourt recently, when young students that the parents had invested so much in, were just killed in an open place without anybody trying to rescue them. Look at how innocent Nigerians, especially women and children are being killed everyday in other parts of the country and those in government continue to say they are on top of the mark of $75 per barrel of issue. When are they going to crude oil, the National Assem- be in control of the situation? bly wanted the financial doc- Security is at zero level. It is ument to be adjusted to about $80 per barrel of crude. What do you think ought to be the right bench mark? Those responsible for preparing the budget know what is good for the country because they are experts. The issue is not even about the bench mark but the level of implementation of the budget to enhance economic growth and development. As far as I am concerned, the allocation for Education sector was not appropriate. Today, a lot of Nigerians pass out of schools withL-R: Member of Staff, First Bank of Nigeria Plc and out getting jobs. The employ- participant, Global Cyberlympics, Mr. Jaiyeola ment rate in this country is at Abimbola;Chief Operating Officer, Digital Encode, Mr. the lowest level. Teachers are Obadare Adewale; Chief Technical Officer, Digital Encode, Mr. not well paid. Nigerians pro- Oluseyi Akindeinde; and First Bank Plc’s employee and vide electricity, potable water Cyberlympics participant, Mr. David Abolusoro, during the and other social amenities by unveiling of Team Naija representing Africa at the Global themselves, which ought to be CyberLympics, in Lagos.

Many industries have closed shop in Nigeria, while others moved to neighbouring countries because they could no longer sustain generating power for daily operations by themselves

distributed at the official rate. Once this is done, the price will normalise and queues will vanish from service outlets. The approach by Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR) sealing the filling stations is not going to help Nigerians in any way. Rather, it may further aggravate the situation and increase the rate of scarcity in the system, if they jettison the idea of selling because they are not also getting the product at the official rate. Most people believe that government is not pragmatic about prosecuting those behind subsidy scam. Do you share similar opinion? Well, they say the matter is in court already but let us see what will be the out come. We had cases of people defrauding government and at the end of it nothing tangible came out. I hope the subsidy case

shameful that this type of killings is happening in our country, when we have government in place. No foreign investor will like to come and put money in an economy that is not stable and secured. Secondly, the power sector must be revamped for the economy to thrive. For example, erratic power supply is also a major contributing factor to the rising unemployment rate in the country. Many industries have closed shop in Nigeria , while others moved to neighbouring countries because they could no longer sustain generating power for daily operations by themselves. Also, influx of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into the country is declining due to power crisis. These key areas must be adequately and urgently tackled. Fixing the key sectors will give more boosters to the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. Government must develop the economy such that people coming out of schools can get employment, in order to reduce the crime rate. Do you see any prospect for the economy in 2013 fiscal year? So far, I have not seen anything serious about the programme of this government. We all suffered to vote them into power with the hope that something will be done to alleviate the sufferings of the masses, but what we are getting in return are disappointment, poverty and insecurity. The way things are going now people are not happy.




Exportation as money spinner! BY TUNJI AFUWAPE



Cashew nuts one of the commodities Nigeria exports cottage industries, big manufacturing companies etc) are also looking for suppliers to meet their supply chain demands. An exporter can therefore source the commodities


IGERIA is endowed with diverse and infinite resources, both human and material. However, years of negligence and adverse policies have led to the under-utilization of these resources. Commodities and mineral export is full of untapped opportunities. The industry is so large that it can still accommodate a lot of unemployed Nigerians. If you blessed with the ability to sell and an air of transparency and diplomacy, the export business might be right for you. Products that can be exported are Sesame Seed, Hardwood Charcoal, Cashew Nuts, Gum Arabic, Hibiscus, Ginger, PKS, etc. For instance, Nigeria can export Charcoal all through the year because of the availability of Locust Bean Tree (Iron Wood) which is available in large quantity in the Middle Belt region of the country. Quick guide to export business Assess your company’s export readiness • Build an export plan • Research and select your target market • Create an export marketing plan • Determine the best methods of delivering your product or service to your target market • Develop a sound financial plan • Understand the legal aspects involved in international transactions. A lot of Nigerians are operating a highly lucrative home based exporting company and they are making a steady income of between N50,000 N500,000 monthly regularly with no capital investment, no risk and at their spare time. The profit from the first transaction can be ploughed back and an investor will be able to build up his capital base. Freight forwarder: They act as an import/export agent, or a go-between, taking care of the details of moving goods into or out of a country. Sending products from one international destination to another can involve a multitude of carriers, requirements and legalities. In other words, the freight forwarder who, in most cases, is a Customs broker, is the one that actually tells an exporter the cost of shipping and insurance. Employment opportunity for local supplier: Most producers of exportable commodities, which include farmers, and commodity merchants, are constantly looking for buyers for their commodities while the buyers (who include exporters,

sions which run into millions of Naira in few months depending on the size of the shipment. The most important step in setting up your online based export business is find-

A lot of Nigerians are operating a highly lucrative home based exporting company and they are making a steady income of between N50,000 - N500,000 monthly regularly with no capital investment, no risk and at their spare time

from farmers and local buying agents( LBA) directly at a cheaper rate. This is another sector that can employ up to 10,000 local commodity suppliers in Nigeria. Warehousing and employment generation: The cost of renting warehouses in Lagos and environs runs into millions of naira. Warehouse owners make nothing less than NIO million to N20 million annually renting warehouses to prospects even on a shorter tenure. A standard warehouse accommodation in Nigeria goes for NIOO, 000 per week when there are minimum demands. You can actually generate up to N50 million in a year engaging in warehousing business. Farming: Nigeria has been able to utilize 34 million hectares out of her 91 million hectares of arable land. You can make money by planting nonoil exportable products like Cocoa, Ginger, Garlic, Cashew nut, Sesame seed and make a lot of money. Contract Sourcing: Veteran exporters and prospective exporters are in dire need of export contracts for the various agricultural and allied/ mineral commodities that could be explored within the country. So all you should do as an export entrepreneur is to secure these contracts via the internet. You could start earning commis-


ing the contacts of buyers. One of the ways of making contacts with foreign buyers is by going online. Manufacturing agent: Manufacturers of domestic goods seek foreign distribution of the commodities. You need to find the foreigners who want to buy the raw materials /goods of Nigerian origin. Make a solid connection and establish a business relationship with Ni-

gerian companies by exporting their products. Setting up a shipping system that delivers: Shipping is the roughage in an entrepreneur’s diet. Nobody’s interested in talking about it, but everybody’s got to deal with it. In fact, shipping is one of the most challenging aspects of business for many entrepreneurs. Working under someone in the shipping industry can be a great way to get bothgood contacts and a muchneeded experience. You must try to gamer as much information as possible about all the pros and cons of this business. You must try to enhance your knowledge about the strategies and working styles of other shipping companies in Nigeria. Export Insurance services: This is an opportunity for specialists and acknowledged experts in providing insurance services for international trade. You can be an Insurance Brokerage specializing in Export CreditIPolitical Risks, Domestic Credit and related insurance for businesses, exporters and their financial institutions. Export legal assistance: A lawyer will help you identify the key legal issues facing your company in exporting, explain basic contractual requirements, taxes and regulations and give you introductory information on other necessary resources, such as banks, freight forwarders, insurance companies, federal programs to expand exports. Courier services: For many exporters, a courier company is an important partner in the export process. At the very least, the courier company will ensure that important documents (such as contracts, transport documents, proposals, presentations, catalogues, brochures, etc.) get to the foreign customer safely. A courier service may also be worth using if you need to get a sample to a customer urgently. Although courier companies are generally considered to handle small packages, many of the large companies such as DHL are expanding their operations to handle any specialized urgent cargos! Export consultancy and training: The importance of export consultants is indisputable in modern businesses.

They are professionals who help businesses grow in overseas markets. The export consultants are trabed in international business liaison and can help businesses with market research, finding franchises. establishing distribution channels and designing advertising campaigns. A lot of Nigerian organize training to share information on vital export processes. They also provide contacts of overseas buyers of Nigeria’s agricultural product. Road haulage transport business: Often times goods need to be transported to our various ports. As a new entrant into haulage business, you can decide to buy a trailer and station it with any of the multinational companies. They will maintain the trailer for you, employ a driver for you, at the end of every month all you need to do is to go their office and collect your cheque; they pay between N600,000million and Nlmillion on a trailer every month. But before you can be part of this, you need to register with them as ‘a contractor. Trade show organizers: The task of organizing a trade show can seem overwhelming. The show organizer has to select a site, negotiate contracts and arrange for housing and travel as needed. He or she must arrange for exhibition services, market to potential vendors and arrange all the million of details that make up the logistics of the affair. When you scrape away all the bells and whistles, what are you left with? — An event that brings buyers and sellers together. Please remember, preparing for the world of international trade is a complex process. But with the proper knowledge and strategy, you’ll soon be on your way to worldwide success. Tunji Afuwape is small business and SMEs finance expert Tel: 08033224392.e-mail:

Ships& Ports essay focuses on piracy, illegal activities on waterways BY UDEME CLEMENT


HE Ships & Ports Communication Company, indigenous maritime media firm, has unveiled the 2012 annual national essay competition, with title ‘How to check piracy and other illegal activities on Nigerian waters.’ The project Coordinator and Business Development Manager of Ships & Ports, Eucharia Okoli, said the theme was chosen to ensure focus on the efforts of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in

checking piracy, oil theft, sea robbery and other illegal activities on the nation’s territorial waters. She said, “In its sixth year, the Ships & Ports annual essay competition has come of age. The objective is to encourage people in making intellectual contributions to the growth and development of the shipping sector in the country. The annual competition is in pursuit of our commitment of enabling Nigerians appreciate the potentials in the nation’s maritime sector and ruminate over its significance to their means of livelihood and well being”. She went on, “prizes will be

given to winners in four categories namely prizes for the best overall essay, creative writing and research. The competition is open to all interested persons within and outside the maritime industry. Entries for this year ’s essay competition closes on by 16th November, while prizes will be presented to winners on Thursday, 13th December, 2012. The essay competition was launched in 2007. The company also organises annual Shipping Career Summit, aims at exposing Nigerians, especially youths, to enormous career opportunities abound in the nation’s maritime sector”.

SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012 — PAGE 31


PAGE 32 — SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012



We're empowering girls for IT devt in Nigeria — Oreoluwa Somolu With technology pervading every facet of human life, there’s the urgent need for women and girls, who’ve been handicapped in this area, to acquire much knowledge. According to statistics, they comprise a larger percentage of Nigeria’s population, so, Nigeria’s move to becoming an IT-compliant nation may be frustrated unless these groups are catered for. Oreoluwa Somolu, the Executive Director, Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC), however seems to be on a rescue mission. The University of London-trained IT expert is passionately empowering women and girls in information technology. Here, she speaks about her life, love for information technology and W.TEC’s activities . Enjoy!!

BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA Background had my secondary school education at Queens College, Yaba, Lagos. From there, I went to the University of Essex where I studied Economics and graduated in 1998. I went on to do a Masters in Information System at the University of London, and then a one-year certificate programme in applied sciences in the US. There in the US, I worked for an NGO, Education Development Centre, for about four years before returning to Nigeria.


Returning to Nigeria After returning to Nigeria, I did my NYSC and then worked with an oil and gas firm for about two years before going to establish W.TEC. Actually, I had to take that step because it was something I had always wanted to do right from when I left secondary school. Ever since I attended a computer training school while waiting to proceed to tertiary institution, I’ve always enjoyed the fact that I could apply the skill to different areas. Even when I was in the UK studying Economics, I kept up my interest by trying to learn new things; I got involved in the business of typing and printing essays for students. I therefore realised that technology could be very valuable and empowering. The quest to explore more was what made me study Information System. One of the courses I took while studying for my masters was IT for Policy and Development. Through research also, I learnt that there were very few women, especially in Africa, using IT. I actually did my thesis on Gender and Technology for Development. Wo r k i n g with the NGO in the US enhanced my interest because my job was as a project assistant, researching on how men and women use technology and also how to encourage women and girls into the area of science and technology. My career gradually moved into that line, and empowering women with information technology has become dear to me.

We decided to empower Nigerian women and girls through active engagement with ICT. We teach them to use different tools in respect to learning, networking, leadership and activism, career advancement, to mention but a few. We actually have different programmes targeted at different groups of women and girls. Introducing young girls to ICT We have a regular camp targeted at secondary school girls. The camp is aimed at awakening early interest in information technology in the girls. It’s good to catch them early because at this stage, they’re still very curious and open to learning new things. For the duration of the residential camp, they learn how to use the computer, learn different applications, work on projects together, undergo career talks sessions, etc. We usually invite professional women and men who use technology in their work to come talk to them about how they apply technology to their work. We actually just had one recently. It’s basically a way of inOreoluwa Somolu....We encourage women to think about starting troducing the girls to the different catheir own businesses. reers they could take up, or the different things they could use the computer to achieve in their work. Also, we do try to encourage ment has endorsed our programme. What we await now is the Ministry of Education’s approval of our them to consider technology-related careers. going to work with girls in selected schools. E also have a structured pro Technology is particularly important for girls because gramme called the Young Women they are going to grow up to be mothers and their ICT Empowerment Programme, children would have to learn from them in different targeted at women between the ways. Also, we want to have more women contribute ages of 18-30; including gradu- to the development of technology in Nigeria because ates and undergraduates. this is relevant to all aspects of life. More importantly, More importantly, we en- it’s good for women to develop skills that they can courage women to think use for their day to day lives, for the general growth about starting their own of our nation because nations, including Nigeria, are businesses and also teach already computerizing a lot of things. them how they could use ICT to facilitate the business. We also have other specialised programmes, work with civil societies like Baobab and also engage in research.


It’s good for women to develop skills that they can use for their day to day lives, for the general growth of our nation because nations, including Nigeria, are already computerising a lot of things


Funding Funding is actually a major issue for a lot of NGOs, and W.Tech is no exception. Each of our girls’ camp caters for about 150 girls and we had to put a cost to the camp after doing several for free, due to the rising cost. We have girls from across Nigeria who come to attend our camp. But for very indigent girls who cannot afford the cost, we support them in possible ways. We therefore had to open up to sponsorships so as to enable us carry-on with our work. We are however presently working on partnering with the Lagos State government. Already, the govern-

Somolu with some of the girls.


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012 — PAGE 33


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SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012 — PAGE 35


PAGE 36 — SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012


SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012 , PAGE 37


visitor to the corporate head quarters of Vanguard Newspa pers, off the Oshodi/Apapa Expressway in Lagos, will not but notice the ambiance of communal life-style that pervades the environment. From your first encounter with the Security Guards to the General Manager, it is always a feeling of friendliness and comradeship. This attitude is exemplified by the transparent humility as epitomised by Mr. Sam Amuka, the publisher of Vanguard Newspapers. Except you have seen his picture in the pages of newspapers, or on television or he was introduced at an event, you might be taken aback to find him indulging himself in the consumption of roasted yam and grounded pepper, along with other patrons of the delicacy at the nearby shack. This is the Vanguard Family for you. It is also not uncommon to find the General Manager (who incidentally is the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors) along the corridor of the offices attending to official matters. Not that his office is not conducive enough, but there seem to be an unwritten policy to get the job done, irrespective of where you find yourself. Small wonder then that you might find the Publisher at the SubDesk Unit helping out in the editing and laying out of the newspaper. Mr. Amuka is an accomplished newsman, having left his foot-prints on the “Sands of Journalism” at the Daily Times and Punch Newspapers, before berthing at the Canal along Apapa to establish the Vanguard Newspapers. I stand to be corrected when I say that Vanguard has the only Five-star Bar and Restaurant in any media outfit in the country. I am not talking about the glorified bukas and beer joints you find in some media houses. This Vanguard eatery has been aptly named ‘The Canal’. The reason is not far-fetched, as the media house has one of the numerous canals in Lagos, running right in front of its office, flowing towards the Mile-Two end. The ‘Canal’ further strengthens the feeling of friendliness, as it provides the right atmosphere to further cement the closeness among the staff. The reason for the establishment of this unit, is for the reporter to hurry down to the office to file his/her story, knowing there is a guarantee of having something to eat and drink later. The urge to have a bite and something to drink before coming back to the office have delayed many a story in the past. Many a Head of State, top government functionaries, captains of industries, school children and the ordinary Nigerian have been feted at the Canal. The Canal has an international recognised chef, who can prepare continental dishes of any kind within a short notice. The traditional cuisine is a common place here. The bar of the canal serves very cold drinks to compliment what patrons eat. I wager any person to walk into Vanguard on any Monday, and come witness what its Editors take after their Monday Editorial deliberations. A visitor had once remarked whether a buffet was going on when he unexpectedly walked into the Canal during the lunch for the Editors.


he hub of comradeship in Van guard is the Newsroom. It is here that the fun begins and ends. It is here that you have ALL WORK AND ALL PLAY, GETS THE JOB DONE. Except you are introduced to the News Editor, everybody seems to look the same. The entire newsroom is in a continuC M Y K

Nigerian Anthem: A time for a re-think

Nigeria is great. Here the emphasis is about the land called Nigeria and not any individual. It then follows with ‘Our own dear native land’ ; here there is an agreed fraternal attachment to the land, which is the birth place of all. Then comes the verse that seems to be the most important, ‘though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand’. There is a total agreement again that though we are different, we are still held together by a very unique bond of brotherhood, with the hope that our motherland Nigeria will be great if we join forces. Finally comes the section that serves as a pledge by all to the nation - ‘Nigeria son/daughters are proud to serve our sovereign motherland.’


Map of Nigeria ous flux of laughter and happiness mixed with seriousness at work. There is a section of the Newsroom referred to as the ‘Bar’. This is an unofficial and a very important section of the newsroom. From here comes a continuous flow of drinks and edibles. Everybody, including visitors partake in this service. There is always something for everyone, but the only standing rule is, NO SMOKING. Birthdays, home-




We have become a nation without role models. Honesty, hard-work and humility are no longer sign-posts for service to the nation


coming, promotions, weddings, naming ceremonies or whatever event that is worth celebrating are marked at the ‘bar.’ It is a tradition at the bar that certain persons are accorded special recognition during their birthdays, with a special rendition of the National Anthem, instead of the usual happy birthday song. Thus when the News Editor celebrated his birthday recently, the entire newsroom sang the nation anthem for him to mark his birthday. The anthem rendered was the old one, written by the wife of Lord Lugard. Even the young interns could not help but join the older members of staff in singing the old anthem. Every time this

anthem is sung, it elicits emotion among many and brings the house down.


fter the rendition, a great debate began about which of the versions, old or new, was more appropriate and relevant to Nigerians. Surprisingly, the younger generation feel attached to the older version of the anthem and wondered why the change. Well, it is not surprising, because Nigerians have the knack of changing names. A few examples would suffice. Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN) has gone through a metamorphosis to become the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). Nigeria Football Association (NFA) changed into Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). From Green Eagles to Super Eagles. The Police uniform has been changed so many times that you don’t know the standard uniform again. There are times you find some policemen with rolled-up jean trousers carrying AK-47 or a broken short stick they call baton. Have these changes brought with them an improvement in service. The answer is a loud NO. It is however surprising that someone has not come out with suggestion that the country ’s name should be changed. At least, Republic Du Benin, one of our neighbours used to be referred to as Dahomey in the past. While Gold Coast used to be Ghana’s former name. However, colloquially, Nigeria is referred to as ‘Naija’ by the younger generation and some other persons, for convenience. Now let's take a closer look at the first stanza of both anthems and the message they send out. It might help us to understand the growing urge in the country to revert to the old anthem, despite the fact that it was composed by a foreigner and wife of our colonial administrator. Let's begin with the old anthem. It starts with the verse ‘Nigeria we hail thee’, this indicates that there is a collective agreement that

n the other hand, the new an them seems to be sending out contradictory and confusing messages. It begins with the verse ‘Arise O Compatriots, Nigeria call obey’. Which patriots are they calling to if the ones that gave everything to the country are treated with disdain? There is injustice everywhere in the land. Pensioners have become a burden on the conscience of the nation, with some falling dead on queues, just to collect what is due to them. Meanwhile corruption pervades the land. An elected public officer embezzles N58 billion of public funds and is told go home after some bogus plea-bargain. Who then is expected to harken to the said call ? The anthem continues with the verse - ‘To serve our fatherland, with love and strength and faith’. Can it be truly said that the present-day Nigerian is out to serve the nation? It is a known fact that the bottom line is to first feather your nest before you think of the nation. If it was about service to the nation, why all the political intrigues, blackmail, high-profile killings and murders, just to occupy political positions. We have become a nation without role models. Honesty, hard-work and humility are no longer sign-posts for service to the nation. The next verse says ‘The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain’. It would be wasting precious time and space if one had to respond to this verse. However I ask, how has the country treated the creator of the national flag, President Nnamdi Azikiwe’s mausoleum, former sportsmen/women and a host of other Nigerians that made the country proud in the past. Next comes the part which calls Nigerians ‘To serve with heart and might.’ For this section, with what has been said above, means nothing to most Nigerians. The first stanza ends with ‘One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity’. Freedom comes from the respect of individual views. Peace comes with Justice while Unity comes from genuine brotherhood. What do we have today, ethnic armies, extra-judicial killings, regional democracies, anti-people policies. The new anthem has no message to Nigerians. The anthem of a nation is like the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ as given by Jesus Christ to his disciples. The Lord’s Prayer contains every thing any Christian would want from his Creator. It is the most comprehensive communication from the Creature to his/her Creator. All other versions of prayers that are formed or recited are all man-made, with very little value and consequence to the Creator. The message in the Lord’s prayer is clear, concise and direct. It raises emotion and has true value to the soul. This is what the old anthem elicits. NIGERIANS, I HAIL ALL OF YOU.

38—SUNDAY, Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012

Sok o to’s Go es Soko Govv. giv gives daughter in wedlock


With Ayo Onikoyi


When Iy aloja-General’s grandson w edded Iyaloja-General’s wedded

t was another day of joy in the home of the first family of Sokoto state when the Governor, Aliyu Wamakko gave the hand of his daughter, Hajiya Rliya Magatakarda Wamakko to the handsome Secretary of Goronyo Local Government, Engr. Mujittaba Kware. The wedding Fatiha took place at Gidan Kara, Sokoto and it was graced by eminent personalities. Photos by Abayomi Adesida


verybody knows the evergreen Iyaloja General of Nigeria, Alhaja Habibatu Mogaji, the mother of political icon, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the entire Tinubu family of Lagos and the kind of power and panache they parade. When Moshood Adedamola Kasumu, the grandson of the nonagenarian wedded in Lagos the occasion was a power parade of class, glamour and glitz. Nearly the whole of the ACN crew and elites of Lagos graced the event which held at Blueroof, LTV 8, Ikeja, Lagos. Photos by Bunmi Azeez

L-R:Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulure, Dep. Gov.,Lagos state, Mr. Moshood Adedamola Simbiat, Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, Alh. Sherifah Aregbesola Osun state First Lady Alhaji, Lateef Jakande, former Governor of Lagos state and Mrs. Idiat Adebule, Lagos SSG,

L-R:Alh. Idiat Adebule , Princess Serah Adebisi Sosan and Chief Molade OkoyaThomas

L-R:Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Alh. Bintu Fatimah Tinubu, Alh. Lateef Jakande, Alhaja Habibatu Mogaji, Iyaloja in General, groom's grandmum and Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state

L-R:Alh. Abimbola Jakande, Chief Kemi Nelson, Alh. Bisi Abiola and Alh. Fehintola L-R:Alh. Sherifah Aregbesola, Alh. Lateef Muri-Okunola Okunnu and Alh. Latefah Okunnu


Rotaract’s Installation and award

The bride, Hajiya Rilya Magatakarda (3r) with mothers of the day

Secretary, Goronyo Local Government, Engr. Mujittaba Kware, groom flanked by his friends

Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State flanked by the Speaker House of Repsentatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal (l) and Youth Development Minister, Mallam Inuwa Abdulkadir

he Installations of Rotaract Olanrewaju Kosoko-Salu as the 2nd President of Rotaract Club of Egbeda and launching of the Club projects and conferment of meritorious awards held at MOABS Odejeji Hall, Igando, Lagos last Sunday. Photos by Bunmi Azeez

L-R:Rotr. Adekunle Adeniran, handing over L-R: Rotn. Chuks Mike Okonkwo, President to Rotr. Kosoko-Salu, new President, Rotr. ,Rotary Club of Egbeda, Mr. Gbenga Ganzallo, representing Dr. Joe OkeiLasisi, and Rotn. Chuk Okonkwo, Odumakin and Rev. Ajani Olutade

Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State flanked by the Speaker House of Repsentatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal (l) and Sokoto State Informationj Commissioner, Mallam Danladi Bako C M Y K

SUNDAY, Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012 —39

With Ayo Onikoyi


Popping cchampaign hampaign ffor or Mar tin Ik ediashi @ 70 Martin Ikediashi


artin Ikechukwu Ikediashi, teacher, administrator and businessman means different things to different people but there are some many that would describe the handsome Ibusa-born gentleman as a man of wit, charm and ferocious resilience. th On the occasion of his 70 birthday last Saturday, it was outpouring day of merriment laced with popping champaign after a stirring and colourful thanksgiving at the Catholic Church of the Assumption, Ikoyi, Lagos. Photos by Diran Oshe

L- R: Mrs Ukalechi Agbim, Mr & Mrs Martin Ikediashi and Mrs Shade Ikediash

Mr & Mrs Martin Ikediashi cutting the 70th birthday cake L- R: Dr.( Mrs ) Funmi Okhomina, Mrs P. Okaita and Chief Frank Okaita

L- R: Mr Emeka Izeze and Mr Francis Atuche

L- R:Ms Fidelia Ikediashi, Mrs Onyema Akomah, Mr Mike Ikediashi and Dr. Ikem Gbemudu






P AGE 42—SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012 PA


Obama/Romney Presidential Debate:

Some others do have them


Grand deception in high places Why debate analyses by experts are biased And how Obama/Romney poked fun at each other 

That debate, judging by the fact that Bidden could also be a lose cannon, was adjudged fair and balanced. But if truth be told, Ryan was able to make the point Romney had been pushing about the fact that jobs have disappeared just as the economy can not be said to be better than when Obama took over.

But it was to be the second presidential debate, which was in the form of a town hall setting that really brought out the best and the worst in both Obama and Romney. The two candidates projected anger, distrust and debauchery. The very realization that Obama needed to fight his



erhaps, one of the very intriguing aspects of reporting the presidential debates that have held in the United States of America, in the run up to the Tuesday, November 6, 2012, election, is the way the media is handling the analysis of the outcomes of the debates. And whereas you could expect to see real biased reporting of events in developing countries at times like this, the media in America may have proved that it is not immune to bias after all in the way the events are reported. If you did not have a first hand experience of the three debates (two presidential debates and one vice presidential debate), relying solely on the analysis provided in the media would be very misleading. From every objective assessment, the first debate was adjudged to have been won by Mitt Romney. But Romney won not only on his own steam but more because his competitor, American President Barrak Obama, came to the debate obviously unprepared and manifestly self-conceited – this, more so because nothing really good was expected of Romney and, therefore, Obama had hoped to just talk his way through. He was dead wrong. Even before the debate ended, it had become obvious that Romney had stolen the show. Although some observers had expected Romney, the Republican Party’s candidate, to pull a gaffe, the expectations of the Democrats could be likened to the typically Nigerian attitude about preparations for a sporting competition where the country ’s sure-banker hope of winning is predicated on the expected failings of the opponent and not on its own stellar performance. After the first presidential debate, came the debate between the vice presidential candidates. For Obama, it was Joe Bidden; and for Romney, it was Paul Ryan.

After the about 90 minutes, some gave the second debate to Romney on specific economic issues while others said Obama improved when compared to his first poor showing


way back during the second outing demonstrates how badly each needed a good showing. You could see a President fighting hard to keep his job. You could also observe the nuances of a contender who desperately wants to wrest power from an incumbent. Every speech, every gesticulation, every move, represented a step in the effort to either retain power or wrest it. After the about 90 minutes, some gave the second debate to Romney on specific economic issues while others said Obama improved when compared to his first poor showing. Now, improving from your first poor showing does not mean you won; it only means you improved. Simple! But the spin would never go away. The guys at FOX say

Romney was great on energy (in fact, very great) – they pointed to his position on the development of coal for greater energy and his insistence on developing oil fields in North America for self-sustenance rather than depending on the Arabs. They concluded that Obama was just speaking but without specifics on what he would deliver in the next four years. A neutral observer’s reading of the debate was more middle of the road kind of. Dan Stan, a professor of political economy, said, “Romney can call China a currency manipulator; once in office, he may decide to sanction China; and then China would retaliate; and that would bring about tension between both countries. More appropriate would be for Romney to label China a currency manipulator and leave it at that - name calling”. On Libya, Obama never answered the question about who denied the extra security in Benghazi. That should have been an opportunity for Romney to expose Obama. But he blew the opportunity. Romney messed up by not quoting Obama correctly. “Act of terror” was the phrase Obama used to describe what happened in Benghazi the following morning. Two weeks later, Obama called it a “Terrorist Attack”. The point Romney wanted to make, but which he failed to deliver on, was to distinguish between calling an incident an “Act of terror ” and a “Terrorist act”. When Obama said it was an “Act of terror ”, semantically speaking, he was right. But in diplomatic terms, especially as Commander-inChief, he was vague, very

Continues on page 45

PAGE 42 — SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012


Obama/Romney Presidential Debate:

Some others do have them Grand deception in high places Why debate analyses by experts are biased And how Obama/Romney poked fun at each other 


That debate, judging by the fact that Bidden could also be a lose cannon, was adjudged fair and balanced. But if truth be told, Ryan was able to make the point Romney had been pushing about the fact that jobs have disappeared just as the economy can not be said to be better than when Obama took over.



erhaps, one of the very intriguing aspects of reporting the presidential debates that have held in the United States of America, in the run up to the Tuesday, November 6, 2012, election, is the way the media is handling the analysis of the outcomes of the debates. And whereas you could expect to see real biased reporting of events in developing countries at times like this, the media in America may have proved that it is not immune to bias after all in the way the events are reported. If you did not have a first hand experience of the three debates (two presidential debates and one vice presidential debate), relying solely on the analysis provided in the media would be very misleading. From every objective assessment, the first debate was adjudged to have been won by Mitt Romney. But Romney won not only on his own steam but more because his competitor, American President Barrak Obama, came to the debate obviously unprepared and manifestly self-conceited – this, more so because nothing really good was expected of Romney and, therefore, Obama had hoped to just talk his way through. He was dead wrong. Even before the debate ended, it had become obvious that Romney had stolen the show. Although some observers had expected Romney, the Republican Party’s candidate, to pull a gaffe, the expectations of the Democrats could be likened to the typically Nigerian attitude about preparations for a sporting competition where the country ’s sure-banker hope of winning is predicated on the expected failings of the opponent and not on its own stellar performance. After the first presidential debate, came the debate between the vice presidential candidates. For Obama, it was Joe Bidden; and for Romney, it was Paul Ryan.

But it was to be the second presidential debate, which was in the form of a town hall setting that really brought out the best and the worst in both Obama and Romney. The two candidates projected anger, distrust and debauchery. The very realization that Obama needed to fight his

After the about 90 minutes, some gave the second debate to Romney on specific economic issues while others said Obama improved when compared to his first poor showing


way back during the second outing demonstrates how badly each needed a good showing. You could see a President fighting hard to keep his job. You could also observe the nuances of a contender who desperately wants to wrest power from an incumbent. Every speech, every gesticulation, every move, represented a step in the effort to either retain power or wrest it. After the about 90 minutes, some gave the second debate to Romney on specific economic issues while others said Obama improved when compared to his first poor showing. Now, improving from your first poor showing does not mean you won; it only means you improved. Simple! But the spin would never go away. The guys at FOX say

Romney was great on energy (in fact, very great) – they pointed to his position on the development of coal for greater energy and his insistence on developing oil fields in North America for self-sustenance rather than depending on the Arabs. They concluded that Obama was just speaking but without specifics on what he would deliver in the next four years. A neutral observer’s reading of the debate was more middle of the road kind of. Dan Stan, a professor of political economy, said, “Romney can call China a currency manipulator; once in office, he may decide to sanction China; and then China would retaliate; and that would bring about tension between both countries. More appropriate would be for Romney to label China a currency manipulator and leave it at that - name calling”. On Libya, Obama never answered the question about who denied the extra security in Benghazi. That should have been an opportunity for Romney to expose Obama. But he blew the opportunity. Romney messed up by not quoting Obama correctly. “Act of terror” was the phrase Obama used to describe what happened in Benghazi the following morning. Two weeks later, Obama called it a “Terrorist Attack”. The point Romney wanted to make, but which he failed to deliver on, was to distinguish between calling an incident an “Act of terror ” and a “Terrorist act”. When Obama said it was an “Act of terror ”, semantically speaking, he was right. But in diplomatic terms, especially as Commander-inChief, he was vague, very

Continues on page 45


Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the President and Commander-inChief.


ranz Fanon once wrote that history will not forgive those who possess the extra-ordinary ability to speak the word of truth to their oppressors, but chose to indulge in an attitude of passivity. So, the role of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in the Bakassi saga will remain a case study for champions of ethnic interest in national geo-political balancing. Given his background as a son of South-South and faced with the ethical challenges of the oath of office that he swore to, the constitutional responsibility to defend Nigeria’s territorial integrity, secure and protect the lives of its citizens as well as uphold their rights, the president played the Pontius Pilate. When the opportunity presented itself for the Commander –in –Chief to uphold the right of over three hundred thousands of the citizens of Nigerians unjustly displaced from their ancestral home, he turned his face away, and chose to sermonise on obedience to the rule of law. He “came, he saw and he refused to conquer”.


The actors in the eye of history - 1 Nigeria became the first country in history to cede its territory and willingly agreed to displace its own citizens, in their home land in peace time, to honour its war time obligations and in the spirit of African brotherhood. The United Nations recognised this extraordinary accomplishment and duly sent a message of congratulations to Aso Rock. To us, when the full history of Bakassi is finally written, there will be chapters for some individuals, institutions and agencies whose role would appear in bold gold prints as heroes while others would end up in the foot notes. This perspective is just a guide. leadership is the quality of leaders and geo-political contraptions that enthroned men and women whose interest in public office is to appropriate the common good for itself. Given the hurried manner that Whitehall prepared Nigeria for its political independence, it is obvious that


vital national information were withheld from the leadership of the new nation. At the same time, the new leaders were anxious to impress on the national and international stage. The Balewa administration, with all its naivety, regarded Africa as a universal canvass for interac-

Bakassi...effectively ceded

eroon. Alhaji Tafawa Balewa’s knowledge of the issue was limited just as the world view of that administration was myopic. The British government that ought to have corrected that error kept mute, believing that one day it would profit from the blunder, which it created in converting the treaty of protection which it signed with the Obong and Chief of Efik Kingdom into a treaty of cession of territory. From the Berlin conference of 1884 to the International Court of Justice perfidy at the Hague, in 2002, the character of the white man in scavenging for resources in Africa has not changed and the people of Bakassi may need to sue all those involved in this act of bad faith and mess of history.

Gen. Yakubu Gowon

The British government that ought to have corrected that error kept mute, believing that one day it would profit from the blunder


Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa What has remained the bane of Nigeria’s evolution as a nation and the under accomplishment of its

Shehu Shagari

Yakubu Gowon


BY HUGO ODIOGOR, Foreign Affairs Editor

Tafawa Balewa

Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012, PAGE 43

tions and, as such, set the tone for the brand of Father Christmas diplomatic disposition. It was not out of character that it went to send a diplomatic note to Ahmadu Ahijo, who was from Northern Nigeria, assuring him the Bakassi Peninsula belonged to Cam-

Nigeria’s number one prayer warrior has a prayer point to raise on what he did at Maroua, which he has failed to make public. Whether General Yakubu Gowon acknowledges that his role in Nigeria’s political history would always be viewed from different angle of national prisms or not, the fact remains that the people of Bakassi would never regard him as a hero. At 27, Gowon was obviously too young to understand the political dynamics at work at the national and international stages. Faced with the prospect of managing a complex multi-national geopolitical entity, in war time, he panicked and committed a blunder that will live with Nigeria forever. He trusted Ahidjo, the Camerounian

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P AGE 44, V anguard, SUND AY, OCTOBER 21, 2012 PA Vanguard SUNDA

Muhammadu Buhari

leader, well enough to secure the South Eastern flank from Biafra by making concession to trade off a Nigerian territory. It was an opportunity Ahidjo would seize to the advantage of his country. Gowon’s second prayer point at this time will be for history to judge him kindly because the lives of Bakassi people will never be the same again. Some of them have died, others have been displaced, those still on the peninsula have become immigrant and heavily policed by Cameroonian security forces. Although Gowon has refused to talk about Bakassi, it is certainly going to be a cross he would continue to bear.

Gen. Murtala Ramat Mohammed Gen. Murtala Ramat Mohammed came to power as a Brigadier General in 1975 but, as the Commissioner for Communication, he was a member of the Supreme Military Council, SMC, that turned down the Maroua declaration. In fact, Mohammed vowed that no Nigerian territory would be ceded to appease any country for supporting Nigeria to fight the civil war. Mohammed and some members of the SMC were reported to have threatened to go to war to stop such from happening. It is important to state that the SMC refused to ratify the Maroua declaration and, six months after, Mohammed came to power. Maroua declaration was put in the cooler.

Justice Dr. T.O. Elias. He was a distinguished legal luminary, whose views must command respect all over the world. He was a professor of law at the University of Lagos, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the government of General Gowon, Chief Justice of the Federation of Nigeria, and President of the International Court of Justice. These credentials are, by all

Olusegun Obasanjo

administration in fighting the civil war in the Calabar sector

Dr. Okoi Arikpo, Commissioner for External Affairs, He was the war time External Affairs Minister who hailed from South Eastern Nigeria during the War and now Cross River State. His role in the deliberations that took place in Yaoundé 1 and


Continues on page 43

Sani Abacha

In 1994, Gen. Sani Abacha moved troops into Bakassi Peninsula to stop the harassment of Nigerians in the territory. Two years later he created a local government in the area


standards, intimidating. He is credited with writing a legal opinion of September 3, 1970 which is being cited as a proof that Nigeria has no claims to Bakassi Peninsula based on the outcome of the vital decision taken by Federal Director of Surveys. Most importantly, Elias was known to have advised the Federal Military Government that “Every effort should be exerted on our side to ensure that Nigeria does not show ingratitude to a sister country that stood by us during the Civil War”. This, in effect, was what the Maroua declaration was meant to achieve by resurrecting a dead 1913 Anglo-German treaty, to reward Cameroon for supporting the Gowon

2 197O as well as Maroua 1975 remains suspect but, as a son of the soil, his role in ceding of Bakassi is less than cheering..

Alhaji Shehu Shagari Before he became President in 1979, Alhaji Shehu Shagari served as the Commissioner for Finance after the exit of Chief Obafemi Awolowo from the Gowon administration. Shagari, who had been in government since 1954, was among the delegation that went to Maroua where Gowon and Ahidjo finally agreed to set on a new boundary line to serve as the international maritime boundary between the two countries. Incidentally,

Florence Ita Giwa

Shagari and other members of the delegation were left in the situation room while Gowon and Ahidjo allegedly went to make the deals to cede Bakassi Peninsula. When he became President from 1979 to 1983, Shagari never accepted that Bakassi belonged to Cameroon. His administration once mobilised troops to challenge Cameroon, following the killing of five Nigerian soldiers by Cameroonian gendarmes. It is on record that Shagari also stated that “the boundary between Nigeria and Cameroons had long been settled down the Rio del Rey, and the territorial waters of the two countries finally defined and settled between the British and the Germans up to the 3-mile limit since 1913, and demarcated on a colonial map which both Britain and Germany signed”. Shagari, who hails from Sokoto, asserted correctly that “it was the discovery of oil in large quantities under the sea in the Bakassi region that aggravated the problem of maritime international boundaries”. He went further to say that Cameroon “took advantage of Nigeria’s preoccupation with the civil war in the late sixties, to start drilling for off-shore oil, in a disputed area in the sea along the Nigerian border ”. The former President, finally, noted “ that the existing Nigerian border at the sea coast of Rio Del Rey was protected by the OAU Resolution of 1964, respecting the inviolability of inherited colonial boundaries”. A President from the SouthSouth region could not make such a profound case for his region and for Nigeria.

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari Buhari’s administration was shortlived but, as the GOC of the Jos based 83 Division, his credentials for giving Chadians rebels a hot chase warned the Cameroonians to be quiet. Gen. Ibrahim Babangida was too busy plotting how to perpetuate himself in office than to give a damn to what Cameroonians were doing in Bakassi.

Gen. Sani Abacha In 1994, Gen. Sani Abacha moved troops into Bakassi Peninsula to stop the harassment of Nigerians in the territory. Two years later he created a local government in the area. Opposition groups criticised him for the move which they saw as an attempt to divert attention from domestic pressures to his administration which came to office on November 17, 1993 amid nationwide rejection of the annulment of the result of the June 12, 1993 presidential election. The government of Cameroon, on the advice of France, approached the International Court of Justice at The Hague the Netherlands. Whether it was proper for Nigeria to appear at the trial is a matter for diplomats and legal minds to analyse but, as a soldier, Gen. Abacha did his work CONTINUES NEXT WEEK: What roles did the following play: Alhaji Aminu Saleh, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Umar Musa Yar ‘Adua, Mr. Donald Duke, Senator Florence Ita Giwa C M Y K

SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, PAGE 45

Continued from page 42 vague because what that suggested was that he didn’t even know what actually happened. It was after two weeks that it became established that it was indeed a “Terrorist act”, in which case it meant that terrorists planned the action and executed it – as against a mere demonstration that got out of hand. Now, if you don’t have the correct information about Libya, then there is a problem on foreign policy as Commander-in-Chief and that was what Obama used against Romney. The real issues Romney should have used against Obama were straight forward: Why wasn’t adequate security provided? Why didn’t Obama or government know what actually happened until after two full weeks? And whereas there was a back and forth about who should take responsibility (Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, had accepted responsibility, Obama chose to make a show of his position as Commander-in-Chief and, therefore, insisted that night that the responsibility remained his).

Obama, dared not use his – Obama’s middle name is Hussein. “I was dubbed a celebrity after my 2008 tour of Europe because of the way our allies rallied for me”, he reminded his audience; but then threw jabs at Romney, saying, “Romney is luckier because he has avoided that tag” – which in real sense meant that Romney’s tour of Europe was less successful. When Romney rose to speak, it was even more humourous. He took off by taking a swipe at Bidden. “I was hoping Joe Bidden would be brought along this evening because he would laugh at anything”, Romney said.

How Obama/ Romney poked fun at each other




Romney When CNN aired that part of the debate, the network deliberately faded out Romney ’s allegation that Obama’s pension books have Chinese companies on the list of companies where monies have been invested. Even regarding the slots allocated to news items regarding the two candidates,


n immigration, Romney said Obama has not done what he promised he would do in his first year. But Romney again was caught on the off side having earlier supported the self-deportation law – that is, make life so unbearable for illegal immigrants that they would of their volition leave the US. On women, unfortunately, you would think Romney did well in Massachusetts with the appointment of women into office. But in his business world, he didn’t do well. That was pointed out as a necessary transition having not being a woman’s person while operating as a business man. But when you look at the reporting of the events on CNN, you would know where the slant is – Support Obama. For instance, Obama raised the investments Romney has in Chinese companies as inappropriate for security reasons. Romney fired back admitting his blind trust has investments in Chinese companies; but that Obama, too, had investments in Chinese companies.

it is easy to discern where the interest of FOX resides just as CNN’s, too, is visible under tight scrutiny. But away from last week’s debate, the two men would be squaring up again next Tuesday, this time on foreign policy. Before then, they both dressed formally last

On Libya, Obama never answered the question about who denied the extra security in Benghazi. That should have been an opportunity for Romney to expose Obama


Thursday for the Al Smith Dinner for Charity which was a fund raiser. The history of the dinner dates back to 1960. It afforded the candidates an opportunity to wind down a bit. When Obama spoke, he made fun of his first outing and said having put up a better showing last Tuesday, he “rested more this time than after the first debate”. He said people tell him “ you’re not as young as you used to be” since you became President. The President said he was looking forward to Tuesday’s debate on foreign policy because he has the bragging rights over getting Bin Laden. He said Romney has the luxury of using his middle name ‘Mitt’, whereas he,

he Republican candidate said the media was not being fair to him at all. He said when polls showed that he floored Obama in the first debate, some newspapers went to town with a story that polls showed Obama leading from behind He even claimed to have an idea of what the papers would lead with the day after the fund raiser. “Obama embraced by Catholics”, - because the fund raiser had religious presence. “Romney dines with rich people”, - because the night was more of glamour for the rich and powerful. Some humour. Perhaps, the lesson to be drawn from this would be for politicians and statesmen in Nigeria who throw caution and courtesy to the dogs in the pursuit of political gains. An example: During the run up to the 2011 election, at the height of the denial over zoning in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, some elder statesmen from both the North and South of Nigeria almost set the nation on fire without regard for courtesy in their utterances. And the list is endless: Pa Edwin Clark, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, Olusegun Obasanjo, Muhammadu Buhari, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Atiku Abubakar and even President Goodluck Jonathan who chose not to stay above the fray when he called some politicians who had helped him secure the ‘Doctrine of Necessity ’ jingoists and irredentists. But when it suites their fancy, they prefix their statements with “If it was in the US…..”


Okposo, Ayefele, Ekiye for Oritsejafor's triple jubilee By SAM EYOBOKA


T will be a period of gospel music explo sion as Sammie Okposo, Yinka Ayefele, Aso Ekiye are expected to combine forces with resident Milk and Honey Choir to bring down the glory of God in Warri, Delta State. The gospel heavyweights are expected to be headline acts at the proposed triple jubilee celebration at the Word *SAMMIE OKPOSO of Life Bible Church in Warri to mark the National President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor's birthday, 25 years of his church and 40 years in ministry. Sources close to the church say that the event which will be flagged off on Saturday, November 3 with a novelty match featuring members of Nigeria's Dream Team that mesmerised the *ASU EKIYE world at Atlanta, Georgia in 1997 by winning Africa's first World Cup. After the match which will pitch the Dream Team against the highflying Warri Wolves, the events proper will run from November 9-18. Venue: Word of Life Bible Church's International Gospel Centre, Ajamimogha in Warri. *YINKA AYEFELE The source told our reporter that the gospel musicians have all confirmed their willingness to be part of the church's 25th Jubilee Word Festival and have actually begun rehearsals for the programme. Apart from the artistes, the martriach of the church and wife of the CAN president, Pastor (Mrs.) Helen Oritsejafor, said preparations for the epoch event had reached high pitch as different traditional dance troupes are busy perfecting their dance steps for the event expected to change the history of the nation for good. According to her, there will be several tribal dance groups on parade to showcase the different colourful cultural identities of not just the Niger Delta, but beyond. She also confirmed that motorised campaign groups have been parading the streets of the Oil City to sensitize the community in preparation for the spiritual extravaganza that will also feature a public lecture to be addressed by erstwhile Foreign Affairs Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi.

CAN calls for transparency in distribution of relief materials


BUJA - CHAIRMAN of Christian Associa tion of Nigeria, CAN, Federal Capital Terri tory chapter, Rev Isreal Akanji has called for honesty and transparency in the distribution of relief fund to victims of flood disaster across the country, reports CALEB AYANSINA. Rev. Akanji made the call at the Pastor's Appreciation and 8th anniversary of Gloryland Baptist Church, Lugbe, Abuja. The cleric urged the State Government & Federal Agencies responsible for the distribution of the relief fund, announced by the Federal Government, to ensure that the money get to the actual victims. He stressed the need for religious groups, to also complement the efforts of government in bringing succor to the victims. C M Y K

Kumuyi charges Yoruba artistes to glorify God with talents


By SAM EYOBOKA ENERAL Su perintendent, Deeper Chris tian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi has enjoined Yoruba practitioners in the entertainment industry to use their talents to influence the youths positively, saying that God would judge those culpable if they did not use their talent to glorify God. Kumuyi played host to hundreds of Yoruba actors, actresses, movie producers and markerters as well as secular and gospel musicians on Sunday to a special prayer session at the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, where he warned them to desist from acting and singing such songs that would lead people into sin. At the event were popular Yoruba entertainers, such as Baba Sala, Jide Kosoko, Adebayo Salami a.k.a Oga Bello, Lere Paimo, Ebenezer Obey, Fatai Rolling Dollars, Evangelist Funmi Aragbaiye, Prof. Y.K. Ajao, Evangelist Timi Osukoya, Pastor Lekan Ashikia, Busola Ashikia, Olasunbo Okeowo, entertainers from Mount Zion Film Production among several others.


he man of God who was represented by Pastor Rufus Bamigbayan, Head, Yoruba session of the church noted that music was a veritable instrument at arresting the attention of youths, stressing that it must be used to enable them discover God's purpose for their lives. “Singing and dancing have been used to bring youths closer to God, artistes should use their talents well, having it at the back of their mind that their talent is from God. There must be some useful lessons to be learnt from music that will certainly prove useful in the future of the youth. How many people have your talents changed? What are people’s reactions after using your talent either through singing or through drama?” he said. Citing the case of some biblical servants whom God gave various talents to trade before His coming, Kumuyi said one of

*One of the Yoruba female musicians performing at the Deeper Christian Life Church's programme while Ebenezer Obey (extreme right) and others watch. the servants misused his talent and was cast into hell when the Lord asked him to give account of how he used his talent. He said the same fate would befall Yoruba entertainers who constantly shun out productions that glorified the devil, saying that God owned the talent some of them were misusing to sing negative songs that affected the society negatively. Kumuyi urged artistes to discover what their talents were, utilize same and learn to take one step at a time, while pursuing their purposes in life.


he cleric noted that in the process of working to actualise their dreams; they should also learn to keep their minds open, adding that some of the Yoruba entertainers even joined secret societies to acquire demonic power to sing and act for the devil, saying such acts

would never go unpunished by God who owned every talent. “Use your talent with judgment day in mind; realize that your talent is given to you by God and He will ask you to give account of how you used the talent to glorify His name,” said Kumuyi. Later at an interview, Bamigbayan said God gave a vision to Kumuyi to reach out to Yoruba entertainers to preach to them with a view to converting them so that the ills in the society occasioned by their songs and acting would be corrected. “Since last year, we have been on this. We were led to appoint Evangelist Ebenezer Obey as the chairman of the event and Obey told us that he had been trying to get his colleagues to know the Lord like he did several years ago. The purpose of the event is for these Yoruba entertainers to wield more influence on

the society, especially the youths and we thought that if we don’t change their orientation, they will affect the youths negatively. “We have told them the dangers of not using their talents well and the consequences of bad influence. Some of them gave their lives to Christ and we are going to follow them up. Pastor Kumuyi is also looking for a way to gather all the entertainers for a three days programme very soon,” he said. Also speaking, Evangelist Obey said the event was timely, pointing out that the prayers offered at the event were meant to protect the artistes and avert any form of disunity among them. “They are the salt of the earth and must shine. Their singing and acting should impact positively on the society. God will help the industry to clamp down on piracy,” he said.

Onekpe proffers solution to nation's woes By CALEB AYANSINA BUJA---BISHOP of Ika Angli can Diocese in Ika North East Local Government of Delta State, Rt. Rev. Peter Onekpe has proffered solution to the nation's myriad of problems, arguing that huge budgetary allocations cannot guarantee peace, but prayers and the fear of God will. Onekpe made this submission in a sermon at the outing service for the deceased mother of the Primate of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Mama Sarah Okoh at St. Michael’s Church, Owa Alero. Stating that God is still alive and an-


swers prayers, the bishop maintained that even when we are faced with meager resources, undue criticisms, harassment; God is always there for the asking if we sincerely call on Him. Recalling how God came to his rescue, when he came under enemy attack, the cleric assured that there is no reason to panic at all, but “wait upon Him until our prayers are answered”. He argued that one may not be rich, but if one is rich in prayers and Godliness, the one has the highest resources. Onekpe therefore admonished people to pray fervently, because prayer is the bridge between panic and peace.



Insecurity: Adeboye to pray for Policemen



ITUATE Jesus within most Old Testament frameworks and he just does not fit. Jesus would never kill any Midianite or Amalekite on the way to the Promised Land as Moses did. He would not have bears kill children that abuse him as Elisha did. Confronted with Goliath as David was, it is more likely Goliath would kill Jesus than that Jesus would kill Goliath. Throughout his ministry, Jesus killed no one. Instead, he healed all those who came to him for healing. When John and James asked Jesus to call fire from heaven as Elijah did in retaliation against a Samaritan village that denied them free passage to Jerusalem, Jesus rebuked them. He said to them: “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them.” (Luke 9:55-56).

Like Father, like Son Jesus says: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9). If so, who do we see when we look at Moses, Elijah, Elisha and David? We see servants of God who only second-guessed the Father’s will. But Jesus knows the will of the Father. He said: “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38). What is the will of God, the Father? God requires his sons to lay down their lives out of love for him. This requirement defined Jesus’ approach to the world. He fought no one and defeated no one. He merely overcame the world. Jesus was required to live in the world without being seduced by the values of the world. He lived in the world without gaining or desiring to gain the world. All the time he was here on earth, he never lost sight of the one reality he expressed emphatically to Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36). In this process, even his life on earth became

In the Christian churches of today, the preferred champion is David; it is not Jesus disposable. Jesus says: “Therefore my Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from my Father.” (John 10:1718). Since Jesus is the Good Shepherd, his sheep should follow his example. John says: “As he is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17). Jesus sends his disciples into the world as lambs among wolves. (Luke 10:3). He challenges us, not to be giant-killers, but giant-overcomers. He says: “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Revelation 3:21).

War-mongers However, the pattern of life of Jesus is not the preferred pattern of life of Christians. Indeed, in most countries of the West, Christians, including the clerics, are the war-mongers. Pat Robertson, an American pastor, even called for the assassination of a head of state, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Paradoxically, he saw no contradiction between this and his Christian faith. Another American pastor, Terry Jones, orchestrated the burning of Korans, a move deliberately designed to provoke Moslems. But Jesus never attacked any other person’s faith except his own. Evangelical Christians in the United States are the very people most likely to reject the teachings of Jesus when it comes to politics. They favour punitive justice, including the execution of criminals for capital offences. They would rather billions of dollars

be spent on jet-fighters and not on social welfare. They prefer granting tax-breaks for wealthy corporations to helping the poor and the needy. American evangelicals supported the sending of their children to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Europe, those claiming to be disciples of the "Prince of Peace" are likely to be the most militaristic. That is not the way of Christ. Jesus says: “You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” (Matthew 5:38-yhr 39). However, Christians do not turn the other cheek; we fight. Christians today are not pacifists. On the contrary, we have been responsible for a great many massacres and for genocide. Christians go to battle. Christians fight wars. Christians fight to defend and protect our interests.


he old wine of David killing Goliath is served regularly in Christendom. We teach this killing to our children. They act in plays celebrating it. But the values of Goliathkilling David are anathema to Christ. David was an ambitious and ruthless politician who initiated, sanctioned, or condoned murder and assassination as a way of eliminating his political rivals. He authorized the murder of Abner and Eshbaal. He plotted the death of Uriah. Even on his death-bed, David was still planning the deaths of two people: Joab and Shimei. Jesus, on the other hand, does not tell us to kill our enemies. He does not even tell us to fight them. Instead he says: “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do

good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:44-45).


owever, Chris tians don’t seem to have received this Jesus memo in 2,000 years of church history. In today’s churches, we go to prayer meetings not to pray for our enemies, but to kill them. You can get to one meeting and find 1,000 prayer-warriors chanting “die; die; die” in alarming frenzy. Who do they want consumed suddenly by Holy Ghost fire? “Every enemy of my marriage; every enemy of my destiny; every power planning to wage war against my divine vision; what are you waiting for, die in the name of Jesus!”

Two champions This leads to the conclusion that, as a rule, Christians don’t know Jesus; the David who did not kill any Goliaths. But we certainly know the David who killed Goliath. David was a man of blood who lived by the sword. Jesus is a man of peace who warns that: “All who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52). When we look objectively at the scriptures, we see two champions. In the Old Testament it is David; the man who killed Goliath. In the New Testament it is Jesus, the David who did not kill any Goliaths but was killed by the Goliaths of the priesthood. But we can only have one champion: we cannot have two. In the Christian churches of today, the preferred champion is David; it is not Jesus. But Jesus warns: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25).


S part of efforts to arrest security challenges facing the country, national headquarters of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Throne of Grace parish, Ebute Metta, Lagos has perfected plans to hold a one-day special prayer session for members of the Nigeria Police, reports OLAYINKA LATONA. According to the assistant pastor-in-charge of the national headquarters church, Pastor Goke Aniyeloye, at a media parley to announce the special prayer session, the event is exclusive for Nigeria Police Force, especially those in South West geo-political zone of the country. The programme is billed to hold on Sunday, November 4, 2012 at the church headquarters in Ebute Meta, Lagos. Describing the Nigeria Police Force as one of the basic units of the nation's security system that is closest to the people at the grassroots, Pastor Aniyeloye said the the church's General Overseer, Pastor Adeboye has been in the vanguard of prayers for different sectors of the nation's economy. He had consistently prayed for peace and tranquility in every sector, the cleric further said, stressing the need for spiritual intervention in solving the security challenges in the country; hence the need to pray for the police. Aniyeloye also used the occasion to urge Nigerians not to relent in their prayers for the nation, adding that better days are ahead for the country. “Security is, no doubt, one of our major challenges in Nigeria today----bomb blasts, kidnapping, murders, and armed robbery are on increase," he pointed out. “There is need for spiritual intervention to solve these problems. We need the intervention of God in all these challenges," the cleric noted.

MFM cements marriages with couples' day By OLAYINKA LATONA


EGIONAL headquarters of Mountain of Fire and Miracles, Mushin Region 13 recently gathered couples in its fold in celebration of this year's couples day. The occasion which was the first of its kind at the regional headquarter was described by some of the members as an eye-opener and a restitution ground as some of the couples were given an opportunity to ask very pertinent questions ranging from sex, finance, mothering amongst others. A wife, Mrs. Chika Ugo, mother of three, described the event as a timely intervention, explaining that her marriage was at the verge of collapse but during the programme majority of the challenges confronting her marital home were discussed. Admonishing the couples in her sermon tagged “Overcoming the enemy of a successful marriage,” Pastor Eunice Agboola urged couples to love one another and strive to build successful homes, noting that it is successful marriages that can give birth to a successful church, society and a successful nation. In her word: “That is why the enemy is waging war against Christian marriages; in order to deny the society peace and harmony”, adding that marital crises often lead chaos and problems in the society hence the need for Nigerian couples to be faithful to their marriage vows in order to enjoy the union as was constituted by God. Outlining some factors militating against marriages, Pastor Agboola pointed out that any marital union based on physical attraction, premarital sex, lack of understanding of each others role at home, lack of self control for sexual urge, unfaithfulness to opposite sex amongst other is bound to fail.. The regional overseer of MFM Region 13, Pastor Joshua Agboola said the programme came into being as a result of the high rate of divorces in the society and the general neglect of the marriage principles, stressing that lots of people have refused to live their lives by the biblical standards. The cleric explained that the church deals with several marital issues because some couples do not possess the requisite ingredients needed to keep the home, adding that instead of constant counselling, a programme like this one can help couples avoid communication issues.


My experiment with solo and ecological theatre — Mbajiorgu INTERVIEW

Twenty one years ego when Greg Mbajiorgu staged his solo drama, Prime Minister’s Son, little did he know that his modest adventure into that theatrical path inaugurated in the Nigeria by late Funsho Alabi and Tunji Sotimirini would eventually stand him out as an important playwright to watch. Today, Mbajorgu, Senior lecturer in the School of Film and Dramatic Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka remains the only standing Nigerian playwright that has consistently staged and published a reference text in the dramatic genre of solo dramaturgy. Besides his interest in solo drama and performance, Mbajiorgu, who also writes poetry has again, trailed another important path by directing his creative imagination to the writing and staging of an ecological drama. His recent Eco-centred dramatic text, Wake Up Everyone at the just concluded Nigerian Universities Research and Development Fair( NURESDEF) held in Minna, Niger State won 1st prize in the Arts and Humanities Research and Innovation category. In this interview, the Anambra State born and University of Nigeria trained scholar shares his views about the future one man theatre and the evolving eco centred literature in the face of threatening environmental change.


WENTY-ONE years ago, you wrote and staged a play titled The Prime Minister’s Son in the context of performance. Why did you embark on a solo project? There are two sides to this question Mac. As a fresh graduate then, I saw the NYSC programme as a platform to define my career and future. My father, as a university bursar was not happy with my choice of theatre arts as a field of study. He feared that a career in Theatre Arts could ruin my chances of success in life. He insisted that I must enroll for an MA degree in Mass Communication after my national youth service corp. I did not want to continue with any other course outside Theatre, so the NYSC year was the only chance I had to prove him wrong. In the earliest stage of NYSC service year, (the orientation period to be precise), I tried organizing other corps members to form a professional theatre company but I didn’t succeed. I also had obstacles trying to organize the NYSC Theatre club then. But I had a great zeal to start something with the dream that it would snowfall into a professional outfit. Since I did not want that vision to vanish, I took after Funsho Alabi by charting a solo course. What are the circumstances that shaped the dramatic plot of the play? The circumstances of my family background and the circumstances we find ourselves in here in Nigeria. I come from a middle class family, but back in my home town, I have a lot of rela-

tions who can not put enough food on their table. I was not a stranger to poverty. In this country, poverty stares one on the face all the time. We are a rich country with a frightening population of poor citizens. The illustration on my book cover says it all; the prime minister’s son dressed in tattered clothes, looking very miserable. You can see also that the theme of rejection is very strong in the play. We are a nation rejected by our leaders. That’s what I tried to emphasize in my first attempt to make my own theatre. Incidentally, that very attempt was a solo performance.What is your fascination with this dramatic approach?


s stated clearly in one of my jour nal articles, the advantages of the solo play are numerous; a. It trains and transforms the actor from his dependency syndrome to a new orientation in self reliance. b. It empowers the actor by emancipating him and raising his professional status. c. It enables the actor/actress to express his or her self maximally and it inculcates a multidimensional mode of functioning in the theatre. d. It helps actors to master the techniques of vocal characterization. e. It is the best kind of exercise for the actor’s physio-vocal stamina and helps us in perfecting stage breathing techniques. f. Solo plays are also adaptable to every kind of make-shift performance environment or venue. g. Solo acting liberates the actors from the domineering power of playwrights, directors and producers.



more strenuous and tedious for the actor to be his own playwright and director at the same time. In my own case, I had no choice. No body was there to carry some of the loads off my head. I got some technical advice, though, from Prof. Kalu Uka and Dr. James Eneh Henshaw which guided my journey on that solitary part. But, you see I had to do it all alone just to ensure that my father did not find any grounds to force me out of a profession that ‘am very passionate about. Even now, I am working on two solo plays simultaneously. This time I will

Through my emotionally deep and intense story line, I easily electrify my audience and command them along through the purgation of their emotion

In addition to all these, solo production affords the practitioner the most practical ways of minimizing cast, costume, stage props, rehearsal expenses, transportation costs, hotel bills, medical expenses and cost of feeding. In other words, it reduces the production budget to the barest minimum.


Greg Mbajiorgu

hat are the challenges of solo theatre with regards to your triple role as playwright, actor and director in this instance? No doubt, to carry the whole theatre on one’s shoulder is risky and it is even


stay just as the playwright and find others to play the acting and directing roles.


s a one-man theatre artist, what techniques do you employ to ensure that you satisfy your audiences’ expectation? You can not be a soloist if you lack the ability to transform your audience at will. It is only at such points of transformation that the audience changes from its passive state to an active state and once your audience is active, they become creative. My ability to see my

audience as a cast in the show helps me a great deal, not just in fostering audience involvement, but also, in getting them actively engrossed in the unfolding story line. As you well know, drama is kaleidoscopic in nature. According to John Carney; “the audiences for solo plays are more creative and imaginative than the ones we find in conventional theatre. A good solo actor must take his audience along with him. Without the audience on your side, it may be difficult to achieve dramatic conflict in a solo act. Through my emotionally deep and intense story line, I easily electrify my audience and command them along through the purgation of their emotion. To achieve this adequately, a solo actor must employ the following techniques: a. audience control mechanism, b. audience-ease attitude The audience is the surface on which my initial mono dramatic scenario was improvised. How much of Richard Schechner’s theory of performance is infused in the writing and stage interpretation of the “the prime minister’s son? I am influenced by Schechner in terms of challenging conventional definitions of theatre, in terms of contesting the boundaries that separates the audience and the actor. Also, I share Schechner’s revolutionary ideals and his quest for novelty or neologism. Again, Richard Schechner’s psycho therapeutic methodology has equally helped me heal my deep rooted pain and anger against intellectual idiocy and sycophancy that rules our world today. Is minimalism not a handicap in executing a solo performance? Solecism is an approach to dramaturgy. Minimalism is not a constricting factor. As elucidated by John Carney, “…in solo performance, it is often the less Continues on page 49


Odun Omo Olowu: Yam festival in another style The event took off at 2.30pm following the arrival of representative of the Governor of Ogun State and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Salis Shuaib Omoyayi and the retired judge of the International Court of Justice and former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Prince Bola Ajibola (SAN) and several others including chairmen of all local councils under the traditional jurisdiction of the Olowu and other Obas, Baales and chiefs.

, Cultural display at the festival. BY BASHIR ADEFAKA FESTIV AL FESTIVAL


N some other communities, cel ebrating new yam eating is called yam festival. But in Owu Kingdom, where the veteran broadcasting journalist and unpretending evangelist, His Majesty Dr. Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu reigns on the throne as Olowu and the paramount ruler, yam festival has been encoded into a different brand. The ancient kingdom, one of the two communities said to make up Abeokuta, celebrates new yam eating as Odun Omo Olowu - the 13th of which was held on Saturday October 6, 2012. Owu is another of the few Nigerian communities that is trying hard to keep hope alive for Nigerian diverse cultures by not abandoning the festival because of the influence of western cultures on Africa. That is why the festival is still celebrated in the ancient kingdom, not really as yam festival but as the Odun Omo Olowu. The Owu Kingdom’s past 12 kings from Oba Pawu (1855 – 1867) through Oba Salami Gbadela Ajibola (1949 – 1972) to Oba Olawale Adisa Odeleye (1993 – 2003) celebrated this festival and the Oba Ajibola, father of Prince Bola Ajibola (SAN), former Nigerian Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation remains a reference point as the longest celebrant of same being the longest serving monarch on the throne. Therefore, what was celebrated on October 6 was not alien to history of such traditional festivity in Owu Kingdom, where, through the able leadership of the paramount ruler, Oba Olusanya Dosunmu, the kingdom remains a major reference point of cultural preservation in Nigeria. It was a week long activity that started with a road show and rounded up with the popular Ayo games on Monday October 1, Nigeria’s inde-

Oba Olusanya Dosunmu C M Y K

pendence day. As part of activities marking the event, the Olowu, according to the Omotobase of Owu Kingdom and Public Relations Manager to the throne, Chief Akinpelu Browne, paid visits to some traditional and historic sites within the Owu Kingdom such as the Amororo Royal Ruling House, the Alebiosu Ruling House, Erunmu township, Apomu township and houses of some of the king makers. Sporting activities like table tennis and football matches were not far from it just as they all culminated in a special Jumat Service at the Owu Central Mosque on Friday October 5 before the grand finale that took place the following Saturday when glamorous cultural and traditional beauties made the Odun Omo Olowu a standout turned out. “What you are witnessing today is grand finale of all the week long event of activities where sons and daughters of the Owu Kingdom are brought together to rejoice and further foster peace and development among people of the community,” Chief Browne explained.

Owu is another of the few Nigerian communities that is trying hard to keep hope alive for Nigerian diverse cultures


The ceremony burst into thunderous applause with the arrival of the Olowu and paramount ruler of the Owu Kingdom, the Olowu Kangunere, Amororo II, Oba (Dr.) Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu, CON. Accompanied by the about 18 Obas from across the various towns under his rule including the Onijoko of Ijoko, Oba Lasisi Ogunseye; the Onifo of Ifo, Oba Olujide Akinyemi; Alarigbajo of Arigbajo, Oba Gbemileke Babajide and Olojodu of Ojodu, Oba Saidu Hassan; the paramount ruler’s majestic stepby-step dance towards the red-carpeted high stage became a thing that thousands of ecstatic people on the occasion fell on one another to have a glimpse of.

Clad in white agbada and white pair of shoes to match with simple beaded but truly high-class crown and lightblue wrapper tied round his shoulders, the aged but vibrant Oba was greeted with explosive songs and drumming composed by ladies dressed in Aso Oke with white lace on the top and men dress in same with traditional eleti-aja caps, respectively. One of the very illustrious sons and high chiefs of the Olowu’s cabinet, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, was conspicuously absent as his high seat – one of only two - second to the king’s was vacant until the Olori Omoba Owu Kingdom, Prince Bola Ajibola, probably, received instruction to sit in for him. In all, the day was a success. The cultural displays started with a lineup of Owu warriors, dressed in black traditional war attires each bearing lifeless guns in his hands and dancing to catch the interest of the Olowu, who waved his irukere to them from his seat of majesty as they danced and sang their cultural war songs, just the way it used to be sung in the early days of Owu warriors. There were also masquerade dance, female harvesters’ dance and the Isan dancers’ shows. The Isan dance was dance of eight men dressed in brown semi-agbada attires with the traditional eleti-aja caps to match. The men who appeared from both sides of the redcarpeted high stage danced round a pot wrapped round with white cloth and eight thin rods (Isan) with round strips in it. Each dancer took one, danced round the stage and returned it into the pot and disappeared. “It is for a completely different purpose that the Owu people present an Isan to an Olowu although it also stands as an emblem of the community’s acceptance of him as having authority over them. In Owu, the Isan is used to record the number of yam festivals or Odun Omo Olowu an Olowu has celebrated," said a palace release.

'My experiment with solo and ecological theatre' Continued from page 48 the better. Solo plays are poor theatres in every sense, they eschew all the trimmings of theatre production, such as make-up, costume, scenery, lighting and sound, so as to leave the actor free to engage clearly with the audience”. Minimalism as you know is a 20th century art movement which stresses the importance of compressionism; that is, reducing a work of art to its nominal essence. Through total reduction of my production materials and the required personnel, I was able to achieve theatrical intensity. And recently too, you came out with another novel play, “Wake Up Everyone”. Can you talk about the concept of wake up… in relation to drama and redirection to ecological literature and criticism? As you know Eco-critical approaches to poetry and the novel may be common to us in Nigerian but ecological drama, to be more specific, drama on climate change is strangely absent in our country, despite its threat all over our coastal regions. Apart from the dis enabling factors pointed out in my preface to Wake Up… My further studies have revealed some other reasons why playwrights, actors and theatre producers shy away from writing and pro-

ducing works that will address the problem of climate change in our land. Some of the reasons are; a. The complex nature of climate change creates confusion as far as the issue of character and narrative is concerned. b. Most reporters lack special knowledge in the area of climate change and climate science. And our scientist who understand the subject lack the techniques of public enlightenment and the depth of public articulation needed to socialize this complex public science. c. If the plot is not very plausible, the science of climate change can be misrepresented on stage which can lead to a playwright being ridiculed for life. d. Most theatre artists believe that scientific art is hopelessly pretentious. e. The science is overwhelming and frightening to artists and this feeling of being overwhelmed is the cause of their inability to help bring about a constructive change. These are among the many reasons why the subject doesn’t easily catch the imagination of theatre artistes. But with the publishing of Wake Up Every One some theatre artistes are getting inspired and have started to engage the subject at last. For example, Prof. Emma Emasealu of University of Port

Harcourt is presently working on his own solo climate change play. Wake Up Everyone is a commissioned play, why was it commissioned? Yes, Wake Up Everyone began as a commission by the African Technology Policy Studies Network, Nairobi, Kenya. They used it for their international conference on climate change in Nigeria in 2009. What relevance is its thematic implication for the Nigerian Environment? Wake up everyone in 2009 fore-saw the flood ravaging almost the entire country today. Such plays have the potential to spur national leaders as well as policy makers to action. I am glad two post graduate students outside UNN are currently studying the play for their Ph. D programmes What are the challenges of writing and Eco-centered drama? Writing an ecological theatre that is focused on the complex science and problems of climate change requires a thorough understanding of science. For more plays on climate change to emerge in this country, Nigerian Government may need to fund major playwrights to embark on studies and research on the subject. I was able to write this play because of the huge financial support from African Technology policy studies Network, Nairobi Kenya.


Govs, elders battle for the North-East

Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd).



HE quest by elders in the North-East to find a lasting solution to insecurity and other problems bedevilling the area has become challenging in recent times. The elders are battling to restore the lost glory of the geo-political zone that is afflicted by high rate of unemployment, poverty, insecurity, economic and educational backwardness. One question the elders are asking is, where did the North-East go wrong and what is responsible for the deplorable state of affairs? On 13, June 2012, a meeting of concerned leaders from the zone was convened in Bauchi to discuss the challenges facing the NorthEast. In that meeting, it was resolved that the forum should transform into a permanent body to promote unity and development of the subregion, hence the forum banner was changed from the North-East Forum of Concerned Leaders to NorthEast for Unity and Development,(NEFUND). It was also resolved during the meeting that there was a need to establish organs and committees to achieve the objectives of peace, unity and development in the zone. The organs of the forum include the committee of patrons, the board of trustees and the central working committee. The central working committee, which has representatives from the six states of the geo-political zone, met on several occasions and selected people who can champion the cause of the forum. NEFUND was scheduled for C M Y K

inauguration penultimate Saturday in Bauchi. But the six governors of the NorthEast boycotted the event. The governors action has been rationalised by some political watchers. The political analysts alleged that the governors are unhappy with the North-East elders because the motive behind NEFUND is selfish and not in the interest of the North. They opined that the governors have realized that the insecurity problem is now targeted directly at the elders, hence the olders opted for a cover under the umbrella for the NEFUND where they will gain recognition and be heard by the Presidency.


source in the Bauchi Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alleged that the elders contributed to the state of affairs in the North. According to him, one of the elders, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, who served the country in diverse ministerial appointments, did nothing to develop the region while in power. “The elders have actually done nothing to contribute to the development of the North but were just concerned about themselves, forgetting that one day the problem that they failed to address will haunt them. Now they do not have anywhere to run to, so they have formed a forum which they intend to use to seek relevance,” the source said. “The governors are actually right when they alleged that the elders meeting had a hidden agenda. The governors are alleging that the elders are not ready to salvage the situation in the North, but instead they are actually protecting themselves and promoting

Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam, Yobe State

their own interest. “Some of the governors are nursing the ambition of coming back for second term in office, so they are ready to fight anybody or anything that will come between them and President Goodluck Jonathan, who is in the position to determine their fate. They have resolved to maintain a cordial relationship with the President and they see the elder ’s forum as a threat to their ambition”. During the inauguration of the NEFUND, the special guest of honour, General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd), revealed why the six

Gov. Kashim Shettima, Borno State

this meeting”. The general noted that security in the NorthEast was a major challenge and stressed that the meeting should be suspended pending when they are able to appeal to the governors to attend.


he governors found excuses for their absence, saying they had other engagements. Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno

Gov. Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State


Mallam Adamu Ciroma

The governors are alleging that the elders are not ready to salvage the situation in the North, but instead they are actually protecting themselves and promoting their own interest

governors declined to attend the meeting. He said, “Three days ago, I was informed by one of the governors that all the six of them had resolved not to attend and mandated one of them to advise me not to attend because they believed there was a hidden agenda behind the meeting.


lthough, I am in no position to pass judgment on the allegation made by the governors, they have succeeded in creating doubts in my mind with regards to the motive behind


State said he was busy holding meetings that lasted several hours at the Government House Maiduguri, focusing on the security and economic challenges of the state and strategies to address them. Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Ishola Adeyemi Micheal, said he was away to the United States of America and he sent his deputy to represent him at the meeting. Yuguda said he needed to travel out of the state to meet with companies that will bring development to

the state and that he was in support of the elders meeting. Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo said he did not attend the elders meeting because he had an important state function to attend. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Public Relations, Alhaji Mansur Lawal, said his principal had no ulterior motive staying away from the summit, rather he preferred to stay away at home and swear in the newly appointed caretaker committee chairmen of the local government councils. He said the governor was in support of the elders initiative and that he sent commissioners of three important ministries viz: agriculture, trade and investment and rural development, to represent him at the meeting. Meanwhile, governors of Yobe, Taraba and Adamawa did not react to their absence at the meeting as several efforts to reach their spoke persons failed.


‘In Oyo, people now sleep with Teenage Pregnancy their two eyes closed’ BY BASHIR ADEFAKA


HEN your government came into office, it promised quality service delivery. To what extent would you say that has been fulfilled? If you want to talk about quality service, you first look at places where people are feeling it and where it could be most felt in terms of infrastructural development. The state government, since inception, has done well over 190 roads and, if you look at the number of those awarded, we may be talking of 260. And if you look at the past administrations, you wouldn’t take that as the benchmark because that benchmark was below zero. If you look at that, they did most roads just as they were about to exit and the roads became bad after 60 or 90 days in some instances because of the shoddy, rushed jobs done. Now, what we have come up with is to ensure that there is proper and adequate drainage system because that’s the only thing that will ensure that the roads stand firm on the ground. And you know because of the weather here, what we have done is to ensure that our drainages are well constructed with stones and concrete. Two, the asphalts on the roads are not just the peripheral type that was the order of the day in recent past. These are solidly asphalted roads that will stand the test of time. And you can see that for the first time, a civilian administration in Oyo State is constructing a flyover; the one in Mokola at a modest cost of N2.2 billion. Put that side by side with similar jobs in other states and you will discover that we are getting the best quality and for the price to beat. The other thing is that, recently, the state government awarded the contracts for the dualization of the entrance into Ibadan and most of the major towns in Oyo State. This is also part of the infrastructural development agenda because that is one of the policy thrusts of the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration that C M Y K

Mr. Bosun Oladele development should permeate the zones. Also beautification of the environment is ongoing. The beautification is not just make believe, we were all living witnesses when an administration in the past attempted to plant palm trees at the median of the express road from the toll gate to Iwo Road. The plan failed because there was no planning. And you can see that within the short time that we commenced our beautification programme, it is already changing the landscape of the state totally and the state is getting neater.


When the Oyo State administration headed by Senator Is’haq Adeyemi Abiola Ajimobi came on board, the governor promised quality service delivery. Almost one and a half years on, his Commissioner for Information, Mr. Bosun Oladele, says the promise has been fulfilled. Oladele also speaks on how quality development has permeated the zones of the Pace Setter State.

Absence of investment and lack of interest from the side of development partners. But since the government came in and security has been entrenched


I will tell you that right now, our governor is being referred to as Mr. Quality. Yes, and it is a sign of the acceptability that some of his programmes have been able to establish with the people. The education standard, going by WAEC rating, has dropped drastically in this state. What has your government done to up this standard knowing fully well that education formed the bedrock of the pride that any South West state enjoys anywhere in Nigeria today? We were number 34 when this administration was coming in and, if you juxtapose that with the position we were during the time of Alhaji Lam Adesina, which was number three, you can now begin to see, within a decade or so, the kind of rot that had set in. And you know it’s so easy to destroy, but it is never that easy to build. Because of that, the state government has organized

extra-coaching classes for students. We have also institutionalized the writing of mock so that our students will be in the right frame of mind to write WAEC and sit for NECO. And the arrangement has been yielding results. Right now, the schools are being renovated; we started with 235 schools across the state. And if you look at that, that is key to ensuring a conducive teaching and learning environment. Teachers no longer get paid three months in arrears. They now get their money before the end of the month. They are also being trained because it is also part of the package to encourage them to get committed to their jobs. And that is also rubbing off on the students because they are getting better by the day. Above all, what is your performance like in term of security? Oyo State is no longer what it used to be in terms of security challenges. We now have peace and it’s been a wonderful experience. For the first time we have all these seasonal festivities with no incidence of violent robbery and all the rest. And it shows that we can also live in peace in the state. People can now sleep with their two eyes closed. Gone were those days when people would brandish cutlasses all over the place. People now believe that there is a government in place that is responsible and responsive. We have our Operation Burst in place, which is a joint patrol team of the military and the police. Just recently the state government also launched a security trust fund and corporate bodies also have been able to support because they can now see; it’s something that could be felt physically. It’s not a mirage. People can feel there is security.


ow has the government been able to seize the secured environment as opportunity for investments attraction? Of course the absence of security is absence of investment and lack of interest from the side of development partners. But since the government came in and security has been entrenched, they have discovered that Oyo State is back on the radar. Before now, we were lost on the radar. They didn’t want to listen to us because the quality of presentations coming from this place was nothing to write home about. But right now, the quality of presentations is so excellent that the IMF, the World Bank, all the world bodies development partners want to listen when we talk.

Teenage pregnancy photo: Courtesy:



UNDE and Bisola (not real names) had been dating since they were in secondary school. Tunde gained admission into the university while Bisola continued to seek admission but they kept in touch. Recently, Bisola, in her late teens, got pregnant for Tunde which he denied. To make matters worse, Bisola was disowned by her parents and she ended up on the street hawking, a situation that jeopardized her dream of becoming a medical doctor. Teenage pregnancy refers to underage girls usually within the ages of 13-19 who get pregnant. Teenage pregnancy could be as a result of lack of parental care, illiteracy, lack of sex education, ignorance, broken homes, pressure and peer group influence or even rape. The term is everyday speech which also means women who have not reached legal adulthood becoming pregnant and reason for it varies across the world. In some societies, early marriage and traditional gender role are important factors in the rate of teenage pregnancy. Most teenagers getting pregnant appear to be unplanned. Adolescents may lack knowledge or access to conventional method of preventing pregnancy as they may be too embarrassed or frightened to seek information. Statistics show that about 20% of pregnancies in teenagers are direct result of rape while about 60% of teenage mothers have entertained sexual experience leading to

pregnancy. Before age 15, majority of first intercourse experience among females are reported to be non-voluntary. A teenage girl can become pregnant as a result of many different situations. Some teenage girls may become pregnant while involved in long term dating; others become pregnant after working up. The effect of teenage pregnancy is not limited to having to decide whether or not to keep the baby but how to cope with motherhood and how to make an adoption plan. Preparing for childbirth, a teenager needs to consider the effect that her physical activities may have on her developing baby. Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarette, lack of sound sleep and unhealthy eating may endanger the health of the teenage mother and the unborn child. Dealing with an unplanned pregnancy can be confusing. Some of the challenges that you may encounter when facing an unplanned pregnancy are initial excitement, resentments, fear and frustration, hence it is natural for teens to be scared and confused about how to deal with unwanted pregnancy. All teenage pregnancies are the result of sexual activity whether voluntary or involuntary. Common methods of birth control include birth control pills, condoms, and cervical caps. But birth control can fail even when used correctly. No matter what measures are taken for birth control, the only 100% effective way to prevent teenage pregnancy is abstinence from sexual activities.

PAGE 52—SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012

Brand Equity As Asset W

equity * At maturity, a brand's equity becomes its most priced asset * A brand's asset is a very strong negotiation tool * From birth, all that is done in form of brand management is EQUITY building * A brand is only a success when its equity is of optimal value * A brand's equity is the last thing to die when a brand goes down * A brand equity can last well over 20 to 30 years after it ceases to exist physically * A brand's equity is strong enough to bring a dying brand back to life


quality and over all market performance. So, a brand's equity will come to play in the consideration of elements such as the level of awareness it enjoys at the market, its (its share of target audience or consumer-mind), its strength as a competitor at the market in the consideration bracket of those emotional or rational reasons-for within its market, versus competing brands, its market share, the quality of perception it enjoys at the market place by reason of its


E once treated the issue of brand and brand equity in one of our past editions. In it we did establish the importance of brand equity in marketing, looking at it as a success driver, an element indicative of brand strength and/or measure of brand success at the market place. From that perspective, the measure of a brand's equity is a direct indication of its share of market, versus competition. Looking at brand equity from that perspective is appreciating it as a measure of value. However, brand equity is much larger than a measure of value or market success, and we intend to expand our appreciation of that brand property in this edition, such that will enable a fuller and more rewarding appreciation of its definition, importance and application. As a concept, Brand Equity is the sum total of the entire elements that makes up the brand; it is an aggregate of a whole. The equity of a brand is the summation of its assets. But we need to break it down further here, to enable easy relativity for our readers that are not professionals in advertising and brands management. Perhaps that better establish the position of a brand's equity as its asset. Perhaps we need to look at the brand in isolation of 'equity', to better identify equity and its importance in the life and person of a brand. A brand is basically made up of two elements; the product (offer) and a name. Where these two are not present together, other categorization other than a brand exists. So, the offer must have a name to become a brand, verse-versa.


brand is a personification of a promise with a name. Therefore, it possesses the following as characteristics: * Emotions passion, anger, feel, smell, likes and dislikes, etc * Physical attributes size, weight, complexion, etc * Identity (name, address, personality) * Friends and associates * Responsibility * Sensory organs ability to perceive * Norms, attitude, traditions, character all such that makes up its personality or identity. The list goes on and on. However, the balancing part of a brand is its EQUITY that part of its personality that bothers on its strength, value, C M Y K

To a large extent, the rate or speed of shelf off-take a brand enjoys is dependent upon the level and quality of awareness it enjoys at the given market (among its target audience/market)

character and its personality in its totality. Hence a brand's equity is the sum total of those elements that makes up the personality of the brand (some of which are broadly mentioned above) in value terms.


performance depend on the level and quality of consumer awareness the brand enjoys. That explains why 60 to 70% of advertising objectives most times is about increasing a brand's awareness level among its target audience. Unfortunately, it is this predominant advertising (and marketing) objective that takes away the shine of equity as a measure of a brand's strength and value. Rather than connecting every such tactical strategic engagement

o a large extent, the rate or speed of shelf off-take a brand enjoys is dependent upon the level and quality of awareness it enjoys at the given market (among its target audience/market). So many other controllable variables that drive growth and market


towards short term market gains as a part of building the sum total of the brand's equity, most line-managers take their eyes off the equity and concentrate on the immediate. So, for instance, in so far as the brand post good volume in the market, the appreciation of its equity ends there.


pace will not permit us in the treatment of such other aspects of brand equity here, but we like to emphasize the following: * A brand's value can be measured and stored in its

ssentially, therefore, brand equity must be properly appreciated for what it is in order to build in our practice some structures that will guide brand managers towards taking deliberate steps to work for it. If we appreciate the fact that every marketing objective and attendant marketing support initiative is about adding to the value of its equity, the easier it will be for us to connect with the relationship between a brand's share of consumer mind (which sum total equals the brand's market share) and its equity. As earlier stated above, a brand's equity is the sum total of the properties that make up the brand. So on the market position pyramid, stages of brand's market performance is broadly categorized in three: leader, follower and laggard. Each of these three categories only reflects the power and efficiency of the various brands' equity at the market place.


or purposes of demonstration, let us consider an aspect of brand equity as a success driver in brands management looking at image perception. To begin with, perception is all about the consumer's experience in relation to the given brand. Whether a given target consumer will engage a given brand after the first experience depends largely on the experience at the first contact. The desired image for any brand is very important; hence it is an issue of primary consideration in the strategic planning process. It is expressly captured in the creative brief forms. Deliberate effort is required in agreeing the image desired for a brand, which must align with its value-essence and promise. However, no matter the

amount of efforts put in capturing a brand's desired image, the market's perception of the brand is determined by the consumer's firsthand experience. Take for example the issue of delivering on promise as a build up towards a brand's image. It is given that a brand knows the target market's value touch-points, prior to its making its promise and stating its desired image. It therefore means that if that brand does not deliver on its promise, it immediately earns for itself the image of a liar. So, if the BIC Ballpoint pen fails to “flow till the last drop� the target user immediately disconnects from it, for reason of deception (or failure mildly put).


ooking at the larger picture, therefore, if managers of that brand appreciate the fact that ensuring the brand delivers on its promise goes far beyond actualizing sales to adding to its total equity for the long run, they will invest more to maintain that aspect of its personality. That is the essence of this article. We have also mentioned that the problem with most brand managers today is that they look at the immediate gains instead of long term benefits. That is why so much is compromised today. As a result, some brands will boldly engage in seasonal sales promotion but deliberately skew the process to make sure big value prices are not won by anybody because nobody can immediately determine the sincerity of such exercises. But the sad news for such brands is that the market is taking note of such sharp practices, and questions are being asked. Cumulatively, the image or market perception of the guilty brands is adding up for the day of reckoning. It may not seem threatening now, but someday a competing offer will give vent to the negatives that will disgrace all such brands.


ithin the context of this topic, therefore, BRAND EQUITY must be considered in its influence and importance, more in futuristic terms. Looking at a brand's equity, therefore, it comes across as the power of the brand and the measure of the brand's success. A brand's equity is its most priced and enduring asset. It outlives the brand's physically determined values. Our brands managers today must carry this in their subconscious.



* ASP Musa * The victims being buried .. last week

*Gov. Yakowa (standing) during a visit to Dogon Dawa on Monday Kuyello village, mobilised in their large numbers and stormed the village in the early hours of today in a bid to rescue the four persons arrested. The gang descended on innocent members of the village, killing a total of 24 persons. The gang succeeded in rescuing two out of the four persons arrested by the vigilante group while the other whom the attackers could deal with criminals two not rescue were killed by the same assailants”, he said.


A vengeful attack in Dogon Dawa and allegations of complicity How government engaged a hunter to Tales of killings unlimited

 


ogon Dawa is a sleepy village of about 20,000 residents of mostly Hausa traders and sedentary Fulani herdsmen, sitting by the roadside, 90kms east of Zaria city and about 120kms further east of Birnin Gwari town, the Emirate it falls under. Sunday Vanguard has been able to gather and reconstruct the gruesome murder which took place last Sunday. There are unconfirmed suggestions that a serving police officer led the raid that went on for about five hours unchallenged. According to all accounts, the invasion of Dogon Dawa that Sunday morning, was to secure the release of four suspected armed robbers arrested at Kuyello village by members of Dogon Dawa vigilante - the robbers had stormed the place penultimate Saturday. The four suspects were alleged to be part of a formidable armed robbery gang, said to have been chased out of Zamfara State, but eventually made a base around Dogon Dawa-Kuyello axis, not far from the Zamfara border with Kaduna State. The bandits, as opined by residents of the two villages,

had operated on this axis since July this year with impunity. The Kaduna State Police Command was said to have been informed about this. The Police however denied knowledge of this.

Rescue and Avenge Less than 12 hours after the suspects were abducted from Kuyello by the fearsome Dogon Dawa vigilante, gunmen stormed Dogon Dawa at


By Luka Binniyat

became difficult to evacuate them; this was even made more difficult because their rescuers/avengers came through bush paths on foot. The invading marauders in their gruesome wake, 24 dead including two of the earlier captured four who could not be evacuated. Eleven people were severely wounded. The official position of the Kaduna State Police Commissioner, Mr. Olufemi Adenaike: “Investigation revealed

The invading marauders, ostensibly to protect their identities, shot and killed two of the four who they could not evacuate before disappearing into the bush.


dawn. They seemed to know members of the vigilante, as they went from house to house shooting or stabbing people to death. Then they made a bid to rescue their captured robbers. However, two of them were grossly injured in the course of their capture the previous day, and were said to be weighing so heavily that it

that on 13/10/2012, some members of the vigilante group from Dogon Dawa village went to Kuyello village, a distance of about 35km, and arrested four persons suspected to be members of a notorious gang terrorising their areas and took them down to Dogon Dawa for questioning. “Following the arrest, some unidentified armed gang in

An Emir Alleges Police Complicity The Emir of Birnin Gwari, Alh. Zubairu Jibril Maigwari, however, indicts a Police Officer (names witheld). In a chat with newsmen a day after the massacre, the Emir alleged that “the police officer, who my people and the armed robbers call OC, led the gang to massacre my people. “He has also attempted to stop the arrest of the four suspected armed robbers when the Dogon Dawa vigilante went to arrest them. After the Dogon Dawa vigilante had arrested the suspects, the same OC followed them in a car and attempted to rescue them. “In the same vein, when the gang of the armed men came to Dogon Dawa, the same OC directed the gang. He showed them the places to attack. Some of my people heard the members of the gang calling his name, OC, but he cautioned them to stop calling him with his popular name, OC”.

CP Adenaike Reacts When the Emir’s allegations made the headlines on the

October 16, the CP called a press conference in which he produced the officer, Shero, allegedly involved. Adenaike lampooned the Emir for his allegations, describing them as a fabrication by the press, and allowed Shero and his immediate boss (the DPO at Birnin Gwari) to state their accounts of the invasion. According to Adenaike, “I want to caution members of the press to be very careful how they report news. It is very, very wrong to say that a Police officer led the killings of these 24 innocent men. He has not run away contrary to your reports, and he is here with his Divisional Police Officer (DPO) to brief you. Feel free to ask him any questions. We have just started investigation, but your report has prompted calls to me from Aso Vila. The Policeman is here. He is not entirely exonerated yet. When told that the Emir spoke on record, he said, “we were at the State Security Council meeting today. Everyone that was quoted in the stories was there. I don’t want to mention names. But they all distanced themselves from the story”,

Shero States His Case “My name is Musa Shero. I am an ASP. I came from Kwara State. I am the Officerin-Charge (OC) of Kuyello. I have been in the Police for 32 years. “On the 13th of October, I got a call from my officer, that vigilante from Dogon Dawa had come to Kuyello around 12pm and arrested four people; that they were taking the

Continues on page 54




By Ifeanyi Okolie

Criminals in hidden places T and the role of informants *The success story of the Lagos Police Command

* Deadly arms recovered from bandits

he police in Lagos State appear to have adopted a more aggressive approach in taming the tide of armed robbery and other criminal activities rocking the state. The new approach came following the reaction of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to the Sunday, September 9, 2012, robbery incident which claimed over six lives including three policemen, while several others sustained bullet injuries. The IGP urged the police command to hunt for the perpetrators of the heinous crime and ensure that the incident does not repeat itself. Police sources intimated Department ‘C’ that the State Commissioner, Umar Manko, swiftly ordered an increase of police visibility across the state, which also saw a slight return of police check points in areas considered to be black spots. Intelligence gathering was said to have been reinvigorated, as operatives at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, were saddled with the duty of further strengthening contacts with informants, vigilante groups and intensifying their ITC tracking method. These strategies have since paid off. First was the arrest of two members of the robbery gang that terrorized the state on that fateful Sunday. Though the robbers identified as Rasheed Sulaimon and

Kazeem Enifolabi, confessed to being members of the gang but they explained that they didn’t take part in that day’s operation; they claimed one of their colleagues who did, called and informed them of the operation; he even said that he was given recharge cards worth N3000. Their arrest, according to police sources, gave the police their first lead on the gang of robbers that carried out that Sunday operation. A police source further revealed that an informant who was contacted few days after the robbery operation gave the police the needed information that led to the arrest of the suspects. One Ak 47 rifle and two fully loaded magazines were recovered from them when police raided their hideout at the Agege area of the state. “Those guys told us who we should be looking for and their escapade. They explained that the robbers that carried out that operation were from three different gangs. One of them is headed by one Yemi and that the others gangs were those of Sule and Oyebuchi. They said they belong to Yemi’s gang and they do not know the address of the other gang leaders. So, we raided Yemi’s hide out in Agege but we missed him as he

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'How government engaged a hunter to deal with criminals' Continued from 53 people away to Dogon Dawa. I immediately went after them. There were about eleven of them. The four abducted men were in a corolla car with others. Four other motorbikes carried other armed men escorting the car, “I was with three of my officers. I was able to reach them. And I swung the car and blocked them. At that point, the vigilante were looking very tough, and were not ready to cooperate to even brief me what would lead them to carry four people away without my knowledge. I then decided to inform my DPO about the development. “There is no police post in Dogon Dawa. It is from Kuyello about 35km away that we have police station complete with Mobile Policemen (MOPOL) that monitor all the adjacent areas, and I am the OC in Kuyello. “I don’t know what became of the arrested four. But on Sunday morning (14th October), I got a call around 7am that there was heavy shooting at Dogon Dawa. I then called on the MOPOL unit at my Station in Kuyello and asked them to set out for Dogon Dawa. But they complained that there was no

fuel in their van. So I had to give them N2000 (two thousand Naira) from my pocket. “They later called to inform me that the type of weaponry the marauders were using are too superior for them according to the sounds of the machine guns they heard. So I told them to stay away. I then called on the DPO in Birnin Gwari and informed him. He said that the men should wait for his own men for re-enforcement. That was how they arrived at Dogon Dawa late with the batch from the DPO. I did not follow them, because I was at the only place that had network coverage so that I can monitor the operations”

CSP Birchi Abubakar (DPO) of Brining Gwari “I have had a good working relationship with the vigilante of Dogon Dawa and they have been useful in helping us reduce crime. “When the OC (Shero) informed me about the refusal of the vigilante to handover the arrested four, I advised him to leave them alone and not to go into any (confrontation) with them, since we were working together. “The head of the vigilante later called me that afternoon and

informed me that they had captured four suspected robbers and that they would hand them over to me anytime. He said he was waiting for the vigilante to bring the suspects to him in Birin Gwari the following day before their suspected partners struck to rescue them and take vengeance. “When the OC informed me, around 7am the following morning that there was superior firepower from the criminals, I told him that I was reenforcing. But, unfortunately, it is about 120km from Birnin Gwari to Dogon Dawa by road, and the network there is very poor. By the time we arrived there, it was already 8pm. The killers had left. That was all I know about it”, he said.

Earlier Criminal Acts of killing August 2011: Armed robbers went from house to house in search of members of the vigilante groups in some villages under Dansadau Emirate, Maru LGA. Ten persons were reportedly killed in the attack by the gang. October 2011: Bandits again returned and killed 23 persons and injured many others in the same villages, and escaped safely.

January 2012: 15 traders were ambushed and killed; their corpses burnt in Birnin Magaji local government area of Zamfara State allegedly by the same gang. June 2012: The same gang returned to Dansadau and went from house to house, killing the residents and setting their houses ablaze unchallenged for hours by security agencies. 27 residents were killed in that orgy of bloodbath

Sate Govt Seeks Help of Famous Hunter, Ali Kwara The State Government went for the services of a famous hunter of robbers in the North, Aliyu Mohammad Ahmed, a.k.a, Ali Kwara. After a 25-day operation in the forest hunting for the armed robbers, Ali Kwara announced victory. Ali Kwara, according news sources, engaged the bandits, killed a few, arrested some but the most disturbing revelation, according to unconfirmed accounts, was that Kwara’s allegation that 12 serving policemen were the suppliers of guns to the bandits. Nine policemen were reportedly arrested in Zamfara State and that three others were arrested in neighboring Sokoto

State for gunrunning. He said the policemen arrested in Zamfara State included seven inspectors, a sergeant and a constable. “These policemen were fingered by the armed robbers as the suppliers of their guns. The policeman in charge of armoury in Zamfara State was also fingered by the armed robbers. After the armed robbers fingered them, I told the police commissioners of the two states and they ordered for their arrest. “Guns belonging to Zamfara and Sokoto State Police Commands were taken to as far as Niger and Plateau States, and to states in Niger Delta area,” Ali Kwara was quoted as saying. Curiously, according to reports, the Zamfara State Police Commissioner at that time, Mr. Usman Akila Gwary, did not deny the allegations of Ali Kwara on the conspiracy of Police with the robbers. “I’m not competent to speak, because the case is being handled in Abuja,” he had said. Meanwhile, Adenaike has vowed to fish out the perpetrators of killings of last Sunday, calling on residents to come out with useful information that would assist the Police.




can’t remember the number of killings we have done since we came into this business. It is always like we were at war when in operation. I am not rich but I am comfortable. Those who are rich and are really making money from the business are the sponsors, they are the beneficiaries and they are highly placed.’’ With these words, Numbers Blessing, the alleged leader of ship hijackers recently arrested by security forces after they attacked a ship on Nigeria’s waters, revealed their modus operandi. According to him, so powerful is the Nigerian oil mafia that a successful ship hijacking in West Africa or even Africa cannot take place without their input. Blessing gang’s arrest by the security forces is only one out of many in the last one month. The NIMASA Joint Task Force has not only made a haul of arrests , it has also unravelled the mystery surrounding the operations of the dare devil pirates and hijackers that have turned the Gulf of Guinea of the West Coast of Africa to a nightmare for oil vessels. Made up of a combined team of the navy, army, airforce, officials of NIMASA and Global West Vessel Specialist Limited

Pirates confession: We operated in Nigeria’s waters like we were at war •How we got them – Navy, NIMASA

* A vessel attacked by pirates (GWVSL), a privately owned firm, the Blessing gang’s arrest followed the attack and seizure last August 28,on MT Energy Centurion, a Greek operated oil tanker, 17 miles off the shoreline of the Togolese Capital, Lome, where it had anchored. The pirates, Golden Energy Management, the operators of the vessel , said then stole about 3, 000 of 56, 000 tonnes of gas oil it carried and robbed the crew of 23 Russians of their jewellry and money. As reports of the attack and hijack filtered in,

*Blessing, alleged pirate kingpin NIMASA, the Head of its Corporate Affairs, Hajia Lami Tumaka, stated, immediately informed the Nigeria Navy and, backed by the airforce, swiftly moved in to rescue the vessel after about six hours of fierce chase after the marauders. The task force consequently launched investigation into the incident, spreading its drag net across the country. The outcome of the investigation was revealing. Blessing, who described himself as Commander of ship hijackers

in Nigeria, and his men were rounded up. Like many of the others now in detention undergoing further interrogation, Blessing, an indigene of Gbaramatu, Delta State, was arrested in a Lagos hotel in company of some of his gang members planning another attack on a vessel in Cotonou, Benin Republic. The pirate leader, who has admitted in a confessional statement to the task force that he led the attack on MT Energy Centurion, further revealed at his detention camp in Lagos

* Sola Sam that he got a share of N10million from the operation. The hijack and theft of the vessel’s oil cargo, like others in the past, he said, was sponsored by some powerful Nigerians he declined to name, stating that their sponsors were in the business for financial gains. He described the business of ship hijacking as highly lucrative, explaining that there were about 1, 250 trained pirates in the country today."

Continues on page 57

Criminals in hidden places and the role of informants Continued from page 57 got wind of our search for him and he escaped, the source added. Interestingly, while the police were making efforts in tracking down the fleeing members of the gang, the officer in charge of SARS, Abba Kyari, got a call from the leader of a vigilante group at in Imude community, Otto-Awori Local Council Development Area, Lagos, about an unnamed UK-based Nigerian businessman was robbed and was dispossessed of a hug sum of money and other valuables. The vigilante group’s leader told Kyari that their only suspect was the man’s tenant who was aware that his landlord was on his way back from London. Now, acting on the tip-off, Kyari swiftly mobilized his men and they stormed the apartment where they met the suspect identified as Uchendu Okeagu and two others. A police source who took part in the operation said the moment the police confronted Uchendu with the robbery allegation, he immediately of-

Suspect fered a one million naira bribe to the police but it was turned down. “When we got to Uchendu’s apartment we met him and two other persons. He quickly offered us money when we confronted him with the allegation that he staged and robbed his landlord but our ‘OC’ rejected the money and asked him give us the weapon they used for the operation because the landlord said the robbers used AK 47 rifles while they attacked him. He denied having such weapons but we whisked him and the other guys we met in his apartment to our office for in-

terrogation. It was in the process of interrogation that Uchendu and Chinonso confessed to being members one of the gangs that took part in that Sunday robbery incident. They said their gang is headed by Oyenbuchi and after they carried out the Sunday robbery incident, they quickly moved to Kwara State where they raided a bank and also a police station. “We asked them to give us their weapons and they took us back to his house and showed us two empty Volkswagen buses parked in the compound.


e were stunned when they pulled off the tarpaulin cover from a ditch that was constructed under the bus; behold we discovered one rocket propelled grenade launcher, 225 AK 47 magazines fully-loaded, over 10,000 rounds of AK 47 live ammunitions, two general purpose machine guns, 260 rounds of GPMG live ammunition, five packages of dynamite with detonators and nine AK 47 rifles. They also gave us names of other members of their gangs and they confessed

that they also took part in other robbery operations at the branches of three new generation banks and a first generation bank brach in Akure, Ondo State; Osogbo, in Osun State; Okene, in Kogi State; and Auchi, in Edo State”, the source narrated. The latest discovery in the continuing engagement was the discovery of seven AK-47 rifles, five pieces of dynamites and bombs, 59 fully loaded magazines, one K2 rifle, one Lar rifle with 20 rounds of ammunition, one magazine, three pump action guns, one single barrel gun and 15 cartridges inside a Toyota Sienna bus parked along AdanlokoJakande Road, Ajangbadi. Department ‘C’ gathered that the weapons belonged to a seven man of armed robbery gang that has been terrorizing the state for a long time, but the bus was discovered through the help of a reliable police informant who was recruited in the latest bid by the police to dislodge the state of armed robbers. One Kingsley Ekwueme, 30, was later arrested in connection with the recovered deadly

weapons. When Department ‘C’ spoke with the suspect, he confessed to being the gang’s armourer, stating that he usually got between N40,000 to N50,000 from the gang. According to him, the leader of the gang is one Izunna and his brother. “We are from the same village and we are very close. He owns these weapons and he has several boys that work with him. I know a lot of them because I used to sit with them some times. I know they were armed robbers but I have never gone to rob with them; all I do for him is to keep this vehicle. I use to park it in my other brothers house in Jakande, Ajangbadi, but their tenants started complaining that I should remove the vehicle so I drove it and parked it beside a mechanic work shop and I don’t know how the police got to know about it and they picked the bus”, he lamented. As the Police continue to chart new courses in its bid to dislodge criminals from their dens, it is hoped that members of society would continue to assist the police with useful information.

PAGE 56 — SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012

Any attempt to revisit oil dichotomy will have dire consequences —Sen. Ita Enang

Senator Ita Solomon Enang, a lawyer and politician, has been a regular face in the National Assembly since the advent of civilian rule in 1999. He was first elected as a member representing the Itu/Ibiono Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom State in the House of Representatives on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and he ran for three consecutive terms of 12 years thereby making history as the longest serving lawmaker from the state. At the end of the 12 years, Enang was elevated to serve the Uyo Senatorial District in the Senate, where he is heading Business and Rules Committee. As one who has been following several debates and issues in the country, the senator says it is wrong for anybody to try to awaken the ghost of the onshore/ offshore dichotomy, which was successfully laid to rest in 2004. In this interview, Enang says such a clamour amounts to treason and would bring about dire consequences for the nation and its people.


hy do you think the n o r t h e r n governors are asking for a review of the oil dichotomy law? I just think that what they want is to control the resources of the Niger Delta while they are preserving their own resources-solid minerals. They want the onshore/offshore issue revisited so that the Federal Government will take control of the oil drilled offshore of the littoral states instead of allowing the littoral states to continue to derive 13 percent derivation from the proceeds. But what we in the SouthSouth are planning to do and what we have been working on is to extend the frontiers of derivable resource by ensuring that derivation is paid on oil taken within the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone of Nigeria. It does not matter whether it is within 200 metres water depth isobaths contiguous to a state or it is beyond. And why we were working on this is to ensure that a state like Ondo and Lagos can benefit from oil, which is found in their domains. A state like Lagos has not benefitted from oil in that the oil found off the coast of Lagos is found within the 200 metres water depth isobaths. Therefore we want to extend it so that all the states in the North and South that have oil should benefit from derivation. I have been speaking on the C M Y K

need for all parts of the country to exploit the resources found in their areas to ensure that Nigeria doesn’t discuss resource allocation anymore but discuss resource mobilization. That is why we have a body called Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and



Niger Delta. Unlike the oil companies that drill and pay 100 percent of their proceeds into the Federation Account, the licencees in the North take the proceeds from the solid minerals being exploited in that region of the country. And in a bid to avoid bringing

They want the onshore/offshore issue revisited so that the Federal Government will take control of the oil drilled offshore of the littoral states instead of allowing the littoral states to continue to derive 13 percent derivation from the proceeds

Fiscal Commission. The function of that body is to mobilise revenue from oil and non-oil sectors and to allocate these revenues, examine and perfect the fiscal structures in the country. But what seems to be happening in the northern part of Nigeria is that these states use the entirety of their solid minerals for themselves. The only money from the solid minerals that goes to the federal purse is the licence fees paid by the licencees. After paying for the licences, they simply exploit the resources and take away the proceeds leaving nothing for the Federation Account as is being done by the oil companies drilling in the


anything into the Federation Account, they claim that what they are doing is illegal mining. Why should we continue to tolerate this kind of a situation where a rational man commits an economic crime against the country and comes back to declare that what he is doing is illegal and people take it as normal? It is absurd and ridiculous. But the contention is that former President Obasanjo refused to implement the Supreme Court judgment, which said that no littoral state, should benefit from offshore oil revenue, that the revenue should go to the Federal Government. The judgment did not say the

Senator Ita Solomon Enang...The only money from the solid minerals that goes to the federal purse is the licence fees paid by the licencees.

littoral states should not enjoy offshore oil proceeds, but simply defined boundary delimitation of the country with another country. Is this your own interpretation as a lawyer or the content of the apex court judgment? No, this is the holistic interpretation and what the court said which some of the commentators may not be aware of. When you talk of the boundary of a country within the context of state sovereignty in a continental context, it is the land and the seaward boundary of that state including the continental shelf

and the exclusive economic zone of that country that you referring to. Therefore, oil that is found within the exclusive economic zone of that country belongs to the federation and by extension is taken from a state which forms part of the federation. And if the maritime delimitation was not a natural extension of a state, then Nigeria and that particular state would not have been entitled to it. Therefore the judgment of the Supreme Court restricted itself to the narrow issue it was asked to interpret and that

Continues on page 57 C M Y K

SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012— PAGE 57

‘Every part of Nigeria should produce something’ interpretation seems to have caused a problem of misunderstanding. And the court made it clear that its judgment was based on what was put before it by the NASS.


hat was why the matter was brought back to the National Assembly for redefinition. While our northern brothers are seeking to repeal the Act completely, we are moving to say allow the Act to be, extend the limit from 200 metres water depth isobaths to the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone of Nigeria so that wherever you find oil that is credited to Nigeria, we should be paid derivation on it to bring in more money into the Federation Account to be shared by all the tiers of government. In other words, it is wrong to accuse Obasanjo of not implementing the Supreme Court judgment on the onshore/offshore dichotomy? Yes. Obasanjo did not commit any offense. He simply signed what the NASS passed; he did not make executive order on the matter. He brought a bill before the legislature and we debated it and passed it into law.If anybody wants to change what we did to deny the oil-bearing states the little benefits they are getting, they should be prepared for a situation where oil production will begin to go down from the present 2.7 million barrels per day to 700 barrels per day while we are talking about this matter. And before we begin talking about the review, let all the

sections of this country produce something and bring to the Federation Account. Each section of the country should allow their resources to be exploited and bring the proceeds to the table to be shared by all. All the northern big boys who own oil blocks do so in the Niger Delta. None of them has applied for oil blocks in the Chad Basin. They protect their own environment and destroy our own yet are not happy that we should earn something for the sacrifice we have made to keep the


Continued from page 56

the United Kingdom and the United States. They did not serve France, Greece, Spain and Mexico to mention but a few. Why does she bring such outdated economic policies then to Nigeria? Why should she bring all the economic policies that have ruined the economies of the advanced countries to come and kill Nigeria? I think they were sent here to collapse our economy so that the economies of those other countries can bounce back.

Obasanjo did not commit any offense. He simply signed what the NASS passed; he did not make executive order on the matter. He brought a bill before the legislature and we debated it and passed it into law


economy running. They should be concerned about the degradation and pollution of our environment and the future of our children. What do you make of the economic policies so far put in place by the Federal Government under Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala? To be candid, I don’t like the economic policies of the finance minister because they are tailored and made from outside and do not take the Nigerian economic environment into account. The economic environment in Nigeria does not respond to the kind of policies that she has introduced. Of course, these policies have not survived in

Are you worried about the rate at which the country is going? Yes, indeed, I am worried that this country can break up because the more we try to hold one volatile issue down, other people from other parts of the country are trying to bring up the issues thereby heating up the polity. That is why I was forced to say it does appear that the actions of some of these people are treasonable. Treason is any action that is against the interest of the state and one of them is the attempt to revisit the onshore/offshore law, which has since been laid to rest by the court and the National Assembly.

Enang...‘I am worried that this country can break up because the more we try to hold one volatile issue down, other people from other parts of the country are trying to bring up the issues thereby heating up the polity’

Pirates confession: We operated in Nigeria’s waters like we were at war Continued from 55 On their operational modalities, Blessing, who claimed to have been born in 1985, said : ‘’Once there is a ship to be hijacked, our sponsors get across to us through their points men, we then move to get the details about the vessel from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC and then seek support from relevant security agencies. We operate on an agreed fee and between 70 and 80 percent of the fee is paid before we embark on the operation and the balance is

paid immediately after the operation. Once we complete the assignment , we inform the points men, who immediately get in touch with another group also working for the sponsors to take charge of the hijacked vessel, get the oil off loaded into another vessel to deposit it in various oil storage facilities for distribution and sale to oil marketers and merchants, we do not engage in the sale of oil products, we do , however, assist at times to monitor it through arms support. »I can’t remember the number of killings we have done since

we came into this business. It is always like we are at war when we are in operation. I am not rich but I am comfortable.


hose who are rich and are really making money from the business are the sponsors, they are the beneficiaries and they are highly placed. There can be no successful vessel hijacking in West Africa or Africa as a whole without inputs from Nigeria oil mafias, including top government functionaries. For any successful major sea crime, Lagos plays a major role. Build

up meetings to the operations are held in Lagos, lodgements of huge sums for operations are made here, it serves as hide outs for criminal elements, it is used as launch pad for operations and for movement of arms, being encircled by water ; money from oil theft and hijacking go far and round, we have meetings with our contacts in relevant security organisations, for every impending operation, huge sums are set aside for the security services, that is why you hardly see any meaningful thing coming out of the fight

against pirates and vessel hijacking. Once you arrest and hand over to security agents it ends there, we were planning another operation on a vessel in Cotonou when we were arrested in a Lagos hotel, one of the top players in the oil industry contacted us for that job, we agreed to execute that job for N16million.» Blessing’s identification and consequent arrest was aided by the security camera on board MT Centurion, calls made by the bandits while the operation lasted on board the vessel were comprehensively recorded.


Life Is A Tragedy For Those Who Feel, And A Comedy For Those Who Think —JEAN DE LA BRUYERE

How God saved me from being executed after Dimka's coup

—Col Paul Ogbebor (rtd), Author, Nigerian Defence Academy: A pioneer cadet’s memoirs

* Saar was unavoidable •’Biafra war consumed NDA first graduates’ BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE,deputy political editor



n what motivated him to write the

Asked what motivated him to write the first book on the NDA, he said: “When I was in London, I bought a book on Sandhurst, which is a British military academy. After going through it, I thought there should be an account of the NDA. I also visited West Point, which is the United States Army Defence Academy. After then, I started writing.”


Col Paul Osakpamwan Ogbebor...writing the book came with an avalanche of challenges


RGUABLY, Col Paul Osakpamwan Ogbebor (rtd), 70, is the first Nigerian to be enrolled into the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA. Among the 61 cadets of Course 1, he was one of the 34 that graduated. He is also one of the 18 who are still alive. He fought the Nigeria-Biafra civil war of 1967-1970 and opines that the war has cemented the country’s unity. Although at the NDA, he was one of the best in academics, sports and soldiering where he won many laurels, Ogbebor was one of those whose military career was short-circuited by high-wire intrigues and witch-hunt that characterize Nigeria’s military and public service. Ogbebor’s love for the military had no bounds as he envisioned and worked hard to be enlisted. He bore no one ill-feelings over how he was detained, tortured and finally eased out of the army because of his efforts to save General Samuel Ogbemudia (rtd), a former military governor of Bendel State, who was roped in, in the coup that killed former Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed, on February 13, 1976, and spearheaded by Colonel B.S. Dimka. Admitting that it was sad that he did not get to the peak of his military career like some of his peers and subordinates, Ogbebor saw his premature retirement in 1976 as the will of God. Waxing philosophical, he said that he is still alive is a bonus since he did not know what would have happened if he had remained in the military beyond 1976.

How? “When I was leaving the prison, I was very annoyed with the military. I thought they had disappointed me because I wanted to become a career officer; I wanted to progress to the zenith and I was working very hard for it. So what they did to me, I was very annoyed but, later on, my mind told me to forget everything, that it could have been worse because, after the retirement, they brought me a paper, my name was on the list of people who were to be killed; to be shot at the Bar Beach.” To cap his illustrious military career, Ogbebor has given the polity an illuminating and refreshing book, the first of its kind and the only one so far, on the origins of the Nigerian Defence Academy, drawing from his experience as a pioneer cadet, who started and saw how the academy developed in the first four years. Titled: “Nigeria Defence Academy – A Pioneer Cadet’s Memoir,” the 307-page book, which is broken into 16 chapters, chronicles, in vivid details with pictorials, Ogbebor’s quest for a military career, the early days of the Nigerian military after independence, how NDA was born – the structure, training programme, general services and curriculum; and how the January 1966 coup, the counter-coup and the accompanying civil war affected the school and Nigeria. In this interview, Ogbebor shares his thoughts on what motivated him to write the book, why his military career was short-lived, why Nigeria is struggling 52 years after independence and how to move the nation forward among others. Excerpts:

For arriving the academy on January 19, 1964, while his 60 other peers arrived on January 20, 1964, Ogbebor became the first cadet to be enlisted


The challenges However, writing the book came with an avalanche of challenges. “I could not lay hands on any material. I visited the NDA, there was no material. There were no people to discuss with because many of them were not there at the beginning and so they didn’t know much about the beginning. Few years after the NDA started, the civil war started and attention was on the war. There was no record; nothing!”, he lamented. Undaunted, Ogbebor had to proceed, depending “mostly on remembered events and photographs I personally took by virtue of being the

chairman of the Defence Academy Photography Club for the duration of Course I.” He recalled: “All efforts to get photographs from members of Regular Course II were in vain. The reasons for the hiccups included the Nigerian civil war, which broke out few weeks after the commissioning of Course I cadets as officers with most going straight from the academy to their formations in preparation for the commencement of the civil war. Unfortunately, many neither ever returned alive nor ever again saw their belongings. In the same vein, members of Course II were trained, commissioned and deployed under war hysteria. In addition, many of the Nigerian pioneer members of staff were deployed to the war-front, most of whom are now dead, while the pioneer Indian officers returned to their country. And even their replacements, after many years, were replaced by Nigerian officers, who themselves trained in the academy. No proper records were really passed along from generation to generation in the academy. The same could be the bane of any institution with no regard for proper records.” How civil war claimed graduands For arriving the academy on January 19, 1964, while his 60 other peers arrived on January 20, 1964, Ogbebor became the first cadet to be enlisted. Of this number, only 34 graduated, 15 left to fight on the side of Biafra during the civil war and today only 18 are alive. He disclosed that those who are alive are meeting regularly and are planning to start alumni of the NDA. Counting the cost of the war on the NDA, Ogbebor lamented that 50 per cent of those in the first and second intakes were lost during the war on both sides (Federal

Continues on page 59


, Life Is A Tragedy For Those Who Feel, And A Comedy For Those Who Think —JEAN DE LA BRUYERE

’Biafra war consumed NDA first graduands’ Continued from page 58

Why he left the navy


fter the first two years of training, Ogbebor was one of the seven cadets, who left for the navy. But he had to retrace his steps to the army after a short stint because even though “navy is a beautiful place, it has to do with ships and with the sea. I mentioned that I was the only member of my course who went to the sea and was never sea sick. And in the evening, I will sit at the upper deck and enjoy everything. But, after a week, I became bored. The ship became too small for me. I couldn’t just imagine my life living in that cubicle. I enjoyed a lot of freedom; freedom of speech and everything. So that was what deterred me from staying on in the navy.” Inculcating discipline in armed forces Asked if the NDA had succeeded in inculcating discipline in the military given the series of coups the country had witnessed, Ogbebor said the academy had achieved most of its

Ogbebor...I was in the field fighting objectives because it was inbuilt in the training programme. He nevertheless lamented that “coups will not perfect the military institution because the military has its own hierarchy and it is completely isolated from the general system, the political system. The only thing is that during the war, people were brought to the NDA to be trained for only four months and some were brought there to be trained for only two months and sent to the war. These ones were purely war materials. But the regular courses continued after the war.”

Abridged military career By his account, among those who went through the NDA, he is the most senior since he arrived ahead of his mates. He was also one of the most brilliant and high performers in soldiering by winning laurels here and there. Incidentally, his peers and those who came after him rose to the peak of the military profession but he left as a colonel. Asked what happened, he said: “I believe that whatever happened was normally ordained by God, otherwise it could never have happened. Until Murtala Muhammed

was assassinated on February 13, 1976, I was the Commanding Officer, Nigeria Army Corps, Ikeja. A lot of responsibilities were given to me. The whole of Lagos was divided into two: Area A and Area B. I was in charge of Area A — from Ikeja to Apapa. “Things were moving well but one day, General


and Biafra). “I was involved in the war from day one till the end. We ended the war in Owerri. I was in-charge of Biafrans who surrendered at Shell Camp, Owerri. Many of them were my seniors, juniors and friends in the military. One of them, Austin Ezenwa, was my teacher at St Patricks College, Asaba. Ezenwa is now the Igwe of Abagana. I was surprised to see him in the war, “he stated. On the raging controversy over Prof Chinua Achebe’s comments that General Yakubu Gowon and late Chief Obafemi Awolowo used starvation as weapon during the war, which led to the death of many Biafran children and women. “I was in the field fighting. I wouldn’t know if Gowon and Awolowo used hunger and starvation as a weapon. Those are undercurrents of the administration in Lagos. I was in the battle field fighting. However, there is suffering in every war. In every war, there must be kwashiorkor, “the retired colonel stated.

When I was released from prison, I was very annoyed with the military. I thought they had disappointed me because I wanted to become a career officer

came in my car. He said, ‘alright, enter your car and follow me.’ “We drove to the Army Headquarters and, when we got there, he gave me a blue sheet of paper. When I read through it, it was the minutes of how they were going to take part in a coup that killed Murtala Muhammed. It was held in Ogbemudia’s house. I said, ‘Can I investigate this matter because this doesn’t follow the military pattern.’ People want to take part in coup, they sit down and write minutes. So, they gave me the paper. We sent somebody to Benin, Engineer Ohile. He worked in the Ministry of Works; he worked in the Governor’s Office and worked in the University of Benin; they were just starting the university then. So I said he should go and get me a copy of a letter he signed when he was in the Ministry of Works, when he was in Governor ’s Office and when he was in the University of Benin. So they brought it and I called the Commissioner of Police, who was in-charge of handwriting and we asked if he could look into the piece of paper and advise. He found that the signatures on the three papers from Benin were consistent but the one Danjuma gave me was not consistent. So, he made his report. I took that report and went to Danjuma and told him to look at the signatures. “So Danjuma and I went to see General Obasanjo, who was now the Head of State. And that led to the removal of

I thought that was all but two days after, on the 19th of March 1976, the Chief of Staff, Danjuma, invited me to his office. When I got there, he said I was under arrest

Ogbemudia’s wife came from Benin to see me, crying and wailing and saying that her husband had been whisked away and since then they had not seen him. Not quite long, another person, Dr. Amos Odaro, came to my house. He said his elder brother, an engineer, was also taken away. I said, ‘What has he done?’ He said he did not know. On Sunday, I drove straight to General TY Danjuma’s house. He was living in the Defence House, Ikoyi. I told him what I heard. He asked me how I came; I told him I


General Agbazika Innih, who was then the military Governor of Bendel State. He was deployed to Kwara State. “I thought that was all but two days after, on the 19th of March 1976, the Chief of Staff, Danjuma, invited me to his office. When I got there, he said I was under arrest. From there, I was taken to Ikoyi Prison. I spent three months there. Nobody really asked me any question except that somebody came one day and said, ‘What do you know about the 1976 coup that killed Murtala?’ I said I knew nothing. He said, “We also


heard that there was another coup being planned which Felix Ibru reported and it looks as if you are the one planning it.’ I said, ‘I don’t really know Felix.’ He said, ‘Felix said he gave N200 to somebody ’. I said, ‘I don’t even know Ibru not to talk of collecting money from him.’ So that was all. I spent three months in Ikoyi Prison. Then, I was moved to Kirikiri Prison to spend another three months. “One day, they came to tell me that I was retired. I said thank you. In September 1976, I was discharged from prison. On the lessons he learnt and how he survived in prison “The lesson I learnt is that God has hands in everything. When I was in detention, some of us were condemned; in 24 hours, you will not see light. It was made to break some of us. But I did a course called ‘survival course’ where we were expected to adapt to difficult situations if we were captured. “They normally bring water around six o’clock in the morning. When they brought water I pleaded that they should give me an orange. I used the orange as a football and played it in the cell, a nine by six feet enclosure. I played and joggled the orange vigorously that I would be sweating profusely. “I adapted to the situation because if I was to be captured in war, the situation would be worse than that. At first, I thought someone was doing this to break my will, but the longer it took I discovered that it was no longer a joke. So I started singing a song: ‘I have the whole world in my hands.’ I just believe that it was faith. It was perfect faith”. How he felt when he was leaving the prison “When I was released from prison, I was very annoyed with the military. I thought they had disappointed me because I wanted to become a career officer; I wanted to progress to the zenith and I was working very hard for it. So when they did this to me, I was very annoyed but, later on, my mind told me to forget everything, that it could have been worse because after the retirement, somebody brought me a paper, my name was on the list of people who were to be killed; to be shot at the Bar Beach. I think it was to be on the 24th of March, 1976, there were 42 names there. My name was the last one but General Domkat Bali said, ‘it

Continues on page 60


, Life Is A Tragedy For Those Who Feel, And A Comedy For Those Who Think —JEAN DE LA BRUYERE

'Civil war was unavoidable' Ogbebor...The first coup, we didn’t know of it.

was only 41 people that were sentenced to death, how did you get the 42 nd person? Colonel Ogbebor, how did you get here, how did they smuggle your name into this list?’ They said I had been charged. He said, ‘go and bring his file.’ Nobody had my file because I was not charged, I was not questioned. So, he used his pen to cancel my name. That is how I was saved. “But colonel Wya never had that fortune because he was shot at the Bar Beach. He was married to a British, a white lady. The white lady wrote to say that her husband was never involved in the coup. After everything, the Minister of Defence wrote to the wife that it was a mistake. You know what she did? One Sunday, she just entered a car with her four children. She was living in Kaduna. She drove towards Kaduna, she saw a big truck coming and she just drove into it. She and her four children died. She left a suicide note saying that she didn’t know how to go to the civilized world and tell them that her husband was shot at the beach by mistake. “So, that I am alive is the handiwork of God. When I came out at first, I was annoyed but, later on, I decided to forgive everybody”.

How cadets received the 1966 coups

“The first coup, we didn’t know of it. We heard gunshots in the night. We didn’t normally have feelings for that because of the training. We thought the authorities were conducting an exercise for some students. It was in the morning that we were told what happened at the Deputy Commandant’s Office. Then, Ironsi took over as Head of State. But in spite of the coup, there was cohesion in the academy and the cadets continued their course until the cadets had their first passing out parade on March 27, 1966. “By this, the naval cadets were able to complete their basic training in the NDA and had traveled out of the country to the various foreign naval institutions for their specialization and commissioning. But the army cadets had one more year to spend in the NDA for specialization and commissioning. Then the fear and question again was whether the prevailing political situation in Nigeria would allow the army cadets to complete their training and be commissioned in March 1967. In spite of the fervent efforts to safeguard and continue the academy courses uninterrupted; things were never the same again. Both the military and civilian staff in the academy, who were Ibos, had lost their sense of security and, in turn, fled. “The officer cadets of Courses I and II, who were

from the Eastern Region, had developed fear. In fact, no Nigerian staff and cadets remaining in the academy was sure of his fate irrespective of one’s place of origin. The atmosphere in the academy was no longer conducive for learning. The academy had to close in June 1966 for a two-month vacation”. On whether the January 1966 coup was an Igbo coup


Continued from page 59

After the retirement, somebody brought me a paper, my name was on the list of people who were to be killed; to be shot at the Bar Beach. I think it was to be on the 24th of March, 1976, there were 42 names there


“No, it was not. The handling was very successful in the North but the handling in the South was treated with sentiments. Most of the people killed were Yorubas and Hausas. It was only Nwogu that was killed in the East and that raised eyebrows of northerners and they

When I was released from prison, I was very annoyed with the military. I thought they had disappointed me because I wanted to become a career officer

organized their own coup”. On whether the civil war was avoidable “At the time we fought, we were obeying orders. We were trained to obey orders. The pattern of our training is to be loyal to your country by all means, even if it means taking your life to defend your country. If there is a war, there is war. We never looked at the political aspect of it. “There are many indices to show that there was something wrong. For instance, the papers published, Daily Times was sold only in the South, not in the whole of the South, but in what we call South-West. Although it was a federal paper, it was not federal at all. New Nigeria was only sold in the North. The Pilot was only sold in the East. Then, you cannot travel to the East and easterners cannot travel. There was panic at Jebba Bridge, at Niger Bridge. Then, there were lots of altercations between Gowon and Ojukwu. It was only divine intervention that could have prevented that war. But God said there must be war, so there was war. It has to be rough before it can be smooth. We have a parable in Benin that says when a man marries two wives, until they fight and one woman is able to defeat the other one, there won’t be peace in the house. They have now tested their strength and one knows that she is stronger than the other one. So, there will be peace in the house. The same thing now applies to Nigeria”. On whether true reconciliation has been achieved 42 years after the war “What you see now is purely politics. You find one leader talking this way and the other talking that way but when there is something in common they share. You find that people in prison don’t know the country, tribe or state they come from. People in the hospital don’t know what religion they are practising. People in prison are fighting for a common goal. What matters to them is freedom. What matters to people in the hospital is health. But people who have health, who have freedom and everything, want to advance their fortune. They look for whatever it is to put forward. So, at the end of the day, we all will agree”. 52 years after independence are we really a nation? “Look at our footballers, when they go out to play


football, they are there with a common goal. See how they try hard to win. The problem with Nigeria today is that there is no national goal. During the war, to keep Nigeria together was a task. For that one, 90 per cent of Nigeria’s resources were mobilized to achieve it. If you are a medical doctor, you are commandeered. If you are a lawyer, you are commandeered. If you have a house, it is commandeered to achieve the survival of Nigeria. That was why we were able to win. Since that war ended, tell me what happened that the whole country is pulling its resources towards achieving? Nothing! That is the failure of leadership in Nigeria. You were here when Buhari/ Idiagbon came. You can see how the country was moving towards something. They had content and were moving Nigerians towards a goal. “While I was in India, I was learning Hindu in an American embassy school. I was a Major then. There was a teacher teaching us, his name was Krishna. If you go to the Connaught Place, Delhi, at four o’clock, you would see them packing dead bodies of people, who died of cold and hunger in the night. ‘Can’t you do something for these people?’, we asked. “We can do something about them,” one of them said, “if we pull the resources of the whole of India to save these ones, we can only save 20 per cent of them. The remaining 80 per cent will still die. So what we are doing is that we are not bothering about these ones now. We are bothering about their children. We are putting our resources to develop our economy so that the economy can now serve these children’. That is what they did and India is better for it today”.

On the way forward

“When Yar ‘Adua came, we started something but it was too many – seven-point agenda. Seven is too much. A goal should be one. President Goodluck Jonathan came and said Transformation Agenda. Transformation in people’s what? How much have people been educated? A goal should be well articulated and there should be a plebiscite for all Nigerians to understand and vote and, after voting, it becomes their bible. It is not what one Head of State will sit in the room and conjure. People must be involved”.


VIEWPOINT BY ENUMA CHIGBO VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF The way to abundant food production


The day Cross River met Songhai

are: poor transportation and power infrastructure particularly in the rural areas, inadequate access to market and linkages; unfavourable price fixing by middlemen, perceived stigma attached to young farmers and their desire for white collar employment as opposed to agricultural entrepreneurship, low levels of financial literacy, competence, self esteem and negotiation skills, lack of education, particularly of the girl child, the challenge of collateral provision; gender gaps in land and other property ownership, thus limiting ability to secure borrowing, uncoordinated and/or ineffective Government support efforts; poor coordination between public sector, private sector and donor agencies. Participants were then taken on a tour of the Songhai Centre amongst them was Cynthia Umoru, CEO of Farmshoppe also known as the “pretty farmer.” According to her, the world population is expected to grow from the current 6.5billion to 8 billion in 2050. “How do we feed the world then? Young people are migrating from Africa to greener pastures but Africa holds the potential to become the food belt of the world”. “Where there is a will there is a way,” Obioma concluded. “Agribusiness holds the key to increased food security and great wealth creation. With passion and commitment on the part of all stakeholders, the challenges involved in attracting and engaging women and young people in Agribusiness can be overcome.” *Chigho lives in Calabar, Cross River State.

OU are not farmers; you are agricpre neurs.” Those were words from Obioma Liyel-Imoke, wife of the Cross River State governor. It’s really interesting the way new words come out of different people and in different locations. In this case, it was all the way in Port Novo, Republic of Benin. Obioma had been invited to co-chair a three-day workshop, entitled: ‘The Women and Youth as Catalyst in Agribusiness’, perhaps the first of its kind. So, accompanied by her Project Directors, Commissioner for Women Affairs and some other senior officials, all roads led to the Republic of Benin. The journey was via the ever bustling commercial city of Lagos, through Badagry known for its infamous slave route. The Seme Border, which is the boundary between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin, is not far off. It’s a tiny border but things happen there, trade in different commodities being the most prominent of them all, and that then marked the cross over into Benin Republic. In this country, the roads look the same and so do the people. And then you wonder why there are two different countries and not one – until you speak and get blank stares in exchange. Indeed in this near

melting pot of nations. Thirteen African countries were represented some of them being: Nigeria, Ghana, Republic of Benin, and The Gambia. They were there to address a very serious problem – women and youth unemployment. “This is a serious problem”, said UNIDO’s Regional Director, Patrick Kormowa. “If not addressed there will be major problems in Africa.” The UN systems offices came up with the idea of stakehold-


Saving the lives of women and children

but faraway land, you get to realise that it is not business as usual. “Good morning,” somewhat finds its way to the back burner and is replaced with “Bonjour,” and “Que-est que ce” immediately replaces” “What is this?” It goes on and on... Fortunately at this landmark event, interpreters were on hand for the linguistically challenged. That meeting could be best described as a

Agribusiness holds the key to increased food security and great wealth creation.



N 2010, the UN SecretaryGeneral’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health highlighted the suffering of women and children around the world caused by lack of access to life saving commodities. Life in the developing world is filled with stories like that of the woman who, just after child birth, dies from excessive bleeding because the health centre is stocked-out of the medicine to save her life; the child with a simple case of pneumonia who cannot be treated because the needed antibiotic is not registered for use; and the 45-year old woman who finds out she is pregnant for the seventh time, after almost dying the last time she gave birth because she does not have access to modern methods of family planning. The overarching health system and financial impediments for governments and end-users to access life-saving commodities is made worse by the lack of awareness of how, why and when to use them, preventing women and children from accessing and using appropriate commodities. Other system barriers to these commodities include the severely under-resourced regulatory agencies in low-income countries, which lead to delayed registration of commodities, lack of oversight of product quality and general inefficiencies; market failures, where return on investment is too low to encourage manufacturers to enter the market or produce sufficient quantities;

ers to organise this forum, the project combines research on successful agribusiness enterprises such as the Songhai model with stakeholder consultations – ultimately aimed at developing policy guidelines for formulating agribusiness programmes as well as national policies that are focused on improving employment opportunities for young people in the agricultural sector.

•President Goodluck Jonathan

and user supply and demand challenges such as limited demand for the product by endusers, local delivery problems and incorrect prescription and use. The UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy called on the global community to work together to save 16 million lives by 2015 through increasing access to essential medicines, medical devices and health supplies that effectively address leading avoidable causes of death during pregnancy, childbirth and childhood. This challenge has been taken up by the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, with a focus on the world’s 49 poorest countries. The Commission recognises that if the needs for modern contraceptive methods were fully met in these countries, an estimated 53 million unintended pregnancies would be avoided, about 90,000 women’s lives


Venue for this event was the 6,000 hectare corporate quarters of the Songhai farms, reminiscent of the ancient Songhai Empire which, back in the day, extended to some parts of present day Republic of Benin and Nigeria. “The solution to unemployment is agriculture,” said Fr Godfrey Nzamujo, Director of the Songhai Centre, in his welcome remarks. The organisers of the event note that a vibrant rural

would be saved and an estimated 590,000 newborn deaths would be averted. In addition, many of the over 800,000 deaths of children each year from diarrhoea could be prevented with oral rehydration solution and zinc that cost less than US$0.50 per treatment. The Commission has identified 13 overlooked life saving commodities that, if more widely accessed and used, could save the lives of more than 6 million women and children. These are; Maternal health commodities such as Oxytocin and Misoprostol (to prevent and treat post-partum haemorrhage) and Magnesium sulphate (to prevent and treat eclampsia and severe pre- eclampsia); Newborn health commodities such as injectable antibiotics (to treat newborn sepsis), Antenatal corticosteroids (to prevent respiratory distress in preterm babies), Chlorhexidine (for newborn cord care) and resuscitation devices (to treat newborn asphyxia); Child health commodities amoxicillin (to treat pneumonia) and Oral rehydration salts and Zinc (to treat diarrhoea); and Reproductive health commodities such as Female condoms, Contraceptive implants and Emergency contraception. To deliver on the promise of saving the lives of millions of women and children, the Commission recommends actions which focus on the need for improved global and local markets for life-saving commodities, innovative financing, quality

sector generates local demand for locally produced products and services. Recognizing smallholder farms as agribusinesses, irrespective of their size or scale, is an important first step in making the sub region’s rural sector a viable choice for young people. The challenge is to create a vibrant rural economy by making agriculture more productive, efficient, remunerative and competitive with the view to creating employment for young people. “This is a fantastic workshop,” said Obioma during her presentation on the first day. “I have an NGO and our first focus is on agriculture. Of the state’s 3.2 million people, about 75% are subsistent farmers living in rural communities. However, the state like the rest of Nigeria and other countries in the world, is facing the problem of rural urban migration and an aging farmer population. “It is therefore imperative that women, who are the acknowledged mainstay of many families, and young people who are the ideal catalyst for significant change should be encouraged to adopt farming as a profession.” However there are challenges she noted, some of which

strengthening and regulatory efficiency, improved national delivery of commodities and better integration of private sector and consumer needs. The scaling up of access to and use of these 13 commodities is not only a moral obligation, but one of the most effective ways of getting more health for the money invested. It would make a significant contribution to put maternal and child health in a trajectory to end these preventable and tragic deaths. The Commission estimates that the scale up will cost less than USD 2.5 billion over five years and save over 6 million lives. These estimated costs per lives saved are low and represent excellent global development investments. The Commission has also developed a detailed plan for implementation with cross-cutting and commodity-specific actions and clearly stated national, regional and global activities and associated costs. Recognizing that many commodity-related obstacles are linked to financial barriers and rooted in broader health system challenges – such as poor governance, inadequate human resources, ineffective local supply chains and insufficient information systems – the Commission calls for further links between the identified solutions and priority actions and other global and national initiatives for strengthening health systems The Commission believes that it is possible to overcome seemingly entrenched barriers when

partners work together. The success in substantially reducing the price of antiretroviral drugs for HIV is testimony to the effect of partnerships, with 6.6 million people in developing countries receiving these drugs at the end of 2010. Initiatives such as aggregating orders, and improving the forecasting, financing and manufacturing capacity of insecticide-treated nets in sub-Saharan Africa increased their supply from 5.6 million in 2004 to 145 million in 2010, leading to substantial reductions in deaths due to malaria. When auto-disable syringes for immunization were introduced in 1992 to prevent infections from re-use in developing countries, the cost was over six times that of normal syringes. The price difference is now near equal and use near universal due to sustained increased demand following initial GAVI Alliance support for their use. These previous achievements give us the confidence to call on local communities, National authorities and the global community to once again rally around an initiative that will save millions of lives in the poorest countries of the world, this time by improving the availability, affordability and accessibility of these 13 proven life-saving commodities.

Dr. Jonathan, President Federal Republic of Nigeria and Rt. Honourable Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister, Norway are cochairs of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children.


Yesterday Victor Omoregie , a former national athlete started this piece on what the AFN did not do right for the London 2012 Olympics. Today we bring you the concluding part of the piece with emphasis on what the AFN can do to produce athletes who can be among medal winners at the Rio 2016 Games. Enjoy it.

Governors. They go to great lengths to cheat in order to be tops at the medals table. The medals tables have turned out to be controversial, with hosting States wanting to win by all means. At the end of the day, it is our sports development that has continued to suffer. Since the era of Mary Onyali, Falilat Ogunkoya and Innocent Egbunike, how many athletes discovered from the festival have gone to be world champions? The festival has become a political tool, with the aim of just shoring up popularity for the ‘ winning’ States and their Governors.

•Ajoke Odumosu

f the AFN is to make any IOlympics impact at the next in Rio, Brazil,


Rio 2016 Olympics:


What AFN can do to produce champion athletes


now is the time to start preparing. The success of popular Caribbean countries like Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, Barbados, Bahamas, Cayman Island, Cuba, Dominica, Virgin Island, St. Kitts & Nevis etc, is something that should be looked into. These countries concentrate on their youths under the agebracket of 12 – 17 years categories. Outside this group are the under-seven and under-10 groups that are constantly groomed and monitored to join the 12-17 years category. I laughed when I heard that the AFN was still hoping to have Okagbare for the next Olympics. I would not be surprised if Obinna Metu is invited and goes on to represent the country. If it happens, that would be a crying shame. I would like to use a few examples of youths that became world champions at the just concluded London Olympics as pointers to the importance of banking on the youths of a nation. Take for example Kirani James from Grenada. He began running when he was just 12 years old. He won the 400m men race with a time of 43.94 seconds at the London Olympics at the age of 20 years. Known as the ‘Jaguar ’, he is presently a student of Business Studies at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, USA. He had won the 400m earlier at the 2011 World Championship before his 19th birthday. It was his first major international gold medal. This made him the youngest sprinter to win a senior individual global title. He won a silver medal in the 400m with a time of 47.70 seconds at the age of 15 years, making him the fastest ever by anyone of that age. Another youth worthy of mention that hugged the limelight at the London Olympics is Walcott Keshorn from Trinidad & Tobago. He defied a field of top javelin throwers

or events that F have Time, Distance and Height

The competitions could be organised in the six geopolitical zones of the country, from which potential athletes who qualify would then meet at the National Open Championship, for the different specialised events

from the Eastern Europe to clinch the gold medal. He was just 19 years. Rudisha Amos Kitun was another youth who won the 800m for men. Modern Olympics has become a competition for the youths of the world with a sprinkling of experienced older athletes. This fact was more than confirmed with the Jamaican Youth Team sweeping the 200m for men – Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Weir Warren, all of them in their twenties and then going for a record breaking 4 x 100m relay. he question now, is T how will the AFN make Nigeria join the

committee of champion nations? After settling for the categories of athletes to work as suggested, the next step is to identify our areas of strength. Nigeria’s strength lies in the SHORT SPRINTS and JUMPS. By short sprints I mean the 100, 200 and 400 meters, while the jumps refer to the Long, Triple and High jumps. Traditionally, these


are the events that had brought us glory in the past and also because our body physique is suitable for such events. We can also get formidable relay quartets (4 x 100 and 4 x 400). In addition, the country could look-in to such events as Shot-Put, Discus and Javelin, just to have a broader view with respect to the events. Next are the competitions that would throw-up the athletes that would emerge for further training and grooming. The competitions could be organised in the six geopolitical zones of the country, from which potential athletes who qualify would then meet at the National Open Championship, for the different specialised events. These competitions should be event-specific. For example, you can have a Jumps Classics, for either men or women. What this means is that only the jumps would be the events to be competed for all through the duration of the competition. The same

thing should be done for the short sprints and the other field events. However the critical and most important aspects of these competitions should be the strict adherence to laid out standards, according to age groups. Thank God, Science can now predict correctly the limit of physical endurance for any age group. Thus for any athlete to be considered part of a further training programme, he/she must meet the standard set in the event. Another ingredient in the build-up to producing champion athletes is the quality of coaches. These coaches should be grounded in the rules and techniques of the area of speciality. It would be best to teach the technique and rules of the sports to younger athletes at a tender age. These coaches can be got from those that scout and bring athletes who excel at the competition. A coach in this category is Tobias Igwe aka ‘Toblow’. He is considered Nigeria’s foremost grass-root coach. He is credited with the fact for the discovery of the likes of Mary Onyaki, Innocent Egbunike, the Osmond brothers and many others. The National Sports Festival that has now lost its glamour and relevance can be revamped using this “standard regime”. The National Sports Festival has become tools in the hands of some unscrupulous Sports Officials to scam State

as their modalities of winning, standards should be set. For example, taking the Long Jump, if the standard for men is set for say 7.30 meters, it would then mean that for you to win a medal in this event you must jump the same distance or above the standard set. Thus you might have a situation where although athletes competed in the event nobody won a medal because none of the athletes met the standards. This would curb the practise by some States who go about poaching for athletes from other States. What do you do when you are not sure that the athletes you are poaching can meet the standards set by the festival committee? The only obstacle however to this initiative would be the Nigerian penchant for lowering standards. However, if we want to join in the league of champion nations, we have to walk the long, hard and honest route. The National Sports Commission should ensure that the standards meet international specifications. Now is the time for the AFN to call a congress of stakeholders in the sports to brainstorm. The end result of the said congress is to produce a blue-print for the AFN that would chart the route back to greatness in the sport. Aside from the youth category recommended, youths from the Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, Monotechnics, Senior Secondary Schools, Armed Forces and in fact all Nigerian Youths, should be part of the new renaissance to reclaim the nation’s lost glory in athletics. Regarding sponsorship, this would come naturally, when it is noticed that monies put forward are used for sports development proper. The reason behind the

•Continues on Page 63

SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012 — 63

Spain, Romania players win Gov’s Cup Futures I BY JOHN EGBOKHAN


HE Governor’s Cup Futures I came to a great finale yesterday with Spanish and Romania players winning the men’s and women’s singles title, respectively. They were rewarded with trophies, dollars and more significantly, ranking point at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan. Spain’s Enrique LopezPerez won the men’s singles final. defeating Sherif Sabry of Egypt in three thrilling sets of 7-5,1-6,64. For his effort, he got the hughe chunk of the $15,000 prize money set

aside for all the 32 players who featured in the main draw. that started last Monday.. The right handed Spanish players said that match against the hardhitting Sabry as a difficult one. He noted that he had prepared for a two sets game He said that he exerted a lot of energy. which made him to call for any sugar drink from the referee. “I was given a bottle of coke. This brought back the needed energy for me to win the third set of the final. I’m happy to win this game and this will give me the confidence to

do well in the second leg,” said Perez. In the women’s singles final. another big battle was witnessed as South Africa’s Chanel Simmonds and Romania’s Cristina Dinu took to the Lord Rumens Centre Court. with Simmonds running away with the match in three tantalising sets of 7-5,4-6,6-4. The duo of Conny Perrin of Switzerland and South Africa’s Chanel Simmonds beat the Russian pair of Nina Bratchikova and Margarita Lazareva in straight sets of 61,6-1 to win the Women’s doubles final.

What AFN can do to produce champions •Continued from Page 62

pull-out of Mobil Producing Company in sponsoring of AFN’s Olympic Trials Competition still remains a mystery. The supposedly impropriety over the spending of monies put up by sponsors had scared a lot of intending sponsors. The world over, sponsors want to be identified with the activities of the youths of any nation, sporting activities being one of the most favoured. Today, Usain Bolt of Jamaica is among the top ranked sports personalities of the world that have endorsement contracts from numerous multinational companies. Aside from the individual benefit accruing to the

athlete, the athlete’s country of origin gets some of the lime-light showered on the athletes. Today Jamaica has become a household name, all because of the exploits of Usain Bolt in athletics. In terms of sponsorship, events like the marathon (Obudu or any other one for that matter) are just a waste of time and an avenue for the sponsor to further launder its image instead of improving on the sports. Nigeria should leave the marathon and long distance races to the East Africans, as they have not been seen in the short sprints. It would be a thing of history to see an East African competing in the 100 or 200 meters.

They know where their strengths lie. There is no time left, as other serious countries had already begun preparing for the RIO OLYMPICS in Brazil while they were at the London Olympics. It shows seriousness on their part. Nigeria has to work hard. We can achieve it if only the AFN put its acts together. AFN should pick target competitions that Nigeria should participate in and work towards it. If one is wont to ask, where and what is Innocent Egbunike doing right now?. The Olympics is the ultimate competition. Nothing is impossible, if you put your heart and mind to it. Enough of the rhetoric.

AWC: Falcons’ll retain trophy, Ikhana assures


Y this time next Sun day Falcons coach, Kadiri Ikhana will come face to face with reality, when the Africa Women Championship begin in Equatorial Guinea. He had spoken of his desire to lead the Super Falcons to their ninth title. But just how far he can go in this his first competitive outing with the Falcons will be unveiled when he takes on Cameroon in the opening game of their campaign in Equatorial Guinea, where the Falcons surrendered the trophy in 2008. They claimed it back at the 2010 tournament in South AfC M Y K

•Ikhana rica and Ikhana who took over from Uche Eucharia stated that they will not slip this time around in Malabo. “I believe we have done everything we should do. We will definitely bring the cup back to Nigeria.

We all know what is at stake. Remember, we lost the cup [in Equatorial Guinea] and this time around, we will bring the cup from there,” said Ikhana. He added that a good outing against the Cameroonians who dispatched the Falcons from the London 2012 Olympics train, will be a test of the team’s resolve to do well at the tournament. The Falcons are drawn in Group B alongside Cameroon, Ethiopia and Cote D’Ivoire. Group A has hosts Equatorial Guinea, South Africa, Congo DR and Senegal.

Insatiable Nigerian fans


UMAN wants are insatiable. When it is hot, they want it cold and when it is cold, they say it should have been hot. Always looking for what is not. That is the mentality of most Nigerian football fans and they exhibited it before and after the Super Eagles Nations Cup decider against the Lone Star of Liberia in Calabar. After the Eagles blew a 2-1 lead in Monrovia last month and allowed the Lone Star to draw level at 2-2, many a football fan, including some pessimistic members of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, became apprehensive that the Liberians could come and create an upset here, the same way the Guineans did to thwart their 2012 Nations Cup hope. Their fear was made worse by the boastful nature of the Liberia Football Association Chairman, Musa Bility, who spoke almost on a daily basis on Brila FM radio in Lagos. These Nigerians did not ponder that Bility’s hope of an upset over the Eagles rested on some Liberian players coming from some obscure clubs in Europe or some players who were perpetual bench warmers in some Premiership clubs. When Stephen Keshi decided to in invite a 35-man squad, including 15 Europe-based players to begin preparation for the encounter, these same fans argued that it was wieldy and unnecessary. They forgot that when Keshi invited less Foreign-based players they had said he was taking a big risk and should have invited more from the foreign league because of their experience. From the training session in Abuja down to Calabar, the fans said the Liberians who were camped in Accra, Ghana for the encounter were preparing better than the Eagles, more so when they had a tune-up match against the Menas of Niger Republic a few days to D-day. While the scepticism continued, Keshi remained unperturbed, saying that he was more concerned about how his boys reacted to his training regime than what the Liberians were doing because the turf of the U.J. Esuene Stadium would decide who was better. This is not to say that all the Nigerian fans were sceptical about the Eagles chances against Liberia. Hours before kick off, the optimistic few were equivocal in their prediction that the Liberians were going to fall, some said by 2-0, others said 3-0. One man, incidentally a sports journalist with Ray power FM radio, Callistus Ebare, who watched the daily training sessions of the Eagles, was emphatic that the score cannot be anything less than 5-0. True to Ebare’s prediction, the Eagles tore Liberia apart on the day. As if they wanted to maintain the 5-

0 margin he predicted, the Eagles increased their goal haul to six when the visitors managed to score one. The score-line of that match that made the Eagles the hottest legs of the last day of the qualifiers did not matter to the pessimists who echoed that the Eagles were not too fantastic. They added that the Liberians did the playing while the Eagles did the scoring. If it was the other way round, that the Eagles played so well, samba football as it were but lost the match and the ticket, the same set of fans would have descended on Keshi, calling for his head. Among the big countries that missed out of the 2012 Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea/Gabon, Nigeria and Algeria are the only ones who succeeded this time while Egypt and Cameroon failed once again to make it. Cameroon crashed at the hands of Cape Verde, of all countries, who are going to debut at the African football festival for the first time. This is not to say that Keshi has done all he has to do to get to the last four of the Nations Cup, the Eagles birth right so to speak for some time now. He too is aware of the lapses in the team and has said that he would now concentrate on polishing the rough edges noticed during the qualifiers so as to put up a respectable performance in South Africa. It is wrong for some fans never to see anything good in what the Eagles are doing because of some poor performances in the past. The new team Keshi is trying to mould will take some time to solidify and return to the Clemens Westerhof era when the Eagles were the pride of the continent. May be not even at the 2013 Nations Cup. This is where the NFF comes in, by providing the wherewithal for the players and the technical crew to plan strategies, not only for the Nations Cup but the 2014 World Cup qualifies which is next and very important. The Eagles need quality friendly matches as a build-up to the Nations Cup. The NFF is already thinking in the direction of the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire and Black Stars of Ghana, unarguably the biggest teams among the qualifiers. Incidentally both sides fell to Zambia at the 2012 edition, the same Zambia the home Eagles beat in Kaduna in a friendly preparatory to a qualifier for the Equatorial Guinea/Gabon party. The Nations Cup is significant to Nigeria and the Eagles. As defending champions, the Eagles failed to attend the 1996 edition on the same soil after Nigeria’s maximum ruler then, General Sani Abacha pulled the team out after Nelson Mandela, then South African president slammed him for the hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni eight a few months earlier in 1995. Till date, some die hard Nigerian fans, including South Africa-based former Eagles goalkeeper, Idah Peterside, are always quick to remind the Rainbow nation that they won the 1996 Nations Cup because the Eagles where absent. 2013 provides the chance for that argument to be affirmed or debunked by Nigerians and South Africans respectively.

SUNDAY Vanguard, OCTOBER 21, 2012

Chelsea humiliate former boss, AVB C

HELSEA made it a day of misery for former manager Andre Villas-Boas as they stayed top of the Premier League with victory in an enthralling encounter at White Hart Lane. Tottenham boss Villas-Boas was facing Chelsea


for the first time since he was sacked in March after only nine months in charge and for a brief spell in the second half it looked like he would celebrate with three points. Chelsea, without captain John Terry as he started a four-match ban for racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand, led at half-time through Gary Cahill’s magnificent volley. Spurs, however, reversed fortunes dramatically at the start of the second half with two quick goals from William Gallas and Jermain Defoe. It was a situation that called for Chelsea to show the substance to match the style this reshaped side is offering up this season. They delivered both to secure a hugely impressive win. The outstanding Juan Mata struck twice in three minutes as Chelsea regained the ascendancy and substitute Daniel Sturridge’s simple fourth in stoppage time completed a hugely satisfying performance from the Champions League holders. Spurs were forced into a late change when Gareth Bale dropped out of their starting line-up after his partner went into labour - and it was understandable that they should miss a player of his influence.

Results TUSSLE... A Sunshine Stars’ player, Akombo Ukeyima contesting the ball with an Al Ahly player during the first leg in Ijbu-Ode. The Akure side have an uphill task against the Egyptians today.

Tottenham Fulham Liverpool Man Utd Swansea West Brom West Ham Norwhich

2 1 1 4 2 1 4 1

4 0 0 0 1 2 1 0

Today’s matches Sunderland QPR

CAF Champions League:

Chelsea Aston Villa Reading Stoke City Wigan Man City Southampton Arsenal

v Newcastle v Everton

2.30 p.m. 5.00 p.m.

Sunshine ready to make hay in Cairo By BEN EFE


Y sunset today at the June 30 Stadium, the entourage of Sunshine Stars of Akure will be facing their moment of truth as they file out to face Egyptian giants, Al Ahly in the second leg semi-final clash of the CAF Champion League in Cairo. Sunshine failed to make hay when they had the opportunity in the first leg at the Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu-Ode. They allowed the Egyptians to dominate the g a m e , h o w e v e r, t h e i r fighting spirit was perhaps an inspiration to those who believe in chasing lost causes, as Sunshine drew level at 3-3 and today in Cairo, they must win or get a higher draw to reach their first ever Champions league final in their first season of participation. Sunshine coach, Gbenga Ogunbote is hinging his

hopes on several factors as he confidently declared that Ahly can write off Sunshine at their own peril. The Akure side, the only surviving Nigerian club side in all continental competitions, have a somewhat good record in their travels. During the course of their campaigns, they have won two games away, one in the Confederations Cup last season and this year, they posted a 2-1 win over Aso Cleft of Algeria. Sunshine have been written off before, but they surprised their doubters. Again Ogunbote believes that with Ahly playing without their resentful fans, a level playing field will be given to both teams. “We didn’t get enough preparations for the first game because of certain reasons. We trained for only four days and that is not enough when you are facing

Ahly. My boys were unable to raise their game at crucial periods. But I hope for a much better showing in Cairo,” Ogunbote stated. His Egyptian counterpart

Houssam El Badry acknowledged that Sunshine are no push overs, but the pressure will be on them to win the game. “I expect our opponents to

attack from the start as a draw does not favour them. Sunshine have not lost hope of reaching the final and I anticipate they will fight to the end.”

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) SEE SOLUTION ON PAGE

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) 5

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Early results favour Mimko  

Early results favour Mimko

Early results favour Mimko  

Early results favour Mimko