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...towards a better life for the people VOL. 25: NO. 61865

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ONLINE | www.vanguardngr.com

N150

MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

My six-day ordeal with •Pgs.6&44 kidnappers — Bamigbetan Lagos LG boss

Buhari, Tinubu political liabilities — Jonathan •Says Sanni, Ahmed's withdrawal won't affect Amnesty C'ttee •Don't politicise national security,CPC tells Jonathan

AMAA WINNERS Mobile Number Portability finally takes off today —P.17

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AGOS—PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday reacted to criticism of his government by opposition leaders during the national convention of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, last week in Lagos, dismissing them as people who do not have what it takes to move the nation forward. The president who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, at a press confer

Continues on page 5

COLUMNISTS:

DELE SOBOWALE •P.33

Why Northern leaders shun Amnesty C'ttee —P.8

Achebe for •P.13 burial May 23

LES LEBA •P.40

OCHEREOME NNANNA •P. 48

Mr & Mrs

AMAA The African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) was held Saturday night in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. Top from left: Pillars of Nollywood - Kanayo O. Kanayo, Kenneth Okonkwo, a representative of Emem Isong and Chioma Chukwuka-Akpotha. Below from left: Ayuko Babu, Kwaku Ananse (Ghana) and Ikponmwosa Gold celebrating their awards at the event. Photos: Oscar Ochiogu. See story on Page 15. C M Y K


2— Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

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Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013—3

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4— Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

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Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013—5

POCKET CARTOON

CONDOLENCE—From left: Former Military Administrators, Navy Capt. Atanda Yussuf, Rtd, (Ekiti); Rear Admiral Abiodun Olukoya, Rtd, (Old Ondo State); Governor Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); former Military Administrators of Ogun State, Rear Admiral Joseph Oladeyinde (Rtd.); and Commodore Kayode Olofinmonyin (Rtd.), during a condolence visit by the former Military Administrators to Dr Fayemi, over the demise of his deputy, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, in Ado-Ekiti, Friday.

Buhari, Tinubu political liabilities — Jonathan Continues from page 1 ence in Lagos condemned the ‘penchant’ of opposition leaders to denigrate the government and the nation, and assured that the government will not be distracted by their ‘empty’ criticisms in its unrelenting drive to transform the nation’s social, economic and political landscape. He described General Muhammadu Buhari and Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who criticised his administration at the convention as “heavily burdened political li-

abilities.” He also reacted to the decision of two nominated members of the Boko Haram committee, Mallam Shehu Sanni and Alhaji Datti Ahmed, to reject their membership of the committee, saying it was an unfortunate development which, however, will not affect the work of the panel. Okupe said the two were included in the committee because of their earlier personal initiatives to help resolve the crisis, and that they should have seen

LIFEWORDS

BY PASTOR ITUAH

If you do nothing about the transformation and the leadership challenges of this nation nothing will be done. Do something and get something done.

TAKE HEART BY ELLA RANDLE

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HERE are so many absurdities that steal our purpose from us. These absurdities that you may believe, is the lie that we‘re not as important as we really are. That our life isn’t as important as it really is. It’s important to the people that you love, it’s important to the people that you will love in the future, it’s important to the world around you and it’s so important that you fulfil the purpose that only you can fulfil the way that you can fulfil it - Lacey Mosley I recall this song from Fame: “Hold your dream, don’t ever let it go. Be yourself. And let the world take over. You’ll find strength when people bring you down. They will see if you will only, only believe”. Remember that your ability to shape your destiny is directly proportional to your belief that it is a matter of will and determination, however much or little that belief may be. Believe in the magic that’s in you, its potential, what it can achieve. But most of all believe in yourself and create a world where dreams become reality. Zig Ziglar sums it beautifully: “Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you."

their inclusion in the committee as an honour to serve the government and their country, as people in several other countries see such calls to service. His assertions nonetheless, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, yesterday pressed further its allegations of incapacity on the part of the Federal Government saying the administration has wholly politicized the national security crisis in the country. On corruption, the President’s adviser said it didn’t start with this administration, adding that a problem of about 50 years cannot be wiped out overnight. Okupe also explained that it was in a bid to reinvigorate the anticorruption war that President Jonathan overhauled the leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, saddled with the anti-corruption drive and also signed the Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill which two previous administrations refused to sign. He added that the President will continue to leave those in charge of EFCC and ICPC to rise up to the challenge. Okupe also described newly-formed All Progressive Congress (APC), which comprises opposition political parties, as being made up of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) renegrades, a “moribund and lack lustre” All Nigeria’s People’s Party (ANPP), and

the ACN, “a one-man owned and controlled party with no form of internal democratic credential whatsoever and totally devoid of any form of modern liberalism.” Said Okupe: “These sets of politicians who want to desperately supplant the Jonathan administration are promoting an incongruous alliance of political weaklings and dysfunctional Lilliputians out primarily to foster their ego and psyche being repeatedly frustrated political mongers; forgetting that one million giant ants can never muster the required strength to lift a concrete pole not to talk of a nationally entrenched pillar and structurally established institution like the PDP.

Carpets APC leadership “In 2003, their choice was Vice President Atiku Abubakar who now knows them better. In 2011, it was a protégé of former President Olusegun Obasanjo Mallam Nuhu Ribadu who fitted the slot although he was later betrayed and sacrificed on the altar of self-interest. “Presently, the debates within the factionalized alliance suggest that they will not mind fielding another PDP stalwart as its Presidential flag bearer. “It is clear that a party that consistently over a period of 12 years has been unable to find any suitable member from its own rank and file as

presidential candidate has clearly exhibited its own structural and ideological weakness and its unsuitability as an organization capable of providing national leadership and can therefore not run an efficient or competent federal government in a country like Nigeria. Okupe carpeted the ACN national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, who spoke disparagingly about the Jonathan administration on issues bordering on economy, democratic governance and social security. According to Okupe, “Senator Bola Tinubu who spoke about meager wages for public servants in Nigeria was known to have ignored calls of Lagos civil servants for a 7,500 naira monthly wage and when he eventually buckled to the pressure of Labour leaders, he wickedly sacked the major arrow head of the struggle in the person of Comrade Ayodele Akele who was never reinstated. “The present National Chairman of the ACN,Chief Bisi Akande as Governor of Osun State during the same period denied workers of a 5,500 Naira minimum wage and eventually laid off over 9,000 workers during his four-year reign. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who was then NLC President and now Governor of Edo State led workers on protest march in Osun State during the period but Chief Akande remained adamant. Where then is the credential of these people to talk about job creation, promotion of workers interest and democratic etiquette? “As I speak with you, Ekiti and Osun states which are being governed by these opposition political parties are embroiled in one form of industrial crisis or the other as a result of the

insensitive, cruel and anti-workers policies of their present governors.

Don't politicise national security — CPC Pressing further its claim on the incapacity of the PDP-led administration to address the security situation in the country, the CPC in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Engr. Rotimi Fashakin cited the recent Boston bombing in the United States to show how government should be run. The party said: “After the initial Presidential reticence in agreeing to amnesty for the BokoHaram insurgents, and when confronted with reasoned argument, President Jonathan decided on commencement of talks ostensibly leading to amnesty. Yet again, Pastor Oritsejafor continued to obdurately urge the government not to yield to the dialogue option. "As the President’s confidante, was he projecting the President’s unexpressed desire? This double-faced posturing by the Federal government is, undoubtedly, a show of its insincerity, which has quite rightly alienated some of the members of the proposed amnesty committee. "Is it not a matter of concern that the more money voted to combat insecurity brings more insecurity, thereby giving justification for more Security allocation?” “In the last two years, the Nigerian government has been patronizing ex-militant lords with hefty security contracts in a manner that showed abandonment of the constitutional function of the Nigeria Police. This government’s action, perceived as deleterious to the socio-political harmony of the land, is being intensified in other regions of the cSountry, ahead of the regime’s preparation for another election in 2015...”


6—Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

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BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI

AGOS — IT was indeed an emotional moment as the abducted Chairman of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, LCDA, of Lagos, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, who was set free by his abductors late Saturday night, after six days in captivity, could not hold back tears while narrating his ordeal to Vanguard. He spoke in the presence of a large crowd that thronged his residence to rejoice with him and his family on his safe arrival. The council chairman, who was abducted by three gunmen at his Ona Iwa Mimo street residence, in Ejigbo, on Monday, April 15, 2013, at about 11.00p.m, returned to his house at about 10.45p.m, some hours after he was released by his abductors. His return ended six days of anxiety and apprehension over his safety by family members and political associates who were prompted to run from pillar to post in a bid to secure his release. His captors had earlier promised to let him go on Friday before he was later released late Saturday evening. The news of his return ignited spontaneous wild jubilation among family members, neighbours, friends, well-wishers and associates who ignored the late hour to welcome him back. He was received by his wife, Fatimah, family members, political associates, friends and well wishers, who all started singing praises to God on sighting Bamigbetan, who looked hale and hearty and unruffled. When Vanguard visited the residence at 21 Ona Iwa Mimo Street, early yesterday, it showed that Bamigbetan, who was clad in white native dress and surrounded by well-wishers, must have passed through a terrifying experience in the hands of his abductors. His blood-shot eyes clearly indicated that he had little or no sleep during his captivity, while a dark scar on both wrists was evidence of some form of torture.

Bamigbetan narrates ordeal

"My driver and I were coming from an event after the close of work. That was around 11p.m and we had entered my street when a saloon car overtook and blocked us. "We tried to reverse but three men with rifles came out of the vehicle asking us to stop. As we were reversing, they fired at the vehicle. "The driver reversed, hit a pole and we were stuck. So, I stepped out. I was trying to see if it was somebody I could recognise. "They asked why we were running, I said maybe the driver was afraid. They said he shouldn’t have run. They spoke clean, Queen’s English. "They said I should enter the vehicle, so I entered and they moved into the main road. They faced Isolo side and from that point they pushed my head

From right: Mrs Funmi Adenuga, elder sister, Mrs Fatimah Bamigbetan, wife, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan, Chairman, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Lagos State, and other well-wishers at his residence, 21, Ona Iwa Mimo Street, OriOke, Ejigbo, Lagos after he was released by kidnappers. yesterday. Photo: Kehinde Gbadamosi.

Kidnap: Lagos council boss, Bamigbetan weeps, recounts ordeal zKept in a pitch-dark room for six days zSays abductors have sophisticated network down. For the next four hours or so, we were on the road and I didn’t know where we were going. "When we arrived at a place, I was blindfolded and moved inside a pitch dark room with only a carpet. I was asked to lie face down and from there, I lost track of time. "They started agitating, claiming that they were graduates, they didn’t like what they were doing but there are no jobs. "One claimed to be an engineering graduate, another claimed to be a Human Resources Management graduate, while another said he was already in final year in an American university when his father’s shopping complex was demolished and he had to be recalled home. "One of them also said he was a commercial motorcyclist but his source of income had been outlawed by the state government. "They were generally bitter about youth unemployment and I had to engage them on my various activities as a crusader for youth employment. "They asked who I was, I said I work with Fashola and that I am a journalist. I didn’t know they took my bag containing my laptop along. They asked for my password, opened the laptop and started checking my details. "They said: 'You are a local government chairman, you are the one stealing money.' I told them I didn’t steal any money and continued elucidating on my programmes— free meal and uniforms for children in schools, free drugs for everybody in our Pub-

lic Health Centre and several skills acquisition programmes. "They then said: 'Are you saying that in your second term you don’t have money? We have to take part of that money now, call your wife to go and bring the money.' "I told them that I have less than N800,000 in all my accounts. They said: 'So you don’t have up to

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They washed my clothes, prepared food and fruits for me. Took me from the carpet to a room with mattress and switched on the AC and encouraged me to sleep

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$1million?' I said I don’t have that kind of money. "When they saw I was not cooperating, they became angry and brutalised me. They tied me to a chair and gave me serious beating, with blood flowing from my nostrils. I now discovered that the idea of 'we don’t have money’ would not work here, I needed to engage them. I told them I had friends who could assist and I should be allowed to contact

them.

Effect of media reports

"We were on that when media reports started rolling in. They even showed me a newspaper report that said all the local government chairmen had contributed money to pay the ransom. I said it was not true. "Later, they said someone who wanted my position had paid N35 million. I laughed. They asked why I laughed, I told them I was not saying they were lying but that N35 million was too much to pay on my head. "We came to an understanding and they came back later to say they were not satisfied with the negotiated sum and they needed more. "At that point, I started praying because it was from there I remembered the strong premonition I had the morning I was captured. "I was not sure where the trouble would come froms, but I knew I was in danger. I just started praying for mercy and divine intervention while reciting my favourite Psalm 121. "Suddenly, at some point, they started treating me nicely, asking what I wanted to eat. They washed my clothes, prepared food and fruits for me. Took me from the carpet to a room with mattress and switched on the AC and encouraged me to sleep. "They told me they were at the council secretariat the second day and listened to what people were saying and they found out that everybody said I was good. They said they would ensure they

didn’t kill me. "They added that the younger people around the council and my home were very nice to me; they believed I could be of help to them in the future. When they saw the newspaper reports too, it changed their perception. They were tracking all the information. When I was to be released, they asked if I could drive, I said yes, they said because everybody is looking for them, I have to drive myself home. They took me to a point where I could drive myself home. "They told me where to drop the vehicle when I got home, that they will pick it later. It took us another four hours to get here. I came in through Badagry; they dropped me close to Checkpoint at Badagry. Up till that point, I was not aware of my environment because I was blindfolded.

My premonition of the kidnap

"That morning, I had a strong premonition that something unusual was going to happen. I didn’t leave home until 2 p.m that day, and I left home only because we had two events, a Community Development Association, CDA, tour and we were meeting with CDAs on flooding. "My instinct was not to leave home but I ignored it though I woke up with a great sense of fear. "I raised prayer sessions but nobody could decode what it was going to be like. When I finished that meeting, I had two assignments that would take me to the Island so I decided to go and sleep over on the Island. Continues on page 44


Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013—7

One dies as fire guts building in Lagos BY EVELYN USMAN

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AGOS — A BUILDING lo cated in Olodi-Apapa area of Lagos State was, weekend, engulfed by fire, burning one of the occupants to death and injuring others. Following the incident, aggrieved youths reportedly attacked fire servicemen who later arrived the scene to put out the raging fire, accusing them of arriving late. The cause of the inferno could not be ascertained, but report said it started from one of the apartments in the affected building located on 19, Agbe Street at about 5a.m. Vanguard gathered that occupants who were jolted from sleep managed to escape with minor bruises,with some of them managing to salvage some property. In the ensuing stampede, one of the occupants identified simply as Eze, reportedly rushed in to get some of his property. But he was reportedly electrocuted immediately he entered his apartment as power was restored. Fire servicemen were said to have arrived the scene at about 7.30a.m and immediately concentrated at the base of the building with a view to putting out the fire. But the street boys said to have been battling to put out the raging fire, allegedly insisted they (fire servicemen) concentrated rather at the top, a situation that reportedly led to the attack of the fire servicemen. The charred remains of Eze was reportedly discovered after the fire was put out. Vanguard gathered that when the body was taken to the mortuary, it was rejected as the hospital management demanded police report. Confirming the incident, Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Damacus Ozoani, said the fire was eventually put out by the combined efforts of policemen from Tolu division and other rescue operatives. Describing the attack on the fire servicemen as one too many, the South-West Information Officer of the National Emergency Management Agency,NEMA, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, said: "The boys struggled to collect the fire hose and attacked the professional firemen in the process. It was discovered that effort to locate water hydrant for refilling the water tanker of the fire appliance did not yield any fruit."

10 die in multiple road crashes in Delta BY AUSTIN OGWUDA

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SABA — NO fewer than 10 persons died in a multiple accident that occurred, yesterday, at Okwe junction, Asaba on Asaba/Benin highway while several others were wounded. As a result of the accident which occurred at about 7.30am, there was a gridlock on that stretch of the road leading to the Asaba bridge head.The obstruction was, however, cleared through efforts of men of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC. An eyewitness told our reporter that the accident occurred when a trailer loaded with cement and moving towards the east allegedly lost control and rammed into an oncoming commuter bus plying Asaba/Onitsha route. The bus was mangled in the process.

Two other vehicles, a Nissan car and another truck, were also affected in the crash. When Vanguard visited the scene of the accident, blood stains and personal effects of the victims littered the ground. Contacted, the FRSC Public Education Officer, Mr. Julius Bassey, confirmed the incident but said only five persons died while others were rushed to the hospital. According to him, “it was a fatal multiple accident involving four vehicles, namely Iveco truck with number plate KWA 12 XA; Mitsubishi 1300, number plate GDD 295 DXA; a Nissan Quest space-bus with number plate DX 219 FST and Dangote articulated truck with number plate SNK 77 XA.

“A total of 16 persons, comprising 12 male and four females, were involved in the multiple crash while four males and three females were injured and number of those killed were 5

Scene of the accident, yesterday

JTF arrest vessel, barge, boats laden with stolen oil BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA

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ENAGOA — OPERATIVES of the Joint Task Force, JTF, in the Niger Delta, code named, Operation Pulo Shield, have nabbed a vessel laden with 2,500 metric tonnes of petroleum products allegedly stolen along Okuboto creek in Bayelsa State. The Joint Task Force Media Coordinator, Lt.-Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement in Yenagoa said the sea-going vessel christened Sea Express was on the verge of loading its fourth compartments when it was intercepted by a team of operatives from Sector 2 Command of the JTF. He said: “The suspects and the vessel are in custody of headquarters Sector 2 for preliminary investigations before handing over to a prosecuting agency.” Nwachukwu also disclosed that a barge christened, MONOVO2, involved in oil theft activities along Golubo creek of Bayelsa had been impounded while conveying stolen petroleum product. He said the crew on board the barge abandoned it and fled into the mangrove forest on sighting operatives of the JTF. He said: “The barge has been towed to AGIP Brass Terminal for safe custody while preliminary investigation is ongoing to unmask the owners of the vessel. “In another anti oil theft raid operation in Delta State by troops of the JTF, 30 open boats conveying illegally refined petroleum products were intercepted along Aruton and Ugborodo communities in Delta State. “The boats were arrested while loaded with plastic tanks filled with stolen petroleum products. The operatives also recovered other items including 11 hand gloves, one packet of electrode, a bunch of clips and two pumping machines.

“Eight illegal crude oil distillery camps were also scuttled along Oboro, Kpukpugbene in Burutu and Sagara, near Escravos in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State. “A total of nine steel tanks and 187 large plastic reservoirs used by the oil thieves to perpetrate the crime at the camp sites were scuttled by the troops in line with

the mandate of the task force. “During the entire operation that lasted from April 7 to 14, 2013, 21 suspects were arrested at the various crime locations. The suspects are currently undergoing preliminary investigations in various sectors of the Joint Task Force and will subsequently be handed over to prosecuting agencies.”

One of the arrested vessels

Police recover explosive materials in Bauchi BY SUZAN EDEH

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AUCHI — THE Bauchi State Police Command has recovered materials used in preparing locally improvised explosives along Gombe road, a densely populated area of the metropolis. The state Police Commissioner, Mr Mohammed Ladan, who confirmed the incident, yesterday, said the materials were dumped near a township divisional police station in Bauchi and it was concealed in a carton. According to him, the impro-

males. “The cause of the accident was break failure and the victims and corpses were taken to Federal Medical Centre, Asaba.”

vised explosive devices were neatly concealed in Turkey groundnut oil container and Maltina drink cans but they could not detonate because the processes were not complete. He added that the police had removed them and the area is now safe. Residents near popular Alkali Aminu’s house said they were confused when they saw a carton containing a bomb carefully kept inside tins and another leather bag that contained fertilizer. They urged security agents in the state to intensify surveillance.

Police summon Kokori monarch over suspected kidnapper BY EMMA AMAIZE

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ARRI — POLICE have summoned the traditional ruler of Kokori in Ethiope-East Local Government Area of Delta State to answer questions on the whereabouts and escapades of one of his subjects, Kelvin, who is alleged to be the most wanted kidnapper in the state. A police source told Vanguard, weekend: “The traditional ruler of Kokori has been invited by the Commissioner of Police, Delta State, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, to assist the police on what he knows about Kelvin.” Vanguard also learnt that villagers have deserted the community following last week’s raid by the police, who arrested up to 50 suspected associates of Kelvin and demolished his country home. Aduba confirmed the invitation of the royal father when contacted by Vanguard on phone, yesterday, saying: “He is supposed to be here (Asaba) on Monday (today).” He said so far, the people of Kokori were not cooperating with the police on Kelvin, who is alleged to be the most wanted kidnapper in the state. His words: “They seem to have made up their minds not to talk, but you see, police are not magicians, we need information to work. Police do not live in Kokori with them, they live with Kelvin, they know him and we want them to give us information to track him.” On the 50 suspects seized by the police, Aduba said they were yet to open up.


8—Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

BY SONI DANIEL, REGIONAL EDITOR, NORTH & LUKA BINNIYAT

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OSSIBLE reasons emerged, yesterday, why some prominent northern leaders invited by President Goodluck Jonathan to work in the Boko Haram amnesty committee, might have rejected the offer without looking back. Vanguard learnt from some members of the committee, yesterday, that they did did not want to serve in the committee over fear of being attacked by the sect members. Besides, Vanguard was reliably informed that the members felt slighted that the President did not consult them to seek their consent before announcing their names as members of the controversial committee. A member of the committee, who spoke in confidence said, “I can tell you that we were shocked to see our names on the amnesty committee without any prior information from the Presidency that put our names there. “We believe that the right thing was not done in this matter because courtesy demands that those whose names were mentioned by the President as members of the amnesty committee should have been first contacted to seek their consent. “I think we should begin to act sensibly in this country so that we can make progress as a nation. “As far as we are concerned the amnesty thing was not properly thought through and we are afraid it might not achieve the intended result. The member, who said he was being careful not to plunge himself and family members into avoidable confrontation with members of the Boko Haram sect by accepting the Federal Government offer to serve on the committee, however, said that he and some other members had opted to watch as events unfold. According to him, his wife and children were uncomfortable with his membership of the committee and had pleaded with him to turn down the offer immediately. Another member confessed: “I’m watching events as they unfold before making my mind to accept the offer to serve on the committee because we do not know what the reaction of the BH sect members would be. “Some of us are afraid the sect may attack us and our families if we accept to serve on the committee. The sources pointed to what happened shortly after former President Olusegun Obasanjo had in liaison with some northern leaders took the lead to broker peace with the sect leaders and it backfired. Already, two members of the committee, Dr. Ahmed Datti and Shehu Sanni have rejected the offer to serve on the committee, while more were said to be planning to follow suit. It would be recalled that the

Why Northern leaders shun amnesty committee zSay we 're afraid Boko Haram members may come after us Presidency last week raised a 26-member body to plan for the disarmament of the sect within two months and the payment of compensation to victims of the sect’s numerous attacks in parts of the north. The move followed strident pleas by prominent northern leaders under the aegis of Northern Elders’ Forum, NEF, on the Presidency to pardon the sect as a means of restoring elusive peace to the region, whose economy was on the brink of collapse. The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar 111, also lent his voice to the Boko Haram amnesty, a call that triggered verbal war from some Christian leaders and groups especially from the north.

MEETING—From left: Cameroun Minister of Finance, Mr Alamine Mey; Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Sudan Minister of Finance, Kosti Ngail, at the African Finance Ministers press briefing of the World Bank and IMF in Washington D.C.

Govs' Forum should not be used to play national politics — Dickson zSays Boko Haram should not be compared with Niger Delta militancy BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN, POLITICAL EDITOR

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OVERNOR Seriake Dick son of Bayelsa State has flayed attempts at using the Nigerian Governors Forum as a pressure body against President Goodluck Jonathan just as he differentiated the rested agitation by Niger Delta militants and the Boko Haram insurgency. Speaking to newsmen on the just concluded African Movie Awards, in Yenogoa, weekend, Governor Dickson said governors should concentrate on governing their states and leave the running of the country to President Jonathan. The governor also elaborated on the monthly transparency initiative, an exercise during which the governor and his economic team give details on revenue receipts and expenditure within the preceding month. Noting the differences between the Niger Delta militancy and the Boko Haram insurgency, the governor said: “Whatever is driving them is very different from the factors that gave rise to the situation that we had here in the Niger Delta. Whereas the insurgency in the Niger Delta was founded on economic issues – issues that had to do with deprivation of rights, the one in Boko Haram is religious fundamentalist

so there is a clear distinction”. While commending the president for his courage in declaring the amnesty for the Boko Haram insurgents, the governor, however, acknowledged the fears of skeptics. He said: “Those who say amnesty should not be extended to Boko Haram members also have a very strong point on account of the mindless and criminal, despicable and wanton destruction of property and lives. And even now, from what we are reading, they seem to say they have not done anything wrong and they are rejecting amnesty but on the part of the leader of a country, I think the President has done well by proposing amnesty.” Commenting on the recent crisis in the NGF which pitched some governors led by the forum’s chairman, Governor Rotimi Amaechi and President Goodluck Jonathan, Dickson said: “Look, let me also make it clear; governors’ forum is primarily a mechanism for peer review of governors who are equal. “The Governors’ forum is not and should not be a platform for control of national politics, because we are not elected to run the country. "We, as governors are elected to manage our states. So the

Governors’ Forum cannot be allowed to go on as a trade union. Of course, that is wrong! “What has happened is that people are taking advantage of the development and discontent in our system to manipulate it to suit their individual whims and caprices. But what is wrong is wrong! "Look at the United States Governors’ Forum where we even copied it from, you don’t see Governors’ Forum there coming to tell Obama what he should and what he should not do. We are provincial players, because our mandate is to lead our states, not to run the federation. “Those who have a mandate to run the federation are the President, Vice President, the elected members of our National Assembly and the political leadership of the parties. Those are the people who have a platform. And if as a governor, I have any strong view on things that go on at the federal level, we have avenues; informal, formal – we have the National Economic Council. Over the years, I think what has happened, particularly in the PDP and it is very unfortunate that these focus on the Governors’ Forum is as a result of some developments in the PDP. “It is unfortunate that it is rubbing off on the governors from

the opposition parties. What has happened over the years is that governors of the PDP who became chairmen of the Governors’ Forum, all attempted to use it as a platform for playing national politics – a platform for occupying national political space. It is wrong! It shouldn’t be allowed! That’s why the idea of the PDP Governors’ Forum became necessary. “But you see, because for now there is manipulation of facts and our institutions are not yet strong enough, including the media – you are doing a very good job but not yet strong enough. You see things being manipulated as if anybody is disturbing anybody, instead of saying no, this thing you guys are doing is wrong. People are saying as if “there is a crisis and somebody does not want somebody, no! “The Governors’ Forum is simply a peer review mechanism; no more, no less! PDP governors have the right to have their own group because the right to association is a first law in a democracy! ACN governors and others, even councillors have associations. “There is so much focus on what go on in the PDP; if you are in the PDP you will meet at the structure of the PDP to resolve problems, if you are not in the PDP you concentrate on your party and make strong efforts to defeat the PDP.”


Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013—9

Merger irrevocable — ACN zACN is only gallivanting, we have been tackling corruption—PDP BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI

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CTION Congress of Nigeria, ACN, yesterday, said the success of its National Convention last Thursday in Lagos, marked the end of the last hurdle in its move to merge with other opposition parties in the country and the beginning of the end for the evil forces that held Nigeria by the jugular in the past 13 years of civil rule. It described the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the government it controlled at the centre as a “cesspool of corruption.” ACN in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the party achieved its targets to pass a resolution approving the merger with the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, and the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, as well as, conclusion of a pending disciplinary issue with the expulsion from the party of the erring of one time

Chairman of the party in Kaduna State, Mr Mohammed Musa Soba. According to the statement: "Thanks to that convention, our party, the ACN, has irrevocably committed to consummating the merger with other opposition parties to provide an alternative platform for Nigerians, who are tired of the perpetual misrule of the PDP. "The conventions of the CPC and the ANPP slated for next month will clear the last hurdle along the merger path and signal the dawn of a new day for longsuffering Nigerians, who are eagerly awaiting the merger. "It will also sound the death knell for the evil forces that have held our country by the jugular in the past 13 years of its return to democratic rule.’’ Describing PDP and the government it controls at the centre as a “cesspool of corruption”, ACN said "What Nigerians have always believed has been

confirmed from other lands. According to media reports today (Sunday April 21st), a news report submitted to the US Congress by Secretary of State, John Kerry has confirmed mass corruption at all levels of the Nigerian government. Coming at a time that the PDP and Federal Government have been engaging in chestbeating over the fight against corruption, this is a body blow to this unserious and directionless party and the government it controls at the centre. "The unprecedented and monumental fuel subsidy fraud happened under the PDP and its central government. The mind-boggling pension fraud; the $6 million Wilbros Scandal and the recurring electoral fraud that is the mother of all corruption, just to mention a few, all happened under this government. "We are therefore not surprised at the scathing portrayal of Nigeria by the US report, which we will revisit in the days ahead. For now,

Expert tasks FG on neurological diseases BY CHIOMA OBINNA

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EDERAL Government has been called upon to address acute shortage of neurologists in the country if the high incidence of parkinson disease and other neurological disorders is to be effectively tackled Making the call in Lagos, Associate Professor and Consultant Neurologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Prof. Njideka Okubadejo, said education was key to diagnosing neurological disorders such as parkinsonism which she said affected about 100,000 Nigerians. Okubadejo who spokeduring a seminar by Funmi Fashina Foundation, FFF, organised for medical practitioners and care givers, regretted that most Nigerian doctors found it difficult to recognise the disorder. According to him, “government can help by seeing neurological disease as a priority areas and facilitating the training of doctors to specialise in neurology. Neurology disorders are so common because an individual must have head

ache at least once in his or her life time. Other common neurological conditions include; epilepsy, stroke, tingling amongst others. Doctors go to school and learn about a wide range

of diseases and when they go into practice they encounter diseases they have been taught about in medical school but have never really seen the practical aspect of it.

Dosunmu urges politicians to eschew violence BY LAJA THOMAS

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EOPLE’S Democratic Party, PDP, gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State during the 2011 elections, Dr. Ade Dosunmu, has urged politicians to eschew violence, political vendetta and bloodshed in their quest for political offices. Dosunmu spoke during the conferment of merit award on him by a NonGovernmental Organization, Global Foundation for Unity, Peace and Development, GLOPEF, at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs NIIA, Lagos. Dosunmu said: “There is the need for politicians to recognize that election is not the end of political engagement and therefore be

committed to campaigns that are devoid of rancour, tension, acrimony, political vendetta, character assassination, unhealthy antagonism, violence and bloodbath” He noted that democracy remained the right type of government if based on free and fair elections. He identified tribal or regional politics, religious bigotry, political, rivalry and fear of domination, marginalization, corruption and leadership deficit as the major challenges of sustaining Nigeria’s nationhood. He called on political class to always develop genuine and right courage to participate in electoral process with good intention and accept the wishes of the people to sustain our democracy.

Reacting to ACN statement, which allegedly celebrates the categorization of Nigeria as corrupt by the United States, the PDP in a release by its National Publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh said: "Why is the ACN gallivanting? That only the PDP is corrupt and the opposition saints? What sense is there in this naked dance in the centre of the market square. "The phenomenon of corruption predates the 14 years of the PDP but our party has taken bold steps to tackle it. Whether the ACN agrees or not, the establishment of the EFCC, ICPC and the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act are some of the firm measures in fight against corruption.”

Alleged N1.5m bribe: Court quashes charges against Iheanacho BY INNOCENT ANABA ANAGING Direc tor of the Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, Mr Anthony Iheanacho, has been discharged by an Apapa Magistrate Court, Lagos on a three count charge of offering N1.5million bribe to members of the Presidential Committee on Fuel Subsidy verification. Magistrate Martins Onwumi, who quashed the charge in his ruling said, “It is obvious that the prosecution is speculating as none of its evidence supports the charge. The prosecution has failed to provide a prima facie case. In the circumstance to do justice to this matter is to discharge and acquit the defendants after their no case submission is upheld. Based on the above, the

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no case to answer succeeds and the defendants are hereby discharged and acquitted on all counts.” Other accused persons, who were discharged include Assistant General Manager (Supply) of Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, Humphery Okoh; Financial Controller, Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, Akinwusi Julius, two members of the Presidential committee on fuel subsidy verification, Alalade Abioye and Oni Oluwasola. They were arraigned before the court on the conspiracy to offer gratification of N1.5million to public officers. The prosecutor had alleged that the money was offered while the committee was rounding its exercise of verification and reconciliation of payment of fuel subsidy.


10—Vanguard , MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

Osun to striking lecturers: We've given our best

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SUN State Government, weekend, asked striking lecturers of the four tertiary institutions in the state to resume work in the interests of the students, saying what the government had offered them was the best they could get from any administration. Commissioner for Human Resources and Capacity Building, Ms. Mobolaji Akande, while speaking in Osogbo, said the demands of the lecturers had been met to a very reasonable extent despite the lean resources of the state. She said: “Workers in the tertiary institutions must be sincere in their clamour and demands. "The main issues, which are the implementation of the Consolidated Polytechnics and Col-

lege of Education Academic Salary Structure, CONPCASS, heavy tax law, contributory pension, elongation of the age of retirement from 60 to 65have been dealt with. "The issues of under-staffing have also been dealt with by the state government’s negotiating team and the workers got the best. “Recall that the implementation of the CONPCASS was approved by the Federal Government in 2009 and was also adopted by the previous administration of the state in the same year but was never implemented. “This administration approved the implementation up to 80 percent from the zero level that we inherited."

UN-HABITAT: From left— Amb. Solomon Oyateru, Nigerian Ambassador to Kenya; Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State and Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, during the signing of the Ondo/UNHabitat Partnership documents at the 24th Governing Council of the UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday.

Amnesty not for trouble-makers — Tinubu BY GBENGA ARIYIBI

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DO-EKITI—FORMER Governor of Lagos State and leader of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, weekend, cautioned the Federal Government against offering blanket amnesty to members of Islamist sect, Boko Haram. He also declared President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration a failure. Tinubu, who spoke in AdoEkiti during a condolence visit to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State over the death of his Deputy, Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka, said amnesty should only be offered to groups that were fighting for justice. He said: “Amnesty must bring about justice and should be selective. It must not be a blanket approach. Those venting anger on Nigeria because there is no justice in the system should be offered amnesty.

“But those causing trouble under another guise, should be prosecuted and sent to jail. No one religion can eliminate the other in Nigeria. Nigeria is a secular state. "The Constitution recognises us as people and not as Muslims or Christians. So

we should be able to apply a holistic approach to settle our problems.” Tinubu said: “It is disheartening for Nigeria to be clueless after its 100th year of existence and 53rd year of independence. This has shown that the present government has nothing to of-

fer Nigerians. “President Jonathan and Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, have failed in terms of security. "Security is the engine room of industrial development. No country would partner with you when you are not secured.”

Labour faults mass employment of foreign workers BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG

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ATIONAL Union of Tex tile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, weekend, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to give priority to Nigerian workers in terms of employment. It said: “It is unacceptable that foreign and local companies, and employers are massively recruiting foreign workers at the expense of Nigeri-

ans.” NUTGTWN, in a statement by its General Secretary, Issa Aremu, who is also a Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, said: “President Goodluck Jonathan and Minister of Labour, Emeka Wogu, must give priorities to Nigerian workers in terms of employment. “With almost 40 millions of unemployed adults and youths and 50 percent open unemployment in Nigeria, it is unacceptable that foreign

and local companies and employers are recruiting massively foreign workers at the expense of Nigerian workers. “We support the recent protest of Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, against Universal Energy Resources Limited on the employment of foreigners as Chief Security Officer and Community Relations Manager.”

Army gets new barracks in Osun BY EVELYN USMAN

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HE Nigerian Army, NA, weekend, announced plans to construct an infantry battalion barracks at Ibodi-Ilesha in Osun State. The barracks, expected to accommodate a minimum of 700 soldiers, will be sited on a 250 hectares of land donated to the Nigerian Army by Ibodi community. Accepting the offer at the Oloja’s palace in Osun State, Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, disclosed that construction work

would begin immediately. Ihejirika, who was represented by the Commander, Corps of Engineers, NA, Maj-Gen Funsho Owonibi, said work would start with the survey of the land by Army experts. He was quick to add that owners of economic trees on the donated land would be compensated in accordance with the Federal Government laws, after Army experts would have surveyed the land to ensure it was up to the donated hectares.

Ekiti declares April 26 work-free for Olayinka's burial BY GBENGA ARIYIBI

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DO-EKITI—EKITI State Government has declared Friday, April 26, a work-free day for the burial of the late Deputy Governor of the State, Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka. Mrs Olayinka died on April 6 in a Lagos hospital after a protracted battle with cancer. Speaking with the newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday, on the preparation for the burial of the late Deputy Governor, Mr. Ekundayo said the state government decided to declare Friday work-free as a mark of respect for the late Deputy Governor. According to him, all government offices and public schools would remain close throughout the day to honour the late Deputy Governor. He said: “We are expecting a large number of sympathisers in AdoEkiti for the funeral. We don’t want a situation where there would be traffic in the town during the burial ceremony.” He said the state government would surely immortalise the late Deputy Governor.


Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013—11

Amaechi flays court verdict on Rivers PDP Exco BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME

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ORT HARCOURT—GOVERNOR Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, has described the Abuja High Court judgment that sacked the Godspower Ake-led Peoples Democratic party, PDP, executive in the state, as a miscarriage of justice. He urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, to urgently intervene to redress the alleged defect in the judgment. Speaking, weekend, through his deputy, Engr. Tele Ikuru, at Government House, Port Harcourt, when Rivers people paid him a solidarity visit, he said it was shocking that the court declared Mr. Felix Obuah and Mr. Ibibia Walter, as duly elected Chairman and Secretary, respectively, of the state chapter of PDP. He said that the action of the court amounted to what he termed desecration of the temple of justice. The governor appealed to members of the party in the state to be law abiding, adding that he was shocked that the court awarded victory to Obuah. He said: “I think, as a nation, we should not allow our judiciary to be smeared. As a nation, we should not allow the judiciary to be something people can toy with. The temple of justice has been desecrated by the judgment."

Edo LG polls: ACN floors PDP zAs PDP rejects result, calls for fresh polls

BY SIMON EBEGBULEM & GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE

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ENIN—ACTION Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Edo State, has floored Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in weekend's, local government elections, which were marred by late arrival of materials. Chairman of Edo State Independent National Electoral Commission, EDSIEC, Mr. Solomon Ogoi, attributed the delay in the late arrival of materials to flight problem from Lagos to Benin last Friday. From results released at the collation centres, yesterday, ACN won in 14 councils so far declared, including Egor, Igueben, Esan South-East, Etsako East, Akoko Edo, Esako Central, Etsako West, Orhionmwon, Uhumnwonde, Ovia NorthEast and Ovia South- West. Elections in Esan North East, Esan West, IkpobaOkhai and Oredo, were postponed till Wednesday, April 24 and Thursday, April 25, due to shortage of electoral materials and violence. Results of three councils are being awaited at press time. PDP and the Deputy National Chairman of All Nigeria’s Peoples Party, ANPP, Mr. Solomon Edebiri, have described the elections as a sham and called for the resignation of all members of EDSIEC for alleged failure to conduct free and fair elections. Countering PDP's allegation, ACN Chairman, Mr. Thomas Okosun, expressed shock over the allegation of rigging, recalling that, “even during the governorship election, we won in the 18 councils, so why are they

crying wolf, when they only exist on the pages of newspapers. Their thugs were shooting everywhere, but we refused to fight back because we know that they were not on ground while we were on ground.” However, results in Ovia North- East indicated that ACN won in 11 out of the 13 wards in the council. There was no election in Oduna ward, the Ijaw area and Okokuo, where a leader of PDP, Mr. Levis Aigbogun, hails from. In Etsako Central, where the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadohme and the state chairman of PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, hail from, out of the 10 wards, ACN won in eight PDP won one, while one ward was canceled due to violence. Orbih won his ward while Oghiadohme lost his to ACN. Addressing newsmen, yesterday, state PDP Chairman, Chief

Orbih, said the party rejected the results declared so far and called for a new date, “after due consultation with stakeholders from other parties.” He said: “We will not accept the results as announced because the elections were inconclusive. “The issue of Oredo and Ikpoba Okhai conducting elections on Thursday is unacceptable because this would mean staggering the elections. We are insisting that if ACN is serious in conducting elections, it should be done in all the 18 councils.” Reacting, Mr. Okosun, described their claim as laughable, “because, how do they expect to win the elections when they did not prepare for them? We know that it is their style to make frivolous allegations. They have lost the elections and they should shut up and prepare for the fu-

ture. We will be waiting”. On his part, Edebiri, who said that four of his vehicles were destroyed, allegedly by ACN thugs, noted that “there was no election in Uhumnwonde. Can you imagine that ACN chairman in the area was the one distributing electoral materials? Their thugs destroyed my cars.” But ACN chairmanship candidate in Uhumnwonde, Mr. Roland Alari, countered his claim, saying, “he was the one that went to his ward with thugs and mobile policemen, which was why it was difficult to hold election in his area. I am not from his ward, so I don’t even know what he is talking about.” Edo State Government, in its reaction through Commissioner for Information, Louis Odion, called for calm.

SOLIDARITY RALLY: Crowd of supporters at the entrance to Rivers State Government House during a solidarity rally in support of Rivers State governor and the G.U. Ake faction of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, yesterday. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke.

Don’t impose political burden on Anioma —Onwudiamu BY EMMA AMAIZE

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SABA—ANIOMA ethnic nationality in Delta State has appealed to other ethnic nationalities in the state not to force a political burden on the Anioma political class in 2015, by insisting on a consensus gubernatorial candidate. Chairman of Anioma Agenda, a political pressure group, Mr. Alex Onwudiamu, in Asaba, when the group visited the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Victor Ochei, said: “The

Anioma are capable of coming up with one consensus candidate in 2015, but it should not be a condition precedent for Anioma people in their quest to produce the governor of the state in 2015.” On his part, Ochei said with the existing tripod in the state, which led to the successive emergence of Delta Central and Delta South indigenes as governors of the state in the current democratic dispensation, Anioma should produce the next governor in the spirit of equity, fairness and justice.


12—Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

Uduaghan to Delta Assembly: You've no powers to legislate for me BY AUSTIN OGWUDA

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S A B A — D E LTA State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has said that the state House of Assembly has no business making laws for him, citing what he described as “compelling reasons” for not signing the anti-kidnapping bill into law, which was overridden last Wednesday by the House. He said the legislators goofed when they allegedly went out of their boundaries to order him on how to empower the police. The lawmakers, meantime, insisted that what they did was needful. Addressing assembly correspondents, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, also Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Johnson Erijo, said: “Yes, the House stood its ground and did the needful for the bill to be passed into law and that is the beauty of democracy.” The governor, citing Section 17 of the bill,

which has become law, said in the letter to the Assembly: “It is my view that the state House of Assembly is not in a position to legislate for the

Delta youths give Orogun's kidnappers 4-day ultimatum BY FESTUS AHON

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GHELLI—UDU youths, under the aegis of Udu Youth Council, Udu Local Government Area, Delta State, weekend, issued a four-day ultimatum to abductors of the Managing Director of Orogun Brothers Limited, Mr. Francis Orogun, to release him unconditionally. Orogun was reportedly kidnapped by gunmen on April 16, at the site of his new bakery on Udu Road, close to the railway line in the council. The youths, in a statement by their President, Mr. Freeborn Ovwemejephan, warned: “Should the ultimatum elapse with Orogun still being held against his will, the youths shall move against people

Rivers hands over vocational training centre to German firm

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IVERS State Government has handed over the Vocational Training Centre at Port Harcourt Primary School, built by the Governor Rotimi Amaechi-led administration, to a German company, known as ZWH, the German Chambers of Crafts, and the regional chambers of crafts, for a six- year contract period. State Commissioner for Education, Dame Lawrence Alice, during the signing of the Vocation

governor to make regulations empowering the Nigeria Police Force to undertake the acts specified under section 17 (ii) of the bill.”

Training Agreement before the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Wogu Boms in his office in Port Harcourt, said the project was part of the economic reform agenda of Governor Amaechi to create employment opportunities for Rivers people. She explained that, the state government was desirous of collaborating with the private sector in improving the vocational skill and competence of Rivers people.

perceived to be in the shoddy business of kidnapping, particularly members of a certain ethnic nationality, who we youths believe are neck deep in the condemnable business.” Condemning the action of the kidnappers, he said: “Orogun's kidnap will likely worsen the relationship between the peace loving Udu people and strangers in the area, who have made kidnapping a business. “This development is unhealthy to peaceful co-existence. We, therefore, call on the abductors to release him as soon as possible in the interest of peace. We shall not take this any longer. “The youths shall, henceforth, collaborate with security agents to fish out people without any visible means of livelihood in the area and control the influx of strangers into Udu," he added.

Monarch lauds FUPRE VC over devt of infrastructure BY EMMA ARUBI

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ARRI—THE traditional ruler of Uvwie Kingdom in Delta State, HRM Emmanuel Sideso, Abe I, has commended the developmental stride of the Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Petroleum Resources, FUPRE. He said with the infrastructural growth in the University, credit must be given to the administrative acumen of the VC, Prof. Lawal Bichi. The royal father, when the All Africa Students Union, AASU, conferred the Kwame Nkrumah Africa Leadership Award, 2013 on Prof. Bichi at the institution, charged the VC to ensure that the University attains the highest educational standard globally.


Vanguard , MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013—13

8 gang rape sex worker

NJC considers petitions against 23 judges across the federation

BY ONOZURE DANIA

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AGOS — FOUR young men were, weekend, docked before Mrs. Demi Ajayi of Ikeja Magistrate Court for allegedly raping Jennifer Uche. The suspects, Solomon Obamiro 28, Adebayo Fagbemi, 25, Soliu Obalowu, 27 and Oluwatosin Akomolafe 22, and others now at large, From left: Olumide Ojo, Head of Sales, HHP Samsung Electronics, West Africa; Kate Henshaw, are facing a two-count charge actress; Olajumoke Okikiola, Marketing Manager, Samsung Electronics, West Africa and of conspiracy and sexual Hakeem Balogun of Kimono Kollection, at Samsung’s 'Galaxy S4 Design for Life' workshop assault. for young fashion designers in Nigeria, in Ikoyi, Lagos. Photo: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor. The police prosecutor superintendent, Barth Nwaokoye, informed the court that the defendants committed the crime in the early hours of April 13, 2013, at about 3a.m. He said the alleged crime was perpetrated in a club house at 28, Sule BY CHIDI NKWOPARA medical assessment and atten- body. Abukar street, Opebi in tion. “The head scan showed the Ikeja area of Lagos. “It is true that the Governor Governor had no internal WERRI — A London hospi- had a head injury that arose Uche, who is 27, was tal currently treating injured from the automobile accident bleeding. He has no problem said to have had an with his brain, eyes and other agreement with Solomon Imo State governor, Chief Rochas but the head scan ordered by organs of his body. His head Obamiro to pay her the Okorocha, who was involved in a the medical experts in the Lon- is a bit sore,” Offor said. sum of N5,000 for one near ghastly road traffic crash, don hospital has proved he Asked if Chief Okorocha night, but few minutes weekend, has eliminated any trace had no fracture of the skull,” would resume official duties in after Obamiro had begun of threat to his life. Mr. Offor said. Owerri, the commissioner Confirming the situation in a telthe affair, the victim said According to the commis- said: “For now, his doctors a gang of seven other ephone interview, the Commission- sioner, the head scan also only asked him to continue his boys suspected to be close er for Information, Strategy, Culture showed the governor had no treatment as an out-patient; he associate of Obamiro and Tourism, Mr. Chinedu Offor, internal bleeding or any prob- will only come back when his affirmed that Okorocha was rushed lem with his brain, eyes and gang raped her. doctors give him a clean bill Her legs and hands to the London hospital for further other relevant organs of his of health.” were said to have been held each time one of tthe suspects was taking his turn, repeatedly until she BY TONY EDIKE consultations with the deceased Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu, to lost consciousness. author ’s family and other an international airport. When she regained Also speaking with newsmen, NUGU—RENOWNED stakeholders, who had indicated consciousness, she saw Nigerian author and interest to participate in the first son of the late writer, N800 they dropped for Ikechukwu Achebe, described her after the perpetrators literary icon, Professor Chinua funeral. Members of Achebe’s family his father as a good man who Achebe, who passed on in of the act had fled. The prosecutor said the Boston, Massachusetts, United were present at yesterday ’s wished Nigeria well. He recalled that his father ’s offence was punishable States of America on March 22, meeting. Chairman of the governor ’s last wish was a Nigeria that under section 409, 262(1) this year, would be buried on forum and Anambra State would be free of corruption as of the criminal laws No 11 May 23, Governors of the South East governor, Peter Obi, who briefed well as live up to the Vol 44 law of Lagos State states announced this newsmen after the meeting, expectations of its citizens. of Nigeria 2011. however, declined to give The late Achebe’s first son yesterday. The defendants pleaded further details, but expressed thanked President Goodluck The internationally celebrated not guilty to the two-count charge preferred against writer and author of “Things the readiness of the governors Jonathan for granting him an Fall Apart” died at the age of to accord Achebe a benefitting opportunity to meet with him and them by the police. burial. his support so far to the family. However, Magistrate 82 after a brief illness. Obi said the forum also He also expressed gratitude to Rising from the South East Ajayi granted the Forum at deliberated on security issues in the South East governors for their defendants bail in the Governors’ sum of N300,000 and Government House, Enugu, the South East zone and the support and special indication adjourned the case to the governors said the burial ongoing Federal Government’s that his late father ’s burial was date was chosen, following due projects targeted at upgrading an important event. June, 17, 2013, for trial. Governors Peter Obi, Martin Elechi, Theodore Orji and Sullivan Chime of Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Abia States attended the meeting, with only hospitalised Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha absent.

Auto-crash: Okorocha's life not threatened — London doctor O

Achebe for burial May 23

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BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI

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BUJA — DETERMINED to weed out corrupt judges from the Bench, the National Judicial Council, NJC, has opened investigation into allegations of judicial impropriety leveled against 23 judges in Nigeria. Vanguard reliably gathered, yesterday, that the justices under the probe radar include those from various divisions of the Federal High Court that allegedly issued frivolous ex-parte orders to soothe varying political interests. Others include seven appeal court justices, four state high court judges, five magistrates and two justices of the Supreme Court who were said to have compromised standard while they were still on the appellate court Bench. Already, a top official of the NJC, who spoke to Vanguard on grounds of anonymity, yesterday, said the Council had directed some of the accused justices to enter their defence of specific petitions against them. It will be recalled that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Aloma Murhktar, recently expressed worry over the increasing number of petitions against judges flooding the NJC. She noted that “a public uproar against the judgement of a court of record is not to the credit of the judiciary.” Speaking at a workshop organised for judges by the National Judicial Institute, NJI, the CJN, lamented: “I have heard the aphorism a couple of times that in the court, the rich get bail while the poor get jailed. To what extent have we as judges turned justice as within the reach of the highest bidder?” She warned: “Any judge found to be complicit in the writing and delivery of a judgement, the NJC, as the constitutional regulatory body will not hesitate to wield the big stick.”


14— Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

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Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013—15

UN condemns killing of Nigerian peace-keeper in Sudan

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NITED nations, UN, Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, and the United Nations Security Council, UNSC, have condemned the killing, last Friday, of a Nigerian UNAMID peacekeeper in Sudan. The Nigerian was killed by unidentified armed assailants during an attack on a UNAMID military position in Muhajeria, East Darfur, Sudan. Two peacekeepers were also injured in the incident. The UNSC, in a statement, said it strongly condemned the attack on UNAMID peacekeepers, and urged the Sudanese government to “swiftly to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.” UNAMID on its part said it was investigating the events surrounding the incident and is currently working with the Sudanese government.

YMCA laments lack of justice for women

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IAS justice system has been identified as the cause of women’s waning confidence in the demand for their human rights and place in society. According to Mrs. Oyeyemi Tinubu, Chairperson, National Membership Committee, Young Women Christian Association, YWCA, the dearth of transparency in the Nigerian justice system had resulted in women hiding under the culture of silence than risking their lives in demand for justice. While speaking at the annual World YWCA Membership Day in Lagos, Mrs. Tinubu said: “These days, you go to the law court, you are unable to get justice. “Even when you go to the church, the counselling will be to submit subserviently. When a lady reports to the police that she was raped, she is laughed to scorn. “Our socio -cultural background has sturdily invaded and manipulated our sense of justice system.”

RETREAT: From left— Mr. Emeka Ezeh, Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP; Engr. Esther Gonda, Permanent Secretary, Special Services Office, SSO, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Mr. Uzor Azubuike and Mr. Adewale Peters, Director-General, ASCON, at a retreat organised by the bureau for chief executive officers, CEOs. PHOTO: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor.

Anti-corruption fight is for everyone, says PDP BY HENRY UMORU

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B U JA — N AT I O N A L leadership of Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, said that all hands must be on deck by Nigerians, including Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and

other opposition political parties if Nigeria must succeed in the fight against corruption. PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, noted that corruption in Nigeria predated the 14 years of the

party’s existence, just as it asked why ACN must celebrate the rating of Nigeria as a corrupt country by the United States of America. Metuh’s statement read: “The statement from Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, which celebrates the catego-

Justus Esiri wins big at AMAA BY BENJAMIN NJOKU & SAMUEL OYADONGHA

LATE veteran actor, Justus Esiri, who was buried two weeks ago in his home town in Abraka, Delta State, has been adjudged the best actor in Africa. Esiri won the Best Actor award for his role in the movie “Assassins Practice” at this year ’s edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Saturday. While the legendary actor picked the coveted award, South African actress, Flor-

ence Masbe, won the Best Actress award for her role in “Elelwani.” Esiri beat the likes of Bimbo Manuel, OC Ukeje, Lindani NKosi, Hlomla Dandala, Femi Jacobs and Amurin Wumnembom to clinch the prize. The award was received on his behalf by the President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, Miss Ibinabo Fiberesima, who became emotional while receiving the award. Other big winners at the glamorous award ceremony, which ran into the

Editor's Guild commends Kwara govt's devt projects

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RESIDENT of Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr. Femi Adesina, has commended Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State on his achievements in health, agriculture and other sectors, saying “Kwara qualifies to be the centre for medical tourism in sub-Sahara Africa.” NGE President, who expressed satisfaction with the governor ’s extempore presentation to the members of the guild during their visit

to his office weekend, referred to Kwara State as the new face of governance in Nigeria. Ahmed had earlier informed the media chiefs that his administration recognised that development required strategic planning and optimal utilisation of available resources in line with global best practices. He said these steps had contributed to the modest achievements recorded in critical sectors.

early hours of Sunday, were Niji Akanni, who won the Best Director; Gabriel Afolayan, Best Actor in a Supporting Role; Blindah Effah, who jointly won the Best Promising Actor with Kenyan actor, Joseph Wairium. Nigeria, however, won a total of 14 awards, including the Best African film Award, out of 2 7 awards given out at t h i s year ’s AMAA, to set a n e w record for the continent. T h e country was f o l lowed b y South Africa, which w o n three awards in all.

risation of Nigeria as corrupt by the United States is misplaced. “Why is ACN gallivanting? Is it only PDP that is corrupt and the opposition saints? What sense is there in this naked dance in the centre of the market? “The phenomenon of corruption predates the 14 years of PDP’s existence, but our party has taken bold steps to tackle it. Whether, ACN agrees or not, the establishment of EFCC, ICPC and the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act are some of the firm measures in the fight against corruption. “The world may know of corrupt cases in Nigeria because PDP as the ruling party has chosen not to condone corruption like the opposition."


16 — Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

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HE impeachment of the former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Mr Jude Agbaso, by the Imo State House of Assembly on 28 March 2013 left many unanswered questions. It followed in the tradition of the mélange of impeachments witnessed under our renascent democracy, where the spirit and letters of our laws and the Constitution are discarded to feather the political nests of powerful forces. Confusion is trailing the exercise. It is firmly rooted in the details of the alleged N458 million bribe taken from a Lebanese construction firm, L-PROS. It was evident in the irregular manner in which Agbaso was removed. Were the constitutional procedures observed? Imo State voters who chose Mr Rochas Okorocha as Governor and Agbaso as his Deputy, on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, have the right to know whether, Agbaso was guilty of the offence or a victim of trumped up charges. The impeachment process, if followed in accordance with Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, would have provided all the

Agbaso’s Untidy Remo emovval answers. In the hurried way it was conducted, the owner of the account into which the amount was found was not established and there was no conclusive proof of Agbaso’s culpability. The Imo State House of Assembly appeared uninterested in those details. Constitutional provisions could have been violated. This would interest anyone who respects the Constitution. The panel to probe the allegations was constituted on 28 March. The Constitution provides for the findings to be sent to the House within three months. It is considered enough time to investigate the allegations, but if the matter was concluded earlier, the time frame would not

count against the outcome. The accused was expected to present his case. Agbaso was impeached on the same 28 March the panel had its inaugural sitting. He had no chance to make his case. More intriguing was the swearing in of the new Deputy Governor, Mr. Eze Madumere, who was former Okorocha’s Chief of Staff, without any evidence of his being screened by the House of Assembly as constitutionally required. Agbaso surprisingly applied to withdraw a suit he had instituted before Justice Florence Duruohaigwe of Owerri High Court. He wanted to prove his innocence. How would the public know the truth? How would he prove his innocence in the matter? How would the damage the State House of Assembly caused by abridging the Constitution be repaired? This case is not merely about Agbaso and his individual predicament. It is more about the disregard for the Constitution, in addressing issues that are purely constitutional. Nigerians want to know the truth about this saga even if the House does not.

OPINION BY SEGUN SASORE

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HE first major action of President Goodluck Jonathan in his programme of Restructuring Nigeria was the appointment of Prof. Attahiru Jega as the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The appointment was hailed by majority of Nigerians as Prof. Jega, a social critic from the Ivory Tower was seen as coming to put things right in our Electoral System, after several years of complaints from stakeholders. In fact, late President Yar’Adua on assumption of office in 2007 acknowledged that although the Presidential election of that year declared him the choice of the Nigerian electorate, the system was flawed and a change was needed. That change came with Professor Jega mounting the saddle at INEC. The first major action of Prof. Jega’s INEC was the conduct of the 2011 general elections. Despite the fact that no election in the world has been declared totally faultless, a fair assessment is made of any election where majority of the stakeholders agree that an election is generally free and fair. This was the assessment given to the conduct of the 2011 election which many foreign observers gave a pass mark. Although the courts cancelled some Governorship and National Assembly elections and ordered re-runs, the 2011 election has been described as the freest and fairest C M Y K

INEC's unnecessary distractions in the country’s electoral history. Nigerians' wish is that this trend should be sustained in such a way that our electoral headaches would be minimised if not completely eradicated. However, one observes with regret that given the actions and inactions of the functionaries of the electoral body so far, our euphoria, optimism and hopes following 2011 elections may have been misplaced. The signals from our electoral body have not given us much cause for joy. The signals one gets from some actions of our Electoral Commission indicate that many of their decisions are either not well thought out or that the high echelon of that body is confused or that they are acting a script written for them elsewhere. Who these scripts writers are or do we call them pay masters will definitely be known sooner or later. This writer is not a member of any political party in Nigeria but since man is a political animal one cannot be indifferent to political developments in one’s country. For instance, one is at pains to ascertain why an electoral body worth its name will send its personnel to observe the convention of a political party, endorse all the processes and after more than one year sing a different song in respect of the conduct of the said convention.

The confusion created by the report of INEC on the conduct of the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) conducted in March 2012 is one instance where the electoral body instead of giving democracy free rein is creating stumbling blocks in the process. According to newspaper reports, the INEC’s 12 man committee under the Chairmanship of Col. M. K Hammanga rejected the adoption of affirmation for 9 of the 12 members of the National Working Committee of the party elected at the Convention. The said report stated that the process adopted by the PDP to elect the affected 9 officials of the party violated paragraph 6.5 of the guidelines used for conducting the 2012 congresses and national convention of the party.

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oncerned about this matter which affects the leading political party in the country, I had to avail myself of the constitution of the party. I have not read the said guidelines but it is an established fact that no guideline is superior to the constitution of the party whose provisions are binding on all party members at all times. Having read the constitution of the party from the first page to the last I did not observe any section that states that party officers

should not be elected through affirmation. There is no provision that states that every party position must be filled through casting of ballot. I stand to be corrected. Moreover guidelines for election are prepared by a few members of the party. But a convention is the highest organ of the party whose resolutions supersede guidelines for elections at any level of the party. If the electoral guidelines were presented to the National Convention of the party and the convention adopted affirmation for election of those members of the National Working Committee of the party who were returned unopposed from their various states and geopolitical zones, it means that those members elected by affirmation where duly elected, as confirmed by the party’s highest organ that is The National Convention. One wonders what use the electoral body ’s presence at the National Convention of a political party is to it and Nigerians if it cannot utilise its presence in ensuring that things are done properly. Shouldn’t the INEC officials present at that convention have advised the PDP leadership to use the ballot for all the positions in contest, instead of allowing affirmation for electing some candidates only to cry wolf 12 months later? Continues tomorrow on pg 17 *Mr. Sasore, a political analyst, wrote from Abuja.


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Lagos council boss, Bamigbetan recounts ordeal Continues from page 6 "Unfortunately, I finished both assignments early because my mentor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was on his way out of town. Usually, I wait hours to have an audience with him but because he was travelling, we had to meet briefly. "Since I was through with what I came for on the Island earlier than I thought, I told the driver to change the route on our way home. "We came in through Ikotun and the gunmen came in through Isolo. As soon as they saw a Sport Utility Vehicle enter, they picked on it. They weren’t lurking around for me. I was just unlucky on the day. It’s just spiritual. "I normally do have premonition when things are going to happen to me. About four days before then, I felt something unusual would happen. "So when they caught up with us, the picture just fell in place. I knew people would be praying for me and that was the hope I held on to. "My release was delayed because there were two levels of operatives, the older ones who abducted me and the younger ones who took over and were negotiating with the family. "Those ones were receiving instructions from the older ones. At the end of the day, they just changed their minds that even without the money they would release me. "I’m not too sure our security operatives can manage their level of sophistication. Imagine them sending people to the council to find out things for themselves; that shows you that they knew what they were doing. "We don’t have the capacity because ordinarily, when they were making the calls, the nearest cell sites should have detected our location. "We were in a place for five days and nobody had an inkling of where we were but I know that it was God’s intervention that made it possible that is why I thank everybody who has offered prayers for us.

The detention camp

There were other people where I was kept. Our eyes were blindfolded, we were not supposed to talk or engage in conversation with them. We were told not to open our eyes. Once you attempt to see them, they would fire because we were strictly warned that they didn’t want to be identified. The blindfold was so tight that you couldn’t even open your eyes.

No police escort

I have never believed in police escort. It is a test of your faith with people. If you truly want to serve people and you are doing it from your heart, you don’t need police protection. Even the police are seeking God’s protection. So why don’t we all go straight and look towards the same God for protection? I pray and I try to do good deeds daily because those good deeds would pray for me and be my cover whenever I run into problems. That has been my philosophy. "If the police had been there what would have happened? Three AK 47 rifles to one policeman, would he have waited? When you know that you are on your own, you are forced to work for the people genuinely. I have never taken a police orderly to anywhere because I believe in the God and people I serve."

Wife’s account

"I thank everybody, people really prayed for us. I thank God he is back. I believe in the powers of prayers; there was no better option to prayers, because I didn’t know where my husband was. It was a rude shock, I didn’t expect that to ever happen to any body in Lagos. So when it happened, we couldn’t do any other thing than to resort to prayers. "I thank the family members because they really stood by me and my family; they all came around and started praying everyday— friends, political associates, neighbours and well wishers came and offered prayers and fasting, holding vigil every day. "I thank God that he answered our prayers, he was released at the end of the day. Though we were praying, we didn’t know it was going to happen that day. We never expected him back, when he came back, my husband just appeared miraculously. "The kidnappers were still calling us that ‘my enemy’ will become a widow soonest, that I will soon carry my husband’s corpse. I was just crying, begging them on the phone not to make me a widow, that at least they have mothers, sisters, if at all they were not married. "I was just pleading with them. It came to the extent that the Christian community, Muslim community, all came to our house and started praying. At this point, I knew God will intervene. So when he walked in later in the night, we were not expecting him; we were just shocked, and I’m so happy that he came back unhurt. "They communicated with me about twice throughout the ordeal. The first one was when he was kidnapped; they called me around 2 am or thereabout. They said madam, we have your husband, his life has been paid for but if you can bail him they would consider him." C M Y K

Officers and men of 14 Field Engineering Regiment, Onitsha destroying equipment used by bunkerers at Ogbakuba Community in Ogbaru Council Area, near Onitsha, weekend. Photo: NAN.

Soldiers nab fake Police officer with 100kg of Indian hemp BY SUZAN EDEH

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AUCHI — A FAKE Super intendent of Police has been arrested by soldiers with 100 kilogramme of Indian hemp along Bauchi-Kano road near Gadar Maiwa village in Ningi Local Government Area of Bauchi State. According to reliable security source in Bauchi, the man was arrested at a military road block along Ningi road with a fake identity card of the rank of Superintendent of Police, SP. The suspect also wore a Superintendent of Police uniform with his car loaded with 108 kilogramme sacks of leaves suspected to be Indian hemp. The security source said: “After the man was arrested, the first preliminary investigation confirmed that he was not a policeman and he was handed over to the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA , Bauchi State Command for further investigation.”

He gave the name of the suspect as Augustine Odugwu and appealed to the general public to always be security conscious and report any suspicious character to the security agencies even if the person was in uniform.

NIMASA boss summoned over premature retirement BY GODWIN ORITSE

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AGOS — TENSION has gripped Directors of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, the highest regulatory agency in the maritime industry, following the sudden retirement of four Directors and impending retirement of another set of Deputy Directors of the agency. Already, the Senate Commit-

Lagos chief, 5 others arraigned for allegedly stealing N5m BY ONOZURE DANIA

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AGOS — A 65-YEAR-OLD man, Chief Amos Taiwo, and five others were, weekend, arraigned before a Lagos Magistrate Court sitting in Ikeja, for allegedly breaking into the palace of one Chief Kamaru Adams, the Baale of Ishashi Odan and stealing N5 million belonging to him. Taiwo, along side other accused persons, allegedly stormed the palace with hired thugs who were armed with dangerous weapons. The other suspects are Chief Waliu Muyideen, a.k.a Agba Akin Ado,55; Santos Omeresu Ayede, 45; Lanre Oke,30; Akeem Yakubu 41 and Yaya Fagbayi 52.

Effort to get the comment of the NDLEA commandant Bauchi, Mr. Parah Julius Bawa, failed because he was not on seat but a senior officer in the command confirmed that the suspect is undergoing interrogation and has made confessional statement.

The defendants and others at large who are facing a sevencount charge bordering on felony, conspiracy and stealing, were arraigned before the Chief Magistrate of Court One, Magistrate Demi Ajayi. The police prosecutor, Barth Nwaokoye, told the court that the defendants committed the offence on April 13, 2013, at about 11 a.m at 1, Baale Close, Ishashi Odan, Iba area of Lagos. He said the defendants conspired together to commit felony by breaking the window glasses and entrance door with cutlasses and axe, valued at N80,000, adding that after gaining entrance into the palace, they stole N5 million cash belonging to the Baale.

tee on Marine Transport headed by Hajia Zainab Kure, the Federal Character Commission, FCC and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, have summoned the Director General of the agency, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, to explain the appointments and retirement of personnel in the agency since 2011 when he took over the leadership. Vanguard gathered that trouble started when the Director General reportedly asked some serving Directors to proceed on their retirement leave even though they were not due. The affected Directors were offered a package three times their normal severance package if they accept the offer to leave. It was also said that the first set of Directors that took the offer to resign got between N75 million and N150 million. It was learnt that the second set of Deputy Directors have also been offered the same ‘golden hand shake’ with a view to resigning before their time. The move by management to coax this category of staff to resign before their time boomeranged and some of the affected officers petitioned some agencies of government on the happenings in the agency, a development that led to the Director General being summoned.


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NEC meeting: PDP, Presidency move against govs ...woo state chairmen and deputy national officers for support BY SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North

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BUJA — STILL trying to take total control of the party structures ahead of the 2015 election, the leadership of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has begun moves to woo state chairmen and deputy national officers of the party to work against governors, whose loyalty to the Presidency and the party is suspicious.

Vanguard learnt from authoritative sources last night that the leadership, which is working in league with the Presidency, had summoned state chairmen from many states and briefed them on the need to cooperate with the Bamanga Tukur-led administration in its bid to hold its National Executive Council meeting, without moving a motion against it. The party leadership has not been able to hold its quarterly

NEC meeting as stipulated by its constitution because of simmering fear that the governors, who control most of the state chairmen and national officials, could instigate them to pass a vote of no confidence on Tukur and his executives. Most PDP governors are angry with Tukur for sacking the Adamawa State Exco of the party loyal to Governor Nyako and replacing it with one said to be loyal to him with

a view to actualising his son’s gubernatorial ambition in 2015. In a bid to get the support of the state and national officials, the leadership is said to have ‘sourced for funds’ from the Presidency and one of its friendly governors from the southern part of Nigeria to defray the backlog of allowances owed them since the new Exco came into office last year. The huge amount due the

officials was accumulated following the pledge by the national chairman to be paying them N350,000 monthly stipends. But almost a year after, Tukur could not make good his promise due to paucity of funds. But Vanguard learnt from reliable party sources that the debt to chairmen and deputy national officers were cleared during the week.


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always fought with all their strength. So, if Buhari takes over and predictably re-launches the old-style northern bid to dominate the much bigger Tinubu Yoruba political group, it may lead to a major crisis that will threaten the APC’s survival as a new national political party.

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HE surprise is that they are still going at it, moving forward. It is a pleasant surprise. Thursday, April 18th 2013 was a day of history for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). On that day at the Onikan Stadium in Lagos Island, Chief Bola Tinubu, its National Leader, led 4,761 delegates of the Party to vote to dissolve it into the All Progressives Congress (APC), an event rhapsodically described as the “last congress” of the ACN. The occasion was attended by all the major component allies in the imminent merger – Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, National Chairman of the All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) and his group; Major General Muhammadu Buhari, the leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and his clique and individual ambitions, then we may be Governor Rochas Okorocha, the factional talking quite viably of the first successful leader of the All Progressives Grand merger in the history of this country. We Alliance (APGA) and his followers. All may also be talking of an organic parties to the merger have signified their emergence of a dominant two-party intention to take similar steps and system. The challenge of fielding candidates dissolve into the APC before the June will not be easy to overcome. It is at this 2013 deadline it set for itself. Barring any unforeseen stage that the real motives of the circumstance, the fusion now seems constituent allies in the venture will be unstoppable since the biggest party in revealed. Along with the issue of who the amalgamation, the one with the produces the presidential candidate and most to lose – the ACN – has taken running mate, there will also be the the bold leap of faith first. Supporters challenge of who controls the party of this merger have reasons now to organs at the national level. So far, hope for success. This is the furthest Buhari has not hidden his ambition to any move towards the merger of run for president again in 2015. Indeed, political parties has gone in the history it would seem that using the APC to of such political ventures in Nigeria. gun for president for the fourth time in Do not mind what happened in 1998/ a row is his main purpose of joining the 99 when the All People’s Party (APP) merger, having discovered he cannot go and the Alliance for Democracy (AD) it a lone with his severely limited presented the AD candidate for northern Muslim appeal. This is where the ACN in particular President and the APP candidate for needs to watch it. If Buhari is allowed Vice President under the platform of APP only for the parties to go their to run as the presidential candidate of respective ways soon after they lost the the APC and he wins, Tinubu in presidential election. The organs of the whatever capacity he finds himself will parties never fused, and the parties never presented any other common candidates except for the presidency. The next and final challenge before the merger, though, will come when the candidates for election are being chosen at all levels, particularly the presidential candidate Tinubu and Buhari: For how long would the smiles last? and his running mate. If the merging parties are able to overcome this hurdle, setting lose everything he has fought for since aside the usual sticking point of 1999. Hausa/Fulani-led political parties,

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As A CN tak es the plunge… ACN takes such as the defunct Northern People’s Congress (NPC), National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and Shehu Yar’Adua’s faction of the defunct Social Democratic Part (SDP) always nursed the ambition

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So far, Buhari has not hidden his ambition to run for president again in 2015. Indeed, it would seem tht using the APC to gun for president for the fourth time in a row is his main purpose of joining the merger, having discovered he cannot go it a lone with his severely limited northern Muslim appeal

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of swallowing their allies from other parts of the country, with their Western Nigeria allies considered as “prime catches”. Hausa/Fulani political forces, whether in the military or civilian political settings always dream of primary alliance with the West, with the North as the senior, dominant partner. It is this notion of being the underdogs of the North that the Awoist Western political establishment has

ne of the challenges the APC will face is this basic North/West configuration it is taking off with. The idea that the North West and South West coming together with their real or imaginary population advantages will grab the presidency is the basic assumption driving this merger. APGA and ACN’s followers like Okorocha and Senator Chris Ngige from the South East are mere “political fillers” to give the party the semblance of national spread. The Minorities, the kingmakers of Nigerian politics, do not seem to have any pride of place in the APC so far. The Minorities, historically, have always gone with dominant national parties such as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Apart from that, the Igbos, the ethnic group with the strongest presence nationwide, are not inside the eye of APC’s storm. The fear that in sharing of political offices Tinubu and Buhari will sideline them will make the Igbos and the Minorities to maintain doubts as to their proper places in the APC. Even in the North, the ANPP and CPC are actually minority, opposition parties, since they collectively control only four out of nineteen states. PDP is now the party of the North’s mainstream, while Buhari is its outsider. The APC has a long way to go in becoming a national political party that can viably rival the ruling PDP. Most importantly, the APC has not yet shown what motivates its constituent members into this merger beyond the common desire to snatch power from the PDP at the centre. Ideologically and structurally, the merging parties look just like the PDP. What difference are they going to make if they succeed in achieving their objective? What programmes are they going to pursue to get Nigeria out of the traps of poverty, cor ruption, dependence on oil, infrastructure deficit, fight insecurity and terrorism and make life more abundant? Why should the electorate abandon PDP and switch over to the APC? We have not been told. If the only selling point of the APC is to grab power from the PDP then it will not sell.

OPINION BY NNAEMEKA OKIGBO

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HE Internet-based Premium Times was winging on March 6, 2013 about top appointments denied its sponsors of the Northern establishment. It mentioned four portfolios held down by Ndigbo and concluded that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo -Iweala, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Finance Minister, was “Biafranising” Federal positions. According to the prejudicial write-up by one Yushau Shuaibu, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s justification for ceding the appointments to her people is their vaunted qualification. If the piece were not aimed at promoting opprobrium against the government by portraying the Finance Minister as less than patriotic, the article would have lent credence to its insinuation of bad faith by discrediting the claimed qualifications of the relevant appointees. It did nothing of the sort. The positions headed by Ndigbo which the ghostwriters of the Premium Times find intolerable are the headships of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM). Now, the Igbo lady currently at the PENCOM is there only in acting capacity, just as Ben Dikki from Kebbi State is the acting DG of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE). If Dikki’s place at the BPE, which is responsible for privatisation, is accepted as normal, why should the world be turned upside down simply because an Igbo

Premium Times, dishonest times lady is the acting head of PENCOM? Again, PENCOM is not under the Ministry of Finance. In what capacity can the Finance Minister have railroaded PENCOM’s acting head into office? Further, Dr. Okonjo -Iweala joined President Jonathan’s administration in August 2011. The Igbo heads of AMCON and NCC had been in their respective offices long before that date! Was Yushua Shuaibu suggesting in his inflammatory article that the Finance Minister was dictating her kinsfolk into Federal offices even before she was sworn in as Minister? This campaign of injustice against Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has gone completely out of hand. I do not know this woman personally. I have never met her. As a matter of fact, meeting her is not my strongest desire. She is not even from my home state. But fair should be fair. Detractors should stop impugning her hard-earned integrity. They should stop pillorying a patriot delivering honest service to the fatherland. How could she have been at the World Bank and at the same time “Biafranised” Federal appointments? Now this is the true position. Premium Times, in their true spirit, have laid patently false charges against the Finance Minister, accused her unwarrantedly of nepotism, in order to attain their deep-seated intention of demonising the

administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. All those accused of being unjustifiably appointed are, on the contrary, more than qualified for the positions they hold, positions handed them in the fulfillment of due diligence, proper competitive interviews and consensual agreement by the relevant appointment boards. Why is it so wrong and objectionable that four seasoned and excelling Igbo technocrats are holding down positions earned after due appointment processes? Of course, there is nothing novel in the Premium Times traducing President Jonathan’s government for appointments of functionaries other than from the “almighty” North. It was the same false and incompetent arguments that were proffered against General J. T. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi in the promotion of Army Officers in 1966. It was the same false and lame arguments that were recently laid at the doorstep of General Azubuike Ihejirika in the promotion of Army officers. In both the Ironsi and Ihejirika accusations, it turned out that they had been wrongly and dishonestly accused, simply to defame them, to cause disaffection against them and to destabilise the entity. Continues on page 49 *Mr. Okigbo, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Lagos.


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BY NNAEMEKA OKIGBO

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ITHOUT doubt, the whole and sole purpose of the disreputable tirades by Premium Times that have been going on since the inception of the Jonathan administration is to bring the government down. The simple reason Premium Times wants the Jonathan administration to fail is that it is not headed by someone from the “almighty” North – a people anointed to govern in perpetuity while others must remain as non-citizens or half citizens, without the right or the privilege to ever mount the saddle of leadership. There can only be peace in Nigeria when the North is in charge. Otherwise, everything must be left in pieces; hell and high waters must envelope the people. Those labouring day and night to make the country better must be forever castigated and covered with effluvium. All aspects of the superstructure must be bombed to smithereens. Unless a Northerner is in charge! Well, we have news for the proponents of this schema of injustice. The warped policy of Northern Supremacy will come to naught, which is where it belongs. Nigeria belongs to all of its citizens none of whom may be classified as second class or underclass. Let us now take a closer look at the facts of Federal appointments. The hatchet writers of the Premium Times were griping over

four competent Ndigbo that were duly appointed into Federal offices. What about the scores of Northerners holding down Federal appointments without anyone batting an eyelid? Examine the facts, please, starting from six of the top most posts in the Federal establishment: * The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, is from the North. * The Controller-General of the Customs, Alhaji Abdallah Dikko is from the North. * The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, is from the North. * The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Alhaji Kabiru Mashi, is from the North. * The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Alhaji Habib Abdullahi, is from the North. *The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, is from the North. No one is complaining about these pivotal positions residing with Northerners. Is this because the bosses in question each have multiple heads upon their shoulders? Is it because, based strictly on education and qualification, there are no Southerners to mann the posts? Is it not because Northern manipulators of ethnic politics can never be satisfied unless ALL

Freedom of misinf ormation misinformation BY J.K.RANDLE Continued from Friday page 18

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NTONELLA SGAVO, a city official in Civitanova Marche, told reporters that the stories of those three killed are not unique. For that reason, she said it is crucial that the community keep their eyes open to such everyday struggles and reach out to those in need. "We need to pay, more than ever,……greater attention to new forms of poverty that affect many families (living) next door, when we do not realise it," said Sgavo. As for the "Seventy Senior Elders" from Nigeria, who have gathered in a corner of St Peter's Square, we are mourning. The Vatican as well as both the old Pope and the new Pope have overwhelmed us with their sincere sympathy and heartfelt condolences as we celebrate the life of a great Nigerian writer - Chinua Achebewhom God has given the exceptional talents which propelled him to write the masterpieces, copies of which we are giving away for free to our Italian hosts who have been so generous with their hospitality. It turns out most of our visitors and sympathisers are already familiar with Achebe's books: * Things Fall Apart * The Arrow of God * A Man Of The People * Anthills Of The Savannah * Once There Was A Country It is a moving spectacle to watch Nigerians grieving in dignity without reference to tribe or religion. The Italians have no cause to complain these are Nigerians at their best. Huge screens have sprung up and we are besieged by journalists from all over the world. They are only too eager to join in paying well deserved tributes and exceptional accolades to the departed man

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positions, including the presidency of Nigeria, are in the hands of Northerners? Apart from the six super positions listed above there are countless others. Let’s demonstrate some of them. Dr. Sambo Abdulrahman heads the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Dr. Aminu Ladan Shaharu heads the National Teachers Institute (NTI). Alhaji Mohammed Umar Nadada heads the Small & Medium Enterprises Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). Dr. Ado Ibrahim heads the National Primary Health Care. Mr. Terva Gemade heads the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). Alhaji Ahmed Aminu heads the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA). Alhaji Ahmed Giade heads the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). Alhaji Aliyu Yelwa heads the Fiscal Responsibility Commission. Hadiza Kangiwa heads National Refugee Commission. There are others of them: Gr. Ghali Bello heads the

Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission. Mr. Yusuf Nuhu heads the Federal Radio Corporation. Alhaji Kabir Kabo Usman heads the Centre for Management Development. Alhaji Bello Mahmud heads the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Malam Abubakar Jijiwa heads the Voice of Nigeria (VON). Prof B. B. Shehu heads the National Hospital, Abuja. Dr. Masa’udu Adamu Kazaure heads the National Board for Technical Education. Rear Admiral Bala Mohammed Mshielia is chairman of the Military Pensions Board (MPB). Alhaji Habib Jato is the DG of the National Library. Prof. Junaid Mohammed is the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education. Dr. Ahmed Rufai is the DG of the Nigerian Communication Satellite (NICOMSAT). Alhaji Sani Sidi is the DG of the National Emergency Management Centre (NEMA). Dr. M. S. Haruna heads the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure. (NASENI). It bears reiteration to state that all the names mentioned above are of Northern functionaries in the top echelons of Federal appointments. There are many others not mentioned here. Yet, no one is complaining. But President Jonathan and his Finance Minister must be crucified because four qualified Igbo technocrats are holding down Federal appointments! What injustice! What insincerity! What insensitivity! And, most importantly, what a shame! In the light of the statistics

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Continued from page 48

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Premium Times, dishonest times (2)

Nigeria’s problem is not Ndigbo. Nigeria’s problem is to be found in those who insist that peace is impossible in Nigeria unless they maintain an unchallenged control of the country’s superstructure and substructure

of letters and quintential wordsmith. As the crowd begins to swell and the queue of frantic sympathisers gets longer and longer, we are invaded by another set of mourners!! They started off quietly by lighting candles in honour of the departed Prime Minister of Britain, the "Iron Lady" Mrs Margaret Thatcher. Achebe was 73 but Mrs Thatcher was a grand old lady who sang her "nunc dimities" (let your servant depart) at the age of 87. I have plenty to say about Margaret Thatcher. For many years, we were neighbours in Chelsea, London. The only way you would know she was around was that a single policeman stood on duty outside her gate. As for her husband, Denis, the press (especially Private Eye the satirical magazine) gave him hell with unrelenting mockery of his drinking habits and apparent preference for living in a world of his own. Ironically, it was at a party hosted in Ikoyi, Lagos by the British High Commissioner in honour of the visiting Margaret Thatcher that I observed her at close range. I was at the table next to hers and when it was suggested that Britain should consider writing off Nigeria's huge debt, she exploded with fury. She went ballistic!! "Britain will never write-off those debts. I have a list of Nigerians who can pay off the debt. Some of them are here." We Nigerians, whom both the old Pope and the new Pope have Christened as their "brothers and sisters" have no problem sharing our grief with our British fellow mourners. All we are required to do is to remind them of the "House-keeping Rules" which had been agreed with both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis I, namely: * No noise (absolute silence must prevail at all times.) * No litter * No Smoking * No alchohol. By a strange co-incidence, both the

It is a moving spectacle to watch Nigerians grieving in dignity without reference to tribe or religion; the Italians have no cause to complain - these are Nigerians at their best

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Nigerians and the British find ourselves mourning Peter Alexander Ashikiwe AdioneEgom who died on March 3, 2013 at the age of 70. He and his buddy Stanley Macebuh came into the sixth form of King's College, Lagos in 1961 from the Eastern Region. Straightaway they became super stars. Alex Egom was both an athlete and a scholar. He went on to Downing College, Cambridge University where he won a full Cambridge Blue in recognition of his athletics prowess (100-yards). He graduated in 1966 with First Class Honours degree in Social Anthropology. We Nigerians are also mourning the wife of the late Bola Ige, the Chief law officer of our nation. "On April 10, 2003 (exactly 10 years ago), the security of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was again shattered as Justice Elizabeth Omoborike Atinuke Ige, wife of the late Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, died suddenly at the age of 72. It was indeed a sad day for the matriarch of the Ige family to have died even as the trial of 11 accused persons charged with the assassination of her husband was in progress at an Ibadan High Court. According to Tunji Oladunni, a spokesman of the late Chief Bola Ige family, the late Justice Atinuke Ige became visibly shaken early in the morning after reading

provided above, what justification has the Premium Times in counseling that “Dr. OkonjoIweala should also note that blatant disregard to the sensitivities and sensibilities of others while arrogantly promoting only people from her tribe may expose them to hatred with potentially explosive consequences such as those experienced in the 1960s when most federal positions were occupied by a particular tribal group”? Was the leadership of Nigeria in Igbo hands in the First Republic? Apart from the six months of January to July 1966 that General Aguiyi-Ironsi was in power before he was brutally murdered in a northern countercoup, no Igbo man or woman has ever been at the head of any Nigerian government? Yet, the Premium Times is threatening that Ndigbo are liable to suffer a repeat of the pogrom perpetrated against them in 1966. In the light of the hate wave being fanned by the Premium Times and their ilk, is it a surprise that churches are choice targets for suicide bombings? The kind of hate embers being fanned today is the same that led to the anti-Igbo pogrom of 1966. The rest of the country was turned against Ndigbo at the time. But it since became obvious that Nigeria’s problem is not Ndigbo. Nigeria’s problem is to be found in those who insist that peace is impossible in Nigeria unless they maintain an unchallenged control of the country’s superstructure and substructure. Concluded *Mr. Okigbo, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Lagos.

newspaper reports on Andrew Olotu, the star witness in the trial of the 11 accused persons charged with conspiracy and murder of her husband. Atinuke Ige, apparently shocked by the denial of the star witness on the identification of the gunmen, complained that she had developed body pains and was given first aid treatment. She later died at home before she was transferred to the University College Hospital, UCH, where her body is being kept. "She was sick for just about two hours. She complained of body pains and was given first aid and some drugs. She was gasping for breath, then we rushed her to UCH and she died on the way to UCH around 8.30 a.m.," said Oladunni. A pensive Muyiwa Ige and her sisiter, Mrs. Funso Adegbola, sat in the living room of the Ige's family home, Solemilia Court, at Bodija Ibadan looking askance when Governor Lam Adesina, one of the early callers, walked into the room with his entourage. Adesina arrived at the Solemilia Court of the Iges at Bodija around 3.20 pm. "What do you want me to say?" the Oyo State governor asked journalists who followed him to Bodija. "It's sad news. It's most unexpected. It is an irreparable loss. If I must tell you, it is Nigerians who killed Bola Ige who also killed his wife," he charged. Just before we departed St. Peter's Square, the "Seventy Senior Elders" from Nigeria learnt of the passing away of Deacon Oluwole Awolowo (son of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo). We prayed for him and the rest of the Awolowo family. For most of his life Wole swam against the tide. For him to have survived till he was 70 years old was an uncommon feat. May his soul rest in peace. We stayed on at St Peter's Square. The doors of the Basilica were still open. We proceeded to say a silent prayer for the soul of a great Nigerian - Chief (Dr.) Moses Adekoyejo Majekodunmi who died exactly a year ago at the age of 95. Sadly, we all agreed we shall never see the likes of him again. He deserves his peace. Concluded *Bashorun Randle wrote from Lagos.


50—Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

assert the claims of the nation’s governors on many issues including the strict application of fiscal federation. Besides, he is alleged to be in cahoots with political opponents of the president in the race towards the 2015 presidential election. Amaechi has severally denied the allegations of pursing a presidential ambition or working directly against Jonathan. It was widely alleged that the presidency was behind the alleged efforts to stop Amaechi from a second term as chairman of the NGF recently. Remarkably, the points man of the opposition is Nyesom Wike, a former Chief of Staff to Amaechi during the first term between 2007 and 2011 and who also served as directorgeneral of the Amaechi reelection campaign in 2007. How and why Wike became an instrument of the opposition to his former boss remains largely unknown.

Strongman of Rivers politics

*Wike, right who is championing the move alleged to be aimed against Amaechi, left was once principal aide to the governor.

PDP’s Rivers of intrigues THE national leadership of the PDP last Tuesday rushed to inaugurate a new executive of the Rivers State chapter of the party a day after a controversial court judgment. The hurry and hush-hush actions are raising eyebrows.

T

HE image and reputation of the Nigerian judiciary is again under scrutiny as political hucksters take position ahead of the 2015 round of general elections. The latest development is centered around the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Last Monday the court in an u n p r e c e d e n t e d pronouncement axed the executive of the chapter led by Chief Godspower Ake. Ake is said to be a strong loyalist of Governor Chibuke Amaechi. In his place, the Abuja court ruled that Mr. Felix Obuah is the chairman of the legally recognized faction. Obuah served as a local government chairman during the Peter Odili era and little much had been heard of him until recently. The court ruling was immediately flayed by loyalists of Amaechi who alleged that

proper procedures were not followed by the courts especially with respect to examination of evidence tendered by both sides. In a twist the suspended executive led by Ake last week obtained an injunction from a Port-Harcourt Court stopping the Obuah exco from suspending or tampering with the executives at the local governments and the ward levels of the party who came to power prior to the now controversial congress of the party last year. Central to the grouse of the Ake executive was their claim that the Abuja court rejected video evidence of the controversial congress where the returning officer, Chief Dan Orbih was allegedly seen conducting the congress. Orbih, who is chairman of the Edo State chapter of the party and a fanatical loyalist of Chief Tony Anenih, had in an affidavit tendered to the court denied the results produced by the Ake executive and instead, endorsed the results tendered by Obuah.

Once the Abuja court declared its ruling annulling the election of Ake, the PDP national headquarters the following day inaugurated a new executive led by Obuah. The speed with which the PDP national secretariat inaugurated the executive

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BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN, POLITICAL EDITOR & JIMITOTA ONOYUME

other persons who filled the other positions. Many following the case allege the development was instigated by opponents of Amaechi in the presidential villa. The chairman of the Rivers State caucus in the House of Representatives caucus, Hon. Asita Honourable at a joint briefing with other members

Remarkably, the points man of the opposition is Nyesom Wike, a former Chief of Staff to Amaechi during the first term between 2007 and 2011 and who also served as director-general of the Amaechi re-election campaign in 2007

immediately raised concern as if it was expecting the ruling. Even more, a whole set of executive officers was inaugurated despite the fact that only Obuah and Mr Walter Opuene, who claimed the position of secretary were parties to the dispute who took Ake to court. The question immediately asked by many was where the PDP national officers got the

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alleged that the action was instigated by what he described as “Oga and Madam at the top.” The inference was not lost on anyone given the strained relationship between Governor Amaechi and the first family in Abuja. Amaechi is alleged to be critical of some of the actions of the federal administration and has used his position as Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF to

He has, however, also been able to draw most of those opposed to Amaechi towards him. Among them are former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara, former Senator Lee Maeba and the one time strongman of Rivers politics, Sergeant Awuse. Incidentally, all of them were present at the inauguration of the Obuah executive last Tuesday and at the tumultuous homecoming of the new executive on Friday. At a press briefing within the week, chairmen of the twenty three local government councils in the state described the verdict of the Abuja High court as a travesty of justice, arguing that the judicial process was flawed. Mayor of Port Harcourt, Chimbuko Akarolo who read an address by the local government chairmen issued under the aegis of Association of local Government of Nigeria, ALGON, Rivers state chapter said the court verdict was part of a grand design by a group of individuals to rupture the peace in the state. According to the Chairmen, there had been an alleged plot to create an environment that would warrant declaration of a state of emergency with a view to illegally removing Chibuike Amaechi as governor of the state. The address signed by the trio of Mayor of Port Harcourt/ Chairman of the body, Chimbuko Akarolo, his

Continues on page 51


Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013 —51

administration, I have the capacity and I think none of them can come close to me. That is the truth of the matter. Secondly, it is only in this part of the world that you will see people in their sixties wanting to be governor. There is wisdom in age, there is wisdom in experience, but they should sit at the background as elders, as leaders and provide advice because nobody owns monopoly of knowledge. I do not know it all. So I will expect people like my brothers Senator Iyiola Omisore, my great leader, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, brother Olasunkanmi Akinlabi to be at the background and send their aburo (junior brother) support. So if you give me ticket, I can tell you I will serve Governor Aregbesola a quit notice from Abere.

Aregbesola is destroying our legacies — Wole Oke HON Busayo Oluwole Oke, represented Ijesha North federal constituency in the House of Representatives between 2003 and 2011 and was for most of that period, chairman of the house committee on defence. Oke is now one of a handful of aspirants in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the party's ticket ahead of the 2014 gubernatorial election in Osun State. In this interview he flaunts his credentials for the job as what makes him better qualified than most of those already in the race. Excerpts: BY GBENGA OLARINOYE

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HAT is the driving force behind your ambition? You cannot give what you don't have. I am coming from a background that is very unique unlike other people who have governed the state. I am coming from the organized private sector coupled with very strong academic background. So I am going to make a difference based on my wide experience. We are now in the world that the private sector has taken the lead, we are in a global economy that is private sector geared. So coming from that sector, I have much to offer. I am an entrepreneur with over 1000 workers and with a minimum monthly wage of N50million. So I am prepared to serve Osun State and to tackle lot of problems confronting the state. I have dissected the incumbent government's policies and programmes. I am very pragmatic and I don't criticise any how, the present administration has good intentions but they are not well thought out, so the government is not a finisher. In my heart, the leader lacks capacity to finish the policies. So rather than moving Osun State forward, Osun state is being dragged behind in the comity of states and we cannot fold our hands. Could you elaborate? You see, the government of the day in Osun has no blue print. It has no manifesto. What you see the government doing is mere propaganda. Look at education for example. If the incumbent governor claims to be an Awoist, (and Awo) loved education and gave education to lots of our leaders and advocated that the distance between a school to the pupil's home should not be more than a kilometer. So why is the incumbent governor asking the students in Ipetu-Ile, Ira to attend

school in Ipetu-Ijesa? Why should we be demolishing structures, school buildings that were put in place by appropriation act of the previous government? You also look at a situation where mission schools are merged with Muslim dominated schools. You are merging Saint Margaret Girls School, Ilesa that has produced very successful people in the society; you want to erase our history. Most universities across the globe are named after successful people in the society. So Babalola Girls School in Ilesa, you also want to merge and obliterate the name of that school from history. Fakunle Comprehensive High in Osogbo, the owner of the school is from Esa-Oke here, the old man was old time printer in Osogbo, he laboured and struggled to build that school, to provide education in those days, now you want erase the history, his achievement and turn it into motor-park in place of education institution.

*Oke: The old men should support me

Is that history? Are you not intimidated by the credentials of other PDP governorship aspirants like Senator Iyiola Omisore, Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade? I say it is the other way round. I think they are intimidated by my aspiration. Why? I have told you my background and where I am coming from and my pedigree. My father and

mother are from Osun State. I am not saying it is a crime for somebody whose mother or father is not from Osun State, but I am proud to say that my father is an Ijesa man in OsunEast Senatorial District and my grand-mother is from Ile-Alawo in Osogbo and my mother is from Iree and I am a prince of Iree from my mother linage. I have all it takes to do it. I cannot brag with any of them in terms of money but when it comes to competence in

Could you please clarify the role you played in the removal of Mrs. Olubunmi Ette as speaker of the House of Representatives? It has nothing to do with my gubernatorial ambition and the step I took then, I leave that between me and my God. I did not play any negative role and I leave that for posterity and if I have done anything negative towards the state as a whole, let God judge me. The politics that was played around Mrs. Ette was simply national politics. Some people felt, particularly our brothers from the North who are predominantly Muslims, that they won't subscribe to a woman's leadership. Secondly, some people felt that Mrs. Ette was too close to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Mrs. Ette is my mother and the relationship between me and Mrs. Ette is not politics. She is my mother so let us leave politics out of my relationship with her.

PDP’s Rivers of intrigues Continues from page 50 publicity secretary/ Chairman Bonny local government area, Bar Edward Pepple, and the secretary/Chairman Asari Toru local government area, Ojukaye Flag-Amakiri further opined that the alleged boundary dispute between the state and its Bayelsa counterpart was part of the scheme. While declaring their unflinching support for the G.U Ake deposed executive council, the Chairmen pleaded with members of the party to remain law abiding, stressing that the matter was already at the Court of Appeal. "That we took part and led the delegates who dully voted for and elected the Chief G.U Ake led executive council of PDP in Rivers state whose election had earlier been validated by a High court judgement in Rivers state, therefore we shall not support,

recognise or do any business with any other state Executive council of PDP except one duly elected by us and the accredited delegates from our various local government areas”, they insisted. A member of the House of Representatives from the State, Rep. Dakuku Peterside while pointing out that the PDP had a valid congress in the state affirmed that he and several other statutory members participated in the congress that was supervised by Orbih. “I wouldn’t know because the party never had any problem at all and suddenly somebody just emerged from the moon and is beginning to establish parallel structures of the party. Before now nobody had ever challenged it, nobody had raised issues about a congress and this one is sudden. The implication is clear that there must be a fifth columnist somewhere. There is no doubt that there is an unseen hand pushing

whoever the person is.” Meantime, the new State Chairman, Mr Obuah and his team formerly took over affairs of the state secretariat of the party on Aba road on Friday. Mr Obuah who came in from Abuja was escorted by heavily armed policemen to the secretariat. Addressing a cheering crowd who came to welcome him and his team Obuah assured that he would unite the party. In an apparent rebuke to Amaechi, he said the PDP was a political party and not a pressure group, adding that his leadership would encourage respect for party leaders. He further affirmed the support of the state chapter of the party to President Goodluck Jonathan. “We don’t run a pressure group but a political party. We must respect our leaders. We will give President Jonathan the support”.


52 — Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

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Boston bombs: Tsarnaev brothers planned more attacks — Police T

HE brothers suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon were probably planning further attacks, the city’s police commissioner has said. Ed Davis told CBS News that Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been carrying homemade bombs and grenades which they threw at police when cornered. A top US interrogation group is waiting to question Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is in a serious condition in hospital. His elder brother died during a gunfight with police on Friday. Two women and an eight-year-old boy were killed in Monday ’s

blasts, close to the finish line of the marathon. A police officer was killed and a transport officer seriously wounded

during the massive 24hour manhunt launched on Thursday to track down the brothers. The pair clashed with

police on Thursday night, in the shoot-out which killed the elder brother.

•This combination of undated file photos shows Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.

Chinese Quake: Rescuers reach remote villages

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HINESE rescue teams have reached some of the most remote areas of Sichuan province hit by Saturday ’s powerful earthquake, state media has reported. The rescuers have been travelling on foot into Baoxing County because of the damage to roads in the isolated region. Communication networks were still disrupted, so the extent of the destruction was still unclear. State media say 207 people are dead or missing after the quake, and 11,500 are injured, 960 of them seriously. More than 1,300 aftershocks have been felt in the area since the 6.6 magnitude quake struck at 08:02 local time (00:02 GMT) on Saturday, raising fears of possible landslides. Long traffic queues have also held up efforts to get aid supplies and volunteers to the affected areas. Premier Li Keqiang is in Ya’an, the closest city to the epicentre, overseeing relief efforts, and told reporters that saving lives was the most important thing. The BBC’s John Sudworth in Ya’an says dozens of injured people are still being treated in a triage centre outside the main hospital. Some villages close to

the epicentre in Lushan and Baoxing counties were left in ruins. One survivor, Yang Shanqing, said he had lost his family in the disaster. “I tried to call my brother but could not get through. I ran back to the village and was told at the entrance of the village that my brother’s house had collapsed,” he said. “I rushed here only to see a crowd of people trying to grab the family out

of the ruins, but they failed.” At the Vatican, Pope Francis in his

weekly address said his thoughts were with the people of China.

Italian election opens door to new govt

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HE re-election of Italy ’s president has raised the prospect of an end to the two months of political stalemate that have followed the general election, with a move to form a government foreseen within days.

A broad agreement between traditional political groups on the left and right to re-elect Giorgio Napolitano handed the 87-year-old the leverage to pressure opposing parties to form a government or face a snap election.

Texas residents return after explosion

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OR the second day in a row, more than 100 displaced residents here lined up to gain access to their homes near the site of Wednesday’s deadly fertilizer explosion that killed 14 and injured at least 200. City officials began al-

lowing residents in homes farthest away from the center of the blast site late Saturday, but imposed a strict curfew, permitting people to only enter the site between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Residents have the option of staying in their

homes if they aren’t heavily damaged, but most of the area remains without power or running water. The explosion leveled a five-square block area of town, destroying dozens of homes, a nursing home and an apartment building adjacent to the plant.

N/Korea moves two more missile launchers — Report

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ORTH Korea has moved two shortrange missile launchers to its east coast, apparently indicating it is pushing ahead with preparations for a test launch, a South Korean news agency reported yesterday. South Korea and its allies have been expecting some sort of North Korean missile launch during weeks of heightened hos-

tility on the Korean peninsula. An unidentified South Korean military source told the South’s Yonhap news agency that satellite imagery showed that North Korean forces had moved two mobile missile launchers for shortrange Scud missiles to South Hamgyeong province. “The military is closely

watching the North’s latest preparations for a missile launch,” the source said. The North moved two mid-range Musudan missiles in early April and placed seven mobile launchers in the same area, Yonhap said. A North Korean show of force could be staged to coincide with the anniversary of the founding of its army on April 25.


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Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22 22,, 2013 — 53

Whither Nigeria’s oral health policy? BY CHIOMA OBINNA

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SIMPLE act of brushing and flossing the teeth at least twice daily is known to be effective in preventing oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Oral health has been known to affect, be affected by or contribute to various diseases and conditions, including heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke may be linked to oral bacteria, possibly due to chronic inflammation from periodontitis — a severe form of gum disease. In other words, taking care of oral health is essentially an investment in overall health so it is hardly surprising that the World Health Organisation, WHO, states that oral health is essential to general health and quality of life. The WHO describes good oral health as a state of being free from mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral infection and sores, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and other diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity in biting, chewing, smiling, speaking, and psychosocial wellbeing.

Priority areas In the last quarter of 2012, Nigeria’s National oral health policy was made public, presumably in line with international standards, to focus on priority areas such as oral health promotion, training/ human resources development, service delivery, research, monitoring and evaluation, information and communication technology, and oral health information system. At the launch in Abuja, Mrs. Fatimah Bamidele, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, hinted that the policy in question had been endorsed by the National

Council of Health with full blessings of the Federal Executive Council. Prior to this, on November 18, 2010, a 10-man technical working group and a ministerial steering committee on the improvement of oral health in Nigeria was been inaugurated. The working group produced a draft policy, along with backup programmes including reequipping of federal dental facilities and other oral health promotional activities. Although there is no data to show the real prevalence of periodontal diseases in the country, the need for oral healthcare is palpable and largely unmet, going by the notable level of unawareness about the significance of the mouth as a gateway to the body. Today, consensus is that in view of the many years of delay in formulating the National Oral Health Policy, the effect is palpable. Argument by concerned parties is that oral healthcare has not really been adopted as an integral part of general health, having long been neglected by government and the community. Many Nigerians at risk of one oral disease or the other including risk of heart-related diseases due to poor oral health, have been given little or no awareness or education about the significance of their condition. In view of this, concerned health professionals have continued to call for urgent implementation of the policy to improve oral healthcare in the country. In the view of National President of the Nigerian Dental Association, NDA, Dr. Olurotimi Olojede, “it is time to speak openly about it and to address the great inequalities that exist in terms of oral health, especially as appropriate services are not available for many people in low – income and middle – income commu-

• A patient undergoing oral examination. nities. Further, Olojede who rated oral health low in the country, said: “Any investment in oral health that leads to an improvement in oral health status will yield dividends of good general health.”

Challenges of oral health He spoke during a Medical Mission in Gbongan Community in Osun State on occasion of this year ’s World Oral Health Day with the theme: “Healthy teeth for Healthy life”. On the enormous oral health challenges in the country such as periodontal disease and dental caries, he said: “There is a need to develop sustainable strategies for national preventive and therapeutic oral health services to cope with magnitude of oral health challenges in Nigeria.” Olojede said the oral health policy if implemented would ensure the three tiers of government are involved in activities concerning oral health as well as ensuring that a dental

clinic is attached to every Primary Health Care facility across the country. “Such facilities will be full fledged dental clinic with facilities for dental care as well as the required personnel such as dental surgeons. Establishment of these centres would also bring oral health care to the doorstep of Nigerians at the grass roots. For healthier teeth, he recommended daily consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables for stronger, healthier teeth. “Avoid excessive consumption of refined sugar.” He listed risk factors for oral diseases to include an unhealthy diet, tobacco use, harmful alcohol use and poor oral hygiene, and social determinants.

Preventive dentistry Speaking,Professor of Restorative Dentistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Dr Adeyemi Olusile, said the Mission was aimed at ensuring preventive dentistry at the grassroots. “The average Nige-

rian believes that if he removes one or two teeth, it does not matter and that the disease of the mouth does not kill. But that is not true, he noted. Erstwhile NDA President, Dr. Olufemi Orebanjo described the oral health policy as a roadmap towards achieving effective treatment and management of oral ailments. “I want to believe that government is putting machinery in motion to see that the policy benefits all Nigerians, he admonished. Unilever West Africa, a stakeholder in the oral healthcare industry was involved in the medical mission where over 2000 people benefited from free dental screening and treatment. In a comment, the Nutrition and Health Manager, Dr. Peter Ajiero said through its Close Up brand, Unilever was collaborating with the NDA to ensure Nigerians understood the challenge of oral health and take actions like brushing twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste to prevent and reduce the impact of adverse oral health conditions.

Indian doctors in Nigeria to offer free health screening

A

team of medical experts from In dia are in the country for a three – day free screening on heart, cancer and orthopaedic cases. The screening being facilitated by Kanu Heart Foundation, KHF in partnership with Fortis Group of Hospitals, India, and Ago Medical Centre Lagos will also offer free consultations for patients. The exercise, billed to begin today, April 22 through April 24, 2013 will hosts cardiologists, oncologists and orthopaedic experts from India and

Nigeria. According to the Coordinator of KHF, Mr. Onyebuchi Abia, the free screening will hold 9: AM to 5: PM daily at Ago Medical Centre, Isolo area of Lagos. Abia noted that congenital heart disease was escalating in Nigeria because of lifestyles of mothers during pregnancy. He however, said participants are expected to register for the exercise with the sum of N1, 000 adding that the Foundation would sponsor treatment of those with heart disease.


54 — Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

I

Back to the Golden Eaglets fairy tale

. Excerpts. “When I read and listen to the moanings of my colleagues who travelled to Liberia with the Super Eagles, I thank God for diverting me as it were to Niamey as part of the delegation for the Africa U-17 Qualifier against Niger. In Niamey I was virtually on holiday. After an initial interaction with the team at the Abuja airport where I told them to avoid the distractions of comfort and look instead at a bigger picture, I was proved right when we got to Niamey to find ourselves in a run down hotel. My room for instance had a wooden ward robe that could take only three dresses, yet there was only one hangar available, so my bag was on the floor throughout. My air conditioner did not work, nothing like a fridge, while CNN was the only English channel we managed to get out of the miserable lot. Others had worse rooms. What delighted me was that I travelled to Niamey with the NFF Director of Technical Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme and Alhaji Mamza, the Finance Director and this lend credence to the seriousness of this assignment only for me to arrive Niamey and meet Dr Mohammed Sanusi, Head of Competitions (He had come in by road from Sokoto). The powerful delegation was completed by the head of delegation, the amiable and soft spoken Alhaji Muazu, board member and chairman of the referees committee. Unlike in the past when these boys would have been abandoned to their fate, here they were, having for company board and top management staff of the NFF Before coming back I did tell some of my colleagues that not since the China Eaglets of Nduka Ugbade have I seen such an entertaining and hope raising bunch . Yes Nduka Ugbade. It was during the team’s warm up session a day to the match that I had my first glimpse of the U-17 team. I happen to be on the mailing list of Morankiyo Abodunrin the team’s media officer and I remember telling him that I was not impressed by the scandalous results they were reaping in Calabar and that it was only after the victory over Rwanda that I started paying attention to them. During training, I was impressed. When you see coaches leading by example, then expect success. Garba Manu, Emmanuel Amuneke, Nduka Ugbade and Emeka Amadi are by far the best assemblage of

These Eaglets are human after all

,

T came like a bolt from the blue. After 28 matches without defeat, capped with a 6-1 demolition of arch rivals Ghana, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria were brought down to mother earth with a thud. It was a defeat that shocked every Nigerian especially those of us that have not failed to sing the praises of the Garba Manu tutored side. Suddenly I thread philosophy path. That the defeat was needed and the timing could not have been better. Were our players playing god? Did they suddenly believe the cup was theirs even without kicking a ball? I was positive they would bounce back if only their handlers would psychologically lift them from a position they never found themselves. Saturday they came back roaring and Congo was the seven goal victim! Saturday, I remembered a column I wrote on September 16 2012 when I led out the Golden Eaglets on their first ever Continental qualifier in Niger. It was entitled

That completes the roll call of the glory boys waiting to bloom, boys whose crude phones reflect their innocence

coaches presently. They are role models. They bond together and instill discipline. Not one day, did I see any of the players loitering around the hotel despite the discomfort of their rooms. It was on Brila Radio that I said I was tempted to reel out the names of the players to their listeners but that it may not come to much since they cannot be traced to any league club as was hitherto the case. ADEYINKA ADEWALE (Kwara Academy) goalkeeper of the team that won the Shell Cup and stopped three penalties in the final against Delta. MUSA MOHAMMED (Sardauna Academy, Kano) Captain of the side, commands authority among his colleagues on and off the pitch. IZU OMEGO (Standard Academy, Abuja) Left full back, rock of Gibraltar. AKINJIDE IDOWU (Nigeria Soccer Academy, Calabar) very mobile and intelligent midfielder whose vision is exemplary. WILFRED NDIDI (Nath FC, Lagos) Central Defender. Deputy captain who had to stand in on match day no thanks to the reading of the FIFA Fair Play declaration. You have to kill him to get to Adewale and he does not die. EMMANUEL ASADU (Amuneke Academy) With Idowu, a midfield partnership that is fluid and cohesive. BERNARD BULBWA (Amuneke Academy) winger, whose control of the ball is inborn. ALHASSAN IBRAHIM (Sardauna Academy) A revelation. Packs shots in both legs, good dribbling skills. SUCCESS ISSAC (Messab Academy Benin) can contest for Man Of the Match award. Natural footballer this one. Does not struggle to exhibit talent. KELECHI IHENEACHO (NFF U-13, U-15) A product of the NFF Academies. Belonged to a team that was considered too good to be disbanded. IFEANYI MATHEW (Sardauna Academy, Kano) utility player, nightmare to defenders, intelligent and focused. SUBS USED. MUSA YAHAYA (Mutinci Academy, Kaduna) Heavens, if Musa should start on the bench then talent abound here. Gifted.

A

HMED Musa scored his 10th goal in Russia as CSKA Moscow fought back to salvage a 2-2 draw at home with Moscow city rivals Spartak. The Nigeria international striker will dedicate Sunday’s goal to his sister, who passed away recently. Spartak were without Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike, who is still out injured since the 2013 AFCON.

our lead on the table. We are happy with the point at least it is better than to lose. This game is over, but we will work harder to get victories in the subsequent games,” Musa told MTNFootball.com In Holland, former Nigeria U20 international Uche Nwofor returned to scoring way as he helped his team VVV Venlo secure a 2-2 draw at home to FC Twente.

THAT FREGENE MAY BE ASSISTED Last week I put out a teaser regarding the assistance sought by Peter Fregene, who is languishing in Sapele suffering from a spinal chord injury. I appreciate the reactions, the anger, accusations, the abuses rained on governments and individuals who are in a position to help but are not. Straight away let me say here and EMPHATICALLY too, that Fregene has received help and lots of it. He will forever be indebted to Governor Fashola of Lagos State who he has not had the opportunity to appreciate personally. He thanks the Delta State Government. What could he have done without Barrister Victor Eburajolor, Francis German, Michael Diden of Sapele All Stars, Segun Odegbami, Tex Egbedi, Coach Tetteh….. “ After you published my phone number last week people have been calling. Bisi Lawrence called, Pa Ojidoh…….i appreciate them all. Let them not be tired of helping me. I am down, I cannot walk, my rent has expired and I have been given quit notice. I have run out of drugs. Now that I am still alive, I need help please. Nigeria, over to you

ADIEU KUNLE This was one of those disciples who still hung around believing that the day I will be translated, he will be around to inherit my cape! Today, Kunle Alade, the amiable and ever inquisitive sports reporter is no more. That he “died in his sleep” ( Whatever that means ) after speaking to colleagues the night before. Adieu Kunle…..words are not enough to express this mysterious loss. Adieu dear colleague and friend just as we pray the good Lord affords your wife, children and family the fortitude to accept this inevitable end. ADIEU. See you next week.

Martins fires first goal in USA

Ahmed Musa scores in Moscow derby CSKA had to come from 2-0 down to draw 22 with Ahmed Musa leading his club’s revival with the first goal in the 73rd minute, before Dzagoev scored on the dot of regulation time to end the goal 2-2. CSKA Moscow still lead the Russia Premier League table with 57 points from 25 games, while Spartak are fifth on the table on 41 points. “That is football, we wanted to win to extend

,

UMAR AHMED (G-Lec Academy, Jos) was a natural replacement for Bernard. Flowed easily with the rest. CHIDERA EZE (NFF) Another NFF Academy graduate whose potentials are limitless. SUBS NOT USED. EZEKIEL EMMANUEL (Sachim Academy, Jos) ZAHARADEEN BELLO (Dabo Babies Academy, Kano) He was adjudged the best defender of the Airtel Rising Stars academy. ADAMU ABUBAKAR (GK, Airtel Rising Stars) OLUWASEUN JEGEDE (Airtel –Aspire Academy) That completes the roll call of the glory boys waiting to bloom, boys whose crude phones reflect their innocence, who when asked by the air hostess “ Tea or Coffee?” Replied “ Yes”. Boys whose greatest asset is perhaps their near perfect understanding of each other. A TEAM this one. It will be very unrealistic to say here that they will win the African Championship and qualify for the world cup without kicking a ball. No. what I am saying here is that if these boys are kept together, tracked and provided the best of training, they will go places to the glory of our football.” This is what I said ten months ago and by jove I am repeating same today.

O

•Martins

B A F E M I Martins scored his first goal for MLS side Seattle Sounders versus Colorado Rapids for their first victory this season on Saturday. Nigeria international Martins, who passed a late fitness test, started the game and fired the match winner in the 27th minute to silence the Colorado Rapids fans. The former Levante of Spain forward scored from a rebound after Colorado goalkeeper

Clint Irwin saved a shot from Shalrie Joseph. Martins was later replaced in the 61st minute by Argentina midfielder Mauro Roselas. Coach Sigi Schmidtutored side will breathe a sigh of relief after getting their first victory of the 2013 season away at Colorado. “It means a lot. To a certain extent, we really don’t care how we played because we really needed a win,” Schmid said.


Vanguard, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013 — 55

NFF replies Amiesimaka T

HE Nigeria Football Federation said at the weekend that it “sympathised with former player Adokiye Amiesimaka over his illdisguised and poorlyarticulated campaign for disengaged backroom staff and an assistant Coach of the Super Eagles.” Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee, Chief Emeka Inyama

stated that “there is no going back on the downsizing, and that “NFF is being proactive, as we have been told that the funds we got for prosecuting the Cup of Nations in South Africa would be deducted from our annual allocation. Now, we are left with just about N70 million every month. That cannot achieve much (if you are aware that one

Okpala Continues from BP am still a staff of the NFF. They are yet to officially communicate with me.”. Asked about the terms of his contract on issues like his sack, Okpala, a member of the 1980 Green Eagles squad that won the AFCON in Lagos, said that he has a written contract with

the NFA. “All I can tell you is that I have a written contract. The contract stipulates the circumstances and conditions involved in transactions like this. When I finish discussing with Keshi, I will decide what next to do in that direction,” he added.

match of the Super Eagles cost about N120million), and we are only going to be able to fulfil our several obligations by the time we add projected earnings from our sponsors and duly cut our coat according to our cloth. “We have explained to Nigerians the reason why we are downsizing and we are grateful for their understanding. Amiesimaka is not one of

•Adokiye those to whom we owe explanation, because he lacks the moral ground to even speak out on football management.

Bayelsa, Rivers in Milo Basketball final

T

HE Eastern Conference final of the 2013 Milo Basketball championships comes up later today at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu. Bayelsa and Rivers states who have been very impressive in the tournament will clash in the finals. In the Boys category, Bayelsa defeated Enugu 30-21 yesterday to scale through to the final while Rivers beat Anambra 56-45 points in the second semi final clash to qualify. In the Girls category, Bayelsa who defeated Rivers state 64-15 will clash with Abia state

Chukwu Continues from BP 0-1 loss to the Baby Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire to lord it over the Congolese in the last Group B match in Marrakech on Saturday. Chukwu said after the Eaglets secured the World Cup ticket that the coast is now bright for them to grab Africa’s title for the third time. “That’s a wonderful result. I think Cote d’Ivoire should count themselves lucky to have escaped some of these ruthless whipping in the hands of the Golden Eaglets. “I must say congratulations to the side and coaching crew for this wonderful result. This set of Under-17 is the best ever assembled in the country. “I believe they’re on the right path towards emerging as African

champions once again. They must remain focused and avoid a repeat of the complacency that caused them defeat in the hands of the Ivorians. “I still have to congratulate them for maximising the opportunities as a result of the expulsion of the Congolese two players. Red cards are part of the game and they profited massively from it,” said the former Nigerian defender to supersport.com. Looking ahead of their semi final pairing with Tunisia, the former Harambee Stars manager said that he will welcome a North African challenge than a West African. “North Africans play more tactical game, the Eaglets should be themselves, avoid imitation but play their own game.


VANGUARD, MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013

Rangers fail to fly N

Sack: I’ll wait for Keshi to return — Okpala S

UPER Eagles assistant coach, Sylvanus “Quick silver” Okpala has said that he would wait for the return of his boss, Stephen Keshi from the United States where he is on holiday now before he would respond to his sack by the Nigeria Footbal Federation. Okpala who was spotted in Lagos where he was asked about the sack by his employers,

the former Nigerian international said, “I’m waiting for Keshi to come back from his holidays in the United States of America. He is my boss and we will discuss this and have a united position on the appropriate response “I should not be talking about it on the pages of the newspapers for now. I am a professional and I want to do things the right way. Keshi was instrumental to my being appointed as an assistant coach, and until I discuss with him it will be wrong to officially respond,” he said, adding, “for now, I Continues on Page 55

RESULTS Spurs 3 Man City 1 Liverpool 2 Chelsea 2 Today’s Fixture Man U vs A Villa 8 pm

•Okpala

EMPTY STANDS: Rangers International of Enugu yesterday failed to beat Libobo in the CAF Champions League match played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu. The Nigerian team played in a near empty stadium. The match ended 0-0. PHOTO: AKPOKONA OMAFUAIRE

Eaglets ‘ll be African champs — Chukwu F ORMER Nigerian manager, Christian Chukwu has said the Golden Eaglets’ 7-0

PUZZLE

demolition of Congo’s Junior Red Devils was a clear statement that they will not miss the podium

dance when curtain falls on the 10th Africa U n d e r - 1 7 Championship in

Morocco. The Eaglets recovered from Wednesday’s shock Continues on Page 55

QUICK CROSSWORD

Sudoku TODAY'S

IGERIA’s Enugu Rangers and their Angolan counterparts, CRD Libolo, played out a goalless draw in Enugu in their Africa Caf Champions League clash on Sunday. The match was the first leg, second round in Africa’s premier club competition. The away team, CRD Libolo, would surely have their goalkeeper, Landu Mavanga to thank for his heroic display between the sticks at some point in the game. Rangers head coach, Okey Emordi handed Nigeria international goalkeeper, Chigozie Agbim, his debut and the captaincy. The hosts also started out with a three-man attack of Efe Yarhere, Sanusi Sani and Alhaji Gero.

YESTER DAY'S YESTERDAY'S

ANSWERS

ACROSS 1 Skilful (6) 5 Reedy (6) 9 Dullard (5) 10 Result (6) 11 Blush (6) 12 Cherished (5) 14 Pitcher (4) 17 Rank (3) 18 Yield (4) 20 Challenged (5) 22 Exhausted (5) 23 Fuss (7) 24 Kingdom (5) 26 Singer (5) 29 Whirlpool (4) 30 Lair (3) 32 Fruit (4) 33 Mistake (5) 35 Colour (6) 36 Assessor (6) 37 Rescuer (5) 38 Evaded (6) 39 Myth (6)

DOWN 1 Entertained (6) 2 Rota (6) 3 Image (4) 4 Teacher (5) 5 Twist (5) 6 Notice (4) 7 Really (6) 8 Alighted (6) 13 Traveller (7) 15 Flourished (5) 16 Respond (5) 18 Troubled (5) 19 Storehouse (5) 21 Barrier (3) 22 Spout (3) 24 Harvested (6) 25 Worshipped (6) 27 Character (6) 27 Character (6) 28 Bred (6) 30 Fear (5) 31 New (5) 33 Otherwise (4) 34 Unusual (4)

YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS ACROSS: 4, Essay 7, Parted 9, Art 10, Pod 12, Saved 13, Debt 15, Miser 17, Bereft 19, Tour 20, Styli 22, Fad 24, Lowered 27, Tor 28, Freed 31, Area 33, Rested 35, Scene 37, Will 38, Abuse 39, Ten 41, All 42, Digest 43, Beryl.

How to Play Sudoku

THE VIGILANTE

.DOWN: 1, Spades 2, Grubby 3, Pep 4, Erse 5, Start 6, Adequate 8, Dome 11, Different 14, Tell 16, Star 18, Riot 21, Terrible 23, Deft 25, Wore 26, Drew 29, Edited 30, Dilate 32, Assay 34, Seed 36, Cell 40, Nip.

e-mail: rowolove@yahoo.co.uk

P

lace a number (1-9) in each blank cell. (No line can have two of the same number). Each row (nine lines from left to right), column, (also nine lines from top to bottom) and 3 X 3 block within a bold block (nine blocks) contains number from 1 through 9. This means that no number can appear twice in any block, column or row. No mathematics is involved – no adding, subtraction, division or multiplication, just plain logic and your imagination. Printed and Published by VANGUARD MEDIA LIMITED, Vanguard Avenue, Kirikiri Canal, P.M.B.1007, Apapa. Phone: Newsroom: 018773962. Deputy Editor: 01-8944295. Advert Dept: 01-7924470; Hotline: 01-8737028; Abuja: 09-2341102, 09-2342704. E-mail: editor@vanguardngr.com, news@vanguardngr.com, letters@vanguardngr.com. Advert:advertproduction@yahoo.com Website: www.vanguardngr.com (ISSN 0794-652X) Editor: MIDENO BAYAGBON. Phone: 01-7742861, All correspondence to P.M.B. 1007, Apapa Lagos.

C M Y K

Buhari, Tinubu politicalliabilities — Jonathan  

•Says Sanni, Ahmed's withdrawal won't affect Amnesty C'ttee •Don't politicise national security,CPC tells Jonathan

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