...towards a better life for the people VOL. 25: NO. 61845
ONLINE | www.vanguardngr.com
MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
NDIC pays N90.13bn to depositors of failed banks
Axe dangles over six corrupt judges BY SONI DANIEL, REGIONAL EDITOR, NORTH
•Affected judges lobby for soft-landing
BUJA—THE days of six judges, considered to have fallen short of the standard required of them in the temple of justice, appear to be numbered as the National Judicial Council, NJC, has concluded
investigations into allegations of graft and other infractions levelled against them. They were found quilty. Although names of the affected judges were not made public, Vanguard gathered that no fewer than two of them were from appellate courts in
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US raises alarm over kidnap of expatriate in Lagos •P.9 COLUMNISTS:
DELE SOBOWALE •P.32
LES LEBA •P.40
OCHEREOME NNANNA •P. 41
Mr & Mrs
BLESSING THE PALMS—Assistant Parish Priest, Sacred Heart Catholic Church Gwagwalada, Rev.Fr. Dominic Uduak (L) blessing palm fronds during the Palm Sunday celebration in Abuja, yesterday to mark Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Inset: Pope Francis blesses the palms before a papal mass at St Peter's square at the Vatican. Photos: NAN/AFP.
ACHEBE: We 've not been informed — Kinsmen •P.8 •Dickson, Okorocha, Akunyili, others pay tributes
East West Road awarded without design, financial plan — Orubebe
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PDP—Vi ce-President Namadi Sambo (4thR)with PDP National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur (3rdR) and other members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC)), cutting the cake to celebrate the NWC 1st Year Anniversary at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, yesterday. State House Photo.
NJC: Axe dangles over six corrupt judges Continues from page 1 the country. A source familiar with the matter said: “The petitions that resulted in the investigation of the judges were lodged and looked into even before the appointment of the current Chief Justice of Nigeria. “The truth is that no action was taken in the different submissions made by the panels that probed the allegations until now.
“What it means is that the different reports prepared by the panels have just been presented to the NJC, which is expected to announce a verdict soon." But some of those likely to be hit by the development, are said to have made spirited efforts to see the CJN and plead for soft-landing without being exposed to the public, as was recently done to two corrupt judicial officers.
BY PASTOR ITUAH
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them — Maya Angelou.
TAKE HEART BY ELLA RANDLE
he best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our beingness — Nicholas Sparks Joel Osteen’s take on harmonious relationship brings to light some virtues that call for beautiful love between people in relationships. “It is important for a spouse to understand that his words have tremendous power in his wife’s life. He needs to bless her with words. She’s given her life to love and care for him, to partner with him, to create a family together. If he is always finding fault in something she’s doing, always putting her down, there will be consequences that are very unpleasant. One of the leading causes of emotional breakdowns among married women is the fact that they do not feel valued. One of the main reasons for that deficiency is because husbands are wilfully or unwittingly withholding the words of approval women need to help them unfold. If you want to see God do wonders in your marriage, or relationship, start praising your spouse. Start appreciating and encouraging her. Every single day, a husband should tell his wife, “I love you. I appreciate you. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.” A wife should do the same for her husband. Your relationship would improve immensely if you’d simply start speaking kind, positive words, blessing your spouse instead of cursing him or her.”
However, the efforts of the affected officers were said to have hit the brick wall, as the CJN has not given them or their emissaries any attention to discuss their problem with her.
Affected judges lobby for soft landing One source said: “The main problem for those trying to lobby the CJN is that she does not receive people particularly political-leaning persons so as not to be accused of taking side with any individual or group. "Have you ever heard that the CJN received any body either in her office or residence"? the source asked. It was not, however, clear as at last night when the meeting of the NJC would be held as the one slated for this month was called off during the week. Last month, the National Judicial Council announced the compulsory retirement of Justice C. E. Archibong of the Federal High Court Lagos and Justice T. D. Naron of the Plateau State High Court over allegation of corruption. The council also announced the setting up of a ‘fact-finding’ committee to probe the conduct of Justice Abubakar Talba of the FCT High Court on the controversial John Yusuf ’s Police Pension case judgment.
A statement signed by Mr. Soji Oye, the NJC’s Ag. Director of Information said the council which took the decision at its emergency meeting chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar has asked President Goodluck Jonathan and the Governor David Jonah Jang of Plateau State to immediately send the two judges on compulsory
retirement for their misconducts. Justice Archibong was recommended for compulsory retirement pursuant to the ‘Findings” by the Council on the following Complaints leveled against him: "That the Judge dismissed the grievous charges against an accused without taking his plea, that he refused to release the Certified True Copy of his Ruling to the Lawyers." Justice Archibong was also said to have issued a bench warrant on some officials of Peoples Democratic Party for contempt even when the counsel who was directed by the Court to serve them filed an affidavit that he had not been able to serve the contempt application.
He also made unfounded and caustic remarks on professional competence of some Senior Advocates of Nigeria. Justice T. D. Naron of High Court of Justice, Plateau State was recommended for compulsory retirement sequel to the ‘Findings’ by the Council that there were constant and regular voice calls and exchange of mms and sms(text) messages between him and one of the Lead Counsel for one of the parties to the Suit in the Osun State Gubernatorial Election Tribunal contrary to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria vide Section 292(1((b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
APC: ACN replies Jega, says merger plans on course BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN, POLITICAL EDITOR
AGOS—THE Ac tion Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has assured that plans towards the formation of the All Progressives Congress, APC, were still on course irrespective of reservations expressed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC that a change of name would be required. While assuring that the parties were on course, the party said that it and other parties in the merger plans were fully conscious of the legal processes involved and adhering to same. The party’s assurance was on the heel of suggestions by INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega at the weekend that the merger parties would be
required to adopt a new name upon the fact that the APC acronym had been adopted by another party seeking registration. Jega had also said that he received the notice of intention of merger from the parties only last week. Plans by three opposition parties including ACN, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC and the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP to collapse into the All Progressives Congress, APC, have lately been challenged by the aspiration of two other political associations seeking registration with the same acronym. The two other associations are the African Peoples Congress and the All Patriotic Citizens. ACN National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai
Mohammed, however, disagreed, yesterday, with Jega’s claim that the ACN only wrote to INEC of its plans for a merger last week. Mohammed said that the letter claimed by Jega as a notice of merger was actually a letter inviting the commission to their national convention where the merger process was expected to be ratified. Asserting that the process was wholly in conformity with the requirements of the law, Mohammed said that there was no reason to doubt the progress of the opposition parties towards their merger. “So, if you want your application to be considered, go and change your name because it is not possible to register three groups with the same name."
6—Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
3 policemen, 2 others killed in Tiv/Fulani conflict BY PETER DURU
AKURDI — THREE police officers and two others have been reportedly killed in a bloody conflict between Fulani herdsmen and native Tiv farmers at Anguwah village in Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State. Vanguard gathered from sources that the crisis erupted in the community on Friday afternoon after a Fulani herdsman allegedly stole the honey of a bee farmer in the village. According to our source, “unknown to the herdsman, one of the children of the bee farmer was watching him as he stole the honey from the pot and he alerted his father who confronted the Fulani man. “And because of the prolonged animosity between both parties, the situation escalated leading to killings and destruction of property and farmland,” he said. When contacted on the issue on telephone, the council chairman, Mrs Eunice Mbajwa, confirmed that the issue was initially resolved amicably but the Fulani man later mobilised his kinsmen who attacked the village around 6pm same Friday. Mbajwa who said she informed the Benue State police command of the incident, however, regretted that while the mobile policemen were on their way to the village in an Hilux vehicle in company of the security officer of the council, they were ambushed by the herdsmen who killed all the occupants of the vehicle including the three policemen. When contacted, the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Daniel Ezealo said the police had confirmed the death of two police officers, adding that the third might have been abducted. Ezeala said the command had beefed up security in the affected community while the search for the missing officer was still ongoing.
Generator fumes kill 2 inside a well in Bauchi BY SUZAN EDEH
AUCHI— RESIDENTS of Yelwa Makaranta, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis, yesterday, were thrown into mourning following the death of two middle aged men who died while working inside a well. It would be recalled that in February 12, 2012, three people lost their lives in Jahun quarters, a community in Bauchi State capital, bringing the number of victims of poisonous gas in wells to five. Vanguard gathered that the incident took place at the residence of one Alhaji Nuhu Dalhatu. According to sources, Alhaji Nuhu gave the contract of cleaning the well to one 37-year-old Ibrahim Jibrin because the well was dirty and had not been in use for two years. It was further learnt that Ibrahim called his friend, Usman Ali, age 35, to assist him through the use of a pumping machine that removes dirty water. Tragedy, however, struck when Ibrahim decided to take into the well a generator to power the pumping machine. An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity said when Ibrahim started the generator, he began to loose consciousness gradually because of its fumes and later fainted inside the well. It was further said that tension began to mount when there was no movement inside the well. The situation prompted his friend, Usman, to go inside the well to save his dying friend, despite warning from neighbours. The matter took another dimension when Usman Ali who was already bringing out Ibrahin on his shoulder, also lost consciousness and fell back into the well, which resulted to the death of the two of them. One Dan Asabe Shehu who was lucky to survive the incident also attempted going inside the well, but when he discovered that he was losing consciousness, came out swiftly and was rushed to the hospital for treatment. Men of the Bauchi Fire Service who got wind of the incident evacuated the two corpses to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital.
OKADA HARVEST: Truck-load of motor bikes (Okada) impounded by the Lagos State Governmen stop, Ejigbo, Friday. Photo: Adekunle Aliyu.
Man, 6 children feared dead in Delta boat mishap BY EMMA ARUBI
ARRI — A MIDDLE aged man, Mr. Mike Oleke, and six children of different parents were feared dead following a boat mishap involving two speed boats conveying passengers and foodstuff at the Warri river in Delta State, yesterday afternoon. One of the boats was said to be transporting passengers to some Gbaramatu communities in Warri South-West council area when the other boat said to be carrying
foodstuff allegedly ran across their boat and sank it around the Nigeria Navy Base waterfront, injuring many of the occupants. One of the occupants, Mr. Victor Mala lost three of his children to the accident while Mrs Ebobra Newman and her husband, Ometan, from Okerenkoko with their five kids also lost three of them whose corpses have since been recovered. Mr. Mike Oleke who lost his life had just completed the
introduction ceremony of his pregnant wife two weeks earlier and was said to have sustained serious injury in the boat collision. The incident which was reported at the Marine Police Unit in Warri is being investigated by the unit whose boss, Mr. Prest Udieyin said he was not competent to speak on the matter but promised that the headquarters would brief the press at the completion of investigation.
Kidnapped NTA reporter released BY DAYO JOHNSON
KURE — A NURSING mother and broadcaster with the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Akure, Ondo State, Mrs Olubunmi Oke, who was kidnapped last Thursday has been released by her abductors. This, however, was possible after her family coughed out N1 million ransom to the kidnappers who dropped her along the Benin Ore Expressway at about 11 p.m, Saturday. Bunmi, as she is fondly called by her colleagues, has since re-united with her banker husband and sixmonth-old baby girl. She has, however, been barred from granting interviews on her ordeal in the hands of her captors.
But findings by Vanguard revealed that she was driven to one of the Niger Delta states and kept in the creeks by her kidnappers. Her friends who volunteered information said she was not maltreated by the kidnappers who also sympathised with her that she is a nursing mother. Investigations had it that the kidnappers initially requested N30 million as ransom but later went down to N6 million and eventually settled for N1 million. Vanguard gathered that they settled for N1 million following appeals from the family of the nursing mother that the baby had been deprived of breast feeding for three days. It was learnt that during the negotiation, the kidnappers
heard the cry of the baby and were moved. The kidnappers, according to investigation, asked the husband of the journalist to bring the ransom to Owo and when he got there, he was asked to return to Akure. The husband was later called about 30minutes after to go to Ore where they said he would find his wife. Some security personnel and the husband later went for her only to be told by Bunmi that she was dropped in the bush and was helped by a truck driver to the expressway. Her friend said that Bunmi told them the kidnappers used her phone all through the negotiation and that they slapped her when her husband was negotiating the ransom downwards.
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Okonjo-Iweala’s mother: Police arrest palace guard BY EMMA AMAIZE
SABA — POLICE have seized a 36-yearold palace guard and suspected kidnap kingpin, alleged to have facilitated the abduction of Prof. Kamene Okonjo, mother of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, last December, in OgwashiUku, Delta State by kidnappers. Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, who confirmed the arrest of the suspect, Chiejine, to Vanguard, yesterday, said: “While the police in Delta State were after him, the Lagos State Police Command was also after him for some criminal offences, so we have handed him over to them.” He said the police did not have a hand in the Okonjo-Iweala mother kidnap until he was arrested by the police, last week, after a shootout in Edo State in connection with
nt Environment and Special Offences Enforcement Unit at Jakande Bus
Driver docked for attempted murder of Lagos judge BY ONOZURE DANIA
AGOS — A COMMERCIAL bus driver, Mr. Kasali Quadri, was arraigned, weekend, for attempting to kill a Lagos High Court judge, Justice E. Adebajo. Quadri, who has been in prison custody since March 2012, was arraigned before Justice Christopher Balogun of an Igbosere High Court sitting in Lagos. The defendant is facing a onecount charge of attempted murder proffered against him by the state. However, when the charge was
read, Quadri pleaded not guilty to the charge. The defendant’s counsel, Oludare Falana and Solomon Kehinde, both of the Falana and Falana’s Chambers, told the court that the defendant has been in detention for the past one year for a mere traffic offence. Falana said he had a bail application for Quadri and that he was prepared to argue it. Justice Balogun, however, adjourned the bail application to April 18, 2013 on the ground that he had to attend a meeting with the Chief Judge of Lagos State.
after N1m ransom According to them, the kidnappers claimed that she was taken to Delta State and that when the ransom could not be raised, they asked her to contact the national body of the Nigeria Union of Journalists,NUJ, and the state government to augment whatever the family was able to raise. In desperation, they equally called Bunmi's mother to contribute to the safety of her daughter if she didn’t want her dead. Contacted, the Police image maker, Wole Ogodo, confirmed the release of the broadcaster but said no arrest had been made, adding that he was not aware that any ransom was paid by the family of Bunmi. He assured that the police were on the trail of the kidnappers and would soon
apprehend them. It would be recalled that four gunmen kidnapped Bunmi while coming from work at about 9.30p.m. around Oba Ile area of Akure metropolis.
11 inmates break jail in Delta zPolice re-arrest 2, difuse bomb BY AUSTIN OGWUDA
SABA —ELEVEN inmates at Government Remand Home, Sapele in Delta State have escaped after successfully cutting the iron bars, even as a bomb was difused from a residential building. State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Famous Ajieh, confirmed the two different incidents in a release in Asaba, yesterday. According to him, “on February 24, 2013 at about 0830 hours, one Lucky Egbelughe, male, a senior staff of Sapele Remand Home reported at Sapele police station that on the same date at about 0100 hours, 11 inmates escaped from the Remand Home by cutting the iron bars fence. “However, on March 18, 2013, at about 1700 hours, two of the escapees, one Junior Akudo, male, and Green Glory, male, all aged 20 years were re-arrested at Warri by policemen from ‘A’ Division, Warri. “The suspects were members of a notorious
criminal gang terrorizing Warri and environs and were remanded at Sapele Remand Home by a magistrate court, Warri before their escape." On the bomb scare, the PPRO said: “On March 19, 2013 at about 0900 hours, a female resident at New World City Ugbuwange Warri reported at ‘A’ Division police Station, Warri that on the same date at about 0845 hours her son noticed an object suspected to be Improvised Explosive Device, IED, planted by unknown persons in one of the rooms on the first floor of her four-storey building. “On receipt of the report, a team of antibomb squad from Area Command and policemen from ‘A’ Division Warri rushed to the scene. The said object was confirmed to be IED and was successfully difused by the anti-bomb squad. "Meanwhile, the area has been placed under close surveillance with a view to tracking down the culprits,” the statement added.
3 kids die over alleged water pollution in Bayelsa BY EMMA AMAIZE
Mrs Olubunmi Oke
the death of 71-year-old Mrs. Regina Obi after collecting N2 million ransom from her family. Police shot dead one of the suspected kidnappers and arrested four others in separate operations in Benin City and Ogwashi-Uku Aduba said the suspect, who worked in the palace as a guard, confessed he was the one that brought the kidnappers to the palace to kidnap Prof. Okonjo. He said Chiejine’s house in Ogbe-Ofu quarters, Ogwashi-Uku was demolished when it was confirmed he was a kidnapper. Aduba stressed the need for people to be careful of the kind of people they employ as guards, saying: “This is the problem we have now, for practically every kidnap, there is an inside factor. Chiejine is very close to them in the palace and he is the one that brought the kidnappers.”
ENAGOA — THREE teenagers have died in Lotugbene community in Bayelsa State after allegedly drinking water from a river polluted by the rig operation of an oil company in the area. The affected children, Osumayin Eniye, 7 years; Kpegbolo Oyadonbenfa, 5 years and Boroyegha, 10 years, supposedly died of cholera after vomiting and stooling for a while. The river is the only source of drinking water to the community. Irate chiefs, elders and youth leaders of the community have consequently handed down a seven-day ultimatum to the company to quit the area. A source said the quality of water in Lotugbene was affected since October 6, 2011 when the oil company started drilling a rig
and allegedly polluted the entire river in the process. Leaders of the community, Chief Noel Babazouwei, Wilfred Ikere and Isaac lamented that efforts to reach the oil company, which they accused of forcefully encroaching on Tinpa AOPL282 location proved abortive, as the company had remained incommunicado. They said they had written to the Presidency, National Assembly, Governor Henry Dickson of Bayelsa State and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs on their plight, but no respite yet. The community, however, said it was disposed to dialogue with the company within the seven days, but if the company ignored the ultimatum, then, it could not guarantee the safety of the firm's officials in the area.
8—Vanguard , MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
BY OUR REPORTERS
GIDI, the headquarters of Idemili North local government area of Anambra State and home town of deceased literary giant, Professor Chinua Achebe, was quiet, yesterday, even as members of his kindred said they would convene a meeting this week to formally announce his death to the people. Achebe’s country home, which was under lock last week, was open, yesterday, and few people were seen in mournful mood. According to one of the elders in the area, Achebe was a member of the traditional cabinet of the town, adding that though they believed what they read in the media that he was dead, they were still waiting for his children to formally inform them of their father’s death as the custom of Ogidi demanded to kick-start the burial ceremony. Meanwhile, a large stream of tributes continued to flow for the legendary author and poet, who died on Friday in Boston, United States of America. Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson said he and Bayelsa citizenry would continue to draw inspiration from Achebe, whom he described as an acclaimed writer, activist, unblemished and strong advocate of a better Nigeria Commiserating with the government and people of Anambra State as well as the immediate family of literary icon, Dickson, in a tribute, eulogized Achebe for his towering legacies and accomplishments as a world acclaimed writer and activist. “Through his creative and intellectual disposition as epitomized in his many literary presentations, many people around the world have come to recognize the reputation of Nigeria as not only a giant in itself, but also a nation of giants in many fields of human endeavour. As a government, as a state and as a people, we will continue to draw inspiration from your wonderful legacies, accomplishments and deep-rooted conviction and vision for an egalitarian Nigeria,” he said. Anambra State Chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Chris Eluomuno said Nigeria and the literary world had lost a great man. He said Ohanaeze would issue a statement on the death of Achebe after due consultations. The senator representing Anambra South, Dr. Andy Ubah, in a tribute said Nigeria had lost a great mind, adding that his life and time would continue to be a source of inspiration to humanity. Chairman of the Board of Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism,WSCIJ, Prof. Ropo Sekoni, said the death of Achebe is a major loss to humanity. “Achebe was a man who brought colonial Africa into the consciousness of the modern world. He was a man of his words, who stood for the truth and by his race. He did his best to shot the Igbo race into the intellectual limelight. The books he wrote: ‘Things Fall Apart’ and ‘Arrow of God’ are the kind of master pieces generations will read for so
Achebe: We've not been informed — Kinsmen zDickson, Okorocha, Akunyili, Senators, ACN, NLC, others pay tributes many centuries.”
Immortalise his legacy with democracy, good governance – Ikokwu
Second Republic politician and one of the founders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Guy Ikokwu, described Achebe as “an African literary and arts icon of great reputation. He is one of the few black writers whose works had been translated into over 50 languages and read by the young and old generations in countries with different cultural backgrounds. “As a renowned author and novelist his first work in 1958 was Things Fall Apart which is read in schools and homes to this day. Leaders who want to understand the cultural transformation in Africa read this book and his other works. American Presidents and British Prime Ministers like Carter, Clinton, Wilson and Blair read his works to understand Africa better. African leaders like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nelson Mandela, Sedar Senghor, Nyerere and Kenneth Kaunda and millions of African children are abreast with his works which include No Longer at Ease and Arrow of God, while his latest work an auto biography with the background of the Biafran Civil War in Nigeria – There was a Country – re-launched him into the diversity of past and present day Nigeria. “Like Soyinka and other distinguished writers and intellectuals Achebe was noted over the decades for his odious of militarism and bad governance in Nigerian and Africa. He rejected several offers by the Nigerian government for national honours and awards. He will be physically missed but his works will continue to enrich the African culture and academy, but the greatest tribute to his legacy will be democracy and good governance. "The Federal and state governments should immortalize Achebe for his glorious achievements for Africa and Nigerians should mourn his demise.”
Okorocha, Imo speaker, cleric speak Governor Rochas Okorocha, Speaker Benjamin Uwajumogu, and Catholic cleric, Monsignor Theophilus Okere, said Achebe’s death was not only a blow to Ndigbo and the country but also the international community of writers and academics. Okorocha said: “Achebe’s
Late Chinua Achebe and Shehu Sani, at the Achebe colloquium held at Providence, Rhode Island, on December 8, 2012.
death has created a wide vacuum in the literary world”, adding that his internationally acclaimed literary works, constructive criticism and uncompromising war against social malpractices would not be forgotten in a hurry. Monsignor Okere said Achebe was a trail blazer who probably did not know the epic level his Things Fall Apart would hit. Similarly, the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Mr. Benjamin Uwajumogu, said Achebe’s death was a huge loss to lovers of knowledge. “Professor Chinua Achebe was the professor of professors and a foremost social crusader of our time. With his death, things have finally fallen apart,” Uwajumogu said.
I’ve lost a personal hero – Akunyili
Former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, said she had lost her hero. In a statement by her special assistant (Media), Mr. Isaac Umunna, she said: “Chinua Achebe was not only from my state Anambra, he was also one of my heroes and role models right from my days at the University of Nigeria Nsukka where he taught. “I therefore feel a deep sense of personal loss by his death. It is like losing a part of me. Prof. Achebe’s death leaves a void not only in Nigeria and Africa but globally because he is one of the best novelists the world has ever produced,” she said.
Let’s imbibe his virtues – Ashafa
Senator Gbenga Bareehu Ashafa, (ACN, Lagos East),
said the death of Professor Achebe is a colossal loss to Nigeria, in particular, and the world in general, saying that the best way to immortalize him is to imbibe his great virtues. In his condolence, Ashafa said: “Achebe was an embodiment of great values most Nigerians crave for, an exemplary character. Let us celebrate him. The best way to immortalize him is to imbibe his virtues and what he stood for. He died when he was most needed in fortifying the Nigeria project. Achebe could be put in the class of Williams Shakespeare, former President of US, J.F Kennedy, among other great men of the world”.
NLC, NUTGTWN pay tributes
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, said the world had lost a global literary and cultural icon, a foremost nationalist and father of African literature. In a statement by its Acting President, Comrade Promise Adewusi, the NLC said Chinua Achebe “set the tone and direction of African literature, capturing in the process the total African experience: from precolonial and colonial periods through decolonisation and its discontents to national ferments, disillusionment and alienation. Although better known for his novels, Achebe was an unusual master craftsman who distinguished himself in all the genres of literature. He was an essayist, poet, playwright and critic, who was unrelenting in his criticism against injustice, oppression, corruption and other vices in the society. He captivated the world with his simple narrative as well
as inspired generations of African writers who took pride in their cultures". Also, the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, described the late Achebe as an upbeat patriot and a pan-African optimist at a time it was risky and unpopular to do so, saying Chinua Achebe almost singlehandedly liberated Africa culturally.
Achebe is a global icon — ACN
Also the ACN paid a glowing tribute to Achebe, describing him as a global icon for all time and an outstanding Nigerian brand. In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party described Achebe’s death as a monumental loss not only to Nigeria but also to the entire world. It said that apart from his rarefied achievements in the literary field and his scholarly excellence, Prof. Achebe was a nationalist, not minding the controversy generated by his last book, "There was a country,’’ hence the prominence given to the news of his death by newspapers and other media organisations across the country. "Prof. Achebe’s nationalist and democratic credentials were unassailable. He loved Nigeria with a passion and used the platform offered by his global exposure to call attention, time and again, to the years of misrule in his homeland, which must have left a gaping hole in his heart till he breathed his last. "Prof. Achebe stuck to his calling all through his life, and yet achieved a global acclaim. Less Continues on page 52
Vanguard , MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013—9
Expatriate kidnapped in Lagos A
N expatriate has been kidnapped in Lagos, the US consulate said yesterday, but no further details were immediately available. A US consulate spokeswoman did not reveal the nationality of the victim.
Such incidents are rare in Lagos, though kidnappings for ransom occur regularly in the southern oilproducing Niger Delta region and Islamist extremists have carried out abductions in the north. “The US Consulate Gen-
eral in Lagos received a report that an expatriate was kidnapped on Victoria Island on Saturday, March 23 at approximately 11 pm,” the consulate said in a message to US citizens, referring to an upscale area of Lagos.
VISIT—Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (2nd right) with members of the Lagos State Government Nollywood Upgrade Project, Mr Kunle Afolayan (left), Deputy Chief of Staff, Ms Moji Rhodes (2nd left), Nigerian Movies Producer and Internationally Acclaimed Filmmaker, Tunde Kelani (right) and Managing Director, National Film Development Corporation Limited, NFDC, Nina Lath Gupta (middle) during a visit to the Indian National Film Development Corporation in Mumbai, India.
“Nigerian law enforcement confirmed this incident.” Police in Lagos, the economic capital of the nation's could not be reached for comment. Victims of kidnappings in the Niger Delta and other areas of the south are usually released unharmed after payment of ransoms. Abductions in Nigeria’s north have however had deadly results. Islamist extremist group, Ansaru, recently claimed to have executed seven foreign hostages. In addition, a British national and an Italian were killed during a botched 2012 rescue operation, as was a German the same year. Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram is believed to currently be holding seven members of a French family abducted over the border in Cameroon.
Ogun govt delists Tai Solarin varsity BY DAUD OLATUNJI
BEOKUTA—INDI CATION has emerged that Ogun State government may have delisted the first University of Education, Tai Solarin University of Education, TASUED, from the list of its tertiary institutions. Vanguard gathered that the government removed TASUED from the list of state-owned tertiary institutions as contained in the 2013 diary of the state. In the diary, the State government listed six stateowned tertiary institutions; Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye; Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ojere, Abeokuta; Ogun State Institute of Technology, Igbesa, Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu, College of Health Technology, Ilese and Gateway Industrial and Petro-Gas Institute, Oni. It would be recalled that the state government had last year announced its plan to convert TASUED, Ijagun, to an institute under the Faculty of Education at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye which was widely condemned by stakeholders.
NMA raises alarm over rising cases of TB BY CHIOMA OBINNA & VICTORIA OJEME
IGERIA Medical As sociation, NMA, yesterday, raised alarm over the rising cases of Tuberculosis, TB, in the country, saying that Nigeria had the highest population of people living with tuberculosis in Africa. This came as the World Health Organisation, WHO, alerted on the possible widespread of Multi – Drug Resistance Tuberculosis. The President of the NMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, in a statement to mark this year’s World Tuberculosis Day, said Kano, Oyo and Benue states had the highest prevalence while Ekiti and Bayelsa states had the least number of TB cases in the country.
According to WHO Global Report on TB in 2012, Nigeria also has the highest burden of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in the continent. The report further showed that 27,000 out of 190,000 Nigerians who were diagnosed with the disease in 2011 died while 84,263 new cases were reported in 2012. According to Enabulele; “Government and other stakeholders must wake up to the reality that Nigeria has the highest TB burden in Africa and 10th largest in the world. TB deaths are unacceptable. The pain is further aggravated by the realisation that TB is a preventable and easily curable disease if simple public health regulations, hygiene practices and treatment guidelines are strictly adhered to.”
Sack of workers: NLC threatens Aero Contractors BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
IGERIA Labour Con gress, NLC, weekend, threatened to confront management of Aero Contractors Airlines should it fail to recall purportedly sacked workers of the company. NLC in a statement by its Acting General Secretary, Emma Ugboaja, said “We are surprised that despite opportunities provided by the existence of vibrant, well informed, mature and responsible trade unions in the aviation sector, the management of Aero Contractors decided to ignore all available industrial relations mechanisms by dismissing over 655 employees of the company and locked out the workforce
since March 13, 2013. Before the management carried out these ill informed actions, they had approached the National Industrial Court for an injunction that will provide the management an opportunity to take anti-workers decisions without consultation with the unions, the National Union of Air Transport Employees and the Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria. “The intention of the management is to circumscribe workers rights to belong to the unions as well as casualise the workforce. These are totally unacceptable to us and we will do everything possible to defend the rights of the workers".
NIU elects Ojukwu as chairman
NEWI Improvement Union, NIU, Lagos, has elected Chief Debe Sylvester Odumegwu Ojukwu, the custodian of Ojukwu family estate, its new Chairman. He is also the PresidentGeneral of Umudim Nnewi Development Association. In his acceptance speech, he promised to actualize the Nnewi multi-purpose hall project, improve upon the scholarship scheme, empower the widows and urged citizens of Nnewi in
diaspora to think home in all they do. Others elected along with him in a recent election were Mr Ogochukwu Austin Okafor (Vicechairman), Ik Okoye, (Secretary), Emma Uzochukwu (Assistant Secretary), Christopher Okonkwo (Financial Secretary), Geoffrey Nwosu (Social Secretary), Mr.Ononuju Okeke (Treasurer) and Ifeanyi Okeke (Publicity Secretary).
10—Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
Mainstreet gets ultimatum on staff entitlements BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
BUJA—ASSOCIATION of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI, has given onemonth ultimatum to the management of Mainstreet Bank Ltd, to settle the entitlements of its sacked workers, warning that failure to do so would attract the wrath of the association. Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in August 5, 2011, had nationalised Afribank Nigeria Plc, Bank PHB and Spring Bank Plc and subsequently set up three bridge banks, Mainstreet Bank, Keystone Bank and Enterprise Bank with all assets and certain liabilities duly transferred to the new banks, respectively. ASSBIFI, in a statement issued in Abuja, weekend, claimed as the newly set up banks were harmonising and consolidating their functions, the management of Mainstreet Bank rationalised some of its senior members without following the due process as set out by the industrywide Collective Agreement.
ELEBRATION of the 26th coronation anniversary of the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II (CON), begins May 1. In a statement after a meeting at the Olu’s palace in Warri, Dr. E. Tetsola, Oluebajaje of Warri, Chairman, Coronation Anniversary Planning Committee; and Mr. Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, Chairman, Sub-Committee on Publicity, said all arrangements for the celebration were in top gear.
Ogiame Atuwatse II.
BY OLA AJAYI
BADAN—SOUTH-WEST zone of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, weekend, dismissed growing insinuations of feud between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, saying the rumoured misunderstanding between the duo was a mere ruse. PDP South-West, in a statement by its Zonal Publicity Secretary, Waheed Lawal, said: “The alleged feud between Tukur and Obasanjo is a figment of people’s imagination. "We visited former President Olusegun Obasanjo before the town hall meeting held with the national chairman of the party in Ibadan. “Obasanjo welcomed us and provided us dinner. It was after this that we planned the zonal meeting. The notification that we gave for the meeting was three days.” He maintained that the meeting was fixed for Ibadan and not Obasanjo’s residence because some members might not find it convenient.
LAUNCH: From left— Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, Oba Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi, Olowo of Owo, and Oba Okunade Sijuade, Ooni of Ife, at the presentation and launch of Olowo's autobiography entitled The Wilderness of Life, in Owo.
PDP debunks report of Obasanjo/Tukur feud
The party said: “Obasanjo hardly attends meetings of such nature as a result of his tight schedule and international engagements. We used to hold such meetings in his house. But
this time, we wanted to bring everybody together so that some would not say that they could not come. “We can give those who did not attend benefit of the
doubt. Perhaps, the notice was too short, perhaps, they had other engagements. It is a continuous process. People that were hitherto not been talking are now coming
FG, health workers reach agreement BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
EDERAL Government and workers in Federal hospitals and other institutions have resolved the protracted industrial disputes between the workers and government, thereby averting the sector’s looming industrial unrest. Five unions in the health sector, operating under Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, on March 18, issued a 15-day ultimatum to Federal Government over non-implementation of May 10, 2012 Collective Agreement, among others. However, at a meeting called by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr. Emeka Wogu, and attended by officials of the
Federal Ministry of Health, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, and JOHESU, agreement was reached. According to the agreement, “on non-implementation of May 10, 2012 Collective Agreement, the meeting noted that JOHESU had declared a nine-point trade dispute. “Four of the points in dispute were referred to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, NICN, while the remaining were to be implemented by the Federal Ministry of Health. “It was noted that while NICN had accorded due diligence and importance to the case by constituting a three-man panel, the Federal Ministry of Health Legal representatives were not keeping up with the expectation of JOHESU on the speedy prosecution of the case."
Daniel mourns Obadare, Adegbite, Akinnola
ORMER Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, weekend,has said with the demise of Pastor Timothy Obadare, Dr. Samuel Adegbite and Chief Bayo Akinnola, Yorubaland had lost three illustrious sons, who had contributed immensely to the development of Yorubaland, Nigeria and humanity. Daniel, who spoke in Sagamu, said: “Dr Adegbite was a distin-
guished banker, who nurtured different generations of bankers, while Akinnola was a committed industrialist, who sat on the board of several companies and promoted indigenous entrepreneurship. “Pa Obadare was a fine example of the doggedness of the human spirit. "He carried the gospel of Christ to different parts of the world and showed that a leader could rise above bigotry and discrimination.”
together to talk.” As part of the reconciliation efforts, the statement added that after the town hall meeting, the committee would begin senatorial meeting.
Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013—11
Pope Francis, Archbishop Welby flag off Holy Week
JTF, Police nab 12 suspected cultists in Delta zWe're not cult members —Suspects
ONTIFF of the over P 1.2 billion-strong Catholic Church, Pope Francis
and the newly commissioned Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Justin Welby who heads about 77 million Anglicans in the world, yesterday flagged activities marking the beginning of the Holy Week. While Pope Francis celebrated the occasion at the St. Peter ’s Square at the Vatican urging Christians to lead simple lives, his Anglican counterpart who was inaugurated last Thursday marked his first Palm Sunday at the Canterbury Cathedral where he enjoined Christians to love one another. Joined by an overflowing crowd waving palm fronds and olive branches comprising about 250,000 tourists, pilgrims and other faithful, Pope Francis told an offthe-cuff story from his childhood growing up in Argentina. “My grandmother used to say, ‘children, burial shrouds don’t have pockets,’” the pontiff said in the report, conveying the message that “ you can’t take it with you.” Wearing bright red robes over a white cassock, Francis touched on his Jesuit background as he spoke of Palm Sunday. He presided over the mass at an altar covered by a white canopy on the steps of St. Peter ’s Basilica, the report said. The Sunday before Easter marks Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem which, Francis said, “awakened so many hopes in the heart, above all among humble, simple, poor, forgotten people, those who don’t matter in the eyes of the world.” Since his election earlier this month, Francis has focused his papacy ’s message on the downtrodden and poor. Also keeping with his semi-unscripted style, he left his prepared homily several times to exhort the crowd to embrace simple living. Christian joy “isn’t born from possessing a lot of things but from having met” Jesus, the 76-year-old pontiff said in his homily. Similarly, hundreds of Anglicans defied the bitter cold to besiege Canterbury Cathedral as a smiling new Archbishop Welby entered the west door accompanied by the Dean of Canterbury, the Very Revd Robert Willis and the Bishop of Dover, the Rt. Revd Trevor Willmott for the Palm Sunday service. The service was entitled ‘Our Journey into Holy week’, and several persons gave their individual testimonies of what the week ahead would mean for them. Archbishop Justin said that Holy Week was a time “to journey together ” and to “say yes to the invitation” to be partners in Christ’s mission and plan for the world.
BY FESTUS AHON GHELLI—MEN of the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, and the Police in Ughelli, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, weekend, arrested 12 suspected cult members in the area. The police said they swooped on the suspects during their meeting, following a tip off. When interviewed, one of the suspects, (name withheld) said they were not members of secret society, adding; “The Neo Black Movement of Africa, NBM, which we belong to, is a registered and recognised non-governmental organisation in Nigeria and beyond and is not a secret society. We were meeting in view of the forthcoming Easter." Briefing newsmen, the Ughelli Police Area Commander, Mr. Awosola Awotinde, said the operation was jointly carried out by the Police, JTF and the local vigilante, adding that the suspects were rounded up at
their meeting venue. Noting that there was no exchange of gun fire between the suspects and security agents, he
said: “We got a call that cult members were meeting, so my men, in conjunction with the JTF and our local vigilan-
te immediately swung into action and the suspects were arrested and brought to the police station.”
FUNERAL AND THANKSGIVING SERVICE: From left: Obong Rita Akpan, a former minister of the federation; Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Lady Valerie Ebe; the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Obong Ufot Ekaette, and wife, Senator Eme Ekaette, at the funeral and thanksgiving service for late Chief Bassey Ndiokho, at Mkpok, ONNA L.G.A, weekend.
Fresh crisis rocks Psychiatric Hospital in Edo DESOPADEC BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
ENIN—FRESH crisis is brewing at Uselu Psychiatric Hospital in Benin City, Edo State, as the Senior Staff Association of the hospital, weekend, accused the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Sunday Olotu, of alleged refusal to give a written approval to some officials of the union, who were invited by Department of State Security, DSS, in the state. Legal Adviser to the union, Mr. Kelvin Okafor, in a statement, alleged that the CMD had refused to grant permission to the chairman and secretary of the union, Mr.
Kennedy Oriakhi and Mr. Theophilus Osifo, respectively, in order to paint them in bad light before the DSS. But reacting, spokesman of the CMD, Mr. Efe Stewart, described the allegation as untrue, adding that the management of the hospital had not received any formal letter from the union members for permission, neither had it received any letter from DSS. He described the union officials as “mischief makers,” who, he said, want to make things difficult for the management of hospital. The union, however, insisted that Dr. Olotu only gave a verbal approval and had declined
a written permission despite the written request sent to him by the union leaders. “Members of the union are law abiding citizens without skeleton in their closets and are, therefore, prepared to honour the invitation if only the management will issue them requisite written approvals to do so. “It is, therefore, curious that the management of the hospital is refusing or neglecting to issue the aforementioned members of the union the requisite approval to honour the invitation by the security agency in line with the Public Service Rules,” the union said.
Rivers House wades into RSUST crisis BY EGUFE YAFUGBORHI
ORT HARCOURT— RIVERS State House of Assembly has intervened in the crisis rocking Rivers State University of Science and Technology, RSUST, Port Harcourt, following the alleged hard stance of the management of the university over late tuition fees payment by students. It will be recalled that tension had risen when the school authorities insisted that students who defaulted in early payment of school fees would repeat the 2011/2012 academ-
ic session to deter growing preference for late payment by the students. Following last Thursday’s protest by the students, the state House of Assembly had called for calm, assuring of its resolve to settle the matter amicably. Chairman, House Committee on Education of the state Assembly, Mr. Austin Ngor, told Vanguard, weekend, that appreciable progress had been made in resolving the matter. A meeting was hosted by the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Barineme Fakae and other top management with leader of the House, Mr. Chidi Lloyd, who led a delegation of lawmakers.
Ngor said: “Already, management has set up a committee to revisit the matter. We also resolved to get all affected students listed and their complaints categorised, so that management could open its registration portal on its website for those with genuine cases to register and get their results to avoid having some students repeating an entire session. “Not all the students were satisfied with the outcome of the meeting. Some needed to hear a quick fix measure, like assuring that the registration site had been opened with immediate effect, but I think we can build on it gradually to resolved the matter in the interest of the students.”
boosts sanitation in Warri South LG BY DANIEL GUMM
ARRI—IN his effort to boost environmental sanitation in the council, Transition Committee Chairman of Warri South Local Government Area, Dr. Augustine Uroye, has taken delivery of two waste disposal vehicles and a one-wheel loader, donated by Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC. The Warri South council chairman described the gesture as a glaring example of what government should be like. Uroye promised to always partner DESOPADEC and thanked the state government for establishing the commission, adding that everyone in Warri South council would be positively affected in the area of environmental sanitation as a result of the waste disposal vehicles and wheel loader. Handing over the wheel loader on behalf of the Chairman of DESOPADEC, Mr. Oritsua Kpogho, the commission’s Director, Industrial Promotion and Investment, Toju Emiko, explained that the wheel loader was to assist authorities of the council in their waste disposal efforts.
12—Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
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Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013—13
14—Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
Condolence visit to late Chief Akinnola's family, in Ibadan
From left: Mrs. Busola Oduntan, Mrs. Olufunmi Akinnola, wife of the deceased and Mrs. Gloriastiene Agboola, during the visit of sympathisers to the family of late Chief Bayo Akinnola, in Ibadan, yesterday. Photos: Dare Fasube
Mr. Muyiwa Ige, Osun State Commissioner for Works, signing the condolence register
From left: Mrs. Kate Delano, Prof. O. O. Oyeniran and Mrs. Stella Mar- From left: Mr. Muyiwa Ige, Chief Bamidele Aiku, SAN; Chief Kola Bamgbelu inho. and Prof. Jide Desalu, during the condolence visit.
East West Road awarded without design, financial plan — Orubebe BY EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
B U J A — MINISTER of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, weekend shocked House of Representatives Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Finance and State & and Local Government with a revelation that the East-West road was awarded without design, due process and financial plan. He made this declaration at the concluding session of the joint committee’s investigative hearing into the mandate and implementation of Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme SURE-P. Dakuku Peterside, Chairman of the Committee, described the entire process as not only illconceived but also wondered if the Federal Government actually intended to execute the project in the first place. According to Peterside, the East-West road is the most important road in the region but unfortunately, the government chose a poor response to C M Y K
the urgent infrastructural need of the people of the South-South. ”The road has, therefore, not made progress because it is not properly funded,” Peterside said. However, the minister debunked insinuations that government was playing politics with the road, disclosing that government planned to complete the project but
was hindered by paucity of funds. He explained that with the intervention of SURE-P, the ministry quickly did a design and a financial plan that had significantly improved work on the road. So far, SURE-P has released a total of N21.7 billion to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for the project.
Lawyers give INEC 30 days ultimatum to register APC BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
BUJA — A group of le gal practitioners, under the umbrella of Lawyers in Defence of Democracy and Constitutionalism, has given a 30-day ultimatum to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to register African Peoples Congress as a political party in the country or face legal action. The legal practitioners claimed that African Peoples Congress, which is one of the political associations claiming ownership of the acronym, APC, had fulfilled all the constitutional requirements to be recognised and registered by INEC.
In a solidarity visit to the leadership of APC at its headquarters in Abuja, yesterday, leader of the lawyers, Mr. Kevin Nnadi, said going by the investigations of the group, African Peoples Congress had complied with the provisions of Section 78 of the Electoral Act and Section 222 of the 1999 Nigeria Constitution as amended. Nnadi said it was the stand of his group that if the African Peoples Congress were denied registration after 30 days, “It is our position that lawyers gathered here today will render our services pro bono to APC.”
Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013—15
PALM SUNDAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY Christians across Nigeria joined the rest of the world in celebrating Palm Sunday in commemoration of Jesus Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, yesterday. PHOTOS: Abayomi Adeshida, Olu Ajayi, Biodun Ogunleye & Lamidi Bamidele.
ASO CHAPEL: From left— President Goodluck Jonathan, Guest Preacher; Ven. Obioma Onwuzurumba, Chaplain, Aso Villa Chapel; Prof. Chinedu Nebo, Minister for Power, at Aso Villa Chapel, Abuja.
PAPAL: Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday Mass at St. Peter’s Square, Vatican. AP
KADUNA: From left— Rev. James Fadason, Rev. Joseph Adeniyi, Mr. Elijah Fasawe, Peoples Warden; Very Venerable Samuel Nwaeze, Cathedral Provost, and Mr. John Baba, at The Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Kaduna. ENUGU: Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Awkwunan-
LAGOS: Celestial Church of Christ, Manna Parish, celebrating in Mushin.
KADUNA: Bolaji Fasawe riding on a donkey
at St. Michael's Cathedral, Kaduna.
LAGOS: Saviour's African Church Cathedral,
Agege. C M Y K
LAGOS: All Saints' Anglican Church, Ojuelegba, Surulere.
ABUJA: Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Gwag-
16 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
THIEVES have taken over parts of Kaduna, Katsina and Zamfara States. The police and governments of those States have conceded that part of the country to marauders and they have no shame in confessing there is no solution to a situation that shows that plays up the insecurity in the country. Each time the marauders strike, they operate without let. They arrive on time, the people know them, the traditional rulers are in mortal fear of them. When they are operating they take anything they want, including food and money. The group that comprises about 100 armed men has become a feature of Birnin Gwari whose emir Alhaji Zubairu Jibril II, ran to Kaduna for succour. He got none. Policemen have been killed, their stations burnt, inmates released and ATM machines blown up. Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, listened to the emir’s cries, “The entire Birnin Gwari Emirate has been overtaken by armed robbers. Unless the state government takes a drastic step towards arresting the situation, it will come to a point
Where Thieves Reign where the villagers will be forced to abandon the community. The armed bandits have taken over our land.” These cries of desperation would have been unnecessary if governments were fulfilling their obligations to the people. The most important of these is security. Without security, it is more challenging to tackle other areas that can improve the lives of the people. How were the people supposed to take the reaction of the governor? “This is a serious problem indeed. But it is a responsibility of the three states that share boundaries with Birnin Gwari. I want to assure the Emir that this administration would do everything
humanly possible to assist the community. I urge you to enjoin your subjects to pray to God for a lasting solution”. Hours after the emir laid his pleas, Birnin Gwari was raided, visited with the same venom that the marauders unleash whenever they arrive. Would the governor blame the people of Birnin Gwari for not praying enough? When did prayers become the substitute for government’s constitutional role of providing security? Birnin Gwari, like so many outer parts of the country where presence of security agencies is minimal, and governments’ indifference to the security of areas that do not produce core minerals on which the economy runs, makes the case for state police stronger. If states that harbour Birnin Gwari had their own security arrangements, they would have been in a better position to deal with the matter. Authorities in Kaduna sound like the constitution-promised welfare and security of the people as the primary purpose of government excludes the peoples of Birnin Gwari. It is bizarre.
OPINION BY ABDULLAHI GARBA
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, like any leader, means different things to different people but there is one view that we all share: He is not a chip off the old block of Nigerian leaders. His background in scholarship and service as well as his humble disposition in high office combine to give him a fresh and distinct presidential personality like none of his predecessors in power. After a series of past leaders from the military changed the character of and perception of governance from civil to martial, a lot of people tend to associate a president with the so-called no-nonsense bone-faced arrogance of an army general. Or the boisterous bellicosity of an eccentric retired general. Our previous presidents have generally come on board with baggage of reputations. Like the unforeseen nature of his emergence as President, Jonathan has come to personify the supremacy of divine will over human machinations in the journey of life. His humble background attracted low public perception while his apparent aloofness to the exigencies of power politics contrasted with the ambitious posturing and plotting of former presidents in the making. This was truly not the typical Nigerian political leader we have known. President Jonathan did not make any bones about his “local” origins and the poverty of his C M Y K
GEJ: Down to earth, up and doing childhood to which he often referred. His most remarkable personal feat has been his ability to ward off the perverse influence of the perks of power and devious courtiers. He has maintained functional cordiality with his Vice, Namadi Sambo and his cabinet members by consistently acting contrary to the cynical expectations of detractors and keeping a very cool head under his “resource control” bowler hat long after others have lost theirs to overheating. Even as Commander-inChief, you won’t catch President Jonathan flaunting authority or engaging in pompous excesses of speech and conduct. He is also quite at home with relentless criticisms from jaundiced journalists and prejudiced politicians, among other nuisances, preferring to let everyone be without succumbing to the tempting urge to “show dem”. Freedom of expression and association reigned unhindered during his presidency with positive impact on the bustling democratic dispensation in the country. Such an unprecedented environment for human rights to thrive has, however, not been sustained at the expense of the unambiguous authority and high sense of responsibility for public good, national stability, peace and progress of Nigeria
vested in the President. All the mischievous murmuring about the President’s capacity to govern effectively and assert his authority boldly have been muted in the face of a confident and competent containment of the explosively destabilizing insurgency launched by the Boko Haram group. This national security initiative was progressively executed by the military forces following the full empowerment strategy directed and supported sufficiently by Mr President. It was a uniquely seamless operational onslaught that brought together all wings of the security and armed forces to engage and overwhelm the insurgents. The unassuming but firm and focussed stance of the President is considered pivotal to the unflinching loyalty of the military high command as it was accorded top priority in funding, equipment and modernization for operational efficiency and high morale.
he President has also tirelessly ventured out to make the country’s presence felt in the international arena and to make the case for increased cooperation and vigilance in halting the widespread organised and armed threats to the peace and security of sovereign states now raging in Africa. President
Jonathan has repeatedly drawn attention to the worrying influx of small arms and other weapons through clandestine supply chains involving international outlaws and advocated concerted action to deal with the menace. At the same time, the President spared no effort to maintain Nigeria’s influential status in Africa and the sub-region as well as its partnership role in several international programmes and operations. We must now factor in the steady and systematic tackling of the nation’s longstanding problems in the power, petroleum and infrastructure sectors in particular where we are at last witnessing significant positive transformations such as the increased electricity generation and supply, resuscitation and modernization of national rail networks, enhancement of emergency management capacity, upgrading of aviation facilities and reconstruction of federal roads, among others. We realise that President Jonathan is comparatively more effective in overseeing the affairs of the country without turning himself into a power conscious emperor. We now have welcome evidence of a better and more beneficial approach to leadership coming from the best president Nigeria should have had long ago.
*Mr. Garba , a commnetator on national issues, wrote from Abuja.
Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013—41
projects in their constituencies, which appears to justify the perception that the “stealing” is still going on. Otherwise, where do they get the money from? At the same time, I believe that there is a lot more corruption in the Executive and the Judiciary than the Legislature, and the awareness of this is responsible for the volatility in society manifesting in terrorism, kidnapping, violent robberies, oil thievery, pipeline vandalism, killings for money rituals and cultism among the youth.
The children are watching in our body so nobody should pretend.” A smartypant, eh? But look at that drivel about all Nigerians being criminals, with senators taking a direct hit. Criminals also watch television and read newspapers, so they are watching the leaders. They have moral alibis to justify their life of crime, but it does
Democratic Republic of Congo). According to Martin Meredith in his book: The Fate of Africa, A History of Fifty Years of Independence, “Mobutu himself relied on corruption to hold the system together and to keep himself in power. Moreover, he publicly condoned it. “If you steal do not steal too much at a time, you may be arrested”, he told party delegates. “Yibana mayele – steal cleverly, little by little”. Even though the brazen corruption in the National Assembly during the Olusegun Obasanjo years (often fuelled by frequent briberies from the Presidency) has apparently dropped, the legislators are still seen as the flagship of bribery and corruption. It
N old adage says when the mother goat chews the cud her kids always watch. They know that one day soon they will no longer be fed on mother ’s milk. To survive as goats they will have to forage and chew the cud. Leaders in Nigeria either do not know or care whether they are being watched by us followers. They think we are fools or can be fooled forever. Even a fool soon gets wise when fooled several times. As Dr. Michael Okpara would say: “First fool no be fool. Na second fool be proper foolish”. I used to live in a small estate of eighteen apartments. The landlord was old and retired to his hometown, Abeokuta. Majority of the tenants fell into the stupid habit of refusing to pay their monthly maintenance fees. Because of this, the security guards (mai gad) were always owed their wages. Many of them left without notice. One day, the mai gad of the day boldly walked up to us in one of our monthly compound meetings and started a high-pitched torrent of abuse in Pidgin spiced with Hausa because he was being owed for two months. He blasted us for owing him his paltry salary while most of us owned two to three cars all parked inside the compound. Then he angrily walked away. I applauded. Needless to say, most of the chronic debtors never attended our meetings. They simply fed off the sacrifices of the few responsible tenants. This mai gad could have been a fearless writer or social critic if he were educated. The following day he left, but not before deflating the tyres of all vehicles belonging to the chronic debtors! Last week we read the story of one Garba Sani, a mai gad who was not as charitable. He was paid N12,000 a month to guard a car dealership facility in Lagos worth millions of naira. Being of criminal mindset, he invited some accomplices at night and they carted away goods worth N28 million! When he was caught and paraded at the Lagos Police Command headquarters, Ikeja, Garba said the very thing that made me write this piece. A newspaper quoted him as saying: “I’m not an armed robber. I was on duty and I called them (other suspects) and we took the goods. We did not carry guns. We have a lot of senators looting and we also need money. There are many thieves in Nigeria and most of us are jobless youths, we have nothing. I earn N12, 000 a month which is too small. We are all criminals in Nigeria and we have criminal blood
President Goodluck Jonathan not stop the fact that Garba and his accomplices will say goodbye to their freedom for a long time to come, while the “senators” (leaders) he refers to may yet have their own day of reckoning to atone for their sins against society. Corruption in Nigeria is gradually assuming the proportions that Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga took it to in former Zaire (now
It is not uncommon to see federal legislators spending hundreds of millions of naira on “giving back” projects in their constituencies, which appears to justify the perception that the “stealing” is still going on. Otherwise, where do they get the money from?
is not uncommon to see federal legislators spending hundreds of millions of naira on “giving back”
e need someone who will restore confidence in leadership. Singapore legendary leader, Lee Kuan Yew says: “if I have to choose one word to explain why Singapore succeeded, it is CONFIDENCE”. We need someone who will know that the people are watching his every step and listening to everything he says to know whether we should resume investing our hopes in the system and the country at large. Not people who will leave some of us loudly proclaiming that we are all criminals and no one should pretend. We ALL aren’t anything of the sort. We need leaders who will know that paying a worker a minimum wage of N18,000 per month amounts to encouraging him to steal, since that amount is probably not enough to take him to work and home, let alone paying other necessary bills. Social injustice, whereby the system is built to benefit those at the top while trampling underfoot the weak and helpless only breeds the violent crimes we see everywhere we look. Why would the system allow some slimy criminals in public offices to dip their dirty fingers into the till where the pension of our policemen and women is kept and steal them in billions? They are now beyond the Mobutu mantra of yibana mayele. We need to learn from those who have succeeded in transforming their societies. Yew made it clear all you need for a society to be stable for development is fairness. Never offend a society ’s sense of fairness. In Nigeria, everybody is complaining about real or imagined marginalisation. When the civil war ended the country levied marginalisation against the Igbo people. Now, everybody else is crying and hurting. Who will heal this country?
OPINION BY AGHOGHO ETAKIBUEBU
HEN I saw the Failed State Index done by the United States Think-Thank Fund for Peace and which ranked Nigeria as 14th under the alert section, I was overwhelmed with sadness as this shouldn’t be so for the giant of Africa. Under the surge of emotion I was prompted to write this little piece on what I feel should be the best way out of Nigeria’s challenges. Prominent and most troubling of these challenges is the Boko Haram terrorism presently afflicting the nation. The activities of this extremist Islamist sect have seriously undermined the peace and tranquillity of this great nation and it is my belief that if nothing is done urgently, we shall soon see the rise of more terrorist groups. Not only is terrorism threatening the continued existence of the nation, the rate of robbery and other violent crimes is on the increase. We can’t go about our business without the fear of our lives. It is obvious that we need good leaders who have a different set of values. We need leaders of impeccable character and integrity. Enough is enough of leaders using what belongs to the nation for their personal use. One thing that is prominently lacking in Nigeria is integrity. Our leaders have failed to show and exhibit this quality, so the citizens have no choice but to follow the examples of those leading them. That is the reason for the increase in fraud cases. Everybody now wants to have a share of the “national cake” and this should not be so. We need leaders who will deliver their agenda for the nation and not just use C M Y K
The way out for Nigeria it for campaign purposes only. Until our leaders begin to live in transparency and integrity, true democracy can never be practised. God said whoever desires to be great must first learn to serve. Greatness is not about how much wealth you can amass for yourself but in how much you can give out. That is another thing we are missing in this nation. Everybody wants to amass wealth but very few people are willing to live for the betterment of others. I believe very strongly that if the mind-set of the youth is changed toward true service to the nation and her people, Nigeria would be out of the turmoil in no time. This mind-set will help reduce the stink of corruption as public servants will no longer occupy offices just for their own benefit, but will use every opportunity to empower their followers in every way. Let us not forget that Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. We need to learn that being the president or governor doesn’t make you the number one citizen but the number one servant. Service is one of the fundamental keys to greatness and a nation built on service to its people will always prosper. Also, I believe that the issue of amnesty being given to terror groups shouldn’t be one up for debate. Amnesty giving will only lead to more terror groups who have seen that being a terrorist will only lead to wealth with little or no consequences. I believe that the state should carry out her responsibility properly and secure its citizens and fish
out those who are responsible for the violence within. I believe that the Boko Haram violence was influenced by the perceived reward accorded the militant group MEND whose members went scot free after killing so many innocent citizens. The best this nation can do for the innocent that have been lost is to let justice prevail by jailing every identified and arrested member of the group. The security agencies should be empowered to carry out their job diligently and end this nightmare of terrorism in this nation. Nigeria should never negotiate with terrorists as doing so can only but encourage more terror groups to spring up. Lastly, we are all Nigerians and as such everyone should be charged with the responsibility of looking out for the other. If we do not create language barriers or geographical barriers, we would be on our way to becoming the giant of the world. Let us not dim the potential that we have in this nation with unnecessary ethnic and religious battles. Every Nigerian should be viewed as a brother and in our entire endeavour let us work towards making Nigeria as a better place to live in. We should develop love toward one another, as love covers a multitude of sins. Just like our anthem says, “peace and unity” remain the basis for moving Nigeria forward. God bless Nigeria!!! *Mr. Etakibuebu, a petroleum engineering student, wrote from Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State
42—Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
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44—Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
HEN President Goodluck Jonathan was campaigning for the highest office in the land in 2011, he easily came across to the electorate as a humble individual, a sincere and trustworthy person. There was this straightforward mien about him that you do not often see in politicians. Politicians, especially in our clime, are defined by double speak, playing to the gallery and always on the lookout for a cheap political point to score. Indeed a classic definition of a politician in Nigeria appears to be one who takes the right turn when he or she trafficates left. But President Jonathan all through his political career – from the time he was elected deputy governor in Bayelsa to this time – has shown that politics does not really have to be a dirty game where there are no rules and no honour. The recent visit of the President to Borno and Yobe states NorthEast of Nigeria afforded many Nigerians the opportunity to once again see the forthrightness and courage in the man they trusted with their mandate. In spite of the distracting comments and the obvious moves of the opposition to politicise the visit of the President to the two troubled states where the dreaded Boko Haram sect has made life very cheap, President Jonathan stuck to reason and statecraft. He would not be drawn into any infantile debate over what was clearly a
provocation by the opposition governors’ circus show staged earlier in Maiduguri. Not done with their ambushing of the President with their melodramatic visit, the opposition taunted that the President would not pass a night in Maiduguri. But the President made all the sceptics not only eat their words but also showed them what a great leader he is. Once in the troubled towns, the president went straight to business. He visited important places to see the level of devastation that Boko Haram had unleashed on the innocent people of Borno and Yobe states. In the eyes of the President, it was not difficult to see his compassionate feelings for the people of the two states whose loved ones have been murdered by this satanic group, and for whom every day is lived under fear and uncertainty. The President saw first-hand how the economy of an important part of the country has been destroyed by a faceless group and what looks like complicity of the elite. In short, the President saw enough to strengthen his resolve to do anything within his powers to stamp out the Boko Haram group and rebuild the confidence of the people in the ability of the state to protect them. The high point of the visits was the town hall meeting President Jonathan held with stakeholders in Maiduguri. In that meeting, many issues ranging from the
immediate and remote causes of the Boko Haram insurgency, strategies for containing the menace, the rebuilding of the economy of the region as well as the process of demilitarizing the Kanem-Borno axis were discussed. Indeed, the President put up a performance the Nigerian people who elected him knew he was capable of. He did not come to the meeting like a politician thinking about the next election. Instead, President Jonathan turned up like a statesman worried about the next generation. He was brutally frank with the people and the elders of the state as he looked them in the eyes and told them not what they would want to hear but what the truth is. And the truth is that it appears that the elders of Borno for a long time played the ostrich with the Boko Haram insurgency. Like Nero, they fiddled while Rome burnt.
or a long time the elders who suddenly found their voices at the meeting have buried their heads in the sand while the state
Protected lives BY AMAH LAWAN
HE media, as an institution, is one of few organs that have specific functions spelt out for them in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(as amended). Chapter one, section 22 provides as follows:“The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people”. The chapter referred to deals with virtually all operations of government, including “fundamental obligation of the government” to the people. For the media to carry out this responsibility diligently, it, itself, must and should be accountable to its own ethical standard and practice. The Code of Ethics for Nigeria Journalists says, in Section 2 (ii) among others: “A journalist should refrain from publishing inaccurate and misleading information-- -“. Subsection iii adds: “In the course of his duties, a journalist should strive to separate facts from conjecture and comment”. The Nigerian Broadcasting code (2002) on its own part says: “News stories-- - shall be factual, presented accurately and impartially”. Many impartial observers of our media scene are agreed that while members of the media always impress on the government need to discharge its responsibility to the people, they hardly discharge their own duties to the same people, as they rush to judgement without the basic facts and oftentimes indulge in public trial of public institutions and officials without, in the least, focusing on their own gross inadequacies in the discharge of their own responsibilities, sometimes arrogating to
themselves the functions of the courts. The fact cannot also be denied that some indulge in the infamous brown envelop syndrome also used to slant stories in favour of the giver, contrary to their ethics which says in Section 7 (i) that: “A journalist should neither solicit nor accept bribe, gratification or patronage to suppress or publish information”. Regrettably, this has become the standard practice among a few journalists, who, no matter how few they are, have earned for the noble profession a very dented image. Members of the public perceive some reports from this angle, as fortunate as it is. Take, forinstance, the publication in some media regarding the alleged dumping of harmful toxic materials by KRPC, Kaduna, a subsidiary of the NNPC, at Rido, where it was reported that about 700 birds (chickens) and five people died as a consequence of the dump. Almost all the papers that went to town with the story reported from this angle without in the least finding out the truth or otherwise of the incident. Indeed, some reporters even refused or failed to reflect the KRPC version of what actually happened for reasons best known to them. Had they shown professionalism and demonstrated ethical standard in their reportage of the incident, they would have discovered that the story was and is a plant by some interested parties to dent the public image of the company and set it against one of its host communities, Rido, in Chikun Local Government, Kaduna State. The core substance of the report, as earlier noted, was that KEPA dumped toxic waste at Rido leading to the death of five people and 700 birds at a poultry farm owned by a military officer. Following the report, experts from the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Kaduna State Enviromental Protection
BY MEDINAT UMAR
Jonathan was bold in Borno, Yobe
He was brutally frank with the elders of the state; the truth is that it appears that the elders of Borno for a long time played the ostrich with the Boko Haram insurgency
burned. They are too quick to condemn any perceived indiscretion by the Joint Task Force (JTF) stationed in the state to protect the people but too reluctant to speak up against the massacre, which the Boko Haram sect has been unleashing on the hapless citizens of the state. With the way the elders vehemently want the JTF out from Borno, one would think that the latter and not the Boko Haram are the aggressors in the State. Another President, perhaps more political and wily would probably have gone along with the elders of Borno and play to the gallery by endorsing all their proposals just to be in their good books with an eye fixed on the next election. President Jonathan would have none of that. He stood by the oath he swore to defend and protect the lives and property of the people. He was well aware that many of the people who suffered daily from the attacks of the Boko Haram and who live in continuous fear could not possibly find their way to that town hall meeting. For this people, the presence of the JTF in Borno remains a source of confidence in the ability of the Nigerian state to protect them. Therefore any talk about pulling the JTF out of Borno and Yobe now cannot be in the interest of these poor masses. Even the Governor of Borno himself did hint the President that while the insurgency has declined in neighbouring states like Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa, there is still no let-up in Borno and Yobe. Moreover, the President is in a better position to know; he has the benefits of security reports and intelligence, which the elders do not have in reaching their own conclusions. Howver, unknown to many of
It is important for media professionals not to allow themselves to be tempted by one party to a story, in filing their reports; at all times, they must act as an impartial judge interested only in finding out the facts of a matter
Authority, KEPA, took prompt action by personally visiting the alleged dump site and took with them samples for laboratory investigation. After a thorough professional analysis of the samples, KEPA wrote: ”The confirmatory test shows that result obtained are within acceptable limits; therefore, the refuse dump is not harmful to the environment and public health”. The Kaduna State House of Assembly also looked into the matter through its appropriate Committee on Enviroment, Natural Resources and Solid Minerals headed by Haruna M. A. Inuwa.
t was to ascertain (a) whether waste was dumped and if it was actually toxic and (b) to find out how it affected the community. Some of its findings were as follows: (a) “The laboratory results, EP/141/Voliii/ 412 dated 10 July, 2012 and a liquid effluent/ waste analysis results conducted by KRPC, June 2012, both KEPA and KRPC presented laboratory evidence to confirm that the waste dumped at Rido was not toxic so had no health or environmental hazards. (b) “Biams Intergrated Firm did not present any evidence to support its claim of (700 chiken)” and the alleged death of five
them, pulling out the JTF would be a far more easier decision for him to take both in terms of cost and scoring cheap a political goal! It is very important to appreciate the point President Jonathan made in defending the JTF. One of the features that makes a state unique from other non-state actors is the possession of the monopoly of the instruments of coercion. Once any group succeeds in breaking this monopoly, which only the state should have, the state is as good as dead. The military, together with the police and other law enforcement agencies (in this case the JTF), embodies this feature of the monopoly of the use of coercion in the state. While not encouraging the JTF to discard its rules of engagement, it must be noted that what the Borno elders are demanding of the JTF will axiomatically lead to it being run over by the Boko Haram. And if this happens, this will embolden other dissident groups to challenge the authority of the Nigerian state. When a single soldier or policeman is gunned down in the street by armed groups and dissidents, the signal that is being sent out to society is that the state is too weak to protect the citizens because these soldiers and the police are agents of the state. And when such a signal is out, not only the people are endangered, even the state itself is at risk. Is this too abstract for our Borno elders to understand? The visit of the President needs not create any unnecessary controversy. Instead it should provide the roadmap to finding lasting peace not only in Borno and Yobe states, but all over the North.
*Mrs. Umar, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Abuja.
persons as a result of the equally alleged toxic waste dump turned out to be that of one Liberty Monday Madaki and even this “ was not supported by any medical evidence”. The report of the Kaduna State of Assembly actually blamed the contractor for dumping non-toxic waste at sites not designated by KEPA as required by law. What is more, the Village Head of Rido told investigators that no one died as a consequence of the alleged dump. The company in question, Chinbache Investment (Nig) Ltd, in a letter to KRPC accepted full responsibility for what happened. It says: “We understand and acknowledge the mistake—which caused this unpleasant experience: we are able to see where we went wrong”. There are some questions here regarding the role of some of the journalists who were invited by the KRPC to visit the dump site but refused to. Why did they so refuse particularly that this would have offered them the opportunity to balance their report? Interestingly, even the owners of the poultry farm did not cooperate with the KRPC when it sent a team to investigate the claim of 700 dead birds. Worse still, there was no evidence that any single bird was lost at all. What was their role in spreading this false claim? These questions are vital to understanding some aspects of their reports. Whatever, it is important for media practitioners not to allow themselves to be tempted by one party to a story, in filing their reports. At all times, they must act as an impartial judge interested only in finding out the facts or otherwise of a matter. Rushing to judgement without availing themselves of the basic facts, in such a matter, does not lend weight to professional practice. False reportage must never be allowed to intrude into the practice of the noble profession of journalism. Indeed, journalism should be a factual history of the moment and not fictional concoction.
*Mr. Lawan, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Kaduna south, Kaduna State.
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French troops arrive CAR as rebels sack President Bozize African Republic has just
MBATTLED President Francois Bozize fled to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, yesterday even as over150 French troops arrive in Bangui to secure the capital from the rebels. Mr Bozize arrived with his family in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a Congolese official said. The rebels, involved in an on-off rebellion since December, say Mr Bozize failed to honour a peace deal. Witnesses and government officials
confirmed that they had taken control of Bangui. South African peacekeepers in CAR to support government troops suffered casualties but failed to stop the rebel advance. At least six South African soldiers were killed in clashes with the rebels, a Reuters witness said. A United Nations source said the force, in the country to train the army along with hundreds of regional peacekeepers, was preparing to leave.
•President Bozize Justin Kombo Moustapha, secretarygeneral of Seleka, appealed for calm and called on citizens to “welcome the revolutionary forces of Seleka”. “Central
opened a new page in its history,” he said in a statement. The Seleka rebel coalition resumed hostilities this week in the mineral-rich former French colony, vowing to oust Bozize, whom it accused of breaking a January peace agreement to integrate its fighters into the army. Witnesses reported gunfire as the Seleka rebel coalition took the presidential palace, followed by chaos and looting in the city centre.
Islamists threaten to kill hostages as Seven die in Mali
LASHES between the Malian army and Islamists killed seven people including a soldier and two civilians yesterday in northern Mali’s largest
city, as Al-Qaeda’s north African branch threatened to kill its French hostages. The fighting in Gao took place as the Malian army carried out what it
called a “clean-up” operation in Gao after Islamist militants from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) infiltrated the
Kerry arrives Baghdad on M/East shuttle
.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on an unannounced visit yesterday to Baghdad urged Iraq’s leaders to halt Iranian overflights of weapons and fighters heading to Syria and to overcome sectarian differences that still threaten Iraqi stability 10 years after the American-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. Kerry met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Saturday after earlier talking to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan in a bid to revive stalled peace talks. Kerry’s back-toback meetings followed up on U.S. President Barack Obama’s visits to Israel and the Palestinian Territories this week in which he called for fresh
diplomatic efforts but offered no new peace proposals of his own. Kerry, who had accompanied Obama on his trip and then stayed on in the region, met privately for two hours with Abbas in Jordan’s capital of Amman, a Palestinian source told Reuters. In meetings with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri alMaliki and other senior
officials Kerry was telling them to stop Iranian aircraft from using Iraqi airspace to fly military personnel and equipment to support the Syrian government as it battles rebels. Iran and Iraq both say the flights are laden with humanitarian supplies, but the U.S. and others believe they are filled with weapons and fighters to help the Assad regime.
S/Korea envoy calls for peace with N/Korea BY VICTORIA OJEME
BUJA — Special Envoy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of South Korea, Mr Chung EuiYong at the weekend called for Nigeria’s assistance to broker peace between it and the
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Mr Eui-Yong made the call when he visited the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru in Abuja. Eui-Yong said that Nigeria’s relations with
Musharraf returns to Pakistan amid Taliban threats
AKISTAN’s former President, Pervez Musharraf, returned home yesterday after nearly four years of selfimposed exile to contest elections despite the possibility of arrest and death threats from the Taliban. The Pakistani Taliban vowed to assassinate former President Pervez Musharraf if he returns to
northeastern city and opened fire on an army camp overnight. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an allied extremist group, for its part renewed a threat to kill its French hostages and called on their families to pressure France’s government to end its military operation against radical Islamists who had seized control of northern Mali. The Al-Qaeda franchise is currently holding at least five French hostages in the region. It announced last week that it had killed a sixth, business traveller Philippe Verdon, though Paris has not confirmed the report.
the country as planned Sunday, a spokesman for the terrorist group said in a video message online. Tehrik-i-Taliban will send out a “death squad” to kill him, Ehsanullah Ehsan said Saturday. One of the squad members addressed Musharraf in English, demanding the former president surrender
himself. After resigning in 2008, Musharraf spent five years in self-imposed exile in London and Dubai. Musharraf hopes to regain influence so that his party can win seats in the general election scheduled for May 11, when he will face fierce competition, including from the man he ousted in a military takeover.
both North and South Korea would be of benefit to the promotion of peace between both countries. “Nigeria is one of the few countries in the world that maintains good relations with both the North and South of the Korean Peninsula. “We believe that the government of Nigeria would take advantage of the good relations to persuade our brothers and sisters in North Korea to come out of its selfinflicted isolation and embrace peace. “The minister has special experience with our brothers and sisters in North Korea and we hope we can rely on your good office to reconcile us and find a way to establish peace in our part of the world.
ABULIMEN—I, formerly known and addressed as Dr Marian Otalo Abulimen, now wish to be known and addressed as Dr (Mrs) Marian Otalo Orikpete. All former documents remain valid. ICOH for Africa, MDCN, UBTH and general public please take note.
DOGO—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Dogo Christiana Omolara, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Agyeno Christiana Omolara. All former documents remain valid. University of Jos; Anhaly University of Applied Sciences, Germany; German Embassy, Nigeria and general public, please take note.
EZENDUKA—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Ezenduka Noeleen Chizoba, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Chukwuka Noeleen Chizoba. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.
OGBONYE—I, formerly known and addressed as Chinenye Helen Ogbonye, now wish to be known and addressed as Nwafor Helen Simon. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.
EFEOGOURERE—I, formerly known and addressed as Mr. Efeogourere Eseoghene Yufenyoy, now wish to be known and addressed as Mr. Efe Eseoghene Yufenyoy Bryan Alejandro. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.
C E D R I C — I , formerly known and addressed as Mr. Efe L i m n y o y O g h e n e o v i e Theodor, now wish to be known and addressed as Mr. Efe L i m n y o y Ogheneovie Theodor Cedric. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.
A G H E D O — I , formerly known and addressed as Miss Mora Inuaghata Aghedo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Mora Inuaghata Idemudia. All former documents remain valid. D & W Godbless Travelling & Tours, Lagos and general public take note.
ABIAMUWE—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Rhoda Aituafe Abiamuwe, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Rhoda Aituafe Abogo. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.
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48—Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
Non-performing parties can be voted out —Tukur BY HENRY UMORU
BUJA — AHEAD of 2015, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday predicted that non-performing parties would be voted out by Nigerians. Speaking yesterday in Abuja on the occasion of one year anniversary of the present National Working Committee, NWC, Tukur noted that the sole purpose of the opposition merger was to grab power by all means, even as he warned opposition parties that PDP was prepared to ensure the survival and success of democracy in Nigeria. In his remarks, Vice President Namadi Sambo warned those working against the interest of the party to stop it and unite for the interest of the party, adding, “once we have restructured and rebuilt, we are ready to face any opposition party. We advise opposition parties to join PDP.” Meanwhile, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, Chief Tony Anenih disclosed that PDP Governors’ Forum, National Working Committee
(NWC) of the party and the party BoT have no contending issues and that the party organs were intact. Represented by the BoT Secretary, Senator Walid Jibrin, Anenih said: “Our party is not afraid at all of APC and I want to assure you that PDP will beat the merger party hands down.” At the event, majority of the PDP governors were absent as well as President Goodluck Jonathan. Three governors who attended the event were that of Akwa Ibom, Kogi and Kwara states, while others sent representatives. President Goodluck Jonathan also sent his Vice, Arc Namadi Sambo to the anniversary. Speaking further, Tukur said: “The sole purpose of the gang-up of chauvinists masquerading as so-called progressive democrats in order to confuse the masses is to stop PDP at all cost, and grab power by all means, to serve their narrow irredentist agenda. “We want it to be on record that our party acknowledges the right and entitlement of all political parties to exist and compete for political
power. We acknowledge and respect the rule of the electoral practices and recognise that a party that does not perform well can be voted out of power as easily as it was voted into office. “In a democracy, political parties are not anti-system and anticonstitution in their mode of operation. National interest medi-
ates all their engagements and actions.” The Chairman of the party’s forum and Akwa Ibom state governor, Godswill Akpabio, who represented the PDP governors at the occasion dismissed the story making the round that eight PDP governors were making moves to defect to opposition party,
saying it was not true. He said: “I want to dispel the rumour making the round that eight governors from PDP move to defect, I have spoken with them and none of them is making such move, it is a lie. Rather we are going to surprise the party, we will win more states in 2015.”
DEDICATION: President Goodluck Jonathan flanked by his ADC, Lt. Col. Ojogbane Adegbe (2nd right) and the wife of the ADC, Mrs.Olubukola Adegbe, while the Chief Security Officer to the President, Mr. Gordon Obua (left); the SSA Domestic and Social Events to the President, Hon. Dudafa Waripamo-Owei and the Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Deziani AllisonMadueke (right) watch, during the dedication of Baby Sarah Patience Adegbe at the Presidential Villa, State House, Abuja. Photo: Abayomi Adeshida.
Ajibola urges amnesty for Boko Haram BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH & JIMITOTA ONOYUME
ORMER judge of In ter-national Court of Justice, ICJ, The Hague, Prince Bola Ajibola, SAN, has called on the Federal Government to revisit the issue of amnesty for Boko Haram in order to create an atmosphere of peace in the country. Prince Ajibola also argued that it is high time the office of the AttorneyGeneral was separated from the office of the Minister of justice to engender more efficiency and independence. He spoke at the presentation of Law E-products by Law Pavilion and
launch of a book titled, The Attorney General: Chronicles and Perspectives, which was written in his honour by Mr. Olumide Babalola, in conjunction with the Law Pavilion to mark Ajibola’s 79th birthday. On Boko Haram, the former judge said: “I have always advocated for dialogue, even when a war is fought. At the end of that war, the winner will still need to discuss with the loser to find settlement to the dispute. “I think there is still need for the government to come together with the Boko Haram insurgents to get them understand that enough is enough. Because if government refuses to grant
them amnesty, they will still come back and continue with the attacks, and I think that will not help the nation.” He said granting of amnesty to the group will help put an end to its renewed onslaught on innocent Nigerians. “The granting of amnesty to militants in the Niger Delta has brought relative peace and stability to the area. If the government refuses to grant amnesty to Boko Haram they will continue their attacks which is not good for the nation,” Ajibola said. Meanwhile, Chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic party and four times Federal Minister, Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas has aligned himself with the position of President Goodluck Jonathan that amnesty could only be granted to members of Boko Haram when they unmask their identity.
Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013—49
NDIC pays N90.13bn to depositors of 48 failed banks BY TONY EDIKE
NUGU—THE Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, has paid a cumulative sum of N90.13 billion to depositors of 48 Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in liquidation as at December 31, 2012. It also doled out N2.50 billion to insured depositors of 103 closed Microfinance Banks (MFBs). Managing Director\CEO of NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim who made the disclosure, weekend, during the NDIC Day at the on-going 24th Enugu International Trade Fair, also stated that the corporation has a crucial role to play towards the safety, soundness and stability of Nigeria’s financial system. Ibrahim disclosed that between 2011 and 2012, NDIC made cumulative liquidation dividend payments of N373.04 million, N620.0 million and N293.0 million to shareholders of Alpha Merchant Bank, Nigeria Merchant Bank and Pan Africa Bank, respectively that are in liquidation. He said that the feats were in addition to the settlement of all the depositors and creditors of the three banks for which the corporation established bridge banks in 2011. The NDIC boss emphasised the seamless introduction of the three bridge banks to save over 3.7 million depositors of
the erstwhile Afribank Plc, Bank PHB and Spring Bank along with preservation of over 6600 jobs in August 2011. The regulatory authorities, he further said, recently planned to introduce the promotion of financial inclusion
initiatives in Nigeria through the agency banking and mobile banking, among others. “The exercise was meant to enhance the economic condition of our rural dwellers that have all the while been excluded from formal economy,” said
Ibrahim. He noted that NDIC has created help desk that works 24 hours to enable customers report cases as arbitrary bank charges, account balances and fraud.
BY TONY EDIKE
From left: Michael Porter, co-founder, AllWorld Network and Professor, Harvard Business School; Tony Elumelu, Chairman, The Tony Elumelu Foundation and Engr. Femi Akintunde, MD, AMFacilities, at the Nigeria Fast Growth 50 Awards, at the Eko Hotel & Suites.
APGA: Former NWC members dump Umeh BY VINCENT UJUMADU
WKA — THE crisis rock ing the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, took
another dimension, weekend, as 18 former members of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party sacked by an Enugu High Court, disso-
ciated themselves from the appeal filed by the National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh. The court had on February
Gang-rape: Abia Govt threatens to sue rumour mongers BY ANAYO OKOLI
MUAHIA — OL LOWING the unraveling of the celebrated gang-rape case which allegedly took place at the Abia State University, ABSU, the state government has warned that it would no longer watch rumour mongers deliberately tarnish its image.
Stop beating drums of war, CNPP tells PDP .... Asks security agencies to quiz Tukur
The government warned that henceforth it would take legal action against any person or group dragging its the name or those of its institutions into baseless rumours aimed at tarnishing its image. Reacting to the revelation by the Police in Rivers State that the gang rape actually took place at Obite in Etche local
government area of Rivers State, Chief of Staff to the state governor, Mr. Cosmos Ndukwe, warned that the state had had enough of the embarrassment. He said the state government would no longer take kindly to politically-motivated bad press directed against it. “Henceforth, the state government would undertake extreme legal actions against any person or group of persons who trade in spreading dangerous rumour against it,” Ndukwe said at a media briefing.
According to him, those who linked the incident to Abia State University were hasty and to say the least, made with so much bad blood. He said they already formed their opinion without any investigation, noting that they also refused to listen to Abia State Police Command which preliminary investigations showed that the incident did not happen in the state. Ndukwe said: “This vindication coming two years after, is thoughtprovoking as it is utterly gratifying.”
8, 2013, nullified the national convention of the party held in Awka on February 10, 2011, a decision that automatically dissolved the NWC organ of the party. Deputy National Chairman (South) of APGA, Chief Chris Ejike Uche, who read the communiqué at the end of the marathon meeting. The communiqué, among other things read: “We, therefore, further resolve that our former national chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, who unilaterally appealed the judgment of Enugu High Court without consulting all of us who were affected by that same judgment, is on his own and no longer enjoys our confidence.
NUGU—THE Con ference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, yesterday, expressed concern over what it described as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s drum of war ahead of the 2015 elections, with a call on security agencies to quiz the party’s national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, over his alleged inciting comments. A statement issued by the CNPP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Osita Okechukwu, described Tukur ’s prediction of “ war ” ahead of 2015 elections as undemocratic, saying the CNPP was outraged by the comment which was similar to that made during the 2007 election that threw the nation into violence since then.
Senate decries bombings, vandalisation of telecom facilities BY TONY EDIKE
NUGU—THE Senate has expressed concern over the spate of bombings and vandalisation of telecommunication facilities across the country, saying the development had become a major challenge for the sector. Chairman, Senate Committee on communications, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, made the observation during the Nigeria Communications Commission’s day at the on-going Enugu International Trade Fair. He applauded NCC for the growth of the telecoms industry, but expressed regrets that such effort was still being sabotaged by bombers operating in some northern states.
50—VANGUARD, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
Alamieyeseigha's pardon, an international embarrassment — Ajibola •Says Jonathan should go and look for Boko Haram if... PRINCE Bola Ajibola (SAN), former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, was livid last December when President Goodluck Jonathan, called his former boss, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha his political benefactor. The retired jurist of the International Court of Justice thought it an insult to Nigeria that the President would call an ex-convict and fugitive his benefactor. In this interview with Vanguard, Ajibola is further incensed by the presidential pardon now granted the former governor even as he lampoons the administration's actions on the state of insecurity in the land. Ajibola debunks the president's assertion that he could not negotiate with ghosts saying the President should go out and look for the insurgents and make peace. Excerpts:
HAT is your response to President Jonathan's reluctance to grant amnesty to the members of the Boko Haram sect? Let me start introductorily that whatever may be the cause and the grievances of these people, it cannot be solved by force. If you look at it, even the First World War, after fighting for so long from 1914 to 1918, it was still resolved on the table. The Second World War saw the extinction of over 70 million people and it was still a matter that was resolved. Even there was a time that the French and English people fought the war of roses for 100 years. They are now all members of the European Union and they live harmoniously together. So, whatever may be the disagreement and the problem with regard to Boko Haram, a good government will try to see the cause of the whole matter, then find the solution to it and
then find peaceful solution to the matter. It is for the government, itself, to go all out to find out what are the grievances and how can these be resolved? That is the civilised and modern approach to solving any problem. Civilised people do not go by war. They have learnt the truth that it is not a matter of force but a matter that could be resolved harmoniously and in the sense and spirit of give and take. These Boko Haram people we are talking about, they must have their problems; they must have their difficulties; they cannot be fighting for nothing. We have seen that done in Niger Delta. The problem was on, for many years but why did we decide to solve it that way? Why should this be an exception? But the President is insisting he cannot negotiate with ghosts? He should go to them! It is not for them to come to him. It is the other way round! It is the government that must find out what is wrong with any part of the country! That is the essence and obligation that the government of a country owes to its people. These people are not ruling us; the government must see to the peace, stability and security of the nation. That is what the government is there for. They, the Boko Haram people, can go on with their destruction; they are not running any government; they are not part of the government. They just have some grievances against the government, against some people in government or some people at large! It is for that
•Ajibola: We are progressing backward government to find out and to resolve it. That is the reason and the essence of any system calling itself a government. Good governance will effectively do that. You do not need to go and tell them that they should come out and tell you what is wrong with them. No. You should find out what their problems are by yourself. Even after the Second World War, they set up a court and brought all those people involved to that court and those who had wronged the whole world were dealt with there. The government should take the pre-requisite steps in order to ensure that these things do not happen any longer and do not continue. Cases of terrorism and disturbances will continue to
erode the peace of any nation and no nation can develop under a situation of instability, under a situation of war, under a situation of civil unrest and
BY BASHIR ADEFAKA
nation in the world that one can attribute progress to while it has problems of instability on its hands. None. Why did they go all out, like
It is the government that must find out what is wrong with any part of the country! That is the essence and the obligation that the government of a country owes to its people
civil disturbances. No nation can progress that way. As I said once, we are progressing backward. That is a kind of euphemism to say that we are not going on as we should. We are just on the threshold of this chaos and we cannot continue that way. We must do something that will bring about peace. Tell me any
I said, to even set up a Ministry of Niger Delta in order to be able to resolve the civil unrest in the Niger Delta? Have they set up ministry now to take care of the Boko Haram worries if it is giving them that type of problem? A Ministry of Special Purpose seeking peace in the nation? Even call it a research Continues on page 51
VANGUARD, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013—51
Alamieyesiegha's pardon, an embarrassment — Ajibola Continues from page 50 centre where you look for the peace of the nation and try to redress mishaps. It is important. That is what you call the social contract. It is you, who have been given that mandate to run the government that must run it properly, efficiently and without any corruption. You must run it well. Otherwise, you will continue to have such problems that will plague the nation and will not give you any peace, stability or anything that could help to develop that nation. We cannot develop this way. Only last week or so, there was the case of six people from different nationalities killed in this country. What have they done? What is going on? Do you not think that, that is one of the serious things that the government should look into? It is the other way round. It is the government’s place to go round to see to the peace and development of a nation and ensure that social justice is maintained and sustained in every part of the nation. Not always thinking of election and corruption and ways of stealing and siphoning money from the nation.
You see, people now equate election to things that you win to enjoy part of the booties. It is sad. It is regrettable. It is! It is!! What is your reaction to the pardon granted the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha? The implication of this is in our nation’s position and status. If you leave here now on your way to say, Washington or New York, once you get there and they notice that you are a Nigerian, they will just ask you to go and sit down in some cases and you will be interrogated and interviewed for over an hour before they can possibly allow you to leave. That is a problem of being a pariah from a rogue state. They subject you to all sorts of questioning: What are you here to do? Where are you going to get the money? What are you spending the money for? Who are you and what is your status? What is your position? Are you going to buy property here? Are you going to live here? How long are you going to stay? When are you leaving back to your place? These are the things that people do face when they get o u t . Wole Soyinka was exposed to this type of thing
•Ajibola: We must get a good name for Nigeria too. You see what I mean? What nation will encourage stealing? What nation will encourage corruption? What nation will encourage siphoning the money of the state into another place in order to use it personally for one’s benefit? What state is that, that will keep people in squalor, ruined, impoverished, and penniless and then you are enjoying these illegal benefits all around the world?
Maintenance of social justice
you can say that again when he gets on his way to South Africa or to any part of the world for that matter. Extradition could take place immediately and he will be found in the right place for being accused of corruption, siphoning money or money laundering. That is the chaotic situation that we have created for ourselves. That is the embarrassment that we have now, not only, given to Alamieyeseigha but also to our nation, Nigeria. The Presidency says the pardon is to enable him fully contribute to naitonal life. But how did you handle issues of pardon during your time in government? You see, to say it broadly and generally, we had a procedure then that was established by setting up a committee for pardon in which each and every case was looked into. And if there was adequate evidence to show that it was just a matter of political sanction that had no element of being a culprit in any way, such people were in most cases granted the pardon and amnesty granted to them.
the worth of anybody who is a man of prestige, who is a man of integrity here being regarded as rogue or someone from a rogue state outside the country? I have just told you the story of Wole Soyinka, who was disgraced, rough-handled at the airport all because he happened to be a Nigerian. So, we have to take all the international content into consideration before we take any action or any step here. It
Extradition could take place immediately and he will be found in the right place for being accused of corruption, siphoning money or money laundering, that is the chaotic situation that we have created for ourselves
You see what I mean? Ibori is still serving his prison term over there. The next thing that will happen will be that when he gets here, he will be pardoned. Are we so reckless? Are we so irresponsible? Are we so endemic in our attitude towards bad, illegal, immoral acts? Why are we dong that? It is very, very pathetic because an individual needs a name in his country and outside that country. An individual needs respect in his country and outside the country. What is
is important that we should not be only satisfied with our political and national interests but we also must take care of our international status, international position, international integrity. We must get a good name for Nigeria. We need that good name for Nigeria. You see, the consequences of it will be our being disregarded and put to shame in most of those countries all around the world. It is sad. It is really, really, really sad and we must work
out our way. Actions are still pending left, right and centre in many parts of the world: South Africa, Britain and so many other countries and yet here we are granting pardon. Before the pardon you flayed the President for calling Chief Alamieyeseigha his political benefactor… (cuts in) You see, the connotation is very clear at this time. It is true that we have a person within a nation granted pardon and one has to look at the procedure before it is done. One must look into the law. Now, the law itself must not be abused and it must not be misused. If a man has been incarcerated, imprisoned, sanctioned because of what happened politically like the cases of people like General Oladipo Diya, General Tajudeen Olanrewaju and others, that is quite understandable. They were not accused of any heinous impropriety like stealing, siphoning our money out of this country. But to equate that with Alamieyeseigha, who is still wanted as a criminal, as an accused person in places like Great Britain, South Africa and in so many other countries of the world, what are the benefits or the consequences of such pardon being granted here? You now say Alamieyeseigha has been granted pardon here,
Misappropriation of money But not cases of misappropriation of money; not cases of being accused in many countries outside Nigeria of this type of stealing, siphoning, misappropriation, money laundering and things of that nature. It does not happen at all. Those are cases that are beyond pardon. That was exactly the position in our time, regardless of the length of time involved. So, this is a case that will put us in dilemma and in more time to come will put us in very bad light not only in Nigeria but outside Nigeria. I was once asked in Paris, France to give a lecture and at that time we happened to be one of the pariahs in the world. Introduction was made about me and what I had been doing and all that. But at the end of the whole story, once they were told that I am a Nigerian, they all walked out. That is the nature of this type of thing. Nobody will be interested listening to you or hearing anything from you, a Nigerian, because of their perception of citizens of a rogue state. Once we turn ourselves into a rogue state, all of us will bear the consequences of it. It will not be a matter restricted to even officials alone but even the ordinary citizens of the state. that is the problem.
Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
Achebe: We 've not be informed—Kinsmen Continues from Page 8 er beings would have leveraged their achievements to join the fat cats on the boards of huge companies, smiling to the bank all the way. Lesser beings would have curried favour from the government of the day, irrespective of its record. ACN said the best tribute that can be paid to Prof. Achebe is not just in naming monuments after him or tarring the road that passed through his hometown. It said: "He can best be honoured and remembered by those who hold power using it for the common good of the greatest number of people, and by making Nigeria a country that every black man on earth will be proud of. There can be no greater honour.’’
His demise is great loss to literary world – Ogon
The Founding Director of Ijaw Council for Human Rights, ICHR, Patterson Ogon, said Achebe’s demise was a great loss to the literary world. “The death of Prof Chinua Achebe is a great loss not just to Nigeria but the literary world. A man of letters, his death for me is only physical as he has left a lot on the minds and heart of people not to be remembered. The controversy stirred by his 2012 publication, There was a Country demonstrates his deep thoughts and sad reflections on the opportunities we have failed to explore to remake Nigeria. The Trouble with Nigeria remains one of the most concise, analytic and thought provoking literature on the challenge of governance in Nigeria. Achebe is dead but he remains a man of the future.”
Give him national burial – BNC
The Benin National Congress, BNC, a Benin socio-cultural organization, appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to give Achebe a national burial in recognition of his uprightness and patriotism to the nation. In a statement by its President, Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo, the BNC reasoned that a befitting burial for Achebe would help build a legacy of effective reward system for Nigeria, so that the younger generations will be inclined to patriotic service and pursuit of excellence in their chosen professions or business. It called for ‘A Chinua Achebe’s Day’
where public institutions will be on duty for half day “in honour of this rare intellect and genius of all time. This is aside a national burial that will embellish his soul after selfless, tireless, relentless and unwavering commitments to the liberation of the minds of the average African from cultural and economic imperialism of some conflict-oriented western elites.”
He will live on in our hearts —OATUU The Organisation of African Trade Union Unity, OATUU, in a statement by its Secretary General, Comrade Owei Lakemfa said the passing away of the famous writer, essayist and propeople activist has left the African working people in grief. The statement said the union “mourns the loss of this literary colossus and great African mind who told the African story, laced with rich proverbs, in beautiful, flowing prose. “A pioneer of the African novel and of the rich African Writers Series, Achebe promoted African culture, and rejected colonial and neo-colonial constructs to tell the African experience from the prism of the African people themselves. “A master story teller and wordsmith, Achebe was, and is, a huge iroko tree in the forest of African and world literature. That he was not awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature despite his monumental works, including Things Fall Apart which has been translated to over 50 languages, is a minus for that prize. “Achebe had a strong fighting spirit, was a fearless spokesperson for the poor and courageously, spoke the truth. Despite his monumental achievements in literature, he remained humble; did not wear his fame like pips on his shoulder or as medals on his chest. “Professor Achebe will never die the hearts of people; over the generations, people who read his books will continue to be educated about Africa, and young Africans will continue to learn that in our continent, “Proverbs are the palm- oil with which words are eaten”.
Heat break in Owerri …heart attack in Calabar Continues from Page 54 told a friend that the moment they stepped on that turf, they should have known that they were also being given an opportunity to display their wares in an international market. You cannot say because your emoluments have not been paid or promises not kept, you will go out there and dish out sub standard stuff. They were not just good enough on the day. The negative tactics and antics of the Gabonese necessitated seven minutes added time, yet even if the referee had given them thirty minutes, there was no how that team would have scored. They were tactically undisciplined in front of goal while the defenders were a sorry sight as the Gabonese came forward. At the end of ninety minutes with the score at 2-1, the Gabonese jubilated. As far as they were concerned, they need only one goal to proceed. Football is not always like that. I can see Heartland shocking their host if they get the “ motivation and lack of government support phenomenon” out of their system. I wish I had had the opportunity of talking to them before the match, to tell them that after beating the Gabonese, they
progress not only in the competition but in their quest for better football fortunes in the continent. I want to believe that the team is ready for the massive war this week end that will involve all sort of antics. They should not be surprised but prepared. And you need funds to be ready. Funds to check into another hotel different from the likely bad one that the host will provide. Funds to hire alternative buses and cars. Funds to buy and provide your own meals. When Heartland land in Libreville, they will be transported by air to another city, from there they should brace up for a 100 kilometre drive to Bitam….. they should be prepared and not allow ANYTHING TO WEAR THEM DOWN AND MAKE THEM LOSE FOCUS. After that, they should go into the field and target that away goal that will restart the match from scratch and come back victorius. This message is also for all our teams in Africa, especially Pillars who will be tempted to rest on their 4-1 oars ( Ask Heartland their experience last year) and Rangers who must guide against their opponents scoring an away goal here. Good luck Nigeria. See you next week.
MARCH 25, 2013—53
Insufficient sleep affects general wellbeing — Expert BY CHIOMA OBINNA
LEEP has been described by differ ent people in different ways. Some see sleep as the golden chain that ties health and bodies together while some say it is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” How much do you know about sleep? Are you the types that just work all through the night without sufficient hours of sleep? Then you have to have a rethink. This is because experts who gathered at Mouka Limited World Sleep Day with the theme: “Good Sleep, Healthy Aging” in Lagos last week say insufficient sleep reduces quality of life and affects general wellbeing of individual. An Associate Professor and Consultant Neurologist, College of Medicine University of Lagos, Dr. Njideka Okubadejo in a lecture during the seminar lamented that estimated 63 million Nigerians are affected by sleep problems. According to Okubadejo, “Sleep problems threaten health (physical and mental health), quality of life and are more profound in our modern society. Why do we sleep? She said: “Sleep is a natural process controlled by the human brain and restores body functions. Many major restorative functions in the body (e.g. muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and growth hormone
release) occur mostly, or only, during sleep.” Okubadejo who noted that sleep promotes energy conservation added that individuals sleep because it helps the brain development and improves ability to learn and perform variety of tasks as well as boosts immune system. Regretting that many Nigerians do not get enough sleep, she said insufficient sleep generally results in increased sleepiness, poor performance and increased health risks even mortality. Describing sufficient sleep as sleep duration that is followed by a spontaneous awakening and leaves one feeling refreshed and alert for the day, she stated: “Good quality sleep is essential for day to day functioning and good quality of life while poor quality sleep is characterised by frequent interruptions and lighter sleep. The consultant neurologist, recommended sleep duration for infants 14 to 15 hours a day, toddlers – 12 to 14 hours, school – age children 10 to 11 hours and adults 7 to 9 hours respectively. She further identified factors such as poor sleep hygiene, lifestyle, psychosocial/emotional stress, stimulants and drugs amongst others as things that interrupt good sleep. On sleep tips for adult, she advised individuals to establish a regular bedtime and waking time. “If taking siestas, don’t exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep. Avoid
•Managing Director, Mouka Limited, Mrs. Peju Adebajo, Associate Professor and Consultant Neurologist College of Medicine University of Lagos, Dr. Njideka Okubadejo and Head of Commercial Mouka Limited, Mr. Jude Abonu, at the 2013 Mouka World Sleep Day held in Lagos last week.
excessive alcohol 3- 4 hours before bedtime, and do not smoke. Avoid caffeine six hours before bedtime. Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods four hours before
bedtime amongst others. On tips for best sleeping position, she advised: “Try to maintain the curve in your back. Lay on your back with pillow under knees. Lay on your back with lumbar roll under lower back. Lay on your side with knees slightly bent. Do not sleep on side with knees drawn up to chest. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Select a firm mattress. On her part, the Managing Director, Mouka Limited, Mrs. Peju Adebajo, while highlighting the theme said people spend one third of their lives sleeping to show significance of sleep in life.
Wellcare Home Medicals makes case for the elderly, chronically ill
NDOUBTEDLY, palliative care services and adequate care for the elderly and frail have provided the much needed succour for several families in Nigeria and the world at large. Unfortunately, these services have been lacking in the Nigeria society. However stakeholders in homecare services say lack of state provision for eldercare in Nigeria has made it almost compulsory for families to provide the needs for the survival of the older people. Managing Director of Wellcare Home Medicals, a pioneer professional home-based caregiver in Nigeria, Dr. Mrs. Jumoke Odunsi, who noted that
most elderly people including the chronically ill in the country die due to lack of proper care. Odunsi who dropped from medicine practice after 10 years said she ventured into the service to ensure that these categories of Nigerians get the best of care. She lamented that the decline in the economy, gradual disintegration of the extended family system, unemployment, increasing female employment, as well as urbanisation all have contributed to the noticeable decline in the level of care provided by the family in recent times. “It is in this regard that Wellcare
•Dr. Jumoke Odunsi, Managing Director, Wellcare Home Medicals, Mr Akinmade Akinrolabu, General Manager, and Ms Tosin Adewale, General Manager, Admin/Operation, all of Wellcare at a media briefing to sensitise journalists on the contribution of the company in providing homecare support services to the old and frail in Lagos recently. Photo by Kehinde Gbadamosi C M Y K
Home Medicals is making effective contributions to the wellbeing of older people through homecare services. We offer a variety of medical and nonmedical related services through our trained caregivers (trained with the UK Care Modules) that allow older persons to continue to enjoy their independence and live happy and dignified lives”, shesaid. According to her, the WHO Key Fact 2011 indicates that,
the world’s population of people 60 years of age and older has doubled since 1980 and is forecast to reach 2 billion by 2050. Around 4-6 per cent of elderly people have experienced some form of maltreatment at home which can lead to serious physical injuries and long term psychological consequences and elder maltreatment is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing
populations. She hinted that Wellcare Home Medicals provides home support services to the old and frail, chronically ill, terminally ill, post hospitalisation, nursing care, personal aides/care giver services, doctor ’s visit, physiotherapy services and hospice care. While advocating provision of some form of care for the elderly in the society, she hinted how its services have been helping to ameliorate the plight of the elderly.
54 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
C M Y K
Heat break in Owerri …heart attack in Calabar
ET me quickly say this morning that I will pre-tend nothing happened in Calabar. In far away Ghana, I could not watch the match live, so I had to depend on second hand information. My kids at home were filing me in every ten minutes……even as I was starring at the traumatic Livescore internet service that does not tell you much apart from the blinking timing. When I saw something like a Kenya Goal, I quickly remembered colleagues that were in Calabar and frantically tried to reach them. Got George Aluo and he confirmed that the Kenyans were truly leading! Despite George’s belief that the Eagles were playing well enough for an equalizer and subsequent victory, anguish has an agonizing meaning. As the match progressed and the minutes ticked painfully towards stoppage time, I did not just know what was happening. I have spoken to quite a couple of people including the President of the NFF, yet I am not in a position to comment authoritatively on the match. Outside the match, I believe those who said the Nations Cup honeymoon is over, are now beating their chest with “ I told you so” expressions. Outside the match, I believe those who called for a Nations Cup postmortem are now vindicated. That we needed to come home, analyse and review our success as it were and plot a forward graph. That, we did not do, wasting time instead on unnecessary bickerings that has now set us backward. If the Kenya draw is a wake up call, I thank the Harambee Stars. I was at the Babayara Stadi-
Outside the match, I believe those who called for a Nations Cup postmortem are now vindicated.
um in Kumasi when it was finally confirmed that we had forced the Kenyans to a draw and unbelief reigned. For the President of the GFA, it was an opportunity to remind the Black Stars that football can be stupid. That if Kenya can go to Nigeria and be forced to a draw by the Champions of Africa, then they should be careful against Sudan the next day! Much as I wished we were as emphatic in our post Nations Cup performance like the Ivoriens and the Burkinabe’s I did say I was not going to
write about that match until I have the opportunity of seeing a video of it. Let me talk about a match in which I was physically present, the CAF Confederations Cup encounter between Heartland of Owerri and Union Sportive Bitam of Gabon. The moment I landed in Owerri, I knew things were not well. The body language of the officials said it all. Confidence was lacking in the team camp and the ambience and atmosphere was that of despair. Twice, I have seen Governor Rochas in Lagos, come to cart away the Federation Cup, and twice I have been tempted to clap as he spoke glowingly about the team that has helped to re emphasise the history of Imo in Nigeria’s sports circles, five trophies in two years to boot. To get to Owerri and discover that the team lacks executive support was disheartening. Bless those governors who will seize this opportunity with both hands to highlight the prowess of their state! On match day, thirty minutes to kick off the stadium was virtually empty. The stadium itself was nothing to write home about. Chalk was used to write the names of the teams on the score board while the key to the referee’s dressing room is bad. The team’s dug out is a row of plastic chairs without any protection from the elements and missiles from a disenchanted crowd….this, was certainly not an atmosphere for a continental competition. Then the team. I have no sympathy for them. I Continues on Page 52
Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013 — 55
LMC will transform Nigerian League — Hon. Irabor T
HE League Management Company has said that it has commenced the processes of restructuring the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) to enable it meet FIFA and global standards of football and deliver its mandate to have a League for Nigeria, run by competent Nigerians and clubs for the benefit of both local and international footballers and fans. Disclosing this yesterday, the Chairman of the LMC, Hon. Nduka Irabor said that the body was in the process of developing a corporate
•Irabor governance model for the LMC, the clubs and the league, even as he noted that the body was
F/Eagles Continues from BP that the victory over Congo ensured the team’s qualification to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, but the unfinished business remains the successful defense of the trophy he won in South Africa two years ago. “You know in football, after one issue comes the next. Yesterday ’s (Saturday) victory delighted everybody especially me because I set two major targets for myself and the team – to qualify for the World Cup and return our trophy to Nigeria. So 50 percent has been achieved and we are looking forward to the next one”, he said. Nigeria face Egypt, the Group A champions in
Tuesday’s semi final and Obuh said his players are ready. During a retournament training tour of Egypt, the Flying Eagles defeated Egypt 30 in their first warm-up match, two day’s later, they drew 0-0 and Obuh said the result of those friendly matches will not have bearing of his plans in the match. “No two matches are the same. After defeating them in their first match, they went back fortified their team hence the goalless draw in the second match. Though we expect much changes in the match on Tuesday. We are not going to allow those previous encounters determine our approach for Tuesday’s Semi final. We are ready”, Obuh said
Kanu Continues from BP The Nigerians who must now win their remaining matches in order to pick the sole qualifying ticket to the the final round, where the winner of the pool will square up against another group winner in a winner takes all two-legged battle. Speaking after the match in Calabar, Kanu, said that all hope was not yet lost for the Eagles to rescue their World Cup dream, pointing out that what happened in the C M Y K
Canaan Land, was one of those things that make football an unpredictable game. The former Arsenal forward said that the Harambee Stars came to Nigeria with a game plan to frustrate the Eagles, who he noted, did not play their game, allowing the Kenyans to have a field day and run away with a point. “I believe that we can bounce back from this draw and qualify for the World Cup”, said Kanu.
reworking the Title Sponsorship Agreement as well as the Broadcast Rights Agreement in order to make the league more viable and profitable for all. While noting that following an exhaustive examination of the legal and financial issues that had paralyzed the football league (resulting in the dissolution of the former board), Irabor said that “the committee decided that the interest of all stakeholders, especially the teeming millions of football lovers in Nigeria, would be best served by mapping out a new direction in the structure and management of the local premier football league” “Based on legal advice and in line within our mandate, the management committee in conjunction with the NFA opted for a new
management body for the local league that will be structured on corporate governance, transparency and meets the unfulfilled expectations of local football fans. “The new entity, the League Management Company (LMC), has taken off unencumbered by the baggage of illegality, absence of due process and insolvency that has bedeviled the growth of the local league. “We have already set out to work. The LMC has commenced the processes of restructure by putting in place machinery to deliver its mandate. We are preparing for instance a new league rules framework which includes new rules for the qualification and licensing of clubs within the league to bring our local clubs in line with international standards.
AYAC WARRI 2013: Oduduru is emerging star
HE Local Organising Committee for the Africa Youth Athletics Championships has planned a five star reception for the Nigerian team that will arrive Warri today (Monday) for the continental event. ’’The Nigerian Supporters’ band will be among the groups that will receive the team at the DSC Junction in Warri and with their drums and horns we will herald the entry of the team into Warri,’’ Amaju Pinnick, Chairman of the LOC s a i d . LOC members and top
officials of the Warri South Local Government will be among those who will receive the Nigerian team who will be arriving from the IAAF High Performance Centre in Porthacourt where they have been camping for a month now. In the team are two veteran Nigerian coaches, Seigha Porbeni and Brown Ebewele who are optimistic that Nigeria will present a solid squad for the championships. Up to 15 coaches trained the 59 a t h l e t e s . The Nigerian team will stay at Excel Hotel, one of the best hotels in Warri.
Eagles Continues from BP payment of the cash prize of $1.5 million for winning the competition. In the meantime, the Akwa Ibom State Government feted the African champions on Sunday in Uyo Akwa Government rewarded the team with Keshi pocketing two million Naira, while his assistants received half that sum.
The 23 players on the final AFCON squad got a 1 million Naira, while the 17 backroom staff were 500,000 Naira richer. The team presented Governor Godswill Akpabio with the national team No.9 shirt as well as the AFCON trophy. The Eagles have thus far received over $9 million in cash gifts for winning a third AFCON title.
’’We have a crack team. We have trained well and I’m sure that most of the athletes we have in this team will turn to stars in the near future,’’ Porbeni s a i d . Prominent among the emerging stars is Divine Oduduru, a 15 year SS 3 student who has run 10.5 in camp. ’’When a 15 year old
runs 10.5 you can imagine what he will do with good training in a year or two ,’’ Porbeni s a i d . Athletics Federation of Nigeria Technical Director, Omatseye Nesiama said that some of athletes in the Nigerian team may mature before the Rio Olympics in 1016.
Kenya storm Warri Continues from BP World Junior crown last year ahead of Ethiopia’s Hiwot Gebrekidan (9:09.27) and Great Britain’s Emelia Gorecka (9:09.43) who both ran personal bests but had to settle for silver and medal respectively.She will be the favourite to add the African Youth Championships to her collection.Jepkemei,who picked the steeplechase title in Barcelona with a the 9:47.22 World Junior Lead is also expected to emerge champions in Warri with Stella Jepkosgei Rutto,who won a bronze medal in Barcelona expected to be her fiercest rival for the g o l d medal. Meanwhile,the
Team Nigeria contingent for the Championships made up of 59 athletes and 15 officials will arrive Warri today from their training camp in Port Harcourt.The team will be lead by Ese Brume,the jumper who picked a pair of gold at the trials for the championships two weeks ago in Lagos.Brume won the long jump (6m40) and high jump (1m70) gold at the competition to lay a serious claim to the inaugural gold medals that will be awarded at the championships.As many as 15 countries have arrived for the championships.The Local Organising Committee reveals that Botswana, Namibia, Gabon, Burkina Faso.
Vanguard, MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
Kenya storm Warri with reigning world junior champions
EIGNONG IAAF world junior 3000m and 3000m steep l e c h a s e champions,Mercy Chebwogen and Daisy Jepkorir will lead a
Eagles World Cup hopes not over — Kanu BACKFLICK••• Super Eagles’ midfielder John Mikel Obi (L) watches as Kenya’s Mulinge Ndeto kicks the ball during their FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifying match on March 23 in Calabar. It ended 1-.1. PHOTO: AFP
strong Kenyan squad of five boys and five girls to Nigeria today for the inaugural edition of the African Youth Championships in Athletics starting this Wednesday in Warri,Delta state. Chebwogen ran a new 9:08.88 personal best to win the IAAF
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Eagles get $25,000 each AFCON bonus
BY PATRICK OMORODION who was in Calabar
ORMER Eagles C a p t a i n , Nwankwo Kanu has tipped the African champions to bounce back from the 1-1 draw they got against the Harambee Stars of Kenya in a 2014 World Cup qualifying race. The Coach Stephen Keshi-tinkered Nigerian side, weekend at the U.J Esuene Stadium in Ca;abar, needed a lastgasp Nnamdi Oduamadi eqaaliser to avoid an embarrassing home defeat against the Kenyans, who before the game, had not won in 11 previous meetings. The draw allowed Malawi to join Eagles at the top on five points.
HE Super Eagles were on Sunday morning paid a bonus of $25,000-a-man for beating Burkina Faso to win the AFCON in South Africa. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) could not come up with the cash to pay the team after they won the continental tournament on February 10 in Johannesburg courtesy of a Sunday Mba goal. A source close to the Eagles confirmed to MTNFoootball.com that the team have now been paid. It was further gathered that this payment could well have been possible after the NFF received the
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F-Eagles celebrate World Cup qualification •We’ve achieved 50% mission — Obuh BY JACOB AJOM in Algeria
IGERIA’S Under -20 team coach, John Obuh has said that part of his mission to Algeria has been achieved. Looking relaxed and self-assured a day after his wards dispatched Congo DR from the African Youth Championship in Algeria, the sweat merchant said
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YESTER DAY'S YESTERDAY'S
ACROSS 1 Enquired (5) 5 Meaning (6) 8 Clear (5) 10 Summer-house (6) 11 Orient (4) 14 Reach (6) 15 Protection (7) 18 Fish (3) 19 Finish (3) 21 Trade (4) 23 Chose (5) 24 Entrance (4) 27 Number (3) 29 Horse (3) 31 Revolved (7) 32 Gregarious (6) 34 Border (4) 35 Evaded (6) 38 Viper (5) 39 Fiery (6) 40 Species (5)
DOWN 2 Ocean (3) 3 Team (6) 4 Name (3) 5 Notion (4) 6 Mailed (6) 7 Burrow (6) 9 Thought (7) 12 Consumed (3) 13 Story (4) 16 Therefore (4) 17 Go in (5) 20 Signified (7) 22 Pain (4) 24 Abandon (6) 25 Formerly (4) 26 Invader (6) 28 Ripe (6) 30 Silence (3) 33 Precede (4) 36 Limb (3) 37 Bird (3)
YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS ACROSS: 1, Madcap 5, Spur 8, Sober 9, Dim 10, Oven 11, Vote 12, Ended 13, Retard 16, Disc 18, Arid 20, Cos 22, Lit 23, Lee 24, Rant 25, Item 28, Damage 30, Greet 32, Boat 33, Next 34, Due 35, Peace 36, Eked 37, Bridge.
How to Play Sudoku
DOWN: 1, Modern 2, Demotion 3, Aboard 4, Connected 5, Several 6, Prod 7, Rued 8, See 14, Diligence 15, Tie 17, Sit 19, Rewarded 29, Cab 21, Started 26, Master 27, Delete 29, Able 30, Gape 31, Tee.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Advert:email@example.com Website: www.vanguardngr.com (ISSN 0794-652X) Editor: MIDENO BAYAGBON. Phone: 01-7742861, All correspondence to P.M.B. 1007, Apapa Lagos.
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