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Gov Elechi suspends three commissioners for alleged improper dressing BY PETER DURU

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HEAD of the speculated reshufflement of Ebonyi State executive council, the state government has suspended its AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Ben Igwenyi, for alleged improper dressing to a state function. Also suspended are the state Commissioner for Works and Transport, Hon. Chukwuma Nwandugo; as well as Culture and Tourism, Chief Hyacinth Ikpor. In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Dr. Onyekachi Eni, the suspension is for three months, The Commissioners were directed not to appear in any state function within the duration of the suspension. The statement read: “The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Martin Elechi, has ordered the suspension of three commissioners and members of the State Executive Council for improper dressing to a state banquet. “The affected commissioners are: Hon. Chukwuma Nwandugo, Works and Transport; Hon. Hyacinth Ikpor, Culture and Tourism; and Hon. Ben Igwenyi, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice. “The suspension is for three

months and it commences with immediate effect. The affected commissioners are not expected to appear in any state function within the duration of their suspension”. Sunday Vanguard gathered that the affected commissioners were suspended after a recent state banquet organized on behalf of the Society of Gynaecologist and Obstetrics of Nigeria, SOGON at the Government House Lodge, Abakaliki. Elechi had, in his first tenure, suspended one of his protocol officers for sharing food while the National Anthem was on

Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo (right) with the outgoing Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Nigeria Khaled Adbrabuh, during a courtesy visit to the Vice President at the State House, Abuja.

ALLEGED DEATH FOLLOWING TRIBUNAL SITTING

Edo Dep Gov threatens to sue Airhiavbere BY SIMON EBEGBULEM Benin-City

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OLITICAL tension heightened in Edo State, yesterday, as the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Pius Odubu, vowed to sue the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gover norship candidate in the last gubernatorial election in the state, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, for libel. Odubu’s grouse was over the allegation that a man who slumped at the state gover-

norship election petition tribunal sitting on Thursday was brought by him (the Deputy Governor) to perform “some dubious mission”. A statement by Airhiavbere’s Campaign Organization had claimed that the man, Israel Odaro,” from Urhomehe” where the Deputy Governor also hails from, died in hospital where he was taken to after the incident. But, contrary to the claim, Sunday Vanguard visited the Benin Central Hospital and met the said Israel on his sick

Pope consecrates Archbishop Onaiyekan, 5 others as cardinals BY SAM EYOBOKA with Agency reports

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ATHOLIC Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, yesterday, in a solemn ceremony at the St. Peter ’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome, created 6 new cardinals includ-

ing the Metropolitan and Archbishop of Abuja, Archbishop John Olufemi Onaiyekan. Onaiyekan thus joins fellow Nigerians – Francis Cardinal Arinze and Anthony Cardinal Okogie - in the Catholic College of Cardinals. Onaiyekan hails from

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Kabba, Kogi State. Benedict received the cardinals-designate from his throne under a soaring dome designed by Michelangelo, as one by one they knelt before the 84-year-old pontiff and received the red silk squareridged hats, called birettas, that signify princes of the church. With yesterday’s ceremony, there are now 125 cardinals under the age of 80, and thus eligible to vote for the next pope. More than half of the cardinal-electors are now Italians and other Europeans, strengthening the Western voice at the church’s highest levels even as the rank and file grows most rapidly in the global south. Only three of the new cardinals hailed from the developing world: Brazil, India and Hong Kong. One reason for the shift toward European cardinals may be that Pope Benedict, a German, who worked for much of his career at the Vatican, has been highly concerned about, and focused on, the decline of Roman Catholicism in Europe, according to the Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.

bed and he disclosed he hails from Delta State but has lived in Benin for a long time and a supporter of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. He added: “My full name is Israel Eyinmosan and not Israel Odaro as Airhiavbere’s people claimed in their statement”. Eyinmosan further explained that he had been suffering from epilepsy since 1984 when he was in secondary school, adding that he had no relationship whatsoever with the Deputy Governor. He stated that he was shocked that the Airhiavbere’s Campaign Organization claimed that he is a native doctor and was dead. “There is nothing people cannot say about you when something like this happens. People want to say many things to spoil you because they always attribute every thing to politics. Many people have called me as I am in the hospital, saying that they heard that I was dead but you can see that I am alive. I don’t have any personal relationship with the deputy governor; so for them to lie that he brought me there as a native doctor is funny,” he stated. Odubu, who reacted to the statement from Airhiavbere’s Campaign Organization, gave the retired general 48 hours to retract the statement and tender unreserved apology,

failing which he would take him to court for libel. “This attempt to assassinate my character will not go unredressed.”, he said, explaining that as a responsible citizen of Edo State and Deputy Governor, his concern was to assist a man in distress by calling the authorities of the Central Hospital to take him for treatment. He also asked the television stations which relayed the offensive statement to retract same and tender apology, failing which they will be joined in the legal action. “I want to say categorically that this press release is false in its entirety. It is a deliberate attempt to assassinate my character. I want to place it on record that ACN in Edo State, Comrade Oshiomhole, do not need juju priests to defend the petition at the tribunal. Every body here knows that that election has been adjudged as the freest and fairest election in Nigeria and indeed Oshiomhole won the election in all the 18 LGAs in Edo state,”the Deputy Governor said. “I have seen desperation in my life but this is the lowest, that human beings can lie in an attempt to divert the attention in court. I see this as diversionary. It is a deliberate attempt to divert attention from the crumbling case of Gen.Airhiavbere at the tribunal”.

Kidnappers prevent judge from sitting Continued from page 1

of Otor-Udu High Court, OtorUdu, they have forced her to abandon the court room where many cases are pending for adjudication and litigants lamenting. As if that ugly twist is not enough, a police orderly working with her is being implicated in the kidnap threat saga. She, at first, did not take the

threat serious until the would-be kidnappers telephoned her and disclosed to her that some other judges had paid. To further frighten her, they told her they were monitoring her every move, including the house chores she was involved in at the moment the telephone conversation was going on. DETAILS IN STORY OF THE WEEK ON PAGES 1317


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Murder: Family concerned over ‘strange’ death of 3 witnesses BY EMMA AMAIZE

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NE year after the former gubernatorial candidate of Citizens Popular Party, CPP, in Delta State, Chief Ogbe Onokpite, was allegedly assassinated by some police officers in Warri, the family, at the weekend, raised the alarm over alleged mysterious death of three witnesses in the controversial killing. In a statement by a sibling of the victim, Ufuoma Emmanuel Onokpite, the family said, “Investigation of late has revealed that one of the policemen identified as one of the shooters who was said to have removed Ogbe’s necklace died in mysteri-

ous circumstances in his cell. “Also, the duo of British and Orlando were shot by unknown gunmen. These people were living witnesses to the killing of my brother, yet somehow, they were silenced”. According to the family, “Even the two AK 47 rifles that were presumed to belong to Ogbe were confirmed by the police armoury in Lagos as police rifles. Other persons indicted are still out there and, with God on our side, they would be brought to book.” Ufuoma observed that the circumstances surrounding Ogbe’s death have still not been unraveled one year after his

‘C-River records zero child, maternal death in 2011’ By JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU, Calabar

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ROSS River State government has announced that the state recorded zero child, maternal death in 2011. Barrister Efiok Cobham, the state deputy governor, who disclosed this at the Congress of the AfricanMiddle East Association of Gastroenterology, AMAGE, at the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort, Calabar, said the feat was as a result of the state government’s efforts in the healthcare delivery. Nigeria is said to have one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rate in the world at 74 deaths for per 1000 infants and 630 per 100,000 live births. But Cobham said, “We are presently up scaling secondary and tertiary healthcare facilities in the state and have already concluded arrangements to establish a fully equipped Specialist

healthcare facility in the state capital.” The deputy governor, who spoke on behalf of Governor Liyel Imoke, the patron of the 6th congress of the association and the host, said the state government would participate in the congress fully because of its belief that it would not only be worthy hosts but also a full beneficiary of derivable benefits from the world specialists’ meeting. He said, “As a fast developing state, we remain open for intervention from your association as may be appropriate.” In his key note address, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, represented by the Chief Medical Director of University of Calabar, Dr. Thomas Agan, said Nigeria would partner with medical bodies around the world to address the growing incidence of digestive disorders in Africa following changing lifestyles.

murder, adding, “Though series of legal actions have been filed before the court, his remains are still in the mortuary awaiting final investigation on the incident surrounding his death.” According to him, “Though the case is still under investigation, we urge the judiciary and the Presidency, through Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to be diligent in unraveling the circumstances surrounding his death.”.

Help, my husband wants to kidnap our children — Housewife BY ADEOLA ADENUGA

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RS Fatimo Ajao pleaded with a Lagos court to dissolve her 19-year-old marriage over abandonment. She also alleged that her husband, Jamiu, turned her into punching bag and planned to kidnap their children. The 35- year- old woman of 13, Odunbaku Street, Ogba, told the court that she wanted the custody of the children. The mother of three filed for the dissolution on the grounds of what she described as “threat to life, lack of responsibility and absence of love”. ”When I delivered our last baby, my husband promised to foot the naming ceremony bills, but

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OALITION of Nige rian Youth Leaders for Peace has berated the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Com. Abdulwaheed Omar, for allegedly calling Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamako names over the face-off between the state and the staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). The president of the Coalition, Mr Mike Loyibo, while speaking in Abuja, noted that Omar

lacked knowledge of the facts of the matter. He asked the NLC boss to apologize to the government and the people of the state. His words, “We have peace in Sokoto and that is because of the leadership.The crux of the matter is that the PHCN manager collected N17m to supply transformers and did not supply the transformers. The governor called the man and said `tell me why you must not deliver after collecting mon-

his phone was switched off until the evening of the ceremony when he reappeared”, Fatima said. ”My husband is not responsible; he came around 7p.m. after we had named the baby and was asking for the child’s name. ”He absconded from the house after our second baby and used to come to the house once in a while, make love to me, then go back to where I don’t know. ”I endured because I didn’t want to be moving from one man to the other, but now that he threatens to kidnap my children, I want the court to dissolve the marriage. ”My children did not recognise their father after four years of abandonment. He came back

and when the children did not go to him, he promised to kidnap them”. She also told the court that her husband had married another wife. ” I want the court to dissolve the marriage and grant me the custody of the children”. The respondent, Jamiu, a commercial vehicle driver, who lives at 573, Adebimpe Street, Ketu,told the court that he still loved his wife. ”I might not be a perfect husband, but I know that I am better than some husbands who beat their wives”, he said. ”I want my wife to give me a second chance, I would change. I don’t want to divorce her. I am still in love with her.” The court told the couple to maintain the peace

Utomi: There is disconnect between govt, people •12m Nigerians roam the streets - Falana BY AKOMA CHINWEOKE

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professor of politi cal economy and management expert , Prof. Pat Utomi, has faulted Federal Government’s

Sokoto gov vs PHCN: Group takes on NLC boss BY CALEB AYANSINA

Mr. Ide Eguabor, a media consultant(middle), with his wife, Helen(right), and their daughter, Anita, during the daughter’s call to the Bar at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, last week.

ey?’ He told him to go deliver on the agreement. ”There was no beating, no harassment. So, for the NLC president to call a governor that is elected and accepted by his people all such names is unacceptable. ”We call on the president of the NLC to apologize to the people and government of the state, because government in Sokoto is determined and in a hurry to deliver dividends of democracy to its people”.

effort to combat human trafficking, describing it as half- hearted insisting that there is a disconnect between government and the people. Speaking in Lagos at the inauguration of Sympathy Worldwide Foundation (SWF), an NGO against human trafficking and sex-slavery, Utomi explained that the people in power are so distant from the masses that they hardly feel their pains and therefore continuously fail to react to their problems. Also speaking, human rights activist and legal luminary, Femi Falana (SAN), pointed out that it is an offense for parents not to enroll their children in school, saying there are about 12 million Nigerians roaming the streets even when the country has enough mon-

ey to put them in schools. “As at the last time I investigated with the UBE in Abuja, about 32 billion naira was lying fallow. This money has not been assessed by state governments as every year, the Federal Government was supposed to put into that account 2 percent of the consolidated fund of the federation. State governments are required to contribute counterpart funding. Unfortunately, most state governments don’t bother because we are talking about the children of the poor here“, Falana said. He commended the initiator of the foundation, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Nwuzor, for her courage in fighting modern slavery but warned that the body would meet a lot obstacles in trying to win the war from those who are profiting from the illicit trade.

and adjourned the case to Dec. 5 for further hearing.

Major Banjoko passes on

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AJOR (Mrs.) Victoria Adetutu Taiwo Banjoko (rtd) is dead, aged 73. Funeral arrangements commence on Thursday, 29 November, with lyingin-state at Okepo, beside St. Mary ’s Primary School, Ijebu-Imushin, Ogun State to be followed by a Christian Wake Keep. Interment takes place on Friday, 30 November, after a funeral service at St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Ijebu-Imushin, Ogun State. The dece ased is survived by children and grand children, among others.

Pilgrims return

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HE third flight car rying about 550 Katsina State pilgrims has landed at Umar Musa Yar’Adua International Airport from Saudi Arabia. The plane landed with pilgrims from Kankia, Kusada, Musawa and Matazu local governments. At the airport to receive them is the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Alhaji Lawal Danhaire, and some members of the return journey committee. Some of the pilgrims, who spoke to journalists, expressed gratitude to the state government for making this year’s hajj exercise successful. They were particularly happy with the various committees set up and logistic arrangements made by the government in support of the hajj rites.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012 — PAGE 7

Daniel Eulogizes HID AWOLOWO @ 97

2014 Polls: Count me out of plots against Ekiti, Osun govs — Mimiko BY ADEOLA ADENUGA

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overnor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State has described as untrue and the figment of the writer ’s imagination a newspaper report that he is mobilising against his Ekiti and Osun states counterparts ahead of the gubernatorial elections due for 2014 in the states. A newspaper, quoting sources, had reported that Mimiko had vowed to mobilise resources, both human and financial, to challenge the reelection of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Dr. Kayode Fayemi, governors of Osun and Ekiti States respectively. Reacting to the report, however, the Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, in a statement, said the report could not be farther from the truth. Akinmade said Mimiko just won an election, adding that the plan of the Ondo chief helmsman is to consolidate on the gains of the election to provide good governance for the people of Ondo, declaring that his principal is not on a conquering mission. “Governor Mimiko just won an election, and the plan of the government is to consolidate on the gains of the election by providing the expected good governance for the people because the government already has a record of brilliant per-

formance and can’t afford to be distracted”, the commissioner stated. According to him, the state government has a covenant with the people of the state on which it must deliver. “The claim that Governor Mimiko is mobilising to take over Ekiti and Osun states is the figment of the story o r i g i n a t o r ’ s imagination”, the statement added.

From left :Mrs Chinyere Eleanya, widow, and children of Mr Sylva Eleanya, at the candle light pocession for the late Vanguard photo journalists, organised by the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) at the National Stadium, Lagos on Friday. Photo by Biodun Ogunleye

Come to the North to help us, Christians plead *JTF denies ladies massacre BY SAM EYOBOKA, NDAHI MARAMA Maiduguri

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hristians in the North-East have sent an appeal to the federal and state governments across the country as well as their counterparts in the South to help them out of what they described as a grand design to annihilate Christians in the region. A statement by a senior religious leader in the zone (names withheld for security reasons) alleged that Muslim fundamentalists are moving from house to house in the night to kill Christians in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, and the rural areas of the state. It stated that Christians are now frightened anytime Sunday is approaching because their colleagues are being slaughtered daily despite

representations to government and the Joint Task Force (JTF) to contain the high level of insecurity in the region, arguing that the Federal Government needs to pay more attention to developments in South-East. “Christians are frightened for fear of being attacked at anytime to the extent that those who are bold enough to still identify with their faith now do so under cover by hiding their Bibles when going to church,” the message stated, adding that the Federal Government, which “has done well thus far, should intensify efforts to secure the region”, the statement said. “The Federal Government should increase the number of troops to effectively patrol every nook and cranny of the state capital (Borno)

because most of the killings now take place in the rural areas of the there.” The Christians also appealed to fellow Christians in the South to always remember them in their prayers, because “no matter what we are facing currently, we still believe in the efficacy of prayers as a way out of this state of insecurity. The situation is very grave and we need God’s intervention to solve it.” The statement listed the victims of the fundamentalists in one week to include a pastor that was killed last Sunday, a CAN leader, who narrowly escaped being killed as he was chased by militants, two Christians slain on Monday, three on Tuesday, five on Wednesday and 10 on Thursday. According to the statement, the fundamentalists move

from house to house seeking for Christians to kill and forcing their wives and female children to wear hijabs or risk being killed. Meanwhile, the JTF in Borno State, yesterday, denied reports that 20 mini-skirt wearing girls were killed by gunmen in Maiduguri, the state capital, on Friday. Spokesman for the JTF, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, in a text message to journalists, insisted that the reports were false even as residents said three children of a State Security Service, SSS, officer were slaughtered in the presence of their mother. The officer was not at home at the time of incident, according to the residents. The JTF also refuted reports of the slaughtering of six Camerounians and Chadians as well as five others in Lawan Bukar wards of Maiduguri.

Ugborodo:Itsekiri group sacks Tonwe *’I’m still national president’ BY EMMA AMAIZE

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ATIONAL president of the Itsekiri National Youth Council, INYC, and chairperson of the parallel Ugborodo Community Trust, Ugborodo, Warri SouthWest Local Government Area, Delta State, Mr. David Tonwe, has been removed from office purportedly for his involvement in the longdrawn Ugborodo crisis and inability to steer the

affairs of the youth organization. However, Mr. Tonwe, who reacted to the news of his purported removal, yesterday, told Sunday Vanguard on phone, “They do not have the locus to remove me from office; I still remain as then national president of INYC”. It was learnt that the first vice president of INYC and chair of the Iwere Development Union, IDU, Comrade Omolubi Newuwumi, was mandated to steer the

affairs of the council in an acting president. Tonwe, nevertheless,

maintained that Newuwumi is his first vice president and was free to

R E S I D E N T G o o d l u c k Jonathan, yesterday, commended the University of Benin (UNIBEN) for being the best university in the country and sub-Sahara Africa and urged other Nigerian universities to live up to the standard required for the growth of education in the country. The president, who spoke through Professor Patrick Onolemenmen of the National Universities Commission (NUC), at the

act in his absence, but not that he (Tonwe) had been removed from office.

As Hosa Okunbor bags honours 38 th convocation of the university, admonished Vice-Chancellors to key into the developmental agenda of the Federal Government, adding that they should send proposals that will help address the challenges of the nation. The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Osayuki Oshodin, who spoke earlier, disclosed that two outstanding

Jonathan congratulates Koroma

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R E S I D E N T G o o d l u c k Jonathan has congratulated President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone on his reelection and swearing-in yesterday for another five-year term. In a statement signed by Reuben Abati, he quoted Jonathan as saying:”Nigeria welcome President Koroma’s victory with close to 60 per cent of the votes cast in the November 17 presidential elections which was keenly contested by eight other candidates as an affirmation of the trust and confidence the people of Sierra Leone have in his capable leadership”.

Loral students

Jonathan commends UNIBEN for standard

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A former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has described Chief (Mrs.) HID Awolowo as a stabilizing force of the Yoruba race and a key contributor to the unity of Nigeria. Daniel, in a goodwill message to commemorate the 97th birthday of the matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty, described her as a quiet contributor to the unity and progress of the Yoruba race in particular and Nigeria in general and an epitome of the best of womanhood who in spite of her age has remained a rallying and unifying force in the country. He said Mama Awolowo’s life of total dedication to her family, solid support for her husband, and moral chastity is worth celebrating.

persons: Captain Idahosa Okunbor, a business tycoon and philanthropist; and Dr. Isa Odidi, a Canadianbased Nigerian pharmacist and Director of a pharmaceutical company and research centre, were conferred with honourary doctorate degrees for their contributions to the development of the country.

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S part of efforts to engender healthy academic competition among students as well as to celebrate outstanding ones, Loral International Secondary School, Festac, Lagos has rewarded 16 of her students with Platinum Awards. The students were honoured for consistency in excellence. A student is required to make 12 A’s and above in three consecutive terms before he/she will be inducted into the Platinum Club of the school.


PAGE 8—SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

Nigeria’s territorial waters closed to pirates, oil thieves ...As navy mobilises eight warships, six gun boats, three helicopters for Exercise Farauta By CHARLES KUMOLU

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ACED with growing oil theft on Nigeria’s territorial waters, activi ties of pirates and the attendant threats to national maritime inter ests, the Nigerian Navy has declared war on criminals on the nation’s waterways through Exercise Farauta FOLLOWING the rising rate of crime on Nigeria’s waterways, security agencies saddled with the responsibility of making the nation’s territorial The Chief of the Naval Staff after landing in an helicopter during Exercise waters safe had come under criticisms. FARAUTA The criticisms were particularly borne out of the assumption that the security agencies were doing little or nothing to checkmate the reign of helicopters including elements evaluations were held during criminals on the high seas. of the Nigerian Army and a the 7-day event. These include The Nigerian Navy,NN, Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the fire fighting and damage whose constitutional duty it is overboard Nigerian Air Force participated control, man to defend the nation’s soverin the exercise. Three ships procedure, man and cheer ship, eignty at sea, was not spared from Lagos, namely NNS communication and gunnery in the anger in the land over NWAMBA, NNS ANDONI and exercises as well as boarding and search including helicopter the insecurity, which had negNNS MAKURDI sailed to the operations and aerial surveilatively affected human and exercise area while three others, lance by the Nigerian Air Force economic security in the mariNNS THUNDER, NNS Maritime Patrol Aircraft. time sector. BURUTU and NNS KYANWA, In what appeared like a quick Perhaps, it is against the departed from Onne, Port Har- result from the exercise and an backdrop of the mounting court for the exercise with two indication that Farauta would condemnations that the NN other participating ships from make the territorial waters safer, recently declared war on crimWarri namely NNS ZARIA and the fleet evaluation exercise led inals on the nation’s waterto the boarding, search and NNS OBULA. ways, with emphasis on BonThe objective was to ensure arrest of some in the immediate of Ibok loading terminal. ny-Akassa-Escravos axis and sustained patrol and presence vicinity Stakeholders commend exthe offshore oil platforms of at sea particularly along the es- ercise Bonga and Bogi. tablished points of Escravos, A maritime security expert, This development, which was Forcados, Akassa, Brass, Pen- who pleaded anonymity, said, a response to a presidential ninton and Bonny corridors. ‘’The massive deployment of directive to the Chief of Naval The last of such exercise on eight ships, alongside six gun Staff,CNS, Vice Admiral Dele combat capability on maritime boats and three Agusta heliNigerian Navy Ships in formation during Exercise Joseph Ezeoba, to put an security was last conducted 6 copters from the three operaFARAUTA 2012 immediate stop to the illegalitional commands of the Nigeriyears ago. ties on the seas, resulted to the The Commander, 2 Brigade of an Navy for the exercise reaflaunching of a Fleet and pollution laws. War going to be in the country in the the Nigerian Army, Brigadier firms the improved operational Evaluation/ Joint Maritime Ex- declaration on maritime next 18 – 24 months which is General Tukur Buratai, and the state of readiness of the ercise code named: Exercise criminals the a long time. While that is Command Operations Officer, Nigerian Navy fleet. This opFARAUTA a Hausa word Speaking during the exercise ongoing, there is some effort Mobility Command of the erational efficacy underscores the manpower assets of the Nimeaning hunting. on board NNS THUNDER, somewhere to fill a gap by Nigerian Air Force, Air gerian Navy which makes it The exercise, which was also Ezeoba expressed confidence working at possible off shelve Commodore Joseph Folorunsho rank among the best navies in to stop the illegal activities of that a clear message had been acquisition to help us to meet Adeleke, observed the exercise. the African continent. ‘ crude oil thieves, illegal oil sent to crude oil thieves and this operational capability,” the ‘’There is no doubt that exerThe duo from sister services bunkerers and pirates, took other criminal elements to get CNS declared. reaffirmed the support of the cise Farauta fulfilled its objecplace from November, 11- 17, out of the nation’s territorial Ezeoba stated that the navy army and airforce to the navy, tive. The challenges of maritime in the Bights of Benin and waters.He said that being in the was determined to carry out noting that the synergy among security underscores the need Bonny. sea for seven days, which had President Goodluck Jonathan’s the services would help to erad- for Government to provide the Accordingly, the one-week not happened for a long time, directive to ensure that they icate the illegalities in the Niger necessary enablers for the event, held under the opera- was an evidence of the navy’s stamped out all criminals in the Delta region in consonance Nigerian Navy to carry out its tional command of the CNS, resolve to do things differently nation’s territorial waters, espe- with with the Armed Forces statutory responsibilities. Considering the enormous was also to reposition the NN on the waters. cially areas notorious for crude Transformation Agenda. benefits of a secured maritime for its other responsibilities as “We will continue to meet the oil theft. environment to the nation’s Arrests stipulated in Armed Forces Act benchmarks, we will continue to “When there is a will, there is The high point of Exercise economy, the Navy needs adCAP A20. put structures in place to help a way and we will leverage on FARAUTA was the display by equate platforms in the right Instructively, the Act further develop more capacity to that commitment from Mr Pres- the participating ships and mix for its trained manpower charged the NN to assist in the sustain our presence at sea. We ident and we will deliver on his helicopters with the masterly to effectively protect the nacoordination and enforcement have in the offing the planned mandate,’’ he added. establishment of sea control of tion’s maritime domain of customs, immigrations, acquisition of 2 new offshore It was gathered that eight war the nation’s territorial water in against all forms of criminalibunkering, fishery protection patrol vessels (OPVS) which is ships, six gun boats and three the Exercise area. A number of ties.’’ C M Y K


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All letters bearing writers' names and full addresses should be typed and forwarded to: The Editor, Sunday Vanguard, Kirikiri Canal, P. M. B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos. E-mail: sunvanguardmail@yahoo.com

Nigerian universities need total overhaul Dear Sir,

SIR, education simply means the act of imparting and acquiring knowledge through teaching and learning, especially at a school or similar institutions. The quality of education of a country determines the economic, political, military and overall success of that country. If the education sector of a particular country is faulty just like ours, no amount of policies and visions can guarantee its effort of meeting the technological and infrastructural needs of its citizenry. In the height of cold war between Soviet Union and the United States (US) for example, the US was under threat of National Security, so in order to minimize their vulnerabilities; America started investing in education and science. Today, no country can match America in terms of educational development, not even their colonial master; the Britain. In the 2012 ranking of the World Universities as released last week, American and British universities dominate the log from the top while three African universities, all from South Africa, slimed into the list of the 400 best universities in the world. In the last two decades, South Africa sent fifteen million emigrants to other countries for knowledge acquisition, but this option is not open to Nigeria, a country that fought for the liberation of South Africa during apartheid in spite of its rapidly increasing population. The history of public education reform in Nigeria has been a process of “tinkering toward utopia.” While the National University Commissions can succeed in calling attention to potential problems, the remedies suggested are often ambiguous and their implementation ill-defined; reform movements rarely

meet their goals. Today, anyone who has been to Nigerian public school will always feel comparatively at home in prison. The problem of Nigerian education goes deeper than the lack of buildings or lack of equipment or lack of scholarships or even lack of personnel. It involves quality; quality of teachers, quality of instruction, quality of curricula, quality of students, quality of output, quality of standards, commitment to duty and transparency.' Another serious problem facing Nigeria's education is that of

corruption; the management of Nigerian institution, from colleges of education to universities is brazenly corrupt. All aid pouring into our institutions by donors are directed into the wrong hands, the Vice Chancellor down to lecturers compare themselves with local government chairmen, senators and governors. With their voracious appetite for excessive wealth, university management run different kinds of programmes such as part-time, diploma which is supposed to be done in the polytechnics, sandwich and so on. Universities

management makes hell of money from students that enroll into the above programmes and give them pinch of knowledge and end up becoming halfbaked graduates. In the past, during convocation ceremony, best students were awarded scholarship by the university, private individuals and corporations as a way of motivating and encouraging students to learn, but today, is like a prize giving day for university staff. Onogwu Isah Muhammed Kogi Youth Coalition for Good Governance.,Lokoja .

Governor Uduaghan must hear this! Dear Sir,

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T is disappointing and embarassing indeed that the good work of the Delta State Government under Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, is being thwarted by some disgruntled elements in Ubulu-Uku in order to make quick money to disorganize the town and pursue incessantly the kingship tussle. Recently, when I went to carry my daughter from Abuedo Primary School, Ubulu-Uku, I personally noticed that not up to five minutes the pupils and teachers left the school, the ceilings and zincs of a classroom block just recently renovated collapsed. This would have been a disaster if they were in the classroom. God really helped us. The said school was among those

recently renovated by the Delta State government, with the painting of the entire school, we thought a good work was done. Surprisingly, the reverse was the case. This, everybody will agree was to thwart the efforts of the state government. The state government should urgently check all the on-going renovation works not only in Ubulu-Uku but other towns especially schools so that there will be value for money. What baffled me most was that during my investigation, I discovered that a native of the town was awarded the contract for the renovation works on Abuedo Primary School, Ubulu-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State. As a result, I want to appeal to the governor to investigate this and send the ‘powerful’ contractor

cum politician back to site. This is too appalling! We understand that the contractor from Ubulu-Uku who did the shoddy work for his people, and claimed to be a ‘big’ politician, boasted that nothing can happen. Something need to happen because a stitch in time saves nine. Again, it is poor tax payers money. May God grant us the illumination to see the limelight of Delta State elevation, and endow us with the untaunted courage, indomitable will and the unshakable faith to follow it without flinching. Long live Delta State, long live Governor Uduaghan, long live Federal Republic of Nigeria. Adanma Ifeoma Nwankwor (Mrs.), Retired teacher, Ubulu-Uku.


PAGE 10—SUNDAY

VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

Between Sobowale & Diezani

*Why columnists should be more constructive

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ERHAPS, some columnists would need to be re-educated to understand the harm in over-generalisation. Being a columnist does not give any individual the magna charta to write about fellow individuals as if playing god. Well, they could play god if they choose to, but when such acts begin to impugn the character of others, there is need for caution. Which is why the article published in this paper last Sunday about the person of Diezani Allison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources, was not only despicable but was filled with bile. If the article had been published based on facts and facts alone, it may have represented a contribution to the need for transparency and also a good contribution to anticorruption that we all must strive for. But what Dele Sobowale wrote was nothing more than an undue over-generalisation presented as facts about the minister.

The great leveller Study the past if you would define the future.” ¯ Confucius HE last couple of weeks has been a roll call of the who is who of the great and notable of Nigeria’s glorious past. These luminaries have contributed to the landscape of Nigeria’s political, judicial and sociological history. I have read the tributes left by people at the passing of Justice Kayode Eso, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, the former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lamidi Adesina and Mrs. Sheila Solarin(the widow of renowned educationist and social reformer, Tai Solarin). It seems that they have one way or another blazed the trail in the fashioning of Nigeria. It has been a seismic shift in the reception of the loss,

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and it is the fact that we too,will go at some time or a n o t h e r . What would be our legacy? And what will be our contribution to Nigeria and who amongst the present Nigerians will be talked about with such pride or missed for that matter? I am sure, none of the departed, went out of their way to pave their way in the nation’s memory but what they all had in common was that they made an indelible footprint in our history and that is more than the present crop of Nigerians who are hell bent on corruption and pillaging the nation for their own selfish interests are keen on doing. I must profess, I was not too enamoured of some of these people until t h e i r d e a t h s were announced. The more I read, the more I

suggesting that the editor was merely asking a question; but how many Nigerians would place premium on a simple punctuation mark? Bad news is good news they say. Back to Sobowale on Diezani. In his column of last week entitled, Alison-Madueke’s self-delusion of innocence’, Sobowale quotes Diezani thus: “Those fighting the government in the

Sobowale can criticize but he should be more constructive. His attack of Diezani is tantamount to saying that Speaker Aminu Tambuwal should answer for the alleged crimes of Lawan Farouk in his dealing with Femi Otedola

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media are doing so because we have been able to frustrate their efforts in strangulating the economy through their devilish black market and questionable profiteering at the expense of the Nigerian people…What is hurting them is that we have put policies in place where they can no longer cheat the government and cause untold hard-

being unfair, you are linking the individual to same. That is bad manners. Part of the few statements of fact that Sobowale made was that “I have never been involved in the oil sector in any form. She on the other hand had worked for one of the most indicted oil companies in the world”.

became impressed by these group of Nigerians and their contributions to nationhood. I am sure and I hope that if our country produced these crop of people, we will once again have such calibre of people sometime in the future. On the condolences at the death of the eminent Justice Eso, there have been an unequivocal feeling of monumental loss to the country and the judicial profession. Many of the accolades attributed to Justice Eso, was that he was an outstanding jurist, that he was a man of principle and a consummate patriot. Amosun recalled that Jus-

Soyinka, who described him as ”a man of stellar integrity who probably changed the course of his existence” Another notable loss was the political don and former Senate Leader, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki. Dr Saraki (79) was a visible presence in Kwara State politics for over four decades. For close to five decades, he fine tuned his political craft f r o m t h e grassroots to national level. He was the political kingpin and was instrumental in making the successive governors in Kwara State; Adamu Attah (1979-1983); Cornelius Adebayo (1983); Shaaba

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RIGHT OF REPLY

Before I am confused for one of your run-of-the mill jobbers seeking favor, let me state here and now that I have never met Diezani before. And that is the truth, and I do not think I want to meet her. But as I write this, I write because it is a bounding duty that I feel I must discharge so that we do not continue to needlessly embarrass public office holders because we have the right to publish as columnists. And I do not think any columnist can get his material published if the editor does not sanction it. But the editor did. So, do we then conclude that between the editor and Dele Sobowale, there is a conspiracy of Diezani haters - I am coining this from the front page of that publication about the ‘Conspiracy of the corrupt?’, a story about how members of the National Assembly are planning to remove the Code of Conduct Bureau. Bad as the move by some members of the National Assembly is, it would be wrong to just conclude that all the lawmakers are corrupt. It can be argued that there was a question mark to that headline,

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BY JAMIU ALAPATIRA

ship to millions of Nigerians”. Sobowale then goes on to regale the reader about his personal experience in America while in school, something he does every time as if all the readers did not attend good schools or some did not school abroad. In learning about mental processes, he claimed to have later worked, part-time, during the summer, at “Belleview Hospital, New York City where I worked briefly in the psycho ward. There, I found nothing less than twenty men claiming to be “God”. The point he was trying to make here was about quasi-insanity. So, when in trying to make a point about an individual along lines of quasi-insanity, you are not only

What will be our contribution to Nigeria and who amongst the present Nigerians will be talked about with such pride or missed for that matter?

tice Eso belonged to that golden era of the Nigerian Supreme Court, “which turned out landmark judgments that have remained reference points till date”. There were persona l t r i b u t e s o n e f r o m Wo l e

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Lafiagi (1992); Mohammed Lawal (1999-2003) and his own son, Bukola Saraki (2003-2011). Olusola Saraki held the outstanding record as the only political godfather who placed a serving governor (namely Adamu Attah) on

When Sobowale goes about castigating people, he should try to remember that some responsibilities come with the authority to write a column. So, because AllisonMadueke worked in an international oil company, she becomes liable for whatever acts committed by the company? But more importantly, Sobowale continues with his argument about a woman whom he claims is deluded. He says because N1.3 trillion was the figure released as subsidy while the House of Representatives’ probe panel discovered much more, the minister knew about it and was only trying to cover up. It is convenient for Sobowale to write that every other Nigerian in public office is corrupt. There is some truth in Sobowale’s assertion that, as petroleum resources minister, she ought to have gotten her facts right, just as President Goodluck Jonathan and Madam OkonjoIweala should have also gotten their facts right on the entire petrol subsidy saga, but labeling her alone makes Sobowale’s engagement smack of deliberate mischief. Pray, if some fellow in Sobowale’s Vanguard plants a story in the paper; or more directly, a Judas in his family (as there are in every family), who goes ahead to misbehave and commit a crime and a columnist picks that up and alludes that the editor of Vanguard or the head of Sobowale’s family, re-

spectively, is the Judas, how would that feel? Yes, there is the point of vicarious liability! But there is also the issue of thinking straight and not allowing sentiments and a mentality that feeds on being perpetually cantankerous to overcome us. Sobowale is a columnist I enjoy reading regularly. There are times he had taken on some causes which are noble. There are other times he takes on causes that some of us see through as being products of sheer mercantilist arrangement. But he owns the column. He is intelligent. And we respect most of his views. However, I have never felt so strongly to correct the impression he runs away with when he writes about people any which way he wants than now because the argument just does not hold water. In fact, his logic about Diezani should go for all Nigerians when the issue of 419, drug pushing, corruption is discussed. Because, he seems to be saying to us that if a human being has two legs, then every moving object with two legs is a human being, and therefore a chicken is a human being. Sobowale can criticize but he should be more constructive. His attack of Diezani is tantamount to saying that Speaker Aminu Tambuwal should answer for the alleged crimes of Lawan Farouk in his dealing with Femi Otedola. *Alapatira is based in Abeokuta

a monthly allowance of N50,000 so that he (Attah) would not, in his (Saraki’s) own words, “touch government money at all but work, construct roads, provide water, electricity, health and so on.’’ Now, that is laudable no matter what angle it is perceived. He was a big hearted philanthropist who built a bakery, that distributed bread free of charge to the p e o p l e . H e even gave out land to misplaced market women days before he met his maker! Former Oyo State Governor, Lam Adeshina, was described as “one of the most courageous leaders Nigeria has ever produced. At his recent passing, Chief Olusegun Osoba, spoke glowingly about the deceased:”What you cannot take away from him is his forthrightness and outspokenness, he tells it as it is even in the face of intimidation and threat to his personal safety”. Governor Ajimobi described Alhaji Adesina as “a dedicated patriot, foremost defender of democracy and human rights, and political war-horse who had always stood on the side of truth”. Mrs. Sheila Solarin, wid-

ow of renowned educationist and social crusader, Dr. Tai Solarin was a big loss to the nation. Fondly known as “Mama”, she arrived in Nigeria 60 years ago with her husband, Tai Solarin, a teacher. They both worked at Molusi College, Ijebu Igbo, prior to setting up the nationally renowned Mayflower school in Ikenne in 1956. It was a mission and a passion. Ask any Mayflowerhites, they remember the Solarins so fondly and like family. She recalled years later that they made blocks from clay and constructed two classrooms and accommodated 36 pupils and went on to construct more and educated a lot more. She recalled: “They had their bunks at the back of the class, and the desks at the front,” and “we didn’t ask anybody what their ethnic background or religion was, we simply wanted to provide education for all the children in the area.” Mrs Sheila, British born, was honoured with Member of British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II on October 17, 2007 for her contribution to educational services in Nigeria.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012, PAGE 11

Kaduna: Home of fake teachers? ernment revealed no fewer than 2,000 teachers with fake certificates employed in public schools in the State. Another report on Yakowa’s speech which had a different figure, quoted the Governor as follows: “We have assessed and verified the quality of all teachers in both primary and secondary schools which shows us that

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N December 2011, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Information and Home Affairs, Saidu Adamu, allegedly disclosed to the National Daily in Kaduna that more than 18,000 teachers in the State who possessed fake certificates had been sacked. Although the figure was quite alarming, the report was never controverted. In October this year however, another Commissioner in the State, this time, the one in charge of Education, Alhaji Muhammad Usman in a review of the government’s activities in the education sector explained that many teachers in primary schools in the state did not have the minimum teacher’s qualification. According to the Commissioner, 1,800 such teachers had been flushed out. At the second National Joint Graduation ceremony of the National Teachers’ Institute in Kaduna earlier this month, a section of the media quoted the State Governor, Patrick Yakowa to have disclosed that a recent verification exercise by the state gov-

statistics is a common problem in Nigeria; the real pain is the failure of public officers to fully appreciate the implications of their statements. If Governor Yakowa and his officials are fulfilled that they have successfully discovered and dismissed fake teachers, they are yet to establish that other employees of the state are better than the so called fake teachers. To start with, there is no proof that the sacked teachers are actually the only fake ones in the state or that there are no

Kaduna State Government needs to go beyond publicizing its list of fake teachers. It should instead, block the institutional openings which make the malaise rampant

nearly 50 per cent of teachers in our primary schools lack the required qualifications to teach. The verification also revealed that about 4,000 teachers had been employed with fake certificates. The affected teachers have since been sacked”. The worrisome aspect of the reports is not just that the figures themselves appear to be fake because the inaccuracy of

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innocent victims of the said verification exercise. Oh yes, blackmail thrives in hot cities like Kaduna. In 2009 for instance, Kaduna legislators suddenly declared their Speaker, Ahmed Hassan Jumare, an illiterate because they wanted him out of office. Events later showed that they were aware of his qualification from the State Polytechnic located in the same city as the

Nigeria’s State House: A budget for glutonny

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N the Divine Com edy, Dante Alighieri lists Gluttony among other deadly sins for which conscious humanity must be wary lest we be mired in Hades. Gula (Gluttony), Superbia (Pride), Avarita (Avarice/ Greed), Luxuria (Lust), Invida (Envy), Ira (Wrath) and Acedia (sloth) – the seven deadly sins – have been at the core of moral criticism since Dante. One of the 19th century’s most notable moral philosophers, the Russian Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov wrote, “Wise temperance of the stomach is a door to all the virtues. Restrain the stomach, and you will enter Paradise. But if you please and pamper your

stomach, you will hurl yourself over the precipice of bodily impurity, into the fire of wrath and fury, you will coarsen and darken your mind, and in this way you will ruin your powers of attention and self-control, your sobriety and vigilance.” Gluttony is a deadly sin. In the introductory epigram to this piece, I invoke the Restoration poet Dryden, poet of the Carolingian courts, who knew a thing or two about gluttony under the excess appetites of Charles II of England. “O gluttony, it is to thee we owe our griefs” laments Geoffrey Chaucer. Gluttony and Greed are Siamese twins. In the “Pardoner’s Tale,” Chaucer says, “Radix Malorum est cupiditas” – greed is the root of all evils. But why do I speak of these matters today in the “Orbit”? Just this: greed and gluttony seems to be be-

hind the budget proposal submitted to the National

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“Ever a Glutton at another’s cost, but in whose kitchen dwells perpetual frost.” - John Dryden, “Fourth Satire of Persius.”

Greed and gluttony seems to be behind the budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly for the funding of the State House in 2013

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Assembly for the funding of the State House in 2013. Let me confess that I personally have not yet understood the relationship between the

House of Assembly. The fake teacher story is not too different because when asked to comment on the allegation that some of the teachers were wrongly sacked, Education Commissioner, Usman admitted that a sub committee appointed by government to review the cases “discovered that about 139 of them were wrongly sacked and government had since given directives for such teachers to be reinstated”. With this in mind as well as the absence of any statement by the state government as to how a large number of fake teachers got into its employment, we are free to assume that the teachers were recruited by another set of fake officials of the same political philosophy. Since the return of democracy in 1999, Kaduna State has been governed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and succession has been quite smooth. Thus, between 1999 and 2007, some of the fake teachers must have been recruited by the government of Ahmed Markarfi now a distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic. Between 2007 and 2010, another group of fake teachers was probably recruited by the government of Arc Namadi Sambo, our current Vice President. If there are fresh recruits among the fake teachers they must have been brought in by the present government of Patrick Yakowa. As a matter of fact, the

latter cannot run away from the blame of even the past because he has always been up there. He served as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) from 2003-5, after which he was Deputy Governor to both Markarfi and Sambo until he became Governor in 2010. Accordingly, the revelation of the prevalence of fake teachers in his state should call for introspection. It is indeed instructive that Governor Yakowa’s statement on the fake teacher story was made at the second National Joint Graduation ceremony of the National Teachers’ Institute based in Kaduna. Speaking at the occasion, the Director-General of the Institute, Dr Aminu Sharehu, said that over 40,000 primary school teachers from 20 states were trained in Continuing Professional Development Programmes (CPD) within the last three years. Dr. Sharehu further said that 825,000 teachers were also trained under the MDGs capacity building programme. The Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, also confirmed with satisfaction that the Institute had graduated over 58,000 qualified teachers between 2005 and 2011.What this suggests is that by virtue of proximity, Kaduna State is best positioned to have quality teachers. Why then is there room for thousands of fake teachers in such a state or are

the fake teachers presented for appointment by legislators under threats of impeachment, oversight indictments etc? Whatever it is, the Kaduna State Government needs to go beyond publicizing its list of fake teachers. It should instead, block the institutional openings which make the malaise rampant. Thereafter, it should focus on manpower development premised on training and retraining as well as tangible motivation packets for teachers which are obviously more enduring dividends of democracy. In Ekiti State for instance, the government observed that things had gone awry when a school in Ado-Ekiti that used to score 90% in the West African School Certificate Examination scored 09% percent in 2012. Governor Fayemi himself an educationist, decided to tackle the issue frontally by putting its teachers in their best shape through training programmes as well as what he called ‘Teachers’ Development Needs Assessment Test’- a scheme aimed at having quality teachers in schools all the time. On its part, Lagos State has an Annual Education Merit Award to honour teachers who have distinguished themselves in their jobs. Kaduna should emulate this and stop employing fake teachers that it later expends energy to ‘discover’ and sack.

Presidency, which once was known as the Cabinet office and which came under the administrative authority of a Cabinet Secretary as its Permanent Secretary in the nation’s administrative services, and the current office of Permanent Secretary for the state house. Is the State House a full ministry these days, or are we dealing with one of those uniquely Nigerian forms of idiocy, where we duplicate and over burden the administrative system? Aso Rock or the Office of the President, can well be managed by a fully employed Chief of Staff to the President who may also be designated the Permanent secretary in the State House. Yet the president has a Chief of Staff as well as the Secretary to the Federal Government. It is also quite clear that the current system of asking ministers and permanent secretaries to come to the National Assembly to defend ministerial budgets is flawed. It is a throw-back to the Parliamentary system of government in which ministers were also Members of Parliament. Each minister was not only political head of his/ her ministry but also answered to the parliament rather than to the President or the Prime Minister. They therefore prepared and defended the budgets

of the ministries they headed among their parliamentary peers, and were held individually responsible and accountable for the failures of the ministries within the principle of collective responsibility. That system is incongruous with the presidential system which Nigeria practices today, which places or invests ultimate executive authority on the president, and not on the ministers, all of whom serve at his pleasure. In other words, the National Assembly, on matters of budget ought not summon ministers or Heads of Non-cabinet agencies to defend their budgets before the Parliament. It is the job of the president to formulate and present the Nigerian National Budget to the people of Nigeria and their representatives in the National Assembly under the current terms of governance. There must be an office of Budgets under the Executive Office of The president of Nigeria which must prepare the Federal Budget and which must defend this budget on behalf of the State House. The Federal cabinet more or less comes under the State House. I also do not see in fact, the purpose of the Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government, except in so far as it acts as the General Services Divi-

sion of the Federal Government under the State House. In which case, it also is a duplication of function that bloats the structure of government. It is at best, in the current reality of Nigeria, unnecessary. But I’ll leave the issue of structure of state administration alone for the moment, and go to last week’s budget defence by the Permanent secretary, State House, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbile, who came before – not the House’s Ways and Means committee where the issues of government budgets should be dealt with – but the senate committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs – to defend a spending proposal of N1.320 billion “for refreshment, meals and other miscellaneous expenses” for the State House for 2013. First, the language in which the budget is written is all full of clichés, double entries and tautologies. For one thing “a meal” is in general a form of refreshment. But let us leave that for the moment and go to the more substantive issue. Mr. Ogbile presents a Glutton’s budget and asks the Nigerian tax payer to fund gluttony in the State House. This budget for “ihe-ose” is outrageous!


PAGE 12 —SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

GSM OPERATORS – What Next?

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Y now, it should be work-inprogress for strategy review and new idea generation among strategic planning team members of the telecom brands management teams. The National Communication Commission’s (NCC) ban on promotions last week, definitely took the wind out of their sail. The public is still celebrating that NCC ban! They felt deceived, robbed and disrespected by all of those consumerreward promotions - or so it seemed. Last week we took time to look at the moral aspect of the nature and pattern of brand support employed be the managers of telecom brands in this market, with an attempt to establishing the latent implication of those activities that led up to the posture of these brands. At that level of consideration, consumer attitude was the key focus. But the market did not reckon with consumer attitude in reaction to the brands’ behavior because the consumers were left with no option. What seemed market options by reason of the number of (especially) the GSM operators was a collective gang-up to take advantage of the unprotected market. They could do all they chose to because the following were manifest: (1) Novelty of the technology. The GSM technology came as a miracle to over 75% of present users – above 30years olds. What with all the very bad experience with NITEL of old. So when the new technology came, it met a confused market that is open to any offer, so far as it enables TALK. Some of us bought this seem card that is now free for N10, 000.00 (2) Inadequate awareness. We have had to push for consumer awareness development on this page and at different forum, for the simple reason that the ideal market situation is dependent upon the existent to which the consumers or market is informed. Let us quickly add at this point that in so many ways that is one of the basic functions of advertising (makingknown). (3) Near-monopoly situation. In spite of the law that permits free entry and free exit, we all know that in practical terms, the initial investment required for some industry participation can replace freedom with monopoly at the market place. So when those who are financially strong enough to make the required investment break into a given market, they close up the market and redefine its status. So, when those early players came in with their quantum investment, we all consumers in the conquered market became victims. Recall it took the entrance of GLO to save us from per minute billing system? Econet and MTN insisted per second billing was not just possible. Today, the market appreciates GLO for that innovation. (4) Consumer-habit. Basically, consumers in our local market are not given to appropriate discernment. Add to that is their hunger for ostentation and excessive aspiration and class consciousness in purchases decisionmaking. That explains why luxury offers sell more in this market and brand managers find it easier to manage luxury-based offer brands. If only we can begin to be more rational

in our buying decisions, we would be better protected from exploitation and abuse. In the face of the above-mentioned, subscribers in Nigeria were compromised in so many ways for over ten years. However, the damage went far beyond consumer abuse; the brands are the biggest losers, only that the manifestation of the brands’ losses took a little longer. Like we have always noted in our write-ups, consumer reaction to any given brand’s attitude can only be delayed, but “action and reaction” will always be same and equal. Even in a monopoly, there comes a time when consumers begin to ask questions, change earlier decisions and make more profitable buying decisions. Looking back, the GSM technologybased telecom operators were too brutal on subscribers in this market. Worst still were the first two entrants – MTN and the then ECONET. Besides the haste to make profit, MTN and ECONET stretched the advantages inherent in the local market’s “ignorance” to mop-up the market

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Anybody can plan a sales or consumer reward promo campaign, but it takes a grounded professional and a truly creative team to plan a product campaign

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unfairly. A recent consumer perception study (please see below) aimed at gauging the market’s perception of the various telecom brands, shows preference more for the brands that entered the market much later. The preference recognizes the more friendly personality of the later brands.

To a large extent, increased competition determined the personality of brands that came into the market at later dates. At MC&A DIGEST, however, the bigger losers are the brands. We once warned on the need to review professionalism in brands management for brands’ sake. Pseudo-monopoly in the telecom market compromised the extent of professionalism in brands management. Those engaged to manage these brands were not challenged in any way; all they do is think-up any of those plans that will aid free spending. Brands and corporate campaigns were replaced with sales promotions. Even such promo campaigns were not based on deep strategic planning, and that is why somebody will approve a promo which star prize is an air craft (that was the height), for a penny brand. One would really like to read the rationale for that promo. Laziness crept in, the brands were not professionally represented; strategic thinking and planning were sacrificed for mediocrity. Anybody can plan a sales or consumer reward promo campaign, but it takes a grounded professional and a truly creative team to plan a product campaign. Product campaign tasks practitioners in deep thinking, strategic planning, market and consumer insight, consumer traits, habit and expectation analysis and insight on competition. Why would telecom brand managers bother themselves when the consumer has no choice and competition is nonexistent? It is sad because I know of some very fine practitioners I have so much respect for that became inactive and compromised by the environment they found themselves. Now that the chips are down, it is time for stock-taking, for telecoms brands. So we ask (again): WHO MANAGE YOUR BRAND? Telecoms brands must begin to separate the chaffs from the other ones because it is time for truly professional brand management: tell us your target market the unique personality and offering of your brand, the competitive advantage connected with your brand versus competition, the specific consumer expectations you are satisfying…it is time for true professionalism. The following poll study is

instructive. NOI TELECOMS SNAP POLL Etisalat Rated Best Network By Subscribers In a recent NOI Poll conducted in October 2012, with the dominant findings being that Nigerians want better service quality and lower price tariffs from network operators, Etisalat emerged as the telecoms network most beloved by its subscribers. Etisalat emerged the clear leader with 31% of its subscribers rating it “Very Good”. Following not too closely was Airtel with 19% and Glo 17%. MTN brought up the rear with only 11% respondents rating it Very Good. And on the reverse side of the ratings question, MTN was rated Very Bad by 7% of its subscribers while Etisalat and Airtel were given a rather clean bill with none of their subscribers rating them Very Bad. The same response was the result when subscribers were asked if they were getting value from their main network provider. Although 55% on the aggregate expressed satisfaction with their network providers, Etisalat subscribers were happiest with their network – at 76%, followed by Airtel at 62% and Glo at 55%. MTN subscribers expressed the least satisfaction (53%). Probed further on what they would regard as real value, subscribers pieced it down to three indicators: Network/Service quality (44%), Bonus Credit Tariff offers (34%), and Cheaper Tariffs (14%). And who had the most preferred tariff? MTN (44%), Etisalat (23%) and Airtel third at 17%. It is interesting to note that subscribers don’t ascribe too much value to promotional offers (3%), internet bundles (2%) or family/friends bundles (3%). The poll also revealed that 45% of Nigerians use dual lines while another 19% use three lines in order to circumvent the network failure that usually cripples Nigeria’s networks. It was no surprise therefore that most Nigerians would rather that the mobile Network Operators, MNOs, make concerted efforts to improve their service quality instead of the promo offers they make to their subscribers. Of the respondents (26%) using only one line, the poll found out that MTN was the favourite with 89% being subscribers to the network, while Airtel (5%), Glo (4%) and Etisalat (2%), followed at a distance. However with regard to those who use dual lines, the favourite combinations are MTN/ Etisalat 34%, MTN/Glo 31% and MTN/ Airtel 29%. When it came to the issue of main line used by dual line owners, MTN led the pack with 78%, Airtel followed at 9%, while Glo and Etisalat were tied at 6%. The results which were based on a nationwide telephone survey of 758 phone owning adults aged 18 and older, also had categories like Perception of Quality of Service (Best and Worst); and what measures to be taken to deter MNOs from rendering poor quality service. To the latter, the majority, 39%, answered that Network providers should be mandated by to improve. Closely following was another 26% of respondents who said NCC should sanction MNOs that fail to improve on their services. 20% however believe the matter will only be resolved with the opening up of the market space to new MNOs.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012 , PAGE 13

PROLOGUE

The Enemy Within By Jide Ajani

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AY it never happen; but it could! Imagine some Boko Haram terrorists threatening President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to meet a particular demand. Then imagine Mr. President trying to call the telephone line, possible to track them and make arrests only for the call to ring from the telephone in the pocket of his orderly. What should he do? How would he feel? Well, this was exactly the fate which befell High Court Judge Flora Azinge in Delta State - of the OtorUdu High Court, Otor-Udu. She was asked to pay N20 million ransom by a kidnap gang.The demand was made via a threat letter delivered C M Y K

en-ville to her at her residence. She neither believed nor took the contents of the letter serious until the expiration of the 48hour ultimatum attached to the threat. If you think Azinge is alone in this, you are mistaken. She is not. In fact, when the kidnappers discovered she wouldn’t budge, they still had the audacity to ask what her problem was; that some other judges had paid and some were paying. It was in the process of responding to one of their threat phone calls when they narrated to her the exact thing she was doing at home, that she called them back only for the phone to start ringing in the pocket of her police orderly. He was promptly arrested. Now, when your orderly becomes an accessory before the fact, then the

enemy is much closer than you’d thought. Interestingly, some of the processes leading to the kidnap of prominent persons almost always have hands of insiders. So, what do you do? Investigations are still on-going. Yet in the same Delta State, the people are torn between instituting the death penalty for kidnapping and just metting out other grueling forms of punishment for the crime. The state house of assembly has a bill ready for the State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, to sign into law. Whereas the bill is seeking the death penalty, the governor is refusing to sign it because of his view that death penalty has never been known to solve any problem. Some even argue that you do not

take a life that you never gave in the first instance. In this melange, kidnapping and the threat of it continue to be a lucrative, very lucrative engagement in Delta State. Just a forth night ago, a Vanguard journalist had his wife kidnapped in the same state and only the payment of a handsome ransom led to the release of the woman. Still, we keep saying some things can never happen in Nigeria. That, for now, may be in the realm of anachronism. Things are happening now. Sometime in the late 1980s, in a French-speaking West African country, the story was told of how some people, the equivalent of

Continues on page 17


PAGE 14 — SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

KIDNAP THREAT SAGA GOES AWRY

The entrapment of a High Court judge's orderly Jurist abandons sitting for fear of being abducted

How kidnappers hunt for judges Complicit policemen in custody BY EMMA AMAIZE, Regional Editor, South South

A

suspected kidnap syndicate in Delta State, allegedly with police officers as members, is presently the subject of topsecret investigations by security agencies, both in the state and Abuja. The syndicate allegedly specialised in intimidating and collecting ransom from High Court judges and other prominent citizens in the state Already, two police officers - an orderly to a serving judge, Justice Flora Azinge of the Otor-Udu High Court, Otor-Udu, who was asked to pay N20 million ransom by the kidnap gang and another police officer that came to collect ransom that was planted by soldiers - have been arrested and detained. Delta State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, confirmed that the two police officers were indeed arrested in connection with the demand for ransom from Justice Azinge. His words, “Yes, that is true. The policemen are being detained in the Criminal Investigations Department, CID, Asaba; and we are carrying out discreet investigations on the matter. If they are found culpable, they will definitely be dealt with”. The embattled judge, Azinge, has shunned sitting for nearly two months running because of the serious threat to her life by the kidnap syndicate, which vowed that they would get her by all means, as well as the discovery that the police orderly, officially deployed to protect her, was a member of the syndicate. Sunday Vanguard gathered that, but for the intervention of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, it would have been difficult to record the progress made so far in the investigations.

Kidnap fright

Investigations by Sunday Vanguard showed that fear C M Y K

has gripped judges in the state following the incident. On Wednesday, November 21, a judge of the High Court in Obiaruku, Justice Obi, narrowly escaped what appeared to be a kidnap incident on his way to work. “The suspected kidnappers eventually took away his vehicle. This made another High Court at Effurun to rise early Wednesday. I think government needs to do something urgently about security of judges in the state”, our source stated. It was learnt that Justice Obi, who resides in Effurun, was on his way to resume work at about 8.00 a.m., Wednesday, when he was ambushed by the kidnappers. Also, Justice A. Omaamogho of the High Court, Isiokolo, escaped from kidnappers, who snatched his car. But the car, which has a tracking device, was later recovered at Ore in Ondo State. In August, kidnappers seized a newly appointed judge of the Delta State High Court, Justice Marcel Okoh. Okoh, a former Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, in the state, was kidnapped by the gun totting men at OriaAbraka in Ethiope –East Local Government Area of the state on his way to the oil city of Warri. The vacation judge for High Court 4, Warri was allegedly trailed from Umunede, along the Benin-Asaba expressway by the armed men in his SUV and overtaken at Oria, along the Agbor-Abraka-Ughelli road, where he was taken.

Tip-off from litigants

Sunday Vanguard exclusively knew about the Justice Azinge saga when some litigants complained that cases at the High Court, Otor-Udu were suffering adjournments because of the refusal of the judge to sit for nearly two months. An informal inquiry revealed that the refusal of the judge to sit was not deliberate, but as result of threats she received from kidnappers. To reach Azinge was a prob-

lem, as court officials declined to give out her address and phone numbers, not to talk of confirming the reason for her gaping absence from court. Meanwhile, the issue of the threat to the judge was a kept secret from the media, but the governor and other persons that ought to know were alerted.

Threat letter

Sunday Vanguard did not obtain a copy of the threat letter allegedly dispatched to Azinge sometime in September, but our sources said the judge was taken aback when she received the letter, asking her to pay N20 million ransom or risk the consequence of non-compliance after 48 hours. A source close to the judge esaid, “The kidnappers said they were hungry and needed the money to sustain themselves. She initially took it as mere threat and called for increased security around her. And, indeed, her security was beefed up, but she was dumbfounded when the kidnappers

,

•The court... last hope of the common man under siege. “In fact, they asked her why she was refusing to cooperate with them, saying that many other judges in the state had paid them”.

Suspicion

With the accurate information given her on phone by the kidnappers regarding her activities within her home, Azinge suspected the conniv-

The kidnappers called her after the aborted visit to tell her that she could not escape, that they were watching her. They told her what she was doing in her house about the time they called and reminded her that they were still waiting for their ransom

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actually visited her residence after the expiration of the 48hour ultimatum, but could not gain access to the compound. “That was when she took the matter more seriously and started making efforts to ward –off the money-making kidnappers. “The kidnappers called her after the aborted visit to tell her that she could not escape, that they were watching her. They told her what she was doing in her house about the time they called and reminded her that they were still waiting for their ransom.

ance of her aides and promptly reported to the police. Before then, she reportedly called one of the phone lines used to speak to her and the number was ringing in the pocket of his police orderly, who was standing by her side. The police orderly refused to pick the phone at the time.

Interrogation

Sunday Vanguard learnt that the police orderly, driver and other aides of the judge were seized and whisked away for interrogation.

However, our source said that despite the statement of the judge that the line was ringing in the pocket of her orderly, those investigating the matter said there was no clear evidence linking the police officer to the threat. The police orderly denied any link with a kidnap gang, but said the phone line in question belonged to his cousin residing outside the state - Anambra to be precise. An unofficial source said he was released after interrogation for lack of evidence, but a police countered that, saying, “It is not true; the police orderly has been in detention for about two months now. He was first arrested and held in Warri, but was later brought to Asaba”.

Fresh threats

The threat to the judge subsided after the arrest of the police orderly, but shortly after it appeared as if he was given a breather by police investigators, the kidnappers resumed their calls to the judge to pay the ransom, as they warned that she could not escape from them. In fact, Azinge, according to our findings, sat for about one week in October, but when the kidnappers kept scaring the daylight out of her, she decided to put her life first before her official duty.

Tactics

Sunday Vanguard found


SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 25, 2012 , PAGE 15

punished, but, right now, I can tell you that there is no strong evidence linking them to the alleged crime”. However, Commissioner of Police, Aduba, in a chat with Sunday Vanguard, gave indication that he would not cover any police officer involved in kidnapping. In August, the Officer-inCharge, OC, Anti-Kidnapping Task Force in Delta State, a Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, and six members of the squad (names withheld), were disarmed, arrested and flown to Abuja on the orders of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, for allegedly aiding and abetting kidnappers in the state. However, the IGP, who supervised the investigation of the police officer, said he did not find strong evidence to link him to the offence and, therefore, cleared him of complicity. Our source said, “The highest echelon of the Nigeria Police is aware of the present case involving a judge of a High Court in Delta State and I know other security agencies are watching to see what the police will do with the matter”

Rivalry

that the governor, with his years of experience in tackling issues of kidnapping, suspected something funny and, unknown to the police, soldiers were brought into the investigations. A top army officer, who was involved in the investigations, said, “by this time, the kidnappers were still making phone calls to the judge asking her to pay ransom.”

Soldiers' siege

“What we did was to plan our operation. We asked the woman to play along with them. They asked her to bring the ransom to a place in the Ugbuwangue area of Warri. The military planted a fake ransom and cordoned off the area”, the army officer added. “The police officer, who is a second member of the gang, now in custody, came to pick up the ransom and he was arrested. He was taken unawares because he did not know that undercover military personal had laid siege to the area. They saw him when he was coming and they monitored his movement. He was arrested and handed over to the police for further investigations. “If he was shot, there would have been argument between the army and the police that he was not involved, that soldiers killed their man unlawfully. However, he was arrested alive and handed over to the police authorities. I am

saying this because right now, we are hearing that they are saying there is no hard evidence to link them to the offence”.

Defence

Indeed, a senior police officer, who pleaded anonymity, told Sunday Vanguard, “The policeman who was arrested by the soldiers said he was

,

Meanwhile, Sunday Vanguard has discovered that there is an undeclared row between the police and other security agencies in the state over the manner police authorities came to the defence of its men linked to kidnapping. In the instant case, tongues are wagging as to what fate awaits the two in custody, given that some police offic-

The highest echelon of the Nigeria Police is aware of the present case involving a judge of a High Court in Delta State and I know other security agencies are watching to see what the police will do with the matter

only passing through the area when he was arrested. He identified himself as a police officer and was taken to the police station. He was released that night, but the next day, the army said there was a call that he should be arrested. “He was re-arrested and is being detained in Asaba. The police orderly, who was first arrested is also in detention. It is not true that he was released at any time. We do not condone such persons in the police. If they are found guilty, they will surely be

this state, Delta, everybody knows we are fighting kidnappers and we are winning the war. No matter the distraction, we are not saying that we do not see the cooperation of other security agencies, but they should stop painting the police bad. “I can tell you that the Commissioner of Police, Mr Aduba, is in support of the army, the SSS and others, helping us to fight kidnappers and other criminals in the state. His position is that any of the security agencies that arrest kidnappers or kill criminals does not matter; what matters to him is that criminals are losing the battle in the state”.

`A sad commentary'

National co-ordinator of the Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, FJHD, Warri, Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi, said, “I am aware that for the past two months or thereabouts, the Hon Judge of the High Court, Otor Udu, Justice Azinge, has refused to sit on the grounds of threats to her life by kidnappers who are on her trail.” Ikimi added that the Azinge saga was a very sad commentary of the state of insecurity in the nation, saying there is the urgent need to beef up security around our judicial officers nationwide. “FJHD has two human rights cases in her court, which has suffered some adjournments owing to the plight of the judge. However, we are not perturbed by the said adjournments but, rather, we are more concerned about her security and safety to be able to effectively perform her official duties as a judge of the High Court of Delta state”, he stated “Hence, we are calling on the police to unravel those behind the plight, as the scenario gives the outside world the impression that as a nation, we are a lawless state”.

We are shocked – CDHR

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ers have concluded that there was no strong case against them. The absurdity is complicated by the fact that the phone line used by the kidnap gang to call Azinge was found allegedly ringing in the pocket of her police orderly, while the other was caught when he came to pick up ransom. A senior police officer, however, told Sunday Vanguard, “I know that many people are working against the interest of the police. They do not want to see anything good coming out of the police. In

Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, Delta State branch, in a statement by the chair and secretary, Mr. Benefit Orugbo and Fred Omereyone respectively, said it was aware that kidnappers threatened that “they will get Justice Azinge anywhere and by any means.” According to them, “CDHR is shocked that the Nigeria Police, the judiciary and the Delta State Government have not stepped in to addressing the threat to kidnap the Honorable Judge of the Otor-Udu High Court, which threat has made the court not to sit for about two months. “The CDHR hold the above agencies responsible for the plight of the litigants and accused persons whose matters

are pending before the High Court, Otor-Udu , occasioned by the said threat and the lukewarm altitude on the part of government agencies to providing High Court Judges with adequate security to enable them dispense justice without fear or favour. “In the circumstances, therefore, the CDHR call on the Delta State Government to immediately put in place a back up security guards for High Court Judges in the State, and other states ought to adopt same for their judges to enable them function at their best”.

Why Azinge has not resumed duty

Despite the arrest of two police officers suspected to be members of the kidnap syndicate, a top government official, privy to the threat by the kidnappers, said, “She cannot resume work now because the syndicate is not one or two persons. There are many people involved; she has to wait for them to be picked up first. “She is a human being also”, when you discover that even the security agents working with you are suspected kidnappers and traitors, will you not want to be careful and you know the nature of the work of judges?. “However, I know that that the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, is on top of the situation. He has every detail of what is going on and, if not for him, we would not have made the success we have made thus far. Just give us some time, the matter will be sorted out; we do not want to risk the life and liberty of our judges or any citizen of the state”. On Thursday, when Sunday Vanguard sent a photographer, Akpokona Omafuaire, to the Azinge’s court at OtorUdu to find out what was happening, he reported that litigants were in court, but the judge did not sit.

IGP Abubakar C M Y K


PAGE 16 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

Gov Uduaghan

BY EMMA AMAIZE, Regional Editor, South South

B

EFORE the Delta State House of As sembly passed afresh, on Wednesday, November 7, the Bill stipulating death sentence for terrorists and kidnappers, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan had come under pressure to sign the Bill into law. The pressure has burgeoned since then because of the significance of the legislation, christened, “A Bill for a Law to Prohibit Terrorism, Kidnapping, Cultism and the Use of Bombs and Other Explosives and for Other Matters Connected Thereto”, to the wellbeing of the people of the state, who literally die every day, as they drive and move about. Uduaghan declined to give his assent when the House passed a similar Bill between 2010 and 2011 on the grounds that death sentence has never staved off the perpetuation of capital crimes since it was introduced in the statute books, and, this time around, his utterances and body language do not point to the contrary. Observers, who thought that the governor would have modified his position between then and now, are taken aback by his doctrinaire position, given the bloody escapades of kidnappers in Delta.

Wishful thinking

In fact, earlier in the year, when the Chair of the Police Service Commission, PSC, Mr. Parry Osayande, visited the state, the Deputy Governor, Prof Amos Utuama, SAN, who played host to him on behalf of Uduaghan at Government House, Asaba, hinted that the Bill might be signed into law. His words, “We are challenging the police by the passage of a law to amend our Criminal Code in relation to kidnapping.

Deputy gov Utuama

Gov Oshiomhole

Should kidnappers die? zUduaghan under pressure to assent z Tough sanctions await implicated mon-

archs,

phone operators, landlords

"Very soon, His Excellency, the governor, will assent to the Bill and it will be a criminal offence carrying death penalty for anybody to attempt or even kidnap another. This is a very big challenge to all of those who are enforcers of law because we must stamp out kidnapping in any form, in any shape, in order to a have

,

The governor said the offence of kidnapping was as serious as that of armed robbery, adding that the instruments of armed robbery are present in every act of kidnapping.

What the law says

Besides death sentence for kidnappers and terrorists, a

The governor’s grouse is the death sentence for offenders, not the intent of the Bill, but not many share his opinion on the matter

a very peaceful Delta State".

Uduaghan unwavering

Uduaghan, however, maintains that his not supporting death penalty was because it has never stopped any crime. He believes that death sentence makes the criminals more desperate.

Oshiomhole differs

While he is dragging his feet, his Edo State colleague, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in a meeting with the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and Edo North traditional rulers at the Government House, Benin City, in June, last year, said, “I am proposing an amendment to the House of Assembly to impose the death penalty on those convicted for kidnapping.”

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traditional ruler in the state in whose domain, hostages are held to his knowledge will be deposed or his kingship withdrawn, under the radical Bill. Also, a telecommunications company, which refuses to make available to security agencies, within 24 hours of request, information on the communication made by a suspected kidnapper or terrorist, will pay a fine of N20 million for every request not granted. Other highlights of the Bill are that the governor, or his authorized representative, shall have power to sign an order authorizing the sealing up of premises used to harbor persons kidnapped or held hostage, with or without the demand of ransom. The Bill states that the sealing of the premises shall remain in place until a competent court decides on the for-

feiture. It is an offence under the Act, for a person, who, not being a member of the armed forces, unlawfully receives or has in his possession bombs and other explosives with intent to cause harm. Such a person is liable, on conviction, to 14 years imprisonment. The same goes for those that manufacture the explosives. It also forbids a person or group of persons from threatening the life of anybody through letters, phone calls or other electronic methods and gadgets, as any person found guilty is liable, upon conviction, to 14 years imprisonment. For a person in authority who receives information on operations of kidnappers and terrorists and fails to take proper action, he is liable on conviction to three years imprisonment. Community ruling organs, including executives of town, trust members and youth leaders, in whose domain people are held hostage with their knowledge, are liable on conviction to be jailed for five years without option of fine. Besides, those who aid and assist kidnappers to escape will face 21 years imprisonment on conviction. The governor’s grouse is the death sentence for offenders, not the intent of the Bill, but not many share his opinion on the matter. However, he has some supporters.

Intriguing support

Fascinatingly, Warri-based human rights group, Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, FJHD, is completely

behind Uduaghan. National Coordinator of the group, Oghenejabor Ikimi, told Sunday Vanguard, “We, members of the Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, wish to begin a campaign for the total eradication of the death penalty from our statute books nationwide”. “And to this end, all our state coordinators have been enjoined to mobilise their members to attend the House of Representatives constitutional review process in their various constituencies to press for the abolishment of the death sentence from our laws. “It is on record that the death penalty as a mode of punishment for capital offences nationwide has not in any way reduced violent crimes in our society as the population of perpetrators of violent crimes are increasing and are even getting more and more desperate, daring and violent as opposed to climes that have abolished death penalties as a mode of punishment. “ We make bold to say that even with the Armed Robbery & Firearm Act, which was first promulgated as a Decree in the early 70s by the General Yakubu Gowon administration which said Act prescribed death sentences for persons convicted of Armed Robbery, did not reduce armed robbery, despite the execution of hundreds of persons convicted for the said offence since its inception”.

Law serves as a deterrent - Olorogun Gbagi However, armies of citizens, including criminologists, exmilitants and clergymen, who believe that the law is the best in recent history by the House of Assembly, have poohpoohed the anti-death penalty campaigners. They called on Uduaghan to jettison his opposition to death penalty and sign into law without further delay the Continues on page 17 C M Y K


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012 , PAGE 17

The enermy within Continued from page 13 Nigeria’s own area boys, stormed the presidential palace, laid siege and insisted that the then sitting president needed to ‘settle’ them or else they would not let him be. The president did. He splashed money at them; and they left the presidential palace. Call that extortion by other means. But worse things happen in Nigeria now - like when President Jonathan openly disclosed that members of Boko Haram were in his government. Today in Nigeria, moneyseeking citizens continue to device various methods of extorting money from mem-

bers of the public. There is the ONE CHANCE syndrome in Lagos, whereby thieves charter a commercial bus, pretend to be seeking passengers and then whisk unsuspecting and unlucky members of the public who are unfortunate to board such buses to unknown destinations. If just stealing from them and dropping them off in the bush would be the fate of the passengers, that would be paradise; but some have been known to become victims of ritual murder, with some body parts cut off. Nigerians today celebrate if you are kidnapped and returned at the expense of huge sums of money, consoling one another wryly, “let us thank God for life;

if they had killed him nko?” It was Professor Bolaji Akinyemi who disclosed that when he was to resume college education in Lagos some six decades ago, his mother would merely hand him over to a bus driver from Ilesha to Ibadan who would in turn hand him over to another driver from Ibadan to Lagos until he arrived safely at school without fear of being sold off. Today, any parent who does that may have decided to abandon the child for good or may just be stupidly wicked or wickedly stupid or both. While some parts of the story you are about to read would make you laugh - like the telephone of Judge Azinge’s orderly ringing in his pocket while she tried to reach her would-be kidnappers and the orderly refusing to answer the call some other parts would make you shudder in fear - as in the nearkidnap of another judge.

Should kidnappers die? Continued from page 16 Delta State Anti-Kidnapping/Terrorism Bill. Throwing his weight behind the lawmakers, former Minister of State for Education, industrialist and criminologist, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, said: “Law is not necessarily borne for evil, it is put in place as a deterrent, to warn on the consequences of an act. “That is exactly what the Anti-Kidnapping, Terrorism, Cultism, Use of Bombs and Explosives and Other Matters Thereto, recently passed by the House of Assembly, seeks to achieve. As it is, it will deter criminals and would-be criminals from carrying out activities that are heinous in nature. “Where a man goes to rape a 90-year-old woman or a fiveyear-old girl or kidnaps a fellow human being, brutalizes and subjects her to indignities and, in many cases, that we have seen, kill the person in the process, are you saying that it is wrong to stipulate a death sentence?. Gbagi urged Uduaghan to sign the bill into law and he would be surprised at the drastic manner kidnapping will reduce in Delta, saying majority of those in the business were hiding under the cover that it was not punishable by death to abduct persons.

I do not know about human rights for kidnappers/ C M Y K

President Jonathan

of the Niger-Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, urged the governor to sign the Bill into law.. The group's spokesperson, “Captain” Mark Anthony, said: “It (Anti-Kidnapping/Terrorism Bill) has to be speedily signed into law to curb the high menace of terrorism/kidnapping in the nation, particularly kidnapping in Delta State.” He said the group had offered, some few months ago, when the situation was getting out of hand in the state, to assist the state government to with its sharp shooters to fight kidnappers and terrorists, but it received no response.

Kidnappers should die- Rev Akhineme

Some kidnappers with their victims

terrorists - Abufua

Another criminologist, who also supported death penalty, Dr. John Abufua, said, “It is wrong to bring the issue of human rights into criminal offences and this is what most human rights activists are doing. Is the person who is kidnapped not entitled to human rights? How can you be talking about human rights for a person that kidnapped a fellow human being and even killed him or other persons in the process?”

Poser

“Let me ask a simple question. Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof Hope Eghagha was kidnapped on September 29 along Abraka/ Agbor expressway by kidnappers, who shot dead his police

orderly and injured his driver and released about 16 days after. Nobody knows what the kidnappers collected at ransom. At least, neither the commissioner nor the police have told us what exactly transpired, but that is not the issue now. The question is if these kidnappers are caught, tomorrow, are you saying that because of human rights, the governor should not sign into law a Bill prescribing death sentence for them? "Why should they be sentenced to life imprisonment after killing a policeman, shooting and injuring the driver to the commissioner and depriving the commissioner of his rights for 16 days?”

Ex-militants stand

Ex-militants under the aegis

Edo State - based pastor of Eagles’ Faith Church, Benin – City, Rev Emmanuel Akhineme, told Sunday Vanguard that he had been following the debate on the antikidnapping/terrorism bill adding, “In my opinion, it is a menace that needs to be looked into by the government. Just as armed robbery is considered a punishable offence, so also is kidnapping.” “Kidnapping is human theft for moneymaking, which is an offence in the Holy Bible. Any one caught in such a battered act should be put to death... Exodus 21: 16. Most of the time, some of the victims are not alive to tell their story after extorting money from the victims’ family. A criminal act requires capital punishment to curb; it is considered a new venture for both young and middle age men,” Akhineme said. “Take a look at this story of the 20 year old girl, who was kidnapped by her boyfriend, both students of Federal

Polythenic, Auchi, Edo State. She was taken to an uncompleted building in Benin City and raped to death by three members of the gang. “The victim was buried and the kidnappers, in turn, began to demand for ransom of N1 million from the family. What will you say to that? That young woman would have been a senator or doctor tomorrow, but she met her premature death in the hands of kidnappers. Should such persons be allowed to live, while the girl is in the grave. “From the scriptures, kidnapping started in the Old Testament. There was the case of Joseph and his brothers, who sold him into slavery. After that act, God Almighty enacted a law that anyone caught in human stealing for money should be put to death in order to remove evil from the land. It is a devilish act, both on the side of God and man( Exodus 21: 16; Deuteronomy, 24: 7)” The pastor added: “When a people refuse to act on the law to check the menace of these evil persons, they are sharing in their sins. Government must eradicate this evil. God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power, so those who refused to obey the laws of the land, including the mighty and the low, are refusing to obey God. “When a government enacts a decree, it is backed by God. When a citizen of a nation disobeys the rule of law, he or she disobeys the authority of heaven and must face the music. I counsel our leaders to do everything possible to curb this evil in our land and among our people.”


PAGE 18—SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

C M Y K


SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 25, 2012— PAGE 19

We are looking beyond oil money — Gov Isa Yuguda

•’I create the time to teach in schools’ •Speaks on the effect of Borno, Yobe security challenges on Bauchi •’How we broke indigene, settler dichotomy’

M

ALLAM Isa Yuguda is one governor whose Bauchi State has witnessed many s o c i o - e c o n o m i c challenges capable of dampening his spirits and stifling development. But, in spite of that, the governor is defiant, working to fulfill the mandate for which he was elected, first in 2007, on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and, later in 2011, on the platform of the PeoplesDemocratic Party, PDP. Although Yuguda, popularly referred to as Mallam, rarely publicises what he does, he says he is fulfilled, having changed the face of the state with the provision of numerous facilities and projects that the state has not seen in its over 30 years of existence. In this interview,the governor boasts that he has nothing to hide and will not attempt to impose his lackey on the people at the end of his tenure to cover his track. He points out that he has abolished the dichotomy between indigenes and non-indigenes in Bauchi to give residents equal opportunities irrespective of state of origin, religion or tribe. Excerpts:

What is the state government doing with community radio stations instead of providing more concrete projects for the people? What do you do with communication as a media person? You see, you must find a veritable platform to communicate effectively with the people because they elected you in the first place. Community radio is a wonderful and very useful vehicle to achieving the desired synergy because it makes sense to them. They see it as their own. In Bauchi State, for instance, we have over 50 linguistic groups and each of them needs a means of communication among themselves and with others in the state. Of course you know that it is not C M Y K

possible to speak all the 50 languages on Bauchi Radio. So, what we do is that we speak the language that binds all of us, which is Hausa. Now that we have community radio that is very dear to the grassroots, the people are fully involved. They have drama and religious songs that are tailored towards education and other campaigns to improve their fortunes. It is indeed an •Gov Isa Yuguda....Something the people never knew has innovation that has been brought to their doorsteps changed lives in the state and brought a new sense of belonging to the grassroots. Something the people never knew has of these people are being given some constructing a new airport. And we been brought to their doorsteps. They other forms of training and equipment opted for a new one. But let me say can come to the open to complain about to enable them to work and earn that the new airport is a Federal what they don’t like and can make decent living rather than being on the Government project. It was approved informed inputs into government streets and causing trouble. In other for us during Shagari’s time. programmes and policies. The words, the government was able to take ts construction suffered a lot of community radio has delay until when I came in as a given them an minister that President Obasanjo opportunity to ask approved it again for construction. This questions and get airport is going to be the fifth answers at the international airport in Nigeria. Our same time. It affects the own is going to be registered with lives of the ordinary International Civil Aviation people directly and I can Organisation, ICAO. The equipment say that it is the pride of for the airport is already being the local people. assembled and we have configured the call signs. The registration is inside hat has the equipment. By December they will happened to the Sara Suka gangsters who used to this group of people off the streets arrive. On completion, the new airport will terrorise Bauchi State day and night? through a well designed programme service Yankari. Now that its call sign Most of them are gainfully employed of empowerment and I believe they are has been registered with happy with themselves and the and they are off the streets because of ICAO, any person who will be what the government government. managing Yankari will have to know has put in place to cater for their Why are you building an airport how to strategise to use the airport interest. Some of them have been when Bauchi already has one? effectively because if there are tourism employed to learn skills while others have been recruited into a special This present airport in the state has a agencies that want to bring in tourists security outfit called Spider Web. runway of only 2.5 km to accommodate to Yankari, they can connect directly Others have been trained as artisans- narrow bodied aircraft. It cannot take with the airport. We are very serious painters, vulcanisers, carpenters and wide bodied aircraft. On the eastern to use the airport that is about to bricklayers-just to give them a flank of the airport, there are NEPA commence operations to boost tourism sustained means of livelihood. pylons and cables, which we tried to in the state. We strongly believe that if What my administration is doing is that remove when I was the Aviation we develop our tourism sector we give them seed money to start their Minister. But we discovered that the effectively, it would bring twice as business after training them. Many cost of doing so would be higher than Continues on page 20

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By SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North

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We strongly believe that if we develop our tourism sector effectively, it would bring twice as

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PAGE 20— SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

‘I create the time to teach in schools’ Continued from page 19 Nigeria. In my state, I see myself as the leader of everybody who should be protected and catered for. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing like Bauchi indigenes and non-indigenes. I have integrated all Nigerians into Bauchi State. We practicalise it by removing contract appointments from the public service. I have absorbed all nonindigenes who were on contract appointments into the Bauchi civil service. Before I came into office, there was that dichotomy between indigenes and nonindigenes. I have also abolished discriminatory fees in all Bauchi schools to ensure that all Nigerians irrespective of state of origin can access the same quality of education.

more money as oil. It has a lot of multiplier effects, one of which is to create jobs and add our own quota to the economy of Nigeria. The airport will generate a lot of foreign exchange for us and Nigeria. It will boost our tourism industry. It is a top foreign earner for us and Nigeria.

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Now, where are you leading Bauchi to? I am leading the state to posterity, full employment opportunities for the natives and a state that is secure and an environment with people who are highly educated, cosmopolitan and patriotic. I am leading Bauchi to become the leading state in Nigeria with the best human development index and to make it the first state in Nigeria in terms of developing the minds of the people to ensure that no human being suffers any sense of deprivation. Are you happy with the followership? I am not very happy with the followership because, going by where we come from, they have been traumatized and left in a position of

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•Gov Isa Yuguda... We tamed those terrorising Bauchi

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hat is your plan for the Yankari Games Reserve? I want to give it out to a private firm to manage since government cannot do it effectively. We have a lot of untapped potentials in the place that can give us an edge if well managed. Having built many secondary health institutions and a tertiary health facility in the state, where do you hope to get doctors to run them? I am training doctors while I am also looking out to other states to give us their extra. I am training doctors by establishing a Faculty of Medicine at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University. For 19 years, our students could not get places to study medicine because the institutions gave priority to their catchment areas. When I came in, I raised a programme to train doctors so as to cope with our own requirements. I have some of them in University of Alexandria, Egypt. Twenty three of them are female while 15 are male and they should be graduating next year. I will send another set before the end of my tenure as governor. Upon their return to the state, they will help in no small measure to advance the cause of medical care and we will continue to explore ways and means of ensuring that the system does not suffer as a result of inadequate personnel. What are you doing to get enough teachers to cope with the increasing students’ population in the state? I go out myself to teach in some schools from time to time. Education holds the key to development. If we continue investing in education in Bauchi in the next five to ten years, the state will get out of the woods. You will never see anyone who will come here to say he is poor. If you are educated, by the time you finish from the university, your head will be boiling with ideas for progress and development.

hopelessness and frustration. These are people who have, over a period of time, witnessed the deterioration of the entire educational and health care system. These are the same people who have witnessed the worst form of insecurity in the history of this country because we are the victims of many crises since we take the heat when our neighbours have problems. Now you can see that I have over two million refugees as a result of the crises in our region. The impact of these security challenges on our very meagre resources can be better imagined. You can see that this kind of challenges can frustrate the government and its people over time.

I go out myself to teach in some schools from time to time. Education holds the key to development

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re you saying that you are not fulfilled given the misery that your people have been subjected to by the challenges beyond their c o n t r o l ? I cannot say I am not fulfilled. I am happy with myself for what I have been able to do for my state since I became the governor. At least I have done my best and I feel contented. My conscience is clear because I know that I am putting tax payers’ money to effective use. After more than five years as governor, I am very happy with the result on the ground. I can say that I have done my best and I can see it myself. I don’t think that, in the last 30 years, Bauchi State has witnessed the kind of development that I have brought to the state in the last five to six years. What makes you happy when you

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look at Bauchi State and your leadership so far? I feel so contented as a person because my covenant with my Creator, the Almighty God, that I will protect lives and property and bring about development in the state during my inauguration as the governor of the state, has been kept given the experience of our neighbouring states. I have cause to be thankful to my creator for protecting lives and property under my leadership. I have been able to secure this state. Yes, it is true that we have had some incidents in the past, but I want to be corrected that Bauchi remains the most secure state in Nigeria, the safest state in Nigeria. At least we can say that given what obtains in other places. The fact that people are able to move about freely as late as 3 a.m. even though we share boundaries with others with serious security challenges, is something that makes me happy when I look back. I swore by the Q’uran that I will protect lives and property and I have done my best in that regard. I also swore to protect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by doing right to all manner of people no matter their religion, place of birth or tribe. That also entails that I do not do anything that falls short of the law of

y argument is that all Nigerian children should have access to education. I don’t want any child in Bauchi State to grow up and begin to imagine that he or she is not from here or somebody will come and tell him that he is a non-indigene because he has another state. I want a situation that will make it possible for those who are from other states but are staying and doing business in Bauchi to have a sense of belonging and benefit from all that the administration can provide. It is by so doing that our country Nigeria will make progress and prosper as a united nation. For the civil servants that I have offered permanent employment in Bauchi, why would they say they are not from here? It is not possible because they enjoy the same salary and allowances that we offer all in the service. I have provided the critical needs of the people-roads, health care, water, electricity and schools. I have increased staff salaries and allowances and given the people a sense of hope and pride. When I came into office, a Permanent Secretary, for instance, was earning less than N100,000 per month. Today, they go home with over N450,000 monthly. So, we try as much as possible to ensure that money circulates and have multiplier effect on the populace. What is your regret as a governor? I cannot think of any so far. Who are you handing over to at the end of your tenure? This is a very difficult question. But let me say that as a person, I do not dabble into how a leader emerges. My belief is that power belongs to God. He is the one who gives power to who he wants to give at any point in time. I do not want to play God by saying that this or that will be the successor. I will not want to force people to elect a particular person. Let us wait and see who God wants to take over from us. I have nothing to hide and therefore do not need to anoint anyone who will cover my track. I have nothing to hide. I have been running an open administration just like I did when I served as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. C M Y K


SUND AY Vanguard , NO VEMBER 25, 2012, PAGE 21 NOVEMBER SUNDA

When excitement comes knocking at the door! and he would be a fool to be wanting full board for those two weeks he would be in the house. When next I called at Jenny’s to have a look at her guest, I was surprised to see her all glammed up at around nine o’clock in the mor ning. “Going somewhere?” I asked. She shook her head. “I just thought I should make myself presentable for the two weeks Ted would be around ... “ Before I could say anything, who should saunter into the kitchen where we were having our littier natter but this giant of a man; all body, sexy eyes and well-cut hair. The firm grip he had when we shook hands was electrifying. As we were introduced, he turned to give Jenny a good morning peck and his bum looked really sexy in his tight designer jeans. So this was Ted! No wonder my friend looked this tasty. A lot older than her son but not anywhere near her age. In minutes he was all over the cooker, whipping up fantastic breakfast and asking us ‘girls’ to put our feet up whilst he dished up his lovely grub. Jenny looked as if she’d spent ages over her makeup and the effort was well worth it. As we gawped at the lad, Rex her husband, came in to have a bite before going to the office. If he noticed the change in his wife, he didn’t men-

tion it. It even looked as if Jenny couldn’t wait to get him bundled out of the door - so she could ogle Ted some more? “Bet you wish you were years younger?” I teased her. “Don’t we all?” She smiled coyly, “Mind you, age or no age, a bit of flirting with Ted makes the day go more quickly. And it isn’t only me doing it. Ted winks at me from time to time and calls me sexy! “He’s some 10 years older than my son but he took to him when he met him at work where he was his supervisor. He’d since gone back to school and Ted is now his own boss. That man is a smooth operator. Apart from the things my son sent, he bought gifts for Rex and me and never fails to treat us to choice wine from

time to time.” Bet you wish you could have him!” I teased her again. “Well, who wouldn’t, such a fine specimen of manhood.” You know I’ve always been a sucker for tall guys, if that man makes a pass at me, I wouldn’t be responsible for my action! Unfortunately he’s out most days and comes back tired. The only weekend he has spent so far was with friends who came to cart him away ”. A ouple of days later, who should breeze into my office, grinning like a cat who got the milk but Jenny! “Don’t tell me you’ve ravaged that poor guy? I asked the obvious. “You bet,” she whooped as if she’d just won the lottery. “I didn’t do the ravaging though” she continued. “Things got out of hand the day he came in

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Exercise helps longevity

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ERSONS with the longest lives in the world are the Georgians of the Caucasus mountains in Southern Russia, the Hunzas of Kashmir and the Vilcabamba Indians of Ecuador. These three, seem to share some common traits which must be the key to their longevity. On the whole their diet is frugal, low in salt, refined sugar, fat and high in fibre and hardly any frying in oil. They consume a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. The drinking water is high in mineral content from fresh mountain streams. They practise holistic medicine, applying traditional herbs and medicines to forestall and cure diseases. They seldom C M Y K

drink or smoke. They exercise regularly by way of their hard lives. They don’t use preservatives and live at altitudes with little air pollution. They respect their elders who are actively engaged in their 100s and harp on good human relations over the pursuit of riches. They live in extended families from the cradle to the grave. They enjoy regular sex even at 100. All these point to the fact that the healthiest life is the one with as much naturalness as possible. The further we go from nature, from what’s natural, the less healthy we become. As regards activity, the more occupied we are the better it is for us. That’s why the person whose job is sedentary

must set me aside for regular exercise which need never be over the top. With exercise there can be as much as 10 percent of improved physical function in the young. In the old it can make as much as a difference of 50 percent.

Exercise, performed on a regular basis can fulfil the anti-ageing functions of regulating weight, joint mobility, flexibility, strengthening of the skeletal system and strengthening of the heart. Exercise improves the blood circulation and this in turn brings extra nutrients to the surface of the skin, increasing the collagen content to make it thicker and more flexible. Apart from the above,

earlier than usual. I was in the kitchen and he walked in, feeling very pleased with himself. He’d successfully wrapped up most of the deals he’d rushed down to clinch. He wanted to celebrate and opened one of the bottles of champagne he kept in his fridge. Rex would join us later, he said cockily and as he handed me a glass, our fingers lingered and my libido raged. But I turned away, embarrassed. Suddenly, I felt a firm hand on my bum! Ted! I gasped, a bid shocked. But I was delighted at the pure lust in his eyes. My goodness, I wanted him! I pushed all thoughts of Rex to the back of my mind as Ted lifted me onto the kitchen’s small table. My top was wide open, revealing my lovely boobs - they were in my best supportive bra! He hitched up my long skirt and in minutes we were making mad; passionate love. Months of pent-up frustration evaporating from my body. Heavens only know how soon Rex had been rattling on the door ’s knocker. By the time we heard him, we were panting with spent lust. I quickly dashed to the bathroom in our bedroom, leaving Ted as he quickly did up his jeans on his way to letting Rex in ... “I came down to find both of them chatting excitedly and sipping cham-

pagne. Rex told me all about the progress Ted had made. To celebrate; was there a chance of rustling up anything special? “I have a better idea,” boomed Ted in that sexy voice of his. “Why don’t I take you both for a drink - after all I’m the one with the good news?” O.K I said, turning away before Rex could see the guilty look in my face. But Ted was his old polite self throughout dinner and the drinks that followed. His eyes betrayed nothing, I felt a bit annoyed. Was he such a professional that what happened between us wasn’t special? “The next day, I gave him the cold shoulder too. But as soon as Rex left, he was all over me. That guy is a sex machine! He said he had to be careful. He was leaving in a couple of days and he didn’t want Rex suspecting anything and taking it out on me. That made sense. What a lot of maturity for a guy in his 30s! We bonked a few~imes before he left, but believe me, the thrill of that erotic encounter will last me a long time! I wanted to know when next he would visit and he said he’d let me know. We didn’t exchange phone numbers - all he had was the phone in the house. He hasn’t called since he left but he gave me such expensive presents that I knew it was his way of saying a final goodbye.

exercise also helps lower blood pressure, cuts down on the risk of heart attack, stroke, arthritis and depression. I suppose if we all become very aware of how serious we need to include exercise in the life on account of the many serious conditions we can side-step if we practise, we should be abl;e to summon up the disci-

Technique Sit down in between both heels. Lower the trunk down, first on one elbow then the other and gently ease the whole trunk flat down with the hands by the sides. Breathe normally. Stay in the posture for about 10 - 15 seconds. A variant of the posture is to keep the trunk erect. Benefits: The deep kneebend banishes stiffness in the hips, knes and ankles keeping those areas well lubricated. HEELS TO CROTCH Technique: Sitting down with the feet extended in front of you, draw the knees and place the legs flat down on the floor with the feet touching each other and the heels as close to the crotch as can be. Form a ring around the big toes with the forefinger and thumb and then lower the trunk. A variant of the posture is to keep the trunk erect. Benefits: The posture tones u p the muscles of the legs and it is also said to improve manly vigour.

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’VE always warned that the greatest threat to matrimony is infidelity and it always lurks around the home, and it is often with familiar characters. It took a long time for Jenny, now in her 50s to resign herself to the occasional shag with her husband who is well over 60. She’d stopped worrying he might be getting it somewhere else. Age is not on his side for a start, then worries about his finances give him sleepless nights once in a while. Her boyfriend has also taken her for granted - what with the shine of a new romance dulling a bit and the hordes of bouncy-boobed babes begging to be laid for next to nothing! She was feeling a bit down in the dumps when her eldest son called from London wanting to know if she could put up a good friend in the family guest room for the two weeks he would be in Lagos to close a few deals. As a bait he asked Jenny to text a list of the things she might need so the chap could bring them with him. “I am not really keen on having a guest in the house,” Jenny had moaned when I called at her house. ‘’I’m just getting used to the routine of looking after my last two children, and don’t want to be running after anybody,” I told her her son’s friend could scarcely be called a child

Exercise improves the blood circulation and this in turn brings extra nutrients to the surface of the skin

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pline to exercise consistently. Below are some Yoga postures to practise. DEEP KNEE BEND (Supine) Heels-to-Crotch Pose

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


P AGE 22 —SUND AY Vanguard , NO VEMBER 25 , 2012 —SUNDA NOVEMBER

bunmsof@yahoo.co.uk

08056180152,

SMS only

Friends who help you ruin your marriage!

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NDY, a marital therapist with years of experience behind her once said: “Working as a marital therapist, I’ve become convinced that, while men don’t have enough friends or emotional support, women can have far too many and too much. In fact, my heart sinks when a new female client tells me her ‘friends have been wonderful’ because time and again, whilst she thinks they’ve been helping her save her relationship, they’ve been fanning the flames or even throwing petrol on the fire.” When you’re going through a relationship crisis, you run to your friends. It could be when hubby hits the mid-life crisis and starts acting strangely or you caught him texting another woman. Worst of all, he could be threatening to leave you and break the family you’ve built over the years. Unfortunately, going over all the sordid details of your problems with friends is more likely to pump up your distress, make you feel angrier and betrayed. Lara, a 42-year-old legal practitioner confided in a few close friends when her husband of eight years started demanding different things in the bedroom. “What a fool I was,” she said much later.. “I knew the particular friend was jealous of me but not quite how mc. Not long after I confided in her, I discovered that she and Sanjo,my husband were having an affair and I’d

advertently given her the clues to turn his head.” Unsurprisingly, Lara fell out with her once-close friend – but it didn’t stop her confiding in others to get her through the difficult months. “What could I do?” she wailed. “I needed to get through the difficult months. I was really elated when Sanjo decided he’d made a mistake and begged for a second chance. I was shocked to realise that even though I thought friends would give independent advice they often have their own agendas too. My friends split down the middle. The ones that were’divorced told me he’d always cheat on me now he’d tasted the forbidden fruit. Those who had forgiven their husbands told me to think of the happy years and our children ... “ Whilst lLra was running her mouth to her friends, she conveniently ‘forgot’ to mention that since her third child was born two years ago, she and her husband had had sex less than a dozen times. According to her, everybody knows that looking after small children is exhausting. By the time I’d put our three kids to bed, the last thing I wanted was sex. It was one of the good friends I confided in that told me that this might not excuse my husband’s behaviour, but it made the situation less black and white. It was when Sanjo complained that 4 when your wife doesn’t want to sleep with you, you not only feel unattractive and un-

if not, why are you spending hours talking about him to your girlfriends - do you love him enough to give without any expectation (in the short term) of getting anything back?

wanted, but you begin to wonder what’s the point in anything?’ That I did a re-think. “I then realised, albeit uncomfortably, I hadn’t been a saint myself. When Sanjo was having his affair, my so-called friends encouraged me to ‘get out more’ and when I met this dishy divorcee at a party, they urged me to ‘go for it.’ I did and the affair gave me a lift and boosted my self-esteem. But it made things between me and Sanjo a whole lot more complicated and probably set back our recovery by a few months.” According to Andy the therapist: “In many ways, it’s easier to counsel men - they aren’t struggling with contradictions or suspect advice from different friends, because most of them haven’t discussed their problems with anyone. “Perhaps it is not surprising women urge their friends to take the same

path as theirs because, when it comes down to it, everybody questions whether they’ve made the right choices and having friends come to similar conclusion is reassuring. So while it’s fine to occasionally talk to your friends about your relationship, instead of talking about the man in your life, you should really be talking - even more importantly - listening to him.” Five Steps To Save Your Marriage According to Andy, a relationship counsellor, these five steps come in handy when you want to save a troubled marriage: 1 When you’re in a hole, stop digging. Under pressure, we tend to try the same failed strategy again and again. Even though we know pushing for an answer; getting angry or going silent doesn’t work, we

yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for forever.... connections are made with the heart, not the tongue. Imoudu Jeremiah, Benin City, 08093530842

My sweetheart

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

The Heart

You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won't mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word,

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Sweetheart many people has caught my eyes I but only you caught my heart honey my heart is for you that is why i will forever love and care for you Chukwuma 08023449508 chukwumanchukwuma@yahoo.com

Wedding ring

The wedding ring is the smallest handcuff ever made here on earth. So therefore,do not be in hurry to wear it. Just relax,and take your precious time to study your fellow inmate properly,before you sentence yourself with this strongest and short word

imagine doing it one more time (but bigger, louder or far longer) will change things. It won’t. 2 Stop playing tit-fortat. He. does something horrible and you match him. Soon it is become a race to the bottom. 3 Just for a second, put your feelings to one side and step in your partner’s shoes. How does your relationship look now and what would you like to do differently. 4. Make a full apology. This is different from saying sorry. First acknowledge any behaviour that you regret; next, identify how this might have made him feel, and then apologise. Please don’t explain why you acted as you did - that’s for another day - because it can sound like an excuse and lessen the power of your apology. 5 Be the big one. If you love your husband - and

A Sad Man’s Poem! {Humour} My nookie days are over, My pilot light is out. What used to be my sex appeal, is now my water spout. Time was, when on its own accord, from my trousers it would spring. But now I’ve got a fulltime job to find the bleeding thing. It used to be embarrassing, the way it would behave. Every single morning it would Stand and watch me shave! Now as age approaches, it sure gives me the blues, To see it hang its little head and watch me tie my shoes! Viagra, A Pathfinder? (Humour} A family are driving to the seaside but spend ages looking for their hotel . ‘I think I’m lost,’ dad admits to Mum. ‘Daddy,’ their little son in the back pipes up, ‘ you must’ve forgotten the viagra.’ ‘Eh?’ Dad splutters. ‘What on earth do you mean?’ ‘Well ,’ the son says, “I heard mum tell Auntie Jill if, it wasn’t for the viagra, you’d be lost.’

'I DO' Chris onunaku dekris4real@gmail.com 08032988826/08184844015

A Thousand Words To My Love

All my life I've wished for love this true. I cherish every moment I have with you. When you're near I can't help but smile, Because you are my reason for survival. If I ever lost you I'd cry a river, Just the thought of it makes me quiver. When we are alone together, I wish I could stop the time and live in that moment forever. A thousand words could not express the feelings I have inside for you. Please say you feel it too my luv....! Chidi Fabulous chidi_fabulous@yahoo.co.uk+2348065228671


SUNDAY Vanguard,

NOVEMBER 25, 2012,

BY EMMA AMAIZE, Regional Editor, South South

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Ugborodo ...crisis-torn

3 dead, 2 missing over oil money, leadership tussle in Ugborodo

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GBORODO, which means “Dry Land in the Sea”, is an oilrich Itsekiri community in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, situated in the Escravos River estuary on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. It plays host to the Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, Tank Farm, the multi-billion dollars Escravos –Gas –To- Liquid, EGTL, project and other oil facilities and, by earthly positioning, it is sitting in the midst of plenty. However, there is high-wire rivalry in the administration of the Ugborodo Community Trust, a body established by the people to liaise with companies and government agencies, and to hold in trust for the benefit of the communities moveable and immoveable properties, funds derived therefrom or part thereof and utilize, expend and/or dispose same, among other things. As at the time of writing this report, peace has taken flight from the community, as relatives were killing relatives. In fact, three youths: Gift Ebo Bazuaye, Stephen Kurata and Andrew Agboguwei, said to have been sent on a fact-finding mission were, on Saturday, November 3, murdered by a militia gang in the consuming power struggle that is rocking the community. Two other persons are reportedly missing and six injured in the bloody attack at Otumara creek. While this was playing out, there was a report that the Eghare-Aja (traditional head) of Ugborodo and Chairman, Ugborodo Council of Elders, Chief Wellinghton Ojogor, who was forcefully removed from his ancestral home to Warri by armed men, in the wake of the offensive, was kidnapped on Tuesday, November 13, in Warri. Ojogor denied his purported kidnap 24 hours later in a phone chat with Sunday Vanguard, but one Bemigho, who claimed to be the wife of the Eghare-Aja, intriguingly, disclaimed his clarification, saying her husband was, indeed, abducted. Two years ago, one Abiloye Kperegbeyi was allegedly killed by his brother, Richard, both descendants of OlajaOrori of Ugbordodo in the course of an argument in Ode-Ugborodo. His death caused quite some stir until it was settled, but despite the warning by the families that

Three youths, said to have been sent on a fact-finding mission were, on Saturday, November 3, murdered by a gang in the consuming power struggle that is rocking the community

the incident should not be used by any person or group to promote crisis in the community, it is still being used to further personal and group interests, according to Mr. Tseti Kperegbeyi. Sunday Vanguard discovered that the cause of disagreement in Ugborodo today is the leadership of the Ugborodo Community Trust, headed by Chief Thomas Ereyitomi , who was elected at the Ikpere Hall, Ode-Ugborodo. However, there is a parallel executive of the governing council, led by a former Chairman of Warri South-West Local Government Council, Mr. David Tonwe. While the Ereyitomi-led council enjoys the support of the people on ground at their ancestral home of Ugborodo, the Tonwe group has the support of some select Ugborodo leaders and indigenes resident in Warri urban, where Tonwe was allegedly installed against the express wish of the Ugborodo community. The major grouse against Ereyitomi, who has fresh three-year tenure (2011-2014), is that he was not validly elected in 2011. His first tenure, which he completed, was from 2008-2011.

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However, behind the issue of validly or not validly elected is the real crux of the matter. And it has to do with an alleged misappropriation of money belonging to the Ugborodo community. Pa Ayomike told Sunday Vanguard that about N2.6 billion is involved, while Ereyitomi said the initial charge against his team was that N700 million was misappropriated and was, therefore, surprised to hear that the money is now N2.6 billion. He urged his accusers to prove their case, as the matter was already with security agents. Contentious election In a communique issued by Ugborodo community after a meeting on Monday, September 12, 2011, presided over by Ayomike in his Warri residence, the people said, “ In view of the fact that there are two Trust instruments which are being disputed, the Trust instrument presented in court about two years ago (2009) should be used on a temporary basis”. Ereyitomi said the Trust instrument agreed upon is the 1996 constitution as amended, which, the communiqué stat-

ed, “vests all powers in the Ugborodo Council of Elders, under the chairmanship of the Eghare-Aja and Olaja-Orori as vice chairman”. He stressed that the powers were removed from the registered trustees and the decision was taken because of the complexity of the Ugborodo situation and the need to avoid further crisis and bloodshed. The three contestants for the chairmanship: Ereyitomi, Tonwe and Mr. Emmanuel Meke, were informed about the decision of the leaders at the meeting and they agreed to abide by it, while election was fixed for September 18, 2011. The election was held as planned at the Ikpere Town Hall in Ode-Ugborodo and Ereyitomiwon, emerged as chair in accordance with the Trust constitution, but, prior to this date, a corresponding governing council, headed by Tonwe, was allegedly constituted in violation of the constitution. Tonwe vehemently denied in an interview with Sunday Vanguard that his executive was illegally constituted. Ayomike, who was accused by the Akulagba of Warri kingdom, Chief Ayiri Emami, Igbajor/spokesman for the community, Prince Perry Atete and others, of hurriedly constituting an illegal Trust in his private residence on September 15, 2011, three days to the September 18, 2011 election, denied constituting any executive. The Itsekiri leader contended that Ereyitomi did not handover to the registered trust-

PAGE 23

ees at the end of his first tenure in 2011, adding that he (Ereyitomi), therefore, could not have been elected in an illegitimate election thereafter. However, Ereyitomi insisted that he prepared an annual report and handed over to the Council of Elders at OdeUgborodo, adding that the fact that Ayomike, who has not been to the community for over two decades or so, was not there would not vitiate the process. Quoting the said Annual Financial Report of Ugborodo community (2008-2011), the Ugborodo Integrity Group, led by one Mr. Femi Uwawah, said the crux of the matter and fundamental causal factor of the present crisis in Ugborodo was that N38 million was spent in the handling (sundry and police) of burial of the late Abiloye Kperegbeyi. Ereyitomi’s response to Sunday Vanguard inquiry on Uwawah’s charge was that the onus is on the person who imputes an offence against somebody to prove his allegation, adding, “I told you that they reported a case of misappropriation to the police and other security agents, they should prove their case. We have been invited and our statements obtained. They have deliberately refused to go and substantiate their allegations before the police till date.” Uduaghan, Olu of Warri intervention While the combatants engaged one another, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan tried to let his Itsekiri relatives see reason and allow peace to thrive. His Special Adviser on Security, Rear Admiral John Kpokpogri (rtd), led a government delegation to observe the September 2011 election in which Ereyitomi emerged victorious. Nevertheless, Ayomike rejected the intervention. It was gathered that Uduaghan visited Ayomike in his Warri residence to calm frayed nerves, but the old man stuck to his gun, saying the matter was in court and should be determined by the court. The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atutwase II, stepped into the matter in October, this year, and was reasonably believed to have resolved the matter when he supposedly ruled that Ereyitomi be allowed to complete his tenure. However, both Ayomike and Tonwe said, as a lawyer, the monarch knew that he was not in the position to resolve a matter that

Continues on page 24


PAGE 24—SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

Battle for Lagos Ports back in High Court

BY TONY NWANKWO

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OLLOWING the Supreme Court decision in Abuja, in June, on the ownership and administration of Tin Can Island Port Terminal C, on a matter brought before it by Sifax and others, the respondents, Migfo Nigeria Limited and Denca Services Limited, have returned to the Lagos State High Court, in their bid to benefit from a joint venture agreement they allegedly reached in 2004, on the ownership and administration of the ports in a concession bid. Sifax had earlier lost to Migfo and Denca at the Federal High Court, Lagos and Federal Court of Appeal, Lagos, respectively, before taking its appeal to the Supreme Court. In a unanimous judgement read by Supreme Court Justice Suleiman Galadima and supported by Justices Aloma Mariam, Mukhtar, Francis Fedode Tabai, Nwali Sylvester Ngwuta and Olukayode Ariwoola, the court came to the conclusion that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction to try the suit. However, in a suit No. LD/1102/2012 of July 18, 2012, before the High Court of Lagos State, Migfo and Denca, want, among other reliefs, “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants (Sifax Nigeria Limited, Dr Taiwo Afolabi, Mr. Babatunde Olanrewaju Afolabi, Otunba Michael Olatunde Olowu, Ports and Cargo Handlings Services Company Limited), whether by themselves, their directors, agents, privies or servants or otherwise howsoever from further operating/managing Terminal C , Tin Can Island Ports, Apapa, Lagos without including Migfo and Denca as co-operators / managers of the said port and holders of the agreed ratio of the shares and appointing their chairmen or chief executive officers as directors of the Ports and Cargo Handlings Services Company Limited in line with the said contract. “A declaration that the contents of the

Technical Proposal/Bid documents dated June, 2005 and the Memorandum of Understanding dated 27/07/2005, other relevant oral statements and documents made between, series of letters written by the conduct of the claimants and Sifax in respect of the bidding in the name of Sifax for the concession and the subsequent operation management of Terminal C, Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, Lagos, constitute a binding contract between Migfo, Denca and Sifax as joint-venture partners and joint

bidders in respect of the operation/ management of Terminal C, Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, Lagos”. The plaintiffs said that upon the engagement of the services of a consultant known as Phoenix Capital Limited, it (Phoenix) developed and prepared technical and financial bidding documents for PTOL in respect of its bids for the operation/management of Terminal A, Port Harcourt Port, Lillypond, Roro, and also Container Terminal, Apapa, developed and prepared technical and financial bidding documents for Ecomarine in respect of Terminal B, Calabar Port and also for Jorotom International Agency Limited in respect of National Clearing and Forwarding Agency”. They averred that consequent to the bidding strategy and the agreement between Migfo Denca, and Sifax (concerning bidding for and subsequent management of Terminal C), Sifax, Migfo and Denca agreed to and executed a memorandum of Understanding executed in or about June, 2005 (but subsequently dated and stamped

on 27/7/05) to consummate their original intention of jointly bidding for, and presenting a joint bid, for the said Terminal ‘C’. At a stage when the bid became successful, and Tin Can Terminal ‘’C was won, Migfo and Denca, noticed that their pointsman was no longer willing to provide answers. Suddenly, Sifax started claiming to be the sole bidder and therefore sole owner of Tin Can Terminal ‘C’, contrary to the Joint Venture Agreement. It was at this point that Migfo and Denca decided to go to court. The matter was brought before Hon. Justice Tijani Abubakar, then of the Federal High Court, where judgement was given for the plaintiffs. The court held that Sifax, Migfo and Denca, are joint bidders and joint owners and should jointly manage and operate the Tin Can Island Port Terminal ‘C’. Sifax thereafter appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal, where the three judges of the court (Hon. Justices Mshella, Ogunbiyi and Nwodo) upheld the judgement of Tijani Abubakar, again asserting that Tin Can Island Port Terminal ‘C’ was jointly owned and must be jointly managed and operated by Sifax, 40 percent; Migfo, 30 percent and Denca, 30 percent. Not satisfied, Sifax and co. went to the Supreme Court, where, in its decision, the apex court held that the two Federal Courts below had erred by hearing the matter as a maritime suit rather than a contract issue should have been heard by a Lagos High Court as a court of first instant. Meanwhile, Migfo and Denca are back to Lagos State High Court, as ordered by the Supreme Court.

Succour for sickle cell patients BY ESTHER ONYEGBULA

A

ll registered sickle cell disorder patients with the Federal Medical Centers are now to benefit from free distribution of drugs at stakeholders meeting every second Friday of the month. This was disclosed by the chairperson of sickle cell disorder committee, Dr. M. Y. Jinadu, at a community mobilization, participation and ownership of sickle cell control program to sensitize community leaders, religious leaders, and the general public. According to her, “there will be distribution of free drugs to registered sickle cell disorder patients during

stakeholders meeting held every second Friday of the month, as well as provision of 50% discount on all nonsurgical sickle cell disorder cases and 10% discount to all surgical sickle cell disorder cases”. As one of the four selected centres covering the south western part of the country for the management of sickle cell disorder, a sickle cell disorder project was inaugurated mid last year to provide facilities, manpower, logistic support and possibly funds. In his presentation entitled, “Nigeria, our efforts so far ”, the Desk Officer, Sickle Cell Disorder, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Alayo Shopekun,

Trouble in Ugborodo over oil money Continued from page 23 was already pending in a court of competent jurisdiction. Prince Atete told reporters in Warri that the rival faction openly disagreed with Uduaghan, adding, “Those of us who are Itsekiri aborigines give maximum respect to our Royal Majesty, we equally respect his views and opinion on matters in dispute in Warri kingdom”. He accused the rival faction of “bluntly refusing to accept the verdict of our monarch.” Deepening cold war

noted that in Nigeria about one in every four Nigerians carry the sickle cell trait and about 150,000 children are born annually with sickle cell diseases. He therefore advocated the testing for sickle cell gene in children and adults to enable everybody know his genotype as well premarital counseling for carriers of sickle cell gene. In her goodwill message, Mrs Doris Gbemiloye of Genotype Foundation lamented that the amount used to cater for a sickle cell child from age 0 to 21 is enough to cater for four children without the disorder, hence everyone should join hands to put an end to the scourge.

The bad blood between the two factions continued to deepen after the botched peace efforts of Uduaghan and the Olu of Warri, as both leaderships battled to gain control. Ereyitomi leadership has advantage of grassroots support and alleged struggle over who should legitimately negotiate with Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC on the upcoming gas project at Otumara which led to the November 3 tragedy in which three youths were killed. Tonwe practically swore in an interview with Sunday Vanguard that he knew nothing about the affair, even though Prince Atete and others pointed fingers at him. *Next week: The stories of some actors in the Ugborodo crisis, viz: Chief Thomas Ereyitomi, Pa J.O.S. Ayomike, Mr David Tonwe and Chief Emami.


SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 25, 2012, PAGE 25

BY ISHOLA BALOGUN

Woman tells court: My husband was a god

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tella Agbogun, District Governor of 404B of the Lions Club, with her team, visited the Kogi flood victims and presented food items and materials worth over N3million to them. In this encounter, she shares her team’s experience on the visit.

Kogi...water, water every where. Inset: Agbogun, Rotary District Gov

EYE WITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE KOGI FLOOD

‘Man built hut on the roof of submerged house to escape water’ touched that we had to make available to him a mattress. At about 7:30p.m., we had to hand over the remaining materials to the Rev Father who distributed it. The journey alone was tiring, our muscles ached, but it was worth the pains. Imaging that you just woke up one morning and all you have was gone. And since the incident, they were just there at the

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What got you into Lions Club? I have been in Lionism for the past 26 years, and, having gone through the cadre - the zone chair, the regional chair, including appointment as committee chairperson, I decided to serve at the highest position of the District. Again, before now, the position was like a no-go-area for women, we have had only three women with about 40 men as governor of the district; but biggest spur for me was the urge to serve humanity at that capacity. My goal is to work with children. They are not being given proper attention; in fact, they lack so many things, even parents don’t give them adequate attention and yet we say they are our future. Because they are vulnerable, I’m passionate about the plight of children. My focus is to give hope to the Nigerian child. All my programmes for the remaining part of this year and next year will be geared towards the Nigerian child. Experience with the flood victims in Kogi The Kogi experience is something I have never seen in my life. It took us about 14 hours on the road to the state. We got there late in the night. As early as 7:30a.m., the following day we began the distribution of the food items and materials to the displaced people through a Rev. Father. We used a big truck to move the items from Lagos. It was worth over N3million. The local government chairmen, village heads and other prominent people in the area were there. They had about 22 camps, in each camp, they had about 950 persons and families. And the sharing was easy because they had representatives amongst them who also supervised the sharing. So, it was not a case of the material did not get to them. They were very happy, singing and praying for Lions Club. We took a boat ride to another village affected by the flood and it was water, front, back, left and right. We were in the boat for about two hours. You will see roads covered by water on which you travel in a boat. All you see are trees, and roof-top of houses. We saw a man who refused to leave his house submerged by water but he managed to build a hut on the roof of the house where he lived. We saw him cooking and eating there. We were so

BY ADEOLA ADENUGA & KAFAYAT TIJANI

We took a boat ride to another village affected by the flood and it was water, front, back, left and right. We were in the boat for about two hours

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mercy of any one who cared. The children were not going to school, they couldn’t even sleep well. It was pathetic. Some of the schools had been converted to refugee camps. I do not think relief materials were enough and perhaps the distribution was faulty. That was why we as a group decided to handle the distribution ourselves and the people were happy. There are other river-rine areas that take about four hours drive from Lokoja, I don’t think donors have visited these places. The government intention is good but I tell you there is no proper monitoring. Let me give you an example, when we got there, somebody met us and asked that we should hand-over the materials to him for onward distribution to the victims. We said no and he became angry saying that was the

practice. We insisted that we were not going to do that in line with a directive from our international office that we should not hand over the items to any body. At the end of the day, we distributed the truck load of gifts and the people were very happy. Source of funds When a disaster of this kind happens, it is the business of members of Lions Club anywhere in the world to assist. We have a special fund for this kind of issue. So when this happened, we wrote to the international body and they responded positively. We also have the Nigeria Charity Foundation, from we draw from; and we also have individual members contribution in terms of materials, food items and others. So, these three areas made up the money and materials we donated. The international body gave us $10,000, the Nigeria Charity Foundation gave us N500,000 and we sourced over N1million from members.

A 34-year-old man, Mr. Sunday lgbauma, told an Agege Grade A Customary Court that his wife, Oluwakemi dragged him around with his sexual organ whenever they had misunderstanding. Sunday, who lives at 80D Oniwaya Road, Agege, however informed the court that he helped his wife wash her panties. He regretted ever raising his hands against his wife, because, according to him, he loved her dearly. ”I am sorry for all the wrongs I have done to my wife. I don’t want to lose her. I love her with passion”, the respondent stated. ”But my wife is not exonorated from this problem between us; whenever we fight, she grabs my sexual organ which makes me to beat her hard. ”She does not respect me, she abuses me. These also make me to beat her ”. Sunday, a transporter in Oshodi, told the court that he had changed and would not beat his wife anymore. Earlier in her submission, Oluwakemi, pleaded with the court to dissolve the five-yearold marriage over frequent beating and lack of care. The 23-year-old trader, who lives at 18, Omo Street, Agege, told the court how her husband flogged her at will. The mother of two said she developed hypertension over her estrangement with the husband. ”My heart beat fast. I lost appetite for food. I lived under fear all through the period with him. I saw him like my god and the children also feared him. He drinks to stupor, and behaves abnormally”, she said. She urged the court to dissolve the marriage and grant her custody of the children.The court told the couple to maintain the peace. It adjourned the case to December 12 for judgment.

Court quashes marriage over adultery BY ADEOLA ADENUGA & AMATA BRIDGET A Lagos Grade ‘A’ Customary Court sitting in Agege dissolved a 20-year-old marriage over battery, adultery and threat to life. The court president, Mr. Emmanuel Shokunle, said the marriage had broken down irretrievably, adding: “From today, you cease to be husband and wife, you shall go your separate ways. ”You must maintain the peace every where you see each other. The custody of the children remains with their mother. ”The respondent shall be paying the sum of N15,000 monthly through the court for the children’s upkeep”.

Lease of life for senior citizens BY FREDRICK OKOPIE

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EEING the wobbling feet and the feeble hands of the aged people gathered at Jakande, Isolo in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State by Centre for Happy Elderly People, CHEP, under the leadership of Deaconess (Mrs.) Lilian Jirigho, was a pitiable experience. A country like Nigeria where many of the senior citizens that have spent all their productive years in the service of government or in the private sector could not afford shelter, food and medication. Speaking to Sunday Vanguard, Jirigho said,“Centre for Happy Elderly People (CHEP) is a non-governmental organization established to care for the elderly . This is achieved by building a close relationship with the aged and also making them happy. “We also help the neglected, the abandoned and the less privileged”. How does she get fund to carry out the project? The Delta State born nurse said that donations come from people who are touched by the plight of the aged people and attend various programmes lined for the year, most especially the October 1 annual celebration of World Elders Day. C M Y K


PAGE 26—SUNDAY VANGUARD,NOVEMBER 25, 2012

Email: woman-vista@yahoo.co.uk

(07036819426)

Xmas hampers & the Nigerian factor

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C M Y K

HATEVER your circum stances, Christmas invokes some excitement, the degree depending on how many Christmases you’ve celebrated. Naturally, the young are more excited than the more mature people because they look forward to having a good time of foods and drinks and entertainment, more than usual. Once upon a time, sending/receiving Christmas cards was a big part of the Christmas season. The more we received, the more our joy, because we feel it’s a demonstration of the goodwill people have for us. We proudly display them in our living room. Sadly, with the advent of the gsm, sending text messages have so largely replaced cards, that very few shops sell them, and those who do, no longer have the ones with soul-stirring illustrations/messages we used to cherish. We thank God that text messages cannot replace Christmas gifts. These make the festive season sizzle for many people, for even if you’re a zillionaire and can afford everything on earth, you may still enjoy receiving presents at Christmas. How times have changed the choice of presents! Gradually, hampers of all sorts have replaced in many instances, those book gifts, clothes/shoes/accessories gifts, perfumes, toys, etc., that we used to wrap up nicely and send out, or receive. Christmas hampers have become such big business that they form part of the services that many business outfits provide for individuals and the corporate world. Mid-way into a new year, hamper-makers begin to canvass for business, going round with samples/catalogue of what they can assemble for you, depending on what you want to spend. The competition is fierce, as anyone can turn a hamper provider. All sorts of devises are used to make offers attractive. Sturdy and pretty plastic containers are gradually replacing the traditional cane hampers which could sag or even break under the weight of their contents. Hampers used to consist of provisions, drinks and some household items, but these days, their contents are becoming more sophisticated and upbeat – expensive drinks, cosmetics, designer towels, footwear, materials for outfits, iron, sandwich toast maker, table top oven, plates and cutlery, as well as the usual provisions. Some hamper-makers are quite imaginative and gifted in their selection of products that will excite you. The funny thing is that in their bid to make you appreciate their selection, they go for foreign-produced items, whether their quality is inferior to the locally made versions or not. Some tell you, ‘ we use only imported items in our hampers’, and thus they have the perfect excuse for overpricing the hampers. Then comes the Nigerian factor! At times, expired items are stacked in the hampers. I used to think this was a mistake on the part of the suppliers, but when this keeps happening every year, I began to believe that something funny is going on. If you get a contract to supply hampers, or, if you’re selling hampers, shouldn’t you go the extra mile to ensure that what you’re supplying are safe for the recipients? A friend told me that expired products, or those on the verge of their expired dates come cheaper for these shylocks, so, they buy them.

View-Point

Helen Ovbiagele Woman Editor

It’s advisable not to use tinned/ bottled products like – milk, sardines, corned beef, sausages, baked beans, salad cream, mayonnaise, without first checking that they haven’t reached their expiry dates. If you don’t check, you and your family could be in for serious food-poisoning. A hamper-maker of integrity, who has the interests of his/her customers seriously at heart, would use only products that have at least one more year before their expiry dates. This is because many hamper recipients don’t get round to using the items in them, till much later in the year, or, even the following year. Unless you’re in the catering business or have a large family, you’re most likely to store away those cans in your pantry, and forget about them. When you stumble on them later, you discover that their sell-by-date was long over. You shouldn’t trust the ‘three month grace’ some people

We should desist from portraying Nigeria as a country full of crooks. We’re not the poorest nation in the world. We can easily make honesty and integrity our watchword if we want to

XMAS HAMPER

say manufacturers ‘build’ into the expiry date. It’s best to dump the whole expired lot, no matter how much you feel you could be losing, than consume them at the risk of your health/ life. What’s more, don’t dump them where other people are likely to find them and eat their contents. You don’t want it on your conscience that people fell ill because of what you dumped. Another Nigerian factor in the items in some hampers here, is the presence of empty containers/packages. I know several people, including myself, who have been victims of this. In my case, several times. I removed the sellotape on a tin of imported cookies, and found the tin half-empty! Same thing with tins of springles, crisps, chocolates, etc. A relative found a strange bottle in the beautiful package of Remy Matin brandy. You hear all sorts of stories about missing items in packages, substituted items, etc. You wonder why cheating has become our second nature here. “Madam, it’s greed and the poverty mentality” a colleague offered in explanation. “But that’s stealing,” I remarked. “A hamper should contain exactly what was ordered. Anything otherwise, should be actionable.” “True, madam, but unless it’s a hamper you ordered and examined yourself, the supplier cannot be charged with fraud. This is because most hampers are gifts, and one would be too embarrassed to tell the person who sent you the hamper, that all wasn’t in order with it. One tends to keep quiet, and it’s on that that the suppliers play on; knowing that there would be no complaints from their clients. So, the fraud will always be there.” This is true, but I think it’s time to change tunes. First of all, when you place an order for hampers, go over the list of the items, and tell the supplier that all items should have at least one year sell-by-date left. You or your assistant should be shown samples of what would be provided. Next include a note in the hampers that says that the recipient should please report any foul play in the contents. A close relative once reported to his friend that the drinks in the hamper he sent him had been tampered with. The friend was very grateful for the information, and asked for the bottles, which he sent back to the supplier with a stiff word. She apologized profusely, and replaced them with genuine ones. Understandably, not all hamper suppliers are bent. Some are quite honest, but if they’re not vigilant when their staff are packing the hampers, items could be removed/swapped for inferior versions. An acquaintance who’s in the hamper business confirmed that there could be foul play in supply, but added that this is usually not to the knowledge of the owner of the business, as he/she wouldn’t risk losing clients. Also, some suppliers don’t actually pack their hampers, but place orders with market women, who make the selection. Well, whatever the case, we should desist from portraying Nigeria as a country full of crooks. We’re not the poorest nation in the world. We can easily make honesty and integrity our watchword if we want to.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012, PAGE 27

Email: woman-vista@yahoo.co.uk

zMrs.Regina

(07036819426)

Ezenwa....We are actually budgeting for 500 widows with a budget of N3, 500,000

Our main focus this year is education for widows’ children—Mrs.Ezenwa BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA Ahead of the annual Widows Day organized by the Roses Ministry, a faith-based non-profit organization, Mrs.Regina Ezenwa, the National Co-ordinator, gives an insight into the event billed for this Thursday at the National Population Commission in Lagos. Over 500 widows are expected to gather at the event. Enjoy! Background The Roses Ministry was actually founded in January 2007, with a vision to show God’s love and compassion to the hurting and vulnerable in practical ways. Our objectives include providing assistance to reduce poverty, especially for widows; providing succour to the sick and physically hurting; providing counseling to the youths, especially on the harmful effects of sexual immorality, cultism, drug abuse, etc.; and providing marriage counseling and restore the dignity of womanhood and leading the spiritually lost back to God. Widows Day With our set objectives in mind, we have been organizing “Widows Day” for widows on the last Thursday of November every year. The word of God is ministered to them and gift items are given to them, e.g. ankara wrappers, bags of rice, vegetable oil, bags of salt, toiletries, household items. Giving succour Our vocational training department en-

sures that some of these widows or their children who have no job or means of livelihood are trained and set up in the manufacturing of dish washing liquid soap, bead making and petroleum jelly production, etc. We now have an electric machine for the production of our liquid soap. We also run a Charity shop at Census Market in Lagos to provide clothing and household items at give away

professional services. We carried out blood pressure measurements and those already hypertensive or had elevated blood pressures were referred to the doctors for consultation and prescriptions. The pharmacists present carried out the blood pressure monitoring and dispensing of the drugs with counseling. The doctors and the pharmacists were overwhelmed with the number of widows; they were three hundred and fifty widow in attend-

food & drinks as well as medicines. Many of the widows we cater for are hypertensive and a few are diabetic but most cannot afford their medicines. We have been able to monitor them and give all of them free medicines for the last one year. Our main focus for this year is to educate one child per indigent widow in a tertiary institution, as we are able to and as we receive sponsorship for. The health checks consultations and medicines dispensing and counseling will start early and will be followed by the Christian ministration.

Our objectives include providing assistance to reduce poverty, especially for widows; providing succour to the sick and physically hurting; providing counseling to the youth

prices and sale of our liquid soaps. Medical intervention In 2010, we included medical services but last year 2011, doctors and pharmacists offered free

ance! Widows Day 2012 We are actually budgeting for 500 widows with a budget of N3, 500,000 for the following items rice, vegetable oil, salt, 6yards of wrapper per widow,

Mrs. Ezenwa.... Many of the widows we cater for are hypertensive. C M Y K


28—SUNDAY, Vanguard, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

Gesture of lo om rro oyalty tto o rro oyalty lovve fr from

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is Royal Majesty Pere Godwin K. Bebenimibo, Ogeh Gbaran III, The Agadagba (Aketekpe) of Gbaramatu Kingdom of Warri South West Council Area of Delta State on penultimate Friday, along with some Chiefs paid a royal visit and made donation of relief materials to His Royal Majesty Major Lucky M. Erebulu (Rtd) Aduo II, Pere of Kabowei Kingdom of Patani Council Area of Delta State as a result of the recent flood which ravaged Patani area. Photos by Akpokona Omafuaire.

HRM Pere Godwin K. Bebenimibo, Ogeh Gbaran III, The Agadagba (Aketekpe) of Gbaramatu Kingdom and HRM, Maj. Lucky M. Erebulu (Rtd) Aduo II, Pere of Kabowei Kingdom.

HRM Pere Godwin K. Bebenimibo, Ogeh Gbaran III, The Agadagba (Aketekpe) of Gbaramatu Kingdom, HRM, Maj. Lucky M. Erebulu (Rtd) Aduo II, Pere of Kabowei Kingdom flanked by chiefs, sons and daughters of both kingdoms

From Left; Chief Alfred Bubor, Chief Satchie Etoromi and Chief Nelson Ogelegbamwei.

From Right; Chief Clery Ibojoh, Chief Oyagha Heavens and Chief Nelson Ogelegbanwei.

From Right; Comrade Paul Bebenimibo, Dr. Chris Ekiyor, Chief Dennis Otuaro and Mr. Edgar Daniel.

From Left; Chief Vero Tangbowei, Chief Josephine Enisi Ogoba, Chief Esther Clark and Chief Margaret Governor.

From Right; Comrade Paul Bebenimibor, Executive Secretary, Tompolo Foundation; Chief Moses Bebenimibo and Mr, Profit Keniye.

Chief (Maj.) Bernard Oki and Chief Rowland Biu.

Dr. Chris Ekiyor and Chief Lawrence Babador.

HRM Pere Godwin K. Bebenimibo, Ogeh Gbaran III, The Agadagba (Aketekpe) of Gbaramatu Kingdom, HRM Maj. Lucky M. Erebulu (Rtd) Aduo II, Pere of Kabowei Kingdom and cabinet members on arrival.

Chief Dennis Otuaro and Chief Wellington Bobo.

Dr. Chris Ekiyor and Chief Dennis Otuaro C M Y K


SUNDAY, Vanguard, NOVEMBER 25, 2012 —29

IPETUMODU DAY 2012 The indigenes of Ipetumodu in Ife-North Local Government Council Area of the State of Osun last Saturday, celebrated their annual Ipetumodu Day, in Ipetumodu. The occasion in pictures:

Executive Director, Ecobank, Sir Patrick Akinwuntan, the Chairman of the Day; the Apetumodu of Ipetumodu, Oba James Adegoke, and the Chairman, Planning Committee, Barr. Kunle Oyatomi.

It’s silver for Katsina Friends and well wishers of Katsina State recently joined Governor Ibrahim Shema to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the state. Shema received awards for good governance from African Heritage Awards on the occasion.

The Chairman of the Day, Akinwuntan, and the Chief Launcher, Mr Wale Farinu, Managing Director, Wolban Nigeria Ltd.

R-L: Gov Ibrahim Shem;Deputy gov, Abdullahi Faskari, and Speaker, House of Assembly, Ya’u Umar Gwajogwajo

The representative of the Governor, State of Osun, Dr. Olalekan Yinusa, the state’s Special Adviser, Commerce, presenting an award to Alhaji Muraina Iyiola at the event.

The State of Osun’s Governor’s representative, Dr. Olalekan Yinusa, with the chairman, planning Committee, Barr. Kunle Oyatomi.

Ololade Oduw ole celebrat es 70 in style Oduwole celebrates

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lolade Abosede Oduwole (Mrs) turned 70 recently and in commemoration of the landmark, a holy communion and thanksgiving service was held at Anglican Church for All Nations, Victoria Island, Lagos. Family and friends were on hand to share the joy with the celebrant and family. Photos by Biodun Ogunleye

Mrs Ololade Oduwole, celebrant, dancing at the church service

General Sunny Shayagbe C M Y K

Tuoyo

(Rtd)

and

wife,

L-R:Temidire George, grand son, Mrs Yinka Oshodi-Ikenze and Mr Bayode Oduwole, son of celebrant

L-R:AVM Olu Adekoya (Rtd), Mr Fola Ajidagba and Chief Bolanle Ajomale

Gov Shema, (left) with Alhaji Lawan Kaita, former governor of old Kaduna State

L-R: Gen Onoja (rtd) former Katsina State military Governor, Alhaji Lawan Kaita and Gov Shema

Gov Abba Musa Rimi of former Katsina(r) presenting a souvenir to Governor Shema


PAGE 30—SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

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ello great kids! Hope you had a funfilled week? Trust you kids to always have fun. Wow! We are gradually moving into the festive season. I went to Lagos Island last week and was surprised to see lots of shops decked in bright colors. Also some places where you can walk freely on the island are now packed with people bustling and shopping for Christmas. When I visited the

Do you know this expression?

A cat may look on a king

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HIS expression simply means that people are entitled to have and to express opinions about supposedly ‘superior ’ people. In other words; a person’s status cannot actually control the opinions held about them by other people of supposedly lower standing. For example, people are free to talk about the President Goodluck Jonathan even when they are not in the same social standing with him. Market women, carpenters, and even beggars can express their opinions about his government and they can even make jest of him like the governors and other prominent people can. The version ‘a cat may look at a king’ is used in this sense when said by Alice, in Lewis Carroll’s 1865 book ‘Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland’. This expression simply implies that no-one is actually above criticism, or immune from having jokes directed at them by ‘lesser’ people for behaving inappropriately, irrespective of their status.

children’s section, it was so packed that I couldn’t get inside; our darling parents were busy shopping for Christmas for their kids! Do you know that you can help mum and dad save a lot of money buying Christmas ornaments and decorations by doing some of them yourselves with easily accessible materials? Yes you can and you can also have fun doing it. From next week, your darling column will be publishing some

easy-to-do Christmas decorations under the ‘I can do it’ segment and you can start doing them whenever you are free so that you will have a bulk of decoration before Christmas. This week’s edition is specially packaged for you and the parenting column is a must read for your parents; so don’t forget to take it to them. Have a wonderful week ahead!

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OM tells John to stop running in the kitchen. Next mom is telling John to stop running in the living room. Now mom is yelling at John to stop running through the rest of the house and she is about to lose it with him... Frustrated parents of young children are yelling and spanking because they do not know other ways to get the children to mind their words. Research shows, however, that yelling and spanking often create new problems. Children who are continually shouted at or spanked tend to be more aggressive in the playground, have less developed problem-solving skills and lower selfesteem. However, when parents use other skills for gaining compliance and cooperation, children tend to be better adjusted, play more co-operatively and respond to their parents’ words. For example, imagine there are two voices inside you, one good and the other bad. Now, imagine they are fighting constantly. Which one do you think will win the fight? The one you feed and give attention to always! Why, because you are strengthening it. Children’s behavior works the same

Catch Your Kid Doing Good! way. Feed the negative and you will increase this behavior. Feed the positive and you will see more positive behavior. And the food of a child’s behavior is your attention. Unfortunately, however, many parents focus on catching children when they are misbehaving. They feed the wrong voice. They always shout ‘stop this and stop that’! This has to change. The main focus must not be on catching misbehavior. The focus must be on catching children doing things right. You can try something different. As John is running, you tell him to stop running and to play quietly with his toys in the parlour. As John is playing quietly, you go over to him and simply mention how nicely he is playing. John continues to play quietly and, several minutes later, you go to him and mention it again. You can smile at him and give him a

hug. The truth of the matter is that John was actually a good listener and had always been a good listener. Every time mom told him where to stop running, he did, he just went on to another place. We cannot assume that children will automatically know what to do, when we tell them what not to do. Tell your child directly what you expect and follow it up with feedback when they do it. Feedback is how you give attention to feed children’s behavior. For feedback, all you have to do is mention the very behavior the child is doing well. If you forget to mention it as the behavior is occurring, mention it later, like at bedtime. The key is not to withhold feedback, but to provide it for appropriate behavior. Whenever you see your child doing something you would like to see repeated, provide Numbers to Call feedback. Aunty Funmi - 08027342044 Remember: Catch a Lagos State Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation(WAPA)- 01- 7617508, 01- 7308112 kid doing good… and Lagos Education And Resource Network (LEARN) - 0702950412 tell them! You will Lagos State Ministry of Youth & Social Welfare - 01- 7433669 both be glad you did. Lagos State Office of Public Defender – 01- 7926928


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMER 25, 2012, PAGE 31

Life’s lessons A

son and his father were walking on the mountains. Suddenly, the son falls, hurts himself and screams: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” Curious, he yells: “Who are you?” He receives the answer: “Who are you?” And then he screams to the mountain: “I admire you!” The voice answers: “I admire you!” Angered at the response, he screams: “Coward!” He receives the answer: “Coward!” He looks to his father and asks: “What’s going on?” The father smiles and says: “My son, pay

attention.” Again the man screams: “You are a champion!” The voice answers: “You are a champion!” The boy is surprised, but does not understand. Then the father explains: “People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions. If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart and show more love to people around you. If you want competence from other people, improve your competence, be patient with people and learn to work in a team. This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life; Life will give you back everything you have given to it.”

People with disabilities are not abnormal, just different – Dr Yinka Akindayomi The Service Director of Children’s Developmental Centre (CDC), Dr Yinka Akindayomi, says people with disabilities are not abnormal but just different and that they have a lot to contribute to the society if they are given the chance. Akindayomi said this while speaking at the disability confidence press conference held at the centre’s premises in Surulere, Lagos. According to her, the attitude of the society to people living with disability is very bad and so many families of these people are unable to bring them into public because of shame and stigmatization.

“Having children with disability is normal whether in Nigeria or abroad. Support is very important for families of children with disability and if the society can support these people, there will be less family abandoning their children and fewer orphanages with children with disabilities. This is because I don’t think you would want to have a baby and just abandon the baby, there is always that emotional tie between a child and its mother and all they need is support from the society”, she said. Another speaker at the occasion, Mrs. Angela Emuwa, a co-founder of Finding Normal Movement, said that rather

than having people with disability just sitting down and being a burden on the society, they should be given the chance to contribute to the society. “We should empower parents because they have to bring up their child properly. People with disabilities are trainable so we should give them the same opportunities we give others. They should not only enjoy acceptance and inclusion while they are children, a pupil or student but also as young adults in need of employment and this is the thrust of this year’s Finding Normal disability awareness week”, Emuwa added.

Indomie/Federal Road Safety Corps Fan Club of Handmaids International Catholic School, Srurulere answering questions on safety tips from Mrs Edith Osas, Zonal Head of Special Marshal &Partnership FRSC while Mr Tope Asiwaju, DUFIL PLC Public Realations Manager & Mrs Faith Joshua, Indomie Fan Club Co-ordinator watch in admiration

Indomie PPar ar tner al R oad Saf artner tnerss Feder Federal Road Safeety Corps on Safety for children …already covered over 350 schools in Lagos and Abuja in 2012

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UFIL Prima Foods, makers of Indomie Noodles has partner Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to teach school children on safety tips on roads. While teaching the children

of Handmaids International Catholic School in Surulere, Lagos on safety tips last week, Mrs Edith Osas, FRSC Zonal Head of Special Marshal & Partnership told the students

that accidents just don’t happen on the roads but are caused by people due to carelessness and ignorance. She pointed out that the purpose of the campaign is to

Child Helpline Int ernational TTasks asks International government on Children’s Empowerment and ection Pr ot Prot otection ………as the world celebrates Universal Children’s Day

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ollowing three days of intense deliberations with governments and civil society partner organisations on “Strengthening Child Protection Systems”, Child Helplines had unanimously adopted the “Durban Resolutions”calling upon governments, United Nations and the private sector to ensure that every child in need of care and protection should have access to a child helpline as the world celebrates Universal Children’s Day last week Tuesday.. According to Nenita La Rose, Executive Director of Child Helpline International, the voices of children should be heard when defining the Sustainable Development Goals, otherwise the SDGs will remain unattainable. She said helplines are in constant dialogue with vulnerable group in society which she confirmed that in 2011 helplines received 14 million contacts as 27 children contacted a child helpline every minute.

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he Durban Resolutions urge governments, UN agencies and the private sector to recognise child helplines as a unique mechanism in bringing the voices of children to bear on strengthening child protection systems. They should establish partnerships with child helplines to ensure their sustainability and accessibility to all children, free of charge; and most importantly to include protection and empowerment of children and young people in the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. However, Human Development Initiatives (HDI) a Non Governmental Organisation,NGO in Lagos Nigeria has offers telephone services (not toll free) together with other outreach services, to provide children in Nigeria the opportunity to make phone calls to the helpline in order to seek for help during emergency or crisis moments. Over the years, HDI Child helpline has succeeded in improving the Reproductive Health of adolescents through counselling, mentoring and referrals as the case may require.

use the children to correct parents in a polite way so as be a better road users ‘Always walk on the left side of the road facing on coming vehicles instead of backing them. While crossing the road, look left, right and left again and make sure the road is clear before crossing and avoid running on the road”. She added Osas however stressed that children under 12 years should not seat in the front of a car for whatever reason because the seat belt will be loosen on them. She added that none of the children should allow untimely death to shatter their sweet dream of becoming doctors, pilots, Lawyers etc. Mr Tope Asiwaju, DUFIL Foods Public Relations Manager said Indomie

decided to partner FRSC because they are authority in safety education when it comes to practical and their working together will make Indomie achieve growing Nigerian children to be safety conscious. Asiwaju said since the programme started 4years back, there have been reductions of accident in and around school environment because of the safety initiative. Mrs Faith Joshua, Indomie Fans Club Co-ordinator said indomie already have over 100,000 club members in schools in Lagos and Abuja and partnering with FRSC to teach children on safety issues will make their future better as they are catch young to be a better roads users for a safety nation


PAGE 32—SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

BY FEYI BANKOLE Olatunde Akande is the Principal Partner, Carson Capital Limited, a development consultancy with focus on Small-Medium Enterprises-SMEs and agricultural development. He worked for almost a decade in the commercial banking sector in Nigeria before he was recruited by the International Finance Corporation-IFC. There, he was the first Investment Manager assigned to set up the SMEs technical advisory office in Nigeria. He has over the years consulted for state governments, and deposit money banks. In this interview, the MBA holder, who just bagged a M.Phil in Development Finance from the University of Stellenbosch Business SchoolUSB, South-Africa, where he received an award for graduating cum laude, bares his mind on issues relating to development in Nigeria, why SMEEIS failed, why most small businesses do not exceed the first generation, and the way forward for SME development in Nigeria, among other issues. Why does SME financing seem low in Nigeria compared to what we have in other developing economies? ET me take you back to the Small Medium Enterprises Equity Investment Scheme-SMEEIS set up by the Bankers’ Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria. But before I go into that, we need to examine the key issues that related to access to finance. Basically, the loans that were available were of high interest rates and were of short tenure. Also, because of issues of collateral, most SMEs could not typically come up with the kind of collateral demanded by the banks. The CBN then came up with the equity scheme to salvage the situation, but after a few years of its implementation, the scheme died. The scheme, by all stakeholders, was termed a failure. Banks were supposed to set aside 10% profit after tax, and about N55 billion was supposedly set aside to invest in SMEs, but only about N28 billion was actually invested. Over half of this was invested in Lagos alone on over 186 projects out of the total 333 projects! So, you will realise that the issue with the project was not one of financing, but several other issues like record-keeping, capacity of entrepreneurs, multiple taxation, and entrepreneurs’ failure to implement business plans. My thesis on my M.Phil was actually an evaluation of SMEEIS, why it failed, and possible policies that would be needed for a new SME scheme. The reason why we cannot afford to joke with SME

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*Recommends national policy on SME funding

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Akande....We need a sustainable SME funding scheme as a nation is because it is a major engine for growth in any economy. Another is agricultural development which today also accounts for over 40% of our GDP and at least 60% of employments in the country. From your study, what exactly led to the failure of SMEEIS? SMEEIS was an equity scheme which was relatively new in Nigeria. I was heavily involved in the scheme because I worked with First Funds and also Capital Alliance which were involved in the implementation of the scheme. To be honest, the SMEs entrepreneurs did not really want banks as partners in the business; there was non-alignment of interests. Rather, what they wanted was low interest rate loans of longer tenure, and they also wanted flexibility in the areas of the collateral banks were seeking. They therefore didn’t really want banks as partners! Another reason was that most of the contracts between the banks and SMEs were structured as ordinary shares and this brought a lot of issues of principal agent problems. The entrepreneur knew that no bank was going to come on account of his or her property if the business failed because the banks were there as ordinary shareholders! Because of that, the entrepreneurs themselves had some opportunistic issues and went misbehaving with the money. We therefore had issues of moral hazards. Another reason, which I will also blame on government, was that there was a lot of emphasis on disbursement of the funds which led to issues of inadequate review and monitoring of the projects. About two years ago also, the CBN came

An increase in FDI ought into translate into reduction in the unemployment rate, but right now, the rated increase in our FDI has not translated into a visible job creation for the youths!

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up with a policy intervention of N200 billion to assist SMEs, and this was disbursed through the Bank of Industries. However, we could see that we obviously need more than that figure to stimulate SMEs. Any viable way forward for SME financing? The banks will always look at SME financing as a very risky area because of issues like moral hazards, recordkeeping, business plan implementation, etc., but I think the CBN has the right approach. Notwithstanding, I believe there has to be a national policy on SME funding. Such policy should be inclined with infrastructure upgrade like power which is already improving a bit. We need a sustainable SME funding scheme, and we should be watchful of some of the issues that led to the downfall of SMEEIS. The

Minister of Trade and Investment is also doing a lot. I read recently when he said that Foreign Directs Investment-FDI coming into Nigeria has actually increased, and that Nigeria is one of the biggest recipients of FDI in the continent thus far this year. To be honest, where I have a problem with that is based on a principle which it seems to contradict. An increase in FDI ought to translate in reduction in the unemployment rate, but right now, the rated increase in our FDI has not translated into a visible job creation for the youths! So, how is the FDI increasing? The Bank of Industry is also doing a lot in terms of SMEs financing, especially as it has partnered with some state governments to give out low interest rate loans of about 5 to 7 years tenure, but I think that is not enough. We need to have more institutions working towards SMEs development, and the first step has to be from the government; there necessarily has to be a national policy. Another issue to be noted is the issue of business development services because one of the problems with SMEEIS was that there weren’t too many affordable business development service consultants that could help the SMEs. So, most of the SMEs who got equity from the banks had no technical assistance. I however think SMEDAN is on the right track in this regard, especially in the encouragement of clusters. Like you rightly said, many micro businesses operate without business plans and this is having an adverse effect on SME development in Nigeria. What then is your take on the role of business plans and business development services in SME development in Nigeria? While working at the IFC, we had a facility called the Africa Project Development Facility-

APDF, and I was actually recruited specifically to facilitate the opening of the office in Nigeria and I worked in that capacity as the first investment officer. IFC foresaw that it’s not just about access to finance but about technical assistance to wrap-up or backup a good business idea. The APDF then was set up allover Africa, and its role was to provide enterprise support, capacity building, and business development services for SMEs. So many times, I have seen businesses that have failed because their promoters do not know the difference between cash, profit, sales and revenue. There is no way business development services can be separated from the development of SMEs in Nigeria, and that was one of the main reasons SMEEIS failed; there were not so many affordable business development services. That’s one area where SMEDAN has to do a lot of work. Nobody is going to finance a business that has no documented plan! Unfortunately also, you also find that most entrepreneurs in Nigeria only use the business plan to access finance, after which they dump it! A business plan is a road-map to guide you and it needs to go far more than that! This is where the need for adequate business support comes in. The IFC still has small business advisory units all-over the world, and in continents like Africa especially, the success of it has been unparalleled. In Nigeria, the ABC has also come up to fill in that space. SMEDAN is also there, but because it is government-funded, there can be limitations to how far it can go. I cannot over-emphasise it, but honestly, without affordable business development service providers, it is doubtful if you can actually stimulate the SME sector in Nigeria. Businesses like Coca-Cola, Ford and Mercedez-Benz started as small businesses but have been in existence for ages and have continued to grow. But why is it that most small businesses in Nigeria don’t go beyond the first generation? That’s interesting, but unfortunately, we also have such issues in Nigeria where successful businesses die after the death of their key promoters. One key issue we’re having both in Nigeria and in many other developing countries in Africa, is the issue of succession planning; a lot of people are not in-tuned to that! Once a business is doing well, you need to begin to look at the business after you; but most people do not do so! When SMEEIS was being implemented for example, there were a lot of entrepreneurs who were averse to banks coming in as shareholders because they would rather own 100% of a small business than owning 60% of a big business!


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012, PAGE 33

SOLUDO RECAPITALISATION RE-ECHOES SEVEN YEARS AFTER:

’30 ex-banks staff died waiting for benefits from CBN’

*Axed workers go on hunger strike, seek Jonathan, N/Assembly’s help BY

UDEME

SEVEN years after the banking recapitalisation initiated by former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo, in 2005, over 14,000 Nigerians, under the umbrella of Ex-Staff of NonConsolidated Banks, are on indefinite hunger strike, in protest against non-payment of their terminal benefits. Mr. Olubiyi Odunaro, a former staff of Hallmark Bank Plc, speaks on what he describes as injustice to the axed bank workers, calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene. Can you tell us why you are embarking on hunger strike? O start with, the banking reform, implemented by Soludo, was unprofessional, ineffective and in-human. It was unprofessional in the sense that he just said he wanted to consolidate banks without wide consultations with relevant stakeholders in the sector. He had another motive behind what he did. For instance, it was not up to four years after his consolidation exercise that the banks started facing problems, and there was a need to reconsolidate the banks again. You can see that what he did was a total failure. His implementation strategy was disgusting. He did not even follow the national policy on what the nation needed in terms of economic growth and development, increase of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment generation, increase in positive economic indices and poverty reduction. He just threw thousands of Nigerians into the labour markets without transforming the banks for greater growth. We decided to go on indefinite hunger strike in pursuance of social justice and redress to the denial of the right of 14,000 Nigerians after seven years. In 2005, the CBN initiated a monetary policy on banking reform for consolidation of the commercial banks to a minimum capital of N25billion. While that process was on, Soludo gave options of acquisition and merger to enable the banks raise N25billion. It was erroneously believed that at the end of the exercise, banks that could not raise the required capital could be acquired by bigger ones. Merger or acquisition is like marriage. For instance, you cannot force people into marriage when the whole

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thing is not working out well. When the recapitalisation process commenced, due diligence was done. Those were official excuses. I do not want to go into the political undertone of the entire exercise. The reality is that some banks were not merged, they could not raise N25billion and were not acquired at the end of the exercise. Some of the banks include Hallmark, Trade, Allstate Trust, Gulf, City Express and many others, making a total of 14 nonconsolidated banks. So, their licenses were with drawn by the regulatory authority. When Soludo came up with the recapitalisation policy, people saw it as a laudable initiative, because they thought the banks would become much

,

STORIES CLEMENT

Professor Soludo.....Soludo gave options of acquisition and merger to enable the banks raise N25billion. bank promised to pay affected workers compensation. CBN sold those non-consolidated banks as well as their assets

We have over 30 people from three non-consolidated banks who died in the process. We know a case of someone who committed suicide

more productivity to build confidence in the banking industry. So, nobody had anything against him. At a point, people began to ask pertinent questions like, what would happen to deposits of customers if some banks could not recapitalise. What would happen to some staff who may lose their jobs on the process? CBN stated categorically that it would pay all the depositors and compensation to people who may be affected by the exercise. In that capacity, a gazette containing the guidelines and other details was published by CBN. Paragraph nine of that guideline talks about deposits and compensation. When the consolidation was completed, people started agitating for their deposits. It took sometime for the deposits to be paid. I do not know whether every customer got his deposit back, but CBN tried in that aspect. Surprisingly, after many years, CBN is yet to address the issue of paying terminal benefits to workers affected by the exercise. For instance, I worked for 11 years, some people worked for 15years and above. After putting their entire working lives into an institution, they are frustrated and left with nothing. What were your terms of employment with the banks? The recapitalisation policy of CBN disrupted our employment terms with our employers because the apex

to the consolidation agreement on its promise to pay workers compensation. For instance, they sold Hallmark and Allstate Trust to Eco Bank. Since they sold the banks and assets, they should pay us our benefits. It is our right. It became an issue of CBN saying that workers were classified as other creditors, yet nothing has been done. This is inhuman and we must fight for our right. Many people died because of the frustration without getting their benefits. These people have families and dependants. We have over 30 people from three non-

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after withdrawing their licenses. But, up till now, CBN has not paid the workers their benefits. We started writing to the apex bank and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) without any positive outcome, seven years after the exercise. CBN knew that the banks they sold had obligation to pay depositors and staff. We do not know how they did their negotiation. What we are saying is that CBN must keep

consolidated banks who died in the process. We know a case of someone who committed suicide. The National Assembly supported the CBN’s policy on recapitalisation. Have you taken this matter to the lawmakers? The National Assembly supported the policy because CBN stated clearly that workers were going to be taken care of. When CBN failed to compensate workers as agreed after many years, we formed an association called Ex-staff of Non-Consolidated Banks. We wrote to CBN and they directed us to NDIC. We wrote to NDIC and they pushed us back to CBN. We also wrote several letters to the Senate for intervention without any positive outcome. The response we got from Senate, if subjected to a proper analysis, is a case of, once the letters arrive, they would say, ‘these people have started again’. They would send the

same response verbatim, no changes, except the date. The same response they have been sending for over two years. The content of their reply reads, ‘Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the Senate President, Senator David Mark. He has directed the Chairman on House Committee of Banks and other Financial Institutions in the House to investigate”. When we send reminders, they would change the date and send the same response back to us. It is disgraceful and appalling. The CBN initiated the monetary policy of recapitalisation on behalf of Federal Government. Have you called the attention of President Goodluck Jonathan to this matter? The policy was done on behalf of government. So, we wrote to the Ministry of Labour and a meeting was called between representatives of CBN, NDIC, the ministry and our members. At that meeting, NDIC said they had completed the schedule for everybody and were waiting for a promissory note from the appropriate authority in order to make payment, but nothing is done. We followed it up with series of reminders, yet no response. We have written a letter to the president after these efforts to notify him of this injustice. The outcome is this hunger strike. We made it clear that by October 31, if we didn’t get a positive response, we were going on indefinite hunger strike. That is what we are doing now. We are not going back. It is either they pay us or we die in this hunger strike. We are not carrying arms like other people, but we are appealing to the president to show that he cares for all his citizens. The same way he cares for the flood victims, let him also demonstrate that he cares for all Nigerians. Our membership cuts across East, South, West and North. What is the role of labour in this matter? We approached the Minister of Labour and nothing has been done. That is why we are appealing to the president to please show concern to these 14.000 Nigerians.

Indigenous port operator creates 2,000 jobs

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LOSE to 2,000 Nigerians are at present directly employed by an indigenous port operator and concessionaire of Terminals C and D of the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa, ENL Consortium Limited. The General Manager of ENL Consortium, Mr. Mark Walsh, made this known, stressing that the company takes pride in the fact that all the employees, except two, are Nigerians. He said, “It has been our commitment to improve on terminal operations to create moe jobs. We have successfully done both in the last six years, since we commenced operation at Apapa Port. Apart from those directly employed by the terminal operator, thousands of other Nigerians also earn their living from the services they provide at the terminal, which include vendors, agents, truckers

and several others. ENL is wholly owned by Nigerians and there is no doubt that the company remains a pride to port operation in the country. We have set new standards and modernised operations at our

terminals”. When you come into the terminal, you may find it hard to believe that this is the same terminal, which had the highest population of miscreants and wharf rats and where inefficiency was at its peak. It is a completely differ

From left: Managing Director/CEO, NEXIM Bank, Mr. Roberts Orya, Founder/Chief Executive, Beloxxi Industries Limited(makers of Beloxxi Biscuits), Obi Ezeude and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, Hon. Jones Onyereri when the Committee and NEXIM visited the company. Photo: Kehinde Gbadamosi.


PAGE 34 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

Just 3 months, and he’s shunning me! Dear Rebecca

I

am a girl of 22 years of age into a rela tionship with a guy of less than 3 months. When we started, everything was fine. He even promised that he will make me forget the bitterness I had with my first guy. But now, things are no longer the same . He doesn’t give me any attention. He goes clubbing and partying and doesn’t visit me again, yet , he claims he loves me. He’s never tired of giving excuses and I am fed up with that, aunty . I want a relationship that will lead to marriage . Jumping in and out of a relationship isn’t the best . My first relationship lasted for 3 years before this one. And now, he misbehaves. He made me fall in love with him and I don’t understand him any more. I don’t want to lose him so how can I win back his interest and attention for me? Please advise me on what to do. Worried girl , Lagos REPL Y REPLY

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OOR you! Why are you so desperate that this relationship should lead to marriage ? You did not give the man’s age or say what you both do-studying or working- and if you and he are ready now for marriage. At 22, and already with a failed relationship behind you, it seems you went into this business of wanting to get married rather early. This relationship is only 3 months old and you are desperate not to lose the man. No wonder he is partying away from you. You are suffocating him with too much seriousness and anxiety in the relationship, and that’s why he is running away from you. Whether you are ready for marriage or not, don’t show any man that you are anxious to get married. Relax . You are only 22. Maybe you are not gainfully employed and you need to get married so that you will have a man to look after you finan-

cially, or, also parents and home life are not so good, so you want to use marriage as a way of escape. If you have no career and are no longer studying, please try anf train for something so that you can stand on your feet financially, a bit. Most men these days want a wife who can help financially in the home. Also , don’t allow a man to be the only joy in your life . In fact you should not make a human being or anything the source of your happiness because you can lose them . Let your joy come from trusting God and knowing that he loves you and cares for you no matter who or what you are. God won’t use and dump, or be avoiding you. By all standards you are too young to say that you had a bitter experience in a relationship . It seems you go into a relationship with too much expectations and passion . Most young men don’t like this . They want to feel carefree in a relationship in order to enjoy it. When a girl is too clinging, it puts them off . I suggest you calm down and let the men do the chasing. Don’t allow sex, thinking that this would make a man be yours forever. It won’t. To get a girl into bed, some men will pledged everything ; love, money, a promise to marry you, etc. If you yield and allow him sex, he would enjoy it for a while, then would get fed up, and begin to long for another face. If you don’t allow sex, when a boy leaves you it won’t be so painful. At least your body and pride are intact. Cool down your passion for this boy. Take him as a friend and nothing more. If you’ve been having sex with him, stop. Have several boys as casual friends for a while. Go easy on the next romantic relationship, be prayerful and ask God for a husband. Use your time profitably, engaging in a skill that would ensure that you can help whoever marries you financially in the home. August 21, 2012……….He doesn’t

Girls are best used and dumped! Dear Rebecca

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read your column once and I decided that you’re like a friend that I can discuss my love life with. I’m an undergraduate, a cute boy, serious academically and from an averagely okay family. I’ve had serious relationships with 3 different girls respectively but, made no headway. I was really in love, not infatuated each time. I discovered from these affairs that though the ladies claimed they loved me, yet they kept other guys alongside. I believe in true love and hate cheating. I’m not a jealous guy but I have concluded that ladies are useless and untrustworthy hence, one can go ahead and toast as many of them as one can, and dump them. Dear Rebecca, I am a nice boy to be in love with. If I want to be a play boy, I can do it to perfection, but I’ve never liked that since leaving secondary school, but these experiences put me off. Please, advise me on what line of action to take. Dammy, Lagos. REPL Y REPLY

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OU didn’t say what your age i s , but you sound bitter about girls. I’m sure in your heart, you know that all girls are not like the ones you dated. Also, those girls may one day make faithful and reliable wives to some men.

What happened to you is that you got serious at the wrong time and possibly at the wrong age. Even though you said that you come from a comfortable family, I doubt if you’re ready right now to get married. You need to finish your studies, do the youth service, get a good job, save up, before you’re ready to settle down. For your own good, you shouldn’t date seriously now. So, a girl you’re dating can accept dates from other men. There should be no sex, and no talk of marriage. Just enjoy each other’s company. Girls on the other hand, begin to hope for a marital partner right from the university, hence many of them prefer to be serious in a relationship with a man who’s ready to settle down, if not right away, at the time these girls would complete their studies. A few even get married while still at the university. Some boys assume that any girl who they regularly chat with is their girlfriend and she has no right to do the same with another boy. Some girls are like that too and they call a boy who is a mere friend their boyfriend. Young people should start off by having several responsible members of the opposite as mere friends. This shouldn’t be seen as a romantic relationship. Just casual friends to hang out with. As you interact this way, you get to know how to behave to be courteous, polite, respectful, hold responsible conversations, etc. You also discover what character traits you ab-

a few well-educated and good-looking men and ladies, and who have good jobs, who are yet to get married. Whereas, those their age-mates with plain looks, less education and who are just managing at their jobs, are married with several children. You may need to date several young ladies, one after the other, over a period before you eventually find the one that you want to settle down with, and who’s also keen on settling down with you. When you meet such a girl, and you feel the same about each other, there would be no urge on either side to date other people. Even where you have a girl who agrees to wait for you until you’re ready to tie the knot with her, at the end of the day, you may find her too ‘old’, by reason of the several years you’ve been dating, for you to marry. Consider how devastating that can be for a girl! She would have to start over again, waiting for a man who would date and marry her. A girl has to guard against this sort of thing, by not being too serious in a relationship unless the man in question is not far from being able to settle down. A girl may also change her mind and end a relationship when she meets someone she considers more suitable for her to marry. My advice to you is that you should place high priority on your studies, and not on girls, and date very lightly, if you have to. Girls are not or trophies toDear ac•All letters for publication on thisbadges page should be sent to: to Canal, show that you’re Rebecca, Vanguard Media Ltd, quire Kirikiri P.M.B 1007, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. E-mail: dearrebecca2@yahoo.com a success.

hor, and wouldn’t want to embrace. There are friends that are acceptable to you, and others that are not. Having girls as casual friends, enables you to watch them, study them and understand them. You would then know what sort of girl you would like to date and marry later when you’re ready. Your preferred type of girl may not be among those who are your ordinary friends. Not every relationship with a girl has to be a romantic one. Some good ordinary relationship can last a life-time and can involve your respective marital partners and children, later in life, as you become family friends.. Some of these girls who are your ordinary friends, may give you very useful tips which can help you in a romantic relationship with a girl. Also, being your friends, they too understand your character and your preference in girls, and may introduce you to a girl they know you’ll like to date. Remember, however, that humility is a good quality to acquire. Don’t score yourself high on any area of your life. The way you see yourself, may not be the way other people see you. Even if you’re all you say you are, and which you think should make you a very eligible young man for girls to pursue, you may not appeal to every you date. Just like every girl around you holds much appeal for you. I know


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Vanguard , NOVEMBER 25, 2012, PAGE 35

Terror: Interior Minister, Moro, in Austria, seeks COBRA’s help zNigerians

lament: The authorities take us for certificate forgers

BY UBONG UDOH

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Dr. Johanna Milk-Leitner, Austrian Minister of Interior, receiving a gift from Comrade Moro

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HE Minister of Interi or, Comrade Abba Moro’s recent visits to Austria and Slovakia have been of tremendous benefit to the Nigerian people .The visits, which were at the instance of the Austrian and Slovak governments, afforded the Minister to address the concerns of Nigerians in those countries at a high level of government. The Austrian trip was subsequent to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the government of that country and Nigeria in Abuja on June 8, 2012.The agreement seeks to facilitate the repatriation of citizens residing irregularly in the territory of each of the two countries and to treat such persons in a manner which is dignified and guarantees their human rights and fundamental freedoms. The highlight of the MOU is that irregular migration is not criminalized, and names of these migrants not put in crime databank. Properties legally acquired by deported migrants are protected and returned. And while targeting money of criminals, all efforts are to be made not to affect genuine remittances which is one of the major sources of income and investment in Nigeria. This is critical to the economy, because, in 2010, Nigeria received $19 billion as remittances from Nigerians abroad, the highest in SubSaharan Africa. The Minister of Interior, who travelled with two high ranking officials of his ministry, K. E. Amuga, Director, Para-Military, and Muhammed Babandede ,Assistant Controller-General, Immigration, met with high ranking officials of both countries including his Austrian counterpart, Dr Johanna Milk-Leitner, Slovakian Justice Minister, the Austrian Police Chief, and the Slovakian Director, Aliens Police and Immigration. Moro also met with Nigerians in Austria. Although no provision had been made for such a meeting, the minister considered it important to meet his countrymen in Aus-

The Austrian authorities insist on authenticating all certificates and charge Nigerians a verification sum of N120, 000 – the highest charge to any nationality

tria to disabuse their minds on the MOU as a tool to deport them to Nigeria. At the occasion, Moro said the purpose

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of the agreement was to ensure that Nigerians being deported are treated with dignity and their human rights

R-L: Moro, Amb Maria Loase and the Austrian Minister of Justice Tibor Borec

protected, among others. The Nigerians complained about the wrong assumption by Austrians that most certificates from Nigeria are fake. The Austrian authorities insist on authenticating all certificates and charge Nigerians a verification sum of N120, 000 – the highest charge to any n a t i o n a l i t y.

The minister promised to take up the matter with his Austrian counterpart. An appeal was made to the Minister to put into use the Passport Machine lying idle in the Nigerian embassy. He promised that he was doing everything possible to post Immigration officers to operate the machine. At his subsequent meeting with his Austrian counterpart, Milk-Leithner, Moro expressed displeasure with exorbitant certificate verification fees charged by Austrian agencies on Nigerians. In 2010, Nigerians detained in Austria were 18 (1.5%), the figure has reduced to 12 this year. At the meeting with the Austrian Interior Minister, Moro spoke on the security situation in Nigeria, especially the menace of Boko Haram and kidnapping. He stated government’s commitment to combating terrorism and kidnapping by equipping and retraining law enforcement agencies and as well as being open to dialogue. He said that the Jonathan administration is committed to keeping the country one and will do everything at its disposal to ensure the protection of life and property. The minister said Boko Haram menace is political rather than religious because majority of the victims are Muslims. Moro visited the headquarters of the Austria counter-ter-

rorism police known as COBRA. He was received by the Austrian Police Chief. The Nigerian delegation was shown a video of COBRA in action, using modern technology to fight organized crime and terrorism. Officers of the outfit receive special training in parachuting, explosives, scuba, sniper shooting, dog handling and alpine. In 2011, they carried out about 3, 000 operations ranging from rescue, VIP protection, air marshall and safeguard. Moro asked Austria to help Nigeria use COBRA to combat terrorism by training her security operatives. On voluntary returns and respect of human rights of Nigerian migrants and the difficulties in obtaining Austrian visa in Nigeria, Moro’s Austrian counterpart agreed to work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to tackle those issues. Moro also visited the Airport Police Return Unit at Terminal’240’ which those subject to removal from Austria by air must pass through. The deportees either return in a scheduled or chartered flight. Persons staying irregularly have the option to return to their countries voluntarily in a schelduled flight. Those unwilling are put in a combined European chartered flight by the European agency responsible for the management of European borders (FRONTEX). Moro was satisfied with the condition in the removal centre, but enquired about human right issues. He was assured that CSOs (country security officers) are allowed to watch the proceeding to ensure respect of the human rights of deportees. In Slovakia, Moro met with the Justice Minister, Mr Tibor Borec, where he appealed to his host to look into the complaint of the Nigeria embassy regarding six Nigerians in prison there. He hoped Nigeria and Slovakia could work together in the areas of prison, security and energy, especially renewable energy. At every stop, the Minister of Interior restated his concern and that of his ministry on “the condition of Nigerians in foreign countries.” The visit to Slovakia is significant as Nigerian asylum seekers in Austria usually transit through Slovakia while the Nigerian embassy in Austria takes care of consular affairs of Slovakia, since no formal relations exist between the two countries. The Slovakian authorities assured the delegation that Nigerians in the country are generally peaceful and law-abiding.


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By EBELE ORAKPO

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HE major focus of the GCPP, according to Dr. Lartey, is African liberation and economic improvement of Ghanaians and he intends to achieve this by focusing on three major areas – energy, agriculture and job creation “The strategy of the GCPP is not about political power but rather economic change,” he said. On Energy: Dr. Lartey said energy is the cornerstone of modern economies. “Without it, we are powerless in every sense of the word,” he therefore advocated the establishment of a solar academy and alternative energy university which he said are indispensable to the future growth and development of Ghana if ‘ we are to maintain our relevance as a leading African nation.’ “Today, energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies are the keys to ensuring both environmental protection and economic progress. “Once in power, we will seek to convert Accra into the continent’s first solar and sustainable energy city for which an alternative energy university will be a major priority so that we will be able to guarantee the next generation of Ghanaians that they will never have to live in the dark again. This will make Ghana a key destination for renewable energy studies for both Africans and international students around the world. Domestication is the best policy for Ghana and for Africa,” he said. Lartey is of the opinion that once Ghana gets the energy factor right; every other thing will fall into place.

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lluding to the €400 billion renewable energy (Desertec) project in Morocco which will satisfy100 per cent of the Middle East and North Africa’s energy needs as well as 15 per cent of the EU’s by 2050, Lartey said; “Europeans have drafted a plan that involves using the deserts of Northern Africa to provide energy for Europe, and they have committed hundreds of billions of dollars towards the idea. It’s high time we Africans developed an aggressive plan to use African solar resources to generate energy for our own economies. We need to understand the technology and domestically manufacture wind turbines, solar panels, electric cars, etc., in Ghana. We should not wait for the west to start producing electrical cars and then, we go on consuming as usual,” he said.

•Dr. Henry Lartey, Inset is Dr. Patrick Owelle

We need economic independence — HENRY LARTEY

*says Domestication is the answer to creating modern Ghana

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R. Henry Lartey is the chairman and Presidential candidate of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) in Ghana’s 2012 presidential election scheduled for December 7. He was in Nigeria recently to meet with friends who are planning a fundraiser for him because they believe he has the right vision for Ghana and Africa. He spoke with Vanguard on his vision for Ghana and Black Africa. Excerpts:

Agriculture: part from strong political roots, Lartey also has deep roots in agriculture and he believes that with the right leadership and policies, Ghana, nay, Africa, can become food secure. “Agricultural Domestication 2012 is about a bottom up approach to Ghana’s agricul-

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tural base. By working closely with all stakeholders, including the poorest farmers, we have to make new decisions regarding what varieties of foods we need, when to harvest, how long to store foods, what markets to export to internationally, and how best to consume our produce domestically.” Lartey has been the chief executive officer at Lartey

Associates Ghana Ltd., a leading exporter of fruits to European markets since 1987. Under his leadership, Lartey Associates has received innumerable awards of recognition, and has helped place Ghana as a top provider of fruits to Europe. Some of the awards include: Golden Award for Quality and Business Prestige (Geneva 2007), International Golden Trophy for Quality New Millennium Award (Paris 2006), etc.; he is also a member of the Million Dollar Round Table since 1983, which represents the membership of the top 1% of industry participants worldwide. Job creation: artey said they anticipate the creation of 370,000 new skill-based jobs from their intended electric cars initiative. “Given the current global challenges to the environment, electric cars are certainly the vehicles of the future.

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Electric cars are rapidly gaining ground within developed economies. Like the US where there are already interstate highways that have opened special lanes for electric vehicles. Drivers can recharge their electric cars at charging stations along the highway while travelling long distances. The fastcharge batteries require only 20 minutes to be refilled. Moreover, the US Government has issued stimulus grants to make this possible. This creates a unique window of opportunity for Ghana to become part of a future economy, rather than being a passive consumer in the future. “Few Ghanaians appreciate the business and economic benefits behind the automotive industry. For example, in 2011, Mercedes Benz sold 1.3 million cars which generated revenues in excess of €106.5 billion. To put that in perspective, Ghana’s GDP during the same period was only €37 billion which means that one German car company produces more than three times the monetary value of our entire nation. Moreover, Mercedes earned €4 billion of its revenue in Africa, and yet, there is not one African nation seriously engaged in the automotive industry.”

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r. Lartey said his party will create a modern Ghana which will be Africa’s first solar society. Explaining further, he said; “It is a nation rich in traditional cultures, forward-thinking and progressive not only in words but actions, a leading nation both on the continent and globally; an economically sound, capable and respected nation; fully employed, democratic, humanistic, intellectual, visionaristic and emancipated nation; a Ghana where all of us collectively working together, will build a better tomorrow.” In conclusion, Lartey said; “We as Ghanaians and Africans know hardship, we know poverty, we know misfortune but the real question is ‘do we still have what it takes to work together to build a better society?’ Meanwhile, Global Friends of Dr. Henry Lartey will be organising a fundraiser for him. In a chat with Vanguard, the chairman of the group who is also the Chief/Executive Officer of PSC Solar Industries, Dr. Patrick Owelle, said the group will mobilize tremendous resources to support him. “What attracted me to him was his vision of making Accra the continent’s first solar and sustainable energy city.”


SUND AY SUNDA

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Vanguard, NO VEMBER 25, 2012, PAGE 37 NOVEMBER 2012,P


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Vanguard , NO VEMBER 25, 2012 NOVEMBER

Judges don’t make money like lawyers – Justice Itam, Cross River CJ z’Teachers nearly scuttled my ambition to read law’ Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam is the Acting Chief Judge of Cross River State. He was Acting Chief Justice of Gambia. In this interview, he speaks on his admiration for the law profession. But he says there is a lot of money to make being a member of the bar than being on the bench.

BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU, CALABAR

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* Itam ... enjoyed reading law

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t what point did it occur to you to study law? I grew up believing I should read law. Right from when I was young,. I was fascinated by lawyers. Talk of Abraham Lincoln, we had a lot of American encyclopedias and most of those admired there happened to have been lawyers. The ones I have admiration for, they are all lawyers. That was before the war. Before I went to secondary school, I knew I was going to read law. Even my teachers knew. But in my secondary and higher school, efforts were made to dissuade me from reading law. Everybody knew I was going to read law. It reached a stage where they even held a staff meeting to discourage me from reading law and that I should read engineering or medicine, because I was a sort of an all-rounder as far as schooling was concerned. Science and arts, there was no difference for me. The late Ene Okoi, who incidentally became my in-law,was one of my teachers. He felt right from the beginning that I was a lawyer because he was taking us English. Dr Abang Ubi is here. He knew I was out to read law right from an early age. I still remember the story, some I don’t remember. Even my father, because then they said there were too many lawyers and it was actually an expensive affair. Every time I asked my father, ‘Are you sure if I read law, you will be able to pay or I should go to teaching and save money before I read law?’ He said when I got admission, I should come back and ask him that question. He asked if he had even complained of school fees. I actually enjoyed reading law. In the university, I was the one who represented the university in international competitions, in Washington, Ghana and so on. As a judge, I was in the Gambia. I rose to the Acting Chief Justice in the Gambia before I came back. In the Gambian Court of Appeal, I was the judge advocate. Most of the commissions of enquiry were done by me. I enjoyed the work. It is the

I knew I was going to be a lawyer for a long time. But for the appointment as a judge, it never actually occurred to me. When it came, with pressure from your parents, family and the rest, you accepted reluctantly, and, in any case, when you are outside, you thought it was such a glamorous thing

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only work which I know how to do well. I have a personal satisfaction in it. It gives me pleasure. That is why I can work whether I eat or not. It gives me pleasure. And it doesn’t affect me because it is not work. It is like I am just doing a hobby. Most of your contemporaries chose to remain at the bar. Why did you opt for the bench? Well, I didn’t really opt for the bench. At the time of our appointment, you didn’t actually have to apply to be a judge. The judges came based on the decision of the chief judge. Sometimes they would recommend you without your knowledge. In my own case, I was not consulted. I didn’t know until the list came out. It was in November 1991; so the problem was how to convince me to come and be sworn in. I knew I was going to be a lawyer for a long time. But for the appointment as a judge, it never actually occurred to me. When it came, with pressure from your parents, family and the rest, you accept reluctantly, and, in any case, when you are outside, we thought it was such a glamorous thing. I mean, you have a police orderly, a car and you are called My Lord. It is only when you go in that you see the labour, you have to work throughout to be a good judge, and you cannot make as much

money as you make in practice. You just have to learn to readjust all through. And in those days, it was quite traumatic. But now, things seem a bit eased up.

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ould you agree that the judiciary has not done much in the present democracy? First of all, in the judiciary, we don’t judge ourselves. But the fact is also that the judiciary does not have much to do with most of the society. It only deals with those who have cases generally. A few people understand how the judiciary operates, what it actually stands for and how to make the best use of it. No matter what happens in the society, except cases are taken to court, the judiciary has no business there. If you take a case to the court and you don’t have a good lawyer and you don’t present it well, even if it appears to be a very good case to you, it may turn out not to be so because of inadvertence, carelessness, ignorance or things. For us, once you have very good lawyers, you tend to have very good judges. The quality matters, but the basic thing is doing its best; the judiciary is doing its best under adverse circumstances. The public have their perception. What I know is that for several years, the judiciary has been trying to purify itself. Most of the things that happen you would not know because they are not publicized. We work from morning till night. We work throughout the night. We cannot start announcing. We don’t deal with the press on a regular basis because it is not our culture to do so. But in other arms, they have standing press outfits to blow their trumpets. But no matter the song we are singing, we cannot blow our trumpet. We have to sing silently.

Continues on page 39


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hat would you say is the situation in the country on the independence of the judiciary? This concept of independence of the judiciary, you have to understand the meaning of independence, the limits of independence, the functions of the judiciary and other environmental factors, political, social to appreciate, whether or not the judiciary is independent. There is really no arm of government that is independent, whether executive or legislature, because there are other forces, social, historical, that limit that independence. Everything has a limit. Like everybody has independence, they are supposed to be independent, but others also have their own rights as well. So there are checks and balances. There are limits. What has always been much problematic in terms of what people have problems about is this issue of judicial independence, or financial autonomy or financial independence. That one varies from state to state.

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t the federal level, they don’t have any problem. Even then, to determine the finance is still not entirely within them. And you know the resources are always limited. So it depends on the practitioners, priorities. If justice, fair play and good governance are your priority, you will discover that the judiciary would have a lot of support. When the society believes and the leaders believe that they need a good and wellfunctioning judiciary, you do not have any problem; because there are matters of personal idiosyncrasies. There are all manners of human beings in any society including the judiciary. But on the whole, there is a minimum standard you cannot go below. Nowadays, things are open. There is a high level of transparency. There is a lot of checks and balances because petitions are treated very seriously if they have merit. Some governors are very responsive to the judicial arm of government. In Cross River State, we know that the governor has been quite supportive of the judiciary, both in words and action, but you know they are not things you announce. We don’t control the purse, but most of the projects we put forward, they try to implement. In fact, sometimes, their complaints is that most times the judiciary don’t do all their projects even when they have the money. But that is because the system is a bit complicated and we are not contractors, sometimes we don’t know how to go about it. That is why we have this idea of bringing in financial consultants; the contract may be ours, but its implementation should be done by the best whether it is the ministry or anybody. It is a new administration in the judiciary, but, every day, we have at least two meetings with stakeholders: judges, magistrates, the bar among others. Generally, the system is a bit lopsided. We have challenges in respect of crimes, suspects, investigations and even the number of cases can be frightening. You are here, you don’t know how many people have cases in court. Some have lasted for so long and you cannot identify that this is the one cause. After series of appeals, 10 or 11 years have gone; sometimes after it reaches a certain stage, the judge retires, you must start afresh, or one party goes on appeal, you cannot go on, you have to clear the appeal. C M Y K

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vercrowded prisons I just spoke about consultation, we have met magistrates. We have met with the criminal justice administration committee, which comprises the prisons, the police, NGOs to hear their views. We met lawyers as well. By the time we digest the views, then we get to see where the shoe actually pinches and why it is pinching. We are resolved to make a strong change that one can see and feel in that area. The problem there is too much. There is always this presumption that when somebody is in custody, he must have committed an offence. It is the natural prejudice of society, but we hope that after all these consultations, we would find a way of reducing the prison population as much as possible. We hope to introduce non-custodial sentences. It is not everybody that has to go to prison. All these minor crimes and the rest, first they should be on bail, once they can produce minimum acceptable surety which is purely a matter of discretion. * Itam ... Judges should see law as a social service

‘Teachers nearly scuttled my ambition to read law’

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Continued from page 38

Vanguard , NO VEMBER 25, 2012, PAGE 39 NOVEMBER 2012,P

I rose to the position of Acting Chief Justice in the Gambia before I came back. In the Gambian Court of Appeal, I was the judge advocate. Most of the commissions of enquiry were done by me. I enjoyed the work. It is the only work which I know how to do well

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We intend to encourage judges and magistrates to look at the law as a social service, look at criminals as the law looks at them, which is to presume them innocent until they are proved guilty, and where you cannot prove them guilty and you keep on delaying, of course the person should go. Of course there is no society that does not have criminals, even in heaven, people like Lucifer were angels but now they are devils. Cain and Abel were the first grandchildren of God and theirs was the first murder case. So you cannot avoid that problem, but you can attack it head on. That one I can assure you. We are in the process. We are going to set up a judicial restructuring and developmental committee. The idea is to make plans for the next four years in all aspects concerning the judicial sector. That is why we want to carry everybody along, not just the judge or the magistrate. Everyone has a role to play. There are some cases that naturally if you release people on bail, the temptation to disappear is very high. And we have a lot of those matters. Sometimes you think to avoid complications in those matters, you remand in custody or you give conditions they cannot perfect. So what we do in such cases is to find

a way to enable them review the conditions. And all we want is to be sure that the person actually appears for trial. But you know there is no art to read a man’s mind. You know a lot of them actually disappear but that does not bring the world to an end. That doesn’t mean you should bring everybody there because one or two have disappeared. So we would try. It is a matter of understanding the system and the society.

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orruption in the bench Corruption on the bench depends on which bench. You have the customary courts, we deal with them at the judicial service commission, we have the magistrates, those ones also we deal with them at the judicial service commission level. We have the judges, those ones at the superior court, those ones we send them to the NJC to deal with. It doesn’t even need us because the parties involved can petition direct. You also have to bear in mind there is no system that doesn’t have its Judases. If Christ could pick just 12 disciples, he was the Son of God, we expect that he saw tomorrow and all of that, but he picked 12 and one was a traitor. Even Peter denied him. So what else do you expect from human beings? This is part of nature and it is sheer pretence to say these things are not there. The only thing I can say is that when they come out, they are expeditiously treated. It is rare to escape punishment. Generally people tend to be harsher on their own people than others. That is how it goes. For corruption, I cannot say it is not there, but I know that the punishment is sure and certain. But it is not announced or published. Some people can go to any length to win a case. It is not everybody who I can say you cannot set a price on him, but there are still many you cannot persuade. They still act according to their conscience and according to the law. But there may be some Judases or Cains.


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SUNDAY VANGUARD,NOVEMER 25, 2012, PAGE 41

PhD, Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos,

The normality of abnormality (4)

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courageous defender of truth.” Speaking about Soyinka and the civil war, Achabe reported that,among nonIgbo scholars and academics who were Achebe’s contemporaries emerging in the literary firmament of mid-1950s, he was the only one bold enough to speak out against the atrocities committed against Biafrans. Others believed that the Igbo deserved what was coming to them! In a nutshell, then, despite all the hot air generated by Awoists, as long as Awolowo himself defended

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HENCE, if members of any other ethnic nationality living in defunct Eastern region were murdered with reckless abandon by Ndigbo, as the latter were killed in 1966, the murderers deserve punishment and the victims have a right to defend themselves. The same criticism of Chief Awolowo by Achebe applies with equal force against any prominent Igbo politician that advocates starvation as a weapon of war against another ethnic group. How would Opadokun and other irascible Awoists have responded if the situation was reversed? For instance, supposing that the Yoruba were massacred the way Nidigbo were massacred just before the war and had to fight a bitter battle of survival against the rest of Nigeria; in addition, supposing that forty-one years later Prof. Wole Soyinka, one of the best dramatists to emerge from Africa, wrote a memoir which, apart from detailing injustices perpetrated by the victorious Nigerian side against his people, also scathingly criticised Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe for supporting and implementing the policy of starvation against the Yoruba? Opadokun and co.would have hailed the literary icon as “a true Yoruba son and

gave Gowon and his cohorts an excuse to wage war against the Eastern regionbut also aggravated the problem of ill-preparation. Some perceptive writers on the Biafran conflictallude to Ojukwu’s elephantine ambition and rashness, and to the corruption, in-fighting and treachery of prominent Biafrans which fatally sabotaged the war effort. But it must be acknowledged that, despite his flaws,the late Biafran head of state was strongly motivated by the desire to provide leadership and succour for his

As long as Awolowo himself defended starvation as a legitimate weapon of war, he cannot be exonerated from the agonies and deaths which resulted from the implementation of that misanthropic policy

starvation as a legitimate weapon of war, he cannot be exonerated from the agonies and deaths which resulted from the implementation of that misanthropic policy by a government of which he was a prominent member. Yet, it must be admitted that serious misjudgments by Biafran leaders which stem from hasty overweening ambition and egoism not only

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people traumatised by the senseless massacre of their kith and kin in the North. After all, he could have quit the army (which, at that time, according to Domkat Bali, was for school dropouts) and joined his father ’s expansive business empire. Furthermore, majority of prominent Biafran officials, scholars, scientists and the general population sacrificed a lot dur-

ing the war in a genuine effort to actualise the Biafran dream. Even so, in the hysteria and anxiety of a people brutalised by fellow compatriots for no good reason, war-mongering enthusiasm overwhelmed cool passion needed for strategic and effective preparations for war, which waslegitimised by Gowon’s unwillingness to bring some semblance of closure to the aggrieved Igbo by ensuring that the ring leaders of the pogrom were sanctioned according to law. Critics of Achebe’s war memoir conveniently ignore the factthat it was the Nigerian army, not the short-lived Biafran military, that fired the first shots in May, 1967, which triggered what Gowon disingenuously described as a police action. Shifting focus now to Achebe’s laudatory comments concerning late Mallam Aminu Kano, It is very probable that the famous novelist was misled by the latter ’s simple lifestyle and public solicitude for the talakawas. Achebe, both in his Trouble with Nigeria and biography documented by late Prof. Ezenwa Ohaeto, voiced his admiration for Aminu Kano. Probably that was why, in the Second Republic, he joined the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) headed by the deceased politician. Perhaps Achebe would have been more circumspect if he had read and verified Iloegbunam’s account, in Ironside, of Aminu Kano’s complicity in the pogrom of 1966 against Ndigbo. Clearly, if it is indeed true that Aminu Kano actively

supported the pogrom, then Achebe’s remarks in his biography that, at a conference in Kampala, Uganda, the talakawa spokesman was looking “so distressed,” and was “calm and in pain” must be critically interrogated. It appears that Achebe mistakenly thought that Aminu Kano’s pensive demeanour during the meeting was a genuine expression of concern for suffering Biafrans. But it is more probable, given Illoegbunam’s narrative, that the man was suffering the torments of guilty conscience for helping to organise the mass killings of Ndigbo. No human being, except misanthropes completely bereft of conscience and humane feeling, can participate in the willful murder of innocent people without suffering some degree of emotional disturbance. Indeed, I believe that Aminu Kano was not the only prominent Northerner who took part in the 1966 pogrom that experienced some degree of psychological disequilibrium for involvement in the sad event. The few that are still alive will continue to suffer the interior pain of mass murder until death. The lesson from all this is that collective hatred of a people by another never yields any positive result; its horrible consequences may take decades,sometimes centuries, before they can be overcome. I now want to address the tendency of some Ndigbo to blame the poor developmental record in Igboland even up to this time solely on thewar.

There is no doubt that the conflict was very devastating to the evolutionary and revolutionary progression of Igboland. One just needs to remember that by the mid-1960s, Eastern Nigeria had one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Before the civil war, Ndigbo were at the commanding heights of the military, formal and informal economy, academia, etc. Not surprisingly, the situation changed dramatically for the worse after the war. It is more than forty years the war ended. So, we should stop using it as an excuse for lack of solid development in most parts of Igboland today. Of course, the vicissitudes of survival have to some extent corroded the virtues of industry, hard work, honesty, indomitable entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and communitarianism which made Nidigbo the primus inter pares among compatriots from other ethnic nationalities. However, political leaders that have emerged from Igboland since 1970, collectively, are a complete disgrace to the people. With few exceptions, such as late Chief Sam Mbakwe, Sir Francis Akanu Ibiam, Dr. Alex Ekwueme and few others, the rest are smallminded agbata ekee money mongers solely interested in primitive accumulation. In a future essay I will clinically dissect the various ways prominent Igbo sons and daughters, through avarice and selfishness, have been pauperising the people for years. CONCLUDED.


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SUNDAY VANGUARD,NOVEMER 25, 2012, PAGE 43

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08023145567 (sms only)

sameyoboka@yahoo.com

My private jet story, by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor •Says, ‘I need it but don’t know how they bought it’

BY SAM EYOBOKA & JOSEPH ERUNKE

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he birthday gift of a private jet presented by a member of Word of Life Bible Church, Warri and chairman of the committee of the procurement of the jet, Kevin Nwachukwu, to Pastor Ayodele Joseph Oritsejafor, the head of the church and the national president of Christian Association of Nigeria, on Saturday, November 10, has generated a lot of controversy. In this interview, Oritsejafor tells the story of how the jet was acquired. There is a huge gap between spirituality and actual faith in God. There is the belief that the love of money has taken over Christendom, rather than the preaching of undiluted gospel of salvation. Why do you think there is a shift towards prosperity? First of all, as somebody who has preached the C M Y K

gospel for 40 years, I know that the gospel is a total package—it is for the spirit, mind and body. What has happened through the years is that in every dispensation, there is emphasis that becomes stronger than the others and such emphasis does not reduce the format but add to the format. For example, Martin Luther was the one

For the first time, something touched me. That was when I gave my life to Christ, and my life changed 360 degrees

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Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor

who searched the scripture to see how the Word of God could change the human being. But as time went on, we started seeing the Baptists. The reason why we call them Baptists is because the founder laid a lot of emphasis on water baptism; that is why today they are being called Baptists, not because they don’t believe that you need to accept Christ and be saved and go to heaven. What happened was that the founder had a revelation and a very deep understanding and conviction in the area of water baptism and he emphasized that. Again, today, when you give your life to Christ, there is a big emphasis on salvation; that is accepting Christ and walking in the knowledge of Christ. Now, the revelation is progressing; as that went on, there are people who through inspiration and the study of the Word have more understanding in the area of prosperity and so started emphasizing on prosperity. The problem is that there are those who preach and their whole understanding is in the area of prosperity. I think that is not good. I believe there should be a balance. I don’t believe you should not preach prosperity, but I don’t think you should preach prosperity and neglect the preaching of salvation, because we are still going to heaven at the end of everything. This world cannot be a permanent place. If you live very long, according to scripture, probably you will live for 120 years but, at the end of the day, you will still die and go, so where are you going? So it is important to emphasize on salvation, knowing Christ and going to heaven. Now, what will eventually happen is that, with time, these things will level out and those who place emphasis on

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prosperity will realize that prosperity cannot be the main thing. The main thing must still be holy living and going to heaven. So this is basically what is going to happen. I will say what I have always said that we must emphasize on the area of living for God. That is why Nigeria has problem today. People who go to church, especially those who, one way or the other, are privileged to be in certain positions, forget the basic thing of God, which is the fear of God and all they want is money, they forget about really serving God. They don’t take God to their work place, they don’t bring God to the positions where God has put them, but I believe that, eventually, these things will level out and the right thing will take its place. For 40 years, you have been in the pulpit preaching the gospel of God, during which there have been miracles, touching lives and all that. But there are certain things that some people don’t know about you and this has to do with your calling. How did you get the divine call? I have shared it so many times but I don’t mind repeating it because it is the main thing about my life. My mother prayed to have a male child. She told God that if He gave her a male child, she would

give him back to Him. That was my mother’s prayer at the First Baptist Church in Lagos. That was how she conceived and I was born. I didn’t know this prayer and my mother forgot about the prayer just like any average human being will do. So I grew up and went my own way and lived my own life and got into a lot of vices, a lot of things that were not right. I have told people that if there is any bad thing that anybody could do in this world, I did it. Can you elaborate on this? (Laughs) Well, at my age and at my level in life, these are things that we are not proud of and will not want to give these things prominence, but I was into so many wrong things. I leave the rest to your imagination. Yes, this was the life I lived. However, I remember one day, I was walking along Marina in Lagos, very sad, I couldn’t explain why. You know, when you live on the wrong side of life for a while, that is how you feel. But even the worst human beings you see today on the street, no matter how bad they look, they still have soft spots. That night, around 9.00 p.m., I was walking along Marina then, Marina was Marina and not the one you have today. There have been a lot of changes. Tears started rolling down my cheeks and I started praying, well, should I really call it a prayer? It wasn’t a prayer as such. I said, ‘God, if you are God, do something and change me, I cannot continue with this kind of life’. Three months later, I came home, to Sapele, because my mother was here and one night somebody gave me a handbill inviting me to a crusade. I just didn’t think I was one of those that should be invited to a crusade because I wasn’t that kind. But I went to the crusade and I heard the Word of God preached by the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa and that turned around my life. For the first time, something touched me. That was when I gave my life to Christ, and my life changed 360 degrees. It is difficult to comprehend this because the, very next day, I bought a Bible and began to preach. It was like I lost my mind, but I think what must have happened was; remember my mother’s prayer many years back. You may forget, but God doesn’t forget. I think God just took what belonged to Him, because, the very next day, I started to preach. I went to a market place, people gathered and I Continues on page 45


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012,PAGE 45

‘I don't ha havve mone moneyy to buy a plane’ started preaching. People gathered because they knew the person I was; certainly, they had gathered to see a mad man but it turned out that I was preaching the Word of God. The very next day, people came out and gave their lives to Christ, and the rest is history. The issue of succession in Pentecostal churches has gotten to a worrisome dimension. Founders and their followers engage in crises on who takes over when the leaders are out. The development sometimes leads to physical fights and often breakaways as those who feel they contributed to the growth of the churches insist the next persons in leadership must either be the wives, children, brother or direct relatives of the founders. What do you have to say about this? I think there must never be a stereotype. I don’t believe that the fact that the woman is married to a man therefore she has to take over. A man can be a pastor and the wife may not have the call. We must come to a place where we must believe and accept the fact that if you push a woman into something that God did not call her, that ministry will collapse. It will die on its own. But the other side of the coin is that it could be that the woman is also called. So if the woman is called, what do you do? Do you say that because she is the founder’s wife, she should not take her place? You can’t say that, that is why I say that there must never be a stereotype. It depends on the call, it depends on God’s hands upon who ever. So, it could be the wife, it could be the son, it could be a brother in the church, it could be one of the pastors, it could be a total stranger. Sometimes, when we read the Bible, we don’t want to admit what we read in the Bible because we already have a mindset. When you read the Bible, you will discover some interesting things. For example, when Jesus was here on earth, you would always conclude that the leader of the disciples was Peter, because of certain statements, certain things, but if you study very closely, you will find out that Jesus never appointed anybody. He never appointed anybody to take over from him. So, that is a big point right there. Now, it is C M Y K

interesting that when you go to the book of Acts and study it very closely, you will find out that the only time we see an authentic leader of the church, you discover that the man that became the leader was Jesus’ half brother. That is a bit strange. You will find out that even Peter submitted himself to James. I am not talking of the James that was one of the disciples. I am talking about James that was one of Jesus’ brothers; the same mother with Jesus. We know that Mary had other children, after Jesus. One of those children was James and when Jesus was physically alive, none of them believed in him. They stayed away from him but, after he died, they accepted the gospel that he preached and, interestingly, one of them, James, became the head of the Church. The Bible tells us that at a point, when there was a problem in the Church and there were two factions— one group was the Peter group and the other group was the Paul group. Now, there was a contention and it was over

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Continued from page 44

We must come to a place where we must believe and accept the fact that if you push a woman into something that God did not call her, that ministry will collapse

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whether Christians should accept Christ who was not a Jew. Should they circumcise themselves and all that? One group said no and the other said yes. It became a very big problem and it was James who stood up and said: “This is my decision. You must go to the Gentiles and tell them they don’t have to do this and that. This is what they must do”. You see, that tells you vividly who the leader was. So my point is this, that Peter accepted the leadership of James; obviously, Peter was already a disciple before James accepted Christ. But he was humble enough to accept

L-R: Delta State Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Dr. Mike Muddork, President Goodluck Jonathan, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, his wife, Helen, at the occasion where Oritsejafor got jet.

him as his leader. James did not make himself a leader; obviously, they all agreed that he should be the leader. That shows you the level of spirituality. If it is today, how would you interpret it? You will definitely say that the brother of the founder of the Church is now the leader of the Church. There appears to be parttime and full-time pastors in the Church today, a development that has necessitated people to give conflicting reactions. Is it right to have part-time pastors in the service of God? Look, I may say some things that are a bit different from what you have known or what you may have heard. I say things because I am convinced and you will have to find a way to digest it. Every Christian is in full-time ministry. Any other job you are doing is the one that is part-time. If there was enough money, there would have been no need for one to work because our full-time job is to be Christians and win others to Christ. But a church must function and there are many things that must happen—life must go on, people must eat and live; if your wife is pregnant and goes to hospital, you have to pay the bills. That is why 99 per cent of church members have jobs. If you study the Bible very carefully, you may see something that will shock you. Are you aware that Apostle Paul, everywhere he went to, to start a church, got a job? In fact, he went as far as explaining why, so that the gospel would not be abused or looked down upon; so that people will not think that he was preaching this gospel because he wanted the people’s money. He was a lawyer by profession, but wherever he went to and

couldn’t get a law job, he found something else to do and he was good at tent making. So he would start a tent making business wherever he started a church, he would go out to make tent, sell the tent and have enough money to feed everybody that was with him, and he would take care of himself and everything. So there is nothing wrong with a man who has a job and he is preaching the gospel. Nigerian pastors are accused of prospering while their congregants continue to suffer in poverty. What is your take on t h i s ? Well, let me begin like this, this is a major issue, especially now that I have just been presented with a gift of a jet. That makes it a major issue. Let me say here that every pastor must be conscious of the people he pastors. It is very important. I can tell you that as a pastor for 40 years now, if you talk to people that are genuinely my members, they will tell you the kind of pastor that am I. If you watched me today, I was talking about a young man who has been trying to go to a university for three years now. I didn’t know him from Adam. One day, after a service here, one of my pastors brought him to me. As soon as he saw me, he held my legs and began to cry! He showed me all the papers, pleading that he had tried to gain admission to any university here, it never worked. So he finally got admission to study in Cyprus. I paid his school fees, helped him with ticket and everything he needed, he’s gone. He has

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor since resumed school and is there in Cyprus now. How many people will know that? In the last seven to eight years now, I have paid school fees of over 100 people in different universities, polytechnics and colleges of education. Some of them have graduated and have come here to share their testimonies, excitements and even their parents have come here to thank us. I don’t know them from anywhere. Every December 26, I do a very big thing here. We call it poverty alleviation. This year, December 26, we will equally do it. Last December 26, I gave out about six brand new cars to people; your denomination means nothing. Whether you are a Muslim or Continues on page 44


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Continued from page 45

`The problem with prosperity preaching'

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor....I can’t buy plane. I can’t afford it.

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a native doctor means nothing here. What qualifies you is if you are a human being. I gave out 25 tricycles, about 100 sewing machines, and grinding machines. Some of these people come here to give testimonies; some are now married and have children. There was this young boy, a Moslem from Auchi. This young man, nothing good was coming out of his life, he was rejected, nobody wanted him and one of our pastors took him into a teaching centre and he was sleeping in the teaching centre. They were helping him. This boy had driver’s licence, I don’t know how he got it. He had no job and couldn’t do anything. Last two years, when we were doing the poverty alleviation, he applied. And they brought out a name which happened to be this boy’s and he won a brand new car. Today, that boy has rented his own house; in fact, his parents who are Muslims came to church on a Sunday and worshipped with me and danced all over the place and, after the service, they came to me and thanked me, saying ‘oh, this boy that you don’t even know from anywhere, you dashed him a car.’ They were very happy. Besides that, many lives have been transformed here. We have changed many lives. We have an orphanage here. As we are talking, an American couple has gotten in touch with me. They want to adopt a child from our orphanage. We have a clinic here that hopefully will develop into a full blown hospital. People go there and pay little something for treatment, but generally on Sundays people are treated free. These are some of the things we do. Most people don’t know this and I don’t think I am the only pastor doing this. So a lot of people who are saying this against pastors are just being mischievous. They may have their reasons, some of them are bitter about something and they are not telling the full story about what is making them bitter. But like I said, a good pastor must be concerned about his people. We have buses that we use in carrying people. If I tell you some of the things that we used to do, it will shock you. There is a woman in my church, when she came to this church, she had probably two blouses and a wrapper, no slippers, not even bathroom slippers. She had never entered a classroom before. I didn’t even know her. She is from one of these oil bearing communities. There was a time an oil

I’m not ashamed to own a plane, I think it is a necessity and not a luxury for some of us deeply involved in the work of God to own planes

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company in their community wanted to do business with them and she was interested but had no money. She came to us for assistance. I don’t think, at that time, she had ever seen N10,000 in her life. So she went to our microfinance bank, Mama (my

wife) runs it without salary, she and all our directors don’t earn one naira. She went to the bank and said she wanted to borrow money. My wife asked her; `how much do you have in your account’, and she said, I don’t even have an account’. My wife looked at her, and she called me about it and I said, `look, leave me out of it’. We didn’t even have that kind of money at that time. She asked the woman again, `how much do you have now and the woman said N2,000'. She now advised her to use that money to open an account and she did. Mama now went round to source for the amount. The short story here is that she got the money, did her business and in less than six months, she paid back the money she collected. As we speak now, she is one of the richest women in Warri. She bought me an incredible car that cost millions of naira some years ago.

Coming to the issue of jet, I had no single idea of how it came about. It is true that people like us have gotten to a point where we need to have means of movement that will help us. You may have heard me speak about my trip to Indonesia, to Jakarta. In fact, it wasn’t even Jakarta I was going to, but I had to stay inside an airport in Jakarta for five hours to wait for my flight, to get to the very city I was going. I was only going to preach for two hours there. I flew from Lagos to Dubai and I spent over three hours, changed flight to fly to Jakarta and then stayed five hours at the airport just to catch a flight to where I was going to, where I was to preach for just two hours. And after everything, I got a flight from that place again to Jakarta, stayed at the airport again for another five hours, then flew into Dubai, stayed again at the airport for another three hours before I flew into Lagos. It took me four days to make a journey to preach for two hours. I’m a human being and I am not getting younger every day. And locally, it is worse, for instance, the acting General Secretary of CAN lost his father in a place outside Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and I had to be there. I preached in a place in Lagos on a Friday and needed to be back to Warri on a Saturday, but at the end of the day, the plane that would have taken me was no where. I had to charter a plane for N3.5 million to take me to Uyo, waited for me to finish and then take me back to Warri. Two weeks ago, a young pastor in Port Harcourt built a new church and had been on me all this while to come and dedicate the church and suddenly from no where, there was this flood that cut off the road to Port Harcourt. There is no road now to Port Harcourt. If you want to go by road now, it takes you up to 12 hours to get to Port Harcourt and I had to preach in Port Harcourt, I had to preach in Lagos, I had to preach in Abuja and other places. Finally, I was able to find my way to Port Harcourt, it was on a Saturday. I had to get to Warri that Saturday so as to be able to preach the next day, Sunday. Do you know what I had to finally do? I chartered a helicopter that cost me N2 million to drop me

in Warri. When they dropped me here, ah, I can’t tell you how I felt that I had to part with that sum. But I had promised the young man and the church and if I had said no, will it be right? I can go on and on and on. So, sometimes, my schedule is so complicated. Now, with this plane, it changes everything about my movements. Now, I can move, I can even go and come back home. It is a bit more convenient for me and I suspect that this is one of the reasons a lot of these other preachers have planes. Does your congregation understand all these engagements? They do. They feel the pain I go through and they feel painful for not seeing me most of the time. They don’t like it, they are troubled. I know some people buy planes, I can’t buy plane. I can’t afford it. I don’t have that kind of money, I still don’t know the people that bought this plane, but I know that there is a committee. I hope you will get to meet with some of the people in that committee, I don’t know them. My wife is more involved with them. She (my wife) never talked to me, (about it) and she was acting strange. Well, I don’t want to get involved in this. This is my story about the plane. And I’m not ashamed to own a plane, I think it is a necessity and not a luxury for some of us deeply involved in the work of God to own planes.

Pastor Ayo

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BRIEFLY......BRIEFLY...... El-Shaddai Baptist Church dedicates new building

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CASINO CHRISTIANITY

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WO men were ship wrecked in a deserted island. One of them began screaming and yelling: “We’re going to die! There’s no food! No water!” The other one was as calm as can be. His colleague shouted at him: “Don’t you understand?! We’re going to die!” Unperturbed, the other man replied: “We won’t die. I make N10 million a week.” “What difference does that make?” asked his colleague, now very irritated. The second man answered: “You just don’t get it. I make N10 million a week; out of which I pay 10 per cent in tithe every week. Wherever I am, my pastor will surely find me!”

Tithing 419 Jesus says under the law there were much weightier matters than paying tithes. (Matthew 23:23). But pastors, who maintain Christians are not under the law, nevertheless give Christians the false impression that the main duty of the believer pertains to tithes and offerings. They are what mercenary pastors use to determine their own true believers. The more money you give to the church, the bigger you are told your mansion will be in heaven and the more glory you will receive in church here on earth. Evander Holyfield was a Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World who talked virtually nonstop about God. Some people went to his pastor, Creflo Dollar, to find out if his faith was no more than a public relations gimmick. But the pastor could not have been more certain about Evander ’s spiritual credentials. According to Creflo Dollar, Evander is a wonderful Christian for one basic reason: “He is a tither.” He gives 10 per cent of his income to the church. When Evander fought Mike Tyson for the heavyweight boxing championship, he was paid a cool $35 million. He dutifully gave $3.5 million out of this to Creflo Dollar. If a man can give that much money to his church, he must be a C M Y K

In the kingdom of God, the extent of our gift is not determined by what we give but by what we choose not to give very good Christian indeed. Tithing is alleged by pastors to open the windows of heaven for “tithers.” However, Evander has since declared bankruptcy while Creflo is rolling in dollars. Vanguard reports Pastor Adeboye as telling his Redeemed Church congregants: “Anyone who is not paying his tithe is a God robber and from now on let it be clear; anyone who is not a regular tither cannot be married in the church. Anyone who is not a regular tither cannot be ordained in the church. We will not ordain robbers, nor will the church accept a non-regular tither to build in the sprawling redemption camp because we do not want to dwell with robbers of God.” In the jaundiced view of pastors like Adeboye, the best Christians are those who give the biggest offerings. Therefore, Adeboye even created a “millionaires club” in Redeemed. To be a member, you have to give him N1 million.

Shaming the poor In churches, these millionaires are often paraded for special commendation when they make their fat-cat donations, even though the Lord insists our charitable deeds must be done in secret. (Matthew 6:24). As a result, the foolish person is declared generous and the miser is proclaimed to be bountiful. (Isaiah 32:5). Sometimes, the entire congregation is asked to pray especially for these exhibitionist Christians. So doing, we shame the poor who cannot afford their lavish gifts. We imply that, because of their lean resources, they are not good Christians. But Jesus does not commend those who give big offerings. As a matter of fact, he singled out for commendation a poor widow who gave the least. Jesus teaches

that, in the kingdom of God, the value of our gift is not determined by what we give but by what we choose not to give. The more we have but choose not to give, the less we are deemed to have given. (Mark 12:43-44). Nevertheless, pastors continue to use the worldly yardstick which sees the value of a man’s gift as essentially its size. Sunday after Sunday, the rich are encouraged to give ostentatious testimonies, glorying in their increased wealth. God derides this kind of money-centred religious showmanship. He said disparagingly to the Israelites: “Go to Bethel and sin; go to Gilgal and sin yet more. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three years. Burn leavened bread as a thank offering and brag about your freewill offeringsboast about them, you Israelites, for this is what you love to do.” (Amos 4:4-5).

Monetised faith Thanks to pastors, the churches are full of hungry people. We are hungry for bread, for money and for breakthrough. But we are not hungry for God. Yet we are told God will meet our hunger for the vanities of this world. Pay first your tithes and offerings and all these things will be multiplied unto you. Worship God with a few pledges and he will be obligated to provide all you need. However, Jesus only proclaims blessings on those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. (Matthew 5: 6). Every church service, the main order of business is to sow money in order to reap a hundredfold financial return. In the process, churches have been turned into casinos, where people come to gamble on Sundays in the vain hope that they will multiply miraculously whatever they give. However,

God’s message is radically different. Isaiah says: “Come without money and without price.” (Isaiah 55:1). Instead, what do we have in the churches of today? Jesus multiplied loaves of bread, but pastors multiply money. Jesus says: “The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11); but pastors say: “the seed is your offering.” Jesus says: “By their fruits you shall know them.” But pastors say: “By their tithes you shall know them.” Whose report will we believe? The modern Christian church has become a harlot and not Paul’s bride of Christ. A wife’s relationship with her husband is based on love, while the harlot’s relationship with another woman’s husband is for the sake of money. The love of money is the bane of many churches. The Lord himself warns against this. He says: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24). Hebrews maintains God rewards those who diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6). But he certainly does not reward those who diligently seek money. It is a contradiction in terms for God to reward a lover of God with money. Those who seek God are rewarded with God. God says: “I am your exceedingly great reward.” (Genesis 15:1).

Tithe-collectors Let me tell you a parable. Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Then Philip answered, “Lord, let us raise a special offering. We shall call it ‘the bread and fish offering.’ We shall tell the people that whoever gives a special seed offering for it would get a hundredfold return.” Then Jesus said to Philip, “Get thee behind me Satan, you are an offence unto me, for you are mindful of the ways of pastors and not of the ways of God.”

L-SHADDAI Baptist Church, Egbeda Lagos recently celebrated her 30th anniversary with the dedication of an ultra-modern house of worship, reports OLAYINKA LATONA. President, Lagos West Baptist Conference, Rev. Julius Adeniji, in his sermon tagged; “On the day of your anniversary”, charged members to celebrate God’s faithfulness and love, evaluate their growing rate, re-commit their lives in line with the early church. Adeniji mandated the El-Shaddai Baptist Church to assess and evaluate the impact they have made in their environment for the past 30 years, saying “the church should celebrate the goodness and faithfulness of God who has kept them thus far.” According to the chairman anniversary planning committee, Prince Ayo Omole, the church which started in a shop has grown in leap and bounds. His Royal Majesty, Elegbeda of Egbeda Land, Oba Samson Balogun who was among the awardees, said he was full of joy and appreciation. He attributed the success to spirit-filled men of God who had worked and made tremendous contributions to the development of the church.

Church Times honours Kolade, Onitiri, Maxey, others

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HURCH TIMES Nigeria has concluded plans to honour Nigeria’s former ambassa dor to the United Kingdom, Dr. Christopher Kolade, founder of West Africa Theological Seminary, Dr. Gary Maxey, founder, Church Growth International Ministries, Dr. Akin Bola John. Others include the Deputy Managing Director, Sun Newspapers, Mr. Femi Adesina, founder, Society for the Safety of the Insane and the Destitute, Mrs. Felicia Martins and Grace So Amazing Foundation, publishers of Word for Today at its fifth anniversary alongside a seminar/award scheduled for tomorrow at Excellence Hotel, Ogba in Lagos by 4.00 p.m. In a statement, Mr. Gbenga Osinaike, publisher of the church-based journal said the anniversary celebration was the organisation’s own way of thanking God for making it survive the first five years of its existence. Osinaike said: “We also want to thank all our advertisers and patrons in the last five years and we want to use the opportunity to celebrate some Christians in Nigeria who have been of immense value to the Body of Christ.”The theme of the anniversary, he said, is: 'Church in Times Like this' and the guest speaker is Prof. Duro Adegboye, a missionary evangelist and a former dean of the Faculty of Science, Ahmadu Bello University.

Bishop wants Delta to build houses for flood victims

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By FESTUS AHON

ISHOP of the Anglican Diocese of Ughelli, Rt Rev. Cyril Odiboroghene Odutemu has appealed to government to build housing estates in strategic locations in the state for flood victims so as to solve the problem of accommodation that may be encountered by those who are leaving the various camps to their original places of abode. The bishop spoke recently during the presentation of relief materials to flood victims at the Oharisi Primary School, Ughelli and other parts of the state. ‘’We appreciate the Delta State and Federal Governments for their support so far for the flood victims. We know that this disaster is one thing that was least expected. It is a natural disaster and government approach has been both pragmatic and understanding. "It is my passionate appeal therefore for government to build housing estates to accommodate victims after the crisis," the cleric said. He also pleaded with government to ensure that the committee that has been put in place and any other committee that may be set up after the flood has receded should be manned by men and women of proven integrity or people of impeccable character so that the money earmarked for the victims would get to them.

Banquet of Glory holds thanksgiving The Banquet of Glory Church’s 2nd annual Love Feast/ Thanksgiving service holds today at the church auditorium, 8 Church Street, Ajegunle-Illo, off Abeokuta Expressway, Lagos. The event which begins at 12.30pm will have the host, Pastor Joseph Olaiya and other anointed men of God ministering.


PAGE 48—SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

chimeena@yahoo.com 08026350360

Akwa Ibom politics and disastrous Writers’ confab *Raji, Ushie in war of words ..As ANA wins writers’ village judgment By Uduma Kalu .............

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Participants at the event Nwachukwu- Agbada, Denga Abdullahi, his deputy and DM Dzukogi, his Secretary General practically accused the state chapter of dereliction of duty for failing to fund the convention as it promised. The national body, he said, had financed the event alone. But Ushie would not hear that. Immediately after Prof. Pius Adesanmi finished his keynote speech on Literature, Security and the Social media, Ushie stood up as if he wanted to comment on the lecture but ended up denying Raji’s statement, saying his state generated N2.1m for convention. But Raji said the ugly incident has shown that ANA will throw up new criteria for hosting ANA conventions. In his words, he said, “I should add

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t has never happened before. But in Uyo,Akwa Ibom State, before writers and in their annual convention, the president of the Association of Nigerian Authors ANA and his chapter chairman, Dr. Joesph Ushie had an open verbal confrontation because of the miserable convention witnessed in Uyo. Happily, the association won the case it had with a developer over its land it lost and has paid N10m judgment cost to the litigant. The association also explained that it sold part of the 62 hectare land for the payment and is now negotiating for the development of the said land. Indeed, writers are generally a pessimistic people. So, when Akwa Ibom won the hosting right in Abuja, some of the the writers bathed in the mythical Akwa Ibom hospitality, while others feared that the government of that state would give them a cold shoulder. While the optimists harped on the promises ANA Akwa Ibom made in Abuja which made it grab the hosting rights for the national convention, many of the members feared that that the state had no literary culture, and that its government was not known for supporting any literary activity, neither was there any well known literary figure in that state who could push for writers’ welfare as is the case in other parts of the country. In fact, the worst fears came when it was announced that the state’s Deputy Governor had resigned, and that was in the week next to the convention. In the end, the pessimists won. The government did not only ignore the proposal for sponsorship from the Akwa Ibom ANA, it absented itself from the opening ceremony and did not send a message and was not represented. It ignored all mails sent to it concerning the convention, including a request for a meeting by the ANA national executive. It totally ignored everything the writers did at the four day- convention held from November 8-11. “It was typical Eastern region’s or South South governments’ behavior”, one of the leaders of ANA said. He was however cautioned that Rivers State has interest in the literary, Cross River in Carnival, Delta in literature and Enugu in festivals. Yet, some writers wanted to blame the state chapter for the disaster. In fact, the national chairman, Prof Remi Raji who was having his first national convention in that state had verbal altercation with the state chairman, Dr Joseph Ushie. Raji, in his welcome address, from the podium where he sat with Ushie, Odia Ofeimun, Akachi Ezeigbo, JOJ

However, Vanguard investigation discovered a political intrigue in the Akwa Ibom house that wrecked the writers’ confab

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that what we have witnessed in the past two days is after all not new. This, I have been reliably informed, would be the third time that the National executive of ANA would be taking over the execution of the annual convention...” Vanguard had gathered that the proposal for funding was received by state Governor Godswill Akpabio in the presence of the prelate of the Methodist church. Akpabio was said o have immediately sent the proposal to the commissioner for finance for vetting.

The commissioner was alleged to have invited Ushie, his former student. Ushie according to our source went with some members of his executives and defended the budget. But the commissioner, it is further alleged sliced the budget from N70m to N50m and then sent it back to the Governor with a memo and recommendations. That was on May 28. After then, noting was heard from the Governor till the end

of the convention. Then began the long wait and push for Akapbio to release the fund. Meanwhile, the date was fast approaching. The branch, hoping on Akpabio, mobilized itself. Ushie said the chapter wanted to come out with an anthology of short stories among other projects. It also wanted the best treatment for the writers to confirm to the state’s mythic hospitality.

Worthy Mothers Excel Them All... T

his book has 105 pages and it’s a Step Out of Creative publication based in Birmingham, United Kingdom. This is the first book by Mercy Tola Ojumu. From the beginning of the book, it is obvious that the author has great burden for women. Not just ordinary burdens about issues that relate to their lives, but issues that can be linked spiritually to the word of God. In this book, it is her dream that women should emulate the biblical virtuous woman and that whoever is able to do this is a worthy woman who has excelled in wifehood and womanhood. In the text, she sees diligence as an outcome of a serious Christian life which should be the hallmark of all Christian women. You do not have to read too far into the book to discover the nuggets of truth and life in the book. It is her opinion that many women deliberately neglect their responsibilities as mothers and wives because they cannot look into the future to see the rewards of being worthy mothers in their family, neighbourhood, states and nations. The book admonishes that mothers and wives must desire to be virtuous like

the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31:10-31, who was described as being worth more than rubies. In clear terms, it will be seen that she clearly

suggests that women would be celebrated by the world if only they play their worthy part. So on the flip side, women should arise – they should pray as never before, fervently for their families – they should be bold as never before to stand against all forms of evil – they should be courageous and not give up in the face of adversity. It is so interesting to see the various examples and testimonies in the book. They all go to prove that if women learn to endure, they will eat the fruit of the land and be blessed. Moreover, the outcome of their hard work, diligence and dedication will be a Godly home, well behaved children and a great nation.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012, PAGE 49

From Ashes of War: 1966 Revisited Emmanuel Chigozie Osuchukwu; published by Creativepeople Nig. Ltd; AD 2012, pp 201

Chinua Achebe

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My Grouse Against Achebe By Azuka Onwuka

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ith the recent publication of my first novel, Wings of the Night, on the Amazon website, I developed more interest in the Amazon Best Sellers Rank, an automated system that ranks every book sold through the website according to the volume of sale. I wanted to see how my novel ranked against other great African books. Wings of the Night was ranked 1,130,256 initially. The next week it ranked 363,980. A few days later, it was ranked 104,273. I found that impressive when I discovered that some recent award-winning novels by some Nigerians were ranked over 800,000. With that, I sought to know what Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart was ranked. I saw that it was ranked 207 and had over 600 reviews. That was impressive, given that it was a novel written 54 years ago, though it was only published on Amazon in 1994. That made me to seek the ranking of the books of other great African writers. I checked the works of the four African winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature – Wole Soyinka (1986 - Nigeria); Naguib Mahfouz (1988 Egypt); Nadine Godimer (1991 -South Africa); and John Maxwell Coetzee (2003 – South Africa). I checked the works of notable African writers like Ngugi wa Thiong’o, author of Weep Not Child; Ayi Kwei Amah, author of The Beautyful Ones Are not Born; Peter Abrahams, author of the Mine Boy; and younger award-winning writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the author of Purple Hibiscus, and Ben Okri, the author of The Famished Road. One thing was clear. The secondhighest ranked African author on the Amazon Best Sellers Rank stood around 4,000th position. And this was before the controversy over Achebe’s most recent book, There Was a Country; so the interest in Things Fall Apart was not helped by the buzz from his latest work. Talking about Things Fall Apart, Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, wrote: “Selling over 8 million

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Given the depth of love people like us have for his writing, especially his novels, the number of novels he has never quenches our thirst

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copies around the world, it has been translated into 50 languages, making Achebe the most translated African writer of all time.” Why should Achebe’s novel elicit this amount of interest from both Africans and non-Africans? Different people will give different reasons for this, some out of love, some out of jealousy. But whatever the reason, his books sure make a thoroughly exciting read. Yet, I have a grouse against him. Whether by coincidence or by whatever reason, I see some similarities between Achebe and me. He rebelled against studying medicine and changed to English, history and theology; I rebelled against studying medicine and studied English. We are both from Anambra State and our towns share similar cultures, folktales and proverbs. Rather than this being an advantage, I have discovered that it is a disadvantage because there are so many common proverbs and traditions that I cannot use in my creative writing for fear of being accused of plagiarizing Achebe. Meanwhile, such sayings like “proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten” and “the toad does not jump about in broad daylight in vain” are common Igbo sayings that Achebe, being an early bird in literary writing, translated poignantly to English and they now look like his property. So novelists with similar background will have to work extra hard to find proverbs or sayings

to use in their stories that Achebe has not used. And that is not an easy task. We also share the same university: the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Even though he did not study there, he taught there. And even if he did not teach me, he taught the lecturers who taught me. That is not where my links with Achebe ends. He worked as a journalist (a broadcaster) earlier in life. I also worked as a journalist (earlier in life) and still work partially as a journalist: a columnist. Now hear this: Achebe shares the same year of birth with my father: 1930. So I never forget how old Achebe is. That may also be because just like my year of birth, his year of birth ends with a zero. Since my childhood, figures ending with zeros have been the easiest for me to calculate. In addition, he shares the same birthday with my younger sister Ebele: November 16. So I never forget his birthday. And finally, just like Achebe, even though Things Fall Apart is his most popular novel, his novel that I find most engaging and compact is Arrow of God. Achebe said that if he would ever be caught reading any of his novels again, it would be Arrow of God. Given that Achebe published his first novel and magnum opus Things Fall Apart in 1958, it means that he has been writing for 54 years. Even though he has written poems, essays, non-fiction, Achebe’s fame springs from his novels. His novels are Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, No Longer at Ease, A Man of the People, and Anthills of the Savannah. Five novels in all. Can you now see my grouse against Achebe? Given the depth of love people like us have for his writing, especially his novels, the number of novels he has never quenches our thirst. Some would argue that it is good he wrote only when he was inspired by the Muse. But I disagree. I know Achebe. Achebe is a master storyteller. Any story he tells would be a good read. And there are a lot of stories from Nigeria to tell. To be continued

thought Chinua Achebe has rat tled Nigerian sensitivities with his recent book, ‘There was a country’ until I read Emmanuel Osuchukwu’s ‘1966 Crisis and the Evolution of Nigerian Politics’. The book is insightful and did not spare any punches in discussing vital aspects of Nigerian history and politics. The book includes an excellent historical reconstruction of the traumatic events of 1966 and how they contributed to the current political malaise in Nigeria. The reader will enjoy the way Chief Osuchukwu traced the origin of Nigeria’s contemporary problems to the unresolved and obfuscated issues that erupted in that crucial era. In the introduction, Osuchukwu maintained that the country bequeathed to us by our founding political fathers in 1960 ended in 1966 and contemporary Nigeria is the construction of a sectional military cabal. Hence his assertion that 1966 remains the most eventful and traumatic year in Nigeria’s political history. .The first part of the book dealt extensively with the largely unspoken massacre of the Igbos. It concluded that the 1966 massacre of the Igbos was a conscious and deliberate event initiated and perpetrated by highly politically motivated individuals of Northern Nigerian origin. He argues that the massacre was deliberately under played by the Federal Government of Nigeria but given its huge significance in the evolution of Nigerian politics, the book started with an exhaustive analysis of the phenomenon. Political leaders, policy makers, agents of social control will find this book an invaluable resource and will certainly benefit from the detailed analysis of the remote and immediate causes of the massacre. The book does a wonderful work in examining and exposing the insidious role of ethnicity in Nigerian politics and equally the role of the military in exacerbating Nigeria’s political problems as initiators and active participants in the killings of 1966. The second part of the book dealt critically with role of the military in Nigerian politics because the military undoubtedly occupies a per-eminent position in the evolution of Nigerian politics. According to the book the murderous intrusion of the Army into the Nigerian political space in 1966 ironically benefited the military establishment. From 1966, the Northern geopolitical zone of the military won the power game and proceeded to maintain unchallenged political supremacy. Many readers will find the third part of the book very interesting. It took a novel approach and looked at the future of Nigerian politics. It maintained that since the creation of the country as an independent state in 1960 and particularly since 1966, the people of Nigeria have never been lucky to freely elect a government with a truly nationalistic and people oriented focus.


PAGE 50—SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

Okotie, Romney and Obama BY TERI EFFIONG VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF In politics the people must come first.

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HE people come first”, that’s the slogan of the FRESH Party led by Rev Chris Okotie. So, one could understand the surprise reaction of the pastor-politician to the defeated United States Republican candidate, Mitt Romney’s remark while conceding victory to President Barack Obama that Obama should “put the people first in his policies”, now that the election is over. Obama, so gracious in victory, has also reaffirmed his determination to set politics aside and put the people first. Okotie twitted: “The genuine quality (of the American pPoliticians) should be a pointer to Nigerian leaders who put politics and self interest first before the people…This is what FRESH stands for…The peo-

ple come first…” The pastor-politician’s message and political philosophy might have been ahead of his time in 2003 when he first stepped on the political platform. Our teeming party supporters across the nation are

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VIEWPOINT

It is now unacceptable across the world for political leaders to play politics with the sacred mandate given to them by the people. The purpose of political office is stewardship

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now seeing that Okotie’s vision and style of politics would bode well for Nigeria. At least, leaders of advanced countries like America that we all look up to commend his admoni-

tion on people oriented policies to their colleagues. It is now unacceptable across the world for political leaders to play politics with the sacred mandate given to them by the people. The purpose of political office is stewardship, pure and simple, not to play the game of numbers in projecting performance, but going beyond the numbers and other macro-economic indices, by making practical efforts to deliver on the dividends of democracy, which, to the masses, is food on the table, quality education and health services, revamped infrastructures and other desirables. There is therefore, a need for a change of mindset by our elected politicians away from self-centered politics to “people-first” politics. Real leaders often commit themselves to service, not the pursuit of personal aggrandizement like we’ve seen in our polity. If we contrast the campaign styles of the recent Ondo State governorship election with the U.S. presidential election, we’d see that whilst issues dominat-

ed the American political debates; it was bickering over godfather patronage; tribal affiliations, cronyism that Gov. Olusegun Mimiko and his opponents quarreled about. At a stage, the government had to deploy soldiers and police to forestall crisis in the Sunshine State as if war was imminent. That same scenario played out in other states like Edo, Kogi and Adamawa where we had staggered governorship election. If our political actors love the people that much, why must they die just trying to serve? Certainly, their desire to die is not for any altruistic ends. As you read, although the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has declared Mimiko winner by a wide margin, his two main rivals in the PDP and ACN have gone to court to challenge the verdict. A lot of money and time would be wasted on what promises to be a longdrawn legal battle. This inevitably distracts the governor from the serious business of governance. This has been the established pattern in our polity. When political contests become door-die, it is like when two elephants – fight, the grass suffers; when applied to politics,

it is the people that suffer. Governance is put on hold; scarce resources are wasted on expensive legal tussles and the polity is overheated unnecessarily. Everyone knows that the primary end of governments everywhere is to provide security, good governance, and the fulfillment of the noble objectives of state as spelt out under the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy in our constitution. Sadly, the fourth republic, which is supposed to be more refined in disposition than the previous false starts to civilian administrations, has been a great disappointment. There is very little choice to be made between the discredited military and their civilian successors. Even, the outspoken Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo whose eight-year tenure as president clearly made an impression on Nigeria because he tried to chart a progressive direction for the country, recently expressed grave concern over the current drift of the nation. Governments across the political spectrum must begin to refocus on human capital development in their budget priorities. This can only be achieved when agriculture, education, health, power supply and infrastructure take the lion’s share of the budget, not just at the centre, but in all states and local government councils. * Effiong of FRESH party is resident in Lagos.

Nigeria: The Imperative for a new constitution(1) BY SEGUN OLANIPEKUN VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF If Nigeria must develop, it should recognise the diversity of her people

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S it still not a shame that neighbors, who have lived together, intermarried for decades, can just wake up one morning and start murdering one another in the name of religious and cultural differences? Where is our humanity as a people? And where is our sovereignty as a nation to secure the lives and property of the people? When are these callous episodic orgies of shedding innocent blood ending? When are we going to stop this callous murdering of our young ones as perpetrated recently in Mubi, Adamawa state when more than 25 students were killed by yet-to-be identified criminals who freely operate in this anomic society? Without doubt, these unending seasons of horrendous killings and wanton destruction of property on sectarian grounds are contemporary manifestations of cultural and religious misunderstanding. The killings, bombings, and the general insecurity are avoidable catastrophes if we are serious about appreciating our differences as once suggested by the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, in a famous pre-

independence exchange with the great Zik of Africa, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe These differences could be genuinely accommodated when we construct bridges to foster socio-cultural and economic understanding among our federating cultural entities in our road to nationhood. One sure way out of the present maelstrom is to urgently work out a new, inclusive, people-oriented Nigerian constitution. This document should clearly enshrine in its inner recess the terms of ethnic and interstate relations within the Nigerian polity. The new constitution should be a holistic Nigerian assignment, not like the on-going piecemeal, cosmetic constitutional tinkering being undertaken by the national assembly. For instance, if the majority of people of Kano State decide that every male civil servant should, as a matter of cultural and religious principle, compulsorily wear a turban to office, let it be so enshrined in the concurrent list of the constitution. This stipulation will make it clear to persons from other areas of the country who want to stay or relocate to Kano for the purpose of work, to know what awaits them in Kano state. Similarly, if the people of Ebonyi State insist, as a matter of cultural imperative, that Christians or Muslims have no power to stop the annual New Yam rituals, Bible believers and Muslims in Ebonyi state should know the consequences of their

actions if they attempt to halt procession and festivities of New Yam masquerades on their streets. Ditto for Oyo State people; if they make it made crystal clear that they value joint celebration of Muslim and Christian festivals irrespective of the individual faith of members of their community, it would be illegal for anyone who opts to live in the state to foment trouble by accusing them of apostasy or insinuating that such practice makes a mockery of the sancti-

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VIEWPOINT

If Nigeria must develop, be stable and peaceful we must stop this deceitful sloganeering, scripted on fake banners of ‘ONE NIGERIA!’ Let us embrace the truth

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ty of their faiths. At this juncture, I have a hunch that careerist politicians and others profiteers in the present contraption called Nigeria may tend to dismiss these suggestions as unworkable and naïve but a deeper reflection will convince dispassionate readers that these issues are some of the fundamental caus-

es of the endless episodic conflagrations ravaging the country. This viewpoint is not at all new to nation building. In many other climes where they are confronted with issues of multiculturalism and multi-ethnicity, similar measures have been made to engender peaceful coexistence. The United Kingdom is an example with the Scots, the Wales, the Irish and the English living in one union with minimal friction. The friction generated in Northern Ireland in the union was recently contained following the adoption of this type of recommendation when the Irish core values were accorded official recognition by a near-autonomous administration. Also in France, the government has passed a law banning any female Muslim citizen or resident from wearing the hijab (veil). That means if you are a Muslim woman and you fervently believe in wearing the veil, then France is not a place to live. Turkey, a largely Muslim country, even banned it; Ditto Tunisia is some aspects of its national life. Also, in the United States; no Islamic worship center is allowed to engage any muezzin with loud speakers for call to prayer from minarets. Christian churches cannot carry out the lousy practices of perpetually disturbing neighborhoods with loud speakers during uncountable services during day and night as are routinely done in Nigeria. These measures are neither restrictive nor punitive but primarily formulated for the well-be-

ing of the respective societies. They were not policies intended to provoke acrimony, but crafted to promote peace and understanding in the spirit of give-and-take. While this arrangement does not guarantee absence of sectarian and ethnic skirmishes it would however go a long way to minimize their occurrences and bring peace and health to the polity. It is an approach that should be embraced and reinforced by vigorous public education and enlightenment while the school curriculum is concurrently, robustly formulated in a way to positively orientate pupils and students into a more cosmopolitan and tolerant worldviews. If Nigeria must develop, be stable and peaceful we must stop this deceitful sloganeering, scripted on fake banners of ‘ONE NIGERIA!’ Let us embrace the truth: that the Nigerian state is peopled by diverse ethnicities as separate in their values as the Calabar ‘delicacy’ eater is from the person who does not welcome ‘’infidels” within his ancient and holy township walls. Let us walk the talk by drafting an encompassing, people-oriented constitution NOW to avoid the next inferno. Olanipekun, a Ph.D holder, can be reached on soacom11@gmail.com (Also you can read author’s http:// profile @: w w w. s o a s s o c i a t e s . c o m / index.php/profile/bio-data

Contribution of not more than 800 words should be sent to sundayvanguard@yahoo.com


SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012, PAGE 51

VIEWPOINT BY KUNLE OYATOMI

A look at the Aregbesola administration at two.

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OMORROW, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Areg besola will be two years in office, but the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is not celebrating the way many would have expected. It is deliberate. Now is not the time to roll out the drums. It is the time to intensify efforts at achieving greater heights because the stakes are getting higher; and it requires all the discipine it takes to sustain the momentum of the ongoing transformational agenda which is to turn the State of Osun into a model not just in the South West but across the country. Make no mistake about it; there is ample reason to celebrate, but the decision to keep things low is the product of a thought process governed by discipline to control the urge to begin celebration at the middle of the game. Victory is perceivable but not yet assured, so it makes a lot of sense to defer the celebration. However, the confidence is unshaken that come rain or shine, the chances are reassuring for victory; and victory in this sense means repositioning the State of Osun as a hub for economic activities in the South West. Not that alone, but also making a model of a state that was liquidated by fraudulent lead-

A different Osun ership under the PDP administration into one that thrives from solid infrastructure, job opportunities and a strong human development index, which could sustain progress. In some inexplicable ways, the kind of celebration appropriate at this juncture of the Aregbesola administration occurred just over a fortnight before its two years in office. It was the mass defection of PDP supporters across the State of Osun to the ACN. That event was both spectacular and of enormous political significance to unfolding events in Osun. If a celebration was needed to mark two years in office of the ACN, that

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VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF

itics since the State of Osun was created is a marvelous statement of approval. What could have motivated this move? Certainly not Ogbeni’s financial inducement. He will never part with his money (much more state funds) to induce political defection. Then what, and why? Something positive is happening in the State of Osun that is being vociferously denied by the PDP: but which denial is all so obviously absurd because even its own members and supporters are beneficiaries of what the Ogbeni Aregbesola-led ACN government is doing to impact lives and the environment in

Something positive is happening in the State of Osun that is being vociferously denied by the PDP: but which denial is all so obviously absurd because even its own members and supporters are beneficiaries

was it. Eight thousand PDP supporters defecting in one fell swoop to a party that has suffered perhaps one of the most relentless and disparaging criticisms in the history of pol-

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villages, towns and cities around Osun. Rather than the ACN and Aregbesola rolling out the drums to celebrate its success, the PDP has provided the celebration with that

high number of its members filing out in the open to say something like ‘Ogbeni, you have made the needed difference in governance, we’ll rather be your friends’. The reasons are not far-fetched. What you are about to read below are verifiable facts across the State of Osun. The ACN programme of addressing youth unemployment has, in some areas of the state, benefited more PDP youths than ACN supporters. The massive investment of Aregbesola on education has benefited both the PDP and ACN supporters without discrimination. What is also going on around agricultural development in the State of Osun is that partisan politics plays no role whatsoever in the consideration of who gets what! But by far the one that is staggering, indeed ‘blowing’ the minds and hearts of Osun citizens is the Agba Osun project where elderly people in need are identified and placed on social security stipends. Although the PDP is not providing figures, its members benefit beyond their wildest imagination. It is so real that the propaganda about ‘intangible’ development doesn’t make sense any more to PDP supporters and they are leaving

the party in droves. What other celebration should the ACN stage? There is joy that in spite of vicious criticisms of Ogbeni Aregbesola’s style and policies (even as you read this), time and the service delivery of this man are making powerful critics and senseless criticisms look peurile. The more efforts people put in denigrating him, the more positively he impacts citizens of the state. No matter how much his critics hate him or try to make him look like an Islamist intent on .....name their paranoia...... Ogbeni Aregbesola is riding the tide comfortably and PDP supporters are providing evidence of this. What the PDP left in the State of Osun - the wreckage, the bankruptcy, the infrastructural collapse, the culture of squandermania and the total collapse of educational infrastructure - are beyond an ordinary political leader to rectify in two years. That Ogbeni Aregbesola has made such significant progress trying to fix the damages in the last two years, it must take only an idiot not to recognise it. Unfortunately, there are many powerful idiots who have lost the capacity to think rationally. They ’ll never see anything good about Aregbesola. The joy in the last two years is that the more the blind critics try to make others blind to the truth, the more these critics lose their capability to see, and the clearer the vision for the future becomes for Ogbeni.

*Oyatomi is Director of Publicity of the ACNin the State of Osun

The Essence of Oni’s Supreme Court Appeal BY KAYODE OJO

VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF Scenarios that reinforce the likelihood of bias in the Ekiti election case.

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WO self-motivated schools of thought have argued for and against the decision by former Governor of Ekiti State, Engineer Segun Oni, to head to the Supreme Court to challenge the verdict of the Court of Appeal in Ado Ekiti, which dismissed his petition against the October 15, 2010 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin, which sacked him from office. A school of thought, to which the greatest beneficiary of the appellate court decision, incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi, belongs, together with his supporters, does not fancy the idea of Oni pushing for a review of the verdict. The other school, led by Oni, believes there are good reasons to subject the verdict to judicial review. Oni had first gone to the Court of Appeal, Ado-Ekiti, a court of coordinate jurisdiction, with an application seeking a review of the verdict of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin. The five-member panel of judges,

which sat in Ado-Ekiti and presided over by Justice Tijani Abdullahi, on February 27, 2012, dismissed Oni’s application. The crux of Oni’s application is the allegation of bias in the matter against the Chairman of the Court of Appeal panel and suspended President of the Court, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, which sat in Ilorin. Oni’s position is that with the established strong relationship that existed between the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), especially Bola Tinubu, and particularly as typified by the telephone conversations between them when the case was on, it was indubitable that Salami compromised the course of justice in favour of his associates in the ACN. But the Appeal Court would seem to appear clear in couching its judgment: “It follows therefore that where there is an allegation of bias in a matter that has been determined to finality, this court cannot exercise its jurisdiction in favour of the applicant. This case of likelihood of bias would have been relevant if it had been raised at the hearing of the appeal before judgment was delivered. Having not been raised at the appropriate stage, this application lacks merit and is hereby dismissed.”

The clearness or otherwise of this judgment is what Oni wants the Supreme Court to look into with a view to determining whether the court below was correct in dismissing the application on the grounds that it was not raised at the appropriate stage. As a layman, I ask: what is wrong in raising allegation of bias if it can be proved after judgment had been given? What is the essence of justice if it is not seen to be done, no matter the stage(s) of a case and espe-

,

VIEWPOINT

The Supreme Court, in recent times, has been churning out radical judgments and I believe this case has all it takes to throw up surprises

,

cially where there is a higher court to ventilate dissatisfaction? Is it not possible that there are cases of bias outside Nigeria that had been decided in higher courts after judgment had been given in the

courts below? I expect the legal team of Oni, led by Professor Ben Nwabueze (SAN), to find out if there are such foreign precedents and seek to relate them with this instant case before the Supreme Court. It is just possible that the exercise may end up enriching our jurisprudence in Nigeria. It may just be the locus classicus in cases of bias discovered after judgments have been delivered. I believe it will, in the long run, impose a heavy duty on judges to be careful and raise armour against likelihood of bias, knowing fully that the cry and search for justice can continue even after judgments. Ekiti case has become a thorn in the flesh of the nation’s judiciary. The Supreme Court, in recent times, has been churning out radical judgments and I believe this case has all it takes to throw up surprises. The ball is in the courts of the appellant, the respondent and the honourable justices of the apex court. But as the nation awaits the judgment, scheduled for November 29, I feel compelled to take a second look at some grounds on which the Court of Appeal had on two occasions nullified Oni’s governorship election victory. For instance, the Court of Appeal panel had curiously

cancelled the governorship election result in the whole of Ido-Osi Local Government Area which is Oni’s home local government on the grounds of arson and violence, thus denying him of the massive votes that had decided the election in his favour. Was there fairness in the panel reaching that decision? And I ask: why would Oni, who was then a sitting governor, encourage violence in Ido-Osi, knowing fully well that it was his stronghold and that violence would lead to cancellation either by the electoral body or the court? Again, there is something significant about Ido-Osi Local Government in the politics of Ekiti State: it is on record that since the advent of the Fourth Republic in 1999, PDP has never lost in Ido-Osi Local Government Area, even when the Alliance for Democracy (AD) was in control and till now. I am still wondering the wisdom that created the red biro theory in the first Court of Appeal, Ilorin verdict that ordered a rerun of the Ekiti governorship election. The panel had vitiated the result in some places where red ink was used. · Ojo, a public affairs analyst, contributed this piece from Ketu, Alapere, Lagos.


PAGE 52—SUNDAY VANGUARD, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

Abia completes 100 micro projects BY ANAYO OKOLI

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HE Abia State Agency for Community and Social Development Project [CSDP] says it has completed over 100 micro projects in various parts of the state. The agency said it also has 55 other projects going on in the state while another 107 projects are yet to take off. The projects are World Bank assisted.

The projects are in the area of rural electrification, education, health, socioe c o n o m i c e m p o w e r m e n t , environmental, transport and provision of drinking water. The General Manager of the agency, Mr. Chinatu Njoku, who described the performance of the agency as impressive, attributed the success to the “support and

encouragement of Governor T. A. Orji”. Njoku disclosed that the agency has 81 C o m m u n i t y Development Plans [CDPs] which it is implementing, and explained that each of the plans has about three micro projects. He also announced that there were 25 other CDPs ready for funding, even as he disclosed that many new communities were in the process of joining the programme.

Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mohammed Ali Pate makes a point at the 3rd thistle praxis sustainable conversation on public health. He is flanked from l-r by Dr. Angela Oyo-Ita, Commissioner of Health, Cross River State; Mrs. Fola Laoye, GMD, Hygeia Group; Dr. Jide Idris, Commissioner of Health, Lagos State and Dr. Kudo Ikemba, CEO Friends of Africa.

Team UNILAG wins Google application contest BY CHARLES MGBOLU

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HREE University of Lagos (UNILAG) students, have won the Google Apps Developer Challenge for the Enterprise/Small Business Solutions category in sub-Saharan Africa. The students: Bolutife Ogunsola, Michael Adeyeri and Willie

Aniebiet, created the Form+ application software; an interface that creates application forms by just dragging and dropping components. The user can create forms – such as curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé submission forms for businesses and coursework submission page for lecturers. Emeka Afigbo, Program Manager,

Google, stated: “Our expectation is that this motivates more young Nigerian developers to develop apps that change the way we live in Nigeria and Africa at large.” The winners were rewarded with Chromebooks and $20,000. They also won a grant worth $18,000 for their school’s department.

From right: Rev. Fr. Chibuike Ukeh, Bishop L. Ugorji of Umuahia Diocese, the parish priest of St. Michael’s Catholic Parish, Idima Abam, Abia State, Rev. Fr. Donatus Uzoagwa and others at the Foundation Laying Ceremony of an untra modern church building at Idima Abam.


SUNDAY VANGUARD,NOVEMER 25, 2012, PAGE 53

C M Y K


PAGE 54—SUNDAY

VANGUARD, NOVEMBER, 25, 2012

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SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 25, 2012 — 55

Let the Games begin Legal tussle scuttles 2012/13 league season in court two years ago. Jaja wanted the court to determine the NFF and NPL’s legality in line with NLESS a new legal framework Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution. that would guarantee more Justice Okorowo of an Abuja High freedom and operational licence to the Court declared that neither the NFF nor Nigeria Premier League is put in place, NPL had any statutory recognition. the 2012/2013 season may not The court submitted that if any of these commence before the end of the year bodies continue to transact business as is widely expected. under a name that is not recognised by Sunday Vanguard Sports gathered law, they were doing such at its own that the NPL as presently constituted, risk. cannot continue to function because of This may not be unconnected with the some legal issues surrounding its order by the Nigeria Football status. Federation that stopped NPL’s Annual It could be recalled that Sam Sam Jaja, Congress last week a former Nigeria Referees Association Meanwhile, major stake-holder in the (NRA) president, challenge his Nigerian Premier League and disqualification to run in NPL elections broadcast rights owners, Total Promotions have reaffirmed their commitment to the growth of the Nigerian league. Amidst uncertainties surrounding the fate of Nigeria’s topflight, chairman of the company, Niyi Alonge told media friends in an informal gathering in Lagos, Sunday that “the game must go on.” He suggested that “the NPL can operate under an interim body as could be permitted by law while the right things are being put in place,” he said. He said Total Promotions were up to Mr. Iain Nelson, Consultant, Pepsi Football Acad- date in their financial and emy presenting a football to the captain of Agiding- legal obligations to the bi Senior Grammar School at the conclusion of the league body and had Lagos leg of the maiden edition of Pepsi National restricted their operations Schools Competition held at the Agege stadium on to the confines of the existing contract between Tuesday. them. By JACOB AJOM

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EKO 2012: C-River prepares 200 athletes

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bout 200 athletes from Cross River State are expected to feature in the 2012 National Sports Festival tagged Eko 2012 to be hosted by Lagos State. The state Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Mr. Patrick Ugbe disclosed this to Vanguard Sports shortly after the Nigerian U-17 team, Golden Eaglets defeated the Junior Eagles of Mali on Sunday at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar. Ugbe said that the athletes were in camp preparing for the sports festival and that there is the hope that the athletes will do well at the festival. He said that the number of athletes the state will be presenting at the sports festival will be based on the number of events the state will be participating in. Commenting on the outcome of the match between the Golden Eaglets and the Junior Eagles of Mali which ended 2-0 in favour of the Nigerian lads, Ugbe said that it was expected that the match was going to be tough as it was the last lap of the qualifying matches.

The Commissioner who enthused that the luck of the city (Calabar) had played out at the encounter said, “We are happy we that they (Eaglets) won the match. It was not an easy one, it was a difficult match and it was understandable because this is the last lap of the qualifying stage.”

Obisia hails kids boxing tourney BY EDDIE AKALONU

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ATIONAL boxing coach, Obisia Nwakpa has showered praises on kids who participated the maiden Super Kids boxing tournament in the Brai Ayenote Gym yesterday. He said there still hope for the sport in the wake of the interest and skill shown by the youngsters in the ring. “They are still very young for ring fights as the law allows U-16 and not U-14 but we will provide further training for them outside the ring because the potentials are there to tap,” he said.

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n 48 hours from now, the National Sports Festival will begin with Lagos State already boasting it will host the best festival ever experienced in Nigeria since 1973 when the military administration of General Yakubu Gowon instituted the Games to heal the wounds of the civil war which ended three years earlier. What with the festival torch’s arrival through the sea yesterday. The Main Organising Committee and the Local Organising Committee have both said everything that would make the Games hitch free have been provided and it is left for the athletes to exhibit what they have been practising these past months. Lagos will no doubt be abuzz in the next fortnight when about 10,000 athletes and over 1,000 technical officials as well as a sizeable number of supporters of the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory converge on the usually boisterous city. One thing is sure in this year’s festival, that is, Lagos State is not hosting to win at all cost like is the usual practice since the biennial event shifted from being a mere Unity Games and one for discovering young and talented athletes to one used to massage the egos of state governors and their bootlicking sports administrators. Lagos is sure to have on parade young athletes it has discovered and have nurtured over the years as against poaching of ready made athletes who put themselves forward to States who can afford to pay for their services. No matter what however, Lagos will need to battle the front running States like Delta, Edo and recently Rivers who won the last event hosted on their soil for the overall position but it would be miles ahead of other States in the areas of table tennis and tennis. Apart from the hustles on the tracks and courts, athletes and visitors are sure going to enjoy their stay in Lagos by visiting areas of interests that abound around the State from Ikorodu to Epe and Badagry, not to mention the popular Bar Beach in Victoria Island.

NFF still beggarly

It is always said that people should put their money where their mouth is, that is matching words with action. But the ever controversial Nigeria Football Federation, NFF is not one to match its words with action. A couple of days ago, the Governor of Rivers State described the NFF as the most corrupt organisation in the country. Hardly had he finished expressing his opinion than those who describe themselves as the most authentic stakeholders, chairmen of States Football Federation poured invectives on the governor and hoodwinked the NFF into shifting their Annual General Meeting, earlier scheduled for Port Harcourt,

mind you at the expense of the Rivers State government, to another venue. Since they took that decision, they have not been able to find another venue or another willing governor to host their usual jamboree where they more or less backslap each other, not for progress made in football administration but rather for the personal gains they made over the year under discussion. One thought that if a beggarly body rejects an offer for free lunch and accommodation, it should fall back on its own resources to do what it wants to call the bluff of its ‘disrespectful’ host as the Rivers State governor is now being seen. Is it not a shame that after these years, the NFF cannot boast of its own secretariat with a standard conference centre and accommodation for events like the AGM? What has the NFF done with all the mega bucks it has been receiving from FIFA and the Nigerian government? I pity the NFF though but in order for their AGM to hold, I suggest they approach the Lagos SWAN to offer them their secretariat at the National Stadium at a very reduced cost. I say at a very reduced cost because Lagos SWAN is not Father Christmas. If they had been as wasteful as the NFF, that secretariat would not be standing today.

Kudos Lagos SWAN

I was impressed last Wednesday when the Organising Committee of the 2012 SWAN Cup led by Godwin Enakhena unveiled the logo for the competition at the conference hall of the Lagos SWAN secretariat. I was not only proud because the ceremony was flawless unlike what we are fed with by the NFF yearly during the Federation Cup draws but that it held in the association’s building. This is at a time the NFF is still running from pillar to post, begging State governors for venue and fund to host their AGM. Somebody rightly told the NFF through their spokesman, Ademola Olajire to come copy from SWAN how to do it right. Mind you, Olajire is one of us, loaned to the NFF to help straighten things up for them. The sweet thing about this year’s SWAN Cup, like Enakhena rightly pointed out is the ban of mercenaries by media houses desperate to win. The idea, he said, is not winning but fraternising with one another to ease the stress of news gathering and writing. The fun filled competition will see Brila FM being led by Dr Larry Izamoje, Mitchel Obi and Ejiro Omonode marshalling the Masterports International squad while Muyiwa Daniel is expected to be in goal for the veterans who will also parade, Harry Iwuala, one time SWAN Cup top scorer. Unfortunately, soccer-loving Lagosians may not see the dexterity of coach/player Onochie Anibeze and Maradona Tony Ubani as our indomitable Kirikiri Warriors are still mourning the death of our ace defender, Sylva Eleanya, who passed on last month. For his memory, we are hanging our boots this year.


SUNDAY Vanguard, NOVEMBER 25, 2012

Lagos adds colour to NSF, festival torch arrives via sea BY JACOB AJOM

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AGOS State governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN)

yesterday received the torch for the 18th National Sports Festival at the State House in Marina from the zonal coordinator of the South West Zone of the National Sports Commission, NSC, Dr. Steve Olarinoye, who was the torch bearer. The torch, which was brought into Lagos from Ogun State through the waterways, arrived the CMS Jetty at about 11 a.m. amidst singing, drumming and dancing by members of the Lagos State Supporters Club who were on hand to give the event a carnival-like atmosphere. Receiving the torch, Governor Fashola said the event marked a significant shift from the traditional torch relay. “For the

first time in the history of the National Sports Festival, the torch of unity is being taken through the waterways. This shows the ingenuity of the Local Organising Committee and demonstration of the enormous possibilities that abound in Lagos,” the governor said. The governor handed the torch to his deputy who is also chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Mrs. Victoria Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire The torch is expected to go through Epe, Ikorodu, Ikeja and Badagry before making a final berth at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on November 27 for the opening ceremony.

Ex-boxing champ, Camacho dies at 50

heart attack early yesterday morning, Rio Piedras Medical Director Ernesto Torres said. Puerto Rico officials planned a public wake for the boxer at the Department of Sports & Recreation headquarters in San Juan, but details were pending. The former U.S. boxing champ had been declared brain dead on Thursday after he was shot on Tuesday while sitting in a car with a friend, Adrian Mojica Moreno, 49, outside a liquor store in the San Juan suburb of Bayamon, Camacho’s birthplace. Two gunmen opened fire on the car, killing the driver, Mojica Moreno, and hitting Camacho in the jaw. The bullet fractured two vertebrae and lodged in his shoulder, damaging the arteries that carried blood to the brain, doctors said.

T

HANDOVER... Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (right), Chairman EKO 2012 Adejoke Orelope Adefulire (c), State Commissioner of Youth, Sports and Social Development, Waheed Enitan Oshodi and Zonal Co-ordinator, South/West Zone1 National Sports Commission, NSC, Dr Steve Olarinoye (l), during the Torch handing over ceremony in Lagos.

HREE-TIME world boxing champion Hector “Macho” Camacho has died four days after he was shot in the face in a drive-by shooting. He was 50. Camacho was pronounced dead after being taken off life support following a second

Eko 2012: Technical hitches loom BY BEN EFE

A

S contingents for the 18 National Sports Festival tagged Eko 2012, begin to pour into Lagos today, chaos is threatening to rule the day to day competition, as preparations that will guarantee technical efficiency are lagging behind. The Games are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, but checks at the sporting federations revealed that the main organising committee made up of National Sports Commission officials is yet to work out vital technical details with regards to daily competitions. Also the programme of events has not been made available to those interested to see. A visit to the website of Eko 2012, was not helpful. The events schedule page when opened simply stated “We are presently th

working on providing you with a detailed schedule of all events for the festival. Please, do check back on a later date for the schedules.” Also equipment for most of the sports have not been moved to Lagos at the time of filing this report. However, officials are expecting them to be moved in before the end of the day. Secretary of the local organising committee, Dr. Kweku Tando acknowledged that there has been a shortfall in the preparations for the Games technically speaking. “Lagos is ready to host the festival. We have everything in place, but we still need to cross the T’s and dot the I’s and hopefully we are expecting a hitch free festival.” But former Edo State commissioner for sports and a veteran of the National Sports

Gov promises Team Borno Naira rain

A

S a morale booster for his State’s athletes at the National Sports Festival beginning in Lagos on Tuesday, the Borno State governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima has promised them Naira rain if they excel in the biennial event. Speaking to Team Borno contingent during their send forth ceremony, the governor promised each gold medalist the sum of N300,000, silver medalist N200,00 and N100,000 for each

bronze medalists. He commended the athletes for bracing all odds to remmain camp despite the violent nature of the State in recent times. Meanwhile, the State’s commissioner for sports, Isa Audu Burotai assured the citizens of the State that Borno will surprise all in the faestival, adding, “we are ready for the festival, Borno is the team to beat in hockey, handball, cycling and Kokawa, etc,” he said.

Festival, Brown Ebewele is not amused by preparations by the hosts state. He submitted that the usual excitement that greeted previous festivals was lacking and that he will not be surprised to see chaotic organisation.

•Camacho

Today’s Matches

Results Sunderland Everton Man Utd Stoke Aston Villa Wigan Bayern Munich Mainz Schalke Wolfsburg

2 1 3 1 0 3 5 1 1 1

West Brom Norwich QPR Fulham Arsenal Reading Hannover Borussia Dort. Eintracht Frankfurt Werder Bremen

4 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 1 1

Swansea Southampton Chelsea Tottenham

v v v v

Liverpool Newcastle Man City West Ham

2.30pm 4.00pm 5.00pm 5.00pm

Legal tussle scuttles 2012/13 league season — Page 55 ACROSS 1. Nigerian state (5) 3. Snarled (7) 7. Of the dark race (5) 8. Respond (5) 9. Consumed (5) 10. Wit (3) 11. Church part (5) 13. Entrance (4) 15. Stitch (3) 17. Deed (4) 19. Hope (6) 21. However (3) 23. Thanks (2) 25. Curve (3) 26. Class (5) 29. Important (5) 30. Before (3) 31. Revise (4) 34. Mate (4) 36. Italian City (4) 39. Push back (5) 40. Heed (4) 42. End of day (5) 43. Exposed (8) 44. Halt (5)

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

SEE SOLUTION ON PAGE

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