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You will pay for your killings, Jonathan tells Boko Haram Continued from page 1 but our promise is that all those who took part in that will pay dearly for it.” He said the annual presidential prayer session was held in honour of victims of Boko Haram attacks and their families. The President spoke on a day Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako dismissed the claim that he was condemned at last Thursday’s National Security Council meeting, held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, over his letter to northern governors, alleging genocide in the North against the Federal Government. ”Government is offering all assistance to support the affected families as security agencies work tirelessly to unravel the scourge of this evil and to forestall further senseless desecration of our homeland,”Jonathan stated. ”And, of course, no matter what the government does, we cannot recover the dead but one thing we promise is that all those who took part in that act will surely pay for it. We must all come together and have faith to combat the ignorance and intolerance of criminals”, he stressed. According to the President, Nigerians’ love for their country gives him hope and encouragement to do more for the good of Nigeria. “I urge you not to relent in your prayers and dedication because overcoming the present challenges we face may look impossible with men, but, with God, all things are possible. This is clearly seen in the scriptures and this is my article of faith. And, of course, this is one of the things that make me smile whenever you see me.” He was optimistic Nigeria will overcome terrorism and “with these strides of development which the country is undergoing in many sectors, we will not be slowed down”. Jonathan added: “We must all increase our vigilance and alertness as well as
cooperation and understanding to our men in uniform who are at the forefront on our behalf ”. In his remarks at the occasion, visiting President of Benin Republic, Boni Yayi, asked God to forgive those who abducted school girls in a school in Chibok, Borno State. He emphasised that his country, West Africa and Africa stand by Nigeria because the country has a divine mission in the subregion and the continent. While stressing the importance of peace and stability, Yayi said Nigeria does not need Boko Haram. Welcoming guests, Venerable Obioma Onwuizurumba, chaplain of the Aso Rock Chapel, explained that the breakfast was organised to celebrate Easter, the goodness of past years and ask God for more grace for the country ahead. Professor Vincent Anigbogu, Director-General of the National Institute for Transformation and guest speaker at the event, urged Jonathan not to be distracted by the threats to nation-building. Meanwhile, Governor Nyako of Adamawa State has vehemently denied that he was unanimously condemned during the National Security Council meeting which took place, Thursday, in Abuja, over his letter to northern governors, alleging genocide in the North against the Federal Government, saying the statement could only come from pathological liars. Nyako, responding to a question during an interview with journalists, in Yola, Adamawa State capital, yesterday, said he was never condemned by anyone during the meeting. “Neither my humble self nor my letter to northern governors was condemned. People made observations but nobody came out to ask why or how did I reach my conclusion and all that. “Mr. President allowed everybody to speak, asked for comments and we were allowed to read the papers
again and asked for comments and nobody condemned me for writing such a letter. For people to say that my letter was condemned was all nonsense,” Nyako stated. He lauded Jonathan who, he said, presided over the Thursday meeting with decorum and allowed everyone to ventilate his opinion freely. “Mr. President, to me, was really superb with the way he handled the Security Council meeting. He bore no anger, no sign of getting too involved and allowed everybody to speak and nobody condemned me for writing that letter. This is a democratic country and we are free to speak”, Nyako adde d . The governor faulted the deployment of the military to curb insurgency in the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, saying history had shown that the involvement of the military to contain internal security situation always results in massive casualties and, as such, many countries had stopped the use of the military to contain internal security challenges. He said knowing the implication of military involvement in internal security challenges, former Military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, refused to send the military to contain violent bloodletting during Zangon Kataf uprising and also failed to involve the military during the civil crisis that rocked State. Taraba
JERRY GANA’S SON’S WEDDING
UNILAG COUNCIL MEMBERS AT THE WEDDING: From left: University of Lagos Librarian, Dr. (Mrs.) Olukemi Fedehon; Igwe of Umunya, HRH Igwe Sir Kris Onyekwuluje; Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bello; father of the groom, Prof. Jerry Gana; the groom, James Gana and his wife, Jessie Gana; mother of the groom, Mrs. Jerry Gana; Dr Perry Okonry, Deputy Vice Chancellor; Prof. Babajide Alo; Prof. Abayomi Akinyeye; Vanguard Newspapers General Manager, Mr Gbenga Adefaye; Registrar, Dr. Taiwo Ipaye; Prof. Duro Oni, Bursar; Mr. Lateef Odekunle; Prof. Ben Ogonojafor and others, during the marriage ceremony of Prof. Jerry Gana’s son at Living Faith Church, Abuja. Photos by Gbemiga Olamikan
From left: Prof. Jerry Gana, his son, James Boye Gana, his wife, Jessie Gana, and mother of the groom, Mrs. Jerry Gana.
FOR THE LATE ABEL UBEKU
‘Friends of Goodluck’ slams Nyako In a related development, a political pressure group, Friends of Goodluck Jonathan, has condemned Nyako for the genocide in the North accusation leveled against Jonathan in the guise of fighting terrorism. A statement by the group in Benin City said “the Adamawa governor over reached himself in citing ethnic hatred and animosity against the President.” According to the statement, the governor’s inciting comments by the Adamawa governor “did not portray him as a man who has held sensitive positions in the nation’s security institutions especially, the Nigerian Navy, where Nyako rose to the position of Chief of the Naval Staff and Deputy Chief of Defense Staff ”. The statement, signed by Chief Chris O O Biose, Director, Strategy, Research and Publicity, said “the ongoing campaign to bully, intimidate and blackmail President Goodluck Jonathan out of the 2015 presidential election has reached ridiculous levels and those who have statutory responsibility to secure the peace and unity of the country are fanning the embers of hatred, violence and destruction in the country”.
Mr Goodie Minabo Ibru (left) and Chief Felix Ohiwerei during the Service of Songs for the late High Chief Abel Ubeku at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, yesterday. Photo by Diran Oshe.
PETROLEUM TANKER FIRE A petroleum tanker after being gutted by fire along Comfort Oboh Estate, Kirikiri, Apapa, Lagos yesterday, razing two houses in the process. Photo by Akeem Salau
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JTF, labour to join forces against crude oil theft BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA
HE Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, code named Operation Pulo Shield, has solicited the support of trade unions in the region in the fight against crude oil theft and illegal bunkering. Commander of the task force, Major General Emmanuel Atewe, at a meeting with leaders of the various associations, held at the JTF headquarters in
Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, said the fight against illegal oil bunkering and oil theft is a collective responsibility and should not be left in
the hands of the security agencies alone. ”Security is everybody ’s business and should not be left in the hands of security agencies alone. There
should be synergy between stakeholders, community leaders and the JTF especially in the areas of giving out credible information that will aid the Task
Force to carry out its mandate,” he said. According to him, the mandate of fighting illegal oil bunkering and related offences in the region can only be effective if all hands are on deck. ”I am looking for information on the activities of
these criminals and I assure you that we will not give out the source of our information. The fight against criminalities in Niger Delta can only be reliable and effective through providing timely information to us,” Atewe
Uduaghan ridding Delta of filth - Kelubia
OVERNOR Em manuel Udu aghan has been commended for his quest to rid Delta State of illegal structures and provide a clean and healthy environ-
ment for the people. The commendation was given in Warri by Mr. Peter Kelubia, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart in Uvwie Local Government Council,
while assessing the level of work so far done by the task force on the demolition of illegal structures in the three council areas of Uvwie, Udu and Warri South.
The grassroots politician, who is also the chairman, Ward 8 Unit of the PDP in Uvwie, explained that similar exercises in the past did not yield the desired objective due to lack
of constant monitoring by the relevant government agencies and parastatals, adding “that such structures are always re-erected immediately.”
SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 27, 2014 — PAGE 7
TRAGIC ROAD MISHAP
Police orderly crushes Inspector BY PETER DURU, MAKURDI
police Inspector attached to the Benue State Police Command was, yesterday, morning killed by his colleague in a tragic road mishap, in Makurdi, Benue State capital. Sunday Vanguard gathered from an eyewitness, that the decease met his untimely death along Atiku Abubakar Way, at about 8am, while on his way to work on a motorbike. He was crushed to death by a Peugeot 406, marked KAL 720 AA, belonging to Katsina/Ala local government. The driver of the car was identified as a police orderly attached to Katsina/Ala local government council chairman. “We were all busy carrying out our monthly environment sanitation, when suddenly we saw the 406 at top speed heading towards the Government House roundabout,”an eye witness said, while narrating the sad incident.. ”We suddenly saw the 406 run over a motorbike and the rider, an armed police inspector, who was coming from the opposite direction at a
road junction. ”We all dashed to the scene only to discover that the bike rider was dead while the driver of the car which jumped over a big gutter and pedestrian sidewalk and landed on the perimeter fence of the Deputy Governor ’s guest house, was also a police man.””We hurriedly called the police and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Utilities, Mr. Gadaffi Asemanya, who rescued the driver from the badly damaged car, and also rushed the bike rider to the hospital.”
When contacted, Asemanya declined comments on the accident, but lamented the reckless manner motorists ply the roads in Makurdi, killing road users and destroying public utilities. Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Superintendent Daniel Ezeala, could not be reached for comments, but a police source told Sunday Vanguard that the police were aware of the accident and had already commenced investigations into the matter.
First built in Nigeria Nissan Patrol rolls off production line BY THEODORE OPARA
issan has become the first major manufacturer to build a car in Nigeria in response to the
4 die in Ibadan – Oyo road crash BY OLA AJAYI, IBADAN
our passengers of a commercial bus, yesterday, died in a crash that occurred on IbadanOyo Expressway. The accident left 10 other people injured when one of the rear tyres of an 18seater bus, marked XC 104 YYY burst, at top speed. The driver of the bus was said to have sustained a very deep cut in his head and was gasping for breath when officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) arrived at 12.02 p.m. An eyewitness account said the accident occurred
at Motunde Village area, along Ibadan/Oyo Expressway. Sympathisers reportedly stormed the scene immediately it happened about 11.40 a.m,
to lend helping hands to the victims. Sunday Vanguard gathered that the bus somersaulted many times when its tyre burst suddenly.
Why Ethiope East APC congress was transparent — Kokori
ORMER Labour lead F er and Delta State All Progressives Congress,
APC, chieftain, Chief Frank Ovie Kokori has said that his insistence on transparency and fairness account for why the conduct of the party’s congress in Ethiope East Local Government Area has been adopted as model for future exercises by the party across the state. Chief Kokori stated this
yesterday at his home in Ovu where Ethiope East leaders of the party, including newly elected Ethiope East Chairman of the party, Pastor Stephen Eruotor, Roji Felix (Secretary) and Chief Erukeme Tony, 1st Vice President General of Okpara, .paid him a thank you visit on his role in the orderly conduct of the party’s Wards and local government congress in the locality.
APC state congress: Trouble in Ondo BY DAYO JOHNSON, AKURE, TONY EDIKE, ENUGU, SAMUEL OYADONGBA, YENAGOA, DAUD OLATUNJI, ABEOKUTA, OLA AJAYI, IBADAN, OLASUNKANMI AKONI & BOSE ADELAJA LL Progressive Congress (APC) state congress held across the country, yesterday, was generally peaceful except in Ondo State where the chairman of the congress committee, Mr. Femi Pedro, nearly exchanged blows with a former secretary to the state government (SSG), Mr. Isaac Kekemeke. Pedro, a former deputy governor of Lagos State, was accused of favouring some members to emerge as the APC executives in the state. The party has been polarised to three factions following which the ward and local government congresses were characterised by crisis leading to the death of a member and scores injured. Leaders of the factions have called for the cancellation of both congresses over alleged imposition of executives by a group of party leaders Sunday learnt that yesterday dispute began when there were disparities in the delegates list sent to the committee before the congress and the one being used for the conduct of the election. While some of the concerned delegates protested outside the venue of the congress, Keke-
meke called the attention of the congress Chairman to the complaint before the commencement of the election. Pedro reportedly glossed over the complaint only to be accosted by Kekemeke and Omooba Bayo Adesanyan who asked him to rectify the problems. The two leaders insisted that the congress committee chairman would not move if he did not resolve the dispute over the list of delegates. The party leaders exchanged altercation and it took the intervention of combat ready policemen, led by the Area Commander of Akure, Mr. Edward Ajogun, ACP, to bring the situation under control. The policemen had to ferry Pedro out of the rowdy atmosphere as more aggrieved party members attempted to manhandle him In Ogun State, the congress produced two factional executives. The two factions, led by former governor of the state and national leader, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, and Governor Ibikunle Amosun, elected their separate state leaders. The factions held their congresses simultaneously at different places in Abeokuta , Ogun State capital and were monitored by officials of Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies. Both congresses, which were peaceful and well attended by party leaders across the state, chose their
•Governor Ibikunle Amosun, addressing delegates at the Ogun State APC congress held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, yesterday. Chairmen from Ogun West Senatorial District. Osoba’s faction which held its congress at an event centre at Quarry road in Abeokuta, produced a chieftain of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, Chief Isaac Olu Agemo, as Chairman and immediate-past Secretary of the defunct ACN, Chief Abimbola Awofeso, as secretary. Meanwhile, the appeal panel set up by the national leadership of the APC to adjudicate in the petition filed by some members of the party in the state has given a pass mark to the state congress committee on the conduct of the April 5 and 12 ward and LG congresses. According to sources, the panel, led by Hon. Ikra Bilbis, a former Minister of State for Information and Communications, ruled that the congresses ‘substantially complied with the guidelines
of the APC. The panel said the congress committee, headed by Hon. Ope Salami, provided 98 per cent evidence to show that the congress held across the state. The verdict cleared the way for the con-
Federal Government’s new Automotive Policy. According to a statement from Stallion Motors, Nissan representatives in Nigeria, the inaugural vehicle, a black Nissan Patrol, rolled off the production line at the Lagos assembly plant, marking a key milestone in the company’s continued wave of expansion into the highgrowth markets. In addition to the Patrol, Nissan also plans to produce the Almera and NP300, starting in early May and followed by mass production in August. With these three models, Nissan aims to be a significant player in the Nigerian automotive sector. Nissan is targeting significant growth in Africa as the company builds momentum towards achieving its Power 88 goals, a commitment to reach 8% profitability by the end of
fiscal year 2016. Elsewhere in the world as part of the high-growth markets strategy, plants have been opened in Mexico and Brazil with projects underway in Indonesia, Thailand and China. Last year Nissan announced it will be the first manufacturer to build cars in Myanmar, after the opening up of the economy in the south-east Asian country. The first “built in Nigeria for Nigerians” Nissan Patrol follows the signing last year of a Memorandum of Understanding for vehicle assembly in Lagos between the RenaultNissan Alliance and West African conglomerate Stallion Group. Since then, preparing for production in Nigeria to global production standards has been achieved at a rapid pace, setting a new benchmark in responsiveness and organisational agility.
duct of the state congress held, yesterday, at the Cultural Centre Ground, Kuto, Abeokuta. In Enugu State, a 35-member executive, headed by Dr Ben Nwoye, emerged. Reports from Bayelsa State said a former chairman of Southern Ijaw local government area, Chief Tiwei Orunimigha, emerged as state chairman of the APC. Also elected to serve on the state executive committee of the party are the former chairman of Ekeremor Local Government Council, Mr. Eddy Julius as the deputy chairman and Mr. Martins Daniel as secretary. In Oyo State, two senators of the APC and some members of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change boycotted the state congress that took place at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan. Senator Olufemi Lan-
lehin representing Oyo South and Senator Ayo Adeseun representing Oyo Central were not at the venue of the congress. They were said to have shunned all the congresses held so far in the state. Chief Akin Oke was returned unopposed as the state party chairman while former Commissioner for Information, Mr. Bosun Oladele, was elected the legal officer. Amidst tight security, the Lagos State chapter of APC elected 35 new executive members through consensus. The erstwhile interim state chairman, Chief Henry Ajomale, was returned. Notable members of the caretaker committee returned by the congress include Cardinal James Odumbaku as deputy chairman, and Joe Igbokwe, publicity secretary.
2015: Clark’s group endorses Jonathan, stayed in office for eight opposes Orubebe years but had nothing to elta State Elders, LeadD ers and Stakeholders Forum, a group founded by
Ijaw Leader and delegate to the on going National Conference, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, has endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 presidential election. The group, which passed vote of confidence on its Chairman, Chief Godwin Ogbetuo, however, warned its members not to support a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, in his as-
piration to become Delta State governor in 2015 for engaging Clark in political battle. Rising from a meeting held in Warri, Delta State, at the weekend, the Chairman of the group, Chief Ogbetuo, said they decided to adopt Jonathan for second term because there are no candidates better than the President. Ogbetuo maintained that as President for close to three and a half years, Jonathan has performed better than his predecessors who
show for it, adding that, in accordance to Nigerian Constitution, Jonathan is fully qualified to contest for second term. He however warned members of of the group to desist from supporting Orubebe in his ambition to become Delta State governor in 2015. Ogbetuo who described Clark as their father vowed that Orubebe could not fight Clark and expect them to support him in his quest to occupy the state house at Asaba come 2015.
PAGE 8—SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 27, 2014
•From left: Director, ATO Architects, Arc. Ugo Chris-Aluta; Principal Partner and Managing Director, Arc. Ayoola Tokunbo Onajide and Director, Arc. Ekaete Bassey Fujah, at the celebration of ATO Architects’ 25th anniversary in Lagos.
Family of six perish in midnight inferno BY EMMA UNA, Calabar RAGEDY struck in Calabar, Cross River State capital, after a family of six were roasted in a midnight fire. Felix Akpabio, an architect, his wife, Helen, and four children died when an inferno from cooking gas leakage
engulfed their Anatingha, Calabar home. The children were identified as Victor (13), Joshua (10), Delight (9) and Faith (7). The inferno, which occurred at about 1 am on Thursday, was said to have been ignited when Joshua perceived the smell of cooking gas leaking from the
cylinder in their kitchen and woke the mother to alert her. However, before the mother could do anything, the son struck a match which ignited the fire. “Before anybody could do anything, the fire had spread from the kitchen to other rooms and engulfed everyone,” Obal, half sister of Helen, told
Sunday Vanguard, yesterday. She said her sister read radiography and was a staff of the accounts section of the General Hospital, Calabar and a member of the Deeper Life Christian Ministry. “When the fire started, their cries for help attracted neighbours who came out to rescue them before the arrival of the Fire Service”, Obal explained. She said the husband was from Akwa Ibom State while her sister, Helen, was from Assiga in Yakkur Local Government Area of Cross River State. “They completed that house not long ago and were living there happily before this ugly incident; I have cried and cried until my eyes are aching”. According to her, the first son of the family, Victor, was a student of Federal Government College, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and was in Calabar for Easter holidays. Cross River Police Command spokesman, Hogan Bassey, who confirmed the story, called on members of the public to guard against home accidents.
Minister weeps over Boko Haram victims BY NDAHI MARAMA, Maiduguri
INISTER of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil, says he wept in Borno State after beholding the gory sight of women and children wounded by Boko Haram insurgents in hospitals, describing the situation as pathetic. Wakil spoke in an interview with Sunday Vanguard in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Regretting the devastation occasioned by the attacks on the people of the state by insurgents, Wakil said, “At the hospitals, I wept seeing the many injured victims of Boko Haram. From the general hospitals to the specialist hospitals, we saw the real victims of the insurgency- women, kids. The situation is pathetic.” The Minister, however, said security agencies alone should not be left with the job of ensuring peace and tranquility in the country as it was the business of all. “We must agree that security is everybody business. It is no longer about the Federal Government as many commentators often say. The anti- terror campaign is about states, religious institutions, traditional rulers, civil societies, professional groups alongside the security agencies”, he said. “It will be unfair to blame President Goodluck Jonathan for the insurgency or for the lingering conflict. The Federal Government, with support of other
stakeholders, has curtailed the insurgency to a large extent. Within Borno State, the insurgents are no longer able to attack hard targets; they now kill defenceless citizens. So, we should learn to be supportive of our servicemen and women. “Whatever shortcoming we may notice in the anti -terror war, we should stand by our troops. We should criticize them constructively and avoid utterances and actions
that are capable of thwarting their gallantry efforts. “But one fact is also clear - terrorism is a global issue. We have a trans- national conflict at hand. Like I said earlier, Nigeria shall overcome. But we all must rally round Mr. President in this fight against terrorism.” Commenting on poor power supply in the country, Wakil said, “I will answer your question by appealing to Nigerians
to be patient with the administration. We are passing through a transition from public to private sector based electricity system. We are u n d e r g o i n g fundamental, structural and transformation of the energy sector. We cannot pass this stage without hiccups here and there. I plead with Nigerians to remember what happened in the telecommunications sector. It started roughly but today we have made great advances.”
Groups appeal to Oshiomhole to investigate N63m ecological fund By SIMON EBEGBULEM, Benin City
OUTHS and women from Orhiomwon Local Government Council of Edo State have appealed to Governor Adams Oshiomhole and members of the State House of Assembly to investigate how the N63million ecological fund received by the council in September 2013, was spent by the suspended chairman, Chief Roland Ibierutowhen. It would be recalled that Ibierutowhen, his Vice and Councillors in the council were suspended in November 2013 by the state assembly after they embarked on an illegal trip to Italy. Consequently, Governor Adams Oshiomhole appointed Mr Iyobo Igharo as Chairman, caretaker committee, to oversee the affairs of the council. The suspension of the chairman and others were however lifted recently but the youths of the council and women, in a statement signed by Mrs Evelyn
Izegbe, lamented that Abudu and other areas are suffering serious ecological problems despite the N63million released to the council as ecological fund by the Federal Government in September 2013. “As a matter of fact our people have experienced better development since
the coming of the Caretaker Committee and we don’t want to go back to the dark days. What happened to the ecological fund that was given to us. We are appealing to the Governor to allow the Caretaker Committee to clean up the mess in the system.
Tragic dedication: Mast kills father, baby survives, 56 injured BY EGUFE YAFUGBORHI, Warri
man, Prince Agulabri, was confirmed dead and over 50 persons injured, yesterday, when a telecoms mast belonging to a major GSM service provider collapsed on St. Lazarus Christ Church Incorporated, while service was going on at Okwagbe, Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State. Prince Agulabri, aged 36, and native of Okrika, Burutu Local Government Area, was dedicating a new born baby when the mass cited in Ayama Hotel be-
side the church collapsed as a result of a storm. An eye witness told Sunday Vanguard, “It was so sudden and violent. The mast came down hard on the crowded church and a portion fell directly on the man who died instantly. ”The baby for dedication was right in his hands at that deadly moment but survived with injuries. Over 50 other persons who were affected were rushed to the hospital for medical attention. The remains of the dead was deposited at Jeremi General Hospital, Ughelli.
AOCOED award for Senator Tinubu, Oderinde BY ALADE AROMASHODU
DENIRAN Ogunsan ya College of Education (AOCOED) has churned out another set of graduands. At its 32nd, 33rd and 34th Joint Convocation for the Award of Nigeria Certificate in Eduction (NCE) on Thursday at its Otto/Ijanikin campus, the college also honoured, with Award of Fellowship, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and erudite scholar, Professor Ba-
shir Oderinde, former provost of the institution. Mr. Olalekan Wasiu Bashorun, Provost of the College, gave laudable remarks to Senator Tinubu for specially facilitating the release of funds for the construction of a 1,200 Seater Multipurpose Lecture Theatre and Auditorium that was completed Wednesday, April 23, 2014. He said that Professor Oderinde, the second Awardee, facilitated the growth of the College to a tertiary institution.
Swansea University storms Nigeria
N official delegation from SWANSEA University, one of the top universities in the United Kingdom, is in Nigeria, attending education fairs in various cities between April 28th and May 10th 2014. A statement from the university described the visit as a “perfect opportunity to meet and speak to talented students who wish to study in the UK, because we recognize the high calibre of Nigerian students choosing to study with us. Swansea University offers opportunities for world class learning and we are glad to be able to help train Nigerian students to become future leaders.” The Swansea delegation is led by Senior Lecturer, Dr. Andrew Iwobi, from the College of Law. Dr. Iwobi will be meeting law gradu-
ates at UKEAS Education Fair in Abuja on 29th April. Elo Vivian Odede, Swansea University Regional Manager, will also be attending UKEAS, KOT and ESCC Education fairs at Port Harcourt, Accra, Calabar and Lagos where she would be spreading the Swansea Gospel. Swansea University is based in the UK and it is currently ranked as a top 50 university. The university offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and the 2014 QS World University Rankings by Subject show that Swansea University has maintained its top global 200 spot in a number of subjects , including Law and Legal Studies, Engineering (Civil, Structural and Mechanical) as well as English Language and Literature for the first time.
ECWA church renovates Egbe Hospital By BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO, Lokoja
HE ECWA church has commissioned the ultra-modern Egbe Hospital in Egbe, Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi Stat – it also houses the school of nursing and midwifery. Team leader for the revitalised Projects, Don Campion, during the dedication said the revitalisation project which began in 2009 was carried out to better serve close to 15,000 outpatients, who are expected to visit the hospital and be cared for annually. He added that the renovation which also saw to the upgrade of 68 buildings including 20 units of houses for staff is the first phase of the revitalisation project. Campion stressed that the key goal of the revitalisation project included but
was not limited to provision of water, electricity, internet facility, re-roofing and general repair and maintenance where necessary, adding that the whole essence of the revitalisation project was to restore the lost glory of ECWA Hospital which was established in 1958. He also urged the State Government to make efforts towards the accreditation of Egbe School of Nursing and Midwifery to a full fledged school of Natural sciences. Responding, the State Governor, Capt. Idris Wada, who donated N2 million to the hospital at the occasion said the state government has increased budgetary provision for training of personnel and infrastructural development in all its midwifery schools as a means of improving health care delivery in the State.
Rainstorm destroys 56 houses in Barkin Ladi BY MARIE-THERESE NANLONG, Jos
AINSTORM has left one person injured and destroyed about 56 houses as it ravaged Dorowa Village in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State. The rainstorm also destroyed shops, three primary schools, a church, a mosque and a Police station leaving the affected community members to seek temporary refuge in homes of relatives. The injured person is currently receiving treatment in a clinic in the area.
Confirming the incident, the Chairman of the Barkin Ladi, Hon. Emmauel Loman, told Sunday Vanguard yesterday that the incident has left the affected families destitute as their property were also destroyed. Loman who had earlier visited the community added that he has instructed the Social Service Department of his Council to notify the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA)of the incident and called on public spirited persons to come to the aid of the victims and help alleviate their situation.
SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 9
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: email@example.com
High population and our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Dear Sir,
LEASE permit me to raise the above topic as a result of recent statements made by our Minister of Finance, Dr. Okonjo Iweala on Rebased Nigeria Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Many comments made through the media have shown most people opined that the GDP has not reflected positively on the populace and therefore appears not realistic. The purpose of this write up is to comment on one of the contributory factors that is affecting, not only GDP but also our GNP (Gross National Product) which is our high population which is hovering between 160 – 170 million and whilst our GDP is reported at $509.9bn. South Africa’s population is 51million with GDP of $370.3bn. Nigeria’s per capita income is much lower when compared with South Africa due to the latter having lower population with economic competitive advantage dependent on its high industrial and financial sectors driven by high infrastructure development. Based on the foregoing, we need to embark on measures to reduce the growth rate of our population largely through effective birth control. Our government should borrow a leaf from China and India, the two countries known to have highest population in the world that had birth control in place to reduce population growth whilst still battling with their respective economic growth through industrialisation. High population that is not matched with high rate of economic growth in
any country is bound to lower the living standard of the people in that country because of its attendant pressures on infrastructure, housing, education, employment, health care, transportation, etc. Nigeria high population provides the largest market in Africa but this is not to our advantage because we are a nation of importers, capital flights and mono economy, dependent on oil sector.. Moreover, our high population is
made up largely of poor citizens who are living on average income of N500 per day with a nuclear family of at least 3 children. Thus the low income of extremely poor without middle class is making our markets become a dumping ground for inferior and second hand goods. Birth and population control should be a national policy devoid of religion and emotional sentiments. It must be tackled pari passu with high infra-
structural development if Nigeria is to become industrial economy driven by real sector. This must be done by getting the accurate census figures, because of conflicting or estimated figures floating around. It is when these are done that the GDP would begin to have significance and reflect positively on our people. B.A. BAKARE Political & Economic analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org
Osun governorship election and campaign of calumny Dear Sir,
RINCE Bola Ajao and Iyiola Omisore are of course far apart in financial strength and popularity, but such cannot be said about their ages. It is highly absorbing that the man who is currently occupying the position of PDP publicity secretary in Osun is not realizing that his excessive commitment to Iyiola Omisore’s governorship ambition in the state, which has turned him to a vuvuzela, has eaten up his personal appeal. Bola Ajao’s recent assassination alarm in the state of Osun could be likened to a noise being made by a child before he pollutes the air in other that he may not be suspected after polluting it. It has become a well known story to every right thinking people that PDP is not good in opposition. They are known for campaigns of calumny and
name-calling against the persons they see as obstacles to their occupation. Without any iota of doubt, it is an axiomatic truth that such campaigns against a very formidable governor whose performance has been recorded to be legendary in the history of state governance in Nigeria cannot hold water in both court of law and court of public opinion. Nigeria would be a better place today if the bulk of those who call themselves leaders consider Aregbesola’s leadership style for answers to our challenges as a country. It will hurt some people to hear it but, this Son of a Kolanut Trader, Rauf Aregbesola, is arising just about every thinking person’s idea of a true leader. My candid advice to the PDP is that a housewife, who was divorced by her husband on the grounds of adultery and “moral bankruptcy”, cannot win a
war of character assassination against her successor. The history of PDP’s wasteful government in the State of Osun, nay Nigeria, will for decades remain green in the memories of the people of the state. That must have taught them some great lessons before they went back on the electoral field that produced Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola the governor of the state. It has been a long night in the State of Osun, but today, the dawn is here. Till August 2014 when we are going to witness a governorship poll, which is going to mark one of the rarest moments voters would demonstrate with an overwhelming action to cast their lots through their votes for one man in a governorship election in Nigeria, I say: Ogbeni, don’t stop flying above the stars. Don’t stop. *Rafiu Olayinka is a public analyst from Abuja.
PAGE 10 — SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014
“A very great part of the mischief that vexes this world arises from words.” Edmund Burke, 17291797, (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p281). NE American politician once said that every political party, sooner or later, develops its “luna-
tic fringe” – people who carry the advocacy for the political party to the most dangerous extremes. Nigeria has not reached there yet. But, we are getting too damn close for comfort. And two men, one belonging to the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, and the other a member of the All Progressive Congress, APC, are driving us “hell for leather ” to the brink of political madness. Surprisingly, they are both lawyers. Each is the spokesman for his own political party in the exalted position of National Publicity Secretary. I will soon return to those facts. They are both young enough to still learn; but old enough to have grown up kids –
who one hopes read the stuff they dish out virtually everyday to the entire world. Let me start with the world community which is at our doorstep; thanks to internet, iPads and other forms of ICT. Everything said by “exalted” officials of political parties or governments is now heard instantly around the world. It is not even safe to whisper on account of microphones built into some of these gadgets. But, our dangerous and dandy duo, don’t even whisper. They yell out the most explosive stuff at the top of their lungs – like people possessed. They actually and earnestly intend the entire world to hear those potentially destructive things they utter. Dear readers, forgive me for keeping you in suspense for so long before introducing M & M; Methuh and Mohammed – the National Publicity Secretaries of the PDP and APC, respectively. I have been listening to politicians and have read what they said since the middle 1950s. Never in the history of
coffer and are hell bent to incapacitate progress, stability and sanity. These greedy, shady dark lords peddle their brand of exploitation and extortion, even in face of hard evidence.
"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always." --- Mahatma Gandhi
HE outgoing gover nor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, we were informed had left a hefty 75 billion Naira in the state coffers. He made the grand announcement at the Women Development Centre in Awka. He was clinical when he announced that said money included N25 billion investments by the state. He went further to break down the state expenditure and savings. Well, I say this a turn up for the books. And this happened in Nigeria, it is most needed and how I wish there are many Obis in Nigeria. Let the truth be known, I cannot tell one state budget from the next especially, a Nigerian one! So I cannot vouch for the details but I am reliably told by those from the area that Obi did well and yes, he did spend a lot of money on the state and that it
shows. I know it is not his personal money, but we know that most of these dark lords can't tell the difference! I was so piqued that in Nigeria a public official can stand up and say, "I have left 75 billion Naira in the coffers". I had to find out about this man and although I am not savvy in the art of accounting, nevertheless, it is impressive and unheard of. Well, in Nigeria it is uncommon. It is a shame we are not in the habit of celebrating success or emulate good practice. On the contrary, we rather pour contempt and scorn on people who try to walk on the straight and narrow. It seems the dark lords are out to discredit the former governor's achievement that, the said money is actually not in the coffers. But then you would say that if you want to misappropriate the money, won't you? I mean, it happened after Obasanjo's administration and they are still looking for it! For those who are greedy and covetous this, I suppose is bad news. These shady characters are more concerned with pillaging the
These people have only one agenda: to come in like locusts; leave nothing in their wake; leave nothing where there was something. These politico-sociopaths do think it is their given right to come in to power and do whatever they jolly well please regardless, of what the people think. They reckoned that they have paid their dues. We do
There is only one Truth
them was there, it was most unlikely that he knew the bombers and was aware of their mission; not to talk of who was responsible. Grownups, under those circumstances, would wait for the security agents to wade in first and give the usual interim report. Matured people would wait even after that for more information before reacting. Not M & M. A blast went off in the FCT and two mouths were sending blasts of their own to disturb our peace further – as if the first
M&M: The two most dangerous men in Nigeria
the country have two spokesmen for two political parties thrown so much caution to the wind as to have both constituted themselves into such monumental public nuisances. A mudslide occurred in Washington State in the United States – killing nearly fifty people. Nobody was told if the state governor was a Republican or a Democrat. No Republican party member blamed Obama and the spokesman for the Democratic party, to which Obama belongs, did not, in any way, suggest that Obama’s political enemies triggered the mudslide in order to discredit the US President. Republicans and Democrats, in America, recognize a national disaster for what it is and nobody attempts to make political capital out of it. Everybody, especially the spokesmen, first of all engage their brains before putting their mouths into forward gear. Here in Nigeria, our two political parties are encouraging spokesmen to talk first and think later. Otherwise, how does one explain the exchange of heartless inanities which the two of them released immediately after the tragedy at Nyanya, Federal Capital Territory? To the best of my knowledge, neither Lai Mohammed nor Olisa Methuh, was there when the suicide bombers struck. Even if any of
Irrespective of political affiliation or personal ambition, we must recognize that Nigeria needs its armed forces – now more than ever
explosion was not enough. Until that incident, I was already getting fedup with these two fellows; who obviously don’t know the first thing about the duties of a Publicity Secretary. Without doubt, both of them have assumed that heaping abuses on the other political party and its leaders is their main function. Apparently, they have
come to UniJankara for a course titled HOW TO BE A PUBLICITY SECRETARY AND KEEP A CIVIL TONGUE IN YOUR MOUTH. We offer free tuition; even to billionaires… SUPPORT OUR ARMED FORCES FOR YOUR OWN SAKE – 1 “God bless the Army and the Navy,….[the Air Force, and the Security agencies].
The salient point here is: we should demand better from our elected officers and we should demand that, like Governor Obi or Arebgesola, that governors should put the interest of their people at the centre of their tenure. They should deliver quality services, raise the quality of life of their people and be transparent and accountable in their official dealings.
state. Emphasizing the achievements in the education sector, he said that the state witnessed about 60-65% success in the WAEC examination compared to where it was before. He disclosed that ever since the state has been created, it had never been among the best, but by virtue of his commitment which was not about having 100% but leading in the focus was turning the state into a demand driven economy and he delivered. This man did his homework and he definitely had very proficient people round him. He was gracious in applauding the people of his state for their support and helping him achieve the ground-breaking record.
But I digress, so Obi in his speech seized the opportunity to sprinkle the occasion with his administration's stellar performance. Like a real politician, who is better placed to present his report card than in full
It is a shame we are not in the habit of celebrating success or emulate good practice. On the contrary, we rather pour contempt and scorn on people who try to walk on the straight and narrow
have a warped, overblown sense of self. It is very uncomfortable that there have been talks bandied about of Muslim/Muslim or Christian/ Christian ticket or Christian/.Muslim ticket or North/South ticket combos. It seems that these avaricious sociopaths have lost the plot. They seem to take it for granted the people will shoe them in as they play on the sociopolitico, religious and tribal divide.
bosses who are just as ignorant of the functions of the person in charge of publicity. They all need dictionaries. What M & M are doing, at the moment, amounts to undertaking a task meant for hecklers and touts. The first task of a knowledgeable Publicity Secretary is to “sell” the party to the public by highlighting REAL achievements and future plans which will be beneficial to Nigerians. I know they don’t teach that in the Nigerian Law School. So maybe the two should
view of who is who in Nigerian industries? What a masterstroke to the chagrin of his oppositions. He surgically broke down the savings and he predicted that by March of 2014, he estimated that the state's expected balance would be N11.5 investment of (US$155m) N26 billion. Obi has stated that one of his greatest achievements as a governor of the state was bringing sanity to the
In terms of infrastructure, Mr Obi said that his state was the first to do poverty mapping and pay good attention to access roads. Very impressive that a road that used to take about four hours now takes 15 minutes in Anambra State, noting that his state had done over 800km of roads! Obi has stated that one of his greatest achievements as a governor of the state was "bringing sanity to the state". That is an understatement. On education, there have been an increased by 6065% success rate in WAEC examination, 22,000 laptops for schools in Anambra State. The state under his administration has over 700 school buses, over 500 patrol vehicles for security agencies in the State;
James and Horace Smith, 1775-1839 and 1779-1845. James and Horace, one of the four sets of siblings to jointly author books, songs and poems, lived in an age when there was no air force. And those charged with intelligence work were called “spies” – a pejorative term which denied them recognition for the patriotic and dangerous work they were doing for their country. Today, no country, with the exception of small nation-islands, operates without an Air Force; and even they operate with security staff. Nigeria is no exception. Irrespective of political affiliation or personal ambition, we must recognize that Nigeria needs its armed forces – now more than ever. That also means that despite the difficulties we are collectively experiencing, and
the setbacks we have suffered in the war against Boko Haram, our best option is still to support our men and women at the front and the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces. We may not vote for Jonathan in 2015. But we must pray that they defeat Boko Haram. The only other option is catastrophe…. V i s i t : www.delesobowale.com or Visit: www.facebook.com/biolasobowale
the over 250 patrol vehicles for community security; his administration handed back missionary schools with N6 Billion for refurbishment , built the first Teaching Hospital in the State; refurbished missionary hospitals in the State; the provision of laboratories, sick bays, libraries, generators and sporting equipment. Peter Obi gave N27, 000,000,000.00 (Twenty-Seven billion Naira) as the worth of local investment of Anambra State under him and this is verifiable. This is also not surprising, since he signed a law that made monthly saving mandatory in Anambra State. I mean this man is so good he left no liabilities in contracts as he had paid all contractors for certificates generated at the time he left office. He disclosed that ever since the state has been created, it had never been among the best, but by virtue of his commitment which was not about having 100% but leading in the right direction his state emerged as the best. I do not doubt the conviction of the man and he definitely put the money where his mouth is. His successor, Willie Maduabuchi Obiano is up to the task after all. He holds a B.Sc. in Accounting and an MBA in Marketing. He cannot let his state down and of himself down. Obi has left a legacy that many will talk about for many years to come . Will his successor follow suit? That is, left to be seen.
SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014 — PAGE 11
difficult to define is to be followed, Nigeria may haveto craft its own definition of news because all over the world, Journalists find news as they break but in Nigeria they predict news. For example, following the recent Nyanya
bomb blast, we all knew that there would be traffic gridlock on that road several days after. Avoidable news galore-long queues of vehicles waiting for manual checking and several commuters trekking to work would be the news but it would not be new. It has happened before, it is happening now and except God touches the hearts of the bombers, the same reaction would happen again The situation is similarly true of other spheres of life. When President Goodluck Jonathan convened the newest version of our national dialogue schemes, we knew that delegates would be brought to Abuja to earn (sorry, receive) salaries and allowances that have no bearing with public service salary scales. Are the delegates not public workers? Of course what would be the news during the period would concern delegates fighting over the composition of committees. That the delegates would also ask for extension of time would be news. The news of the period wouldalso include summons rather than invitation to finance officials like Minister Okonjo Iweala the same way our legislators operate. In earnest, Northern and Southern delegates would, like their ancestors, bicker over revenue allocation and religion. At the end of the dialogue, the news would shift to those who could not get into the current conference with ample
publicity on the need for another one because it is better to talk than to war Last week, some sections of the media publicised the news that Governor Babangida Aliyu was heading for the Senate at the end of his tenure as Governor of Niger State. Is that new? Ideally, news hunters ought to be more interested in any second term governor who is not so disposed. If they find one, it would be the mother of all news. To report that certain people were putting pressure on a politician to contest election to an office is a news item that is obviously not new in Nigeria. It would certainly be news if Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, the current spokesman of the Senate returns to the legislature in 2015. It is not likely because some traditional authorities in Abia South Senatorial District have endorsed him for the position of governor of his state in next year’s election. The real news in the story is that after endorsing him, they then asked him to declare his ambition without further delay. Former Kano State Governor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau was the other week formally received into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by President Jonathan himself. What is that erstwhile liberal progressive doing in the PDP? A colleague answered with many questions such as: Are you sure? Do you think he will be there for long?
Perhaps he is already on his way back, I replied. After all, if all the PDP Governors who defected to the All Peoples Congress (APC) not long ago are going back it will neither be new nor news. In Journalism, facts are sacred. Thus it is important to be sure of the facts of a story before reporting it. There is doubt however if this is true of Nigeria. For long I used to wonder how one of my former colleagues always knew the proceedings of a press conference at which he was not present. I have since found that he designed a template for Nigerian news. Ask him for instance to cover an event to be addressed by our Agriculture Minister, he would produce a report in which Dr Akinwumi Adesina would confidently tell the nation about some innovations that would employ millions of youths. His report can hardly be faulted as our Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development talks all the time about millions.Indeed, it has just announced that it registered 2.5 million farmers in North-East zone as part of measures to leverage the nation’s Agricultural transformation agenda. The fund for all of this will be captured in the budget. So, where is the budget now? It is as usual not ready four months into the same year it covers. That also is not news because it happens every year. What then is news?
have ruled the country especially since the civil war ended forty-four years ago. The reason is that, despite incredible human and natural resources in Nigeria, especially the hundreds of billions of dollars earned from the sale of crude oil and its derivatives, Nigerians are still among the poorest people in the world, with the lowest per capita income for members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Again, there has always been a surfeit of servile flatterers and court jesters in all the administrations since 1970 to justify criticism as a desirable counterweight to sycophantic officialdom. As a philosopher, I see myself primarily as an intellec-
ing and relevant and correct information if it is to be taken seriously; the question whether it is supplemented with ideas about how to solve problems is secondary and subsidiary to the issue of logic and facts. People like Dr. Nelson lack deep understanding and appreciation of the role of criticism in human affairs. Consistent well-informed criticism of a decadent society oftentimes provides the necessary intellectual and psychological stimulus for visionary men and women to engage in activities aimed at radical social transformation. To take a well-known example, relentless incisive criticism of capitalism by Karl Marx and his disciples prepared
trating that one's modest effort in helping to correct the anomalies in our society has not yielded positive result yet. Still, I am optimistic that one day, things will change in ways no one can fathom now. More than two thousand years ago, Heraclitus of Ephesus declared that change is the very essence of the universe, an assertion consonant with the Igbo saying that "onwegi onye ma echi" (no one knows tomorrow). Some readers who react to opinion articles in newspapers and magazines manifest an irritating bloated sense of self-importance, as if columnists must write according to their own preconceived ideas. If the so-called Dr. Nelson is tired of reading "castigations and criticisms of government" as he claims, he should stop reading my column because nothing can prevent me from responding critically to corruption, ineptitude, indiscipline, avarice, visionlessness and lack of patriotism in government. Moreover, as I argued a moment ago, I am not under obligation to suggest ways of solving the hydra-headed problems created by littlie-minded public officials. If Mr. President or governor regularly ignores the voice of reason and, instead, prefers to fill his mind with the sugary banalities of sycophants, he has himself to blame if the harsh light of criticism is directed at him. Wise and effective political leaders appreciate those that tell them the truth, even if it is inconvenient or unpalatable, since they know that all human beings are imperfect and fallible. It is far better to rule based on truth than to depend on the temporary expediency of falsehood just because it is emotionally satisfying and convenient.
Dr. Nelson was wrong to insinuate that I merely criticised government without suggesting how to deal with the issues I raised. In the very essay he reacted to, for example, I recommended, inter alia, that the curricula in our primary and secondary schools should be redesigned to include courses in critical thinking and philosophy so that children can learn intellectual skills that promote healthy scepticism and the scientific attitude. I also highlighted the need to expose the dangers of uncritical acceptance of religious dogmas as a way of reducing the anti-intellectual character of Nigerians. Hence, there is no justification in Dr. Nelson's insinuation that the articles in question merely castigated government without proffering solution regarding how the expanding monster of overarching anti-intellectualism can be eliminated or reduced to the barest minimum at least. Most times, it is futile to advise government on what to do. From experience, Nigerian leaders are pachydermatous to honest advice, too preoccupied with the quest for power and wealth to read and digest well-informed criticism. Our top public officers rely too much on praise-singers who tell them what they want to hear, not what is truthful no matter how disquieting. Indeed, our leaders seem to depend on sycophants the way fish depends on water for survival, which means that they are alienated from the truth, from the suffering masses. And even on the rare occasion when some of them peruse critical articles, they ignore recommendations contained therein, especially if the measures suggested conflict with their selfish interests. TO BE CONTINUED.
In Nigeria, what is news? ference is in style and intensity. The frequency is now being used by some‘citizen journalists’ to raise alarms that keep people panicking. Only 4 days ago, there was panic in some parts of Ogun and Lagos states, over reports that 18 suspected Boko Haram members had invaded the Lagos-Ibadan
What would be the news during the period would concern delegates fighting over the composition of committees. That the delegates would also ask for extension of time would be news
Expressway, killing 11 civilians and nine police officers. Consequently, law enforcement agencies now have additional burden of debunking alarms. In Yenagoa, residents of Yenizue-Gene area who thought they saw a bomber the oth-
PhD, Department of Philosophy,
Criticism and the unmistakable signs of a society in decline (1)
AST week, I received an arrogant SMS message from a certain Dr. Nelson in response to my essay entitled "The anti-intellectual character of Nigerians," in which I lamented the overbearing anti-intellectualistic influence of religion in the consciousness of Nigerians. In the text, Dr. Nelson claimed that "Nigeria is in need of people who can give advice and solutions to its many problems.I am tired of reading castigation and criticisms against the government." After reading the text, I remembered the usual insincere and cynical demand by government spokespersons that Nigerians should provide constructive criticisms and desist from criticising government all the time. On several occasions, for instance, Drs. Reuben Abati and Doyin Okukpe, image-makers of President Goodluck Jonathan, excoriated his critics for engaging in "destructive" criticism devoid of constructive content. In other words, they expect critics to point out the failures of Mr. President in tackling national problems, and then go the extra mile of suggesting measures for resolving them. The foregoing provides a convenient background for interrogating the popular but logically unsound demand or expectation that a critic must be "constructive," in the sense of recommending better ways of dealing with whatever problem that generated the criticism in the
er day were shocked but relieved when anti-bomb squad investigators found that the bag the man was carrying contained only electric wire! If rumour is not news, then items that can make news in our clime will be quite little. Again, if the argument of media scholars that news is
first instance. Now, logically speaking, criticism is always evaluative and destructive, because it involves finding fault with an existing situation, conduct, attitude, or, more importantly, with the performance of those in positions of power and authority. Hence, the most reasonable response to well-founded criticism, particularly if the person criticised wants to turn a new leaf or improve, is to change the conduct or attitude adjudged wrong, inappropriate or unsatisfactory. Those who demand that critics of top government officials should criticise "constructively" or provide solutions to problems fail to recognise that a critic is not obliged to suggest solutions to whatever problems he or she has highlighted. In other words, it is not compulsory that one should tell Mr. President, governor, minister, and so on how to resolve issues that generated criticism in the first place, especially those manmade ones caused by incompetence, greed, indiscipline and lack of patriotism. It is at the discretion of critics to offer suggestions and recommendations in that regard; but from the logical perspective, criticism can stand on its own without the addenda of recommended solutions. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong in being consistently critical of mediocre governments that
O constantly follow events in the media should ordinarily place a person in a position to promptly appreciate new events and happenings around him and elsewhere. In Nigeria however, an ardent newspaper reader or radio listener or television viewer cannot be too sure to read, hear or see new events. It is not that media practitioners in Nigeria are not proactive enough to meet their mandate of public enlightenment. The problem has to do with the way things happen in circles in the country. Past events recur as if they are happening for the first time making it appear that Nigerians learn very little from history. For instance, the latest story in town which is about bomb blasts is not new. We have had many in the last four years. Before them, we had armed robbery followed by kidnapping. They are allvariants of insecurity which daily threaten the life of the average citizen. The only dif-
If Mr. President or governor regularly ignores the voice of reason and, instead, prefers to fill his mind with the sugary banalities of sycophants, he has himself to blame if the harsh light of criticism is directed at him
tual mirror that reflects the good and the bad in my lifeworld. That is in keeping with the traditional role of philosophers as intellectual gadflies to people in power primarily concerned with identification and analysis of misgovernance in all its ramifications. Of course, the philosopher, as a member of the society, can suggest ways of addressing societal problems satisfactorily, but is not mandatory that he or she must do so. In my opinion, it is legitimate and proper to expect or demand that criticism should be based on sound reason-
the ground for the revolutions that occurred in Europe and Russia between 1848 and 1917. Therefore, constant criticism of mediocre performance by government can motivate a group of creative and energetic young Nigerians to embark on programmes capable of replacing the old skewed order with a new and better one. Sometimes people wonder why I keep complaining about misgovernance when it is obvious that the ruling cabal is not interested in meaningful change. I must admit that it is frus-
PAGE 12 — SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014
BOB MIGA (1949-2014) V
ALENTINE Soroibe Agim was mostly known as Bob Miga. For those like me who grew up in Nigeria in the 1970s and early ‘80s, Bob Miga was a classic act; a superstar, and one among a wave of music celebrities whose sounds touched a core in our lives in a powerful and memorable way. It was particularly so for those in the East of Nigeria who came out of the civil war utterly devastated by war. Music saved our lives. It was young men – many just barely out of high school – who consoled us with the pulse of the most invigorating sounds ever created in the continent of Africa – with their unique, modern Afro-rock idioms. These young men took Nigeria by storm. They played music to fob-off anger and despondence. They played music to live. It was easy, at the end of the war, for the general population to slide into the miasma of despondence, bitterness, and collective depression. But in 1970, rather than wallow in selfpity and loss, Eastern Nigeria erupted in the most scintillating sounds of music – joyous and pulsating music that celebrated life and love; that roused the youth into the dance halls in cities and counties to
Calabar, Enugu, and Onitsha had resident bands that toured the East and the rest of Nigeria, shaping the performance culture of that era of great hope and possibility.
hey were brought to our living rooms and our consciousness by the great radio jockeys of those VALENTINE Soroibe Agim years – the great dance, make music, make Alan B Onyemaechi and the powerful love; speak in the now late Teddy Oscar Uju idiom of life rather than of at the Imo Broadcasting Service (IBS), Owerri, and death and self-pity. on Pal Akalonu’s “Now he music that explod Sound” on the NTA Chaned from Eastern Ni- nel 6 Aba – a great station geria was healing; it did in those days, which also not simply speak of surviv- had Osochi Egbuna’s proal but of the triumph of the gram “On the Wings of human spirit. It was music Music” and the greatest vamade by the youth of that riety show of the 1970s on era – some of them had Nigerian TV, Mazi Ukonu’s been recruited in the war to “Ukonu’s Club” every Satplay music to the soldiers urday on Channel 6, Aba fighting in war. Many came that featured these great out of the war with the musicians. Such places as sounds still in their souls. It the Hotel Unicoco in Aba was the ironic effect of that and the Orupolo night club war that the East of Niger- with its sea-front location ia witnessed the most pow- in Port-Harcourt were the erful musical renaissance equivalents of the Apollo in the continent in the Theatres and the Carnegie 1970s. Eastern Nigerian Halls of New York in the cities in Aba, Umuahia, East of the ‘70s. These Owerri, Port-Harcourt, groups rocked in these
clubs. I was quite young but I remember the college students association of my local town organizing, raising the funds and inviting these groups to play during the Christmas holidays of ’76, ’77, ’78 and ’79 in the local Community School Hall in my village. The last of these events that I remember was the performance by Joel “Wahehe” Njoku and his Rock of Ages band. Many of us kids would take impudent peeks through the cracks in the windows, darkened even further with palmfronds to hear the music, see the bands, and the dancers in their platform shoes and “bongo” trousers. The intrigue was powerful, so also the lure to be part of the great collective dance of the spirit and the bon joie of those times. I think it ought today be a clear example to anybody who wishes to retool Nigeria that an important means towards social recuperation is to invest in community entertainments that would rouse joyous rather than melancholic instincts among especially the young.
usic was the lifewire of modern Nigerian culture in the 1970s and 1980s. Contemporary Nigerian music performers owe much of their better situations today to the pioneering work and stardom of the group of musicians that held Nigeria spellbound between 1970 and 1980. The Hykers of Owerri, the Funkees with Jake Solo, Harry Mosco Agada, Sonny Akpan, and the lead guitarist Fela Dey, Founders15 with their massive hit single, “Be My Own,” the Apostles of Aba, featuring Walton
The simple life
IFE is big, it's not made up of one person; it's a complex network of many persons, many locations, many beliefs and many values. Navigating life in full control is virtually impossible as the forces that hold the power are not vested in any one person or even groups of persons. Life as we know it is a consequence of decisions and life styles lived over eons; we just add a few touches to what is already in existence. I look at my life and I am not stupid enough to take credit for its highs and lows; I am of course extremely grateful to God for the abundant grace that has brought me thus far. I have concluded that life is like an intricate game of chess and I am just a pawn who can be moved around with different results. The person I am now would be completely different if I was born in war torn So-
malia for instance; I would have made hard choices to survive and if I was successful I would not have the same worldview, belief system and even life expectancy. The life we have is what has been pre programmed and lately I have started to admire those who break with the programme and start to wrest the power back in a direction of choice.
he lure of the greener pasture is the motivating factor for life changing decisions and at some point in time we all reach a state of discontent with where and who we are. Those in the country/villages move to the cities to get a better life and those in the city want to move to the country to enjoy a simpler life. I have only ever lived in the city but I have holidayed in a few country sides that make me love the slower and simpler
pace of life. City life in my humble opinion is highly overrated and many middle aged people who have lived in the city for most of their lives begin to feel the same. A couple of years ago a member of my family was posted to serve his compulsory youth service scheme in Ibadan and we had all been disappointed as it seemed a very dire fate for many reasons. The first was that he would be parted from his childhood sweetheart, the second was that in anticipation of a Lagos posting, he had procured a flat to start adulthood in style, the third and last reason was that while Ibadan was a city of sort, it could not be compared to the ever busy, ever frantic Lagos; it was an unknown quantity. It was a miserable few weeks to begin with till the country bug struck out of the blue.
ast track to just this Friday and I am on the phone with another member of my family, young and
The lure of the greener pasture is the motivating factor for life changing decisions and at some point in time we all reach a state of discontent with where and who we are
Arungwa and Chyke Fusion, whose song, “Drop out” and “Enyim” – a dirge on the Aba Market disaster of 1977 was a dance hall favorite of those years; the Aktion Band that found its paces in Warri, Lasbry Ojukwu’s Semi-Colon band in Umuahia with the immemorial single, “Slim Fit Maggie,” the likes of Dan Ian with monster hits like “Money to Burn” and “Fuel for Love,” Sonny Okosun, who had lived in Enugu before his transition to Lagos with the powerful song, “Help” or
he Wings ( Ari Okpa la, Spud Nathan Udensi, Charlie Duke, Manford Best, Emma Chinaka, Jerry Demua) whose “Tribute to Spud Nathan” was for many years a schoolboy anthem for my generation; The Black Children with “Love is Fair,” and “Satisfaction,” Wahehe Njoku and his Rock of Ages band, One World whose song “Victory,” remains one of the finest songs ever played by a Nigerian group; and then the scintillating Sweet Breeze (Nestor Philips, Bazy Cole Akalonu, Vin Ikeotuonye, Jackie Moore Anyaora, and Danny Anyanwu) – those IMT Enugu grads who took the music world by storm with the album that had “Mr & Mrs Fool,” “Palmwine Tapper, “Igbara Aka Bia Ilum,” etc. At the Lagos end were such superlative acts like the BLO trio of Berkeley Ike Jones, Laolu Akins, and Mike Odumosu, and the Schoolboy band, Ofege, with unforgettable Melvin Ukachi on the vocals. This was of course a prelude to the 1980 eruption of Chris Okotie (“I
"The cock crow at dawn" and it centred around a young family who moved from the city to the village. The move if I remember correctly was a dream of the father, his wife supported him but his children hated it and fought against it. Life wasn't always as idyllic as he expected in the village, he had to fight for his share of the family land; he didn't expect the hatred and resentment of his uncle who didn't fancy returning his inheritance but the family eventually settled into village life; the country bug got them all.
dynamic, who had grudgingly left Lagos to go work on a 3 month contract in Ibadan and the country bug had struck once again. Instead of packing up after his contract, he is in fact looking for a flat and trying to relocate to where he calls saner pastures. I couldn't exactly act surprised as my husband had predicted it. We dubbed it "The cock crow at dawn" phenomenon and truth be told we didn't mind the move ourselves at some point after retirement. In the 80's there used to be a television series called
don't have any rea son to relocate to Ibadan or any other place in the country yet but I am getting infected by the bug of village life. It's the fantasy of fresh food, fresh air, slow and easy pace of life, no traffic, that is intoxicating and it is amazing that my fantasy of a simple life is encapsulated in the sound track of that 80s television series. It was written and performed by my favourite Nigerian singer and in my own view, a true legend, Bongos Ikwue and I went digging it up. Turns out, I wasn't the only one in love with the song as some smart person has reworked it and again used it as a beautiful
Need Some”) and Jide Obi (“Front Page News”) straight out of the University of Nigeria, Enugu campus Law School, Dizzy K Falola, Onyeka Onwenu and Oby Onyioha – who took the scene by the storm and changed the direction of Nigerian music in 1980.
ll these, is a fore ground in celebration of one the greatest of that era of music – Valentine Soroibe Agim – Bob Miga. He was the rousing spirit behind “The Strangers” band based in Owerri which became one of the most famous bands out the East in the 1970s. Its hit single, “Love Rock” – with the lyrics, “some talk about love/ some live it…” is unquestionably one of the greatest rock songs written anywhere in the world. Bob Miga was also perhaps the finest organist in Nigeria before he quit the stage. Three weeks ago, Bob Miga died in London where he’s been living since the late 1970s. It is true that a younger generation of Nigerians may not know the joy he and his generation of musicians brought into our lives, but there is no doubt that the annals of Nigeria cultural history will record in his name a fine musician – a fantastic band leader – and a great musical genius. That is why some of the greats I’ve named – his musical peers - are preparing to give him a rousing farewell concert in Owerri in May, under the aegis of his friend Alan B Onyemachi – himself famous broadcaster and Radio jockey. Bob Miga lies today with the immortals. No question about it.
soundtrack for a Nollywood movie. I don't know whether I'll ever succumb to the lure of the simple life but if I do it will be to fulfil the promise fantasies of that 1st verse in the song.
Cock crow at dawn(Bongos Ikwue). You can hear the bird sing in the morning, You can hear the water splashing down the hill Kind of roaring.. You can see the sun going down And the people as they go by Without a frown Bridge: Here the traffic never jams Don’t cost much to buy some yams And the neighbours say hello And will even strive to pull you up from down below You can even hear the sound of the cock crow at dawn. Refrain: Will he ever get there? Will he ever make it? Will he ever hear the sound of the cock crow at dawn?
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HE 11th edition of Anioma Cultural Festival ended in grand style in Asaba on Easter Monday thrilling guests and tourists with the diverse cultures the yearly festival of unity of Anioma people displayed. An unprecedented turnout of more than 6,000 participants, visitors and culture enthusiasts enjoyed the live cultural music, drama, dancing, traditional wrestling and recitations that were part of the event. Exceptional performances were rewarded. The festival commenced with prayers, thereafter the dance troupes appeared in carnival like manner, accompanied by performances from primary and secondary schools, whose participation in the festival has deepened the youth’s involvement in their culture. In its eleventh year, the Organisation For the Advancement of Anioma Culture, OFAAC, the culture umbrella body of Anioma people uses the festival to highlight the rich culture of Anioma people and Delta State in general. Over the years, the festival has continued to serve as a rallying point for cultural renaissance and the unification of Delta’s diverse population. “The Values That Unite Us” was the theme of this year ’s event. According to OFAAC President Arc. Kester Ifeadi, “Anioma is noted for its peaceful disposition with good value systems and as such people need to co-exist in love for the common good of all. Just as in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “a nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people”. Over 174 cultural troupes along with other performing arts and exhibitors from various communities in and outside Anioma displayed the best of the best of Anioma and Nigeria’s cultural heritage. Chief Festus Okubor, Chief of Staff to the Governor of Delta State, represented the governor who commended OFAAC for promoting of the cultural heritage of Anioma and Delta State. Senator Ifeanyi Okowa commended OFAAC for bringing the people together in past eleven years for the appreciation of Anioma cultural values. He said the festival has helped to rekindle interest in traditional wrestling and arts and crafts among the people. Chief Benjamin Elue, former Deputy Governor of Delta State, said that OFAAC’s commitment to preserving and promoting Anioma culture had sustained the event. President-General of Izu Anioma Brig.-Gen. Godwin Alabi-Isama (rtd) said, “What I saw here today surprised me. I am more fulfilled as I thoroughly enjoyed the festival”. The excitement peaked when the wrestlers took the centre stage. Flutists added more vibe to the occasion as they competed against each other with different tunes. Otu
Culture, Unity @ Anioma 2014 Onu Anioma of Owa Alero, won the award for the overall best performance, followed by Delta State Polytechnic Ogwashi-Uku and Otu Chukwuanyi Rinma of Agbor-Obi. Other winners were African Voice from Kwale in Contemporary Dance, Asala Amaka from Agbor in the Royal Dance, Ndidikanma from Isheagu in the Occupational Dance, Ukele Dancers in the Warriors Dance and Otu Osodi from Ubulu-ubu in Egwu Oshush. Odili Primary School, Agbor came first in their category, followed by Seat of Wisdom Kwale and Ute Primary School, Ubulu-Otiti. Climax Secondary School, Ogwashi-Uku emerged first in its group, leading St. Peter’s Anglican Secondary School, Asaba and West End Secondary School, Asaba. His Royal Majesty Obi (Prof.) Chike Edozien the Asagba of Asaba, was among more than 140 royal fathers and other dignitaries who graced the occasion.
*Asala Amaka Dancers from Agbor, winners in the Royal Dance category
*Agwuba Royal Dancers
*Heavenly Steppers from Kwale *Dr. Paul Warri, President Ijaw Cultural Union, Delta Chapter making a presentation
*Chief Festus Okubor, Chief of Staff to the governor Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, member representing Delta North at the National Assembly, Hon. Victor Nwokolo, Rep. Ika Constituency and Arc. Kester Ifeadi, President OFAAC
*HRM Obi (Prof.) Chike Edozien the Asagba of Asaba, Gen. Godwin Alabi-Isama, (rtd) President, Izu Anioma , HRH, (Dr.) Martha Dunkwu the Omu of Anioma
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I have never hobnobbed with any government — Omotola N
OLLYWOOD’s lead ing lady and mother of four, Omotola JaladeEkeinde, is not known as a woman who takes things with a pinch of salt. She has a reputation of hitting back fast and hard whenever she is hit. At the Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NEC), which held last week, Omotola told the audience
that people should count her out of those who hobnobbed with government either for businesses or pleasure. “Somebody on a blog a few days ago wrote that there are Nollywood personalities who are friends with politicians, sharing the national cake together. I, Omotola, have never campaigned or partied with any
My boobs have caused me more joy than pain — Cossy N
OBODY has been able to figure out Cossy, at least, not completely. She is a lady we have known for too long and too well. She started out as a video model, then walked the ropes in Nollywood and now seems to be doing more of music, which seems to suit her just fine. Cossy has said music is actually her first love and the release of her first album ‘Nutty Queen’ was a good way to prove it. Seeing the video, of course, would get you saying “It’s Cossy alright”, there is so much of the bulbous boobs doing their thing as usual, not to talk of the strip tease, that came with so much flashing of laps, and with what appeared to be a trick with the gluteus maximus area, gaping out of their confines, but all scored a point- erotica. It doesn’t look like Cossy is going to spare us of those daring mammary, not for a long while. She told Sunday Vanguard that much in an interview that she would never cover them until she is old. And only a couple of days ago she told me all memories she has had of her boobs have been pleasurable even though she conceded not everyone takes kindly to them. “My boobs have never caused me any embarrassment, rather only good things. Though you can never be loved by all. Some love you and some hate you. But my boobs have caused me more joy than pain”, she said. C •Cossy M Y K
government, so don’t mention my name among those who do that. I have suffered enough for refusing to party with them and take ‘Ghana Must Go’ back home, so don’t let me suffer more,” she stated. “If, as an entertainer, you want to be friends with politicians, do so without aligning your brand with whatever the politicians stand for”.
U RVAC E O U S Nollywood actress, Halima Abubakar, has got what it takes to make many men get out of turn and get funny. But as they say, looks can be deceptive, and, instead of getting a load of welcoming smiles, you might just end up with either goose pimples or even a red eye because this sexy beau is all everything but vulnerable. But even the stern Halima would agree that as much as those ‘stop’ signs seem to be oozing out of her eyes, some die-hard randy men still try their luck to see if they could get on easy street with her. “Won’t I be lying if I say nobody has harassed me? I’m a lady. It’s totally untrue when people say they’ve never been harassed”, she said
I can embarrass you if you get randy with me
– Halima Abubakar “It might come in the form of ‘toasting’. I wasn’t ‘blocked’ now. While some will just tell you to your face. As a woman you have to respect yourself and set boundaries regardless of what people think. Some people think that sleeping with someone will give them what they ’re looking for, but it doesn’t. That’s the way I see life. You are not supposed to do anything (sleep with someone). So what I do is, I look at the person’s face and
tell him this is wrong, because I’m sure that aside from me, he will harass another person. The only easy way is to disgrace the person so that he will be shy to do that to the next person. “My dear, I’m not here to joke, neither am I here to be rude to anybody. But you know, you meet some very rude people that don’t know how to talk. So when you meet such people, you just give it back to them. You raise your voice and embarrass them, they won’t try it again. I can embarrass you very well when you get randy with me and try to harass me”.
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FTER a long week of uncertainty, anxiety and outright fear, the ‘storm is truly over’ for the twins of PSquare who have held the entertainment world in enthralling suspense over their break-up brouhaha. But the world woke up on Friday to the news that the brothers have made up following their twitter messages. First to make his feeling known was Peter Okoye, who has been widely reported as the main warring partner who wanted nothing to do with his brothers any more. Peter posted: “P-Square Forever’ clearly meaning, the brand ‘P-Square’ which many feared was going into extinction has found a new lease of life. Then, the next person to follow, within the same hour, was Paul Okoye who earlier gave a hint there was serious consultation and settlement going on, in his tweet. “After the storm comes calm. Hoping for better days ahead as family, God’s Intervention” “P-Square! Stronger than ever”, he tweeted. Almost immediately, their brother and manager, Jude, who had been implicated as one of the biggest factors in the feud followed: “Family is indeed everything. Long live Psquare” Even their wives, Lola and Anita, who have been variously reported as top players in the imbroglio, could not hide their joy. Anita was the first to tweet “ Those who put
The Psquare family
The role the wives played their trust in the Lord, will never be put to shame. All Glory to God. God is Alive. Prayer is the key.” Lola expressed her own joy thus, “Finally, God’s will is done. Psquare forever!” Since the announcement, fans and colleagues have been expressing their joy to see the brothers back together. They commended their strong will and true love
and also their wives for their role in the reconciliation. Role the wives played Since the stand-off began, people have been blaming the wives for being the cause. Particularly under fire is Lola Omotayo, who the twins’ fans attacked. But a source said the wives had nothing to do with the fight among the brothers. The
I love a man that respects a woman — Colette Orji
OLETTE Orji has fast become one of the hottest names in Nollywood and that has not come by chance or luck. The sexy light-skinned actress has talent going for her as well as the right passion to succeed. Since her first major role in a movie in 2004, Colette has not looked back and she has since moved up to the top of the reef as a sought after name in the industry. Underneath her delicate beauty and subtle vulnerability lies a strong personage who has seen it all and not afraid to share it with people. Telling me about what would attract her to a man, Colette sounded like any other woman looking for love and respect “I love a man that respects a woman. When I say a man that respects a woman, I mean a man who isn’t too proud and too big to say simple things like ‘sorry’, ‘thank you’ and ‘please’. It doesn’t really matter if he’s old, young, black or white, Igbo or Yoruba. It’s like respect for women is gone these days, so if I can get •Colette a man that respect a woman, that’s okay for Orji C M Y K
me”, she said. Colette recounted her romance experience with a movie director, who could not stay focused on her because of too many other girls trying to catch his attention. She said the competition was so intense that she had to walk out of the relationship. “At a time I thought I couldn’t stand the competition any more. Everybody wanted him for different reasons. Sometimes we would be together and his phone would beep and it was an alert that so and so have paid money into his account for a role in his upcoming movie. The girls were really doing everything to get his attention. If he said he needed a Blackberry, phone like five would just appear in no time, she said. It was too much for me. He would bring someone into a film we were about to shot and I knew for a fact that person paid him. It was too much and these people knew you knew and they would be fighting and attacking you at every chance they got. I had to let him go because everybody wanted him and they were ready to do anything to get him.”
source maintained that the brothers have always fought each other and had always disagreed to agree. “They are always fighting each other. I hope this is a fight they will fight to fight no more. I believe their wives will not allow this to go on as their names cannot be
washed off the mess”. The source revealed to that it was the effort of the wives that saw to the brothers coming back together. “You can see the women have done their job. They have worked and prayed so hard to reconcile the twins and their brother. While many gave up, including Jude, Anita and Lola never did”, he added.
It’s no o marr nott normal tto marryy a ffello ello w ent er tainer ellow enter ertainer — Chelsea Eze C
HELSEA Eze, a linguistics graduate of University of Maiduguri, has long gone from being a rookie to a force to reckon with in Nollywood since her exploits in her debut movie ‘Silent Scandal’ in 2009. Her recent efforts in blockbusters like ‘Hoodrush’, ‘Two Brides and a Baby’ confirmed her arrival on the scene If you ask her to describe herself, Chelsea would tell you she is a simple girl who loves simple things of life. Unlike most upcoming actors, Chelsea isn’t a desperate type, this much, she revealed to Potpourri in a recent interview. “I am not desperate but hungry. I have that hunger in my spirit which is equal to passion and drive. I feel desperation is negative, if you’re desperate, it’s negative. I will not do anything out of desperation, I will not put myself in a negative light or in a crazy situation just because I want to get something. I’ve always believed that if it’s yours, it will come to you” she revealed. A couple of days back, I got in a chat with her again and I was able to extract the reason why she would never consider marrying somebody from the entertainment world. Not that Chelsea is searching even if she’s available. “ Well, I wouldn’t want to marry a fellow entertainer for many reasons. One, there will be conflict of interests. If I am going to settle down with someone, one of us should be able to have a normal routine. Because as entertainers, both of you can never have normal routines. It isn’t just a wise thing to do. There must be a balance in the home for couples to live a normal life. Enter•Chelsea Eze tainers schedules aren’t just normal” she said.
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Kcee lands Benz jeep as birthday gift L
IFE, definitely, isn’t a dull prospect for the Limpopo crooner who seems to be having all the good things of life thrown at him. The guy celebrated his birthday last week and what did he get? A beautiful maroon colour Mercedes Benz Jeep thrown at him by one of his promoters, E-Money, President of Five Star. Kcee, who has been busy cramming the whole Instagram with faces of beautiful girls in his purport searh for his Miss Fine Face, with a five thousand dollars prize money, was so appreciative and gleeful that he posted the SUV online.
Ini Edo celebrates bir thday with Bikini pictures
Waje yearns for W
Delectable Nollywood actress, Ini Edo, added another year last Wednesday and it was a jamborree of sort as the social media were awash with pictures of the actress, both from her fans and colleagues. But one thing still reverberating about the birthday is how Ini rubbed her sexuality on our faces. Ini posted a picture of herself in a bikini in some beach and was she looking just as hot? Soon enough most of her colleagues caught on and started posting the picture to wish her ‘happy birthday’. Most notable were Fred Amata and Omoni Oboli.
HILE her teeming fans are anxiously awaiting her debut album, which is to feature MI, Tiwa Savage, Sarkodie, Burna Boy, J. Martins, Eva, and Phyno, hiphop singer, Waje, dreams and longs for a concert to showcase more of her God-given gifts. “You guys know what music does to me. I think I’m long overdue for a concert, welcoming you lovers of music to my world, fusing sounds,surprising you with the crazy things I’m capable of, that you haven’t seen yet” she crowed recently in one of her numerous tweets.
Dencia hawks vibrating vagina cleanser •Dencia
INGER, Dencia, doesn’t look like one who will ever get out of the muddy waters of controversies. As if she hasn’t got enough knocks trying to ply a bleaching cream ‘Whitenicious’ to the black womenfolk, she’s up again to another racket, hawking what she calls ‘vibrating vagina cleanser’ As brazen as ever, Dencia took to Instagram some days ago to solicit voluteers to try out her new wares. “I need ten women to try my deep cleanser VIBRATING VAGINA wash machine. This is about to blow your mind. You will get paid if you love it and want to be part of the commercial. Must be 21 and older. It’s a small hand machine you use three times a week to wash ….” she quipped on Instagram
How Davido chills after shows W
AVE-making recording artiste and performer, Davido, popularly known as Omo Baba Olowo, is a guy who was born into wealth and living life at the highest level, making wealth of his own. Davido is not known to be shy of flaunting the wealth and even throwing it around. Everything about and around the Aye crooner is poshy, creamy and top of the range. But the singer shocked his fans last week when he posted a picture of himself soaking gari and calling it his favourite pastime after shows. “Just got back home!! 2 crazy shows today done! Now time to relax ... Garri things” he posted and one of his fans was quick to tease him “Using Rolex to soak Garri , ya crazy”
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ou have been off for sometime now. Where have you been? Yes, I have been working on myself. I work on myself as an artiste and as an individual. When you look at the Nigerian music, you will agree with me that I have been working back to back for sometime now. I won COVA and NAMA awards when I was 16 years. I have also won, Channel O award and DYNAMIC awards and I travelled all over the country, combining that with my school too. So, it got to a point where I needed to just relax. At a point, it was like, I was doing too many things at the same time. Sometimes, I read my books on the air while going for a show. At a time, I felt I have lost my identity, so, I wanted to come back to myself. For me, what is so special about taking that break was that, I was passionate enough to take the break. I just wanted to be a normal girl, walk down the road, cook and do many other things just like a normal girl. Now that you are back from your break, what are we expecting from you? Back home when I was relaxing and having fun, I learnt a lot about myself and made some certain decisions to always do the music that I love. I took time to remind myself why I do music, why I love to do music and how, I want to do music. Now that I am back, my music is truly one from the heart. Now, I know that the time is ripe for me to do good and better music. I really want to do music that I love and proud of. How long were you away for the break? Two years.
achieve my drive. At the same time, you will find out that there is space for everyone. I just want to make my own name in the industry.
I love a man who’s strong inside
ho is your favourite female artiste in the industry? Right now, I am a huge fan of Sheyi Shay. I love her style, her costume and her performances are mindblowing. I love to watch her perform, I love the way she dances. I love how much energy and work she puts into her music. Lets talk about your new single, Destinambari, what inspired the song? Destinambari is an Indian word which means lucky number 10. I wanted a sort of throwback kind of music and I also found out that people love Indian music so much. I was like, I want to be Destinambari. The track came easily. The words just came, it was very easy to write. Everything about the music was easy for me. It is a love song, it is about giving all you have for the person you love and loving them unconditionally. It is about loving without holding anything back. What I love most about the track is the sound. We have Phyno, and the Indian background in the music, it is a work of art.
— Mo’chedda By ANOZIE EGOLE Barely few months since she returned from her musical career break, the award-winning pop star, Mo’chedda, is growing larger than life with her latest song, Destinambari, which has become every Dj’s favourite. In this interview, the sexy singer talks about her musical career and her personal life.
You said you want to make the music you love, does it mean you have not been making music that you love? I have, but you find out that at a very young age, you are influenced by a lot of things. You are influenced by the change in the industry and many other things. You hear this today and tomorrow, you are hearing another one. And I am a very versatile artiste that loves doing many things. So at that time, I have been mixing it up. I was unable to differentiate what I really wanted to do in music, I was like putting everything together at the same time in the same pot . But now, I know what I working on it, it will be want. I know what I feel, it is called, Mo’chedda Music. just a matter of doing what I It’s just me and I have a love. Because at a time you group and band members. I can get involved with trying am working on my goal not to do what people want and to compromise who I am as a love to listen to. I believe person. that if you really love and appreciate something, you Do you do music because can tell yourself the truth of money? about that thing and people No, I love to sing. I do not will love it and they will not know any other thing apart criticise the thing because from music, I have been you know what you want. doing music for a very long time now. That is all I know Do you have your own how to do and music is record label? good. So, it is all about No, not yet, but I am music. I just want to do
What is next on the radar after Destinambari? I have a lot of songs, like I told you, I recorded a lot of songs during that my break time. So, I have a lot in my archives. They are all ready for release but, Destinambari is the first to come out.
I love a strong individual. Not necessarily six packs or something but a man who is strong on the inside
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music. Everybody that does music knows that music is a passion, it is something you love. For me, the joy of music is about doing things that impact on people’s lives. How do you intend to compete with big names like, Tiwa Savage, Waje, Omawumi among others? At the end of the day, it is not a competition. It is an
occupation and we ought to respect ourselves. I love them and their music, I am very much proud of them. I am a big fan of them. I know my music is a God-given talent. What matters most to me is how far I am going to figure with what I am doing to satisfy my fans and to
Was there any point in you life that you lost hope and felt like quitting? Yes, that was when I lost my daddy. It was indeed a very sad moment. I was in shackles that period. I did not know what to do and I didn’t visit the studio all through that time. I didn’t sing, I didn’t listen to music, it was a very dark period in my life. Then again, I thought about it and I was like,he would want me to keep going on, he didn’t teach me to give up or pack up my bag and go. He taught me how to be strong. So, I picked up courage and forged ahead. Who is your kind of man? I love a strong individual. Not necessarily six packs or something but a man who is strong on the inside. A man who has confidence and full of drive. A man that loves me un-conditionally.
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BY SAM EYOBOKA will be able to contribute to the progress of Nigeria, not just people who acquire degrees and wait for white collar jobs. That is my number one emphasis; job creation. Number two, leadership; and number three, God. It’s a very unfortunate thing that (Immigration job tragedy) has happened. My prayer is that such a thing will not happen again. I also want to speak to the private sector, some of them have tried, but they can do more. If we love this country, we can pull Nigeria out of this situation. If we leave ev-
mid the raging insurgency in the North-east, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, says, contrary to the claim in some quarters, Christians, rather than Muslims, are the targets of the Boko Haram Islamist group. Oritsejafor lists six ways to end the insurgent attacks including northern leaders engaging Boko Haram in dialogue. The CAN leader spoke to Sunday Vanguard after the Daughters of Sarah convention, co-hosted by his World of Life Bible Church, Warri, Delta State. Excerpts: What drives you? Why do you always want to give during every programme here? I have asked myself that question too! Somehow I think I have lost my mind. When I sit down and think, it’s very natural to give. That’s where I am now. It didn’t start naturally but that’s where I am now. If I don’t give, I think I will be sick or something. But I think it started with understanding the scripture. Let me say this: I remember when I gave my life to Christ, I felt the urge to go into ministry and I went to a Bible school. I wanted to leave; the reason I wanted to leave was that I felt I will be unproductive to God. So I said why waste God’s time and waste my own time. That was when I said I better leave and go and do something else with my life, because I am a realist. So when it comes to giving, what I did, just like I do in most cases, I started studying the Bible. I started reading to understand God’s mind about giving and I discovered that giving is one of the most misunderstood subjects in the Bible. But the truth is, it is the most consistent subject in the Bible. You find it from Genesis to Revelation; it comes in so many shapes that if you are not careful, you will miss it. I did a study all through the Bible; even a lot of young men that do all kinds of crazy things to get stuff out of people—it’s a misunderstanding that they got themselves into—because when you understand the scriptural meaning of giving, you will discover that it is more blessed to give than to receive. You will not be straining yourself to get from people. The way the principle of giving works, it is always to give and you receive, not the other way round. Even young preachers who are trying to get from people, they think it’s when they get that they can give to people, no! That’s a wrong principle. It is always give and it shall be given unto you, sow and then you reap. It is not get and then you give. Like I said, I’ve done that study, based on that understanding, it doesn’t matter what anybody says or preaches. I will always give. It’s a way of life for me. When you get to that point, you will enjoy God beyond your expectations. Several candidates for employment into the Nigerian Immigration Service died. How did you feel when it happened?
Only northern govs, leaders can stop Boko Haram – Oritsejafor Says Christians, not Muslims, are the targets ’I am left with widows, orphans to cater for’ I’m pained! It is so unfortunate! But this is where we are today. I hope our political leaders are watching. When I’m talking of political leaders, I’m not talking of President Goodluck Jonathan because we have reached a place in Nigeria today where everything is Jonathan; as if Jonathan is the only elected official in this country. First of all, the situation where we find ourselves today, is it Jonathan that created it? How can a man that became President three years ago be the one that created all these problems? Something is wrong. I don’t know if the media realize the damage they are doing to the psyche and the integrity of the Nigerian society; to give the impression that one man is responsible for the problems of this country that has been in existence for many years. Let’s go back and look at the history of Nigeria, look at the leadership, the political leaders. It’s horrible. Jonathan is President; he cannot run away from being part of the blame. What about this government? State government where the House of Assembly will go
and pass a budget in the governor’s house and everybody is silent, nobody is saying anything. Can you imagine, Jonathan taking all members of the National Assembly and the budget is passed within two hours in his house; will Nigeria not run down? Why is the media presenting things like this? It’s not right. Government comprises political leaders at all levels, and it’s been happening, and they are getting away with it, so to speak.
hat is why I advocated last October that all political and government officials should forfeit half of their emoluments for one year. Do you know how many billions of naira that will amount to? I told them this money should be put in a dedicated account and credible Nigerians should be fetched from each of the six geo-political zones to manage that money to create jobs. The level of unemployment in Nigeria is so high. Universities that we are trying to build must be universities that will educate people to be self employed, people who
erything to government, I don’t know what will happen. About 10 people who have the same mind can come together and set up medium sized businesses. We must begin to venture into areas like this. I have some ideas myself; I just pray I’m able to finance them. But it’s not right for the private sector to leave everything to government. We all have to be involved and find ways to lift people out of poverty. You saw the grinding machines we gave out, these are some ways of eliminating unemployment. The more people you can give jobs, the stronger and the better the nation will be. Political leaders should take note, past to present, God will hold them responsible, He will judge them. The National Conference has finally taken off. What’s your agenda for the delegates? Go there and speak the truth, speak the minds of the people you are representing, that should be the priority. One of the things that have brought Nigeria to her knees is that we lie to ourselves. We know the truth, but we deceive ourselves. We are hypocrites. We try to convince ourselves that everything is good. If you say there are differences, then you are a bad person, but if you want to be celebrated in Nigeria, just come out and say “One Nigeria”. The moment you try to tell the truth, you are a bad person. I think all delegates should go there with the fear of God to tell the truth as it concerns those who sent them there. Let them table truth on the table, and, from there, Nigeria will be able to move forward. They may not agree on everything, but the truth should be told. At the end of the day, I believe that it can never be a waste of time. People are always talking. They are just formalizing the talking. I just pray that whatever decisions are taken should be
Continues on page 22
PAGE 22— SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014
‘Christians, not Muslims, are the targets’ Continued from page 21
want them to go beyond the talking; go to where these boys are, risk their lives like we did, and begin to engage them, dialogue with them. It is not government that will dialogue with them; it is their people they will listen to. The boys respect some of the clerics that are good. Bring these boys and discuss with them from the Qur’an. This engagement must filter into the mosques. They must start teaching that Nigeria is their country; re-orient their minds so that they can think positively. All these are what must be done at all levels and done not just by Jonathan, but by governors of the affected states as well as the local people there. The talking is important, but they must go beyond the talking.
implemented. You will be shocked with the understanding that it will yield. It is never be a waste of time. These same people say National Conference is a waste of time but dialoguing with Boko Haram is not a waste of time. Let truth meet truth on the table, I believe it will yield good fruits.
killed are Muslims. These are the things that create tension. These are the things that certain people use to make it look like we hate Muslims when we respond. You can’t turn Nigeria to a Muslim country. To think like that is to insult the sensitivity of rational people. This is very wrong. Until about six months ago, almost all the people killed were Christians. That’s the reality. In 2013, from the reports I’m getting, there were not more than five mosques that were destroyed. In 2013 alone, from the information I have, there are not less than 300 churches that were destroyed. I don’t know how such people come up with their statistics. Are they trying to tell me now that everybody in Borno or Kano or Adamawa states are Muslims? This is not right. Let us put it on record that nothing less than 90 per cent of people who have been killed by Boko Haram are Christians. I’m the leader of Christians in Nigeria, so I put it on record and that is the truth.
et me also add that the Mus lims that have been killed, every single one of them, his life is as precious as the lives of the Christians killed; I am aware that there are two categories of Muslims that they have been killing and my heart bleeds because they are human beings. Two categories: there’s the category of Muslims who oppose what they are doing; their clerics who come out to say this is against Islam, they slaughter them. The second category belong of Muslims they kill are those they feel have betrayed them. In other words, they’ve been giving information to security agents that were used to either capture them or kill them. From information I have, they go to mosques where preachers are against them or somebody in the congregation has spoken against them and they don’t know the exact person, they just go and blow the mosques up. These are the two categories of Muslims that have been killed so far. Killing Muslims is not their primary target. If anybody
•Oritsejafor ... Boko Haram killing only ‘traitors’ among Muslims
Of late, a lot of people are saying that Boko Haram is actually not just killing Christians, but that there are more Muslim victims than Christians. How do you respond to that? I was embarrassed by such statement. As a matter of fact, I read one piece where it was said that 98 per cent of all the people killed by Boko Haram are Muslims. It is not true. How can you say 98 per cent of those killed are Muslims? First of all, in every single statement that Shekau, the Boko Haram leader, has made, he always made it very clear that their target are Christians; their purpose is to create an Islamic state, to the ridiculous extent of telling a sitting President of a country that he needs amnesty from him (Shekau) and that his only option is that Christians can only be saved if they convert from Christianity to Islam. And you tell me that 98 per cent of those who have been
The most important thing to be done is the involvement of Muslim political leaders; Muslim clerics and Muslim traditional rulers. When our boys in the creeks were doing what they were doing, some of us went there has the opportunity of interviewing Shekau today, he will say what I’m saying now. Their primary targets are Christians. He has said it again and again that Christians are his primary target. Look at the post-election violence period, who are the people who suffered, who died like rats, killed, burnt, destroyed? There are Muslim clerics that have been killed; my heart goes out to them, but how many pastors have been killed since 2009? Who really cares? Who has taken the pains to look at it? Some of the widows and orphans they left behind are being taken care of by me. A recent one was in Borno State where a CAN secretary was slaughtered in the presence of his family members. The latest one was in Katsina, the chairman of CAN in Katsina local government, they said they saw the corpse of a child near his house, they went into this young man’s house and they beat him unconscious. He was rescued and taken to hospital. They surrounded the hospital, dragged him out of the hospital and burnt him alive. Where is justice in all these things? The security situation in this country has gone out of control as the Boko Haram members now go to barracks to kill soldiers. Do we need another approach to tackle terrorism? I wouldn’t say we need a new ap-
proach. I’d just say that we need to sharpen our approach because there are basic things; just that some people don’t see it as an important area to look into. There are about six or seven things that must be done and we have no choice but to do them. One is prayer; we can’t run away from that. That is why I have said that Christians and all well-meaning Nigerians should join us every last Friday of every month to fast and pray for the peace of Nigeria. Whatever God needs to do to turn this tide, He should do it. Two, the military should be strengthened. They must continue to bombard these people. The number of men in the military is not enough to meet the demands on ground. All I am advocating is that the number of personnel needs to be multiplied. The screening has to be done right because the insurgents themselves will try to join the military. In fact they are inside the military as we speak. There are also members of the Boko Haram in the military. Some have been prosecuted, some are top officers. The authorities should be careful in giving out positions particularly with regards to information gathering. They have to find ways to detect such people and flush them out with no sentiments attached. The most important thing to be done is the involvement of Muslim political leaders; Muslim clerics and Muslim traditional rulers. When our boys in the creeks were doing what they were doing, some of us went there. We engaged them, and we didn’t ask government. We engaged them because it was the right thing to do. My friend, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), is now talking. These are people who said the insurgents should be given amnesty; they should be treated like Niger Delta boys. They are now talking, but they must go beyond talking. We strategised, we talked to our boys, and they should go and talk to their boys. They say they are talking to the boys, yet they are killing. We
Another factor we’ve not said anything about is the menace of Fulani herdsmen… I see that as another chapter of Boko Haram. They don’t want people like us to talk but we have to talk. What kind of Fulani herdsmen? It’s unacceptable. Is there any other tribe that can do this kind of things and get away with it in the last three years? They have terrorized Nigeria. There is no state where they don’t kill people; these same Fulani herdsmen killed somebody recently in Delta Central. Where did these people get AK47 rifles from? Who taught them how to shoot? How is it that these people are never apprehended? I have reports that there are communities where they have destroyed crops, killed people, raped women, yet, at the end of the day, it’s the local people the police go after. Look at what is happening in Benue State! Imagine some of the leaders of the Fulani coming out to hold a press conference, accusing the government to be the cause of the crisis.
hey actually admitted that they sent people to cause the crisis and police didn’t pick them up? What is the nonsense? Does it mean other tribes cannot do this? Is there monopoly of violence? Does this mean other tribes don’t know where to get arms from? Everyone is trying to build a civil and peaceful nation. As a leader of millions, should I tell these people to arm themselves? Government should take note. One tribe will hold a whole nation to ransom when in Nigeria we have over 500 tribes? I fear for Nigeria. This issue has to be addressed. They should come out and tell the truth. What is the agenda of the Fulani herdsmen? Is it really about grazing land? They were almost passing a bill, which will never be implemented in Jesus name, that they will just take people’s land just as they like and give it to somebody else. It’s never heard of. I know of a RCCG parish in Zamfara State which they destroyed and the church was trying to rebuild it and the authorities said they shouldn’t try to rebuild. This is 21st century; don’t people eat cows in America? Do you see people leading cows across the streets? They should go back to where they are from and create modernized way of farming and cattle rearing. These are things we should look at.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 23
When the ex-wife turns his mistress!
MET my husband just over 20 years ago,” said Susan, trying to put me in the picture of how she’d come to lose her self-respect and dignity, because she couldn’t say ‘no’ to an ‘emotional’ abuser like her ex-husband. “He had one or two girlfriends at the same time when we were courting, but I fell pregnant, so we got married. Years after, we discovered we weren’t just compatible. He didn’t stop womanizing and treated the house as a transit camp, so’·we decided to get a divorce, or better put, he wanted his freedom. In spite of the divorce, we were still friends because of our son, and one thing led to another and we had a second child. “Sadly, he was always having affairs as usual and wasn’t that much of a father to our two lovely boys. Because of the money he spent on his women, I got very little financial support from him, but we plodded on. Then, early last year, he met this 26-year-old graduate who is a single
parent of one daughter. They got married almost immediately because she said she was pregnant and enrolled her daughter into an expensive private school. In spite of this new marriage, my ex continued to sleep with me and even now, he comes round at odd hours three to four times a week. His wife then had a miscarriage and became depressed. As a result, the number· of times he wants sex a week has increased. His wife never encourages my sons to visit, and
since he sneaks in when they’re in school, he seldom sees them. “When I asked him if he was happy in his new marriage, he assured me he was, yet he sometimes stays the night with me, telling his wife he was at his family house. He even fights with her so that he can get out of the house to be with me. I’ve told him I still love him and he has to make a concrete commitment to us, but he said he now has a new family. Yet, this girl is seen at most of these society parties in
company of her jet-set friends. At 47, my ex says he feels too old for the type of outing she likes. It’s obvious he keeps me hanging around in case this woman decides to get rid of him. I know my children and I would be better off without him, but he’s all I have now. He says he still wants to try for a baby with his wife so they could have one together. “I want to move on with my life, but with him breathing down my neck all the time, and telling me I am special espe-
cially when we’re making love, I find this difficult to do. Matters are not helped by the fact that he’s a good lover! “A few months ago, I went out of Lagos with a few friends for an engagement party and we stayed for a week. When 1 came back, he demanded to know whether I’d slept with anyone. Yet, he still won’t make a permanent commitment. 1 can’t understand how a man can wake up in his wife’s bed, then knock on the door of his ex, as early as 6.30 a.m. for sex on his way to the office ... “ As pathetic as Susan’s story is, there are thousands of ex-wives in her shoes. 1 told Susan she’s turned her man into a kid in a sweet shop who can have anything he wants. To men like him, the word divorce is meaningless - they remained ex partners yet, with the ex-wives’ connivance, continued to sleep around. No matter how selfishly Susan’s ex behaves, the message she’s sending across is: “I still care for you and you can have sex with me, when-
ever you want, no matter how many other women you sleep with.” And he shouldn’t be blamed if he continues with his career as a spoilt child, irresponsible father, selfish partner and a prolific philanderer. A supposed married man who suddenly met a young woman who gave him sex and demanded all his time and money, he ditched his wife after falling helplessly into her honeyed trap and quickly married her. What happens when he eventually runs out of cash to maintain her expensive lifestyle? She would either chuck him or look for lovers who could satisfy her taste - and Susan would still be around wiping his nose. 1 told Susan it was about time she closed the sweet shop and build a life that gives her back her selfrespect and gives some emotional security to her sons. At 47, her ex’s prolonged adolescence is almost over and the man-child he is, he needs to’ learn the rules and rewards of caring adult’s behaviour.
Health for you now
OMETHING I read once ran this: Of all the creatures in the world, the human being has the least sense of body management.” At first I was in doubt. I thought, “we have come up with all sorts of medication to heal diseases of all kinds; we have created all sorts of dishes to make each meal a bit of a return to paradise; we have all types of clothing to help us live through the changes in weather. So, what could we be doing wrong to merit such a sweeping indictment. ‘As I read on, I gradually began to understand what the writer meant. We eat wrongly, we breathe wrongly and we also don’t seem to realise that the body has a mind of its own and that allowing the body’s own mind to be in charge could signal the beginning of the end to most of our afflictions. Mastering the art of deep breathing, for instance, can make us overcome respiratory problems such as asthma. The right type of exercise will see us quickly through a running nose or congested sinuses. Even persistent headaches can be
overcomed with the right exercise and breathing technique. It may come as a surprise to many that learning to relax properly leads to a reduction in cholesterol levels, heart rate and blood pressure. This is suggestive that the body can put thungs right on its own. We only must help it along, adhering to the right habits and eschewing the wrong ones. Remember that a thousand and one things can go wrong with the body of a youngster as well as that of an adult if the living habits lack proper direction. For example, the body of a young person who refrains from exercise or the healthful games his peers engage in will soon find that he lacks the stamina and the sheer joy of living as expressed by his active friends. In the same way a grown-up who spends his days with a belly full of wine and flesh will soon find he can’t keep pace with his colleagues after just a few months of such inordinate indulgence. But then health soon radiates from a person as he attempts to mend his ways.
The way to great health is self-commitment. Once the resolution has been made and stuck to with tenacity of purpose it’s only a matter of time when the body will begin to show marked improvement. Here are some postures to improve lung capacity increase strength and flexibility. LEG RAISE (against the wall) Technique: Lie flat on your back and
* Leg Raise
raise both legs up against the wall. Interlace the fingers and place the back of the head on the hands. Now breathe out completely and begin to inhale slowly but deeply. First let in the breath by extending the belly to the fullest. Then, still breathing in expand the sides and breathe in yet some more and then breathe in further more to fill the upper chest by drawing a heavy sigh. Hold the breath for about 5 or 10 seconds and begin to breathe out slowly letting out the air in the upper chest, the mid-section and finally contracting the abdomen expel all the breath you can. An inhalation, re-
tention and exhalation make up one round of deep breathing. Benefits: This exercise aerates the lungs properly and helps asthma and other respiratory problems. HEAD TO KNEE Technique: Sit down with the feet stretched out in front of you and close together. Now raise both hands overhead and gently lowering the trunk and hands as far down as you can and then return to the upright position with the hands still overhead and then go back down again. Do this for a couple more times to limber the back and hamstrings for the full head to knee pose. In the final stage of the posture, you form a ring with the forefinger and thumb around the corresponding big toes with the forehead resting on the knees and the elbows touching the floor. For beginners it maybe impossible to assume the full posture so it will do to hold as far down the legs as you can and lower the trunk the furtherest down you can go. Duration: Stay in the position for about 10 seconds and gradually go up to a minute or two. Lie down on your back
when you’re through to allow the circulation stabilise. The head to knee tones up the muscles of the back, the arms and hamstrings. The ‘doubling up’ lends gentle massage to the digestive organs improving the way the body handles nourishment. In the women-folk this posture is said help & painful periods and eventually stop it completely. It’s also a great exercise for long distance runners as the hamstrings are where the long distance runner is most likely to develop muscle pulls. THE TRIANGLE Technique: Stand with the feet wide apart and turn to the left as you bend the left knee. Keep the right knee locked with the right leg in a diagonal position and the hands overhead with the palms clasped. Keep the trunk, neck and head very straight. Maintain the pose for 10 or 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Benefits: the Triangle pose tones up the leg muscles shedding excess fat there. This posture also helps you hold your body in a more upright posture always.
Yoga classes STARTED at 32 Adetokunbo Ademola, Victoria Island, Lagos, 9.10am on Saturdays
P AGE 24—SUND AY Vanguard , APRIL 27 , 2014 SUNDA
Why should grown women leave the family home they’re happy In?
HEY used to be called the deri sive name of kidults - but now there are loads of single and working adults still hanging to the family homes’ chandeliers! Take Rolake for instance. She has just clocked 30 and, according to her, every time she’s in the family home, “My mum sends the cook to tell me whenever food is ready. When I get to the dinning room, as requested, there are fried rice (or whatever meal I ordered) and mouth-watering meatladen stews to go with it. Even better, there’s lovely desert to top it up and wine if I want it. You would think I was living in a posh hotel, but I’m not. “Instead, I’m at home with my doting parents and home-made meals come as part of the allinclusive package. When I tell people I’m a 30year-old woman who still lives at home, they pity me. They sympathised about rising rents and I nod in agreement, explaining that my meagre earnings as an executive assistant in a parastatal makes leaving home anytime soon a financial impossibility. After all, I’m part of a generation who can’t get well-paid jobs, can’t afford houses and as a result can’t even leave home! “Only, things are a little more complicated than that. The truth is that living in the comfortable luxury of my family home, a warm, cheerfully furnished six-bedroom house in an upmarket Lagos suburb - a property way beyond my means as a single woman - means that I have no impetus to leave. Why should I? Where could I live this well, with three meals a day, a laundry service, and full use of the well stocked bar - all completely free? Where is the incentive to strike
out on my own? “A lot of my friends feel the same. We are known as the boomer-angers the generation who have come back to live off the wealth created by our hard-working parents, now in their 60s. I admit I do feel a bit guilty when I think that my parents had left home by my age. Like most people of their generation, it was unthinkable that they would still be living with their parents in their 30s. Traditionally, you lived at home until you are married, at which point, you set up home with your spouse. When most people married in their early 20s, that made perfect sense. But times have changed. “While sociologists warn of the creation of a stunted generation unprepared for the responsibilities of adult life, I don’t see it that way. Why should I leave a home I am happy in, just to conform to social norms, when my parents are still happy for me to live here? In fact, my younger sisters, who are in their 20s, still live at
home too. Believe me, I know the dire nature of the alternative. In a foolish bid for independence, I moved out of home for a year in my mid 20s, renting a room in a shared four-bedroom house with three other young people. I hated it. The kitchen sink was permanently over-flowing with dirty dishes (yes, some of them were mine) and the house was always begging to be cleaned. After a year,l’d had quite enough of having to queue for my morning shower as if I was in a a hostel. “Then there were my three housemates. While one of them is still my friend, if I never see the others again it will be a blessing. When the next rest was due, I happily moved back home. Months later, I was still mad at myself for spending a fortune to Live in a dirty house with people I couldn’t stand. Of course there are times when my parents, siblings and I fall out, but because we love each other, things blow over quickly. Occasionally,
people will make snide comments about my ‘poor parents’ and muse on how desperate they must be for me to flee the nest, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. My parents have worked hard to build a comfortable family home and are only too happy that I still want to live in it. “When I moved out in my 20s, my mum was indignant, she took it as a personal insult that I wanted to leave her lovely home and castigated me for frittering away my hard earned money on paying a greedy landlord. Now I’m back home, some other people assume my living situation will make me a social pariah among my peers. How wrong can you get? Like me, most of my friends are still living with their parents. Not only does it make financial sense, but we realise we would be stupid to suffer in discomfort and penury just to prove a point. Other friends say they would still love to be at home given the chance. Even the ones who wear their
Measure it by the hearts you’ve touched, the smiles you created and the love you shared. Princewill,07035148931
You are irresistable
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: email@example.com Please mark your envelope: “LOVE NOTES"
Never measure your life by possessions
Never measure your life by possessions.
You walk with grace and elegance, bouncing with joy…cute. Maureen, you are sweet and tender, so caring and passionate. Your smile radiates and your laughter illuminates, just you. If only people will see the joy of being with you, the understanding and commitment we all share. You are simply irresistably awesome. I adore you. Thanks for coming into my life.
domestic independence like a badge of honour run home to mummy and daddy at the first sign of a fever or after a breakup. The truth is nothing will ever be as comfortable as a home-cooked meal, followed by watching a cable TV on your parents’ sofa, no matter how old you are. “Unfortunately, not everyone agrees that my set-up is a lifestyle haven. I’ve been accused of holding myself back and missing out on the freedom’ of being young and single. And while I admit that living at home means you can’t invite a long line of boyfriends back to stay or host wild parties, I can live with that. If I want to sit up drinking all night, I can do it at the home of one of my friends who rents. Best of all, after a weekend of partying, I can always return to a warm, clean house. It’s really is the best of both worlds. Meanwhile, I’m not expected to contribute to the running of the house, financial or otherwise. “Once in a while, I be-
come conscious that I’m not pulling my weight. I live by my parents’ rules, work hard and try to make them proud. I’m also an enthusiastic cook and make a family meal at least once a week with the help of the cook. My parents have also rebelled on occasion but that doesn’t change anything. After years of living together, we’re stuck in our ways, regardless of rights or wrongs. Am I spoilt? Quite possibly. Cossetted from the harsh realities of the world;? Almost certainly. Living in a state of suspended adolescence? All of these things may be true but the thought of being pampered, thanks to Bank Mum and Dad is bliss! Best to Listen To Mum! (Humour} Three daughters all got married on the same day and spent their honeymoon night in their parents’ palatial mansion. The couples retired to bed early and some time later, the parents turned off the lights and went upstairs as well. Now the parents’ bedroom was in the west wing and to get there, they had to pass their daughters’ rooms. As they walked pass the first door, they heard their daughter laughing. Behind the second door, they heard their daughter crying, but behind the third door, there was no sound at all. The following morning, the parents took their daughters aside and questioned them about the night before. The first daughter said, “Well, you always told me it was polite to laugh if someone told a joke.” And the second daugnter said, ‘You ‘always told me to cry if I was hurt.” Finally, the third daughter said, “And you told me never to speak with my mouth full.”
Stan Stan 07035709315, 08182459176
I never knew that true love exist until I met you. You crept into my life like a snake but instead of of the poisenouse bite of a snake, you infested me me with a noiseless affectiom. Everyday I thought of you and eveery night I dream of you. Without you there is no worthy life. Ogoo Stan firstname.lastname@example.org
SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 25
BY SIMON EBEGBULEM, BENIN CITY
T was a bloody Sunday in a sleepy community called Azagba, in Uhumnwonde Local Government Council of Edo State, when suspected thugs stormed the community and unleashed mayhem on the people. Three people were shot dead while several others are receiving treatment in hospital. Residents have fled due to fear of fresh attack. The traditional head of the community, known as the Ohen of Azagba, Chief Nosakhare Ogieriakhi, equally fled the community for fear of being killed. When Sunday Vanguard visited the community, last week, apart from a 78year- old man, Pa Gabriel Eboigbe, who said he came from Orhiomwon to bury his son who died a month ago, no other person was seen in the community. Eboigbe lamented: “I have not eaten anything called food in the past five days because the people I am staying with fled as a result of the war in the community. I am all alone in this community. I only came visiting a month ago to bury my son and, because the people I am staying with have all fled, there is no body to give me food and the only place where I usually buy bread, the people have also fled”. Asked about what he observed on the said day of the mayhem, Eboigbe narrated: “I was sitting down here when over 100 boys with guns passed here heading to the Ohen’s palace. I learnt that it was a former community leader who brought the thugs to fight because they said he refused to give account of some money and the community said they didn’t want him to hold public office again. The man is very rich but they said he is using his money to intimidate the people and because they said he should render account he brought thugs to fight”. You could see the pains when Pa Eboigbe spoke, the old man was starving. Sunday Vanguard had to drive out to buy him bread and water in a nearby community. Sunday Vanguard learnt that trouble started when the Ohen and elders of the community requested the former leader to render account of his stewardship after spending eight years in office. The youths too were said to have been dissatisfied with his performance in office and therefore backed the elders. It was learnt that after the mayhem in the community which led to the death of two persons, the youths launched a counter attack and burnt down the residence of the former community leader. The Ohen, Ogieriakhi, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard from his hiding place, narrated the incident: “My father died Nov. 7, 2010, and I succeeded him on February 2, 2011. The former community leader, before he was removed, had spent almost nine years in office instead of four. When I came in, the community asked him to render account of his stewardship. Money came from NNPC for the payment of the pipeline they laid in our area and building of a town hall, C M Y K
Two killed, royal father escapes death... as oil money sparks trouble
•A community youth •The house razed during mayhem who lost his brother presence of his mother. They Prisons. He has been threatenabout N35million. At the end, even tried to kill me but the ing one Monday because that no town hall was built, no policemen on ground took me one was close to him, but he borehole, nothing to show in away. After the incident, I now told him to stop cheating our community as developmencalled my lawyer who wrote a the community. Monday was tal projects. Recently, he sold petition to the AIG, then the the bush inspector before the about 165 plots of land for matter was referred to the state community organ he headed about N80million but the Police Command and they are was dissolved. I quickly picked community did not see the investigating now”. my phone to call the police at money. He was asked to render Told that that the house of the Egba and they came. When they former community leader was account and, when he realised arrived, they saw the thugs, he could not render account, he burnt, the Ohen said: “I am not about 200 of them, but they started fighting the community. aware of that because I ran could not do anything. So, I About five months ago, he shot away for my life. But why I am called the Area Commander three persons and those inshocked is that the police saw who sent the policemen. At this volved were charged to court all these things and they are not point, the former community but he ran away because youths making any move to arrest the leader and the thugs started of the community were looking former community leader. He shooting. They went to Monfor him. About two of those believes he has money, so he day’s house and shot him in the arrested are still in Oko can always manipulate the •Pa Eboigbe
Woman who lives for others
BY OKOFU UBAKA OMAMULI
an, inherently, may be selfish. Resources may be indisputably scare. Nonetheless, living for others by way of sharing what one has with the needy, morally, is the essence of how to live right. Although, I have met her on few occasion at the Living Faith Church, Koko, I really do not know much about this lady with a good heart. Yet, I may not be able to deny my knowledge of her being the TLG of Warri-North LGA and the C.E.O of Destiny Helper. Destiny Helpers couldn’t have been a limited liability company, but a company under Part C of Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA). This makes it a charitable organization with a mandate not to maximize profit but to give the needy, the aged, the neglected and the bereaved a helping hand. Evang.(Mrs) Victoria Sillo Fregene is an achiever in all ramifications. As a seasoned civil servant, and to have gotten to where she is presently, she must have paid some dues. We need not trumpet her academic achieve-
ments because her feat as an accountant par excellence speaks volumes. In her chosen discipline; Fregene had demonstrated adequate knowledge which manifested in awards. I have never seen a good example of how well to manage fame, wealth and fulfillment, and still remain humble. Mrs Fregene, by conduct, has evolved a new meaning of how not be arrogant, even where wealth and fame nudge. She carries an aural of bliss and easy, one which reminds me of the Nightingale’s easy to living. As a soldier of Christ, Evang. Fregene encourages the youths and the aged into a relationship with Christ Jesus. I am sure this is the core concern of Destiny Helpers. As a member of Destiny Helpers, one has no choice but, first to surrender all to Christ Jesus, and either continues his or her education or pick a trade. The aged are accommodated, clothed, availed periodical medical attention, and above all placed on weekly allowance. Also, they are treated to sumptuous meal every Sunday after church service. Wrappers and blouses are periodically distributed to them. In spite of her
police. Members of my community have all fled so that they won’t be killed and it is because they believe that the police cannot give us protection, but when the police show seriousness they will come out. I had to run for my dear life, it was God that saved me. Since I was installed, the former community leader has been looking down on me because he said I am a small boy; he said he can buy any body; that is why he has been oppressing us. I am appealing to our Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomhole to call for investigation into the matter and also I appeal to then Edo Commissioner of Police to provide security so that my subjects go come back to their community. I am also appealing to the Oba of Benin to intervene in this matter.” When Sunday Vanguard contacted the former community leader on telephone for his reaction, he failed to respond to the allegations. He referred us to his lawyer. However, in a petition addressed to the Edo State Police Commissioner, the former community leader accused the Ohen of the murder of two person and also called on the CP to arrest 50 boys in Azagba in connection with the murder. Edo State Police Commissioner, Foluso Adebanjo, told Sunday Vanguard that “the matter is seriously being investigated.” He added: “My men on ground tried to stop the mayhem. It was a community crisis; unfortunately, after the incident, the thugs ran into the bush. I stationed people there to hunt for them. The traditional head of the community and even the former community leader are being questioned.”
time this shall come to bear on the administration of Warri-North LGA. Certainly, Fregene, in her small way, has stepped into the shoes of Mother Theresa of blessed memory.
goodwill and kind disposition towards the needy and the aged, some persons are still critical of Fregene. I am not writing to join issues with these cynics though. Yet, I saw the obvious need to reiterate one of their arguments and its low point. They *OMAMULI lives in argued, how come all these corKoko in Warri-North, ruption, delay in payment of Delta State salary and faulty policies are eating up the soul of the WarriNorth LGA, when Fregene is there as the TLG of the council? I ask them: How come corruption, inefficiency, laughable government policies are eating up the soul of our beloved country when we have so many Godfearing people in government? The truth remains: Righteousness exults a nation and sin is a reproach. The struggle to free Warri-North, nay Nigeria from lives in ineptitude in governance and corruption must be collectively done. However, there are expectations of a God-fearing TLG, who also carries a good heart as Fregene does, and in no Mrs Fregene
PAGE 26—SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014
N4GG: Watch Dog of Good Governance BY EPHRAIM OSEJI “I have been receiving text messages from an organization under the auspices of Network for Good Governance (N4GG) asking me to check newspapers for information relating to good governance. How they got my telephone number remains a mystery. The good thing about them is that their activities have kept me abreast of issues relating to governance in Nigeria,” 75 years old Onome Akpokrise, a farmer living in a rural area of Delta State, disclosed. Corroborating Akpokrise’s view, a Lagos lawyer and politician, Alhaji Isa Clark, wondered aloud while with his learned colleagues at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja when he received an alert from N4GG asking him to read a Nigerian newspaper on good government. “The organizers of N4GG are doing a good job with their regular SMS alerts informing me of daily news on governance. Their monitoring activities on good governance will no doubt keep our rulers on their toes. It is a good method of check and balance.” These two Nigerians are among millions of Nigerians who receive SMS alerts almost on daily basis from a non-government organization under the aegis of Network for Good Governance (N4GG) whose mission is to monitor good governance and enlighten the masses on effectiveness of governance or otherwise through SMS alert, newspaper publications and the electronic media. N4GG carries out its mandate through the Global Communication System (GSM) technology alerts and the mainstream media to disseminate information to the masses in rural, urban or the diaspora on the activities of government. The group is the brainchild of Hon. Sunny Onuesoke, a former governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2007. It’s objectives is to commend and improve governmental administration by seeking opinions from the masses and relating them to the administrative system. Onuesoke adopted the idea from a former South African President, the late Nelson Mandela, who used it to fight against bad governance and C M Y K
election in South Africa after he was released from prison. To start off, Onuesoke brought technocrats and academicians both from within and in diaspora, together. After brainstorming, they designed a test of reference, the purpose and the vision of the organisation. The idea behind it is purely to monitor good governance as well as to enlighten and equip the masses through the social and electronic media. The organization is not a Nigerian affair alone. Onuesoke is the Country Director of the organization in Nigeria. The Board of Director is headed by a French activist, while a black American, Michael Egi, a staunch lover of Martin Luther King, is a key sponsor of the organization in America. N4GG has offices in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria with its headquarters located in Warri, Delta State. The offices are equipped with the state-ofthe-art facilitates including computerization system linked to internet for collation and immediate dissemination of information to the masses. The equipment are manned by specialists made up of 17 staff, 27 volunteers and 60 members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). What welcomes a first time visitor to the headquarters are large bill boards carrying the pictures of President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namani Sambo with the inscriptions, “ N4GG Adopts Goodluck Jonathan and Namadi Sambo for 2015”, ”GEJ for 2015” and “N4GG Endorses Jonathan for 2015”
Members of N4GG, UNIBEN branch among others. Jonathan and Sambo portraits are positioned in every nook and cranny of the offices. Explaining the support for Jonathan in 2015, N4GG Country Director, Onuesoke, who said the group sends about 10 million SMS alerts to the masses every day, disclosed that they are supporting the Jonathan administration because it encourages transparency. “We encourage government that is transparent. We decided to support President Goodluck Jonathan’s government because of its transparency, because of its transformational agenda, because of its posture of accountability, touching the people with every form of infrastructural projects. President Goodluck Jonathan government is on track with its transformational agenda. I score his achievements 75 percent. Saboteurs who do want him to succeed and who are jealous of his antecedents try to destroy all his achievements. When we see a leader that is transparent, we give him media support, moral support and value support. “It is not only in Nigeria that we support good governance. We are doing so to the Zuma government in SouthAfrica. We partner with some
American political opinion poll groups..We do it in Ghana. We are in everywhere in Africa. We are transnational. We are in support of the current leaders because we think what they are doing is real. People think because we have our operational base in Nigeria; so all we do is about Nigeria. No, we are in the United States. If Obama is doing a good thing in America, we come up with our support. Like the Obama Medicare project in America, we support that. But a lot of people do not know that. We have our branch in Massachusetts”. Throwing more light on why the organization had become the toast of the masses in term of information collation, dissemination and enlightenment on good governance, Onuesoke stated, “We use send GSM alerts to get people acquainted because we found out that it is not everybody that could afford a hard copy newspaper or a cable transmitter. So what we did was that we decided to break down our information spread to the barest minimum so that everyone in the rural area should be acquainted with GSM test messages about the function of good governance.” In an attempt to get further to the people, N4GG is to
Sunny Onuesoke, N4GG Country Director establish a radio which would go on air soonest. There are also plans to establish a television station that will run 24 hours daily. On funding, Onuesoke revealed he committed his little money into the project, but quickly added that volunteers are also helping. “Donations keep coming from volunteers and technocrats. We have a lot of guys who volunteer to give us fund to monitor good governance so as to get the people informed. We have got a lot of sponsors from all over the place. We do not know how the funds come. People just come and provide computers, T-shirts, bill boards and other amenities. But the question is that we do not know what makes us thick and what makes us great. It is an evolutionary process.”
Legal tussle looms over Ndoma-Egba BY EMMA UNA
omrade Egbe John was the President of the National Associa tion of Nigerian Students, NANS, between 2002 and 2004. He is now the President of the Forum of Past Leaders of Associations and Unions of Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria. He says the Forum is planning legal action against Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, the Senate Leader. What is the position of your Forum on the senatorial election in Cross River State come 2015. We have observed that Cross River State had not occupied any position of significance since the election of Dr Joseph Wayas as the second republic President of the Senate in 1979, since 35 years ago. Wayas’ tenure was short-lived as it ended when the General Muhammadu Buhari-
led military coup truncated the Alhaji Shehu Shagari civilian administration in 1983. Since 1983 to date, we also note that Cross River State has not had a political position of significance at the national level until 2011 when we had the resounding victory of our son, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, as Senate Leader. This position makes him the number three man in the upper legislative chamber and this has bridged the gap after 35 years and we feel that as a body, this kind of political figure needs not to return home just too soon but to continue at that level to enable him consolidate on the gains of his achievements. Going by Senate rules, Senator Ndoma Egba ranks third only to Senate President, David Mark and Mamud Gwarzo both of whom have served four terms. We feel that it is the turn of the Central Senatorial District of Cross River State to share in this privilege to return this embodiment of change to the Senate in 2015.
Are those the only reasons Senator Ndoma Egba should return to the Senate in 2015? Apart from those reasons we have advanced, we also note that his returning to the Senate in 2015 will sustain Cross River in the national political map based on the fact that he has brought tested and quality representation for the good people of Central Senatorial District. He is the brain behind the construction of the EnuguAbakaliki – Mbuk- Ikom highway, one of the six specialist hospitals in the country is loacated in the Central Senatorial District, that hospital cost 1.2 billion naira, and the Ikom Water plant came through his efforts. On the floor of the Senate has presented the highest number of executive and personal bills. He has represented the President of Nigeria in many international conferences, and served as his envoy to the United States, the United Nations.
SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 27
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PAGE 28 — SUNDAY, Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014
Joseph Dudu celebrates 80 in grand style
Mr Joseph Dudu, celebrant (4th left) in a group photograph with members of Landlords and Landladies Association of Ewu town, Mafoluku, Lagos.
t was a moment to cherish and remember when Mr Joseph celebrated his 80th birthday. Apart from his family and friends that trooped out to celebrate with him, his old professional colleagues as well as community friends joined in the celebration. High point of the day was a church service at St Dominic Catholic Church, Yaba, followed by a grand reception where the guests were duly entertained. Photos by Bamidele Lamidi
L-R: Prince Abiodun King, Chairman of the occassion; Surveyors Olalekan Dosumu; Akin Lakanu; Joseph Dudu, celebrant; Columbo Okere and Monday Oboze
Fidau pra or Alhaja prayyer ffor Haolat Ajisegiri
he Fidau prayer for the late Alhaja Haolat Abeke Ajisegiri, mother-in-law of Comrade Issa Aremu,Vice President, Nigeria Labour Congress and Secretary-General, Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (AANI) ,took place at Shogunle,Lagos. Photos by Olu Ajayi
L-R: Mr Iyiola Babafemi; Mrs Taye Babafemi; and Mrs Patience Odekunle .
Nduk a Nduka laid tto o
Mekwun Mekwunyye rest
he remains of Chief Nduka Mekwunye (JP), the Nkeonye Asua of Ute-Okpu Kingdom of Ika North-East Local Government Area of Deltas State, father of Dr. Charles Mekwunye, a former Executive Director of Oceanic (now EcoBank), were buried in his home town of Ute-Okpu Kingdom of Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State.
L-R: Engr. Tony Omaghoni; Mr Joseph Dudu, celebrant; Mrs Betty Aruenyingho; and Mr Fred Dudu
ishop of Shammah Gospel Mission, Prophetic Voice World Outreach, Warri, Felix A.O Onomeregbor, and his family members celebrated “His Grace Thanksgiving”.
L-R:The daughter of the decesed , Alhaja Hamdalat Issa Aremu, with her hubby, Comrade Issa Aremu, and Lagos based activist, Mr Femi Falana, SAN.
L-R: Alhaja Hamdalat Issa Aremu, Comrade Issa Aremu and Dr Abubakar Ajisegiri. Dr. Charles Mekwunye and his wife, Ifeyinwa, leading a procession during the burial .
Bishop Felix Onomeregbor flanked (left) by Princess Elohor, daughter; Shadrack A. Onomeregbor,son; and Evang. Fore Onomeregbor, son.
L-R: Mrs. Evelyn Ojei, Dr. Charles Mekwunye, his wife, Ifeyinwa, and Mrs. Uche Udemeri.
Bishop Felix Onomeregbor with family members.
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L-R: The National President, NUTGTWN, Comrade Oladele Hunsu; a former President, Comrade Nasiru Lawal and Chairman,House Committee on Education, Hon. Aminu Suleiman.
SUNDAY, Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014 — PAGE 29
Pomp as TTunji unji Bello’s wif e, Ibiy emi, turns 50 wife, Ibiyemi,
t was indeed a day to remember when Prof Ibiyemi Bello, a former acting Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, and the wife of Tunji Bello, the Commissioner for Environment, Lagos State, celebrated her 50th birthday. The Bellos and the Olatunjis, the celebrant’s family, joined in the celebration alongside a long list of who’s who in the Lagos sociopolitical sphere. A thanksgiving service was held at RCCG Testimony,Lekki, Lagos to commemorate the special day . Photos by Kehinde Gbadamosi.
From right; Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, Chief (Mrs) F.M Saraki, and Otunba A. Ibidapo.
From left: Chief Molade Okoya, Chairman of Occasion; Dr Temitope Bello; Prof Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, celebrant; Mr Tunji Bello; and Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, Lagos State Commisoner for Education.
From right;Mr Louis Odion, Edo State Commissioner for Information; Mr Sam Steve Omatseye, Chairman, Editorial Board, Nation Newspapers; Mr Bolaji Sanusi; , and Mr Waheed Odusile.
From left; Chief Ebenezer Akinbolade, a former Commissioner for Establishment, Lagos State; Prof Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello; Mr Ben Akabueze, Commissioner Economic Planning and Budget, Lagos State; and Mr. Tunji Bello.
From left: Chief Emiola Ibidapo; Chief (Mrs) Jadesola Oluwemimo Ibidapo, celebrant's mother; and Elder Simon Olakunrin .
Mr Kayode Komolafe Deputy MD, ThisDay Newspapers and wife, Mrs Funmi Komolafe.
Folorunso hooks Okome
A Attolagbe Emikomi
he Atolagbe and Okome families became one when their children, Folorunso Oluwaseun and Emikomi Edmond, were united in holy matrimony. The couple exchanged nuptial vows before family and friends at Catholic Church of the Resurrection, Magodo GRA, Lagos. Photos by Akeem Salau
From left: Mr Sunny Okome; groom's father, Folorunso Oluwaseun Atolagbe, bride; and Mrs Toritse Okome, groom's mother.
From left: Mr Adedapo Atolagbe; bride’s dad; Emikomi Edmond Okome; groom; Mrs Nike Atolagbe , bride’s mum and Mrs Oyin Durodoola.
From left: Mrs Awokulehin Ayo,Mrs Adefuye Bolaji Mrs Mercy Okotie (left) with Mrs Meyiwa Esevo. and Mrs Ajumobi Juliana. C M Y K
Prince Lere Olayanju (left) with Prince Engr. Gbolahan Popoola
PAGE 30—SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014
At 26, I refused to be intimidated by the Ooni, old monarchs - The Awujale, Oba Sikiru Adetona @ 80
RECORD BROKEN IN IBADAN
’The Ijebus’ ties with Bayelsa’
ba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, Ogbagba II, the Awujale of Ijebu land, will become an octogenarian on May 10. The Ijebu paramount ruler is also commemorating his 54th anniversary of ascension to the throne. In this interview with EMMANUEL AJIBULU at his palace in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, the monarch expressed gratitude to God for keeping him alive, hale and hearty on the throne. He assured that the creation of Ijebu State is realistic in his life time. Narrating the story of Ijebu land, he pointed that it was one of the provinces of the old Western Region. Adetona’s 80th birthday is being planned to span a week. The highlights of the celebration are a colloquium on Ijebu, a coffee table book presentation on the monarch and awards ceremony, paying of homage to the Awujale by Ijebu obas, chiefs, sons and daughters and awards ceremony by Ijebu Professional Excellence Foundation, and a football match between Arsenal fans, among others. Excerpts: Since your ascension to the throne at age 26, what would you describe as your happiest moment and what will you say is your greatest regret? First and foremost, I give thanks to God for keeping me alive to witness this glorious moment of my life. (Laughs). I can’t recall any sad moment since my ascension to this throne and can’t think of any event that can be called happiest moment in my life; it’s quite an age, even seeing you now, I am happy. (Laughs again). At that young age of 26, how were you able to cope at the Western Region Council of Obas where you had many members who were older than you, especially the late Oba Adesoji Aderemi I, the Ooni of Ife, who was known C M Y K
to be a powerful political figure having served as President of the Western House of Chiefs and Legislative Council of Nigeria and Governor of the then region between 1960 and 1967. Didn’t you feel intimidated? No, there was nothing like intimidation. Despite the age difference, we had very cordial relationship. But more importantly, I also got useful advice from Ijebu chiefs who were also elders. But remember Ijebu will never settle for an Awujale who is not intelligent. I was able to apply wisdom and intelligence in dealing with them and I had many interesting experiences with them and gained a lot as well. We never had any problem throughout. Can you shed light on the claim that Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson is from Ijebuland? That the governor of Bayelsa is from Ijebuland is no longer a speculation. Governor Seriake Dickson has been to my palace, he also succeeded in tracing his ancestral root in Ijebuland. He has re-connected with his kith and kin in Fidipote ruling house and expressed readiness to strengthen the bond of relationship between Ijebu and Bayelsa State peoples. He was accompanied by members of his immediate family and top government functionaries. During the historic visit, he said he would work with us to promote unity, peace and harmony. He said the people of Ijebu and Bayelsa have many things in common, especially in the areas of commerce and hospitality. We also donated a piece of land to him to further establish his relationship with his roots. People said the governor might name the building after his great grandmother, Princess Adebukola Fidipote, whom he described as a selfless and hardworking woman. Considering the huge responsibilities at your disposal as a paramount ruler, how
Oba Adetona do you create time to take care of your Oloris (wives) and children? One doesn’t disturb the other. What is important is for you the head of the family to make adequate provisions for the upkeep of the house. My office is not outside the palace. My children as princes and princesses always get my attention when they wish. Don’t also forget that whether at the palace or anywhere else, there is what we call division of labour. In your own house, do you make
torical, justifiable and overdue. The demand is hinged on the need for equity, justice and speedy development for our hardworking and productive people. The agitation for the creation of Ijebu State has the blessing of other traditional rulers, chiefs and the entire Ijebu people, covering six local government areas of Ogun State. Our request has met all the conditions and has fulfilled all the provisions set out in Section 8 of the 1999 Constitution, and to progress to the
No, there was nothing like intimidation. Despite the age difference, we had very cordial relationship. But more importantly, I also got useful advice from Ijebu chiefs who were also elders eba for your wife or cook the soup for her? (Laughs). My wife and children are never deprived of anything and I understand the concept of work-life-balance. What do you see as the most remarkable milestone that you want to accomplish as the paramount ruler of Ijebuland? So many things on my mind, the unity of Ijebu people is uppermost. I want to see them living in peace, loving each other and to remain God-fearing, doing us proud in all they do. More importantly, I will really feel fulfilled when the government gives us Ijebu State. And I am optimistic that Ijebu State will be created in my life time. Ijebu State is a viable vision and we will achieve it. Our demand is his-
next stage for the actualization of our dream. Members of the Ijebu Renaissance Group in a citation about His Royal Highness said you have built an incorruptible traditional institution in the land. They see you as a patriot, a nationalist devotedly committed to the Nigerian state and also a visionary leader. What’s your take on this? We cannot isolate ourselves from the scourge of corruption and I pray that God should come to our rescue as a nation. Then we should continue to have broad knowledge of what corruption is. Some people think it’s only when you offer or collect bribe that you are corrupt; that is not true. Injustice is corruption, when you do
justice because you like my face is also corruption. Even you if you interview me now and I didn’t give you money and you refuse to publish the story, it’s also corruption. Corruption has affected us a lot as a people. Substantially and enormously the leaders are corrupt; it is so pervasive from bottom to up and top to bottom. Another example, if I collect money from a politician before I vote, I am corrupt and if politician offer money to influence vote he is also corrupt. Corruption has become part of our life in this country; even the Obas are not left out, there is corruption everywhere. It is the greatest problem facing us as a country, and we have to overcome it to move forward. People should refrain from being corrupt. If we as a people change, our leaders or anybody coming to corrupt us will also change. It is so appalling that the country is blessed with corrupt leaders, not until we eschew corruption that the country cannot grow or move forward. What is your relationship with other traditional monarchs in Ijebuland? In Ijebuland, we hold in high esteem our traditional institution, culture and heritage. Now to answer your question directly, there is mutual relationship, cordiality and friendship between me and other monarchs in Ijebuland. If there is trust, there will be unity and we cherish these virtues a lot in our tradition. Let me also tell you, the activities marking this birthday anniversary couldn’t have been made possible without the support I am consistently receiving from them; they visit me every day and we also talk on phone. Ijebu is truly blessed with brilliant and reliable Obas.
SUND AY SUNDA
Can you tell me the story of Fulani herdsmen? The Fulani story is a tragic paradox because when we talk about the Fulani as a group, people tell you about the Fulani rule in Sokoto Empire and sub empires like the one we have in Adamawa, and they talk about all the rulers in northern Nigeria where Fulani, consequent upon the establishment of the Caliphate and other empires headed by Fulani and all the historical problems associated with that including emirate rule, including what some people call Fulani dictators, slavery and how Fulani rule dovetailed into modern politics with old parties like the NPC, NPN. People who might not be Fulani often like to identify themselves as Fulani because of the pedigree. And so, the ordinary Fulani man bears all the brunt of this historical animosity when truly he was not responsible. That is one side of the Fulani people. This is the one people are talking about especially in politics. There is another one that touches on the Fulani at all levels including the nomadic Fulani. They are all lumped and tied as one and they have to bear the cost of the unpopularity of the ruling class. The Fulani man with his cows is seen now as belonging to the ruling class which he doesn’t belong to. And, therefore whatever, animosity there is to the ruling class automatically is transferred to this poor man, poor woman or poor clan. And we all speak same language, we all look the same. How can you say ‘this one is not my own, or these people are not my people or the people in the ruling class are not my people?’ You cannot say that. You have this problem. Now, on the other hand, you look at the poor, ordinary Fulani with no land, who are not even settled, the nomadic Fulani. Before the restrictions, they were moving throughout West Africa. And it is the same thing you find wherever you go. They don’t have their own land. They are not interested in farming. They are nomads, grazing and they have not got what you call their own grazing land where they will keep their cows and give them food. That doesn’t happen. So, they have to move from place to place. The move say from Plateau to Mambilla, from Mambilla to Plateau. They move all over the place and their contacts are the farmers particularly now that their brother Fulani are not ruling. You see, there is a a disadvantage to indigenous people, the indigenous tribe. They drive them away. They used to have cattle routes in the days of the British in the first republic. You have cattle routes everywhere. And no farmer will come to farm on these routes. But you now find out that they pass through this route this year, next year they come to find out it is either somebody’s house or somebody’s farm. They are not aggressive people. Are they mad? They are not. They just come back and pass where they passed, where they grazed last year. But somebody has taken it and says it is his farm, his house, his land. That is what is causing a lot of the problems that you see. And what will they do with their cows? ‘I passed through here last year and I even stayed there. Coming back, you now say I can’t even come there. You say I C M Y K
Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 31
•Jubril Muhammad Aminu
Fulani herdsmen are no killers, they are victims — Jubril Aminu J
ubril Muhammad Aminu, a professor of cardiology, was the Nigerian Ambassador to the USA between 1999 and 2003. Aminu was elected senator representing Adamawa Central senatorial district in 2003. Prior to the ambassadorial posting in 1999, he had held office as Federal Minister of Education and Federal Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (1989 and 1992). As Petroleum Minister, he was President of the African Petroleum Producers Association (1991) and President of the OPEC Conference between 1991 and1992. In this interview, Aminu blames the face-off between Fulani herdsmen and host communities in many parts of the country on government. He also says unless government fights Boko Haram as if in a war, insurgency in the country will not abate. Aminu is also a delegate to the on-going National Conference. Excerpts: By LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU have eaten your corn, I have eaten your this and that. My cows have destroyed your farm’. Now, you can see the problems. And this is not only with the minority tribes, the Christians, in fact, in a lot of Hausa land, Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa, you have this problem. And for a long time, they have been trying to establish grazing reserves. They are only talking about it. They have not done anything. If there was anything like grazing reserve, when I was heavily involved in this, that was Plateau, not even a Fulani state or province. In short, gov-
ernment talks about but it (grazing reserve) but they have not done anything. They have not established anything for
They used to have cattle routes in the days of the British in the First Republic. You have cattle routes everywhere. And no farmer will come to farm on these routes
them. And these people supply meat, milk, hides and skin, manure. But they don’t care to look after them. The only time they are looking after them is to tax them. Gen. Gowon abolished the tax. Today, they pay tax yet they are not looked after. Nobody cared about their education until I came with nomadic education. This is nothing more than just primary school education to make them accessible to information. Somebody who is an illiterate is not accessible to development information, information of any kind. So, we began to educate them. All over, people talk about nomadic education yet I don’t know what they have been able to do. But what I know is that you pass a school and they tell you it is nomadic a school. But you find children from town in them. The society is not doing anything for these people. Is that the justification for destroying people’s farms? ‘I passed this road last year and this year you say I can’t pass’. I don’t know any other alternative. This is the cause. I didn’t say it was a justification. It is the cause of these frictions. The Fulani are not mad. They can’t go round destroying somebody’s farm but ‘I fol-
Continues on page 32
PAGE 32—SUND AY 32—SUNDA
Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014
Continued from page 31 lowed this road last year, I feel like coming to follow it again because my people have been doing it for a long time’. When they come, you drive them away, saying they are destroying your crops. And you begin to fight and kill them.
Jubril Aminu: Time running out on National Conference
pursuing their cause, pursuing their mission. Some of them we may consider to be extremists. But they will never do. They would think they are devoting a responsibility to God. The same thing in the olden days of Christians who said they were fighting in crusades or whatever they called it. You do have it. It is not unusual. Look at what Jews are doing to Arabs in Palestine. You say it is their land. How can it be your land? Two thousand, five hundred years, it is still your land. Try to understand the dimensions of religious persuasions.
In that case, would you blame the crisis on government for not establishing reserves? Certainly, but the state governments in particular. The state governments haven’t done anything. In that case, what do you suggest? The first is education. With the support of General Ibrahim Babangida when he was in power, we started nomadic education. Thank God it is still on. Now, the problem has escalated to killings, deaths like we could see in Benue State? Not just now. It started a long time ago.
•Jubril Aminu...Nigeria is fighting a terrible enemy
So, how do you react because a lot of deaths have been attributed to it? It is the responsibility of government especially at the state level. These are their people. They benefit from them. These people move across state boundaries in the country as a whole. You find them as far south as Awka in Anambra State, as far as the northern fringes of Abeokuta, as far as Abakaliki. They are there because of the encroachment of the desert. They keep going down there. Can you say they are hostile? They are not hostile. I have told you what happens. They go round with their cattle. These are areas that they have known for decades. Their fathers, forefathers were following these routes. And they are going on their legitimate business. Somebody driving cows from Adamawa to go to the South-east. It is a long time, I have been hearing of Aba and Abakaliki and Umuahia and Onitsha. I know these places. And people have been taking cattle there, selling them and coming back. And people know about the route between Plateau and Mambilla. So, they have been going there. Now, next year, they come and find somebody saying it is his farm.
Fulani, they are all brothers and friends and all that. Why won’t you carry weapons? They are not carrying weapons to rob. They are carrying weapons for self-defence and they have been doing that for a long time. But as the sophistication of the society increases, the sophistication of their weapon increases. Before ,it was a stick.
But they are armed with weapons as they move? Will you carry your weapons when you are going to the bush? There are robbers. There are high way men. There are wild animals. There are competitors for cattle. It doesn’t mean that because they are all
Now, let me take you away from that issue. You are a delegate to the ongoing National Conference. So far, are you satisfied with the proceedings? No. We are not moving at all. But I am the only who is saying this. No body is saying
C M Y K
Doesn’t that now convey an impression that the cattle rearers you knew before are not the ones you know now? What about the Igbo I knew? Are they the same today? What about the Hausa I knew? Are they the same today? So , everybody can move but the Fulani man cannot move? Ok. What would you say about Benue where a lot of allusion is being made to the Fulani herdsmen? It is a pity. It is failure of government, failure of the elite. Government has failed to do its job. One governor was even saying he will stop eating beef. Let them stop eating beef. This is nonsense. How can you say you will stop eating beef because you are fighting the Fulani? What rubbish is that? The state governments in particular are not doing their work. And this is how all these crises begin.
that. We are now in the end of our 4th week. Theoretically, we have eight weeks left. Yet this is how far we have gone. You can see we are not moving fast. Do you believe in the conference? Do you think it will achieve positive results? I believe in the conference because it has already been set up. You set up somebody, you pulled the citizens, particularly the elder statesmen, you
One governor was even saying he will stop eating beef. Let them stop eating beef. This is nonsense. How can you say you will stop eating beef because you are fighting the Fulani?
have to try to do your best to make it succeed in the interest of the whole country. What do you say about the security situation in the country at the moment? You are just asking me anything that is worrying you, you just throw it at me. You, too tell me about the security situation in the country. (general laughter). You have asked me three or four questions, let me ask you this one. (more laughter). Bombings have continued to
go off ceaselessly. Citizens are worried and confused. Because Nigeria has allowed a very important, powerful organization with international connection and motivation, with paradise in many countries of the world to infiltrate here. What they are looking for is a territory. Of course, they said they have a divine cause they are pursuing. And they will not relent. To them, death means nothing. Death is martyrdom. Are you really sure it is a divine cause? Anyway, it is not all of them but when you start something, some others will come but i believe that if you ask them, they will tell you they are pursuing a divine cause. With the killings? That is not the point. You are coming from the point of view of Western, Nigerian oriented. For somebody who has dedicated his life here on earth, it is a struggle. To those people death is a welcome relief. They will never understand what is going on. If it is true that these people are pursuing a cause to Islamize Nigeria and they feel it is their duty; if you become a Muslim, and you a good one by their own definition, they will do everything for you. But if you are not with them, then in these areas of theirs, they will fight you. I am not saying this is what is going on. But you are a Muslim... (Cuts in) A devout one. Would you buy that idea? People have different ways of
Do you think there will ever be a solution to this problem of insecurity? Of course, there will be a solution. But we have to find it. What do you think we can do that hasn’t been done? There is state of emergency in place...? There are many things we have not done. Like what? We are not pursuing it like a war. This is a very important war, a terrible enemy. But we are not pursuing it like that. You can’t go round killing your own people or allowing them to kill others. To stop them from killing others is not by killing anybody who looks like them. That’s not what you will do. So, what do you do? You have to put more resources, more struggle, more political solution. Political solution is always the only one that lasts. Political solution? So, how do we go about it because the Federal Government recently called for negotiation... (Cuts in) How much negotiation has gone on up till now? Calling is one thing. Doing is another. 2015, the election year, is almost here. Do you see Nigeria crossing the hurdle with the insecurity situation? We have been having elections since 1959, maybe earlier, I don’t see anything. If we have any sense, it shouldn’t be difficult for us because we have done it before. We have INEC, we have the money, we have everything. Why should election be difficult?
SUND AY SUNDA
Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 33
BY WALE AKINOLA
he Fulani are tradi tionally a nomadic, pastoralist trading people. They herd cattle, goats and sheep across the vast dry hinterlands of their domain, keeping somewhat separate from the local agricultural populations. They are the largest nomadic ethnic group in the world. The Fulani follow a code of behaviour known as pulaaku, which consists of the qualities of patience, self control, discipline, prudence, modesty, respect for others (including foes), wisdom, forethought, personal responsibility, hospitality, courage and hard work.” That is how Wikipedia describes the Fulani. In many parts of Nigeria where the Fulani domicile, there has been an increasing trend of farmer (sedentary) – grazier (pastoral nomadic) conflicts. Such conflicts begin when cattle stray into farmlands and destroy crops. The often results in violent attacks and reprisal counter attacks being exchanged between the Fulani, who often feel their way of life and survival is being threatened, and other populations who often feel aggrieved from loss of farm produce. The Fulani have often re-
The Fulani story (1)
quested for the development of exclusive grazing reserves to curb conflicts. The stories from northern states of Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Adamawa, Bauchi, Nasarawa and Gombe where there have been killings and large scale destruction of property arising from the Fulani – host communities conflicts tell how turbulent their relationship is. The re-
lationship is not less violent in some southern states where conflicts triggered by the Fulani cattle straying into farmlands and destroying crops have not only been the order of the day, the herdsmen have also been accused of engaging in unwholesome activities like armed robbery and rape. The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria
(CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, captures the sentiment against the Fulani in many parts of the country when he says: “They (Fulani) have terrorized Nigeria. There is no state where they don’t kill people. Where did these people get AK 47 rifles from? Who taught them how to shoot? How is it that these people are never apprehended?
Nasarawa Killings: Claims and counter claims By ABEL DANIEL
he killings and destruction of property by suspected Fulani herdsmen which have continued to ravage some communities in Nasarawa and Benue states since Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura assumed office in Nasarawa have created suspicion in the minds of people who allege that criminals are being harbored in the state. The administration, no doubt, has left indelible marks on the state in the area of infrastructure which has been transformed and put in a good position to grow economically given its proximity to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. However, the activities of the suspected herdsmen continue to agitate the minds of the people of Nasarawa and Benue who have lived together for years without any cause to fight. Several peace meetings have been held between Almakura and his Benue counterpart to ensure peace all to no avail. In one of those meetings, Governor Gabriel Suswan of Benue State pointed accusing finger at Almakura that Fulani herdsmen are being harbored in Nasarawa to which they withdraw after each attack on the Tiv people in Benue. “We know that these Fulani fighters did not enter Benue through flight. They came on land and must have passed
through some communities in Nasarawa before invading some communities in Benue. Given the large number of the herdsmen, the governor of Nasarawa, traditional rulers, security operatives and people whose communities they hide in, in Nasarawa, cannot deny that they don’t know anything about them”. The Nasarawa governor denied the allegation, saying the suspected Fulani herdsmen could enter Benue through any neighboring state and not necessarily through Nasarawa. He, however, did not say there were no suspected Fulani fighters in his state. Also in an address on the occasion of the killing of some suspected Fulani fighters in his state, Almakura denied the victims were insurgents, stating that insurgents were in the forest along the Benue/Taraba trough from where they come to operate in Benue and Nasarawa states. Meanwhile, the military has been deployed in Nasarawa and Benue states to curtail the killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen. The troops deployed were blamed for the killing of some Fulani herdsmen in Keana LGA, Nasarawa State. The Fulani herdsmen/natives crisis in the state started with the Eggon. However, the Eggon, predominantly farmers, resorted to the use of black power which they claim give them the
ability to defeat their foes. The fight reached a point when the Eggon and the Fulani decided to lay down their arms. The next tribe to face the fire of suspected Fulani herdsmen in the state after the Eggons was the Agatus who reside in Loco, Agbashi and Agwatashi. According to the member of Nasarawa State House of Assembly representing the area, Hon. Anthony Obande, the suspected Fulani herdsmen invaded Agbashi as early as 5am on the day of attack. Obande said the attackers went from house to house using dynamite to burn and blow up houses. It was an experience that community will live to tell the story as all the houses with the exception of a primary school and the police station in Agbashi were razed. Almakura, during a visit to the area, condemned the attack. Agbashi has since turned to a ghost town. Nasarawa communities deserted in the wake of recent attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen include Gidan Ngur, Kadarko, Azer, Kadarko Rail, Agwan Kuje, Gidan Kwarra and Gidan Kparev as the locals are reported to be taking refuge in Benue, the FCT and Niger State. In the meantime, the Keana LGA alleged killing of some Fulani herdsmen has continued to generate controversy.
I have reports that there are communities where they have destroyed crops, killed people, raped women, yet, at the end of the day, it is the local people the police go after.” Meanwhile, a northern leader, Prof. Jubril Aminu, has a counter position: Fulani herdsmen are no killers; they are in fact victims. This is the first part of the Fulani story!
“What could have led to the killing of innocent Fulani resident in Keana who, on record, have lived, dined and wined with the Tiv in the area and have gone about their normal business of cattle rearing and marketing of fura da nonu?”, Almakura said. Describing the incident as an assault on the Fulani , the governor, who was at the palace of Osana of Keana, Emmanuel Elayo, said he visited to condole the people of Keana over what had be fallen them. Elayo commended his guest over his efforts at making peace in the state and called on him to bring the Tiv people back to begin their farming occupation as the planting season is approaching. “The Tiv people in Keana must be brought back to their homes because already food scarcity is sharply affecting our communities already because their farm produce were destroyed by the insurgents”, the monarch said. Meanwhile, the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Nasarawa State branch, speaking through its Secretary, Mohammed Hussein, described the Keana incident as a calculated attempt aimed at cleansing of the Fulani in the area.
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Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014
By EMMANUEL UNA, Calabar
n March 24, 2014, a farmer in Bebi in Obanlikwu local government area of Cross River State shot dead a Fulani herdsman for allowing his cattle to graze at his cassava farm. The farmer was said to have met the herdsman right in his farm and demanded to know why he allowed cattle to eat the leaves of his cassava. This reportedly angered the Fulani man who brought out a gun and attempted to shoot at the farmer. However, as things turned out, the farmer dispossessed the Fulani man of the gun and in turn shot him at close range. The herdsman, mortally wounded, was rushed to the Obanlikwu General Hospital, Busi, some five kilometres away, but did not survive the gun shot ; he died hours later. That is the most recent incident of communal intolerance between the natives in Cross River and Fulani herdsmen who are found virtually in all parts of the state. This incident is, however, small when compared to another in July 2012 when a village, Ntan Obu, in Odukpani local government area of the state was attacked by suspected
C-River: A mistrust so deep Fulani herdsmen allegedly in collusion with villagers from neighbouring Ikpanya, Akwa Ibom State which left over 50 people killed and almost all residential homes set ablaze. What led to the crisis was the reported lease of the flood plains, a rich grassland belonging to the Ntan Obu people to one Alhaji Bature to graze his cattle by their Ikpanya neighbours which
did not go down well with the Ntan Obu people who preferred to use the rich soil for planting of crops. Angered by the refusal of the Ntan Obu people to allow them the use of the land, the suspected Fulani herdsmen, allegedly in collaboration with the Ikpanya villagers, invaded Ntan Obu on the night of July 16, 2012 and killed scores of people
including the chief of the community. In other parts of the state like Ogoja, Yala, Ukele, Bekwara, Obudu, Boki and Akamkpa, herdsmen are avoided like the plaque. Many of the communities in the state, fearful of the negative impact the presence of the herdsmen and their cattle is capable of inflicting on their land and crops, usually send them away
before they have any opportunity of settling down. For instance, in early 2013, over 200 Fulani herdsmen and their families, who reportedly fled communal crisis in Taraba State, descended on Obanlikwu but the communities refused them the use of their land. They asked the herdsmen to relocate and when they refused, the leaders of the community appealed to the Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, to prevail on them to leave their land. Imoke had to provide them with relief materials and assisted them to return to where they came from. The mistrust between the Cross River natives and herdsmen could be understood from the speech of Chief Linus Okom, Ada Bekwara, recently, when Imoke visited the northern senatorial district of the state to inaugurate the PDP caucus there. Okom, who is the chairman of the caucus, singled out the havoc suspected Fulani herdsmen and their cattle were inflicting on the land and crops in Ogoja area and appealed to the governor to seeks ways of asking the herdsmen to leave. Imoke did not respond but the look of alarm on his face while Okom narrated the ordeal of farmers to him showed that he was really concerned about the situation.
Delta: The fear of the Fulani herdsmen By EMMA AMAIZE
AST year, a farmer at Anifekede in Ubulu-Uku kingdom, in Aniocha South local government area of Delta State, Chiedu Ogbonna, was shot in his farm by a suspected Fulani herdsman for allegedly daring to ask him and his fellow herdsmen to stop destroying his farm crops with their cattle. Chinedu, a native of OboloAfor, Nsukka , Enugu State, survived. But a former Director of Personnel Management, , Isoko North Local Government Area, Mr. Benjamin Chegwe, was not that lucky; he gave up the ghost after he was shot, September 30, 2012, in his farm allegedly by rampaging herdsmen. Alleged attacks by Hausa Fulani herdsmen are commonplace in all over Delta State. At Ogume in Ndokwa West Local Government Area, 10 youths were reportedly killed in a clash on a Sunday morning after villagers woke up to discover that some herdsmen led their cows to eat up their
tubers of yam. The herdsmen, allegedly armed with rifles, were said to have shot at the members of the community who confronted them. The Ogume Clan Development Association, Ndokwa raised concern over the security challenge allegedly posed in the area by herdsmen. At Akwukwu-Igbo in Oshimili North Local Government area of the state, the fear of Hausa – Fulani cattle herdsmen, who are believed to lead their cattle
from neighboring Otulu to graze, is the beginning of wisdom. A community leader, Ogbuenyi Obi Afagwu, narrated to Sunday Vanguard how he escaped from a Fulani herdsman, who brought out his gun and threatened to shoot him if he ever came to talk to him about cattle destroying his crops.. When the destruction of crops and harassment of farmers became unbearable for the people of Okpolo (Enwhe clan), the community’s Progressive
Union President General, Elder Isaac Omeke, said they had to form a vigilante group. The state government and the police have not folded their hands on the security challenge allegedly posed by the herdsmen over the years, even if the situation has not changed their disposition to members of the communities where their cattle graze. Besides destruction of farm crops, some of the Fulani herdsmen are suspected to be involved in armed robbery. After a meeting of the Delta State Security Council in Oghara, last year, Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mr. Ovuozorie Macaulay, said government had directed that any cattle rearer who allowed his cattle to destroy farm crops or cause bodily harm to farmers would be arrested and sent away from the state. Government also warned land owners, who rent their lands to Fulani rearers to graze their cattle, to stop or they would be punished. He also said Hausa-Fulani leaders in the respective communities in
the state would be made to fish out herdsmen responsible for untoward actions to host communities. The past few months has not been without skirmishes between herdsmen and villagers in Delta State, but following the increasing menace of cattle rearers in some parts of the country, an expanded State Security Council meeting, presided over by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, met recently in Warri to appraise the situation. At the meeting, attended by principal officers of the House of Assembly, heads of security agencies in the state, traditional rulers, local government council chairmen and religious leaders, a highpowered security committee, headed by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, was constituted to checkmate the charging herdsmen Uduaghan , who spoke to newsmen after the meeting, raised the alarm over the influx of strange persons into the state. He
Continues on page 35
SUND AY SUNDA
Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 35
By PETER DURU, Makurdi
he relationship between Benue farmers and Fulani herders has remained a reference point for other communities in parts of the country where the herders and natives have been embroiled in bloody conflicts. The Fulani live in all the 23 local government areas of the state due mainly to the fact that they were accommodated and integrated into the state in such a manner that they inter-married. The reason for the peaceful coexistence with the natives and integration in the communities is not far fetched: The Benue valley is a green belt that provides the herders ample grazing area for their herds. However, the relationship between the natives and the herders first went awry in 1989 when the then paramount ruler of Nzorov, in Guma local government area, Chief Iordye Akaahena, was killed allegedly by the herders after which a heavy bloodbath erupted between the Tivs and the Fulani. The animosity, which spread to the riverine community of Agatu, in the Idoma speaking area of the state, lasted two years and was resolved while the Fulani were allowed to return to Nzorov to settle. After the return of the herders, the natives co-existed with the communities in the local government area though with reported isolated cases of skirmishes there. But in the last six years, the relationship between the Fulani and the natives became strained such that the ensuing clashes became bloodier. Some three years ago, the herders allegedly launched an attack on Akor village in Nzorov ward of Guma LGA where 17 persons were killed and the village razed. Same day, Tse-Ormeagh, TseKondom, Tom-Ayin and Iyordye villages were burnt allegedly by the rampaging herdsmen and mercenaries. The natives fled to Gbajimba, the headquarters of the council for safety. From that point, the entire Guma local government came under siege. The invaders reportedly established their base at Nzorov where they launched attacks on neighbouring Ihiarev and Gwer West local government areas of Benue while Agatu was attacked from Loco, in Nasarawa State. No fewer than 150 persons were said to have been killed in the repeated attacks on Agatu. The invaders later stormed
Benue Clashes: Between natives and herdsmen-settlers the village of the paramount ruler of Tiv land, HRH Ochivere Alfred Akawe Torkula.. The incident, reportedly carried out by over 700 Fulani fighters, left over 40 persons dead while three villages namely, Tse-Torkula, Angyom and Tse-Usenda, all in Guma local government area of the state, were sacked by the invaders. Same day, the invaders proceeded to Kasyo and Umenge and razed them. The next target was Daudu along the ever busy Makurdi-Lafia Road which was sacked. The residents are now in refugee camps. The battle, last month, shifted to Tse Ortom-Adorogo, the home town of the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, and supervising Minister of Aviation, Dr. Samuel Ortom, also in Guma LGA, which was also sacked. The invaders razed over 100 houses and huts in the village and neigbouring communities about 45 kilometers from Awe local government area of Nasarawa State. The casualty figure in that attack was put at over 14.. Communities in Makurdi local government area were not also spared of the horror by the suspected Fulani herdsmen. Adeke and Adaka communities on the outskirts of Makurdi metropolis were invaded severally by gunmen who killed about eight persons after sacking the communities. The invaders were, infact, undeterred by the pres-
The unending tale of invasion of Benue communities by suspected Fulani herders has become a big security challenge that residents believe needs urgent intervention of the Federal Government ence of a Mobile Police barracks in one of the communities. Before the Adeke and Adaka incidents, Agatu and Gwer West local government areas were also killing fields as the marauders sent the natives packing after killing over 126 farmers and occupying their farmlands and homes. Only recently, a displaced persons settlement camp was set up for over 15,000 persons in neigbouring Kogi State
after a coordinated attack on Agatu and Gwer West local government areas. Kwande local government area was also not spared; it was gathered that over 25 persons were killed in that axis by suspected Fulani herdsmen who, early this year, invaded Jato Aka from Kashimbila, a community bordering Cameroon. Logo local government area, the country home of Governor Gabriel Suswan, equally
tasted the baptism of fire allegedly from the herders. Some weeks ago, over 30 person were reportedly killed at Ayilamo and Anyii in the LGA by marauders. The unending tale of invasion of Benue communities by suspected Fulani herders has become a big security challenge that residents believe needs urgent intervention of the Federal Government. The paramount ruler of Tyoshin kingdom, Nagi 11, Ayua Daniel Abomtse, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to convene a special ECOWAS conference to address the issue. Abomste made the call in a paper he delivered when the Senator Mohammed Magoro led the Senate Joint Committees on National Security, Intelligence, Defence/Army, Police and Interior on a factfinding visit on alleged Fulani insurgency in Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau states to the state. The paramount ruler, who stated that most of those creating problems in the country were cross border herders, sued for the establishment of a joint task force made up of civilians of the native border communities and the military to flush. He added: “The plan to enact a bill on grazing reserves/ cattle routes is welcome. However, it may not be feasible in some states like Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba Tiv dominated communities whose settlement pattern poses great impediment, worsened by the agrarian nature and high population density.” Meanwhile, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG, Operations, Michael Zuokumor - led committee, set up to find lasting solution to the lingering crisis, is making efforts to broker peace between the feuding parties. The deployment of soldiers in the state to stem the crisis is also expected to stem the unending clashes.
Delta: The fear of the Fulani herdsmen
Continued from page 34 pointed out that while the state government was not averse to accommodating genuine strangers, it would not fold its hands and allow the state to be over4run by people with criminal intentions. According to the governor, the taskforce would, among other things, control the movement of cattle into and within the state with a view to stopping any attempt by herdsmen to cause a breach of the peace. He added that the taskforce would also move into suspected locations, identify persons inhabiting such places and where it is established that the people are illegal immigrants, the immigration chief in the state would ensure they were evacuated. Uduaghan explained that the measure was not to completely stop cattle rear-
ing in the state, noting, “They can come but their movement has to be controlled by the task force. If they are coming to stay peacefully, we will allow them to stay.” The governor observed that the state has had peculiar security challenge between cattle rearers and farmers, but added that the situation, in recent times, had taken a new dimension with the influx of herdsmen carrying arms to terrorize farmers, snowballing into killing and raping of women. He noted that the problem of cattle rearers was a national issue and that he was ready to work with the Federal Government, fellow governors and traditional rulers from the North to find a lasting solution to the menace. “It is a challenge we are ready to face squarely,” he stressed.
PAGE 36 — SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014
SUNDAY Guest Columnist
The time to make a choice “Nigerian Muslim clerics living in the border towns of Cameroon and Nigeria are recruiting Boko Haram members in their mosques”GOVERNMENT OF THE CAMEROUNS.
H Nigeria, how I feel sorry for you. They burn your cities, kill your citizens, rape your women, steal your children, pillage your lands, insult you openly, desecrate your holy places and destroy your future; yet all you do is bicker amongst yourselves. Your country is burning; yet all you do is point accusing fingers at one another, act as if all is well and talk about who will be President in 2015. When they finally kill all your warriors, impale all your champions, behead all your leaders, rape all your women, dismember your country and take all your children captive, that is when you will know what you were up against. And by then, it will be too late. War is upon us and yet we continue to sleep. In civilised countries where men of honour reside, by now young men would have signed up, gone to the war front and offered themselves in battle and old men would have been co-coordinating their noble and gallant efforts. But not here. Here we are still involving ourselves in a stale debate about who and what Boko Haram is and what to do about them. Meanwhile, they laugh at us, bomb our cities, kill our people, spoil our glory, dim our star and drink the blood of our children. Pitiful condition What is it about the Nigerian that he always runs away from a fight and from battle? Where did this accursed cowardice and obsession with ‘’peace at ANY price’’ come from? I hold that even if they slaughtered one million of our sad and beleaguered citizens in one day, our people would still call for peace, good neighbourliness and understanding with Boko Haram and they would still say that we should forgive them and make friends with them. This is the sad and bitter truth and, unlike most, I have the courage to say it. That is the pitiful condition to which most of the Nigerian people have degenerated. The fact that building a nation requires courage and sacrifice is completely lost on them. As Thomas Jefersson once said, ‘’The tree of liberty is watered by the blood of tyrants and patriots’’. Yet how many Nigerians are prepared to sacrifice and put their lives and reputation on the line? How many of them are prepared to call a spade
a spade? How many of them are prepared to fight and to kill the enemy? Defending a nation requires strength and a firm resolve. Yet how many Nigerians have that strength and that firm resolve? Boko Haram has shown the world that we are a nation of cowards where honour does not reside and where righteous anger, when faced with pure evil, has no place. If this were not the case, the narrative today would not be anything other than a passionate plea for us to bury our differences, come together as one nation and one people and to fight Boko Haram to the last man. If not for that our resolve would be to go from house to house looking for the silent supporters, sponsors and prophets of Boko Haram and slaughtering them in revenge for what they have done to our people and our nation. Three years ago, I called on the Federal Government to level any city or community that hosted, provided refuge or supported Boko Haram and many not only insulted me but also said that I was far too extreme. At that time, whilst the doves continued to call for dialogue and understanding with and for Boko Haram, I saw them exactly for what they were- evil Islamist forces that had foreign-backing and a frightful agenda for our country which was not hidden. I also said that they would never stop until that agenda was effected or until they were utterly crushed and every single one of them was wiped out together with all traces of their evil philosophy. As usual, most Nigerians did not understand at the time and they subjected me to all manner of insults. Yet I continued and I warned that if all these things were not done, the situation would get far worse. Sadly, three years down the line, I have been proved right. Hard choice How did I know? Because I am a student of history and because what Boko Haram is attempting to do is nothing new. It has happened in many other countries over the ages and in those countries the people themselves were forced to make a hard choice- to either fight the evil or to succumb to it and allow it to overwhelm them. Sadly the people of Nigeria have not yet made that hard choice; instead they are still busying themselves with mundane and irrelevant questions like whether they are in APC or PDP or whether they like or support President Goodluck Jonathan or not. They fail to appreciate the fact that matters have gone far beyond that. They fail to see that at this rate, we may not even get to 2015 as one nation and
least of all be in a position to conduct an election at that time. They fail to see that if things don’t change quickly and Boko Haram is not stopped this democracy may not even last much longer. They fail to see that Boko Haram seeks to destroy us ALL and not just Jonathan, the PDP, the APC or anyone else. Those who encouraged the Boko monster and fed the Islamist beast at the outset and that silently supported and encouraged them in an attempt to destabilise the government and the nation have now become a victim of that hideous monster themselves.
By FEMI FANI-KAYODE
Nigerian Muslim clerics living in the border towns of Cameroon and Nigeria are believed to be recruiting members for Boko Haram in their mosques The same forces encouraged political Sharia in order to destabilise President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government and undermine his leadership between 2000 and 2003. This battle should have been fought and won then but Obasanjo failed to fight it and he handled it with kid gloves, claiming that it would ‘’fizzle out’’. Well ‘’fizzle out’’ it did not and, like a cancerous sore, ten years later, it has come back to haunt us. Ten years later, it has come back in the form of Boko Haram with all it’s attendant violence, horror and bloodshed. In the last three years, no less than 10,000 of our people have been killed in this conflict and hundreds abducted. The white Islamist flag and logo of Boko Haram has been flown in various parts of our nation and yet most of our people don’t seem to care and they honestly believe that this conflict will never spread to the South. How naive and how wrong they are.
‘Born to rule’ Let us make no mistake about it: the agenda of Boko Haram and those that are behind it, both locally and their international backers, is not limited to northern Nigeria and neither has it ever been. Simply put, they wish to conquer the whole country and establish their own caliphate. They wish to impose their strange values on the rest of us by force. There are some leaders in Nigeria, backed by Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Al Shabab and emboldened by Arab money and salifist philosophies, that honestly believe that if Nigeria is not ruled by a northern Muslim, then there must be no peace or there must be no Nigeria at all. Whether we like to admit it or not, this is the bitter truth. As far as they are concerned, it would be better to establish a prehistoric Islamic fundamentalist state, like the old Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, where full Sharia law is practised and where Boko Haram leads and holds sway, than to have a modern-day secularist Nigerian state where a southern or northern Christian or a moderate Muslim rules. The underlying philosophy is that some were ‘’born to rule’’ and if ‘’they’’ cannot rule, then they will use ‘’their’’ religion and ‘’their’’ considerable financial and political arsenal to ‘’make Nigeria ungovernable’’. This is evil and we must resist it. I can never support such an agenda, such a philosophy or such people because, as far as I am concerned, they are of the devil. Those that think like that and that espouse such views are worse than the white supremacist Boers of South Africa during the days of apartheid and the fascists of Nazi Germany under Hitler. If Nigeria is to remain one, then ALL her ethnic nationalities must be treated as equals, no matter how big or how small, and that the secularity of the state must be preserved. I have always believed that we must keep religion out of politics and that faith, being essentially a personal matter, must never be used as a political tool or as a weapon of destabilisation. Evidently, not all share my view. Some believe that religion and ethnicity can and must be used as a means to achieve and preserve political power. Worse still, others believe that Islamic fundamentalism has a place in our country and they believe that it is right and proper to terrorise, kill, maim and abduct as many Nigerians as possible in order to establish it here. Surely, this abberant philosophy and world-view must be rejected and resisted by all right-thinking people. It is time for Nigerians to wake up from their deep and satanic slumber and make the right choices. They must either fight this evil called Boko Haram or submit and capitulate to it. They must either insist on a modern-day secular state where all are equal before the law and are protected by the Constitution or they accept the violent imposition of the most cruel and barbaric form of an Islamic fundamentalist state. Implications for Nigeria They must either stand up and identify the real enemy or they continue to bicker and argue about the most irrelevant, inconsequential and childish things. They must either open their eyes wide and understand the implications of what is unfolding for their nation and for their children and grandchildren or they continue to wallow in denial, ignorance, cowardice and timidity until all is lost and we are completely overwhelmed. They must either demand that the Sambisi a forest, where the filthy and cowardly cockroaches and vermin called Boko Haram are said to reside, should be bombed with nepam and burnt to the ground along with everyone and everything in it or they continue to whimper and cry from under their beds like little children and beg for mercy. At the end of the day the choice is theirs. Prayer has it’s place but it is not God’s job to fight this battle- it is ours. God bless Nigeria. *Fani-Kayode was Minister of Aviation under the Obasanjo administration.
SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 37
By Babatunde Jimoh with agency reports
ROM Bourdillion Road, through Falomo, to Awolowo Road, Ikoyi before berthing at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) the colours of the participants at the Lagos carnival 2014, called LASGIDI, on Easter Monday, reflected the glory of the rising sun and the variegated hues of the setting sun as they danced all the way. As the participants danced, it was endless fun, merriment and time for making new friends watching the crowd that lined the routes and those that found their ways into the 60,000 capacity TBS. Local and foreign tourists were seen dancing to musical vibes dished out by the DJ. The Lagos carnival, in its fifth year, is an expression of the creative talents of young Lagosians who produced all the costumes worn by the participants as well as the floats and effigies used by the various bands during the procession that lasted eight hours. According to Governor Raji Fashola, the carnival represents the real spirit of Lagos which is a spirit of prosperity after prosperity. The Lagos carnival, which is a beautiful recreation of the age long tradition of Brazilian Lagos as pioneered by Brazilian returnees Emancipados, was given added impetus through a colourful display of music and dance by various groups. As early as seven in the morning, Awolowo Road, Campos Square, and TBS was already bubbling with participants as the children bands took over the vast field of the national museum for the take off of their street procession. CHILDREN BAND Over 40 schools, drawn from the six educational districts across Lagos State, participated in the carnival that preceded the adults carnival. David Oyeniyi and Oyedun Debora of the District One Band were happy being part of the carnival as it has afforded them the opportunity of making new friends, just as they looked forward to taking part in subsequent carnivals. ADULTS CARNIVAL The adults carnival was bold and loud as the groups representing specific neighbourhoods in the state came in costumes that drew applause from the crowd. Locomotion Band, one of the several adults bands, caused commotion with its costumes as the crowd was wowed with the band’s innovative yellow and black dress. The over 150-member band, in replica of the performance that won them the best carnival band, last year, was delightful to watch with their high energy, well choreo graphed dance steps and bands stripped round their necks resonating beats of the C M Y K
The bold and loud Brazilian Lagos!
and corner shops in this vicinity would have made today not to talk of the professionals that have made additional source of income during the duration of the carnival?.’he asked. The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Edem Duke, said the carnival will further boost the nation’s economy and expose the rich culture of the country to the world, as he calls for local content in future carnival organization. PEACE Governor Babatunde Fashola, who was joined by his wife, Abimbola, and Deputy Governor, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope Adefulire, used the occasion to reiterate the need for peaceful co-existence and urged everyone to remain vigilant and be his brother ’s keeper. BOAT REGATTA Preceding the Lagos carnival was the water regatta on Easter Sunday at the Civic Centre, Lekki and Falomo Waterfront, Ikoyi, where residents and tourists were treated to the best of water display of culture, tradition and aquatic splendour. Large boats colourfully
The ‘colours’ of the participants at the Lagos carnival 2014
It was not all about dancing by the Locomotion Band, they also came with a message of hope, unity and a thought for the Nigerian child popular songs. It was not all about dancing by the Locomotion Band, they also came with a message of hope, unity and a thought for the Nigerian child. The Ikoyi Legacy group, participating in the carnival for the first time, was not intimidated by other bands as it brought vibrancy to the show . Their procession has a lot of interesting and intriguing moves that included flips, acrobatics. The bevy of dancers in the band, Sunday Vanguard learnt, were choreographed by Segun Adefila who blend-
ed the dancing steps of the band with Nigerian hip-hop and other African vibes that created an entirely new flavour. Other bands worthy of mention are the Lafiaji, Ogba, Ketu, Oko-Faji and Emerald bands. The Emerald Band stood out in their splendid lemon green costumes worn by carefully selected array of energetic, beautiful young ladies who had what it takes to dance. The chairman of the Carnival Committee, Disun Holloway, who is also the state’s commissioner or Tourism, said
the costumes, which gave the event its main character, received enormous attention as it took several months to prepare. “Preparation involves dozens of gifted hands sketching, designing, redesigning, cutting and sewing all the fabric used. It also includes fabricating sails, head-gears, backpacks, floats and effigies used by the various bands during the carnival procession.” ECONOMY The commissioner added the carnival is one vehicle through which the creativity and the resourcefulness of the young men and women of the Lagos State Skills Acquisition Centres is exhibited. The carnival, apart from empowering the youth, is also repositioning the lives of Lagosians in different ways. The venue of the carnival and adjoining streets were taken over by traders. One of the organisers said the carnival has helped many in several ways. “Can you imagine what volume of business the hotels, restaurants
decorated adorned the water ways. The men in the boats later danced and rowed to show agility and their prowess in handling water sports. The Lagos State water regatta is water based cultural sporting and recreational activities put together to show diverse functions of the boat in the yesteryears, from community to community. The fiesta featured a parade of decorated floats on the creeks around Ikoyi and Victoria Island with the parade consisting of large fishing boats, ferries, barges and other marine vessels depicting social cultural tradition, folklores and occupational aspects of the people of Lagos. A major highlight of this year ’s edition is the ‘Regatta Village’, which consists of exhibition stands, viewing centres where all the activities on water were for inspection. The Fun Park and other fun activities for children were equally a plus for the event as they were treated to the best of comedy and music.
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Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014
By NDAHI MARAMA, Maiduguri
ambisa is a vast area of land located south of Borno State. The thick forest area with swampy condition during rainy season is believed to be harbouring make shift- camps of suspected members of Boko Haram Islamists. It has boundaries with Chibok, Askira Uba, Damboa, Gwoza, Konduga, Dikwa, Bama and other local government areas of the state. There is a games reserve situated in the heart of Sambisa forest, but when members of the terrorist group were dislodged by the military and vigilante youths from Maiduguri, Borno State capital, most of them relocated to the Sambisa and destroyed the games reserve last year killing some of the staff and settling there. Although the military has told the whole world severally that during their offensive against Boko Haram, they were able to kill many of the insurgents C M Y K
and destroyed their camps, people question whether it is true that security forces actually were able to enter Sambisa. This is because of the several number of attacks and killings in Sambisa and surrounding villages. The games reserve, according to findings, is located 14 kilometres of Kawuri village, along Maiduguri-Bama road
kilometres. It harbours a sizeable population of wildlife, typical of savannah habitat/ environment; like monkeys, antelopes, lions, elephants, as well as bird species such as ostrich, bustard, etc. Contrary to what many think that Borno is a desert area, there are sizeable parts of the state, especially southern Borno, Sambisa inclusive, which vegetation is savannah by
If the soldiers had accompanied us to the forest, we would have been optimistic that our missing children would have been rescued, or we would have been satisfied if we could just see the bodies of our daughters which came under a deadly attack last month, leaving 85 people killed with property worth millions of naira destroyed. It has an area of approximately 518 square
nature. Prior to its destruction by insurgents, the games reserve was handed over to the Federal Government through the National Park. The Chibok incident,
which sparked global outrage, saw over 200 schoolgirls of a government girls secondary school being abducted, and still missing with extensive search and rescue mission into the Sambisa forest.
*Ordeal in Sambisa
arents of the abducted school girls, at the weekend, recounted their experiences in the Sambisa forest in search of their daughters. The aggrieved, traumatised parents, who spoke when Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima visited the school, also disputed the figures provided by the state government of the victims who escaped from their kidnappers. The parents had vowed, last week, to storm the forest because the military had purportedly failed to enter the place and rescue the children. Narrating his experience, Mallam Amos Chiroma, who was among the parents who combed the Sambisa forest, told the governor: “We saw a
lot of strange things in the Sambisa forest but we will not be able to disclose all for security reasons. Borno and indeed this country require prayers from all and sundry. “While we were in the forest with over 200 volunteers who only had cutlasses, bows, arrows and sticks, we came across different make-shift camps suspected to be owned by terrorists. It is however unfortunate that we had to turn back when we met one good Samaritan in the forest who advised us that it was in our own interest to go back because the area we were approaching in the forest was a dead zone dominated by terrorists. “If soldiers had accompanied us to the forest, we would have been optimistic that our missing children would have been rescued, or we would have been satisfied if we could just see the bodies of our daughters”. Another parent, Mallam Shettima Yau Haruna, said since the incident, he and other affected parents had been having sleepless
Continues on page 39
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*The school where the girls abduction took place
The story of the Sambisa forest Continues from page 38 nights and they summoned courage to enter the Sambisa forest. He told Shettima: “We want to seize this opportunity to thank you for the visit and identify with us at this sorrowful moment. But the truth of the matter is that only 39 out of about 250 students have so far been rescued contrary to official reports that 44 students were rescued out of 129 who were abducted as they were preparing to write their senior secondary school certificate examinations. We want to emphasise that we are not happy with this development. While we continue to pray for the safe return of our daughters, we therefore appeal to government and our security operatives to please intensify the search for our missing innocent children”. Our correspondent, who visited the school, last week, observed that the entire structure and vehicles in the school were set ablaze as well as the council secretariat and the residence of the caretaker chairman. The governor, while addressing parents of the abducted students, sympathised with them and promised to deploy all human and material C M Y K
resources towards the safe release of the missing students. He, however, called on all and sundry to continue to pray and fast for the release of the abducted girls.
*Soldiers, vigilante groups hunt for kidnapped girls
eanwhile, Shettima’s spokesman, Isa Gusau, said that soldiers and vigilante groups were hunting “around the clock” for the terrorists holding the schoolgirls hostage. Gusau said that 52 students had escaped so far, after seven more girls were found safe, last week. Two ran to the state capital, Maiduguri, while five others found their way home, he said. “With this development, we now have 77 girls still in the custody of their abductors,” he said. “This is the most trying moment Governor Shettima has faced in the last three years. A security (operation) has been put in place to rescue the remaining girls and this included soldiers and members of a civilian force that was formed last year to help the military fight Boko Haram. “We are working round the
clock to ensure all of them are freed unharmed,” he said. Gusau’s figures were disputed by the school’s principal, Asabe Kwambura, who said she was working with parents to compile a complete register of those taken. She said, “A total of 230 names were registered by parents. So far, 43 girls have escaped. We still have 187 missing.” Residents of Chibok also appealed to Boko Haram to show mercy and release the girls. “We are appealing to Boko Haram to show mercy and release these girls,” said Chibok resident Haladu Sule, adding: “The people of Chibok will know no peace until they are freed.” Members of the community criticised the rescue mission, claiming they had not yet seen a large build-up of troops in the region or any indication that the military had mobilised a major search effort. Some of the girls who escaped said the Islamists took the hostages to the Sambisa forest.
*Borno women to storm forest
n the meantime, Borno State coalition for women’s right groups, last week, expressed willingness
to mobilise thousands of women to embark on a voluntary search and rescue mission into the Sambisa forest, to secure the release of the abducted girls. The women, under the auspices of BAOBAB
Members of the community criticised the rescue mission, claiming they had not yet seen a large build-up of troops in the region or any indication that the military had mobilised a major search effort Women’s Right, said they were ready to storm the hide-out of the Boko Haram insurgents where the abducted girls were believed to have being held hostage. Spokesperson for the group, Prof. Hauwa Abdu
Biu, in an interview, said they resolved to embark on the expedition when it was evident that no reasonable progress was being achieved in the rescue of the kidnapped girls. “We are ready to go into the forest and search for the girls. In fact, we are prepared to risk our lives and reach up to to Boko Haram camp and appeal to them to release the children to us so that they can reunite with their parents”, Hauwa declared. “There is nothing extraordinary in our quest to enter the dangerous forest. We learnt that some men in Chibok earlier embarked on such mission, which later turned out to be fruitless. “We feel that as mothers, we are in a better position to have the sympathy and concern over the fate of the missing girls. All we are after is to see to the successful release of the girls unhurt”. The group urged security forces to put in more efforts in the search and rescue mission. She described the abduction of the school girls as inhuman, abuse of human rights, capable of scuttling the efforts to enhance the girl-child education in Borno and the country at large.
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Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014
THE HORROR By MICK KREVER, CNN
hey come in the night. Armed militants take young children from their beds, as they sleep: Young recruits for extremist causes. It happened this (last) week in Nigeria, when heavily armed Boko Haram Islamists kidnapped 200 girls from their boarding school. And it has been happening in northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and other neighbouring countries for decades – the work of Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour covered Kony’s sick work 16 years ago, for 60 Minutes, when she reported on the abduction of 139 girls from their school. She spoke with their teacher, Sister Rachele Fassera, who begged for the children’s return. “He (Kony) bent down and on the ground he wrote, ‘The girls are 139. I will give you 109.’ He wrote, ‘I keep 30,’ Sister Raquelle told Amanpour at the time.” “I knelt in front of him,” she said. “And I said, ‘please give me all the girls’. He said, ‘No’ [crying]. Then they (kidnapped girls) started, ‘Sister, they will rape us tonight. Sister, will you come back tonight?’
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Kidnapping children for battle, from Uganda to Nigeria “That was the last time I saw them.” That story is now the basis for a new novel, “Thirty Girls,” by the awardwinning American writer Susan Minot. “It’s an amazing story,” she told Amanpour in an interview. “I think a lot about it. I’ve thought about it for the last 16 years, since I heard her (Sister Rachele Fassera) story. And the bravery that she went through, the horrible situation that she was in, just haunted me.” In her own coverage of the story, Amanpour also spoke with a girl, Agnes, who had been kept by LRA commanders. “Did you take part in punishing a girl for trying to escape?” Amanpour asked. “All of us were made to do so.” “What did you do?” “They gave us firewood to beat her.” “And did she die?” “She died.” “What do you think about having been made to kill somebody?”
He (Kony) bent down and on the ground he wrote, ‘The girls are 139. I will give you 109.’ He wrote, ‘I keep 30,’ Sister Raquelle told Amanpour at the time
“I’m okay at times. But at times I could think of her.” “You still think of her?” “Yes.” “You see her face?” “Yes.” “It was unbelievable,” Minot said. “Or it wasn’t … I won’t say ‘unbelievable,’ because, again, I’ve thought about this a long time. And it turns out there’s nothing that’s really unbelievable. “To me the most horrendous thing about it was this was going on continually and the world was not doing anything to stop it.” Minot has previously written about the story, but never got the kind of reaction she now has, she told Amanpour. “When I wrote my non-fiction piece, I actually never even heard a peep back about it,” she said. “For about 20 years he (Kony) was marauding and looting and victimizing children. And so eight years ago, when I was writing this book, it was still going on. So I wanted to try to write about it as a novelist from sort of the inside out.” There is a “human recognition,” she said, that “ we’re not so very far away from the peoples’ experience.”
SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 41
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PAGE 42— SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 27, 2014 Email: email@example.com
BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA
veteran chartered accountant, Ms.Titilayo Ramatu Ojeifo is the President of Soroptimist International of Lagos Mainland, an international organisation comprising professional women who have dedicated their lives to promoting women and girls worldwide. She’s also National Treasurer, Soroptimist International of Nigeria. Until 2013, this amiable gem was General Manager, Industrial Equipment Division, R.T Briscoe Nigeria Plc. In this interview, Titi who’s just turned fifty last month recounts her life experiences and reveals why giving succor to the poor is her second nature.
Do you feel any sense of fulfillment being 50? Not in the sense that everything I dreamed of has happened. I feel fulfilled that in spite of all that has happened in my life, God is still in control. So, I’m very happy. What are some of the dreams you had that you think have not come to pass? There are so many things I would have loved. For instance, I attended a friend’s daughter ’s wedding and I would have loved that to be happening to me. Though I do not have my own biological child, I know I have many whose weddings I will be attending. In spite of that, I have children who are not biologically related to me, but whose lives I’m touching. You’re touching them through what platform? I’m touching them through Soroptimist and other personal voluntary activities. Aside Soroptimist, are you involved in any other charity organization? I actually try to positively touch the lives of people in any area of influence I find myself, as well as in church. Being a staunch Catholic, could that be through the Society of St Vincent de Paul? No. I’m the marriage counseling coordinator for my parish. So, I meet with a lot of C M Y K
Giving, my source of happiness —Titi Ojeifo, President, Mainland Soroptimist young people. For me, that’s very fulfilling because they will go on to have families; and you know the focus of the Catholic Church is on family. We want to see families grow and also watch the domestic church become more vibrant. And through the domestic church, evangelism. You had so many people at your birthday party… (Cuts in)Yet, I’m not an extrovert. But you know something, if you’re there for people, they will be there for you. When you’re ready to give yourself out for people, they will give themselves out for you. I never used to do that. In the past, when people would come to me for help, I would just give them the money they needed, just so they would go. But one day, my conscience pricked me and opened up my eyes
to the fact that the thing about giving is the motive. My motive was wrong though that person may have been happy about the money. Now, I learn to listen because sometimes, money is not all that is needed to solve problems. It may be that you have to go visit, talk, or so. Giving oneself or people coming into your space is a lot more than money. Can you tell us about your growing up days? I grew up in a GRA in Kaduna because my dad was in the civil service. Life there was very quiet as most of our neighbours were whites. I guess that’s why I love trees, books and music. What about your educational and professional background? I have a B.Sc in Accountancy, an 11-year-old MBA from the Lagos Business School and I’m a chartered accountant. I’ve also done courses in different parts of the world. Right now, I’m in the process of setting up my own business. Like you know, I’ve just left R.T Briscoe Nigeria Plc. I’ve since then rested for a while in England but I’m back in
I planned having a beautiful home as a young girl but things didn’t turn out so; my husband is late now and my only child died years ago.... God is in charge so I'm happy Nigeria now. Actually, I’m really putting a lot of time into Soroptimist activities presently. The theme for this Soroptimist year is ‘Inspiring Action, Transforming Lives’ while our focus is to empower and enable women and girls. So, I’m working closely with our school, the Soroptimist International School of Lagos Mainland in Lawanson, to address adult illiteracy. In the area of healthcare, we’re conducting medical screening for both men and women and sponsoring treatments for breast cancer and many more, where necessary.
hat’s the greatest lesson life has taught
you? I will say two. The first one is: No matter what hand life deals with you with, get up and face life again. The second is: You’ll always meet people who will not be nice, but try not to be bitter about them. Take it in your stride because things will not always be the way you want them. I planned having a beautiful home as a young girl but things didn’t turn out so; my husband is late now and my only child died years ago. Any plan to remarry? I don’t know. I’m a Catholic and I embrace life without trying to shy away from it. So, if there is a good man, I think I will remarry. You look so happy despite the loss of an only child; what gives you joy? It is faith in God. Sometimes, I question God though, but I’ve however accepted that life is about good and bad. So, I’ve learnt to embrace life no matter what. I think we should just depend on God always for faith, good friends and resources to overcome difficult times.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 43
Why I parted waays ys with with Ngige, Ngige, w Rep ep Odedo Odedo bbyy R BY ADEOLA ADENUGA
on. Charles Odedo, a member of House of Representatives representing Idemili Federal Constituency, Anambra State, in this interview, explains why he parted ways with his mentor, Senator Chris Ngige. He says he is returning to the PDP from where he joined the defunct ACNand contested election into parliament. Odedo also speaks on his chances in the 2015 polls which he aspires to contest. Why did you dump APC? I resigned from the APC because I feel my ambition to return to the House of Representatives may not be realized in that party. I have fallen out of favour with Sen. Chris Ngige. Ngige gave me the opportunity to return to the House of Representatives in this 7th Assembly; so when I noticed that the relationship was not as good as it used to be, I knew it was time to go. He is my leader; I will not stay in his party to fight because he gave me a chance when nobody wanted me. I will rather go away quietly. I have fallen out of favour; I am no longer his favourite. I want to use this opportunity to thank Ngige for giving me that opportunity. I am most grateful. My ambition to return to the House of Representatives is very popular among Idemili people some elite want to frustrate the will of the people. Only Idemili people can decide my fate. You are seen as one of the foot soldiers of Ngige in Anambra. Don’t you think that your resignation would affect the senator’s political career in the 2015 elections? Not at all. I do not think my exit will affect his political career in 2015. Mind you, before my entry into politics in 2005, the senator was already a governor. Remember also that in 2011, he was elected a senator against Dora Akunyili who was supported by Governor Peter Obi. I benefited a lot from Ngige’s goodwill and the good works he did in Anambra Central especially in Idemili North and South. I think I will struggle to make it on my own. But I am willing to take my chances. My experience with PDP in 2007 was a bitter one because, after winning the PDP primary election ahead of the general elections, my name was removed. I fought all the way to the Supreme Court before entering the House of Representatives in July 2008. I lost about one year and one month. I was already a member of the House of Representatives before I joined Ngige in ACN in 2011. I was to be denied the ticket of the PDP, that is why I left for the ACN where I won the election. Now that I perceive that I may not get the ticket of APC, I have to take action. What really happened between you and Dr. Ngige that made you to quit? I really do not know what my of-
fence was, but I noticed that some people around Ngige were no longer happy with me. They constantly criticized all my actions. They managed to get close to Ngige more than anybody else. Let me give you a few examples of what I am talking about. The signs that showed I have really fallen out of favour with Ngige. I was not allowed to put an acting Chairman in my ward, one ward out of 326 in Anambra State. When in 2012 my ward Chairman was removed for disciplinary reasons. I actually appointed an acting Chairman pending the time of election for proper replacement. One of our members from my ward invited Ngige to his house, collaborated with the suspended Chairman and convinced Ngige that the appointment I made could not stand. I was summoned and directed to reverse that appointment. Two, the people that followed me from PDP to ACN were never fully accepted and were always marginalized in the scheme of things. For example, very senior members of my campaign organization were never invited to critical meetings despite my consistent demand. One of my senior direc-
Hon Charles Odedo tion, Ngige changed his security. A brother to Ngige prevented me from going to his suite to see him. I was turned back. This act was most unfair and humiliating. Six, there was this very important assignment that I was given. After I carried it out to the best of my ability and with great cost to me financially, I did not receive appreciation. When I asked his Excellency, he told me that my report was sub-standard. Seven, the Chief of Staff to Ngige called a party meeting to announce that he was going to contest election for the House of Representatives and announced to everyone that H.E has zoned my position to Idemili North effectively zoning me out. Other aspirants
My defection has to do with the fact that APC in the South-east revolves around some personalities and is more or less a one-man show; it is almost a dictatorship tors got angry and went to one of the meetings uninvited. He was thrown out. Three, during my 2012 empowerment programme for the constituency, Ngige called me to explain the 10 people I had empowered with vehicles. My critics had reported to him that I was only interested in those who followed me from PDP. After an audit of the distribution, to their shame, it was discovered that the vehicles had been shared 50/50 by me. Four, during our governorship flag-off, I offered to bear the expenses of the event in my constituency. This offer was rejected despite the fact that the campaign needed funds at that time. Five, four days to the 16th November, 2013 governorship elec-
from the zone have been calling similar meetings for the same reason. I protested to H.E. This matter has never been addressed in an open forum, rather I was told not to worry about it. Eight, during the ward and local government congress of our party, a person I had opposed was made the Chairman of the party in the local government by eight members. These are people who clearly opposed my ambition to return to the House of Representatives. These people are now being put in strategic positions of the party. A situation that led me to conclude that the conspiracy against me had been perfected and I had no choice but to leave the APC. Which political party are you planning to defect to and why the
choice of that party? Point of correction, I came into the 7th Assembly on the platform of ACN (Action Congress of Nigeria) and not the APC (All Progressives Congress). ACN merged with some parties to become the APC. So I did not come to the House on the platform of APC. I really do not believe in the APC as I see it as a gang up against the President. The Constitution allows me to leave if I am uncomfortable with the merger. Section 68 (1) (g) affirms this. Now I am returning to the PDP, my original party. The PDP is broad based and, with the effective leadership of Mr. President and the enthronement of internal Democracy by the National Chairman, I am confident that the PDP will win the 2015 general elections. Does your defection have anything to do with the believe in some quarters that APC does not have a firm root in the SouthEast? My defection has to do with the fact that APC in the South-east revolves around some personalities and is more or less a one-man show; it is almost a dictatorship. What is your view on the state of insecurity in Nigeria? This country is under serious threat because when citizens are attacked and killed, when school children are attacked and kidnapped, when places of worship are attacked at will, you will agree with me that we are in serious trouble. At the beginning of the 7th Assembly while contributing to the debate on the legislative agenda of the 7th Assembly I made some suggestions as the way out of this situation. I asked that we should focus on some critical areas because of the state of insecurity in Nigeria. I asked that attention should be given to agriculture for mass production of food to reduce hunger. Agriculture also creates
employment opportunities. The insurgency is fueled by hunger and unemployment. I made it clear that unemployment is the biggest problem confronting this country today. I said government should focus on areas of development that will create job. I made it clear that government should set a deadline to stop fuel importation. All these measures will create jobs for our youths. I pointed out that it was crazy for us in this country every year to set aside up to 70% of our budget for recurrent expenditures, while the budget for capital is less than 30%. Even the capital is not implemented in full; sometimes the implementation of the capital is as low as 25%. I pleaded for security of lives and property and welfare of our citizens. I asked that our security agencies should be reorganized especially the intelligence arm for a proactive approach to securing lives. I made the case that our security agencies should be well funded and exposed to foreign training so that their capacity and efficiency will improve. I said insecurity must be fought with compulsory free education up to SS 3 level. What is your take on the 2015 general elections? I think that benefit of doubt should be given to INEC. They seem to have started well. We at the National Assembly have appropriated necessary funds needed by the electoral body. The media should educate the public on the need for peaceful conduct during the elections. Government should provide a safe environment during the elections and, most importantly, INEC must ensure transparent, free, fair and credible elections. This can reduce tension and bring peace to our land.
PAGE 44, SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 27, 2014
Fayemi’s day BY JUDITH UFFORD
t was an evening of excellence and recogni tion recently at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, for Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti State, when he was decorated as Champions Newspapers Governor of the Year Award. The event, which provided yet another opportunity for eminent Nigerians to celebrate the man reputed to have, in the last three and a half years, brought about the transformation of Ekiti State, also had other eminent Nigerians receive awards in various categories. They include renowned industrialist and Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote (Champion’s 2013 Man of the Year), Mr. Peter Obi (Outstanding Igbo Personality of the Year), Chief Sunny Dike Odogwu (Lifetime Achievement), Chief Emeka Anyaoku (Lifetime Achievement), Chief Ralph Uwechue (Lifetime Achievement), Chairman of Honeywell Group, Dr. Oba Otudeko, Dame Abimbola Fashola (Heart Of Gold), Lady Mercy Odochi Orji, (Heart of Gold), Dr. (Mrs.) Stella Okoli, (Heart of Gold), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina (Minister of the Year), Chief Leo StanEkeh (ICT Personality of the
their awards. The recognition is not meant to massage anyone’s ego or to promote frivolity. Our newspaper conducted an independent investigation of the activities of the award winners. Our assessment of the awardees was without their knowledge and without their approval. “Our country is moving towards turning the corner and it has therefore become imperative to appreciate those who provide sacrificial leadership. “There is no doubt that there is a dearth of committed and selfless leaders in our society today, not only in politics but also in the economy, education, industry, academia and a host of others. As we consolidate our democracy, there is no other time than now to begin a process of identifying and celebrating those who have effectively utilized every opportunity to lead at one level or the other for the good of our people. “This is our modest way of contributing to the uplift of our society by providing a veritable platform to recognize selfless service among public office holders.” Tambuwal expressed satisfaction at the calibre of individuals and groups being honoured. “It is true that despite the
“For me, it is a great privilege and honour to serve my people. It is rare for one to attain such heights in our country, so for those who are endowed with the privilege to serve our dear country Year), and Engr. Earnest Nwapa (Oil and Gas Personality of the Year). Globacom Limited, Zenith Bank and Mutual Benefit Assurance were equally honoured. Fayemi was the man of the moment at the colourful event which had Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, as Chairman. The reason for this is simple: Speaker after speaker unleashed a torrent of panegyrics on the activist governor. In his address of welcome, Executive Chairman of Champion Newspapers, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, represented by Chief Bonnie Mnachukwu, described all the winners as men and women who had provided sacrificial leadership in the country. Said he: “Our 2013 awardees are certainly deserving of C M Y K
many problems we face as a nation, most of which can be blamed on the lack of the political will of most leaders, there have been people who have been able to raise the bar. Awards like this serve as recognition of the efforts of such people and help to set agenda on the kind of leadership we should have”. He called on the media to help influence policy and set the agenda that can ensure society’s progress. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, in his speech at the occasion, poured accolades on Fayemi, describing him as a friend and brother. “He is a very selfless leader,” Fashola said. “He is someone who has shown to us how strong he can be. Even though his intellectual disposition suggests that he prefers staying in the comfort
*Gov Kayode Fayemi of his office, he is still committed beyond that, and when he is committed to a cause you can be sure he pursues it so judiciously. He held on to his mandate in spite of the obvious odds against him. He went from court to court in pursuit of justice and when that justice was served, he continued to use it for the benefit of his people and for the purpose he achieved it. I think it is such value and strength of character that has failed to elude the attention of the Champion Newspapers and resulted to his choice of the newspaper’s 2013 Governor of the Year. I believe this is to also encourage him to do more.” He described his wife, Abimbola, who was also honoured at the event, as a pillar of strength and a woman with the heart of gold. “Since I met my wife, my life has been going in a positive direction,” he informed the gathering. Another awardee and immediate past governor of Anambra, Obi, said Fayemi’s performance so far had placed him at an advantage over other contestants in the forthcoming governorship polls in Ekiti. A tumultuous cheer from the audience rented the air as Fayemi was summoned to
receive his award. Resplendent in his blue agbada and a wine-red Awo cap, the governor, who beamed with smiles, stepped to the podium, accompanied by his wife, Erelu Bisi, Fashola, Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, and other dignitaries. The award was presented to him by Tambuwal. In his acceptance speech, Fayemi praised the organisers of the event for appreciating his efforts at uplifting his people. He was also full of gratitude to his wife for being a pillar of support, just as he appreciated his children and family for coping with the stress of his busy schedules. “I dedicate the award to the good people of Ekiti State,” he said. “For me, it is a great privilege and honour to serve my people. It is rare for one to attain such heights in our country, so for those who are endowed with the privilege to serve our dear country, at this highest office, we owe them a duty to serve diligently, selflessly and with great compassion and other similar ways. That is what we have done in the last three and half years in office. The evidence of that transformation agenda is all over the state for all to see. I do agree with Mr. Peter Obi that I am running for the second term
on the strength of my great performance. The things that I have done in about 132 communities in our state are very visible and are evidence of performance all over the state. So for me, this award is an encouragement for us to continue to work harder. I thank the people of Ekiti State for giving me this rare opportunity of leading our state back to the path of honour. “This is not my first award as Governor of the Year. I also won the Leadership Newspapers 2012 Governor of the Year Award. So, as I go into the gubernatorial race the second time, the people of Nigeria already recognized that we have served our people well and we are building on that legacy of sound service to our people. We will build on that foundation of development and continue to contribute our quota to make Ekiti State great.” Olayinka Oyebode, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, said his principal indeed deserved the award owing to his palpable transformation of Ekiti State in all areas. “The governor always puts the people of the state first in all decisions he makes, and this is responsible for the rapid and massive development visible in the state presently”. Prior to receiving the Champion Newspapers’ Governor of the Year award, Fayemi had, in July last year, received the Zik’s Prize in Leadership Award in the Good Governance category. He also won the Samsung Award for Best Governor in ICT application for his eschool project. The award was presented to him in South Africa. In February this year, the Old People’s Care Foundation under the leadership of former Justice of the International Court of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola, recognised his pioneering role in the social security scheme for the elderly citizens with an award that was presented to him in Ado-Ekiti. A group of Ekiti dancers enlivened the event. They praised Fayemi for taking care of the people, including the aged, who now receive monthly stipends from the state government. Dignitaries who came to celebrate Fayemi at the event include a former Ekiti State governor, Niyi Adebayo; Fayemi’s deputy, Prof. Adelabu; Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin; Senator Tony Adeniyi; members of the State Executive Council; traditional rulers from Ekiti State; and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Ekiti State University, Prof. Gbenga Aribisala.
APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 45
Rebasing: After the hypes and the hisses Then take a look at the revenues. South Africa generates almost four times the revenue of the “largest” economy in Africa – with $95 billion against our own $23 billion. Their expenses also are about four times our own at $116.5b to $31.61 b. Now let us pause and consider the meanings of all of these facts. Some are obvious; others are not. If indeed, the Federal government expected to gain any political mileage out of rebasing, then the President should urgently consider sacking whoever advised him to approve the release of those figures. Glaring to me, if not anybody else, is the fact that while South Africa captures almost 25 per cent of its annual GDP in revenues to be spent for future development, Nigeria garners a measly 4.5 per cent per annum. Now, it should be obvious to anyone why Nigerians are dying to migrate to South Africa and South Africans are reluctant to come here. Obviously, a great deal of taxable income is going untaxed in Nigeria – sometimes deliberately so. Let me provide an example. One of the reasons why Nigeria’s GDP suddenly shot up had to do with recognition of a lot of income generating activities, which should be taxed;
BY DELE SOBOWALE
“Nigerian GDP at purchasing power parity has almost tripled from $170 billion to $451 billion ib 2012,”. CIA World Fact Book.
HE spin doctors and the skep tics have had their say. It is time for the economists to regain their property and explain what rebasing means and what it does not imply. That, after all is the real benefit of conducting the exercise. When the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, NBS, recently released the rebased Gross Domestic Productivity, GDP, figure for Nigeria, the impression was given that there is only one measure of GDP. The Honourable Federal Minister for Finance, as well as other knowledgeable Ministers, in their attempt to deceive the President and Nigerians, failed to point out that there are two acceptable metrics for measuring GDP. The first, and most commonly used, is the nominal figure and it was this which declared Nigeria’s economy as the largest in Africa with a GDP $510 billion (est) for 2013. GDP, everyone must understand is an annual estimate and not a perpetual figure. In fact, the 2014 estimates will be different from what was declared for 2013. The second measure of GDP, which is a companion estimate, and which frequently provides a different figure, is called the Purchasing Power Parity, PPP. This measure of GDP, in 2012, also rebased, estimated Nigeria’s GDP at $451 billion – after the CIA Fact Book explained that the informal sector in Nigeria assigns a much higher GDP estimate to Nigeria than has been generally supposed. The estimates go as high as $630 billion per annum for Nigeria when some other factors left out by the NBS are included. What, then, are we supposed to make of all these figures for Nigeria? The good news is that the Nigerian economy is much larger than most economic analysts have been telling us. Economists, including those from the World Bank (where our Finance Minister worked for years) and the International Monetary Fund, IMF, as well as leading Nigerian economists, especially the Nigerian Economic Society, NES, and the Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research, NISER, have been derelict in their duties by not correcting the wrong estimates which had been applied to Nigeria until now. Given all the professors of economics we have in Nigeria, it is a cause for alarm that none ever drew our attention to the fact that our economy needed to be rebased every five years. And, given the unknown numbers of people who had been appointed Ministers of Finance and National Planning, it is also a cause for wonder that none ever once mentioned rebasing – until now. Certainly, that was why the attempt by Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to turn this revelation to political advantage for the President blew up in everybody’s faces. She had a chance when she served Obasanjo to ask for rebasing and failed to attend to it. Was it ignorance, or, dereliction of duty? Either way her reputation as a world class economist had not been enhanced by the outcome. If rebasing had been undertaken in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010, then the unprecedented jump in our GDP estimates by 89% overnight would have been avoided. In effect, what the rebased esti-
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS: NIGERIA AND SOUTH AFRICA NIGERIA
$510 b (2013)
$391 b (2012)
$451 b (2012)
$585 b (2012)
GDP Per capita
$97.46 b (2012)
$101.2 b (2012)
$70.58 b (2012)
$106.8 b (2012)
$23.48 b (2012)
$95.27 b (2012)
$31.61 b (2012)
$116.5 b (2012)
One of the reasons why Nigeria’s GDP suddenly shot up had to do with recognition of a lot of income generating activities, which should be taxed; but are not. Our leaders, when entertaining, and we too, do something which is almost unheard of elsewhere in the world today mates tell us is clear – our GDP estimates for 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010, as well as all the years in between had been understated all along. So, there is absolutely no reason for anybody, who is not an incorrigible liar, to attribute the result to any current agen-
da of the present government. It represents a backlog of adjustments which should have been made before now. The most important question however is: where do we stand in comparison with South Africa? The next segment tells us all we need to know – without hypes or hisses.
Ext. Reserves (2012) (2012).
$42.8 b $54.98 b
Based on the figures above, it is clear that we are only deceiving ourselves by calling Nigeria the largest economy in Africa. We rank higher than South Africa only in having a larger nominal GDP. When we take into consideration other measures of the size of an economy, Nigeria is still far behind. We are close with exports, but clearly anybody with anything to sell, will head for South Africa first – with almost 30 per cent more money to spend than Nigeria.
but are not. Our leaders, when entertaining, and we too, do something which is almost unheard of elsewhere in the world today. We engage top class musicians for the occasions. The musicians are not only paid, up front, huge amounts, from which no taxes are deducted or claimed by the state, then we proceed to “spray them” with cash, for which there is no accounting. Given the caliber of individuals in the gathering, a musician could walk away with up to N20 million or more in one evening and nobody would ask him to pay a kobo in taxes. In South Africa, that would be called economic lunacy. In Nigeria, it is encouraged by people in government and at the top levels of society. Is it any wonder that South Africa generates close to 40,000MW of power and we are still struggling to reach 5,000?... Visit: www.delesobowale.com or Visit: www.facebook.com/biolasobowale
PAGE 46—SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27 , 2014
Epileptic power: Will thermal stations’ sale break the ice? BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE
N editor of a na tional newspa per, last week, threatened to wage media war against electric power distribution companies in the country. Reason: Power supply has been so irregular in his area of Lagos that for 30 days, power was ‘flashed’ for only a couple of minutes while electricity bills remained high. The top journalist was so irritated with the development given the enormous investments government has made on power in recent years. Responding to the complaints of the editor and many Nigerians, who share similar experience, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mr. James Olotu, said that with the privatisation of the generation companies (GENCOS) under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) and the 10 thermal power plants, power situation in the country would improve significantly soon. Indeed, on March 7, 2014, a consortium of investors - foreign and local - successfully put up their financial bids for the 80 per cent equity of the 10 thermal power plants built by the NDPHC under the NIPP. It was a realisation of a vision conceived in 2004 when the NIPP was initiated amid skepticism. However, 10 years after, with funding from the three tiers of government, the NIPP’s $8 billion investments include construction of 10 power stations with total capacity of 5,774MW; 125 high voltage transmission network, gas pipelines and metering stations for the power stations; provision and integration of grid-wide telecommunication and tele-protection infrastructure; and over 290 electrical distribution and network projects at 11kv and 33kv voltage levels with injection substations and transformers. Govts to earn $5.8 bn With the bids for the 10 power plants, offered to the highest bidders, the three tiers of government are expected to recoup $5.8 billion of their investments in the NIPP. Successful bidders 66 companies initially applied to bid for the 80 per cent equity in the 10 power plants and 42 of
With the bids for the 10 power plants, offered to the highest bidders, the three tiers of government are expected to recoup $5.8 billion of their investments in the NIPP Mr. James Olotu them were approved to take part in the exercise with the following bidders succeeding: . i Alaoji Generation Company – AITEO Consortium, which offered $902,000,000 for the 1,076 megawatt facility. i Benin Generation Company – EMA Consortium, $580 million iCalabar Generation Company – EMA Consortium, $625 million. iEgbema power plant – Dizzy Integrated Power Limited, $415,075,000 i Gbarain Generation Company – KDI Energy Resources, $340 million. i Geregu Generation Company – Seoul Electric Power Limited, $690,200,000 i Ogorode power plant— Daniel Power C o n s o r t i u m , $531,777,777. iOlorunsogo Generation Company – ENL Consortium Limited, $751,240,000 iOmoku power plant – Shayobe International Limited Consortium, $318,710,840. i Omotosho Generation Company – Omotosho Electric Power, $659,999,000.
Bidders to take over June The new owners of the power plants are expected to take charge of them by June. The financial bid process also produced 10 reserve bidders who are expected to displace any of the preferred bidders that fail to meet the transaction g u i d e l i n e s . Said to be over priced by the bidders, and indication of high quality and viability, the power plants were constructed from the scratch and simultaneously by the NDPHC alongside its work of expanding the country ’s power transmission capacity and gas distribution networks. 16 hydro power stations Considered as an arm of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda, the sale of the 10 thermal stations brings to an end the first phase of the NIPP and marks the beginning of the second phase of the initiative. The second phase includes transformation of the country’s power infrastructure in other locations not fully captured under the first phase and this will in-
clude the construction of 16 large, medium and small hydro power plants on dams in the country as follows: i Mambilla Dam hydro power plant (HPP), 3,050MW (Taraba State) i Gurara II Dam HPP, 360MW (Niger State). i Itisi Dam HPP, 40MW (Kaduna State) i Bakolori Dam HPP, 3.0MW (Zamfara State) i Challawa Dam HP, 7.5MW (Kano State) i Tiga Dam HPP, 10MW (Kano State) i Kampe Dam HPP, 0.5MW (Kogi State) i Zobe Dam HPP, 0.30MW (Katsina State) i Jibia Dam HPP, 4.0MW (Katsina State) i Doma Dam HPP, 1.0MW (Nasarawa State) i Katsina Ala Dam HPP, 40MW (Benue State) i Oyan Dam HPP, 10MW (Ogun State) i Ikere Gorge HPP, 6.0MW (Oyo State) i Owena Dam HPP, 0.45MW (Ondo State) iAhmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria HPP (Kaduna State) iJado Dam HPP, Ad-
When completed, the 16 HPPs are expected to increase Nigeria’s power generation capacity by about 4,000MW. Speaking on these developments, an elated Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, who is the chairman, Joint Technical Transaction Committee of the bid for the 10 thermal power stations, reportedly said: “All the plants are in good condition, the investors who bided for the plants have done their own due diligence and inspection of the plants before submitting their bids.’’ Also, Mr. Benjamin Dikki, director general, Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), said the NIPP privatisation process would usher in “the last step of the session. At the conclusion of this, all the generation companies (Gencos) will now be in private hands and it is a historical landmark.” Numerous hurdles Although, the NDPHC can leverage on the invaluable experience it has got from executing the first phase of the NIPP, building the 16 HPPs is not going to be a tea party because there is an avalanche of hurdles to surmount. Weak transmission capacity In the North, for instance, Transmission Transfer Capability is said to be less than 4,000MW or about 40 per cent of the line capacity. Voltage instability degenerates further North on account of the long radial lines that characterise the three northern
planning regions. Specifically, in the North-east, residents reportedly experience high and low voltages regularly. The region also suffers from high voltage during light load condition and low voltage at times of heavy load condition. Compared to other parts of the country, some of the weakest system nodes are located in the Northeast due to long electrical distances from generating stations. Power transfer capacity to the region is reduced to less than 30 per cent of the line capacity because of voltage regulation problem and the entire transmission capacity is about 150MW because of the voltage regulation c h a l l e n g e s . Similarly, the North-west geo-political zone also has voltage regulation problem and the transmission power transfer capability is less than 30 per cent of the 330kV line capacity of 660MW, which translates to less than 200MW. Funding Another hurdle is funding. Although, part of $5.8 billion proceeds of the partial sale of the 10 thermal plants would be spent on the second phase of the NIPP, government said it would seek a $10 billion worth of investments in collaboration with private investors to build the new hydro power stations across the North. The rising debt challenge among the players in the power sector is also of a snag with the NDPHC being owed about N36 billion for electricity supplied to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) as at the end of December 2013. Observers want government to critically look into the debt issue to avoid sending wrong signals to investors in the sector. Equipment vandalisation Government would also need measures to check rampant acts of vandalism of gas supply infrastructure because gas supply remains a challenge in the optimisation of the 10 thermal plants. After all said and done, Nigerians need regular power supply, which will drive our industries, boost the economy and lead to improved fortunes for the electric power-thirsty citizenry. Will these initiatives meet these yearnings? Only time will tell
SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014 — Page 47
Remembering Noelle-Neumann: The clamour for open contest VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF The case for and against zoing of governorship
WO key ongoing events in the country remind me of this German scholar, Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, who attained world-wide fame with her groundbreaking 1974 work entitled, Spiral of Silence. Though old, the book is not dated. Noelle-Neumann’s findings ring true today as they did when she first unveiled them 40 years ago. As I write I can hear Noelle-Neumann’s expert explication of the social processes that have shaped public opinion around Nigeria’s ongoing National Conference and the zoning of political offices in the land. Noelle-Neumann had observed that different shades of opinion on any public issue would start out with equal strength, only for some of the opinions to become relatively muted over time with those who had espoused them at the beginning becoming more and more quiet on the matter in a spiral of silence as they cower under the fear of being isolated from the mass of public opinion ascending in a different direction, and winning more and more converts. In other words, she found that there was a tendency for people to remain silent when they feel their views are in opposition to the majority view on a subject. She identified that social process in opinion formation and sustenance as “Spiral of silence.” The process Noelle-Neumann identified in her seminal work as spiral of silence has been much in evidence regarding public reactions to the constitution of the National Conference and zoning of political offices in the country. Let’s take the National Conference first.
The clamour for open contest is gaining momentum. Everywhere, the camp of the champions of zoning is thinning out. Noelle-Neumann has come alive, and her theory, Spiral of Silence, is showing its practical relevance
and justice. It was interesting seeing how these highly emotive words were deployed to suit the purpose of each camp. For the zonistas (apologies, Etim Etim), any failure to offer exclusive access for Eket Senatorial District to Government House in Uyo, aka Hilltop Mansion, would amount to being on the wrong side of equity, fairness and justice, which would equate to an odious evil against a section of the state that has never produced a governor since its creation in 1987. Those in opposition to the zonistas also argued, with equal aplomb, that excluding any part of the state from the contest would bring about an anomalous scenario that lacks— and does not dispense—fairness, equity and justice to all. It was what the inimitable and immortal Fela Anikulapu Kuti would call stalemate. Over time, though, we have observed Noelle-Neumann come alive to break the stalemate, bringing with her the social pressure for conformity, as one strand of opinion weakened and the other became stronger and triumphant. In this case, the argument for open contest has gained the upper hand.
Omisore’s promissory notes VIEWPOINT BY JAMES OLUWALOGUN VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF
How Osun State poll may playout
F you are on the same page as I am on the matter of the forthcoming governorship poll in the State of Osun, then you are probably noticing a most interesting development of our time. Of the two leading contestants, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Chief Iyiola Omisore of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), one would be waving a scorecard of verifiable achievements to ask for the renewal of his mandate at the August ballot, while the other, untested in the delivery of good and disciplined governance, would be flaunting a promissory note to request for the people’s vote. Now, between the one who has performed and is reeling out his accomplishments which the whole world can see and the other who is merely promising heaven and earth based on ”unsecured” pledges, who will electorate opt for? The first is asking for votes upon
his conviction that he has done well to deserve an encore in office. That is to say he is resting on what political scientists call the theory of merit votes. The theory says an incumbent office holder who has done well merits the vote or mandate of the people on account of the solid achievements in his first term, if he should seek re-election. He stands on a surer footing for a second coming than the inexperienced person. In addition to these theorists, the greatest and most visible proponents and supporters of this position are the people who have benefited from the government of Aregbesola, the intellectuals as well as the media practitioners. We must applaud them for this. For it is only when we establish merit as the core utility in our daily activities and at election time that we can expect genuine elevation of ethical values in the society. A people seeking progress and stability should be driven by “meritocracy ”, if you permit poetic license to apply this coinage! They would head into a blind alley if they should rely on the promissory notes of Omisore. At the moment what he is doing is to ask for the votes of the people based strictly on the promises to
provide this and to provide that if elected, and to even cancel what have been provided. Promissory notes, as well known US lawyer Aaron Larson observes, are unreliable as a tool for “adequate protection”….. In the event the promisor defaults”. He calls the promissory note an “unsecured” obligation which can result in “bankruptcy”. He said “care should be taken” on the issue of those offering promissory notes. (See Promissory Note Template by Aaron Larson published by Law Offices of Aaron Larson, Michigan, the United States of America 2003). In Nigerian politics, promissory notes are even more treacherous and hazardous as an instrument of bargain or campaign for vote. Once the promisor secures your vote, he reneges on his word and resorts to harsh tactics of alienation. The wise citizen would keep a very long distance from him and go for the one who is asking you to examine the scorecard of his tenure to see the difference between the two. And the difference is clear. Under Aregbesola, the State of Osun has crossed the line away from the indices that made observers call it a dull and poor civil service state. A Briton who toured the state declared after coming face-to-face with the changes he saw:”Osun is
More and more people have come to reason that the case for an open contest is a superior argument, backed by history and moral authority. They have thus switched camps. The tribe of the zonistas is thinning out from the fear of being left out of the mainstream of public opinion. What we have is the match of theory in practice; the inevitable triumph of an unstoppable social process. There is a spiral of silence in the camp of the naysayers. Maybe a convenient place to start in plotting the downward spiral in the zonistas camp is the report of the National Assembly Committee on the Review of the Constitution. The committee turned in a report that showed that Nigerians from all the geopolitical zones of the country thought zoning of political offices was a wrong and most unlikely way of choosing the best hands to man the affairs of the nation. They said NO to zoning. The distaste for zoning soon spread. Rabid champions of zoning began to see their position as untenable. They began to leave the zonistas camp in droves. Some of them prevaricated; others squinted, but most backed away. The leading lights of sections of the state where zoning was the Holy Grail began to speak out for open contest, citing its intrinsic value as the best way of recruiting the ablest of men and women to lead. Leaders of thought and leading politicians from Oron, Eket and even Annang broke away from the preachment on zoning, and contended that the best can only be attained if the whole state formed the recruitment ground for the next governor of the state. Now let’s earth the discussion in concrete facts. No fact better illustrates the shift in public opinion on zoning than the comment of Governor Godswill
BY IBORO OTONGARAN
Public opinion bifurcated into two strands at the announcement of the plan for the conference by the Federal Government. On one side were those who argued that there was no need for a conference, and that no public resources should be committed to such talk shop. On the other side were those who saw the conference as a solution to our existential problems. In the end, conference champions won. The population of the naysayers thinned out as more and more of them fell silent out of fear that they would be seen as going against the current of public opinion on an issue of central interest to the people. Today, most people are on the same page that the conference is okay, and are rather worrying about the mechanics of the conference such as representation, duration and such other minutiae like validating the conference outcome with a national referendum. The political issue that best illustrates the working of the “spiral of silence” theory in our polity is the zoning argument. In no place is this illustration more eloquent than in Akwa Ibom State. There are reasons for this conclusion. The zoning question has been the staple of public discourse for much longer than the National Conference in the state. Perhaps it has excited more passion. But above all else, zoning is a more abiding concern of the people of the state, judging by the tenor of public discourse. The argument—in Akwa Ibom— started with two rigid, clearly irreconcilable camps. In one camp were the champions of zoning. They brooked no contrary opinion. To them, it was zoning or no life as we know it. In the other camp were champions of open contest, rabidly opposed to zoning, citing lack of historical precedence for zoning as their justification. Both camps sought to build their cases on timehonoured values of fairness, equity
Aregbesola correctly argues that education is the key. So, he has practically destroyed the mechanism of the past that made it impossible for the Osun citizen to develop
brimming with possibilities”. Aregbesola correctly argues that education is the key. So, he has practically destroyed the mechanism of the past that made it impossible for the Osun citizen to develop. His school reclassification policy, along with Opon imo learning technology and a conducive teaching ambience has now been accepted statewide, indeed nationwide and globally. In nearly four years, the APC government has now put in place an aggregate of economic and social policies that have attracted critical acclaim to earn Osun the respectable position of being the seventh largest economy in
Akpabio at a town hall meeting in Eket on March 5, 2014. In a reply to a question on the openness or otherwise of the governorship primary of the PDP for the 2015 election, the governor avoided a direct position on whether the office of governor will be zoned to Eket as he had said many times in the recent past. This time round he said that the decision would be made by party elders and stakeholders. The original idea of the town hall meeting was to drum up support for zoning. Noelle-Neumann explains that the spiral of silence results from social discomfort which makes adherents of certain opinions to feel isolated and therefore tend to shift to a more comforting position that aligns more with the mainstream of public opinion on an issue. The comment of Ntisong Ibibio, Nitsong Essien Ekidem III, at the same meeting in Eket was another sampler of the practical relevance of the spiral of silence theory. The Ntisong is from Okon Eket, yet he spoke at the meeting calling for an open contest. Before the town hall meeting in Eket, highly-placed proponents of zoning such as Senator Etang Umoyo had moderated their position and deferred to the trend of public opinion. He reportedly said in a private meeting with party elders and stakeholders that he could not be opposed to the mass of public opinion in the state which is in favour of open contest. The clamour for open contest is gaining momentum. Everywhere, the camp of the champions of zoning is thinning out. NoelleNeumann has come alive, and her theory, Spiral of Silence, is showing its practical relevance.
•Otongaran is the CEO of ProData, a Lagos-based perception management firm
Nigeria. Yet, Osun is only a state of four million people with less than N300m. internally generated revenue IGR) when the Ogbeni took over in 2010. Today, it boasts IGR of N1.6b. Naturally, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has also gone up, rising from N110b. in 2010 to N800b. in 2013. The implication is that there has been a huge thrust of economic activities and steady investment in infrastructural development in the State of Osun, including the move to build an international airport. It is going to have the longest runway in Africa. These are citizen-friendly statistics, enabling mass employment, the provision of modern roads, hospitals, schools, industries, subsidized agriculture, free nutritious meals for students, welfare packaged for the vulnerable in the society and a general clime of stability and peace. At the poll in August 2014, this is the merit test Rauf Aregbesola will subject himself to. He will be telling the people he merits (deserves) their overwhelming vote again because of his achievements. Poor Iyiola Omisore will tender promissory notes! • Oluwalogbon, a media practitioner of International exposure, writes from Osogbo
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08023145567 (sms only)
Miracles at AVMCC's Jesus Festival, Chosen's Rainy Easter By SAM EYOBOKA & OLAYINKA LATONA
ASTER, also called Pasch (Latin: Pascha), a moveable feast celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, comes once in a year. Despite the security challenges facing the country, thousands of Christians last Sunday gathered at different worship centres to mark this year's Easter because Christ's resurrection brought everlasting joy to His disciples and rekindled hope among his followers, restored confidence and boldness in them to preach the gospel without fear. At the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja, Lagos and the Lord Chosen Charismatic Revival Church, Ijesha, Lagos, the celebration was observed with much zest and enthusiasm. The Anglican Church played host to what it called, Jesus Festival on Saturday giving opportunity to old and young worshippers all clad in branded T-shirts with caps, to relish the scintilating acrobatic displays by the church's Boys Brigade and Girls Guides. There were lots of prayers, Praise & Worship, word ministration as well as identification parades by parishes in the diocese. According to event convener and Diocesan bishop of Lagos West, Bishop Olusola Odedeji, the programme formed part of a three cardinal point agenda of the diocese including: spiritual growth; enhanced youth involvement in activities and aggressive evan-
*Mrs. Elizabeth Agbamu Etereigho and her husband, Mr. Agbamu Etereigho giving the testimony. gelism with emphasis on personal life. He restated his commitment to effect changes that would cause revival. In his words: “This programme focused on youth empowerment and desire to engage them in something godly and worthwhile." Odedeji also urged politicians to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians, stating that what is happening today is as a result of corruption and abuse of power by Nigerian politicians. In a sermon titled; “Creation, for redemption and resurrection”, the Dean of St. Francis of Assisi, Wusasa, Zaria, Bishop Praises Omole narrated his ex-
perience as a minister of God in the North, he saying: “I have friends who have lost their lives in the crises. There was a bomb blast about 10,000 yards from my house and you needed to see how heavy the vibration was! I thought the blast was in my house. "We always thank God for each day. They keep saying they don't want Christians in the North, but I do not know how this can be possible. For some of us if we are going to die we will consider it a privilege. We trust in God. He is the one who has been sustaining us. We will not run away because of insecurity in the North.”
Calling on the church leaders to sustain the programme, one Mrs. Lucy Ibekwe, who claimed to have received instant healing during the ministration said: "I had been on bandage for two months due to an injury, but when the man of God was ministering I received my healing and I removed the cast." In a related development, Mrs. Elizabeth Agbamu Eterigho on Easter Sunday at the Lord's Chosen told a huge crowd of worshippers that she was healed of HIV, TB, madness and other related ailments that threatened to terminate her life. The testimony which was the icing of the cake at the service, threw the entire crowd at the international headuarters of the church along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway in Lagos in ecstacy and wild jubilation. According to the middle-aged woman who was later joined by her husband, Mr. Agbamu Etereigho, her case had been proclaimed by different medical practitioners as hopeless when somebody told them to come to the Lord Chosen where she was healed after a simple prayer from the general overseer. Corroborating the woman's claim, the husband said: "After visiting five hospitals and there was no hope, I told the doctor to discharge my wife. They told me she would die and I said I will take the risk because I want to join another family. I have found my true father." Shortly after the testimony, torrential rains started and members scampered for shelter.
8 bag THAF scholarship at Alile's birthday By SAM EYOBOKA
IVE indigent students on Thurs day at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos became recipients of this year's The Hayford Alile Foundation, THAF scholarship to study in three private universities in the country. Three other aspiring entrepreneurs also went home with N300,000 each to FATE Foundation specialists in wealth creation by promoting Business and Entrepreneurial development among Nigerian Youth. The recipients who received the sum of N200,000 each included Mass Communications student of Madonna University, Okija, Precious Aziken, Eunice Olusola Odunsi of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Oluwafemi Mujeed Ishola also of Afe Babalola University, Chigbata Chineye Nnake and Festus Olumide Oyegoke both studying physics at the Benson Idahosa University, Benin City. Pastor (Mrs.) Pat Alile who presented the cheues on behalf of THAF, also presented the single cheque of N900,000 for the three recipient of the FATE Foundation grant to Miss Sylvia Nana on behalf of the two others, Segun Omobolaji and Tolaleyin Akande.
*Pastor (Mrs.) Pat Alile presenting a cheque of N200,000 to Miss Precious Aziken during the 2014 THAF annual lecture at Julius Berger Hall, University of Lagos on Thursday. Photo: AKEEM SALAU. THAF, baby of the pioneer DirectorGeneral of Nigeria Stock Exchange, NSE, Apostle Hayford Alile, is a nonprofit, non-governmental and non-sectarian organisation committed to the advancing and supporting education and entrepreneural development in Africa. Apostle Alile who turned 74 last Thursday, used the occasion of national entrepreneural lectures in his honour to lament the steady decline in the nation's education sector, saying that
something basically is wrong with our educational system. Comparing the nation's economy to that of Ghana whose citizens were here a few years ago, he said there is a structural defect in the Nigerian situation, arguing "the teachers who cannot spell their names will not be able to teach their students to spell their names." Noting that Nigerians are a very creative and innovative people, Alile lamented how the had steadily fallen on
the ladder, adding that what happened in Edo State recently when the government asked teachers to take examinations to ascertain whether they can spell their names and people are politicising a well-intentioned idea was appaling. "Nigeria needs to go back and re-read a paper put together by former Education Minister, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili intended to transform the decaying education sector," he stated, adding that over 80 per cent of black people in the world may not have a grounded future except we make a deliberate effort now to fund education. Alile who recommended the Ghanaian model which recognised the need for the introduction of skill acquisition right from the formative years of our children, narrated his ordeal with Nigerian artisans. The 74-year old religious leader urged Nigerian leaders to help this country by building a solid future for the coming generation of Nigerians by exposing them to vocational training from their formative years. "Nigeria's prosperity depends solely on a well educated citizenry. The vision 20-2020 document provides for a clear direction for education sector through the improvement of science, engineering and technology," Alile reiterated.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 49
ISHOP David Oyedepo says poverty is not of God. He insists a child of God has no business being poor and declares: “There’s a proven covenant cure for poverty.” If this were true and proven, all the world’s poor would have become rich Christians by now. Let us juxtapose the bishop’s enticing words with the word of God and see whose report should be believed. Jesus says: “You will always have the poor among you.” (John 12:8). Moses says: “The poor will never cease from the land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11). So where does that leave Bishop Oyedepo’s “proven covenant cure for poverty?” It is a pie in the sky.
Wealth transfer A few years ago, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo organised a crusade in Port Harcourt, Nigeria captioned “The Coming Wealth Transfer.” The import of this crusade was to bring to the notice of Nigerians that God was getting ready to transfer the riches of non-Christians to Christians. You need to ask people like Pastor Matthew how long this wealth transfer will take to come. Ask him why it has not yet taken place in the 2000 years since Jesus came. Ask him if this wealth transfer is likely to take place in your lifetime; otherwise of what interest is it to you? Be cynical when he asks you to make a down-payment for this wealth transfer now, in order to get the one that is coming in the by-andby. It is important to get clarity on such issues be-
ETERMINED to meet the scriptural needs of every Nigerian
cause some years earlier, officials of the Charity Commission in England detected another wealth transfer in Pastor Matthew’s Kingsway church. That transfer was not from God to the congregation: it was from the congregation to Pastor Matthew. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of church funds had been dubiously transferred overseas from Kingsway. A 120,000 pounds birthday party was given for Pastor Matthew at the expense of the church, out of which 80,000 was used to buy him a Mercedes Benz. It was also reported that Pastor Matthew used the church’s visa card to buy a timeshare apartment in Florida. In contravention of British charity law, church payments were made to his private companies which were operated from church premises. As a result of these irregularities, Kingsway was placed in the hands of receivers, new trustee managers were appointed and Pastor Matthew was asked to repay 200,000 pounds to the church. The upshot of this was that he relocated temporarily to Nigeria, where he started preaching messages of “Sweat-less Wealth,” “101 Answers to Money Problems,” and “Twenty-Four Hour Miracles.”
Witches and wiz-
In the churches, truth has fallen in the pews and falsehood has become the established doctrine ards Some pastors declare that they have the anointing to make people rich. This makes them no different from babalawos. Jesus says believers should be as wise as serpents. (Matthew 10:16). Therefore, Christians need to determine exactly where this povertyeradicating anointing comes from because all our springs must come from the Lord. (Psalm 87: 7). There is no biblical record of Jesus ever making any man financially rich. On the contrary, he sought to make the rich young ruler poor by requiring him to sell all he has and give the proceeds to the poor as a precondition for discipleship. (Matthew 19:21). He then tells all Christians to do likewise. (Luke 12:33). Jesus even refused to assist a man in obtaining his rightful share of his family inheritance; telling him instead: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15). When Pastor Wale Adefarasin became the Lagos
in general, Christian Churches and Confessions in particular and to help people interact with the Word of God, the Bible Society of Nigeria,
BSN, on Tuesday added another feather to its cap, when it unveiled in Lagos two bible translations into Igede and Ebira languages.
Group urges leaders to tackle insecurity
NON-GOV ERNMENTAL organisation, Christian Conscience has called on Nigerian leaders at all levels to lay aside their differences and tackle insecurity, political thuggery, kidnapping and other crimes that are ravaging some parts of the country, reports EBUN SESSOU. The group, in its Easter
Benue State while the Ebira Bible is scheduled for Saturday. The General Secretary also revealed that the Society is currently working on 16 other revision and translation project with some nearing completion, noting that each of the projects cost N30 million. Unlike the Igede Bible that took the society 23 years to complete, translating the Old Testament bible into Ebira language started in April, 2006 and was completed in 2013. Enumerating some of the challenges encountered on the Igede Bible project, Ajiboye said: “Some of the challenges are lack of funds, lack of regular power supply,
some of the translators left the project. There were constant health challenges on the part of the translators and their family members. When other translators left, Godwin Alobo and Rev. Peter Onah stayed until Alobo died leaving only Peter Onah who saw the project through. We would have completed the project in 2008”. Frowning at the activities of pirates, Ajiboye said Nigerian law enforcement agents are not doing enough to curtail the activities of piracy in the country. Describing piracy as a criminal offence, the CEO urged government to intensify efforts to review the nation's piracy law.
State chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, he declared grandiloquently that his primary goal would be the eradication of poverty in Lagos State. You may well ask how he proposed to do that. This turned out to be nothing more than the usual vain platitude of pastors. The proverb goes: “Physician, heal yourself.” (Luke 4:23). To date, Wale Adefarasin has yet to eradicate poverty in his church, Guiding Light Assembly; how much more in Lagos State.
Fake gospel The preaching of the gospel is not intended to eradicate poverty. Indeed, the gospel acknowledges the existence of the poor and confers spiritual blessings on them. (Luke 6:20). Simultaneously, it proclaims woe on the rich. (Luke 6: 24-25). Jesus even warns that it will be virtually impossible for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:24). If so, why are pastors presenting the antithesis of the counsel of God as our exalted objective in the service of Christ?
BSN out with Igede, Ebira bibles By Olayinka LATONA
A pastor friend told me a lady in his church asked him to pray for her so she
would get a job. When she finally got one, he discovered on questioning her that she only earned N15,000 a month. He appealed to me for understanding: “What is she going to do with such a small amount? How much can she possibly give to the church out of that?” So he set the church’s prayer-squad back to work to pray for a bigger salary for her in Jesus’ name. Clearly, his interest in her financial well-being was not unconnected with the amount he expected to be able to extort from her as contribution to his church. Lola Afolabi was indignant. She asked: “If a man asks his pastor to pray for the success of his business, will he not pray?” Lola’s annoyance comes from the fact that in the churches, truth has fallen in the pews and falsehood has become the established doctrine. We should not presume that our success is always the will of God. Solomon says: “The prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” (Proverbs 1:32). Peter ’s prayer for Jesus’ success turned out to be devil-inspired. (Matthew 16:2223). Therefore, Agur utters in Proverbs a peculiar but far more insightful prayer than those of pastors pretending to have the anointing to make people rich: “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:8-9).
message to the nation, called on politicians to be more concerned about the welfare of their people and the country at large. While the chairman of the group, Chief Enoch Ajiboso, condemned the lingering insecurity in some parts of the country, he urged Nigerian leaders to use the opportunity of the Easter cel-
ebration to embrace the doctrines Jesus Christ stood for. According to him: "We must love one and another because a society where love does not exist cannot prosper". Reflecting on the scripture, Ajiboso urged both Christians and Muslims to "set aside their differences to move the nation forward".
The translation journey into Igede language, one of the languages spoken in Benue State started in the mid-60s with the translation of the New Testament which was completed and made available to the public in 1980 while work on the Old Testament commenced in 1990. According to the General Secretary/CEO of BSN, Dare Ajiboye, at a press conference held at the Bible Guest House in Lagos, nine translators and eight translation consultants worked on Igede project at one time or the other, adding that the Igede Bible will be dedicated on Thursday at Oju,
Televangelist Kenneth Copeland insists that: “You can draw on heaven like a magnet. We don't have to wait until we get to heaven to get God's blessings. Now's when we need them.” However, in sharp contrast to this preoccupation with earthly riches in the churches of today, Jesus counsels that we should not lay up treasures for ourselves on earth. (Matthew 6:19). He says we should go into the world and make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:19). He does not say we should go into the world and make successful businessmen of all nations. It is in the nature of this world whose prince is Satan to promote poverty. In the kingdoms of men, a few strategically-placed individuals monopolise a preponderance of the resources ensuring, for instance, that the rap-artist sometimes makes far more money than the heart-surgeon. Jesus does not prescribe a reform of this unjust world system through the gospel. But he offers a different kingdom not of this world where spiritual conscientiousness and industriousness will be handsomely rewarded. (Matthew 25:14-30).
Pastors of divination
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SUNDAY Vanguard, APRI L 27, 2014
Why do men cheat?(2) By Yetunde Arebi
Last Sunday, we published the first part of this article and ever since, I have been receiving mails from readers, both male and female, both attempting to rationalise their view points. I promise to publish some of these responses very soon. If however you also feel like airing your views on why our men cheat in relationships, please feel free to do so. The mailing contact is: email@example.com. I will be glad to read from you. Below we continue with more of those reasons we believe men cheat. For the thrill: Some men actually thrive on the excitement and fun that a new affair generates. According to a research, the kind of excitement one gets when in a new relationship is like that of being high on drugs. the excitement for both drug use and new relationship takes place in the same part of the brain. For some men the “high” or adrenaline rush from
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Friends Searching Females
•Nicole, 20, needs male and female friends to talk with. 08108421794 •Yvonne, 20, female, from Benin, needs cute and rich male and female friends in Lagos and Delta states, aged 24-33. 08132541852, 08070538500
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courting, romancing, or seducing new women, may become an addiction. The excitement, stimulation and novelty they get from it makes them feel alive. They view all the ducking, dodging and sneaking around that cheating involves as a form of recreation or high-risk spot, and themselves as some kind of god or invisible being, capable of getting away with almost anything. And since they live for the thrill of the chase, and new conquests as often as possible to feed their male ego and sense of worth, these
or conquest. This group most likely started cheating early in their love lives and are also not likely to quit because they cannot leave behind the thrill of the hunt, the chase and conquest cycle. It boosts men’s ego: Nothing lifts the old self esteem like discovering that you are still a hot cake with the women. If you have been in a long term relationship or marriage and been faithful for a long time, it will sure tickle your ego and fantasy to discover that a woman still finds you attractive even after
Some men find this difficult to cope with and because there is little they can do about it, they just look for the fun and variety where they can find it and since the wife is not talking, either by design not to rock the boat or truly because she is not in the know, the cheating game continues group of men will cheat over and over again, caught or not. The other side of the coin here are men who see their cheating as a sort of trophy. For each woman they are able to take to bed, it is a sort of victory
you have been off the dating scene for so long. This is especially true of men who have crossed the 50s age bracket and beyond. These group are most likely to only cheat for a while and
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homely and very friendly with a good shape, pointed boobs and alluring behind needs a mature man aged 45 and above for intimate union.08140313524 •Vinny, 32, tall, big and educated with a clean skin ans sweet body needs a mature man aged 45 and above for romance.08037255948
•Claudia, 26, beautiful, sexy, busty and romantic, needs a hot and sexy man, who can satisfy her.0806868463 •Sand ra, 26, sexy and hot, needs a hot and strong man to
make her feel like a real woman. 08066396534 •Mary, 31, from Enugn state, needs a God fearing man, for a serious relationship that will lead to marriage.07067753331, 08023856101 •Ann, sexy and fun loving, needs a sex partner to take very good care of her. 08148568562 •Prisca, 22, a student, needs an honest and romantic man, for a serious relationship. 08148595415 •Victoria, 23, needs a sexy and strong man, for a relationship. 08107310599 Searching Male •Emmanuel, 36, from AkwaIbom, but resides in Lagos, needs a humble, Christian lady, for a wife.08109870454, 08159198569
go back to their partners and comfort zone. Men with low self esteem or who earn less than their partners or who have female bosses who are firmly in control also fall into this category. Boring sex life: When partners have been together for a while, it is easy for sex to fall into a routine. perhaps, on a particular day of the week, in a particular manner. I have been told by several male friends how their wives will never allow them have sex with them in a certain position or how they determine the number of times they can have sex in a month or over a period of time. Some spouses have even told me how they have not had sex with their partners for several months. Some men find this difficult to cope with and because there is little they can do about it, they just look for the fun and variety where they can find it. And since the wife is not talking, either by design not to rock the boat or truly because she is not in the know, the cheating game continues. The other side of this too are men who consider their wives chaste and pure and wants to retain that notion about them. Such men will shy away from having “too much sex” with them and will also not be too keen in making them practice certain sexual positions which they may feel are condescending. Such men will
cheat or even keep mistresses on the side whom they pay to perform these roles with them. Ever seen the movie Analyze This? Robert De Niro complained that he could not have his wife perform the BJ because that is the mouth she kisses his children goodnight with. Too much familiarity: Though this is what love and intimacy is about, but sometime, for some men it might become a problem. After a period of time, they start to believe that they have already seen everything there is to see about their partner and so the unknown become very attractive to them. They lose that intense feeling they once had for their partners because the mystery of their body has been unmasked. Naturally, nothing is more sexy than the mysterious, that which is hidden, unknown. So, they begin to desire what other women look like. no matter how many reasons there are to why men cheat, it is believed that there are no justifications for them. However, we must also realise that cheating, especially by men have been always around, regardless of society. Can one therefore say that there is no win situation here? Please let me hear from you, what your take is on this issue. Cheers!
•Kevin, 22, cool, cute and caring, needs a lady, with a good heart, aged 18-30. 07036855867 •Odili, 32, needs a pretty, sexy, busty, rich and comfortable, lady, who is either employed, or self employed, aged 30-40, for a serious relationship. 070533977940, 08151771491 •Smart, 22, from Delta state, needs a decent lady, aged 1820, who is educated, for a serious relationship. 08161517126 •Roaches, 30, from Delta state, needs a God fearing lady, who is humble, aged 25-30,for a serious relationship, that can lead to marriage.08063570969 •Gentle, 24, a dental practitioner, needs a lady, aged 19-23, for a serious relationship. 07038015348, 07060925994 •Emeka, 26, from Anambra, needs a lady, aged 20-24, for a serious relationship. 08178097330, 08064191197 •Tola, 50, employed, decent, a widower from Osun state, needs a gentle, easy going, employed Christian lady, aged 35 and above in Osun state for marriage.08060654198 •Wisdom, tall, chocolate, in complexion and from Delta state, needs a matured, lady, aged 2630, for marriage 07034428048, 08050737552
•Emeka, 24, from Onitsha, needs a lady, aged 22-23, for a serious relationship that will lead to marriage.08148136920 •A guy, 27, from Delta state, needs a girl, aged 17-27 for a serious relationship that will lead to marriage.08062540750 •Paul, 55, employed and resides at Aba, needs a lady, aged 35 and above, as a partner for a serious relationship. 08151444868 •Mike, 24, resides in Lagos and a footballer, needs a matured young lady, for a serious relationship.08100095275 •Udofia, 37, needs a mature lady, from Akwa Ibom state, aged 30- 35, who is average height, well to do financially and God fearing, for a relationship that will lead to marriage. 08163430664 •A guy, from Abia state, but resides in Enugu, needs a lady, for marriage.07067015617 •Nicolas, 33, dark in complexion, a driver, nice and cool, from Ohaozara in Ebonyi state, but resides in Lagos, needs a mature lady, who is financially ok, from any tribe, for a relationship. 08132350847, 08026974333 or 08132350847 •Fidelis, 19, needs a matured, comfortable, caring and loving girl for a serious relationship in Benin, aged 2024.08146559337 •Chris, 25, tall, good looking, and a student, needs a sexy and active girl, aged 25-29. 08073016574 •Dada, 48, a business man and a Christian, needs a matured, understanding and God fearing single lady, a medical doctor or a lawyer, aged 30-35, for a serious relationship.08039533557
•Moses ,56,from Delta and well to do financially , needs a beautiful ,robust , tall ,fair or dark in complexion lady, aged 30-42, who has either one or two kids, or a single lady, either employed or in to business, who is ready to settle down, for marDear readers, please note that we neither operate, nor are we an affiliate of any match–making agency in riage 08183871060 or outside the country. Any reader who transacts business with any one claiming to be our agent does •Omoregbe, 37, from Edo state, so at his/her own risk. Our mission is only to provide a platform for social networking. light in complexion 6ft tall, needs Also note that neither Vanguard, nor Yetunde Arebi will be liable for any error in the publication of a descent, loving, faithful, requests which may result in any form of embarrassment to any member of the public. We therefore trustworthy and God fearing request that text must be sent through at least one of the numbers for contact. This notice is necessary to lady, that knows what love is all enable us serve you better in our refreshingly different style. You can send your requests to 33055. For about, for marriage, aged 25enquiries, text or call 08026651636 35.08097892464, 0816269360
SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 53
C M Y K
PAGE 54, SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 27, 2014
Liverpool boss dismisses pressure talks B
RENDAN Rodgers has responded to talk of Premier League title pressure on his Liverpool side by declaring: “I’ve never slept better.” The Reds lead the Premier League by five points with three matches to play as they prepare to host second-placed Chelsea at Anfield today A win would end Chelsea’s chances of winning this season’s title, leaving thirdplaced Manchester City, six points off the top with a game in hand, as the only team who could deny Liverpool. Rodgers’ side are seeking to equal a club record by securing a 12th straight league victory this weekend. But even as hopes grow among Liverpool’s fans of a first league title since 1990, the manager insists there is no pressure on him or his players. He said: “People talk about pressure, but you see our players, they ’re really enjoying their football. “I’m enjoying being at the top of the league. It’s absolutely wonderful.
“You know, there’s no pressure with it. People say that you’re not enjoying it, you must not sleep at night. I haven’t slept better.” Liverpool are favourites to win the title, having started the season as outsiders after finishing seventh last season. Both Rodgers and principal owner John W Henry have declared that the club are a year ahead of schedule in launching a title bid this season. And asked if it would be considered a failure if Liverpool failed to finish top now, the manager said: “No. No chance. I don’t think anyone can say there’s pressure. I think the pressure is if you’re Manchester City or Chelsea, and you’ve spent that money and you expect to win the league. “But the players have shown continuously, both this season and over the second part of last season, that we’ve coped with pressure. That’s something we’ll continue to do. We’ll continue to play our game.”
CAF Confed Cup:
Bayelsa crash out
AYELSA United, Nige ria’s last of hope of continental club soccer glory in 2014 crashed out of the CAF Confederations Cup after Sewe Sports of Cote’d Ivoire saw them off with a 1-0 win at the Sapele Township Stadium in Delta State. The 89th minute strike from Kouanne Koffi, was all the visitors needed to book a place in the group stage of the competition with a 3-0 aggregate score after the first leg had ended 2-0 in favour of the Ivorian team in Abidjan. Bayelsa United though dominated the game for most part of the game but were wasteful in front of goal as Sewe Sports held firm in the defence to curtail the attacking forays of the hosts. With this result, the Restoration Boys will now focus on the Nigeria Premier League in a bid to represent the country in next season’s Caf club competitions.
Suarez … Ready to dismantle Chelsea
Kigigha pledges policies 2014 NNPC/Shell Cup: St. Thomas, Brightville battle for top prize to uplift Owerri All F Stars Club BY EDDIE AKALONU
NTERIM chairman of All Stars International Football Club Owerri, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Felix Kigigha, has promised to institute functional programmes aimed at uplifting the welfare of members. Speaking in Owerri after emerging as Interim chairman of the club following a stakeholders meeting that ended its lingering crises and unified all warring factions, ACP Kigigha , a CAF/FIFA Referees fitness Instructor and a member of the Anambra state Football Association thanked all for the honour, emphasizing that it is important to mobilize resources that would ensure completion of the ongoing club-house in addition to making sure that the Owerri club can begin to honour matches at home and away which he noted as an aspect undone for sometime now. He pledged to consult members to make inputs con-
cerning matters of mutual benefit to all. “We will take steps to call on members to suggest ways by which this club can be more vibrant and relevant in the lives of members. And I like to remind all that we have a big figure in Shedrach Ajaero, the former Enugu Rangers and Green Eagles forward, who is now 83 years old among us here. He is a pillar and plus for the club and we shall be consulting him whenever the need arises, in the same manner that his welfare is of concern and the club will look at what can be done to assist him in old age,”he said. ACP Kigigha informed stakeholders that because the job could not be done by one man alone, hence he co-opted three others to work with him. They include Sylvester Oparanozie, the former Iwuanyanwu Nationale midfield player and ex ACB FC and Flying Eagles defence ace, Monday Ibekwe.
ORMER NNPC/Shell Cup champions, St. Thomas Basic Secondary School, Benin and Brightville College, Ibadan will today battle for the top prize of the 2014 edition of the competition having qualified for the final on Friday, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos. Followers of the annual championship for secondary schools in the country are predicting a tough duel between the two talented sides, but are eager to tip three time qualifiers in the championship, St. Thomas Benin as favourites to take home the coveted trophy. The Benin boys trounced Dangogo Secondary School, Bangudu, Zamfara State 5-1 in the second semi-final match, while Brightville College won their ticket to the final match with a 2-0 victory over Government Model Secondary School, Kontagora at the end of the eighty-minute encounter. “What I have seen is impressive, but there is still a lot of work to be done and that is where our partnership with NNPC/Shell to improve the talents in this championship becomes relevant. I see some potential players who will need to be nurtured,” said the Senior Coach of Feyenoord Youth Academy, Jan Gosgens who led some coaching sessions with
•Odegbami , NNPC/Shell Cup Consultant some of the teams before their semi-final matches. The All Nigeria Secondary Schools Football Championship popularly known as NNPC/Shell Cup was founded on the philosophy that youth sports and education can enhance the chances
of success of youth who choose to pursue careers on the football field. Some 16 years on, the championship has identified and groomed many grassroots talents to national and international stardom. Some notable alumni of the championship include Ejike Uzoenyi, Idowu Akiinjide, Solomon Okonkwo, Bala Ezekie, Ambrsoe Vanzekin, Isaac Promise, Emmanuel Sarki, Chinedu Obasi, Femi Opabunmi, Ibrahim Ajani, Eyimofe Joseph and among others. Dangogo Secondary School, Bangudu and Government Model Secondary School, Kontagora will battle for third place ahead of the final match which is scheduled to start at 3 pm at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere today.
BASKETBALL RESULTS Kano Pillars Kada Stars Plateau Peaks Gombe Bulls Kwara Falcons Islanders Union Bank Oluyole Warriors
90 76 63 61 64 65 72 75
Immigration Bauchi Nets Niger Potters Mark Mentors Dodan Warriors Police Batons Customs Royal Hoopers
56 55 40 57 76 51 60 70
SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 27, 2014, PAGE 55
Stop lambasting our teams in defeat — Kigigha tells Nigerians BY EDDIE AKALONU
AF/FIFA Referees fitness Instructor, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Felix Kigigha has enjoined Nigerians to end the habit of lambasting our national teams when they do not win international tournaments. Speaking to Vanguard against the backdrop of negative reactions that trailed the national women U-17 “Flamingoes” outing in the FIFA World Cup in Costa Rica where Nigeria lost to Spain in the quarter finals, the former FIFA badged referee appealed to Nigeria ball-fans that it is imperative to rather show fairplay than condemn our team. “players that got our country as far as the quarter final of a world class competition deserve heaps of praise, not criticism. They have been good ambassadors of the country out there. They need to be appreciated for carrying the flag of the country high out there and we should realize that we cannot always win all the time because other countries that parade better football record in the world do not win all the time. So we must adopt the same attitude we dis-
play in victory to our teams towards them in defeat as a way of encouraging them to be better next time around.” he said. ACP Kigigha, who emphasized that his appeal was not about the Flamongoes last outing but reminded all that the national under-20 team Falconets are also preparing for the world cup later this year in Canada in the same way that the Super Falcons are getting set for the African Women Championship, AWC in Namibia. He noted that attitude of condemnation and sever criticisms of one team could impact on the others. “Now they have con-
demned the coach for not winning. I can tell you that being the way we are that coach may neither be computer literate nor been sponsored on some course by the FA to update his knowledge. But some of those our players are young and would have learnt from playing in that big tournament. We should also ask the question, what if some of them are family members? How do we feel when others lampoon them the way I saw some comments that were made? So, if Flamingoes get another opportunity, they will be better. Fans should be fair in assessment and moderate in comment because it is sports.”
Edo sports journalists to honour Oshiomhole, Keshi, Amodu
HE umbrella body of sports journalists of Edo State extraction, Edo Sports Media Practitioners Forum, has unveiled an ambitious programme for its maiden award night that is scheduled for the later part of the year. The body which convened in Lagos on Wednesday decided that Governor Adams Oshimhole of Edo State, Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Okechukwu
Keshi, former national team handler, Shuaibu Amodu, Okpekpe race initiator, Mike Itemuagbor and Secretary to the Edo State Government Prof. Julius Ihonvbere will be honoured for their contributions to sports growth in the state in particular and Nigeria in general. The body which consists of prominent journalists like Ade Ojeikere, Frank Ilaboya and Felix Okugbe, among others and chaired by Osaretin Emuze, said it
NFF now courts President Jonathan F
An action in the football match between Nestle football team and Etisalat team in the semi final of the Remita Football Championship at the Campos Square in Lagos recently. PHOTO: KEHINDE GBADAMOSI
OOTBALL administrators in Nigeria, especially from late 1990s to date have always treated the Nigerian government with disdain whenever the same government which pays the bills of the football house tries to ask questions about how the monies are spent or why the money pumped into the game is not yielding the desired results. Before late 1990s, football administration was without rancour as the piper, that is the government of the day, dictated the tune. Government saw football, and still sees it, as the biggest unifying factor for a country ever divided along religious, ethnic and political lines and therefore pumped in a lot of money to calm the people who forget their differences whenever their teams are playing. However, when some administrators began to see the power of football and decided to seize it to their own selfish advantage rather than to the entire country, they found a way to cling on to power by arm-twisting the government which they sometimes intimidated with threats of sanctions from FIFA. So it was in 2010 after the Sani Lulu-led Board got itself into hot waters by various acts for which some of the Board members are still visiting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to answer questions today. Following the inglorious outing of the senior national team, the Super Eagles under
was about time that sports in the state is redefined and the first step is to reward those who have been trying to reposition sports in Edo State. Emuze said in a release that Oshiomhole is being specially recognized for launching the revival of Bendel Insurance as well as the reinvention of Edo State Sports Festival. Keshi is getting a special honour as a honorary citizen of Edo State and his achievement with the Super Eagles. On his part, Amodu is being recognized for the
the tutelage of Lars Lagerback at the 2010 World Cup, the president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had suggested that the country takes a rest from all FIFA organised competitions so as to put her house in order, but those who were already positioning themselves for a return to the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF Board flew a kite that FIFA could ban the country. It was also touted that if the president didn’t reconsider the decision, his political fortunes in the 2011 general elections could be jeopardised. Being a politician, the president recanted and the football hawks rejoiced. Their joy was however short-lived as the Board, in an in-house palace coup, impeached Lulu and installed a member of the old team, Alhaji Aminu Maigari who claimed he was sidelined by his erstwhile colleagues. The change expected from him, has however remained a mirage, as the only credential he holds close to his chest today is that “our teams are winning,” even though development is very little or non existent. Under him, the Golden Eaglets won the U17 World Cup in the UAE, Nigeria’s fourth title since the historic victory in China in 1985. Again in 2013, after 19 years in the wilderness, the Super Eagles, against all expectations, even to the Board now claiming credit, won the Africa Nations Cup in South Africa and added the 2014 World Cup qualification to it. In the heat of the crisis that almost tore the NFF apart in 2010 and 2011, the NFF in an
outstanding achievements as national team coach and the only Nigerian coach to have qualified the country twice for the World Cup. Itemuagbor is being praised for his achievement in sports marketing in Nigeria and for initiating the 10 kilometre Okpekpe road race, while Prof. Ihonvbere is being recognized for his love for sports and the support he has been giving to sports development through several programmes that the government of Edo State has initiated through the
affidavit sworn at a Federal High Court, claimed that it was not a government agency or parastatal but a private organisation which only gets grant from the government. That was after changing its name from NFA to NFF. Since then, when it suits the NFF, it says it is governed by FIFA rules but when it needs money to run its affairs, especially competitions where Board members and their cronies will share estcode, it runs to government under the name NFA to collect money, which it again claims is just a grant. So to the outside world and FIFA especially, Maigari is President of the NFF but when the Board needs money, Maigari goes to the government as NFA chairman as it wise to do so since the abrogation of the decree which set up the NFA is yet to be repealed, several years after the process was triggered in the National Assembly. Why the process is dragging at a snail speed is only understood by the politicians who often than not enjoy free trips to competitions around the world fully paid by the NFF. An aggrieved coach, Sylvanus Okpala recently claimed that Alhaji Maigari even dared him to go to President Jonathan to report that he was being owed and nothing will come out of it even if the president orders him to pay. Maigari has denied it though, may be after considering the consequence of the boast. And just last week, listening to a television station, another Board member, Chief Emeka Inyama boasted that the present Board has been able to qualify the country for the 2014 World Cup “without a Presidential Task Force, PTF”. An allusion to the Task Force set up by the late president, Umar Musa Yar’Adua to assist the NFF drive the 2010 qualification.
SSG’s office. While the body said it was in total support of Governor Oshiomhole, laudable sports programme, it urged Corporate Nigeria to back the Okpekpe Road race, which the IAAF has already listed on its international calendar for gold status. “We believe in the sports activities of the people and government of Edo State and throw our weight behind the Okpekpe Road race that has the potential of making Nigeria a sports and tourism destination in the nearest future,” the statement read.
May be still a way of spiting the presidency, the NFF House in Abuja built with money left over after the 2010 World Cup and which the NFF reportedly asked the PTF to return to the federation but was ignored, has remained abandoned. The other reason given for why the NFF has failed to move into the new secretariat since it was commissioned last October is that the PTF or government has failed to furnish it to taste for them. It didn’t matter to the NFF that the house was built by the Federal Government through the PTF which it set up. It also didn’t matter to them that the House was commissioned by the President who sent the Vice President, Arch. Namadi Samba to represent him at the occasion. No wonder on that day it was commissioned, instead of smiling for acquiring a house of their own, the NFF Board members who attended the ceremony all wore long faces and vamoosed from the venue with the speed of light after the vice president left. What other name do you call that if not ingratitude to the highest order to a benevolent president. However after all the bragging and seeing that the World Cup is at the corner, Alhaji Maigari was heard singing on a radio station last week, that the NFF and the Super Eagles need the presidential support (which translates to money of course) to be able to perform well in Brazil. Well said. What is the guarantee that after the presidential support lands on their laps, they won’t turn ungrateful again, singing the same swan song, “we are under FIFA not Nigerian government.” Smart guys. But the government, I think, is wiser now.
SUNDAY Vanguard, APRIL 27, 2014
RESULTS Southampton Fulham Stoke Swansea West Brom Man Utd
2 2 0 4 1 4
Everton Hull Tottenham Aston Villa West Ham Norwich
0 2 1 1 0 0
TODAY’S MATCHES Sunderland Liverpool Crystal
v v v
Cardiff Chelsea Man City
12 pm 2.05 pm 4.10 pm
WORLD CUP: Learn from past
mistakes, Ukeachu warns NFF BY EDDIE AKALONU
ORMER Enyimba and Iwuanyanwu Nationale coach, Tony Ukeachu, has told the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to learn from past mistakes made by their predecessors that cost the country better outings in the World Cup. He argued that the current struggling with coach Stephen Keshi over the Super Eagles team list portends danger for the team in Brazil. “My expectation was that by now, we should have known our possible and probable World Cup players embodied in a 30-man list but current developments in the NFF about Keshi’s list is really unnecessary and avoidable. It means we took no note of why we failed or performed the way we did in the past. Even past Boards of the FA never delayed getting the team out this late and it’s my honest view that team list is something that should have been concluded way back. It
EAGLES … Ukeachu charges NFF to think more of preparation than who makes the team list means the Board is not conscious of time factor and the need to look at what we must do to have a grand outing in Brazil,” he stressed.
WORLD CUP 20 14: 201
Bosnia coach bans wives, girlfriends
HE coach of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national foot ball team has reportedly issued a ban on his team’s players having sex with their wives and girlfriends (WAGs) during the Brazil World Cup. Manchester City star Edin Dzeko, Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and Roma playmaker, Miralem Pjanic are among the players in the team, which will get their campaign underway on June 15 against Argentina in Rio de Janeiro. According to the Daily Star, Bosnia and Herzegovina coach Safet Susic has decided he does not want his players wasting their energy romping with their WAGs in Brazil and instead advised them to try masturbation to keep their needs at bay. Susic wants ‘military discipline’ from his squad during their first ever World Cup and warned the players not to treat the tournament as a holiday trip with their WAGs. Recently it was revealed that England captain Steven Gerrard’s model wife Alex is ready to defy her husband and join him in Brazil even after manager Roy Hodgson decided that the WAGs cannot be a part of the official FA party.
Ukeachu, who was also a player of Spartans of Owerri, expressed disappointment that the FA and the Eagles technical crew are not planning ahead because, according to him, the World Cup goes beyond teams at group stage but others he termed possible opponents should
the country advance to knockout stages. “That we do not know our team little over a month to the event means we have learnt nothing from past World Cups. I think the federation should avoid rhetoric’s but work and assist Keshi to produce the. country’s team for the FIFA World Cup in Bra-
zil immediately so that final preparation can get underway,” he said. Adding, he said, “our destiny is in our hands to go out there and dazzle the world with good football. But it can only be done if those in charge put a premium on linkages between planning, performance and results.”
CROSS WORD PUZZLE ACROSS 1.Nigerian state (5) 3.African river (7) 7.Near-extinct animal (5) 8.Roof part (5) 9.Greek alphabet (3) 10.Supplement (3) 12.Widespread (4) 14.Replies (7) 17.Let (5) 19.Limb (3) 20.Donkey (3) 21.Cots (4) 24.Pitcher (4) 26.Reverential fear (3) 27.Goal (3) 28.Peruses (5) 30. Sure (7) 34.Eleven (4) 35.Flying mammal (3) 37.Unwell (3) 38.Hausa boy’s name (5) 39.Possessor (5) 40.Wearing away (7) 41.Commonplace (5)
DOWN 1.Prevents (6) 2.Church part (4) 3.Queen Amina’s old city (5) 4.Anchors (5) 5.Bird of prey (5) 6.Notions (5) 11.Niger-Delta tribe (8) 13.Zealous (5) 15.Nigerian state (8) 16.Bar (3) 18.Vital liquid (5) 21.Animal (5) 22.Therefore (2) 23.Exist (2) 25.Misery (3) 29.Polluted (6) 30.Wireless (5) 32.Excuse (5) 33.Synthetic fabric (5) 36.Pie (4)
SOLUTION on page 5
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Published on Apr 26, 2014