...towards a better life for the people
VOL. 25: NO. 61784
ONLINE | www.vanguardngr.com
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012
Edo Tanker Fire: My husband died trying to save his bus — Widow of bus driver 49 •P
Firecrackers tragedy: Traders rush back from villages •Pg.9
How Buhari, govs plan to stop Jonathan •PDP afraid of opposition parties' merger talks — ANPP
•Only PDP can bring unity, development — Metu
OBJ'S HILLTOP MANSION ON FIRE
BY SONI DANIEL, REGIONAL EDITOR, NORTH & GABRIEL EWEPU
BUJA—NIGE RIAN opposition political parties and second term governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP are working from different angles to stop the second term aspiration of President Continues on page 5
Sentient •P.19 instruments DONU KOGBARA: •P. 17
Mr & Mrs
FIRE—Smoke billows out of a section of former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo's Hiltop mansion in Abeokuta yesterday. Inset: Fire fighters and security men at the scene. Photo: Wunmi Akinola. Story on Page 6.
Army foils suicide bomb attack in Abuja •P.15
2 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012
C M Y K
Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012 —3
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Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012
Syria envoy gives panacea to end conflict T
HE international envoy seeking a solution to Syria’s 21month-old conflict said yesterday that political change was needed to end the violence which has killed 44,000 people. Speaking in Damascus at the end of a five-day trip during which he met President Bashar alAssad, Lakhdar Brahimi while for a transitional government to rule until elections did not spell out detailed proposals but said that only substantial change would meet the demands of ordinary Syrians. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov added to the envoy’s call for a peaceful solution when he told a senior Syrian diplomat that only a “broad inter-Syria dialogue and political process” could end the crisis. Brahimi’s push for a transitional government suggested he was trying to build on an international agreement in Geneva six months ago which said a provisional body - which might include members of Assad’s government as well as the opposition should lead the country
role. Rebel fighters resumed attacks on Thursday against the military base of Wadi Deif, which lies next to Syria’s main north-south highway linking Aleppo with
US Senate leader voices fiscal cliff fear
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) and speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko at the session of the State Council at the Kremlin in Moscow into a new election. But the mainly Sunni Muslim Syrian rebels have seized the military
initiative since the Geneva meeting in June and the political opposition has ruled out
HE doctors treating former South African leader, Nelson Mandela have advised that he should remain in Johannesburg for now to be close to medical facilities that can provide care to the 94-year-old, the government said yesterday.
GYPT’S opposition has said it would consider an offer of talks from President Mohammed Morsi, after a controversial constitution became law. Spokesman, Hussein Abdel Ghani said the opposition would enter only “real and effective” talks, and dismissed a
Mandela left hospital Wednesday evening after nearly three weeks of treatment there, and was brought to his home in the Johannesburg neighborhood of Houghton. The anti-apartheid icon, also known by his clan
George Bush Snr. in intensive care
ORMER President George H.W. Bush, who led a coalition that ejected Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1991, is in intensive care at a Houston hospital in “guarded condition,” family spokesman Jim McGrath has said. The 88-year-old former US President was admitted to hospital November 23 for bronchitis. “The president is alert and conversing with
any transitional government in which Assad, from Syria’s Alawite minority, plays a
Egypt’s opposition to mull Morsi talks forum set up by the president as “farcical”. The opposition is to protest on 25 January, two years since the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak began. The Islamist-backed constitution has fuelled a month of violent protests.It was approved by voters in a
Mandela close to medical care at home
Damascus. Around the capital itself, Assad’s forces have tried for weeks to dislodge rebels from suburbs which ring the east and south of the city.
medical staff, and is surrounded by family,” McGrath said in a statement. “Following a series of setbacks including a persistent fever, President Bush was admitted to the intensive care unit at Methodist Hospital on Sunday where he remains in guarded condition,” McGrath said. “Doctors at Methodist continue to be cautiously optimistic about the current course of treatment.”
•Mandela name, Madiba, has spent more time in recent years in the rural village of Qunu in Eastern Cape province, where he grew up. Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, said he hopes “it won’t be too long before he’s with us back in Qunu, where he belongs,” but acknowledged that the doctors’ assessment is critical to any decision to travel. “It can be a strenuous trip,” the grandson said in an interview with eNCA, a South African television news channel. “We will await the feedback from the doctors as to when he will be fit and ready to come back home.”
referendum. But opponents say it gives too much power to the Islamists, does not protect the rights of women and minorities and there was no national consensus to support it. On Wednesday, Mr Morsi hailed the constitution as heralding the dawn of a “ new republic”, and said talks with the opposition were now a “necessity”. Mr Abdel Ghani said his National Salvation Front would meet soon to discuss Mr Morsi’s offer of talks “seriously and with respect”. However, he dismissed the current forum for talks, which was set up by Mr Morsi but has been boycotted by most of the opposition.
HE US appears to be heading over the “fiscal cliff ”, with prospects dim for a deal to avoid tax rises and spending cuts, the US Senate leader has said. Speaking on the Senate floor, Democrat Harry Reid said there did not seem to be enough time to craft a deal before Monday night’s end-ofyear deadline. Senators and President Barack Obama were returning to Washington, but the House of Representatives remained in recess. Bickering over the cliff has divided Washington in recent weeks, with President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner unable to reach a deal before Christmas.
HE president of the Central African Republic, yesterday appealed to France and the United States to help push back rebels threatening his government and the capital, even as Paris said its troops were only ready to protect French nationals. The exchanges came as regional African leaders tried to broker a ceasefire deal and as rebels said
The president wants to ensure that taxes do not rise for Americans earning under $400,000 (£250,000), and insists on raising new tax revenue in any deal. But many Republicans oppose new taxes, and an alternative plan proposed by Mr Boehner - which would have seen taxes rise only on those earning over $1m - failed in the House late last week.
India gang-rape victim for treatment in Singapore
young woman who was gang-raped and assaulted on a moving bus in the Indian capital was yesterday flown to a Singapore hospital for treatment of severe internal injuries that could last several
CAR appeals for French help against rebels
they had temporarily halted their advance on Bangui, the capital, to allow talks to take place. Insurgents on motorbikes and in pickup trucks have driven to within 75 km (45 miles) of Bangui after weeks of fighting, threatening to end President Francois Bozize’s nearly 10-yearstint in charge of the turbulent, resource-rich country. French nuclear energy
weeks, officials said. The 23-year-old student, who is in critical condition, arrived in Singapore on an air ambulance and was admitted to the Mount Elizabeth hospital, renowned for multi-organ transplant facilities. The hospital said in a statement that she was admitted to the intensive care unit “in an extremely critical condition.” It said “she is being examined and the hospital is working with the Indian High Commission (embassy).” The Dec. 16 rape of the woman and her brutal beating triggered widespread protests in New Delhi and other parts of the country and calls for the death penalty for the perpetrators of rape. It is punishable by up to life in prison.
Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012—5
JANKARA FIRE—Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State (3rd right), yesterday, addresing residents and others, during his visit to Ojogiwa Street area of the Jankara Market where an explosion caused by stored fireworks led to a fire disaster Wednesday,
Presidency 2015: How Buhari, govs plan to stop Jonathan Continues from page 1 Goodluck Jonathan, it emerged yesterday. While the opposition parties are fine-tuning
plans to crystallize into a single party in the first half of next year, the PDP governors are equally working to stop
BY PASTOR ITUAH
NYBODY can be angry-that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy – Aristotle. Wisdom is a powerful tool.
TAKE HEART BY ELLA RANDLE
OU are not what happened to you in the past. No matter how chaotic the past has been, the future is a clean, fresh, wide open slate. You are not your past habits. You are not your past failures. You are not how others have at one time treated you. You are only who you think you are right now in this moment. You are only what you do right now in this moment —Marc and Angel Hack There is a saying that you cannot change what you refuse to confront. You can learn great things from your failures and mistakes when you aren’t busy denying them. If you’ve been asking the same questions for months or even years, yet are still stuck, it’s probably not that you haven’t been given the answers, but that you don’t like the answers you were given. It takes a lot of courage to admit that something needs to change, and a lot more courage still, to accept the responsibility for actually changing it. The most important step forward is taking the first step. The simple act of getting started and doing something will give you the momentum you need, and soon you’ll find yourself in a positive spiral of positive changes – one building on the other. Not getting what you want can be a blessing. Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of good luck, because it forces you revaluate things, opening new doors to opportunities and information you would have otherwise overlooked. Remember, some things in life fall apart so that better things can fall together.
President Jonathan from achieving a second term for reasons Vanguard learnt, yesterday, were based on self-survival instincts. Vanguard reliably gathered that unlike in the past when political parties opted for merger with their identities intact, the major opposition parties in the country were ready to shed their identities and confront the ruling party as a coalition.
Plan to form strong coalition to upstage PDP The parties, which have been meeting frequently on merger talks, are said to have agreed to forgo their individual identities and work as a team toremove the PDP from the seat of power it has been occupying since the return of civilian rule in 1999. The arrowheads of the new talks-Gen Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, and the leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, have been strategizing along with other opposition figures to ensure the emergence of a mega
party that can give the PDP a good fight in the next poll. National Publicity Secretary of the CPC, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, confirmed to Vanguard that there was a concrete arrangement by the opposition to get its acts right with a view to showing the PDP the way out in 2015. Fashakin explained that the opposition parties had accepted to fill the yawning leadership gap created by alleged failure of the PDP administration in the last 13 years to provide effective governance that could give hope to Nigerians by coming together to work for the nation.
All opposition parties will merge — CPC The CPC spokesman said: “Yes, all the opposition parties will coalesce into a big party. We shall all lose our identities and probably our jobs after assuming the identity of the new party. “The need to salvage the nation from the precipitous rulership of the PDP is the cause of the initiative. Hopefully, this will emerge early next year. “Indeed, we have crossed the rubicon and our minds are set on the merger.”
Only on Wednesday, a chieftain of the All Nigeria Peoples Party and former Yobe State Governor, Senator Abba Bukar Ibrahim, had boasted that the major opposition parties were set to float a new party in March next year. Ibrahim, who is a member of the ANPP’s Contact Committee for the merger talks, said: “Before March 2013, we are all going to reach an accord on the merger. From all indications, the parties are looking forward to forming a totally new party where all opposition parties would come together as one entity. “The plan appears to be more popular than any other arrangement and I believe there is sufficient time to register a new party,” the lawmaker said.
Governors ready to stop Jonathan The governors on their part, it was learnt last night while shadowing the merger talks, are also preparing to stop Dr. Jonathan from achieving a second term using their command of the majority of electors at the PDP convention. Giving reasons for the determination of the governors, one source privy to the development said: “It would be unwise for any of the governors to leave office with Jonathan still in power given what is turning out to be his ruthlessness. If the governors leave him behind, every one of them that has offended him would find himself in prison within weeks of Jonathan getting a second term,” a source working with one of the potential presidential aspirants still working in the shadows said yesterday. The source disclosed
that the governors like the potential presidential aspirants have decided to give the president a false sense of security and would only manifest themselves shortly before the presidential election. Should the plan of the governors to stop the president in the PDP fail, they would then use the platform of the merged political party to confront the president in 2015. The National Publicity Secretary of the ANPP, Mr. Emmanuel Eneukwu, expressed satisfaction with the way the opposition parties in the merger arrangement were carrying on with the plan, saying that it would help to achieve the desired political result.
PDP afraid of merger talks — ANPP The ANPP spokesman noted that the merger talks were giving the ruling PDP sleepless nights because of "its monumental failure" to provide basic needs for Nigerians. He said: “PDP has become very unpopular among Nigerians because they have not performed and President Goodluck Jonathan is busy giving excuses on that. Nigerians are tired of the failure of the PDP and are ready to join the new move to build a new Nigeria of their dream come 2015,” Eneukwu boasted. But the PDP has dismissed the opposition in Nigeria as incongruent and incapable of upstaging it from power. The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said that the PDP was the only party that could bring about the needed development and unity of Nigeria.
6—Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012
9 die, 11 injured in Osun auto crash
SOGBO —NO fewer than nine persons died while 11 others were injured, yesterday, in a motor accident on the Gbongan-Ile Ife Road in Osun. An eye-witness told the News Agency of Nigeria that the accident occurred around 1.30.p.m. opposite the Gbongan Community High School, Gbongan. The witness said the accident involved a commercial bus marked XA 477 MAP and a truck marked XA 585 ALK which collided. NAN learnt that the accident was caused by over-speeding by drivers of the two vehicles. Mr Imoh Etuk, Sector Commander of the Osun State Command of the Federal Road Safety Commission confirmed the accident. He said that “ p r e l i m i n a r y investigation showed that the accident was caused by over-speeding by the drivers.”
Queuing for petrol at Onipanu, in Lagos, yesterday.
Fire guts Obasanjo's Abeokuta mansion BY DAUD OLATUNJI
BEOKUTA — THE multi-million naira mansion of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, was, yesterday, gutted
by fire with one person sustaining injury in an effort to put out fire. One of the officials of the rescue team, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, identified as Kunle Famakinwa sustained injury while
joining his colleagues to put out the fire. It was gathered that the fire, which started around 4:30p.m, 20 minutes after Obasanjo reportedly left the mansion for his family house at Ita-Eko, Abeokuta, destroyed some documents and
property. A resident of the mansion told Vanguard that, the inferno was caused by an electricity surge from one of the offices of the former president and destroyed some valuable documents.
Gunmen kill eight in Maiduguri BY NDAHI MARAMA with agency reports
AIDUGURI — THE 10-day peace enjoyed by residents of the troubled city of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, was shattered, yesterday, as unknown gunmen went on the rampage, killing a prominent businessman and seven others. This came as the Joint Task Force, JTF, in Kaduna, said yesterday that it raided and demolished a building suspected to be bomb making factory in Rigasa suburb of Kaduna killing five suspected terrorists. The attacks were reportedly carried out simultanously in several areas by different groups of young men, armed with assault rifles and other dangerous weapons. Sources told Vanguard that a popular oil and gas merchant, Alhaji Abubakar Girigiri Gashua, 68, polularly known as A.A Girigiri Gashua, was reportedly killed by two gunmen at about 4.30pm
zAs JTF kills 5 suspected terrorists zDemolishes bomb factory in Kaduna when the assailants raided the Bolori Stores along Baga road. The area has a large number of warehouses for consumer goods. Girigiri hailed from Gashua Local Government Area of Yobe State, but settled in Maiduguri, upon esatblishing his business empire there. According to the sources, the attackers reportedly walked into the area and met the deceased seated in front of his warehouse, pretending to be one of the customers. However, upon approaching the man, they instantly fired at him, killing him on the spot. The invaders reportedly fired several warning shots into the air before fleeing the scene, even as the area was deserted. However, soon after the incident, all roads leading to the area were cordoned off by dozens of heavily armed soldiers just as another set of gunmen invaded a compound in
Gamborou ward and killed seven other persons in the evening. The attackers were said to have held the victims at gun point, before using sharp objects to slit their throats. Spokesman of the Joint Task Force, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, confirmed the killing of only three persons, and declined comments on the murder of the businessman. Meanwhile, the Borno State Police Command has confirmed the murder of the b u s i n e s s m a n . The command’s spokesman, DSP Gideon Jibril, confirmed the incident to newsmen last night, saying it was not yet clear if Gashua was killed by insurgents as those behind the act were still unknown. According to Jubril, efforts were being made to arrest the fleeing assailants just as he asked residents to furnish security agencies with useful information on
the hide-outs of suspected insurgents and other criminals in their midst.
As JTF kills 5 suspected terrorists, demolishes bomb factory in Kaduna The spokesperson of One Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Colonel Sani Usman, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in a statement added that two other suspects were injured in the raid. According to him, “security agencies carried out a cordon and search operation at Rigasa in Kaduna North Local Government area and discovered a bomb making factory at a house located off Makarfi Road. On approaching the factory, some suspected terrorists opened fire and also threw already primed IED at the troops.” He explained that the exchange of fire that ensued resulted in the death of five suspected terrorists, while two of them
that sustained various degrees of injuries are being treated. “In line with our resolve to deter terrorists, the building housing the factory was demolished,”, he said. Col Usman also said that the operation followed a tipoff from well meaning citizens. He commended their courage and reiterated the 1 Division’s commitment to fighting terrorism. He equally assured that the actions of the Army and 1 Division in particular were aimed at ensuring peace and securing the lives and property of law abiding citizens of the state, urging the public to always report suspicious movement to relevant authorities. The spokesperson listed some of the items recovered in the raid to include 5 Mark 4 Riffles, 3 Pump Action Riffles, 20 Rolls of Detonating Cords, 21 Nine Volts Batteries, 2 Remote Switches, 1 Testing Metre, 5 Assorted Daggers and Jack knives and other Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) materials.
Security agencies, including the rescue team and other personnel of Nigeria Security and Civil D e f e n c e Corps(NSCDC), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and State Security Service battled for 30 minutes to put out the fire. Two fire fighting trucks of the Ogun State Fire Service marked OG 122 AO9 and OG 127 A09 arrived the scene one hour after the fire had been put under control by officers of the NSCDC. The development, however, forced the former president to return to the mansion to ascertain the level of damage. Addressing newsmen shortly after the fire was put out, Obasanjo expressed appreciation to God, explaining that the fire did not affect the entire building. He said: “You have seen that it is only the office of my secretary that is burnt. The house is almost intact.” Singing in Yoruba language, the former president said: “Ile Obasanjo to jo ewa lobu kun, ile Obasanjo to jo ewa lobu kun, eyin Press ema wibe, ewa lobu kun”(which when translated means "fire that gutted Obasanjo’s house has only made it more beautiful, you pressmen sing along with me").
Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012—7
BY CHARLES KUMOLU
AGOS — THE Presidency, yesterday, defended the appointment of People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Board of Trustees member, Chief Tony Anenih, as the Chairman of the new Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA. Special Adviser on Public Affairs to the President, Dr. Doyin Okupe, who addressed a press conference in Lagos, yesterday, also denied reports credited to President Goodluck Jonathan of having admitted that his administration was slow, saying the criticisms spawned by the reports were needless. According to Okupe, what the President meant in his Christmas message was that in the estimation of the opposition, his administration was slow, but that the regime was taking its time not to make costly mistakes. Okupe also dismissed the argument by opposition parties that the President was not prepared to lead the nation, saying no other Nigerian leader could match him in terms of public office experience and intellectual capacity, given that he holds a doctorate degree.
We 'll not be intimidated by negative propaganda On the appointment of Chief Anenih, which has drawn widespread criticisms, especially from the opposition parties, Okupe said: “There are enough professionals in the NPA to run the authority. You bring in outsiders and politicians as board members, to moderate whatever the professionals do. “There are enough technical people even on this same board. There are mandatory technical people. We are not going to be intimidated by the negative propaganda against Anenih. “What has Anenih done wrong? Many people hate Anenih because they call him Mr. Fix It for Obasanjo. He is a politician. He knows how to do what he does. What is wrong with that? “Is he guilty of murder? Is he guilty of rape? Has he stolen money? What has he done wrong? What some people will say is that he spent N300 billion on roads (without much to show). I don’t want to hold brief for Anenih. But that is an erroneous thing.
On N300bn spent on roads by Anenih “What happened that year was that the Federal Government budgetted N300 billion for roads. But the money was never released to the Ministry of Works. There are a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation, and government, before now, has
From left: Leader of delegation, Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation (PCFRR) and Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu (left); Secretary to Abia State Government, Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa; member, PCFRR, Mrs. Folorunso Alakija and Assistant Secretary, PCFRR, Alhaji Umar Gulaimi, during the committee’s visit to Abia State for the donation of relief materials to flood victims in Umuahia, Abia State.
NPA board: Presidency defends Anenih's appointment zAssures 2013 'll be Nigeria’s year of glory zSays Jonathan taking time not to make costly mistakes zInsists Boko Haram insurgency reduced by 70% failed to engage the public, to explain the concrete issues. Many things are perceived. Like this one, they are taken as true, and over the years, they take root in the hearts of some people, and so people believe the man is a thief.”
Jonathan reduced insurgency by 70% in 2012 Okupe said the Jonathan administration is succeeding in containing the Boko Haram insurgency, both in terms of number of attacks and frequency, and buttressed this with statistics between January and November, this year. According to him, citing newspaper reports and security agencies as sources, eight attacks were recorded in January, nine in February, seven in March, eight in April, five in May, seven in June, six in July, five in August, four in September, seven in October, four in November. He also dismissed the argument in certain quarters that inadequate intelligence was responsible for the attacks by the Boko Haram sect, saying the capacity of the nation’s security agencies in this regard, and the equipment that have been acquired for this astonish even foreign powers considered to be leaders in this area. Said he: “Due to the increased
capacity of security agencies in the area of intelligence gathering, I can report that over 70 per cent of planned insurgent attacks were foiled before actualisation. These are largely unreported because they did not happen and this is a good thing. “The intelligence arm of our security agencies has deployed massive modern technology to preempt and destabilise these criminal elements who intended causing harm.” He said while government had not completely ruled out the issue of negotiation with the Boko Haram sect, it would not hold talks with anyone whose leadership of the group is in doubt or who remains under a mask.
2013 'll be Nigeria’s year of glory On the incoming year, Okupe said: “The year 2013 will be Nigeria’s year of glory; a year of our manifestation. It will be the year of many changes in all facets of life. President Jonathan will fix Nigeria. “There will be a very significant forward progress in the economy of Nigeria through massive job creation in the different sectors, which will lead to wealth creation and massive reduction in criminal activities. The President is committed to delivering on his pact with the
Nigerian people as contained in his Transformation Agenda. “He is unwavering in that commitment and will, by the grace of God, take this nation to a greater destination. Nigerians must not despair. There is a glorious tomorrow for this great nation.” He said this outgoing year had not been that of gloom and doom as some people would want Nigerians to believe, and enumerated several successes recorded by the administration in the power, agriculture, security and infrastructure sectors.
According to him, the limitations imposed by inadequate transmission infrastructure are being tackled, while funding for the expansion of gas supply plants has been made available. He said, with the projected generation of a minimum of 7,000 megawatts by the middle of 2013 as well as the effective privatization of the distribution and generation subsectors, and the commercialization of the transmission arm of the power sector, “economic activities are bound to receive significant boost in the coming year.”
Challenges met by the administration
On agriculture sector
According to him, most of the challenges met by the administration in the power sector, including high incidence of transmission losses, low collection efficiency, speedy regression of previous generation gains, and inadequate gas supply have been effectively addressed. He said: “As I speak to you, most of the challenges earlier identified have been resolved while others are receiving due attention of the Federal Government. Above 95 per cent of the10 IPPs (Independent Power Projects) have been completed. Our power generation has hit an all time high of 4,502 megawatts.”
On the agriculture sector, while lamenting that Nigeria imported N500 billion worth of rice in 2011, he said 14 new rice mills with capacity to process 240 metric tons of rice were set up by the private sector this year, while the Federal Government secured $1.2 billion to install 100 large scale rice processing mills to produce 2.1 million metric tons of rice annually. “Today, Nigeria has reached an unprecedented 60 per cent sufficiency in rice production, a feat which the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recently described as capable of raising world rice output to a record high in the next 12 months."
8—Vanguard, FRIDAY FRIDAY,, DECEMBER 28, 2012
Lagos Assembly passes cremation bill BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI
FUEL SCARCITY HITS IBADAN—A crowd at a filling station on Salvation Army road, Ibadan as scarcity hits Ibadan, Oyo State yesterday. Photo: Dare Fasube.
Gunmen kill 4 in Plateau BY TAYE OBATERU
OS—GUNMEN al leged to be Fulani herdsmen yesterday killed three people at Bachit in Riyom Local Government Area in a night raid. The gunmen shot dead a man and his wife while
dead asleep, shot dead another person and wounded several others as they tried to escape from the village after the raid. Another man, a retired soldier was earlier on Christmas day killed at Rim in the same area while relaxing with his family by
unknown gunmen. Member representing Riyom Constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Mr Daniel Dem who confirmed the killings said the mode of attack was similar to previous ones which he said confirmed that the attack was by those who had been unleashing terror on
the people of the area. He advised the people to be vigilant and security conscious rather than get carried away by the festive mood. The police public relations officer in the state, Mr. Emmanuel Abuh said he was yet to get details of the attack when contacted.
Abduction of Rotimi’s wife: Police arrest couple BY OLA AJAYI
BADAN—OYO Police command has arrested a couple for the abduction of the wife of a former Governor of Western State, Brig. Gen. Oluwole Rotimi(rtd). Titilayo Oluwole Rotimi was kidnapped by a fourman gang within her company premises-OAK Enterprises, Ibadan on December 10. She was let off the hook by her captors few days ago and has since left the country. Notwithstanding, the police vowed to unearth the mystery surrounding her abduction. According to the police Public Relations officer, DSP Ayodeji Lanade, investigations led to the arrest of Mrs Ruth Yemisi and Mathew Adubi Adekiya. The couple is now being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department Iyaganku, Ibadan. Vanguard gathered that the detained woman lived
with Mrs. Oluwole Rotimi. The Police said it was during the investigation that they discovered that the couple could help them. “The suspects are still being investigated. Like I told
you, I have been to the Iyaganku division, and I have confirmed that they were being investigated. If after investigation, they are found not to be culpable, they will simply be released. “We had said it that irrespective
of the fact that the abducted woman had been released, our investigations still continue. The Police Commissioner had said it that anyone found not connected with the crime would be released after interrogation”.
UNICEF urges media to protect children’s rights BY SUZAN EDEH
AUCHI—AS part of ef forts to stem the tide of child abuse and other forms of violence against children, the media has been urged to champion the crusade for the rights of children as they are the future leaders of the nation. The UNICEF Communication Officer in-charge of DField office Bauchi, Samuel Kalu gave the charge while presenting a paper on the role of UNICEF in promoting child protection, during a media workshop at Tahir Hotel in Kano State. Kalu said in addition to promoting the rights of children, the media
should see themselves as stakeholders in child protection issues. The workshop which was attended by journalists drawn from the print and electronic media, as well as representatives of Child Protection Network, CPN, in the 10 states that comprise of UNICEF D-Field Office was aimed at creating awareness on the need to ensure that children are protected from social vices such as rape, violence, kidnapping, child-witchcraft and child abuse. Kalu said that there is need for UNICEF to partner with the media because most people believe strongly in the media as their major source of information. According to him,“UNICEF works with partners in realizing its vision and one of its partners is the media. People have absolute con-
fidence in the media because they are the conveyors of information. The media has the power to set the agenda as they determine whether a story should be reported or not. The media through frequent reportage about certain issues can make people to become adequately enlightened”. While stressing that UNICEF cannot succeed without the cooperation of the media, the Communication Officer said that the media should refrain from being just mere on-lookers and get involved in child protection issues. Also speaking, the Secretary of Child Protection Network, CPN, Gombe state, Mrs Lucy Usein noted that children are the most vulnerable members of the society, hence all hands should be on deck to protect their rights from violation.
AGOS State House of Assembly at its plenary, yesterday, adopted the recommendations of the report of the law to provide for voluntary cremation of corpse in the state mortuaries. The bill has been forwarded to Governor Babatunde Fashola for accent. Presenting the report before the Committee of the Whole, Chairman Committee on Health Services Suru Avoseh noted that section (2) of the bill, stipulates that no cremation may take place except in a crematorium established by the Ministry of Health or by any other body upon the recommendation of the authority and approval by the Commissioner for Health. Avoseh further stressed that the bill is not seeking for a Law to cremate all corpse within the State but voluntary cremation and unclaimed corpse only. According to the recommendation of the report, the state government was admonished to encourage more individuals to go into the business of funeral services through Public Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement as done in LASUTH.
Fire guts building in Somolu
ARELY 24 hours after one person was burnt to death and 10 buildings, including seven cars destroyed by fire in Jankara area of Lagos, another building went up in flames in Somolu area of Lagos, yesterday, destroying property which monetary value could not be immediately ascertained. The immediate cause of the fire on the one-storey building located on Fola Agoro street could not be ascertained. But there were conflicting reports that it could have been caused by a gas cylinder or a cooking gas. Eyewitnesses said it started with sparks of light from the top flat. But effort to break into the flat and contain the situation proved abortive as the occupants had reportedly traveled for the Christmas celebration. Effort to get the reaction of the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide failed as she promised to reach Vanguard later but never did.
Vanguard , FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012—9
Fireworks tragedy: Traders rush back from villages .As death toll rises to four —Hospital BY MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
BY ONOZURE DANIA
AGOS — Management of the General Hospital, Odan, Marina, Lagos State, yesterday, said that three unidentified persons were brought dead to the hospital from the site of the firecrackers explosion yesterday at OjoGiwa, Lagos Island Local Government. One 15-year old was burnt beyond recognition when the fire started on Sunday Meanwhile, some of the affected traders who travelled for the Christmas celebration have started returning following the incident. The traders, majority of whom were from the eastern part of the country, were sighted at the scene of the fire incident yesterday, lamenting their fate. The latest casualty figure was disclosed by one of the senior officers who pleaded anonymity at the hospital. According to her, “28 injured persons were brought to this hospital, while three others apparently burnt to death were also brought later wrapped in body bags that would aid movement of the corpses.” She added that the three persons brought in dead, were children. “At present, we have four of the victims from the scene of the explosion on our admission list,” she noted. Vanguard gathered that one of those on admission is one Murphy, who jumped from the three-storey building at No. 42 Ojo-Giwa Street, Lagos.
Some Lagos Traditional white cap chiefs at the scene of fireworks tragedy on Ojo Giwa Street, Lagos. Photo by Lamidi Bamidele Vanguard investigation revealed that the victims were admitted at the Burns Unit of the hospital. (ward B3).And a few of those who were injured, that we couldn’t manage were referred to LASUTH. because they were in critical situations.” On what would be the fate of owners of the structures affected and those sited within the axis, Farinloye said that the agency has handed over the site to the LagosGovernment to comm- ence test on the structures sited close to the scene. According to him, “the explosion has affected the foundation of the structures closer to the scene. And we have marked 20 houses for the test.”
...Anti- bomb Police Command begins probe scene when they were EVELYN USMAN
he Explosive Ordinance Disposal(EOD) of the Anti Bomb Command, yesterday in Lagos, said it had commenced a Post Blast investigation into the exact cause of the Boxing Day fire Although report had it that the explosion that rocked the area which later ignited the fire, was caused by fire crackers stockpiled in a warehouse on number 45 Ijo Giwa Street, the Anti Bomb Command described the claim as mere speculation, maintaining that until investigation was concluded, the exact cause would not be ascertained. It was gathered that already, some of the assumed fire crackers had been taken by the operatives who arrived the
Lawyer arraigned for forgery over N25m loan
contacted for investigation. A source at the Anti Bomb Command told Vanguard that it would be unprofessional to base the cause on assumption, adding that the investigation would include ascertaining whether there were combustive substance in the warehouse other than the presumed fire crackers. Spokesman for EOD Command, Moronfolu Gbolahan, an Assistant Superintendent of Police when contacted, confirmed that investigation was still on, adding that owner of the warehouse would face the wrath of the law if investigation at the end of the day showed that he was selling fireworks without obtaining a permit from the
...Father of dead boy, not aware of son’s death
arely 24 hours after the fire crackers explosion at OjoGiwa Street, Lagos Island father of the boy who died at the scene of the explosion was yesterday still hospitalised at the General Hospital, (Odan), Marina, Lagos state. Vanguard gathered that the father, who is identified as Murphy, is on admission at the Burns Unit, (Ward B3), in the hospital. Murphy jumped from the building, he sustained fracture
...I ran out half nude—Resident
RESIDENT, Mr. Idris Hamzat while narrating his ordeal said “when the blast happened, I didn’t know that I was half nude.” According to him, “I escaped the blast through the next house because there was no other way to escape than to break the walls of the next building.” Speaking on the extent of the loss he suffered, Hamzat said “I was unable to remove any of my property. I have lost so much. Now I have to take shelter in our family house.”
and some burns. Vanguard source said: “We are yet to inform Murphy that his son is dead because from the doctor ’s report, he had high Blood Pressure and if we inform him, it may escalate his situation.
I want to go back to the village — Affected trader
45-year-old trader, Mr. Johnson Chukwudifu, speaking with Vanguard with gloomy eyes, said “for now I want to go back to the village, all I need is N100, 000 to settle back at home. "This loss is unbearable. I'd suffered losses three times this year. So I believe what remain of me is to go back to the village and start my life afresh. “On February 25th, 2012, I lost my mother and October 1st, flood ravaged my farm land at my home town Delta state. While I am struggling to recover from both ugly incidents, on Wednesday, I lost N2.5 million worth of goods in the firecracker explosion.”
...Owners of structures urge full investigation
HE owner of the structure at No. 41, Ojo-Giwa Street, Alh. Monsuru Muhammed, has urged the Lagos State Government to commence an immediate investigation of the cause of the blast, saying “this is the second firecrackers explosion on the axis.”
Muhammed, at the site of the explosion, added that the government should arrest the owner of the firecrackers that wrecked havoc. According to him, “the company was responsible for this and for the explosion that occurred eight years ago at the Idumagbo Avenu.
AGOS—The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arraigned a convicted lawyer, Kole Bello who is an alleged accomplice, Muhydyn Ango for fraudulently obtaining a N25 million loan facility from Access Bank Plc, by using forged documents. Bello and Ango were arraigned before an Ikeja High Court, presided over by Justice Lateefat Okunnu. Bello and Ango are facing a five-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and uttering. The EFCC counsel, Mr. Kayode Oni, told the court that the defendants had committed the alleged offence in 2008 in Lagos. However the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. The judge adjourned the matter to January 28, 2013 for trial.
LAGBUS acquires 40 new buses for more routes BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI
AGOS — As part of measure to meet the growing demand for its service, LAGBUS Asset Management Limited, operator of LAGBUS buses have acquired additional 40 fleet of buses, even as it launched more new routes. The Managing Director of LAGBUS, Mr. Babatunde Disu, at the launch yesterday, of 30 buses at Mile 2 Terminus, Lagos, said the franchise buses would be operated by Transmodal Nigeria Limited, TNL and Lagos Integrated Cooperative Society, LASITCOS. Disu said the introduction of the buses to new routes was to serve the need of the commuters, adding that 10 buses were earlier acquired to ply CMSAjah axis.
10—Vanguard , FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012
Ladoja plans to contest next guber poll
Virginity test: Parents, Police to sue principal BY DAUD OLATUNJi
BY OLA AJAYI
BADAN —FORMER Governor Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo State may have concluded plans to contest the 2015 governorship election in the state. This indication emerged yesterday in a statement issued by the party. According to the statement which was signed by the Director of Publicity of the party, Prince Dotun Oyelade, the ex-governor who emerged third in the 2011 governorship election, has been making clandestine moves round the state to endear voters to himself. The statement read in part, “ while Senator Ladoja and his team are silently but effectively combing the state to sell itheir alternative options, these politicians are embedded in their acrimonious in-fighting which they have admitted as irreconcilable”.
Akure FRCN station razed BY DAYO JOHNSON
KURE —THE Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Positive FM, in Akure, the Ondo State capital was yesterday razed by fire. Facilities in the station were destroyed by the early morning inferno which started at about 640a.m. after the commencement of transmission. Vanguard gathered that the fire started from a switch in the engineering department of the radio station. Help, however, failed to come on time before the combined efforts of the workers could extinguish the fire many equipment in the department were completely burnt. The General Manager of the station, Rev. Olusegun Ayankoso said the station could no more transmit because of the extent of the damage.
BEOKUTA—A strong indication emerged yesterday that, the Principal of Ajuwon Senior High School, Ajuwon, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State, Mrs. Olufunke Oladeojobi, who conducted controversial virginity test on some of the school girls will be sued over her action . Vanguard gathered that, Operatives of the State Criminal Investigation Department ,SCID, had quizzed Oladeojobi and may soon drag her before the court of law for allegedly inflicting injuries on the students. It would be recalled that, the embattled principal and a nurse (name withheld) penultimate Monday allegedly dipped their fingers into the pupils’ private parts during an exercise described as virginity test where 300 female students of the school were involved. It was also reported that, out of the 300 students, only 38 passed the test before the parents stormed the school in protest which later led to the principal’s suspension by the State government. The Ogun Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Muyiwa Adejobi who spoke exclusively with Vanguard yesterday said, the State CID had taken over the matter . According to him, the State CID had commenced investigation into the matter and would get to the root of the matter. He, however ,said that, the Command would act on the report of the SCID as soon as it completes its findings. Also commenting on the matter, the President of
Academic Staff Union of Secondary School, ASUSS, in the state, Mr. Tunde Folarin described the action as unacceptable. Folarin who frowned on the issue, urged the administrative panel set up by the government to be thorough and give the principal a fair hearing before it takes any step.
He said “how can you for God’s sake do such. I am hearing this for the first time in my 21 years as a teacher. Anybody should not do whatever she wants because she is a member of ANCOPSS. "If she is found culpable, she should be dealt with” ASUSS said. But, when the President of
From Left; Otunba Gani Adams, National Coordinator, Oodua Peoples Congress; Prof. Kolawole Raheem, Dept of Education, University Winneba, Ghana and Engr. Nureni Usman Yasin, Director of Mobilization, Oodua Peoples Congress, Sokoto, during the 5th Annual Economic Empowerment, entitled; ' Who Builds the Home? Ido, He Does .... We are Nation Builders' , at Carlton Gate International Hotel, Festac Town, Lagos, yesterday. Photo; Kehinde Gbadamosi
Aregbesola orders free oxygen treatment for patients bY GBENGA OLRINOYE
SOGBO —OSUN State governor, Mr.. Rauf Aregbesola, has ordered the management of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital to as from now provide oxygen free of charge to all patients on
emergency in the institution. They are to also make oxygen available 24 hours in case of emergency. Aregbesola issued the directives at the commissioning of the oxygen gas production building and equipment; endoscopy/pharmacy/ amenity building; and drug
Akala is a goldsmith, liability to PDP —Olunloyo BY OLA AJAYI
BADAN— FORMER Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State may have stirred the hornet’s nest for the uncomplimentary remarks about Dr. Omololu Olunloyo over his defection to the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, some weeks ago. According to Olunloyo, it was unfortunate for the country to have had a man like Akala whom he described as goldsmith occupying the post of a governor.
All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools, ANCOPSS in Ogun State, Mr. Dejo Kadiri was contacted for a reaction, he declined comments. He, however, explained that, the ANCOPSS would wait until both the Police and the administrative panel complete their investigation before he would make any comment on the issue that affected one of them.
Akala had said in Ogbomoso that Dr. Olunloyo, also a former governor of the State had no electoral value. Olunloyo reacting to the comments said the position of the governor that Akala occupied was beyond his qualification”. Olunloyo further said, “I don’t know how a man like Alao-Akala can begin to talk of pedigree when he is publicly and widely known as a nonentity. Nigeria is unfortunate to have such goldsmith in position of great social, political and
intellectual import”. He said the best thing for such a man like Akala was to ignore him. “He is the greatest liability of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state. Ordinarily, on no platform should AlaoAkala and I be in the same party. "He is the greatest liability to the PDP and, by now, he must have learnt that wisdom is more important than money. He spent 100 times more on the election he lost in 2011 than on the one he was alleged to have won in 2007”.
production facility at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital in Osogbo. He said the projects were provided to enhance the operations of the hospital in its medical manpower training and improvement of the quality of life and saving lives. The governor averred that the hospital is being gradually upgraded to forestall avoidable deaths from sickness and diseases, which hospitals could have handled if the requisite infrastructure had been in place. He stated that the provision of these facilities to the hospital is therefore a demonstration of his government’s commitment and resolve. His words: “Our goal is to greatly enhance the capacity of the hospital to train high quality medical manpower to the level that can be obtained anywhere and save lives, even from conditions that seem impossible. “I am sure that you must have known now that the Western world scientists are more concerned with diseases that are prevalent in their own societies.
Vanguard, FRIDAY FRIDAY,, DECEMBER 28, 2012—11
Delta LG boss vows to boost food production BY FESTUS AHON
GHELLI—WOR RIED by the looming food shortage in the country as a result of the recent flood which destroyed farmlands, Chairman of Patani Local Government Council Transition Committee, Delta State, Dr. Chris Ekiyor, has said that the council would acquire land for large scale farming. Ekiyor, who inaugurated a 13-man Committee on Agriculture, charged them to work out modalities for the establishment of the council’s farm. Represented by his vice, Mr. Ekpobetebe Ebimobowei, Ekiyor said the council was determined to go into short term farming, enjoining the committee to determine the number of acres of land to be acquired and the location of the farm, adding that the council would sell its farm produce at “affordable rate.” Members of the committee are Rev Maxwell Adaus, Chairman; Mr. Emmanuel Agidi, Secretary; Chief A. Sibisaba; Mr. Bodilon Wonzu; Elder Jones Enodeh; Mrs. Agnes Enisuoh; Mr. Ebisindor Atie, among others.
Okolie, wife bag chieftaincy titles
IR and Lady Chris topher and Josephine Okolie, of UbuluUku, Delta State, are to be confered with chieftancy titles by the traditional ruler of UbuluUku kingdom, HRM Obi Edward Ofulue III, Agbogidi, Obi of UbuluUku, today. Sir Christopher Okolie, an entrepreneur, and a philantropist, is also a knight of the Catholic Church. Lady Josephine Okolie is a successful business woman, a philantropist and a women leader. The ceremony, which holds at the Obi’s palace, is to be attended by prominent personalities including business and political leaders from within and outside the country.
Edo flays US security warning BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
ENIN—EDO State Government, yesterday, described as laughable, the travel advisory issued by the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the United States Department of State, which listed Edo State as unsafe for visitors during this holiday season. In a statement by Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, it pointed out that the warning was an indication that the US Department of State was not in tune with events in Nigeria. The statement said: “While we are unclear on the parameters used by the Department of State, we make bold to state, and this can be confirmed from the security agencies in the country, that Edo State is the safest in the SouthSouth region of Nigeria and one of the safest in the country. “It beats the imagination of discerning minds that while some states which record violent crimes on a daily basis in the country are excluded from the list, Edo State, which has been commended by all, includ-
ing the World Bank, which, through its Country Director, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, said: ‘Edo State’s social indicators are above the national average’ and which had earlier through her predecessor, Mr. Onno Ruhl, said: ‘Edo State is one of the states in Nigeria where the willingness to change is the fastest in Nigeria,’ is included in the offensive US list. “Those who come to equity must do so with clean hands. If the US Department of State
could include Edo in its advisory list, then it should also issue a travel warning to citizens of the world to avoid Connecticut, where 20 innocent elementary school pupils and six of their teachers were cut down in the confines of their classrooms just two weeks ago. “It will do good to also issue a travel advisory to people of the world on New Jersey which, according to Cable News Network, CNN, ‘has already suffered 65 violent deaths in 2012’ and on Philadelphia where the
FIRE IN RIVERS: Men of Rivers State Fire Service combating the inferno that consumed a building behind 86, Rumuola Road, in Rumunkara Community, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke.
Suspect nabbed over attack on Italian vessel, abduction of sailors BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA
ENAGOA—SECURI TY operatives in Bayelsa State have arrested one person in connection with Sunday night’s pirates’ attack on an Italian vessel off the Atlantic fringe of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state. Four sailors, among them three Italians, were abduct-
ed during the Sunday attack, the latest in the series of attacks on foreign vessels by suspected pirates in the nation’s territorial waters. The suspect, whose identity could not be immediately ascertained, a security source told Vanguard, was nabbed Wednesday night, during a raid reportedly launched by security operatives in the blighted waterways in the wake of Sunday’s attack on
the Italian vessel, MV Asso Ventuno, on Pennington River. The Nigerian Navy spokesman, it will be recalled, had on Monday, said five vessels had been deployed to patrol the area. Confirming the development, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Fidelis Odunna, said the arrest was made by security operatives during a raid in the creek. He declined comment on the identity of the arrested person.
‘Another flooding imminent in Nigeria’ BY AUSTIN OGWUDA
SABA—UNTIL there is a West African policy to address how each country within the Economic Community of West African State, ECOWAS, region releases water, the recent flooding that hit the country will occur again. Delta State Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Antonia Ashiedu, also a member of the Technical Committee set up by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan to proffer solution to future flooding, raised the
year-to-date total of homicides is 322. Last year, 324 were killed. “While we concede that the security of lives and property is an integral part of development, we make bold to state that no society is eternally perfect. There is no gainsaying the fact that the administration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole has invested heavily on security more than any government before it and the gains of such investment are there for all to see.”
alarm in Asaba, at a colloquium on post-flooding era, organised by Delta Guild of Indigenous Newspaper Publishers, led by Mr. Femi Odonmeta. She said: “There will be another flood, unless we address this very quickly. There ought to be a West African policy to address how each country releases water. There is the issue of climate change, I concede to that. That, of course, adds to the volume of water we now have in the dams. So, it was between the devil and the deep blue sea. You leave it in the dams, and
the dams collapse, we won’t have any country anymore, not even local governments. “There should be a structured approach to how each country releases water because technology has gone far and you can now predict how much rain you can have in one year, two years, three years. You can actually do that. That is on regional basis. “If you recall, the rain was not falling much during the period of the flood. Where did the water come from? It came from the dams. That was why the current was unusual. Was it only Cameroon that released water? Of course not.”
Water shortage: Afemai Forum to sink 100 boreholes BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH
O address the perennial problem of water scarcity faced by the people of Edo North senatorial district in Edo State, the association of Afemai Forum Netherlands, AFN, in the Netherlands, has launched ‘project 100,’ aimed at addressing the problem of potable water in the area. President of the association, Mr. Rodney Irene, said the people of the area had suffered unduly because of shortage of water, which they are determined to solve. He said: “Lack of potable water in our communities in Afemailand is not just a serious problem but an issue of human right. Our children and women are often compelled to walk several kilometres daily with buckets, drums and calabash, to fetch water from sources which are heavily polluted with carcinogens products, mostly found in our rivers, streams, caves and other sundry sources unfit for human consumption.”
12—Vanguard, FRIDAY FRIDAY,, DECEMBER 28, 2012
2015 Delta guber: Isoko, Anioma groups form alliance BY FESTUS AHON
GHELLI—ISOKO Political Movement, IPM, has entered into alliance with Anioma Agenda, ahead of the 2015 governorship election in Delta State. Speaking during a meeting of the two groups in Ozoro, Isoko North Local Government Area, leader of IPM, Chief Goodnews Agbi, said; “IMP and indeed the entire Isoko nation, are people who believe in justice, equity and fair play. “Justice demands that this time around, the governorship position goes to Delta North, but the individual must be a person with integrity and impeccable antecedents.”
Azazi for burial at Heroes Park, Yenagoa BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA
ENAGOA—GOVER NOR Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, yesterday, put to rest, speculations concerning the actual burial place for late former National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Azazi, saying that the remains of the late general would be interred at Heroes Park in Yenagoa, the state capital. Dickson, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said the proposed burial site for the late General Azazi would be the final resting place for all true legends and heroes of the state. He said: “The Heroes Park will also serve as a monument and historic site, as well as a constant reminder of those that gave their lives to the service of the state and the nation at various times and a source of inspiration to Bayelsans, both present and in the future. “Great sons of Bayelsa such as late Major Isaac Boro, Ernest Ikoli, amongst others, are to be strategically placed in the Heroes Park as a mark
of honour and respect for their selfless and committed service to Bayelsa, the Ijaw nation and Nigeria in general.” Dickson noted that Heroes Park would also become a unique tourism destination, not only for the Ijaw nation, but for other Nigerians and people from other parts of
the world. Government’s intention, he added, was to make Heroes Park a regular tourist site like the famous Lincoln Memorial and Ground Zero in the United States of America among others. Meanwhile, a Government House statement says, a number of high profile guests were ex-
pected to attend the burial activities of late General Azazi, this weekend in Yenagoa. Expected to arrive Yenagoa from today are former Heads of State, state governors, members of the National Assembly, top military officers, both serving and retired, as well as members of the diplomatic corps.
2012 CARNIVAL CALABAR: Sea Gull Band, one of five competing bands at the 2012 Carnival Calabar, in Cross River State, displaying beauty and elegance on the streets of Calabar, yesterday.
Teachers’ purge looms in Delta BY AUSTIN OGWUDA
SABA—TEACH ERS in public primary and secondary schools in Delta State are apprehensive over an impending sack, which is expected to take place in January 2013, Vanguard’s investigation has shown. Although, the state Commissioner for Education (Basic and Secondary), Professor Patrick Muoboghare, had dismissed the move, some of the teachers who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimization, insisted that a mass purge was in the offing.
Already, there is an ongoing verification exercise of teachers across the state. It will be recalled that Prof. Muoboghare had, in May, dropped the hint that his ministry was already sorting out the names of teachers in the state who did not meet the standards set by Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, adding that affected teachers would be shown the way out before the end of this year. He said: “We are professionalising teaching. We are re-positioning the profession such that any person in classroom now employed as a
teacher, either by the government or the private sector, without a teaching qualification and who is not registered by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, will be removed from the classroom.” He said that the state government was ready to commence the implementation of Teachers’ Special Salary, TSS, but reiterated its position to weed out unqualified teachers in both public and private schools in the state, who are not registered as qualified teachers. A female teacher at Ogbe-Afor primary school, who pleaded anonymity, told Vanguard that “we are not comfortable. We have been hearing of an imminent sack, but we put our faith in God. Where do I go if I am eventually sacked? I am a widow with eight children and there is no job in the country today.” Others in her position expressed the same apprehension. Muoboghare, however, dismissed their fear, saying, “there is nothing like that. Delta State Government has never been associated with downsizing its workforce.”
Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012 —13
‘How to deal with oil, gas waste’ BY BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE & MICHAEL NWOPOKE AGOS—CHAIR MAN, African Scientific Committee, Professor Wole Soboyejo, has said the major challenge facing Nigeria at present was how to deal with oil and plastic waste. According to him, the most sustainable way to achieve immediate needs of Africa is by collaborative research from ideas to markets. Speaking during the 2012 Chief G. O. Sodipo Memorial Lecture in Lagos, Prof. Soboyejo explained that most plastics and oil components were not easy to degrade by chemical methods. He said: “All countries have industrial and agricultural wastes that can be combined with earth or cement based materials to make building elements. Examples include straw-reinforced earth, cementitious composites reinforced with natural filters and polymers reinforced with wood chips.”
Canada reduces waiting time for visa applicants
BUJA—THE Cana dian High Commission has reduced the waiting period for visa applicants from 60 days to 10 days. A source at the High Commission told News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, yesterday in Abuja that the country was now opening up and accommodating more visitors and travellers from across the globe. “Because of this, a lot of Nigerians are sending their children to study in Canada and this has led to a backlog in the number of visa applications. “This informed the mission’s decision to reduce the waiting period from 60 days to 10 days,” the source added. Diplomatic sources the Canadian government took the decision, following persistent complaints by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Olugbenga Ashiru, and leadership of the National Assembly.
4 nabbed over alleged attempt to bomb Enugu airport BY TONY EDIKE
NUGU—AN attempt by four persons to blow up the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu with explosives was yesterday foiled by operatives of the Explosive Ordinance Department, EOD, of Enugu State Police Command. The suspects, whose identifies had been kept secret for security reasons, were apprehended while driving to the airport at about 8.30am yesterday. The four suspects, including the driver of their vehicle with registration number including KJA 359 AP, were heading to the airport when the EOD operatives halted t h e m . State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the arrest, said when the vehicle was searched by the operatives, some items believed to be dangerous fireworks contained in two cartons, one packet of celebration thunder of ten shots candle were discovered in the vehicle. Shocked by the discovery
which came a day after similar fireworks wreaked havoc in Lagos, the security operatives detained them to prevent them from getting to their target which is believed to be the airport. The police spokesman said the suspects were taken to the State Criminal Investigation Department, CID, Enu-
gu for interrogation. He said the four men were already helping the police in their investigations and gave no further details about their findings. He added that the investigation was being conducted by men of the state criminal investigation Department in Enugu and would soon be
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State (right) and others, at a thanksgiving service in Owerri, Imo State.
How driver allegedly swindled master of £2,000 in Edo BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
ENIN CITY—THE former chairman of Egor Local Government Council of Edo State, Mr. Crosby Eribo, last Tuesday lost two thousand pounds, which was alleged to have been stolen by his driver identified as Frank. Vanguard learnt that the money was meant for the school fees of Eribo’s son, who is an undergraduate in the United Kingdom. The former council boss was shocked when contacted by Vanguard , regretting that
“this is some body that has stayed with me for thirteen years”. It was learnt that Mr. Eribo who was on his way to Lagos International Airport, where he was billed to fly to London, discovered that the money was missing on his way to the airport and the unfortunate incident aborted his trip to the UK. Eribo said: “I have reported the matter to the police. I have already booked my ticket for the UK and on my way to the airport I found out that the money was missing. I had to
come back to Benin because I no longer have business going to London. The driver is on the run now but I am still shocked because I have spent thirteen years with him. “The police investigating the matter but I thank God that I am alive to witness this. He removed the money when he noticed I was rushing to the airport but some thing in me told me to check before I got to the airport. And I was shocked that the money was missing. But it is really shocking.”
Obi blames erosion on improper road design BY VINCENT UJUMADU
WKA—GOVERNOR Pe ter Obi of Anambra State has identified improper design of roads in the past in Anambra State as one of the causes of gully erosion in the state. According to him, when roads were not properly designed, it often led to poor channelisation of flood water which consequently led to erosion. Inspecting the Isulo erosion site which is already threatening to cut the Akpu –AjalliIsulo –Umunze road in company of the state deputy governor, Mr. Emeka Sibeudu and other top government of-
arraigned in court soon. Meanwhile, the state commissioner of police, Mr. Musa Daura, has renewed his call on members of the public to be security conscious, law abiding and refrain from the use of knockout or fireworks because of its security and safety implications.
ficials yesterday, Obi said that part of the measures his government took on coming to power was to make it a must that any road built in the state would be properly designed with adequate drain-
age system linked to the right discharge points. He explained that in view of the seriousness of the erosion threat in the area, the attention of the federal government would be drawn to it.
Nweke bags Ikenga Ngene title
philanthropist, Mr. Kenechukwu Nweke, will on January 1st, 2013 be conferred with the chieftaincy title of Ikenga Ngene Amawbia by the traditional ruler of the community for his immense developmental strides to the Amawbia community in the Awka South
Local Government Area of Anambra State. The event which will be held at the palace of the community ’s traditional ruler at Ngene village in Amawbia, will also feature comedians like John Okafor (Mr. Ibu) and Victor Osuagwu.
Sen Owie mourns Uba Ahmed
BY EMILY ODIFE
ENIN—ERSTWHILE Sen ate Chief Whip, Senator Roland Owie, has described the late National Secretary of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN, Senator Uba Ahmed, as a fearless politician who put principle and courage above material wealth. Senator Owie, who served in the second republic House of Representatives when Senator Ahmed was in the senate, also described the deceased as a bridge builder who despite sharing opposite political platform, espoused unity in his actions. Senator Ahmed, who also served as the country’s Minister of Labour and Productivity, was one of the most influential politicians of the second republic. He said: “The late Senator Uba Ahmed was a bridge builder in the politics of Nigeria and very intelligent and religion was no barrier in his relationship with people. “I was a UPN member of the House of Representatives between 1979 and 1983 when Senator Uba Ahmed was in the Senate as an NPN Senator. He related with members of the opposition parties cordially.”
14—Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012
Tension over alleged killing of man by vigilante group in Delta BY FESTUS AHON
GHELLI—AGADA MA-Uwheru, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State was yesterday thrown into confusion, following the alleged killing of one Lucky Ekewo, 22, by members of the community’s local vigilante group. Vanguard gathered that the vigilante team recently set up by the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Ughelli ‘A’ Division, Mr. Gado Gareje, led by one Famous Eritomi, had on Wednesday evening shot one Em-
manuel Odioko, 36, who is currently receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital resulting from the bullet injuries he sustained. According to a dependable source, the second-in-command of the vigilante team, Godspower Ojomi, who went to Ughelli Police Station to report Wednesday shooting was reportedly detained by the police. The source, who pleaded anonymity, told newsmen that other members of the vigilante team, allegedly led by Famous Eritomi, went back to Agadama in the early
hours of yesterday and shot dead the unsuspecting Lucky Ekewo in his house. Contacted, PresidentGeneral of the community, Mr Clement Osieta, said Uwheru community never gave authorization for the formation of local vigilante group in the kingdom. When contacted, the Divisional Police Officer, Mr Gado Gareje, said the shooting was the result of a clash between two rival groups in the community, adding that no arrest had been made in connection with the matter.
Abia House bans illegal speed breakers BY ANAYO OKOLI
MUAHIA—ABIA State House of Assembly has banned construction of speed breakers on some federal and state roads in the state, describing them as a risk to road users. The House said illegal speed breakers aid armed robbers, kidnappers and other miscreants to attack motorists and travelers. Deputy Speaker of the House, Chief Alwell Asiforo Okere, who briefed journalists on the activities of the House in the last one month, said the House took the decision, following complaints from the people on the dangers constituted by the speed breakers. The House noted that beside exposing road users to criminal attacks, illegal speed breakers also cause damage to vehicles, hinder free flow of movement of vehicles and lead to accidents, especially to motorists not conversant with the roads. The House named roads with illegal speed breakers to include Ururuka-AbaUmuahia, Acho Nwakanma bye-pass in Obingwa council area, Alayi and Item roads in Bende council and Ochendo bye-pass in Umuahia North council area. Consequently, the House resolved that the construction of speed breakers on state and federal roads shall be on approval from the state/ Federal Ministries of Works or their relevant
agencies and under the supervision of such agencies, so they could conform to required and approved standards. The House directed
that any individual, village, community that constructed any such speed breaker without approval should face sanctions.
BNC to honour Iduoriyekemwen, others BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
ENIN CITY— FORMER Edo State representative on the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen; Director Center for Energy and Environment, University of Benin, Prof. Friday Okonofua, are among those to be bestowed with National Merit Award by a socio-cultural organisation in the state, Benin National Congress, BNC. National President of the group, Mr. Aiyemekhue
Edokpolo in a statement in Benin City, said the event, was designed to honour Nigerians, Edo State indigenes, in particular, who have made selfless sacrifices for the growth of the country and state in particular. It will be recalled that the Publisher of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr. Sam Amuka; former chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services, Mrs Ifueko Omoigui-Okaoru; Captain Hosa Okunbor, are among past recipients of the award.
Olajumoke, Oyedokun laud AASU on Bode George BY BASHIR ADEFAKA
AGOS—Senator Bode Olajumoke and former Deputy National Chairman (South) of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Shuaib Oyedokun, have commended All Africa Students’ Union, AASU, for the honour bestowed on former Military Governor of old Ondo State, Chief Olabode George. The two leaders in their separate speeches at an event held recently, at the Nigeria Institute of Inter-
national Affairs, NIIA, Victoria Island in Lagos, maintained that the former Deputy National Chairman (South) of the PDP deserved more of such prestigious award. Olajumoke, who was chairman of the occasion, gave a thumb-up to AASU for its decision to honour the former military administrator. Oyedokun, on the other hand, said conferring such an African standard honour on the person of George was not enough.
Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012—15
CSR: From left— Mr. Lanre Adisa, MD, Noah's Ark Communication; Mrs. Opeyemi RemiOluwasanmi, Principal Education Officer, and Mr. Abdulkabir Abubakar, Vice Principal, both of Community Senior High School, Maryland, during Noah's Ark's corporate social responsibilty, CSR, initiative for students in Lagos. PHOTO: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor.
Army retires 51 officers z15 generals affected, officers grumble BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI
BUJA—NIGERIAN Army, yesterday, retired 51 senior officers, with their retirement letters stipulating that they proceed on terminal leave with effect from December 31, 2012. Vanguard gathered that many of the officers protested to the Presidency and National Assembly over the retirement, claiming it did not follow the terms and conditions of service of the Armed Forces.
A breakdown of the retired officers shows that 12 MajorGenerals, 24 Brigadier-Generals and 15 Colonels were served letters. Among those retired is the former UN Force Commander in South Sudan, Major-General Moses Obi; Commander Infantry Centre Corps, Jaji, Major-General M. D. Isah, who also doubled as Cantonment Commander of Jaji Cantonment that was recently breached by suicide bombers. However, Army Spokesman, newly-promoted Major-General Mobolaji Koleoso, said the retirement of General Isa had nothing to do with the Jaji bomb blast as he was already due to go. He said the board of inquiry report on the Jaji incident was being studied and that Nigerians will be informed of the outcome at the appropriate time. Reacting to the anonymous text message making rounds in the public domain alleging forceful retirements of some officers, Koleoso, Director of Army Public Relations, noted that it was not common for the Army to respond to such insinuations, but noted it was necessary to exercise the right
of response in this case to put the facts before the public.
We followed rules, regulations— Army
According to him, the administration of the Nigerian Army, NA, as in any organisation, is governed by rules and regulations. He said the 51 officers retired had been notified earlier in the year of their retirement, adding that most of them had voluntarily written regarding same. Subsequently, the Army Council approved their retirement from service having attained the mandatory age ceiling for each rank. He said retirement from any noble profession, especially
the Army, was considered a noble exit, which every officer hoped and prayed for. “To turn around to give such a milestone exercise a negative flavour is, to say the least, mischievous,” he said. Among those who put in paper for voluntary retirement is Major-General Olayinka Akinyemi, Chief of Policy and Plans, Army Headquarters. He added that the present leadership will continue to uphold its core values. He said in line with the Chief of Army Staff, COAS’s vision of transforming the NA into a force better able to meet contemporary challenges and President Jonathan’s transformation agenda, the NA will
continue to abide by extant rules and regulations. Koleoso said: “The NA uses this medium to advise anybody aggrieved over the decisions of the Army Council to take advantage of the relevant provisions in the Harmonised Terms and Condition of Services Officers, 2012 (Revised) to appeal to the C-in-C through the Chief of Defence Staff and stop banking on ethnic and religious sentiments to pursue personal ambitions. “Also, Nigerian Army under the leadership of Lt.-Gen. O. Ihejirika, is a united, cohesive and focused institution and will remain steadfast in the discharge of its national responsibilities, especially in its present fight against terrorism.”
On terrorists attacks
Speaking on terrorist attacks, the Army Spokesman said terrorists wanted to create problems by attacking churches and killing Christians, adding that if Christians had not held back, it would have ignited a religious war, which no country ever survived. He said there had been cordon and search operations everywhere in the north and the south. According to him, it is why Nigerians have had a peaceful Christmas and will equally have a peaceful New Year. General Koleoso added that though the cordon and search and roadblocks were not intended to harass or intimidate civilians, the measure put in place had recorded a lot of successes. He urged Nigerians to be patient as the measures might cause some delays, but that it was for the safety of all.
... foils suicide attack in Abuja BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI
BUJA—INDICATIONS emerged, yesterday, that authorities of the Nigerian Army Garrison Headquarters in Abuja, foiled a suicidal plot by members of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram, to carry out a Christmas and New Year celebrations’ bombing in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. Vanguard gathered that two drums loaded with explosives, several sizes of cans, including those of vegetable oils and palm oil converted to Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs; about six AK-47 rifles and timing devices were recovered.
Landlord, middleman nabbed
Sources told Vanguard that two persons, the landlord of the house where the high caliber explosives were recovered, and another man de-
scribed as the middle man who facilitated the movement of the plotters and IEDS to the house, where the attack was to be coordinated, have been arrested by operatives of the Army Garrison Headquarters. A manhunt is also said to have been activated for the persons scheduled to carry out the bombings. Vanguard was told that the operatives, made up of Military Intelligence and counterterrorism personnel, stormed the house located in Suleja area, following a tip off at the dead of the night, but were unable to apprehend the two suicide bombers, who did not return from wherever they went on that day. It was gathered that both the landlord and middleman were being detained in a military facility in Abuja, while the Police and SSS have been coopted into the plan to get the two runaway plotters apprehended.
Security agents on red alert
Vanguard gathered that since the two have not been apprehended, security had been beefed up in and around Abuja, with all exit and entry points receiving special security attention. Also, areas of national importance, including the National Assembly; Central Bank of Nigeria; NNPC Towers; diplomatic missions; Ministries of Defence, Finance, Foreign Affairs; ECOWAS Secretariat; service headquarters of Army, Navy and Airforce; Radio House; prominent hotels and recreations centres, are being heavily secured. Furthermore, patrol teams of the Army Garrison Headquarters, Guards Brigade, SSS and the Police are moving round the city, even as mobile detectors have been activated to intercept any planned movement of explosives or IEDs around the FCT.
Izala group not attacking Christians
N PAGE 52 of our December 12, 2012 editiion of the Vanguard Newspaper, we published a news story entitled 'Tension Mounts as Izala Vows to Attack Christians During Christmas.' We have since discovered that the story was not correct. The allegation that the group founded by late Sheikh Ismaila Idris bn Zakariyya on March 12, 1978, in Jos, had regrouped to fight for the interest of the north and that the battle must be waged against all those short-changing the region, including Christians is a combination of mischief, falsity and insinuation, which contradicts the essence of Izala and what it preaches. We hereby retract the news story in its entirety and apologise to Izalatul Bidi’a Wa IkamatusSuna in Bauchi for the inconvenience the said publication may have caused. -Editor
FG sends 140 Police officers to Somalia BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI
BUJA—FEDERAL Government and African Union have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, for the contribution of one Formed Police Unit, FPU, of 140 police officers and other resources to African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM. Director of Peacekeeping of the Nigerian Police Force, DCP Kayode Aderanti, said the MoU was signed on behalf of AU by Ambassador Ram-tane Lamamra, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, while the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to AU, Bulus Lolo, signed for the Federal Government.
16—Vanguard , FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012
Shettima weeps during budget presentation
Atiku lauds Adamawa PDP congress
BY NDAHI MARAMA
BY STANLEY OKOLIE
AIDUGURI—GOVERNOR Kashim Shettima of Borno State, yesterday, wept openly while presenting the 2013 appropriation bill before the state House of Assembly following the havoc wreaked on the state by members of an Islamic sect.
ORMER Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has commended what he described as the large turnout of party members for yesterday’s ward congresses of Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, in Adamawa State. Noting the defiance of party members to the plea of the state government not to come out for the congresses, Atiku, in a statement, said it was a clear evidence of the people’s love for democracy. Yesterday’s ward congress was the first since the formation of PDP in Adamawa State. Atiku said: “The recorded turn-out is a clear indication that people want democracy.”
The governor, who became emotional towards the end of his presentation, however, affirmed that the state would rise again. “Surely Borno shall rise again,” Shettima repeatedly said, as he told the people that his government was determined to improve on their lives and end the insecurity prob-
lem which had crippled economic and social activities. Shettima said he was “deeply pained” by the security challenges facing the state, pointing out that the government was doing everything possible to improve on the lives of the people with the little resources at its disposal. He said: “It is my fervent prayer and hope that this problem will come to an end soon”
Kaduna House confirm Bajoga Dep Governor BY LUKA BINNIYAT
ADUNA—KADUNA State House of Assembly, yesterday, confirmed the nomination of Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga, 63, as the new Deputy Governor of the state. Bajoga was, until his new appointment, Chairman, Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, in the state. He hails from Koi, Jaba Local Government Area, South-
Benue bans firecrackers
ern Kaduna. Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Muazu Gangara, confirmed the appointment at the end of a 10minute closed-door session with other members at the House. Bajoga was waiting to be sworn-in by state Chief Judge, Justice Rahila Cudjoe, at the time of going to the press. Aliyu Jigo, representing
Magajin Gari Constituency in Birnin Gwari said: “I will like to congratulate Ambassador Bajoga as the new Deputy Governor of the state. He is a senior person and this is a welcome development considering the fact that the Governor is a young gentle man. “They will work for the development of the state. Bajoga has the experience and maturity to assist the governor.”
Presenting the N184.3 billion budget tagged The Budget of Collective Renaissance, he said it was aimed at kick-starting the recovery, growth and development of all segments of the state through conscious, scientific and consultative approach to create new avenues for reviving the state’s economy. About N52.1 billion is for recurrent expenditure, while N132.1 billion is for capital expenditure. Shettima said: “We shall explore more ways of generating revenue to effectively fund our projects and programmes that have direct impact on the lives of the people. “We will maintain prudence, accountability and transparency in the management of scarce resources.” According to him, the budget is expected to be financed from a statutory allocation of N108.7 billion from the Federation Account and Internally-Generated Revenue, IGR, of N30.1 billion.
Killings: Sultan, Buhari, Kukah accused of prejudice BY PROVIDENCE OBUH
BY PETER DURU
N Islamic scholar, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, has accused Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Muhammad Abubakar, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Most Rev. Matthew Kukah of keeping quiet in the face of the killing of Muslims in Kaduna State. He said they were hypocritical in their reactions over the death of late Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa in a helicopter crash in Bayelsa State about two weeks ago. Ahmad noted that Sultan Abubakar, Buhari and Kukah kept quiet when Muslims were
AKURDI—WITH less than five days to the end of 2012, the Benue State police Command, yesterday, banned the use of firecrackers in any part of the state to usher in the new year. The Command vowed to arrest anyone caught violating the ban in view of its security implications. State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Deputy Superintendent Daniel Ezeala, urged parents to discourage their children and wards against the use of fireworks.
allegedly being killed in Kaduna State. Apparently reacting to condemnations trailing the jubilations by some Muslim youths over Yakowa’s death, Ahmad said: “No Muslim should rejoice at the death of any person except if such a person has shown enmity to Islam and takes part in plots to undermine it.” He, however, insisted that Muslims were killed during Yakowa’s reign in Southern Kaduna. He said: “When Yakowa ascended to power, more than 500 innocent Muslims were massacred in cold blood in southern Kaduna, the area he came from. Many families
were exterminated and others
Community gets trust exco
JOKI Community in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State has inaugurated its Trust Executive Committee. The community is made up of descendants of Oki and Olire. Members of the executive, led by the President, Mr. Johnbull Ebiareneyin, were sworn in to pilot the community’s affairs for a second-term of four years. During the inauguration, held under the auspices of the Elders Council, the re-elected President lauded and thanked
the indigenes of the community for their confidence in him. He listed some of the projects he executed in his first tenure to include linking of Koko-Ajoki Road, completion of a three-bedroom flat official guest house, a functional health centre, six-classroom blocks, 16 market stalls, among others. He said the new executive committee would use their connections to attract social amenities and other benefits from the state government and oil companies operating in the area.
By Bartholomew Madukwe
expelled from their abode.”
On creation of new states
OME states do not have enough fi nances to survive and pay salaries without money from the federation account. What states are you then creating? This should go beyond issue of personalities to matters of development. — Mr. Lawal Pedro, Lawyer.
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T is only necessary to make South-East like other geopolitical zones. We know that North-West already have seven states. I believe the South-East needs one more state. There is no need for creating more anywhere else. — Mr. Emeka Onwujiobi, Businessman.
support new states’ creation because it is a sign of development. The six geopolitical zones in Nigeria have six states, except Igbo. We need to get one more state to be at par with others. At present, we only have five states. — Chief Chukwudi Okafor, Businessman.
ES! Let the Federal Government create more states. More states will bring government closer to the people. With more states, there will be more local governments and the grassroots would benefit more from leaders.— Nze Chidi Nwachukwu, Real Estate Developer.
GBO are asking for the creation of one state for the sake of equity. We must do everything to create better state administration, if really we are a federation. Let the Federal Government give Igbo one more state, at least. — Mr. Dominic Ekesi, Engineer.
REATION of new states is for the purpose of equity. Igbo should be given one more state. I believe that new states would give everybody a sense of belonging, so I support the creation of new states. — Mr. John Uwabunkeonye, Accountant.
Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012 â€”41
2012: A year of high-wire politicking and intrigues BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, Deputy Political Editor
YEAR 2012 is year that Nigerians would not forget in a hurry. It was ushered in by crisis and anguish and ended on a disastrous note for many Nigerians. As witnessing deaths of many Nigerians both ordinary and prominent, 2012 is a year that the country had its baptism of natural disasters especially flooding, which ravaged more than 17 states of the federation rendering millions homeless and destroying farmlands and property worth trillions of Naira. Before 2012, the country appeared insulated from natural disasters. As accounts problems of hurricane, earthquake, landslide, etc were read from distant lands. However, a combination of flash floods and release of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon ensured that many northern, SouthSouth and South-Eastern states were flooded forcing the Federal Government to release N17.6 billion to cater for the flood victims and raised a committee headed by business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, to raise more funds. Beginning on a strike note: From day one, it was clear to discerning minds that 2012 would be a tough year. How? The Federal Government after assuring Nigerians that fuel subsidy would not be removed until April, 2012 chose to start implementing the policy on January 1, which was a Sunday.
*Jonathan: Promises to deliver next year
especially in the Northern parts of the country destroying many churches and military facilities. President Goodluck Jonathan suspended and later removed Alhaji Hafis Ringim as Inspector General of Police and replaced him with Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar on January 25.
Aftermath of the strike, things moved on a dizzying pace unleashing a gamut of crisis, violence, controversies, intrigues, etc on the polity
Price of fuel jumped from N65 per litre to between N141 and N250 in different parts of the country. The Labour, civil society organizations and many Nigerians embarked on strike and mass protests and for two weeks, the nation was on a standstill. A host of Nigerians who traveled for the Christmas and New Year celebrations became stranded as transport fares skyrocketed. Peace returned to the country on January 15, when the government cut petrol price to N97 per litre and Labour called off its strike Aftermath of the strike, things moved on a dizzying pace unleashing a gamut of crisis, violence, controversies, intrigues, etc on the polity. For instance, the Boko Haram sect intensified its violent activities via suicide bombing and gun attacks
Boko Haramâ€™s offensive After the New Year eve attacks, a series of assaults on Christian churches and businesses occurred in northeastern Nigeria on January 5 and 6 followed by attacks on police stations and government offices in the North on January 20. Over 180 people were killed in those attacks For the January 5 and 6 attacks, gunmen armed with automatic weapons stormed a town hall in the city of Mubi in Adamawa State where people had gathered to mourn three Christians shot on the previous evening. At least 18 people were confirmed killed by a Nigerian Red Cross official. Another ambush of Christians leaving a church service in the Yola, the state capital left at least eight people dead. Most of the victims were indigenes of Adazi-Nnukwu in
*Ojukwu: Received state burial in 2012
Anambra State A spokesman for Boko Haram calling himself Abu Qaqa claimed responsibility for these two incidents and the shooting during a church service in Gombe that killed six people the previous Thursday. A Christian couple was also gunned down in Maiduguri. Police in Yobe State later told the press they were engaged in street battles with members of Boko Haram. Hundreds of Christians started fleeing northern cities in the aftermath of the bombings and church officials urged people not to take part in revenge attacks. January 20 after Friday prayers, a group of gunmen in police uniform entered five police buildings and freed all the inmates. They proceeded to bomb the buildings, as well as two immigration offices and the local office of the State Security Service in Kano. They later drove around the city in cars and motorcycles, shooting pedestrians and battling with police. Among the dead was television reporter with Channels Television, Eneche Akogwu, who was shot while covering the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. On January 23 the government announced the death toll had risen to 185 people, 150 of whom were civilians and at least 32 police officers, including 3 members of the secret police. Local security forces announced they had found 10 unexploded car bombs and almost 300 smaller homemade bombs around the city.
A Boko Haram spokesman indicated that the attacks were carried out due to the failure of the Kano State government to pay protection money. The attacks continued throughout the year. On April 8, an Easter Day bombing in Kaduna left 36 people killed. On October 4, gunmen carried out choreographed attacks on three higher institutions in Mubi, Adamawa State, leaving 40 students dead and scores injured. On its part, the government accelerated its counter-terrorism offensive. There were calls for open and backroom dialogue with leaders and representatives of Boko Haram. Indeed, the sect on November gave terms for talks with the Federal Government. It later named some prominent Nigerians such as Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to represent it in the dialogue. Buhari later distanced himself from the talks, saying he could not represent Boko Haram. High-wire politicking Ordinarily, 2012 was not an election year but a January 27 decision of the Supreme Court unmask the year as of feverish political contests and conquests. The apex had on January 27 sacked five governors namely, Ibrahim Idris (Kogi), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa), Aliyu Wammakko (Sokoto) and Liyel
Continues on page 45
42— Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012
BY OKEY NDIRIBE
THE year 2012 was a turbulent one for the House of Representatives. Members had reconvened early in the year with an emergency plenary session held on Sunday, January 8 to consider a burning national issue;the withdrawal of subsidy from petrol which was announced on new year day by the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPRA)- a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The lawmakers had at that plenary session passed a resolution asking President Goodluck Jonathan to reverse the decision which had resulted in the price of fuel jumping from N65 to N141per litre. Prior to the plenary session of the House, tension had mounted to an all time high due to the nation-wide opposition against the policy of total deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and civil society groups had not only rejected the Federal Government’s decision, but actually mobilised Nigerian workers and the civil society for an indefinite national strike. The House had agreed with labour and civil society groups that the Augean stables in the nation’s petroleum industry had to be cleansed first before the masses could be justifiably asked to tighten their belts for the umpteenth time. The lawmakers had in pursuit of the sanitisation agenda for the sector, set up
*House of Representatives in session
The House in 2012 and business in Nigeria. At the start of debate on the report, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal had warned his colleagues to “be mindful
They were, however, disarmed by the persistent interventions of Senator Joy Emodi, the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters who in the face of all the bad blood remained a channel of communication between the two arms
an ad-hoc committee to investigate fuel subsidy payments to marketers for the past three years. The Committee was headed by Hon. Farouk Lawan (PDP, Kano). The committee in its report called for a probe into the disappearance of a whopping $6.8 billion allegedly lost since 2009 through the graft-ridden fuel subsidy scheme. However, some Nigerians had expressed fear that the report may not change much, given that it implicated some in the elite class that dominate politics
that those indicted will fight back and they normally do fight dirty,”. It was prophetic to the point as no sooner than the report was presented that established institutions and persons in the polity commenced a campaign of calumny against the report. Chairman of the Committee was soon caught in a web of allegations and counterallegations over a demand of $3 million from oil magnate Femi Otedola for the purpose of removing Zenon Oil and Gas from the list of those indicted in the report. Lawan was accused of receiving
$620,000 as part payment for the bribe. Otedola alleged in the media that he gave the money to Lawan and the committee secretary for the purpose of delisting his company’s name from the list of those indicted by the adhoc committee. Lawan’s denials were put in doubt after audio recording of the transactions between him and Otedola wee released to the media. The House in a swift response after a plenary session suspended Lawan as Chairman of the ad-hoc committee and also suspended him from his regular positin as Chairman of the House Committee on Education while the allegation was referred to the Ethics Committee and Privileges Committee of the House. The lawmakers also re-list Mr. Otedola’s Zenon Oil and Gas and Synopsis Enterprise on the list of indicted companies that had earlier been delisted by Lawan. The subsidy probe was to turn into an issue that has continued to dog relations between the House and the executive arms of government
for most of the year. It was as such no surprise that as the House proceeded on a two month recess last July that the members picked on another issue, the poor implementation of the budget to lay down dire warnings for the president. In a non-binding resolution, the House drew attention to the poor implementation of the 2012 budget and pledged to launch impeachment proceedings should the poor attitude of the president continue on resumption in September. One agency of the administration that was particularly at odds with the House in the outgoing year was the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC Director-General Ms Arunma Oteh had elicited the hostility of the lawmakers when she accused the Chairman of the House Committee on Capital Markets Herman Hembe of demanding for a N44 million bribe from the commission during its investigation of circumstances surrounding the near collapse of the capital market. Hembe was
subsequently suspended from leading the Committee. Nevertheless, the Adhoc Committee which was set up to continue with the assignment with Hon. Ibrahim El-Sudi as Chairman later submitted a damning report recommending that Oteh be removed as DG of SEC because she wasn’t originally qualified to hold the position in the first place. The Committee’s recommendation was adopted by the whole House when it was presented last September. The presidency was to cavalierly dismiss the House resolution when it recalled Oteh from suspension just about the time the House adopted its resolution on the SEC boss. The House has sustained its pressure on the presidency on the Oteh issue as it in the 2013 budget introduced a clause barring SEC from spending any income accruing to it until it is appropriated by the National Assembly. The House has also taken every opportunity to embarrass officials of SEC under Oteh turning them away from Continues on page 46
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Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012—45
PDP in 2012:Tukur still struggling W
E have come to transform and build a great Party, not to play politics,” so the newly elected national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Alhaji Bamanga Tukur said as he took over the reins of the party last March. Tukur followed up with the inauguration of a 50-member High Powered Advisory Committee, HPAC which was saddled with the responsibility of advising and helping to reposition the PDP. Former Vice-President, Alex Ekwueme was named as the chairman of the committee with members including Chief Bode George; second republic Senate President, Joseph Wayas; former Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN); a former deputy senate president, Ibrahim Mantu; and Alhaji Dauda Birma, among others. This move rather than boost party administration became a major problem as the action did not go down well with most members of the National Working Committee, NWC
BY HENRY UMORU
Trying to reconcile aggrieved members as well as bring back those who left the party has remained a major challenge and headache for Tukur as nothing has been achieved in this direction
many of who boycotted the inauguration on the fear that the HPAC would lead to the marginalization of the NWC. It is not surprising that the body after the inauguration turned comatose. Tukur ’s decision to also appoint high profile advisers also caused a rift within the party secretariat with one of them, Alhaji Habu Fari, who
*Tukur: Still facing headaches until then was the chairman of the board of trustees of the National Democratic Party, NDP causing the most stir with his appointment as Chief of Staff. His actions in the few weeks he lasted caused a rift
with the national secretary, Chief Olagunsoye Oyinola who alleged that Fari had through his actions undermining his office. With the realization that most
A year of anguish, high-wire politicking Continued from page 41 Imoke (Cross River), saying that their tenures expired on May 29, 2011, a decision that threw the affected states except Kogi open for grabs. Kogi governorship elections had earlier been On December 3, 2011. With the Supreme Court verdict, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fixed gubernatorial polls for the affected states as follows: Adamawa (February 4), Bayelsa (February 11), Sokoto (February 18) and Cross River (February 25). States like Edo (July 14) and Ondo (October 20) also had governorship elections in 2012. Tight, peaceful elections Most of the elections were tight as the opposition parties gave the incumbent parties a run for their money. And significantly, the polls were remarkably peaceful, free and fair contrary to fears that they would be laced with violence. However, all the incumbents retained their seats except Sylva, whose party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP refused to field him as a candidate, a decision that paved the way for the election of Hon Henry Seriake Dickson as governor of Bayelsa State. The contests were very interesting in Edo State where Governor Adams Oshiomhole fought the Chief Anthony Anenih-led PDP to a standstill
and in Ondo where Governor Olusegun Mimiko defused the arsenals of the PDP and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubupropelled Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to retain their plum jobs. The PDP convention After the January fuel subsidy protests and retirement of former Military President, General Ibrahm Badamasi Babangida from active politics (January 26), came the National Convention of the ruling PDP. The convention, which was held on February 10 in Abuja, the national capital led to the emergence of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the national chairman of the party following a breakneck politicking and horsetrading among President Jonathan, the PDP governors
and other top stakeholders. Ojukwu’s burial The burial of former Biafran leader and two-time presidential candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the 2003 and 2007 elections, Dim Chukwuemeka OdimegwuOjukwu, was a major event that lightened up the cloudy polity in 2012. The week long funeral rites began with the funeral train, which came with elaborate reception in Owerri, Aba, Lagos, Enugu, Abakaliki and Awka, was rounded off with his burial at his home town of Nnewi, in Anambra State on March 3. Loss of Bakassi One of the issues Nigeria and Nigerians may live to regret for
a long time is the loss of Bakassi Peninsula to the Republic of Cameroon following the failure of the Federal Government to do the needful. Despite outcry from Bakassi indigenes and some prominent Nigerians including a campaign led by Vanguard, the government refused to appeal the October 10, 2002 International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling ceding Bakassi to Cameroon. Nigeria had a 10-year grace to appeal, which lapsed on October 10, 2012. Other major events Other major events of 2012 include the House of Representatives probe of the fuel subsidy scam and the ensuing controversies that led to the removal of Hon Farouk Lawan as chairman of the Subsidy Probe committee over
••Claims a host of prominent Nigerians BY STANLEY OKOLIE
EAR 2012 a year that many prominent Nigerians lost their lives. Those who died in 2012 immediate past Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, who died in an helicopter crash alongside Gen. Andrew Nwoye Azazi (rtd), a former National Security Adviser and four others on December 15 in Bayelsa State. Other deaths include Henry Adefope, a gallant politician who died on March 11; Federal lawmaker, Gyang Dalyop Datong, who died on July 8 2012; Dr. Lateef Adegbite, a lawyer and former Secretary of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (September 28);
Alhaji Lam Adesina, former Governor of Oyo State (November 11); Chief Meni Innocent Jonathan, brother to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (December 20). There were also Chief Hope Harriman and Senator Olusola Saraki, a veteran politician and strong man of Kwara politics (November 4). The entertainment industry was not left out, first was David Ihezie James aka Giringori veteran actor Pete Eneh and Enebeli Elebuwa also known as Andrew In sports circles, Nigeria lost ace footballer, Rashidi Yekini (May 4) and Chinedu Onyeka , a former basketball player with the Nigerian National Basketball Team, D’tigers, November 21)
of the state chapters of the party were enmeshed in crises, Tukur set as his agenda the principle of fair play by introducing 3Rsreconciliation, reconstruction and reformation of the party. Trying to reconcile aggrieved members as well as bring back those who left the party has remained a major challenge and headache for Tukur as nothing has been achieved in this direction. PDP governors in Plateau, Kano, Abia, Enugu, Taraba and leaders of the party in Ekiti State are not comfortable with Tukur ’s move and are not prepared to key into the agenda of allowing some members who left the party to return. A case in point is the orchestrated campaign to bar the former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu from returning to the party in his state. The litmus test is Tukur’s own state, Adamawa where the national chairman is believed to be leading critics of the Murtala Nyako administration in an offensive to wrest control of the party from the governor. The Tukur led NWC has gone the extent of dissolving the Adamawa State PDP Executive led by Alhaji Umaru Mijinyawa Kugama that was loyal to the governor and replaced with Continues on page 46
alleged bribe-taking; House of Representatives probe report, which indicted the NNPC, CBN, NEITI and audit firms for not remitting N3.098 trillion to the federation account between 2004 and 2011; the Malam Nuhu-led Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force report on shady deals in the oil sector in the last 10 years; the threat of the Reps to commence impeachment proceedings against President Jonathan in September if he did not take 2012 budget implementation to 100 per cent; the appointment of Justice Alooma Mariam Mukhtar as the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN; and INEC’s massive deregistration of political parties, which has left only 29 out of 63 political parties in existence. Reviewing 2012, Governor of Ebonyi State, Martin Elechi last Tuesday described 2012 as a bad year for Nigeria, saying the year could pass as the worst in the country’s history. Speaking at Echialike, his hometown in Ikwo Local Government Area of the state, while addressing parishioners at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, during a service to mark this year ’s Christmas celebration, Elechi said: “The year was bad for the country and the worst in terms of natural disasters such as flood, senseless killing of innocent citizens by terrorist and other hoodlums, among others. We should, however, be consoled with the fact that other countries have their own share of these misfortunes.”
46—Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012
BY GABRIEL EWEPU
LANS for a merger and robust check on the activities of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP were the central issues in the agenda of the major opposition political parties in the year 2012. In 2012, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP leaderships met for severally on their merger plans. Their national officers despite the history of past mergers and alliances till year end kept reassuring that the merger would proceed and the ruling PDP would be the loser for it. “We have learnt our lessons and the outcome of the election showed that the PDP cannot be defeated without all opposition leaders coming together. We are in touch with each other now and we all realised the bitter facts. We will form the alliance again,” Prince Tony Momoh, the national chairman of the CPC said in an interview with a national newspaper earlier this year. The ACN spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, speaking on the trepidations of the PDP on the proposed merger in an interview with another national newspaper, said: “Clearly the PDP is very
Party merger: New thinking Opposition political parties were in 2012 engrossed in fusing whatever advantages they have to wrest power from the PDP
*Tinubu: ACN Leader
*Buhari: CPC Leader survive as a corporate entity, the PDP must be given the boot. I think that the leaders
The opposition parties that are serious to wrest power from the PDP, however, still have issues such as cracks that could derail their efforts
jittery. Honestly there is no alternative to pushing out the PDP. If Nigeria wants to
of the opposition (when I say opposition, it is not all parties that are not in power that are
in opposition.) There are some political parties that are not in government but they are even more PDP in their thoughts and actions. “But I believe that the ACN, CPC and ANPP have come to the realization that posterity will not forget us, if we allow PDP to remain one day more in power after 2015. I think the leaders of the parties are taking this responsibility very seriously? We are not saying
that it is going to be easy to have a merger. But we shall have a merge, I can assure you,” Mohammed added. The opposition parties that are serious to wrest power from the PDP, however, still have issues such as cracks that could derail their efforts. The most prominent of such cracks is in the CPC where a faction led by Senator Rufai Hanga is claiming the seat held by Prince Momoh. Besides, there are concerns
on the CPC’s Muhammadu Buhari laying automatic claim to the presidential ticket of the merged party. Recent comments by the general that he had not yet ruled himself out from contention it is feared could derail the merger talks. But at the year end, the leaders of the various parties were still upbeat, asserting their determination to come together to wrest power from the PDP.
from the presidency. They were, however, disarmed by the persistent interventions of
Senator Joy Emodi, the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters who in the
face of all the bad blood remained a channel of communication between the two arms.
How Reps fared in 2012 Continued from page 42 sectoral meetings. Another major activity which occupied the attention of the lawmakers throughout the out-going year was their effort to further amend the 1999 Constitution that has been identified as flawed in many areas. The work of the House in this regard culminated in the holding of Peoples’ Public Sessions in all but a few of the 360 federal constituencies across the country. The frosty relationship between the House and the Presidency notwithstanding, the lawmakers surprisingly passed the 2013 budget on the last day of the plenary session before they began their end of the year recess. The passage of the debate was despite
serious objections from some Turks in the House who sought to get a pound of flesh
Tukur still struggling Continued from page 45 Ambassador Umar Damagun led ninemember caretaker Committee to oversee the affairs of Adamawa PDP. Tukur’s reconciliation move is also being put to test in Anambra State, a state where the PDP is divided into multiple factions. In Enugu State, Governor Sullivan Chime and his associates are also believed to be standing against the integration of former governor Chimaroke Nnamani and the former National Chairman, Okwesilieze Nwodo and their associates. The reconciliation process of Tukur is also suffering a similar fate in Kano
as the governor, Musa Kwankwanso blocked all avenues for Alabo Graham Douglas’ committee set up by the NWC of the party to reconcile aggrieved members of the party in the state to carry out its duty. Also in Taraba State, prior to the air crash that immobilized overnor Danbaba, he had blocked two senators; Abubakar Umar Tutare, Taraba Central and Jumai Aisha Alhassan, Taraba North from having a say in the affairs of the PDP in the State. In the two gubernatorial elections conducted since the advent of the Tukur leadership of the party, the PDP
was seriously bruised in the elections conducted in Edo and Ondo States. Recognising the need to beef up its communication strategy and sell the party to the world ahead of 2015 Presidential election, the PDP organized a retreat for its Zonal, State Publicity Secretaries and Organising Secretaries in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital. Another challenge for PDP is the emergence of a new Chairman of Board of Trustees, BoT come January 8, 2013 following the resignation of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, April this 2012. Members also expect the approval of the new constitution as the party enters another year.
Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012 —47
48—Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012
Slain danfo driver’s wife relives life with husband BY ONOZURE DANIA
OW am I going to take care of the children now? They have made life unbearable for me and my family. They have taken away our breadwinner and made me a widow. I never imagined that I will be a widow now.” With these words, Mrs Modupe Popoola, the wife of the deceased danfo driver, Isaac Popoola, who was allegedly killed by LATSMA officials
wailed uncontrollably, yesterday, as sympathisers thronged their Lagos home to commiserate with her. The late commercial bus driver was killed on December 24. LATSMA has made me a widow At their 16, Ojo Ogundana Crescent off Jimoh Akinremi Street, Jimoh Bus stop, Akowonjo, Egbeda, Lagos residence, an inconsolable Mrs
Popoola wondered how harm could come the way of her husband, whom she described as a gentleman. “He did not have problem with people around. People in our area know him to be an easy going person; he went to look for what we are going to use to celebrate Christmas, only for me to receive a shocking news of his death,” she said tearfully. Popoola called on Nigerians to come to her aid and that of
Modupe Popola her family. She also wants justice done and the killers of her
husband brought to book. She said: “Is 6.30 am their time of resumption? What were they doing on the road at that time? They wanted to pull him down to take his vehicle away from him because of the money that they wanted to collect from him. Because they pay contributions of N10,000 that was why they have taken our bread winner away. Now I don’t have any helper any more.” He bought ram for Christmas but did not live to eat it Recalling her husband’s last deeds, she said that the late driver had bought a ram (tied outside) in October for the celebration of Christmas, noting “we have been planning on how we are going to have fun with members of our family, before LATSMA killed my husband.” She lamented that since the incident occurred on Monday, LASTMA officials, had not paid the family a condolence visit, “they have not even called or sent text message to express their condolence.” My husband asked me to stop work because of our sick daughter Pointing to her last child, who is physically challenged and also the only girl out of five children, she said she and her husband had been trying to take care of the child along with the other children, but now she is going to shoulder the responsibility of bringing the children up all alone. Mrs Popoola said because of the condition of their daughter, her husband asked her not to work or trade so as to take proper care of her while he shouldered the responsibility of provid-
Continues on page 50
Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012—49
Burnt vehicles after the explosion
EDO TANKER FIRE: My husband was burnt to death trying to protect his bus—Widow of bus driver By SIMON EBEGBULEM
ENIN CITY—MADAM Blessing Oghagbon, widow of late Mr Kingsley Oghagbon, who lost his life after a tanker loaded with petroleum product exploded last Tuesday, said yesterday, that she would not have lost the bread winner of the family, if the late husband had not suffered stomach upset which forced him back home, where the tragedy occurred. Vanguard learnt that the driver of the tanker, which was coming from Ekiosa Market on the Murtala Muhammed Road, Benin City, lost control of the tanker apparently due to break failure, rammed into a side drain and exploded. The driver of the tanker was said to have escaped alive shortly after the incident. The tanker was completelyburnt . The petroleum product flooded the road where he acident occured and over 12 cars and four motorcycles that were parked by the road went up in flames. There was pandemonium at the point the tanker exploded, as people ran for their lives. Some residents abandoned their homes thinking it was a bomb. It was also learnt that a commercial motorcycle rider lost his life in the inferno. But an eyewitness told Vanguard how late Mr. Oghagbon lost his life and denied insinuations that a commercial motorcycle rider also lost his life. The eyewitness, who identified herself as Esther, said: “I was standing by the road when I heard the explosion and there was fire everywhere. Fuel was now flowing in-
The burnt tankers
The widow, Mrs. Blessing Oghagbon
The late Kingsley Oghagbon
side the gutter and vehicles were burning. The commercial motorcyclist believed to have died did not die, he tried to start his Okada but it exploded. His leg was burnt though he managed to escape alive." Sympathizers thronged the residence of the deceased Kingsley, when Vanguard visited. The deceased wife, Blessing, who was visibly wrecked as she recounted watching her husband die in pains, lamented that the deceased, who was a bus driver, left her with three children and cried that he would not have died, if he had gone straight to wash the bus. “What can I say now? We were all sitting in the room when we heard people shouting outside that a tanker fell into a gutter and that there was fire everywhere. My husband just came back from Onitsha, Anambra State. He wanted to wash the bus but said he had running stomach and decided to come back home first. So when we heard the noise, he ran out to take the bus to the car wash. He entered the bus and started it,
the bus exploded. When I saw the explosion I started shouting, telling people that my husband was inside the bus that they should help me. “I ran inside the house to look for my children and from there I returned to the moat area and was shouting, telling people that my husband was in the fire. But some people were saying he must have escaped to somewhere. Suddenly, we saw him burning and he fell inside the gutter. I feel very bad now because he just came back from work because he was having running stomach. He came to ease himself and to take the bus to the car wash before the incident. He just started the bus before it caught fire. How I am going to take care of three children? she cried. One of the deceased neighbours who was devastated by the death, lamented that Kingsley died because he was trying to save the bus from being burnt.He said: “It is sad because the bus does not belong to him, so he did not want any thing to happen to it before the owner ask him to pay. He died trying to save the bus. He should have remained alive and allow the bus to be destroyed. That is why I am really in pains. Poverty is a bad thing.” The deceased cousin, Charles, lamented that if “he had known, he would have gone straight to the car wash. But you could see that the devil was at work. The tanker driver has escaped now, so we don’t even know who to run to. Who is going to take care of the three children? I don’t know how we are going to cope.”
AUDU—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Audu Ramatu Jemimah, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Jemimah R. Izu. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
O G U N DA I R O — I , formerly known and addressed as Miss Ogundairo Nimat Ayinke, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Nimat Ayinke Abdulsalam. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
DANIEL—I, formerly known and addressed as Mr. Daniel Ogah, now wish to be known and addressed as Mr. Moses Ogah. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
A M A D I H E EZUGU—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss AmadiheEzugu Pamela Chimerogo, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Eze Pamela Chimerogo. All former documents remain valid. Imo State University (IMSU), NYSC and general public please take note.
NDORO-ERE—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Grace Ndoro-Ere Eyenanaotu, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Grace Eyenanaotu Wikimor. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
BABALOLA—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Babalola Nike, now wish to be known and addressed as Miss Ayo-Bello Nike. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
ODEMWINGIE—I, formerly known and addressed as Dr. (Miss) Ifueko Patience Odemwingie, now wish to be known and addressed as Dr. (Mrs.) Ifueko Patience Osaghae. All former documents remain valid. Edo State H o s p i t a l s Management Board and general public should take note.
Confirmation of Name This is to confirm that the name Miss Mtswenem Mngunyi, refers to one and the same person as Miss Mtswenem Lisa Mngunyi, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Shamiga Lisa Mngunyi. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.
EDEMA-SILLO —I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Edema –Sillo Onesinrosan, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Mene Laura Onesinrosan. All former documents remain valid. Delta State University, Nigerian Law School, Council of Legal Education, Corporate Affairs Commission, Nigerian Bar Association, British High Commission and general public please take note.
DANIEL—I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Margaret Onyeje Daniel, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Margaret Onyeje Simeon. All former documents remain valid. Federal Medical Centre (FMC) and general public please take note.
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50—Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012
Slain danfo driver’s wife relives life with husband Continues from page 48
The first son, Ibukunoluwa, who is a graduate of Accounting from Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State, said LATSMA officials who were at the Akinpelu Police Station in Oshodi, promised to visit the family but till now they have not seen or head anything from them. He said he didn’t have the opportunity of seeing his father that morning before he was killed, adding: “I don’t know how I am going to cope without a father, because I wasn’t expecting to be fatherless at this point in my life.” Another son of the late driver, Busayo Popoola, who was in Osogbo when the incident happened, said he was not
ing for the whole family. Driver planning to bury late dad, January 28 According to her, the husband had planned with his brothers on how to go and bury his father on January 28, 2013 only for him to be killed. The father died last August. “I want the government and Governor Babatunde Fashola to come help me and my family because I don’t have any business that I am doing. I don’t know how we are going to survive, I don’t know where we are going to get our next meal from, please come to my aid,” she cried. Popoola’s colleagues at Oshodi motor park, where they always loaded passengers when he was alive attested to the fact that he was a very gentle and easy going driver, who obeyed traffic laws and regulations. Those encountered were shocked to hear about his death. I ‘ve not recovered from the shock – conductor
aware of his father’s death until he came back home on December 26, adding “I don’t know what to say now but the death is very painful.” IPO takes case to court Meanwhile the Investigative Police Officer, handling the case, has taken it to the magistrate court in Ikeja for approval so that they can start coroner’s inquest into the matter.
•Isaac Popoola, late driver
His conductor, said since the incident, he had not been himself because they had been together for a very long time that if he did not see him in the park, he did not work with any other driver. Late driver’s children wail
•Ibukunoluwa, first son of the late driver, Modupe Popola and a neighbour
My husband had internal bleeding
Aremu Salawu, bus conductor
The wife said that he had internal bleeding due to the way he was beaten because when they were embalming him at
the mortuary, blood was coming out from his nose and ear. A friend of the family said that LATSMA officials were supposed to be keeping traffic laws and not collecting money from people, noting that LATSMA officials need to be re-orientated because most of them don’t even understand the laws. His words: “They are thieves, if he the danfo driver had gotten down from the bus, they would have taken it to their office and start charging him with offence that he didn’t commit and before you know it, they would ask for N40,000 to N50,000. Where would he get it from, when he was looking for money to feed and take care of his family?”
Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012 — 51
Beckham’s wage derails move to Monaco D AVID Beckham has talked his way out of a move to Monaco by asking for too much money. The former LA Galaxy and England midfielder made ‘excessive’ demands when negotiating with AS Monaco chiefs, despite the significant funds available through Russian owner Dimitri Rybolovlev, reports L’Equipe. Monaco’s chief executive Tor-Kristian Karlsen recently travelled to the United States to meet with the 37-year-old and his representatives, but the club has since ended talks. Currently just one point off Ligue 2 leaders Nantes, Monaco are confident they can earn
I’m going nowhere — Falcao
HELSEA have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao as he has indicated he wants to remain in Spain until the end of the season. The 26-year-old Colombian striker is grateful to club president Enrique Cerezo for making him feel valued at the club by showing his determination to keep him. Roman Abramovich was willing to pay the
£48million needed to procure the striker from the Spanish capital but he is enjoying his time at the Estadio Vicente Calderon. Falcao told reporters: ‘I recognise the great effort Enrique Cerezo has made for me to stay at the club. “And thank goodness our sporting results have been positive. We expect that to remain so until the end of the season.” Difficulties in pursuing Falcao means Chelsea have been considering other options, including Barcelona striker David Villa. The Blues will try to bring him on loan to Stamford Bridge as manager Rafael Benitez believes he will complement Fernando Torres. Torres is the only striker Chelsea have left, given that Daniel Sturridge is leaving for £12m to Liverpool.
promotion to Ligue 1 and have hinted the summer window would be more suitable to shop in. The French side are managed by former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri, who confirmed his interest in the former Manchester United and Real Madrid man two weeks ago. ‘Beckham keeps a passion for football, that’s what interests me,’ he said. It would be helpful in all aspects of the development of the club. ‘He could share his passion with our young players, at 37-years-old, he continues to improve and be professional. ‘All young players need an experienced coach but also references in the locker room.’
Neymar will listen to other offers
ANTOS forward Neymar says playing for Barcelona would be a dream, but is open to other potential destinations. The gifted attacker is wanted by a string of the top clubs in Europe, and
orld class AVB: Bale’s w world T
OTTENHAM manager Andre Villas-Boas hailed Gareth Bale one of the best players in the world after his hat-trick against Aston Villa. The Welsh winger was the star as Tottenham brushed past Villa 4-0 on Wednesday, with Jermain Defoe also netting. Villas-Boas had nothing but praise for the 23-yearold Bale, who has been linked with a move away from the White Hart Lane club. “He is up there with the best. He is showing tremendous skills and talent, I think he is improving every day – he is such a young player – and he is helping the team. He is one of our major assets,” Villas-Boas said. “His personality is wonderful, he is going through an excellent moment of his professional and personal life, and we are benefiting from that.” The result marked a second straight thrashing for Aston Villa, who were hammered 8-0 by Chelsea on Sunday. Villas-Boas said his team had spoken about that result prior to the game and felt the first goal could unsettle Paul
although he considers Barca to be a great side, he insisted he has no special preference for a move to Camp Nou. “I’m sure the time will come to play in Europe,” he was quoted as saying by AS. “It’s a childhood dream, but I think it still has not arrived. “Barcelona have players I have always admired and I think I could play there. They have great footballers and that’s one of my dreams, but no, I never had a preference for Barcelona.” Neymar made clear his only desire is to be happy wherever he is playing football, and has no intention of quitting his boyhood club just yet. “I am a santista because my family has grown up here, and I do not see myself in another team,” he said. “I don’t have the goal of being the best in the world. “I just want to be happy wherever I am. I want to be calm, to be cheerful when I play, and at Santos I’m happy.”
Mancini maintains title belief
ANCHESTER City manager Roberto Mancini said he is maintaining his confidence in his champion side to defend their Premier League crown. The English champions, who secured the league title in
dramatic fashion last season, have struggled over the festive period this term, needing a late goal to beat Reading before falling to a 1-0 defeat to Sunderland on Boxing Day - a result which saw them slip seven points behind Manchester United.
52 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012
Maigari inaugurates Premier League Management Committee P
RESIDENT of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari on Thursday in Abuja inaugurated the 2012/ 2013 Premier League M a n a g e m e n t Committee, charging the committee to strive to “quickly and conclusively” resolve all lingering issues in the Premier League before the commencement of the 2012/2013 League season. He said: “For avoidance of doubt, this is a national assignment of no mean significance. The management of the top tier of the domestic League of any country
•Hon. Irabor has serious consequences for that nation’s football. None
of the National Teams can be said to have been composed without players from the domestic League, and even those who play overseas start from the home front,” commending the members for accepting to serve the nation. “Certainly, each member of the 2012/2013 Premier League M a n a g e m e n t Committee has been carefully chosen, based on quality of experience, broad-mindedness, capacity, proven ability, painstaking virtues, love of the game and diligence and dedication.
“Importantly, let me add that whatever issues have to sorted out must be done in line with rules and regulations, equity and good conscience. The nation is bigger than any single individual or corporate body, and it is the interest of the nation that we are talking about here.” In his response, Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Nduka Irabor said it was an honour to be called to serve the nation, and pledged that the members would do their utmost best to redress all issues hindering the development of the Premier League.
Drogba leads Elephants to Nations Cup D
IDIER Drogba will lead a vastly experienced Ivory Coast squad in the African Nations Cup finals starting next month which includes a recall for Wigan Athletic striker Arouna Kone. Drogba, Emmanuel Eboue, Didier Zokora, Boubacar Barry, Arthur Boka, Siaka Tiene and the Toure brothers, Kolo and Yaya, head to a fifth successive tournament. The widely travelled Kone, who competed at the Nations Cup finals in 2006 and 2008, is back along with Spanish-based midfielder Romaric, who has also missed out in recent years. Coach Sabri Lamouchi named a squad on Thursday with just six changes from the last edition, where the Ivorians did not concede a single goal but finished runnersup. Third choice goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare is the
only uncapped player in the squad. The Ivorians are only the second of the 16 finalists to announce their final 23-man squad for the tournament in South Africa, which starts on Jan. 19. All squads must be finalised 10 days before the opening match. They are to hold a 10-day training camp in Abu Dhabi from Jan. 6-16 and play a friendly against Egypt there on Jan. 14 before heading to South Africa, where they are top seeds in Group D alongside Algeria, Togo and Tunisia.
Ofem tops invited players to ICC-Africa ahead of the Camp beginning in T20 camp camp forthcoming ICC-Africa Lagos, 2nd January, BY JACOB AJOM
ATIONAL Cricket team captain, Endurance Ofem tops the list of 26 players invited by the Nigeria Cricket Federation to
Moses Continues from B/P to keep playing consistently. You never can tell with the title,” he said. Since the arrival of Benitez, Moses has been a regular starter for the Blues and played key roles in the London C M Y K
side’s resurgence that has seen them notch four straight wins, the last of which was the 1-0 victory at Norwich on Boxing Day which moves the Blues four points off second-placed Manchester City with a game on hand.
T20 Division 1 Tournament taking place in Kampala,Uganda, mid February, 2013. The Nigeria Cricket Federation has invited 26 players to Phase 1
2013. During the camp which ends on 16th January, trials will be held to shortlist 16 players that will be registered for the tournament.
Chukwu mourns Oduah
ORMER Nigerian manager, Christian Chukwu has expressed deep shock at the sudden death of former Green Eagles’ captain, Victor Oduah. Oduah who was at one time captain of Insurance of Benin died on Tuesday evening in
Benin City. Chukwu said "It’s a terrible shock to me because I never knew he was at any time sick. I got the shocking news early this morning (Thursday) from a colleague in Port Harcourt. I’m really short of words.''
AFN fixes Feb. 18 for trials ahead of Africa Athletic Youth Championship
HE Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) said it has fixed Feb. 18 to Feb. 23, 2013 for trials ahead of the Africa Athletic Youth Championships holding in Warri, Delta, between March and April 2013. The Federation plans to use the All-Nigeria Secondary Schools’ Championship to testrun in readiness for the African champions. Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, AFN Technical Director, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday
that a fitness test would also be conducted for officials and volunteers ahead of the championships. “We have fixed Feb. 18 to Feb. 23 next year to carry out a test-run of all the facilities, the technical officials and all those that will be involved, volunteers inclusive, for the championship. “To achieve that, I have planned to organise a technical officiating refresher course that same period between Feb. 18 and Feb. 23.
Nigeria Continues from B/P the competition is sanctioned by (soccer’s ruling body) FIFA,” Keshi told the SuperSport television channel. “I don’t know what is in his head or what he is thinking about. I have never spoken to Alan Pardew in my life, I have only seen him on television.” Pardew, who guided Newcastle to fifth place in the English Premier League last season although this term they are just five points above the relegation zone in 15th spot, had said: “Shola won’t be going. “The national team manager knows the reasons - which I am keeping to myself.” Keshi also reacted strongly to Kenny Jackett, coach of English second tier Millwall, who said Danny Shittu would not be going to the Nations Cup despite his
defender having been named in Nigeria’s squad. “I don’t know why the English clubs are trying to stop their players from going. Do they feel these players don’t have the right to play for their countries?”, said Keshi. “Clubs have to understand how important this competition is.” However, Keshi seemed to suggest he would ultimately back down if the players found themselves in an ongoing club vs country row. “I would not want to cause any problems for any player over something like this because it is his career and eventually he will have to return to his club,” he explained. Nigeria have been drawn in Nations Cup Group C with Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and defending champions Zambia.
NFF Continues from B/P (Keshi) to continue if we see that the inability to meet such target was not his making. “If we see that he fails based on ill luck, he’ll be allowed to continue,” Green said. The team departed for Accra, Ghana yesterday from where they were
expected to connect a flight to Portugal to complete their camping for the African championship. It would be recalled that former coach Samson Siasia was sacked because he failed to meet his target of qualifying the team for the 2012 nations cup.
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Russian club match Messi's N52b release clause A N unnamed Russian club triggered Lionel Messi’s automatic release clause with a staggering £205m bid for the Barcelona star, a report claimed. Spanish sports daily El
Mundo Deportivo reports that the club agreed to pay more than double the world record transfer fee, and offered the Argentine a £24.6m annual pay packet after tax. Once that sum was
NFF sets s/final target for Keshi T
•Alan Pardew, Newcastle Manager.
Nigeria hit out at Newcastle over Ameobi
IGERIA have hit out at Newcastle United for not allowing Shola Ameobi to play at next month’s African Nations Cup while also suggesting they may back down if the row causes the striker to fall TODAY'S
out with his club Ameobi was named in Nigeria’s preliminary squad for the Jan. 19Feb. 10 tournament by coach Stephen Keshi but his Newcastle counterpart Alan Pardew said this week that the
31-year-old would not be travelling to South Africa. “Alan Pardew knows he cannot stop Shola from going to the Nations Cup because
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HE Nigeria Football Federation have revealed that Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi signed a clause in his contract that will ensure he takes the team to at least the semifinal of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Keshi was handed a four year contract by the NFF last year, and it was initially not clear if he was handed a target for AFCON. But head of the NFF Technical sub-committee Chris Green revealed that Keshi was given a semifinal target for the 2013 AFCON. “We gave Keshi a semifinal target for AFCON 2013,” Green said on a live television conversation Wednesday night. Green said Keshi may be retained if he fails to meet his target. “We may allow him
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offered Barcelona were contractually obliged to accept it - but from that point it was up to the player whether he was interested in leaving the club. The bid came during Messi’s recent contract negotiations with Barcelona. However, the 25-yearold rejected the move and signed a two-year extension with Barça that ties him to the Camp
Moses not giving up on EPL title
HELSEA attacker Victor Moses is convinced they’re back in the title hunt. The Nigerian is thriving under new manager Rafa Benitez. “I’m enjoying my football and I just want
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ANSWERS ACROSS 1 Felicity (5) 5 Putrid (6) 8 Student (5) 10 Tun (6) 11 Partly open (4) 14 Appease (6) 15 Secrecy (7) 18 Tear (3) 19 Faucet (3) 21 Clergyman (4) 23 At no time (5) 24 Ditty (4) 27 Decay (3) 29 Lubricate (3) 31 Bent (7) 32 Gasoline (6) 34 Border (4) 35 Excite (6) 38 Fashion (5) 39 Ace (6) 40 Bore (5)
DOWN 2 Meadow (3) 3 Scatter (6) 4 Prosecute (3) 5 Smack (4) 6 Calm (6) 7 Gulch (6) 9 Plate (7) 12 Vessel (3) 13 Mature (4) 16 Learner (4) 17 Devastation (5) 20 Terrorise (7) 22 Competent (4) 24 Lithe (6) 25 Observe (4) 26 Belt (6) 28 Previous (6) 30 Record (3) 33 In case (4) 36 Aged (3) 37 Zero (3)
YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS ACROSS: 1, Preach 5, Scorch 9, Loyal 10, Combat 11, Lancer 12, Pecan 14, Long 17, Lad 18, Wore 20, Every 22, Oared 23, Eastern 24, Strap 26, Befit 29, Peat 30, Hop 32, Dine 33, Final 35, Angler 36, Sensed 37, Tease 38, Lodged 39, Errand.
How to Play Sudoku
DOWN: 1, Pickle 2, Ermine 3, Clap 4, Hotel 5, Salad 6, Clan 7, Rector 8, Harmed 13, Caution 15, Ovate 16, Great 18, Waned 19, Resin 21, Yab 22, Orb 24, Sprawl 25, Ragged 27, Fiesta 28, Tended 30, Hired 31, Passe 33, Fete 34, Leer.
Place a number (1-9) in each blank cell. (No line can have two of the same number). Each row (nine lines from left to right), column, (also nine lines from top to bottom) and 3 X 3 block within a bold block (nine blocks) contains number from 1 through 9. This means that no number can appear twice in any block, column or row. No mathematics is involved – no adding, subtraction, division or multiplication, just plain logic and your imagination. Printed and Published by VANGUARD MEDIA LIMITED, Vanguard Avenue, Kirikiri Canal, P.M.B.1007, Apapa. Phone: Newsroom: 018773962. Deputy Editor: 01-8944295. Advert Dept: 01-7924470; Hotline: 01-8737028; Abuja: 09-2341102, 09-2342704. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Advert:email@example.com Website: www.vanguardngr.com (ISSN 0794-652X) Editor: MIDENO BAYAGBON. Phone: 01-7742861, All correspondence to P.M.B. 1007, Apapa Lagos.