...towards a better life for the people VOL. 25: NO. 61849
ONLINE | www.vanguardngr.com
FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
Imo Deputy Gov, Agbaso, •P.14 impeached ....Bribe money traced to Lebanon, Dubai
Nigeria on the brink of another civil war, •P.9 Soyinka warns
No plans to remove subsidy — Presidency •For the avoidance of doubt and at the risk of being repetitive, this administration is not considering the issue of removal of fuel subsidy in the nearest future
BY BEN AGANDE & HENRY UMORU
BUJA—THE Presi dency, yesterday, said it had no plans to remove oil subsidy. Presidential Spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe, in a statement in Abuja, said d e s p i t e President Goodluck Jonathan’s recent remark concerning subsidy, the administration, as a mat Continues on page 5
ADISA ADELEYE —P.47
DONU KOGBARA •P.17
Mr & Mrs
COLLOQUIUM—From left: Former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (Celebrant); Prof. Wole Soyinka, Chief Bisi Akande, National Chairman of Action Congress of Nigera (ACN) and Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, during the 5th Annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium, held, yesterday, at MUSON Centre, Lagos. Photo: Bunmi Azeez. More pix on Page 16.
NUJ President, 74 others escape death•P.8 C M Y K
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SIN NO MORE—Pope Francis (R) kissing the feet of a young offender after washing them during a mass at the church of the Casal del Marmo youth prison on the outskirts of Rome as part of Holy Thursday. Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 young offenders including two girls at a Rome prison on Thursday in an unprecedented version of an ancient Easter ritual seen as part of an effort by the new pope to bring the Catholic Church closer to the needy. Photo: AFP.
No plans to remove fuel subsidy — Presidency Continues from page 1 ter of policy, had no plans in that direction. Besides, Dr Okupe, who said the President was mindful of the reactions and plight of Nigerians, maintained that
sufficient allocation for fuel subsidy has already been made in the 2013 budget “therefore there is no cause for alarm on removal of fuel subsidy." President Goodluck Jonathan had on March 20, at the Nigeria Eco-
BY PASTOR ITUAH
We don’t change by all our crying, trying or buying. We change by renewing our minds to God’s way of thinking. Be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind.
TAKE HEART BY ELLA RANDLE
come to believe that each of us has a per I sonal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint and that the best way to succeed is to discover what ’VE
you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you – Oprah Winfrey
The more you see yourself as what you’d like to become, and act as if what you want is already there, the more you’ll activate those dormant forces that will collaborate to transform your dream into your reality. In his writing about the power of intention; Wayne Dyer, concludes that once you believe in yourself and see your soul as divine and precious, you’ll automatically be converted to a being who can create miracles. “Not only do you become what you think about, but the world also becomes what you think about. Those who think that the world is a dark place are blind to the light that might illuminate their lives. Those who see the light of the world view the dark spots as merely potential light.” Leonardo da Vinci sums it aptly: “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
nomic Summit 2013 held in Lagos, unveiled a platform of economic development for the country predicated on full removal of fuel subsidy. On the President’s remark at the Economic Summit in Lagos, Dr Okupe said it “ was a frank, intellectual and well-articulated contribution by the President to the discussion on the Nigerian Economy at the said Summit, and it was from a honest and sincere leadership perspective”. President Jonathan’s remark had generated a furore with attendant lamentations from the Nigerian public who viewed the move as antipeople and a plot to hike pump price of petroleum products. According to Dr Okupe, "the President and this administration are not insensitive to the plights of the Nigerian Masses and will continue to pursue and execute policies and programmes that are in the overall interest of majority of Nigerians and that will bring the greatest good to the greatest number of our teeming population.” He said further: “It is an undeniable fact that every responsible leadership, genuine stakeholder and patriot must be worried when a
nation spends about N1 trillion, an equivalent of about 20 per cent of the national budget, on subsidy paid out to a few companies and enjoyed in the main by very few elites, while the common man benefits only minimally.” Dr Okupe said: “Contrary to the speculation in the media and assumption by certain groups within the polity, we wish to state categorically that, the removal of oil subsidy is not on the table of the Transformation Agenda of the President. The statement made by President Goodluck Jonathan at the recent Economic Summit held in Lagos was a frank, intellectual and well articulated contribution by the President to the discussion on the Nigerian Economy at the said Summit, and it was from a honest and sincere leadership perspective.” “Finally, for the avoidance of doubt and at the risk of being repetitive, this administration is not considering the issue of removal of fuel subsidy in the nearest future and certainly will not embark on any such programme without extensive consultations and engagements across the various segments, interests and stakeholders in the Nigerian polity,” he said.
Court orders arrest of Kogi CJ, AG, Head of Service L
OKOJA— AN Okene High Court in Kogi State, yesterday, issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice; the Head of Service, HOS, and the Accountant-General. Justice Sunday Otu, who issued the bench warrant in Okene, said the three senior government functionaries had persistently ignored the court's summons to appear before it. He said the HOS, Mr Moses Atakpa; the Attorney General, Mr Joe Abrahams and the Accountant General, Mr Paul Audu, refused to implement the court’s judgment ordering the re-absorption of 346 state civil servants sacked illegally in 2009. The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the court had on May 14, 2012, in its judgment, ordered the State Government to reinstate the sacked workers with immediate effect. The court stated that the workers were illegally sacked in 2009 during the Sally Titbot screening exercise. It held that the affected workers had genuine documents of employment and were legally employed by the state government. Otu held that there was no time the state government gave the affected staff official letters of termination to indicate their disengagement from service. He, therefore,ordered their reinstatement and payment of all arrears of salaries and allowances. Otu noted that the government in defiance of the court order, applied for stay of execution seven months after (December, 2012) the judge-
ment. He said the application was denied by the court but yet, government still refused to reinstate them. Otu said that the counsel to the appellants, Mr John Barry, had approached the court and intimated it that though the affected staff reported for duty and some were promoted and transferred to other stations. He said that despite that, the state government still refused to pay their salaries and allowances. The court had, at its sitting on the matter in February, threatened to issue a bench warrant on the three administration officials if they failed to appear in court on the next adjourned date (March 28). They were being asked to come to the court to show cause why they should not be committed to prison for defying its order. At the resumed hearing on Thursday, the defendants still failed to appear in court. Their counsel, Messrs Gabriel Salihu and Saidu Okino, pleaded with the court that they could not appear physically because they were busy with election activities. In his ruling, Otu said: “I find it despicable that the Attorney-General has refused to appear before the court while others followed him. “The action is an attempt by the defendants to tell people that the law is meant for the common man.” Otu thereafter issued the bench warrant on them and directed the police to arrest and compel them to appear before the court. This is for them to show cause why they should not be committed to prison,’’ the Judge said.
6 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
Oruku-Umuode conflict: We are under heavy bombardment, Umuode raises alarm BY TONY EDIKE
NUGU — THE Umuode community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State said, yesterday, that its people had been under “heavy bombardment” since the last two days by their neighbouring Oruku community which had been in conflict with them. The hostilities between Oruku and Umuode communities started again, Monday, as both camps were said to have engaged in gun battle with Oruku claiming that two of her natives were allegedly shot dead by gunmen from Umuode. The state police command confirmed the death of an Oruku native, Charles Iyiagwo, Wednesday, and said it had beefed up security in the area but the shooting continued, forcing the natives to flee to neighbouring communities. However, in a statement by Mr. Paul Chukwudi, Secretary, Umuode Town Union, yesterday, the community alleged that their Oruku opponents overran their community following a fresh dispute over the construction of a primary school in the area. According to the statement, “the hostilities between Oruku and Umuode communities in Enugu State were rekindled on Monday as the guns started to boom once more in Umuode community. The Umuode community has been trying to roof the primary school being constructed by the Community and Social Development Project, CSDP (a World Bank-assisted project) in the state when they were attacked."
22 killed in renewed Plateau hostilities BY TAYE OBATERU, WITH AGENCY REPORT
OS — THE renewed hostilities between suspected Fulani herdsmen and locals in different parts of Plateau State have claimed 22 more lives as gunmen invaded two villages in Bokkos Local Government Area early yesterday. The gunmen alleged to be mercenaries from Chad and Niger Republics shot dead 20 people at Matol and Mangol villages using sophisticated weapons. Two anti-riot policemen attached to the Special Task Force, STF, maintaining security in the state were also shot in an exchange of fire. However, six of the attackers also lost their lives in the exchange of fire with the security men who
rushed to the villages following an alert. A spokesman of the STF, Lt. Navy Akpa, confirmed the attack and loss of the two policemen. He also confirmed the killing of six of the attackers. Akpa, however, said the casualty figure was “still being verified” but confirmed that men of the STF killed six of the attackers and made some arrests. It was learnt that the violence spread in the morning as locals descended on Fulani settlements around them. Business activities in the area were said to have been paralyzed as a result of the attack with many afraid of which area would be the next target. Also, Chairman, Bokkos Local Government Area, Mr Zakka Akos, confirmed that 18 bodies were recovered at the scene of
the attack, just as Dr Kumbem Temang of Cottage Hospital, Bokkos confirmed that 18 people were killed and among them was a 70-year-old woman known as Kaka Kiwo. A News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, correspondent quotes a victim of the attack, one Majau Yohanna, as saying that the attackers invaded the village “from 7 p.m. not long after we returned from our farms and were resting in our respective houses. “They (attackers) came in large numbers and had very sophisticated weapons,” Yohanna, currently on admission at the Bingham University Teaching Hospital, BUTH, Jos told NAN.
In a reaction to the killings, the
Some of the items recovered when the Joint Military Taskforce stormed and destroyed a multipurpose armoury belonging to suspected militants at Gida Ajawa along Western by-pass in Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano State, yesterday.
JTF destroys militants' armoury in Kano, arrests four BY ABDULSALAM MUHAMMAD
ANO — THE Joint Military Task Force, JTF, in Kano, yesterday, morning captured and destroyed an armoury belonging
to suspected militants at Gida Ajawa along the Western By-pass in Kumbotso Local Government Area of the state. A statement by the JTF spokesman in Kono, Captain Ikediche Iweha, said some
dangerous weapons were also recovered from the site while four members of the insurgent group were arrested. According to Iweha, among the items recovered from the armoury included six AK 47
Slain banker: My ex-wife preferred her ex-boyfriend —Husband BY ONOZURE DANIA
AGOS — AKOLADE Arowolo, who allegedly murdered his banker wife, Titilayo Arowolo, yesterday, told an Ikeja High Court that his late wife preferred her ex-boyfriend to him and their baby. Arowolo said this while giving testimony in his self defence. He told the court that they got married on August 8, 2008 and were blessed with a child. Arowolo, who is a graduate of Genetics from the University of Lagos said he met his wife during his post-graduate programme when he helped her to sort out some academic challenges, pointing out that one of the reasons they had problems in their marriage was because of ego
Plateau State Government through the Commissioner for Information and Communication Mr. Yiljap Abraham said: ”This is another unsettling event in the state with the accompanying implication of creating disaffection among communities that had long lived together. ”Let it be known that the Plateau State Government is determined to use every legal and constitutional means to ensure the maintenance of law and order in every part of the state. ”This, however, calls for high level vigilance by all communities and people of goodwill to thwart the plans of restless people and groups who do not wish to see the people of the State at peace with themselves.”
and immaturity and not because of violence. According to him, the problems he had with his wife forced him to leave his house to sleep in a friend’s place one night, expressing surprise that the deceased did not call him throughout the night. Arowolo stressed that he, however, returned home the next day because he was missing her and the baby, but added that when he got home he decided to check his wife’s telephone to see if she made any calls the previous night. His words: “I discovered that she called three people the previous night when I went through the call logs. I noticed that she called her father, her exboyfriend, Ehime and one other
person I don’t know; so I didn’t know how to confront her. I was thinking of how to present the matter to her so I decided that I will ask her while we were eating. So, when we started eating I told her that it was not funny that I did not come home last night and she never called me. ”She said she did not have credit and I said but you had credit to call daddy, your exboyfriend and one other person and my wife got very angry and said I should never touch her telephone again, that she had the right to call anybody she so wished and in my presence she called her ex-boyfriend. "For the first time in our marriage I slapped her and she ran out of the house and left my baby behind."
He said he had never for once beaten his wife before that incident when he slapped her in June 2011. ”My style was whenever she came home with any funny character, I would leave the house,” he added, even as he also blamed his wife’s family for interfering in their marriage. Arowolo told Justice Lateefa Okunnu that his wife once told him that she did not know why she kept obeying her step mother, adding that she felt like she was hypnotized by the woman. According to Arowolo, his wife further alleged that her step mum made her do things she would not have ordinarily done. The matter was adjourned till May 22, 2013 for further hearing.
riffles, one FN riffle, one General Purpose Machine Gun, GPMG, one SMG magazine, one pump action riffle and one PKK pistol. He further stated that the combat operation to capture the armoury led to the recovery of 10 AK47 riffle magazines, two smoke guns, 189 rounds of AK 47 ammunition and 43 rounds of 5.5mm SNG ammunition. Others included eight rounds of 9mm ammunition for PKK pistol, 15 hand-held Improvised Explosive Device, two 25-litre containers of liquid chemical substances, 11 bags of nitrate fertilizer, 200 empty containers of assorted drinks as well as wires and other materials for making Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs. The statement also explained that “the activities of terrorists in Kano in recent weeks might not be unconnected with the influx of terrorists fleeing from Maiduguri, Damaturu, Potiskum among other havens as a result of pressure being mounted on them by security operatives in those areas."
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 — 7
MTN staff abducted in Lagos BY UJU MBANUSI
A tanker loaded with fuel fell along Lagos-Badagry Expressway, resulting in traffic jam, yesterday. Photo By Diran Oshe
9 die in Calabar-Ogoja road auto crash By EMMA UNA
ALABAR — AXES and machetes were deployed, Wednesday evening, along the Ogoja-Calabar highway to extricate the mangled bodies of nine commuters, six males and two females, following a head on collision between an Audi 80 car and a Toyota Hiace bus. The crash which occurred at about 5 p.m at Esinjok village some 20 kilometres from Ogoja, an eye witness said, was caused by the Toyota bus which was heading towards Ogoja while attempting to overtake a trailer. ’’The trailer was on top speed so the bus could not over take it and the Audi which was also on high speed could not give way for the bus to pass, so the two vehicles collided,” John Ebile, an Esinjok villager who witnessed the accident said. Two of the three occupants of the Audi car and six passengers in the Toyota Hiace bus were said to have died on the spot while “others sustained severe injuries. Some of them may not be able to
walk again,” Ebile further said. According to sources, those who sustained injuries were taken to the General Hospital, Ogoja just as the corpses were deposited in the hospital’s mortuary. One of the injured commuters, Agnes Oleka, said the bus which belongs to the Imo Transport
Corporation was on its way from Enugu to Ogoja. Mr Kagho Odafe, Unit Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Ogoja said the accident was a product of overspeeding and recklessness by the drivers. He said this took place a week after another one, close to
Ex-Army officer, wife murdered by daughter in Delta BY FESTUS AHON
GHELLI — THERE was apprehension, yesterday, in Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, following the killing of a retired soldier and his wife by their 32-year-old lunatic daughter. Sources said the retired Army Warrant Officer, Mr Jonah Elili, and his wife gave up the ghost after they were hit with a pestle by the
daughter whose name was given as Elo. The lifeless bodies of the retired soldier, 75 and his wife, 65, were reportedly discovered in the early hours of yesterday by a neighbour who had gone to purchase some items from the deceased couple’s shop. A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the neighbour had, after knocking at their door for several minutes without response, peeped into the
Police/NSCDC clash: Jonathan directs DSS to take over investigation
BY EVELYN USMAN & IFEANYI OKOLIE
AGOS — PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, directed the Department of State Security, DSS, to investigate Wednesday’s clash between the Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in Ikorodu area of Lagos, which resulted in the death of two NSCDC personnel. Jonathan also summoned authorities of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, over the clash. It was gathered that Jonathan asked an independent body to investigate the cause of the of clash between the Federal Government’s agencies, following accusation
the same spot claimed five lives. He called on drivers plying the road to be careful and obey traffic signs as “government is doing its best by rehabilitating the road but that is not to say drivers should be reckless and over speed because the road is better now. ”
and counter accusation on which party actually pulled the trigger that killed the NSCDC staff. It was learnt also that the president met behind closed doors for about an hour with a police delegation led by the DIG ‘A’ Division, Suleiman Fakai at the Presidential Villa. Other members of the police delegation were the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Umar Manko; ACP in-charge of Anti-Vandalism, Friday Ibadin and the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba. The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mr Muhammed Abubakar, is said to be currently out of the country. The president had met,
Wednesday evening, with the leadership of the NSCDC, led by the Commandant-General, Dr Ade Abolurin. Mba told State House correspondents shortly after the meeting that the clash formed part of the issues discussed with the president, adding that the police used the opportunity of the meeting to give the president “the police perspective of the report.” However, while the NSCDC maintained that the police killed their men, an action that resulted in a reprisal attack by its personnel, the police debunked the claim, saying the former was responsible for the shooing.
house and was shocked to find the husband and wife lying in a pool of blood. The source said the woman raised alarm which drew the attention of people in the neighbourhood, adding that the last they knew or heard about the family was when the retired Warrant Officer came out to drag his daughter who ran outside naked, back into the house and locked her up. According to the eye witness, the couple was blessed with seven children (two boys and five girls), including the one that was afflicted with insanity who had been roaming about the community. Meanwhile, the said Elo had been detained at the Oleh Police Station. She was alleged to have told detectives that she reportedly killed her parents because they hated her. “My parents hate me. They locked me up in a room where they first hit me before I retaliated with a pestle. I saw blood and that is all I know,” Elo reportedly said. A senior Police officer in Oleh confirmed the story, saying a signal had been sent to the appropriate authority just as the matter was being transferred to the state police headquarters in Asaba for further investigations.
AGOS— A staff of a telecommunication giant, MTN, one Yemi Owadokun, has been kidnapped in Lagos. The 44-year-old man was said to have been abducted, yesterday, at about 6.10a.m, at Ologunfe junction, Awoyaya,while on his way to work. His captors were said to have demanded a ransom of N70 million. Before the abduction of the Ondo State-born, one Kazeem, was reportedly abducted and released 10 days later, after N2 million was paid as ransom. Policemen at Elemoro division said to have been hinted about the latest abduction, assured that they were investigating the case.
Police arrest 13 over killing of poly student
AFIA — THE Nasarawa Police Command, yesterday, arrested 13 persons over the alleged killing of a student of the state- owned Polytechnic, Oveh Sabo, on Valentine’s Day. The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the student was killed on February 14, opposite the polytechnic gate during a clash between two rival cults. The Commissioner of Police, Mr Abayomi Akeremale, told newsmen that the suspects, including a female student, were arrested on March 24. He said the police, acting on intelligence report, stormed the hide-out of the suspected cultists in an uncompleted building and arrested 13 of them with dangerous weapons. Akeremale said one of the suspects confessed to the killing of the student, adding that investigation was still ongoing to arrest other collaborators. He said activities of the group posed a threat to peace and stability of the society, stressing that crimes such as robbery, rape, burglary and theft formed part of their characters. He urged the people living around the school community not to panic as the command had declared full-scale war against cult groups unleashing mayhem on the area.
8—Vanguard , FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
Nigeria's first astronaut to emerge 2015 BY EMMANUEL ELEBEKE
BUJA—THE National Space Research and Development Agency, NASRDA, yesterday, said it will produce the first Nigerian astronaut in 2015. Director General of the agency, Dr. Seidu Mohammed who disclosed this at the 2013 national space dialogue and media conference, said the plan was part of the agency’s 25 years roadmap for space and technology development in Nigeria. According to him, the agency plans to have a Nigerian who can go to the space and conduct research, which was needed for peculiar reasons, like agro-based development, health, disaster, weather monitoring and some other issues that are peculiar to Nigeria, such as sickle cell disease. He said, “the possibility of this has been demonstrated by a lot of research done in the past and we have decided that by 2015, a Nigerian can go to the space and conduct research at the highest level". The NASRDA boss also said the agency had already commenced research on how to forestall the imminent flood disaster expected to hit the country later in the year. This according to him, was in continuation of NASRDA’s effort to tackle the devastating effects of the 2012 flood disaster that claimed over 3,000 lives. The DG said the agency would partner with the National Emergency Management, NEMA, so that people living in the affected areas can begin to move out to avert a repeat of the flood last year. Also as part of the agency’s plan to advance the development of space technology in the country, Dr. Mohammed said NASRDA plans to begin planning and designing of Satellites in Nigeria by 2020 and by 2025, will begin the commercialization and conversion of locally produced technologies , that will prepare them for a wider acceptability in Nigeria and beyond. This he said would include: software and hardware production that can fully be utilized by Nigerians.
NUJ President, 74 others escape death as aircraft loses engine mid-air BY KENNETH EHIGIATOR & DANIEL ETEGHE
VER 75 passengers and crew narrowly escaped death yesterday as a Rabat, Morocco-bound Royal Air Maroc flight lost one of its engines midair. The flight, which took off at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at about 7:30am, had on board National President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Garba Mohammed, and seven other Nigerian journalists who were to attend the Federation of Africa Journalists conference in Morocco. The other journalists include National Secretary, NUJ, Shuaibu Liman, National Treasurer, Fatima Abdulkarim, Mukhtar Gidado, former Vice President, Zone E, Gbenga Onayiga, as well as chairmen of Bauchi and Kogi states chapters of the union. Also on board the flight was a group of Beninois journalists who were billed to attend the same conference. Vanguard gathered that the aircraft, Boeing 737-800, was already an hour into the flight when the pilot noticed failure in one of the engines of the twinengine aircraft. He was said to have immediately embarked on a return to point of take-off and called for emergency landing. Lagos airport officials who preferred anonymity, said fire tenders and ambulance vehicles were deployed in response to the emergency declared by the pilot. Fire hydrants were reportedly deployed in runway 18R where the pilot was expected to land the aircraft, having shed off fuel. The pilot was, however, said to have landed safely without any injury to passengers and bodily damage to the aircraft. Passengers who had urgent appointments to keep in Morocco reportedly engaged officials of the airline in war of words for deploying an aircraft deemed not airworthy. The intervention of airport officials was said to have prevented what could have been an ugly spectacle at the airport. NUJ President, Garba Mohammed, who thanked God for averting what could have been a major disaster, said the aircraft engines on take-off made some deafening vibrations, which frightened passengers on board. He quoted the Beninois journalists as saying the engines gave a similar sound when they took off in Cotonou yesterday
morning en route Lagos. At press time, it was learnt that the airline was making ar-
rangements to check the passengers into an hotel as stipulated by international civil avi-
ation regulations, with a promise to airlift them to their destination today.
BRIEFING—General Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev Musa Asake (middle); Director Legal, CAN, Mr Albert Ukoh (left) and Director, National Issues, Dr Williams Okoye (right), during a briefing calling on Christians to defend themselves against attack in Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.
Jonathan does not merit re-election in 2015 — Arewa youths zSay he should take urgent steps to stabilise the nation BY SONI DANIEL, REGIONAL EDITOR, NORTH
BUJA—YOUTHS in the northern states of Nigeria, yesterday, vowed not to back President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 presidential bid if he did not take urgent steps to stabilise the nation and bring about visible transformation before the election. Besides, the youths under the aegis of Arewa Youths Forum, AYF, said they did not believe that Jonathan was qualified to run in 2015, having taken the oath of office twice. The National President of the AYF, Alhaji Gujungu Gambo, made the position of the group known while reacting to the claim by ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo, that it was the right of the Niger Delta to retain the Presidency in 2015. Tompolo had boasted at a festival in Warri, Delta State, that no individual or group could take the Presidency from the Niger Delta in 2015 as it was the right of President Jonathan to contest. But the AYF in an exclusive
interview with Vanguard, described Tompolo’s declaration as a mockery of democracy as, the former warlord did not take into account the strength of the voting population in the north. Gujungu pointed out that while Tompolo and his groups in the Niger Delta were entitled to their opinions, they should not forget that the North was important in determining who becomes the President of Nigeria in any election. While dismissing Tompolo’s boast as an empty threat aimed at entertaining uninformed Nigerians, the AYF leader asserted that President Jonathan had so far not done anything to merit re-election and that the north would not be in a hurry to vote for him in the next election. Gujungu said, “I believe that 2015 is still far away and all this boast about Jonathan is unnecessary because he is yet to prove he can handle the critical task of running Nigeria effectively and giving a sense of hope and safety to all. “To me, the first thing Tompolo and his allies should do is to ask Mr. President to take urgent steps to stabilise and develop the country before fix-
ing his mind on returning to the Presidency in 2015. “By always allowing militants or ex-militants to speak for him in the public, Jonathan is simply giving himself out as an Ijaw or a Niger Delta leader and not the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a post Nigerians elected him to. “As far as we in the north are concerned, such statements are borne out of ignorance and may actually be geared towards entertaining the uninformed and we do not care about their import because we are convinced that Jonathan is not qualified to contest in 2015. “We say so with a firm belief and understanding of the position of the law that no Nigerian President can be sworn in thrice in his lifetime. “Now, if Jonathan contests again and wins in 2015, he would have brazenly breached the constitution of the land and we are not going to encourage him to violate the laws of Nigeria,” the AYF leader stated. According to him, the fate of Nigeria is beyond the Niger Delta and warlords to determine, adding that Nigerians who love the country should rather pray for peace and unity to reign in the land, especially during the Easter celebrations.
Vanguard , FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013—9
BY DAPO AKINREFON, MONSOOR OLOWOOPEJO & PROVIDENCE OBUH
Group defends Customs CG, Dikko
AGOS—NOBEL Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, yesterday, warned that Nigeria was on the brink of another civil war and called for concerted actions to prevent the disaster. Soyinka, who spoke at the 5th Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Colloquium in Lagos, also chided President Goodluck Jonathan for failing to address the deteriorating level of insecurity in the country. Themed: A national movement for change. A new generation speaks,” the colloquium was held at the MUSON Centre, Lagos. He said: “Let us face it; this nation is on the brinks. Those who do understand it, I feel very sorry for them because they will one day wake up and find out that we have fallen as a nation. This is not what we envisaged when we struggled for independence. This is not what we envisaged when we struggled to overthrow military dictatorship and restore the rights and dignity of human beings. But whether we like it or not, it has come upon us.”
Chides Jonathan on insecurity Berating President Jonathan for the worsening waves of insecurity, he said: “My problem with the government, especially the president of this nation is that he does not seem to realise, he has not taken into consideration, into cognizance that by now the president should be addressing the nation, giving details explaining why this nation is at war.” To avert a second civil war, Soyinka said Nigerians should not see the Boko Haram insurgency as a regional problem, but as a national one. He said: “Certain things have to be done to ensure that this nation is pulled back from the second round of what is leading towards a civil war. By now, we should be tightening our belt, we should not see what is happening in the North as being confined to the North; it is obvious all along that this is not a northern affair. No! We heard that recently that some cells have been found in Lagos, that is not new, it started years ago.
Boko Haram, a national problem “Everyone should understand that the problem we are facing right now is not regional it is national and a human problem. It is called Boko Haram. That is the kind of language I believe the leadership of this nation should be imparting on Nigerian citizens.” The Nobel Laureate, while commending the youths for utilizing the platform to make known their ideas said, “I was delighted when I learnt that the younger generation wanted to use this platform to voice their ideas. I want to thank the younger generations for utilizing whatever platform to reinstate
zSays he did not shun Reps' summon over remittance
A VISIT—From left: Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan; Minister of NigerDelta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe and Minister of State for Niger - Delta, Arc. Darius Ishaku, during the minister's courtesy call on the Governor at the Government House Annex, Warri, yesterday.
Nigeria on the brink of another civil war, Soyinka warns zAs Tinubu renews amnesty call for Boko Haram our consciousness by speaking, I expect more, beyond politics, beyond mergers, beyond political parties, beyond partisanship, beyond regionalism and
Grant Boko Haram amnesty—Tinubu Speaking at the event, Tinubu renewed calls for the president to grant amnesty to the Islamic sect, Boko Haram. He said the leader required by the country is someone who has the desire to bring change to the nation. “I haven’t seen any educational certificate higher than Ph.D. But despite having someone with such education status, the situation is yet to change. “The present president of the country is very young but he has been appointing 73 yearold man to manage the country’s port.” He noted that the developments experienced in all ACN states was not based on age but rather on the desire by those who were elected by the citizens to rule the states. Tinubu said: “We must do it with justice, those with human blood on their hands, must be brought to justice, but we cannot throw away the question of amnesty. It is a carrot and stick approach. We have done it before. Why can’t we do it again?. Surrender your gun and we give you money for it. Why can’t we do it?”
Roll call of personalities Notable persons at the event
included Governors Babatunde Fashola, SAN, Lagos; Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun; Rauf Aregbesola, Osun; Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti; and Adams Oshiomhole, Edo. There were also Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; National Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Chief Bisi Akande; Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope Adefulire, Senators Remi Tinubu, Chris Ngige, Annie Okonkwo and Buka Abba Ibrahim. Others are Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, Chief Tom Ikimi, General Alani Akinrinade (rtd), Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Eruwa, Wale Edun, Dele Alake, Femi Falana, and Professor Yemi Osibajo among others.
Graft bane of Nigeria’s development – Sanusi Meantime, Mallam Sanusi identified corruption as the bane of the development in the country. He said: “Corruption is a big issue in the country today as in other parts of the world but why are they eradicating poverty and Nigeria isn’t? It is not just corruption. It is the failed interventions that are procured with the proceeds of corruption. Everyone agrees that corruption is bad. It has economic cost if you take a bribe and pay subsidy to someone who hasn’t delivered the required goods. “In Nigeria, people collect money for contract and they wouldn’t fulfill their own parts
of contract and nothing is done about it. This is compounding the state of corruption in the country. What is destroying this country is that people are corrupt and nothing is done about it. "We need to be asking the civil societies what they are doing to ensure that this act is checked for the development of the country. "Some parts of Lagos are getting cleaner because of the sewage process in Lagos State. These are some of the questions that we should begin to ask our public office holders today. How can someone be governor for four years and he or she fail to provide the needed facilities for his people?” Mr. Kolawole Oyeneyin argued that the younger generations have been denied leadership roles. While advocating for a platform that brings younger people together, he berated politicians for relegating the youths to the background. “I am very excited about the future of Nigeria but we must create a platform that brings younger people together. Politicians are only interested in elections but statesmen are interested in the future generations.” Warning of dire consequences if urgent steps were not taken to involve the youths, he said “we are sitting on a time bomb on the issue of Boko Haram; nobody knows when it will blow up. Politicians have used and dumped Nigerian youths and have left them in anguish and penury".
pressure group, Dia logue House, yesterday, rose in defence of Customs Comptroller-General, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde, over his summon by the House of Representatives to answer questions relating to 2007-2012 remittances to the federation account. President of the group, Mahdi Shehu, said in a statement issued in Kaduna on behalf of Friends of Dikko: “The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Dikko, is a well known respecter of constituted authorities and he holds the House of Representatives and other institutions of government in a very high esteem. “Therefore the report that he shunned six invitations of the House Committee on Public Accounts to answer questions relating to the 2007 - 2010 remittances to the federation account, could not have been correct. “By his well acknowledged unprecedented achievements at the helm of the Nigeria Customs Service, Dikko has become the proverbial gold fish who has no hiding place, and who has absolutely no reason to hide or shy away from discharging his statutory responsibilities. “It is on record that since his appointment as CG of the NCS in 2009, Dikko has in very decisive ways contributed to the overall growth of the Nigerian economy by maximising revenue collections and facilitating trade and commerce through such noble innovative products as the Trade Hub Portal, Single Window, etc. “It is a well known fact that Dikko's strategic position as Vice-President of Confederation of West and Central African Comptrollers-General of Customs as well as his unprecedented achievements at the helm of the Nigeria Customs Service have brought a lot of honour to Nigeria, with the result being higher respect and courtesy accorded Nigerian citizens by the customs services of various countries around the world".
10—Vanguard , FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
SPARC identifies cause, solutions to Nigeria's woes BY DAYO JOHNSON
KURE—NATIONAL Programme Manager, State Partnership for Accountability, Responsiveness and Capability, SPARC, Dr. Joe Abah, has described corruption as a major bane of Nigeria’s growth. Dr. Abah spoke at the 2013 session of the annual Iju Public Affairs Forum, IPAF, an initiative of a former World Bank expert, Prof. Ladipo Adamolekun, held in Iju, Akure North, Ondo State. He said: “There is a clear and urgent need to tackle the menace of corruption, a binding constraint to organisational effectiveness.” Speaking on the lecture entitled Pockets of Effectiveness in Nigerian Public Service and Lessons for Accelerating National Development, Abah said if corruption was tackled, “there is a much better chance of engendering effective public organisations.” Abah listed National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, as having Pockets of Effectiveness, POEs.
EVIVAL Assembly Church is organising a special programme entitled Resurrection Praise. General Overseer of the church, Apostle Anselm Madubuko, in a statement, said the Easter season, especially Sunday, promised breakthrough, healing miracles and more. The programme holds at Revival Miracle Cathedral, Revival Close, Ogba, Ikeja Lagos. Apostle Anselm said: “Easter Sunday morning service is for people to come and experience God’s power to resurrect any and every dead dream, hope, marriage, business or anything dead in their lives will be resurrected.
NDAN EXCO: From left— Mr. Abimbola Babatunde, Chairman; Mr. Oladejo Taoreed, Assistant Secretary; Mr. Fawehinmi Oluwatosin, Treasurer; Mr. Omobolanle Oluwatosin, Vice Chairman, and Miss Ogunbanjo Oluranti, Financial Secretary, during the swearing in of new executives of Oyo State Newspaper Distributors Association of Nigeria, NDAN, in Ibadan, Tuesday.
Appeal Court strikes out Ondo AP's suit against tribunal ruling BY DAYO JOHNSON
KURE—COURT of Appeal sitting in Akure, yesterday, dismissed the appeal filed by Accord Party, AP, against the ruling of the Election Petition Tribunal, which struck out its petition even as it restored part of the petition by Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, governorship candidate, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for trial. It also struck out the appeal by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate Olusole Oke, for filling further evidence after the statutory period. The appellate court, while affirming the decision that struck out substantial parts of
the paragraphs of the petition, especially those that were considered “ vague and nebulous,” however granted in part of the appeal of both ACN and PDP. The court also restored the name of PDP in the petition by its candidate, Oke, and ordered that the tribunal should try the petition by Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, on its merit. The Justice Andovar Kaka’an led Election Petition Tribunal had ruled on the AP and CPC petitions by striking them out, while it struck out some paragraphs in Akeredolu and PDP candidate governorship candidate, Oke
Dissatisfied with the decision of the tribunal, the petitioners appealed to the Akure Division of the Appeal court, which gave its ruling yesterday. Justice Habu Gumel allowed Oke appeal in part, ruling that the tribunal was right in striking out some paragraphs in his petition, while some were wrongly struck out. He, however, upheld the tribunal's decision, which refused Oke's application to file further evidence after the time allowed for such had lapsed. Justice Mansur Oredola, while giving his ruling in respect of the appeal by Mr.
Rotimi Akeredolu, the ACN candidate, also restored part of the earlier paragraphs struck out by the lower tribunal, but affirmed the decision of the lower tribunal in respect of paragraphs dealing with allegations of criminal offences against persons who were not joined in the petition. He concluded that “this appeal partly succeeds and the appellant petition restored in part.” Justice Uche Onyemene upheld the tribunal ruling which struck out Olawale Ojo petition on the ground that Accord Party did not instruct any counsel to file any petition and that it was not a party to the petition.
Lagos acquires 100 compactors for PSPs BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI
AGOS State government plans to provide 100 additional refuse compactors to Private Sector Participants, PSPs, as back-up trucks to its existing fleet of about 200 as part of effort to improve efficient and effective refuse collection and disposal in the state. Meantime, to ease movement of commuters during the Easter holiday, Lagos State government is offering commuters free bus ride on Easter Monday to ease movement during the celebration. Managing Director of L AWMA, Mr. Oladimeji Oresanya, made the revelations when he led a delegation of the agency on a visit to the management of Vanguard in Lagos. Oresanya explained that
the measure became necessary due to the ever-increasing demand from residents in the inner streets and
rough terrains where it was difficult for the regular refuse trucks to access. He said: “The state govern-
ment is committed towards ensuring a cleaner, healthier Lagos for all residents." (See full report next week).
‘We were forced to implicate Atuche' BY ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH & ONOZURE DANIA
AGOS—TWO bank offi cials arraigned alongside former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Mr. Francis Atuche, over allegation of forging a company’s board resolution, yesterday, told Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of an Ikeja High Court, Lagos, that the controversial documents were found in the bank. The two officials, Joachim Nnosiri and Uguru Onyike, arraigned with Atuche on a
nine-count charge of forgery, conspiracy and use of forged board resolutions belonging to Futureview Securities Ltd., Tradjeck Ltd. and Extra Oil Ltd., claimed in the averment contained in their bail applications that they were forced to make a false statements against Atuche to secure their jobs. In their separate affidavits in support of their summons for bail before Justice Onigbanjo, they claimed they agreed to change their statements “because of the promise by an official of the anti-crime agency, EFCC, to
use us as a prosecution witness against Atuche.” In the 10-paragraph affidavits deposed separately by the defendants dated March 26, they claimed through their lawyers that they were forced to say the documents were given to them by Atuche. One of them, Joachim, in one of the affidavits, alleged that he was intimidated and threatened by the chief inspector of the bank, Mr. Waidi Gbadamosi, the chief security officer and other senior officers of the bank for insisting that the documents were found in their department.
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013—11
BY OUR REPORTERS
NIMASA arrests vessel over suspected stolen crude
BUJA—PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, state governors and other eminent Nigerians, yesterday, continued to mourn the death of the Publisher and Vice Chairman of the African Newspaper, publishers of Nigerian Tribune newspapers, Evangelist Oluwole Awolowo, saying his demise was a loss not only to the late Obafemi Awolowo’s family, but to all the supporters of the late sage. This came as Segun, one of the grand-children of the late sage, said the news of the death of the only surviving son of the family Chief Oluwole Awolowo, had devastated the matriarch, Mrs. H. I. D. Awolowo. The news, Vanguard gathered, had worsened the health condition of the nonagenarian, who was said to have been kept in the dark during the illness of his late son. The family members were said to have become confused on how to break the news to their mother. According to Segun Awolowo, some men of God were said to have been used to break the news.
Telling HID Awolowo
Vanguard correspondent, who was at the Ikenne home of the Awolowos, gathered that former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and a Vicar of Our Saviour Anglican Church, IkenneRemo, Ven. Folusho Babatunji, and other men of God were used by the deceased sisters Tola Oyediran and Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu to break the news to Mama Awolowo. It was further gathered that Governor Ibikunle Amosun of the state, joined them in breaking the sad news to HID who was said to have been devastated. A family source told Vanguard that immediately the news filtered into the country, all mass communication media such as radio, television and newspapers were taken away from the aged woman to prevent her from getting the information about the death of her only son. Speaking with newsmen at the family house yesterday, Segun Awolowo, said the family received the news of the death of Oluwole Awolowo with saddened heart. He said: “We received it with saddened heart. But thank God he has gone to rest because he had been in pain. The sad thing is that mama is still alive. But we give glory to the God.” On how the family got the news, the grandson of the family said: “His eldest daughter, Yejide, had been in London with him in the hospital. We had been communicating. She called me and broke
BY GODWIN ORITSE & GODFREY BIVBERE
PHILANTHROPY: From left— Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo; Chairman, Globacom Limited, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr., and former Senate President, Dr. Ken Nnamani, both old students and centenary awardees of Ibadan Grammar School, at the commissioning of an ultra-modern ICT centre donated by Dr. Adenuga to the school as part of its centenary anniversary in Ibadan, yesterday.
Oluwole Awolowo served humanity— Jonathan the news.” Reacting to the question on how the aged mother received the news, he said: “She was devastated. She had been trying to get across to him. But since she had been in the hospital we had been hiding his condition from her. But it had become unavoidable. She is devastated. “Well he has children and it is a great loss. Like I said, we move on. He had been bed-ridden two years ago with various illnesses. So we thank God that he made him rest.” He hinted that the remains of Oluwole Awolowo would soon arrive the country for burial, saying “as soon as possible. That is going to be the family decision and together with the Church everything will be arranged as soon as possible.”
Jonathan’s condolence message
President Goodluck Jonathan, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, governors Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, former Governor of Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige and Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, expressed sadness over the incident. In a statement yesterday in Abuja by Dr. Reuben Abati, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Pub-
licity, he said the death of Oluwole Awolowo, a distinguished evangelist, humanist and community leader, was sad and painful. He also described the deceased as a worthy and honoured member of the Awolowo dynasty, who diligently served God and humanity to the best of his ability. On behalf of himself, his family and the Federal Government, Jonathan extended his heartfelt condolences to Chief Awolowo’s immediate family and the matriarch of the Awolowo family, Mrs. HID Awolowo. Atiku said: “Decades after the death of his father, Chief Oluwole Awolowo did his best to keep the kite of the African Newspaper of Nigeria, publishers of the Nigerian Tribune flying. He will be remembered as a man of peace, who was committed to his family.”
Governor Amosun described his death as a sad occurrence, which had thrown the entire state into mourning. Amosun said the fact that late Wole Awolowo was survived by his mother, the revered matriarch of the family, who is seen by all Nigerians as symbol of nationalism, made the departure of the Second Republic legislator an irreparable loss even more painful. Oshiomhole described the death as a great loss to the nation and to the media in particular, saying “I learnt with rude shock and grief news of the death of Chief Oluwole Awolowo. “On behalf of the people and Government of Edo State, I offer my heartfelt condolences. We share in the grief and pain of
the Awolowo family at this very difficult period, knowing how closely knit the family is.” Governor Uduaghan described late Oluwole Awolowo as a humble, easy-going and focused personality, who spent almost his entire life for the good of humanity. Governor Mimiko said the death came as a blow to many like him, considering the fact that the departed is survived by an aged mother, the matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty, Mama H.I.D. Awolowo. Governor Ajimobi described the passage of the only surviving male child of Chief Obafemi Awolowo as shocking and a great loss to Yorubaland.
Ngige, Daniel, Alao
Former Governor of Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige, in his own condolence message to the Awolowo family, described Oluwole’s death as shocking. Ngige said: "His death is shocking, tragic and sad. He, however, effectively filled the gap left by his elder brother, Segun, who died during Awolowo’s sojourn in prison in the sixties. May God grant his soul eternal rest. Former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, said: “Chief Oluwole Awolowo lived his life in the service of the people. He was a quiet philanthropist and an exemplary leader, who impacted the lives of those who came in contact with him positively.” Alhaji Arisekola Alao said though the demise was “painful and devastating, death is inevitable. It is more than tragedy to lose Egbon Wole. "His public relation is second to none. Very nice a man and a rallying point. Egbon and I have been together for almost 50 years.”
IGERIAN Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, yesterday, arrested a vessel, MT Green Dolphin, with suspected stolen crude oil on Lagos waters. Disclosing this to newsmen yesterday, NIMASA’s Director-General, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, said the vessel, with 700 metric tonnes of crude oil, had been detained and crew handed over to the Police for further investigation. Akpobolokemi said the agency had been monitoring the movement of the vessel before the arrest. He explained that the vessel had been arrested and released around December last year, following a court order to effect some repairs on her. He said: “After the release of the vessel, she remained under the surveillance of NIMASA until she was found to have been involved in clandestine activities within the West African coast. “We also discovered that the vessel had been involved in other criminal activities in the past as most of the crew on board have confessed to some of these crimes.” He explained that a crime free maritime environment is one of the greatest desires of the agency.
S the world marks World Oral Health Day, dental experts have once again called on all Nigerians to pay particular attention to their oral health as it is crucial to individual’s general well-being. Medical Director, GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc, Dr. Bode Adesoji, said this during the internal launch of Sensodyne Rapid Action at the GSK Corporate Head Office, Ilupeju, Lagos.
12—Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
Delta youths hail Mutu over devt
OMADI—A MEMBER of the House of Representatives, Mr Nicholas Mutu, has been commended by Unique Committee of Friends in Politics, for his developmental projects in his constituency. President of the group, Mr. Dennis Alade, at Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, said the objective of the group was to ensure that political leaders were transparent and meet the needs of the masses, noting that Mutu had worked to the satisfaction of his constituents through his developmental agenda for his people. He said: “We have passed a vote of confidence on Mutu and call for his return. We appeal to the people of Bomadi/ Patani federal constituency to rally round him, come 2015.”
Delta govt to NPC: Call Pension Fund administrators to order BY AUSTIN OGWUDA
S A B A — D E LTA State Government, yesterday, said it had approached the National Pension Commission to call some Pension Fund administrators to order for unduly delaying payments to retirees already cleared, so as to engender the required confidence in the contributory pension scheme. Speaking at the presentation of payment advice to some retirees by Oak Pensions Limited, under the contributory pension scheme in Asaba, yesterday, Chairman, Bureau of Local Government Pensions, Mrs. Patience Ikomi, said: “To get to this stage, the Bureau worked tirelessly to establish a data base for council workers and primary school teachers in the state. This had facilitated the deductions at source of the 10 per cent and 7.5 per cent government’s and employees’ contributions respectively as well as the five percent redemption fund with effect from April 1, 2011. “It has helped to determine
the value of the past services of employees' accrued rights, who transited into the new scheme with effect from that date. It is a sore point to note that some Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs,
have unduly delayed payments to retirees already cleared by the Bureau. The Bureau is taking up this matter with the National Pension Commission, Abuja. I appeal
to such PFAs to brace up to ensure that retirees’ benefits are released without unwarranted delays to engender the required confidence in the scheme.”
EXHIBITION: From left: Mr. Giyasettin Basarir, CEO, Basarir Foreign Trade Ltd; Mr. Omer Kaslioglu, Export Manager; Engr. David Amuka, CEO, Cosmoscem Emma Ltd. and other guests at the Eris Yem Animal Feed stand of ECOWAS-Turkish Export Products Exhibition, in Lagos. Photos Lamidi Bamidele.
Dickson urges support for N-Delta devt BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA
E N A G O A — BAYELSA State governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has called on people of the Niger Delta to rally round the Federal Government and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in their efforts to develop the region. Dickson, when officials of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, led by its minister, Elder Godsday Orubebe, paid him a courtesy call in Government House, Yenagoa, noted that though the Niger Delta region was beset with myriad of development challenges, sustainable progress can only be achieved in the region through mutual understanding and cooperation by the people. Stressing the need for collective responsibility, Dickson observed that the current groundswell of criticism levelled against
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the ministry was unnecessary in the meantime as the development of the region could not be achieved over night. The governor, who also expressed delight at the ongoing efforts of the ministry to bring all critical stakeholders together with a view to evolving a common development blueprint for the region, assured the minister of the state’s readiness to participate actively in the proposed all-inclusive summit.
He said: “I am impressed with the steps your ministry has taken in very difficult circumstances to ensure that the EastWest Road is delivered not just for the people of Niger Delta but for all Nigerians." Earlier , Elder Orubebe said the visit was part of his tour of all the states in the region to inform the governors of a stakeholders summit the ministry had scheduled for April this year in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
Amaechi assures on service delivery BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
ORT HARC O U R T — G OVERNOR Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State has assured that his administration will continue to engage the people to meet their expectations. The governor, through his Deputy, Engr Tele Ikiru, yesterday, at the first Open Governance Forum with civil society bodies in Port Harcourt, said his government would always put the people first in its policies and programmes. Promising not to fail on his campaign promises to the state, the governor said his administration
would continue to deliver quality service to the state. He said: “We will continue to talk with our people, listen to them and not renege on our promise to render quality service delivery and accountable stewardship to the people of the state. All the projects executed so far by the government are aimed at touching the lives of our people. “As a member of the global community, Rivers State is now known all over the world as the home of hospitability and business opportunities. We do not discriminate against anyone because we are part of the global community."
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 — 13
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Agbaso impeached as Deputy Gov •N458 Imo bribe money traced to Lebanon, Dubai BY EMMANUELAZIKEN, POLITICAL EDITOR AND CHIDI NKWOPARA
IR Jude Agbaso was, yesterday, re moved as the deputy governor of Imo State by the State House of Assembly upon the adoption of a report of a judicial panel which investigated allegations of impropriety against him. Following his removal yesterday evening, the House immediately screened and approved the erstwhile chief of staff to Governor Rochas Okorocha, Prince Ezeakonobi Madumere who was nominated by the governor as the new deputy governor. Before developments climaxed in Owerri yesterday evening, it emerged that the N458 million bribe money at the centre of the controversy had been traced to two banks in Lebanon and Dubai. The transfer of the money according to details of forensic investigations obtained by Vanguard yesterday, however, showed that the funds were transferred to two accounts in the name of one of the officials of the company, who ironically, accused the erstwhile deputy governor of receiving the bribe money. Meanwhile, Chief Martins Agbaso, elder brother of the former deputy governor said yesterday that irrespective of the actions against his brother that the one term agreement he signed with Okorocha would be effected in 2015. The motion for the removal of Agbaso was moved by the Majority Leader and member for Ahiazu Mbaise state constituency, Mrs. Adaku Ihuoma, while 23 lawmakers voted in favour of the motion.
Confidence in the seven-man panel Vanguard also gathered that one lawmaker abstained from casting his vote while two votes were declared null and void. In moving the motion, the House was told that the Deputy Governor did not appear before the seven-man judicial panel as requested on the alleged ground that he had no confidence in the panel. Attempts by Agbaso, earlier in the day to stop the impeachment proceedings initiated by the State House of Assembly suffered setback as the state High Court presided over by Justice Florence DuruohaIgwe threw out the suit as being incompetent. Justice Duruoha-Igwe, was of the opinion that from the facts before the court, Agbaso was not denied fair hearing as the applicant bitterly complained about. On whether the court was competent to hear the suit, Justice Duruoha-Igwe affirmed its competence but further ruled that the Deputy Governor was not denied fair hearing. Meanwhile, some of the former deputy governor’s aides, including his media aide, Chief Onyema Opara, were barred from removing their personal belongings yesterday evening. Confirming the development to Vanguard in a telephone chat, Opara said he was there to pick his personal effects but was told by security personnel that there was an order from above not to allow any car from leaving the place. “I simply picked my bunch of keys, left the car in the premises as directed and called my wife, who later came to the place and picked me up”, Chief Opara said. Elder brother of the former deputy gov-
ernor, Chief Martins Agbaso who briefed newsmen in Lagos yesterday also made available certified true copies from the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC of the ownership structure of JPROS Limited, the company at the centre of the bribe allegation. The share structure revealed that a serving Special Adviser to Governor Okorocha was appointed as a director in JPROS after the award of the controversial road contract to JPROS Limited in 2012. Agbaso also provided MTN call logs of his younger brother, Sir Jude, for the period of February 2012 to show that there was no communication between him and Mr. Dina to counter the allegation that he, (Jude Agbaso) forwarded the account numbers of the two bureaux de change for the transfer of the alleged bribe money by a text message as alleged by Dina. Mr. Dina, Managing Director of JPROS Limited had alleged before the Imo State House of Assembly that he paid a N458 million bribe to the deputy governor from the N1.3 billion contract he was paid to reconstruct the Dei Sam Mbakwe Road, Owerri. Briefing newsmen on the forensic audit yesterday, Agbaso, himself a former gubernatorial candidate in the state said: ”According to the findings of the investigators, the N458 million (Four Hundred and Fifty Eight Million) alleged to have been paid as gratification to the Imo State Deputy Governor, Sir Jude Agbaso was actually sent by the official to his company accounts overseas. "The findings of the investigators revealed that, the official first paid the sum of Three Hundred and twenty five million naira into Three Brother’s Concept Ltd. GTB Account. The money was used to raise the sum of $1,930,000 which was subsequently transferred through Dubai, on February 21, 2012 to the official’s account No LB55001400002302300179018010 with
L-r: Director, Indirect Channels and Corporate Sales, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Ken Ogujiofor; Chairman, Etisalat Nigeria and President of the King's College Old Boys' Association, KCOBA, Mr. Hakeem Belo-Osagie; Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson; and Chairman of the Board, Ecobank Nigeria, Chief Sonny F. Kuku, OFR at the Etisalat-sponsored KCOBA Business Networking Lunch in Lagos
the Kaslik Branch of BLOM BANK SAL in Lebanon. "The purpose of the transfer as stated in the transfer document was “to import construction equipment. “The second tranche of N133,000,000 was similarly paid into the IHSAN BDC Ltd’s account No. 1015334698 with the UBA by the official. Again the money was used to raise $800,000 and transferred to the official's account No. AE360200000036374395130 with HSBC Middle East Ltd at Dubai Internet City, Sheik Zayed Rd, Dubai.” Noting the irony, Agbaso said: “So, while the official was accusing the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Sir Jude Agbaso of demanding and receiving a bribe of N458 million, the said money had been converted by the official himself and his associates, and paid into the official’s foreign accounts in Lebanon.” He alleged that the impeachment process was wholly initiated to truncate the agreement between him and Okorocha for the latter to serve only one term following which the governorship would be rotated to Owerri zone in Imo State. Alleging a conspiracy against his broth-
er, he said:”He (Okorocha) is the governor of the state but he doesn’t have the right to tarnish the image of my family which goes back several generations of men and women who have worked very hard to build a name.” “Being head of the Agbaso family, my primary concern became to clean. It is of primary importance that my family name is cleared of all these allegations.” He further denied allegations that Okorocha compensated him financially for providing the political structure for his successful 2011 governorship bid. “There were no pecuniary considerations in any form or shape as I have heard from some quarters that some people said ‘we settled Agbaso.’ I have not received one penny from Chief Rochas Anayo Chukwu Okorocha ever since I met him till today. Quote me loud and clear.” “Our consideration was that he was going to be governor for one term and return the governorship in 2015 to Owerri zone. That agreement is still valid. 2015 is Owerri turn, it is a written document.”
Don’t defect to opposition parties, PDP youths beg govs ...Emphasise unity, reconciliation BY HENRY UMORU
BUJA- NATIONAL co-ordinator of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Youth Vanguard, Ambassador Ibrahim Bala Aboki, yesterday pleaded with governors elected on the platform of the party, especially those rumoured with plans to dump the PDP, to jettison the idea. In a statement signed yesterday in Abuja, Aboki said there was no need contemplating such moves by the governors, against the backdrop that PDP was the only national party in the country. He added that all the opposition political parties planning to form the All Progressive Congress, APC, had ethnic agenda that lacked no clear objective. He noted that the only
binding force behind opposition political parties was that of individual ambition for power at all cost, adding that this was not what Nigeria needed at this moment, Aboki said: “There is no need dissipating energy on crisis or planning to decamp to any party, because the PDP is the only national party in the country. All the opposition political parties planning to form the All Progressive Congress (APC) have ethnic agenda that lacks no clear objective. “The only binding force behind them is the individual ambition for power at all and this is not what Nigeria needs at this moment.” Ambassador Bala Aboki also called on governors elected on the platform of the PDP to support the on-
going reconciliation embarked upon by the National Working Committee (NWC) and Board of Trustees (BoT), as it was the necessary tool for the success of the party in the forthcoming 2015 general elections. Commending the reconciliation moves by the Bamanga Tukur-led NWC and Tony Anenih-led BoT of the party, he said: “We seek the understanding of the PDP Governors in the ongoing reconciliation in the party. United we stand and divided we fail and that we see the reconciliation as the basic tool that will help the PDP maintain its leadership position in the country.” According to Aboki, the reconciliatory meetings embarked on so far by the NWC and BoT of the party is preparatory to the expected general election, where
the party will present a common ground against opposition political parties. “We advise the PDP Governors Forum led by Governor Godswill Akpabio to support the reconciliatory meetings of all the organs of the party so as to achieve the designed goal. ‘’We are all aware of the proposed merger of the opposition parties under the aegis of the APC. We should understand that most of these opposition political parties have ethnic, regional and sectional agenda. “If you take critical look at the parties involved in the merger talks; the CPC, ACN, ANPP and the APGA, they have different agenda in terms of ideological differences and philosophical values. They are blinded by blind agenda for individual ambition and there is no national agenda in their approach for national unity and sustainability for Nigeria as nation.”
16 â€” Vanguard ,
FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
5th Bola Tinubu annual colloquium at Muson Centre, Lagos
From left: Dr. Donald Duke, former Cross River State Governor; Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of Action Congress of Nigera, ACN (middle); Mallam Buka Ibrahim and Senator George Akume, during the 5th AnFrom left: Chief Tom Ikimi, ACN Chief; Senator Olabiyi Durojaye, nual Bola Tinubu Colloquium, entitled: 'Beyond Mergers: A National Movement for Hon. Adebayo Adeyeye and Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Lagos State Change, A New Generation Speaks,' at Muson Centre, Lagos. Photos: Bunmi Azeez House of Assembly Speaker, at the colloquium
From left: Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State.
From left: Aremo Olusegun Osoba, former governor of Ogun State; Otunba Niyi Adebayo, former governor of Ekiti State; Mrs. Serifat Aregbesola, Osun State First Lady; Mrs Abimbola Fashola, Lagos State First Lady and Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, Ogun State First Lady
From left: Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, Oba Salaudeen Oyefusu, Ayangburen From left: Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd), Prof. Abisogun Leigh, former of Ikorodu and Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Oba of Lagos Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University and Chief Ayo Opadokun
Condolence visits to late Oluwole Awolowo's family
Prince Bola Ajibola signs late Oluwole Awolowo's condolence register at Ikenne - Photos: Wumi Akinola
Mr. Oronto Douglas Special Adviser on Policy and Strategy to the President.
Chief G.O.K. Ajayi.
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 — 17
President Goodluck Jonathan AST week, I said I thought that people who were attacking President Goodluck Jonathan for pardoning Alamieyeseigha, his former boss, were being too harsh. One of the points I made to support my case was that Alamieyeseigha was pretty popular on his home turf because he had been generous to many Bayelsans when he was their Governor. Another point I made was that Bill Clinton had also issued pardons to financial criminals when he was President of the US. As I suspected, my stance attracted a lot of criticisms from Vanguard readers. A Lagos lawyer who asked me not to name him, fired the first shot: I do not agree with your take on the “Alams” saga. Methinks there are better ways to return favours without shooting yourself in the foot. The questionable pardon was badly timed and it came frontally against the mood of the moment globally. GEJ simply gave himself away as the head that is cut off from the current of the main. It’s either he does not respect history or he does not care about its verdict. The gentleman is gradually writing himself on the wrong page of posterity despite the benevolent run of good luck he has enjoyed. I fail to see what probative value the gaffes that have been committed by ex-leaders of the US share with what GEJ is doing. The comparison does not hold water. Poor judgement remains poor judgement, regardless of location. Occasionally, I can find the time to personally respond to C M Y K
Reactions to controversial forgiveness a reader who has contacted me. Here is what I told Mr. Lagos lawyer when I emailed him back: “I agree that the timing of the pardon was bad and take your point about poor judgement being poor judgement, whether it takes place in Nigeria or America… “But I stand by what I said in my column, being that if I had the legal right to pardon a mentor who had lifted me up and had not committed
President Bill Clinton: Also granted controversial pardon
the answer is YES, surely people whose sins revolved around fraud rather than violence are the most suitable candidates for official forgiveness? I also wonder how many Nigerians would, if given the chance to become Governors, totally avoid the temptation to embezzle public funds.” Other Vanguard readers had this to say:
Should Presidents be allowed, in the first place, to grant pardons to ANYONE who has broken the law? If the answer is NO, fine, let's scrap the convention, so nobody can pardon anybody in future
murder or rape, I would do so unapologetically. Gratitude is, after all, a virtue! And it’s not as if Dr. Goodluck Jonathan provided himself with this constitutional entitlement… “I guess the fundamental question at stake is this: Should Presidents be allowed, in the first place, to grant pardons to ANYONE who has broken the law? If the answer is NO, fine, let's scrap the convention, so nobody can pardon anybody in future. If
+2348128805237 Anonymous Haba Donu! Pardoning a governor who jumped bail and ran back to Nigeria in a woman's dress to avoid detection? It's nothing but shameful. +2348026201736 Anonymous l vehemently disagree with you and equivocally state that it is morally wrong for Jonathan to grant Alams, who was jailed for corruption, a
state pardon, no matter his being nice and generous in the past
Only two readers agreed with me.
+2348028320034 Anonymous Madam l am disapointed that you will condone such an act in your article about Alams. We shouldn’t be sentimental about such things. Shame
+23470170001040 Kalio Dear Sister, compliments. l just follow you good or bad every Friday. But for the first time l want to thank you for your piece on Alams.
+2347037421476 Rodsimeon Idaewor Haba Donu! You have also joined the people justifying the unjustifiable pardon of Alams. If our consistent inconsistent and nonperforming President Jonathan thinks that he has done justice in this grave issue, all well and good; but l fear for Alams because he will face the justice of the Almighty.
U d o s e n (email@example.com): I imagine that 95 percent of those lampooning the President would do the same thing if they were to find themselves in his place. Nigeria is a place of contradictions. The same people castigating Jonathan now would be the first to blame him for not helping his brother when he had the power to do so. Forgiveness is not a weakness. It is about offering the person a second chance in life.
This one, from one Canon Ogar (+2348032640283) was scathingly sarcastic to the point of witty and I couldn’t help hooting with laughter when I read it! Ma, we dig your logic. Using your logic, lbori shall be canonised and made a saint by Pope Francis I; and you will be appointed as the head of the committee that will actualise this plan. We will also elevate you to the professorial chair of corrupt but generous politicians and make you a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, as well as giving you the Nobel Prize for this your ground-breaking thesis. Bravo
The last word goes to Peter
As I said earlier, gratitude is a virtue and I want to warmly thank these two marvellous gentlemen for appreciating my position on this burning issue!
Responses to: firstname.lastname@example.org or to 0802 747 6458 (texts only). PLEASE KINDLY NOTE THAT UNLESS YOU SPECIFICALLY REQUEST ANONYMITY, YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE PUBLISHED IN VANGUARD, WITH YOUR NAMES AND NUMBERS OR EMAIL ADDRESSES ATTACHED.
18 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 CHRISTIANS will mark today as Good Friday, in remembrance of the selfless sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross to redeem mankind. The culmination would be Easter, which would be celebrated on Sunday. The message of Easter has remained the same more than 2000 years after the sacrifice. Easter challenges followers of Jesus Christ to imitate him. God saved a lost world through the death of His son, Jesus Christ. He died a humiliating death that atoned for the sins of the world. The death on the cross and the resurrection are cardinal bases of Christianity. Without Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, there would have been no Christian faith, though Easter lacks the rambunctiousness of Christmas, the birth of Christ. Great lessons abound for all at Easter. Christ’s personal examples on every aspect of life are lost to those who want to follow him. His humility, with all the powers available to him, still challenges leaders who are consumed in the abuse of the fleeting
Always Sacrifice For Other s Others powers they have. Christ left great lessons about leadership which leaders and aspirants to power readily ignore. Leadership, according to Christ, is nothing without service to the people. Christ served people on daily bases, often at great personal inconvenience. He would feed the hungry, heal the sick, comfort the afflicted and teach people about better relationships with one another and their God. Even on the way to his death, he served. During the Last Supper, he washed the feet of his disciples, while they reclined at table. He was a few hours away from a cruel death, but the comfort of his followers remained crucial to him.
How many of our leaders know the needs of the people, outside the routine electioneering mouthing of how to create a better Nigeria? Where they do, do they meet these needs? Do they serve the people? Do they know the great pains Nigerians have endured, in our abundant revenues from oil and gas? Can they relate to the people, when unlike Christ, they distance themselves from ordinary people? Christ kept giving until he gave his life. Remarkably, he died, not for his own sins, but the sins of others, including those that nailed him to the cross. What sacrifice are our leaders making? Easter messages doused in the pretence that has become a national trademark of our leaders will fill the air, with their emptiness. An enduring message of Easter is about exemplary leadership in service. Wherever we lead, our leadership should be a decision to act selflessly, even if it costs us our lives. Easter is about making sacrifices and a call for others to follow. We wish our readers happy Easter celebrations.
OPINION BY ISAIAH OSIFO Continued from yesterday's pg 18
HE questions arising from the above provision are as follows: Why should the Vice President been sworn-in as President? Why is the Constitution silent on the eligibility of such Vice President who assumes the office of President under Section 136 (1) of the Constitution to be elected subsequently as President in two tenures? Section 136 (2) of the Nigerian Constitution provides the interlink between elected President and the Vice President in a single presidential ticket. The Section states that where the persons duly elected as President and Vice President die or are unable for any reason whatsoever to assume office before the inauguration of the National Assembly, the Independent National Electoral Commission shall immediately conduct an election for a President and the Vice President. The interpretation of this provision in my humble opinion is that a presidential tenure can only be nonexistent if the elected President and Vice President are unable to take an oath of office before the commencement of the date of the next presidential tenure. The Vice President can assume the tenure of an elected President if for any reason the
Can an elected president spend more than eight years? (2) elected President is incapacitated from assuming the office of the President. Section 146 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution is explicit on how a Vice President can assume the office of the President. The Section states that: “The Vice President shall hold office of President if the office of President becomes vacant by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or the removal of the President from office for any other reasons in accordance with the Constitution”. However, Section 146 (2) makes an exceptional provision in which the President of the Senate shall hold office of President for a period not more than three months if the office of the President and Vice President are vacant. Within this period of not more than three months a presidential election shall be conducted, the elected President will ONLY hold office for the unexpired term of office of the last holder of the office. By the said Section 146 (2) of the Constitution, the challenge of the judgement of Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi in his effort to separate the presidential office holder from the tenure of the office is that there is no
known provision of the Constitution that separates the presidential office holder from the tenure of the presidency. Efforts by Justice Oniyangi to separate the tenure of the late President Yar ’Adua from President Jonathan is legally, politically and morally not convincing and tenable under the Constitution.
he difference between President Jonathan’s assumption of office at the demise of the late President Yar ’Adua is that President Jonathan did not need to seek fresh election because he was elected as Vice President with the late President Yar ’Adua in the 2007 Nigeria presidential election. Whereas in the case of 146 (2), an election of a new President will become imperative in the absence of a President or Vice President. In each case, the holder of the office of the President is constitutionally permitted to complete the unexpired tenure. The Constitution did not provide for a gift of additional tenure to the office holder who was elected to complete the tenure of a President or who assumed office on the basis of a Vice President.
The National Assembly has a responsibility by way of Constitutional amendment which will define the one and half years spent in office by President Jonathan before his second oath of office in May 2011 as a tenure. The amendment can also define the tenure as gift granted to any Vice President whose “boss”, the President dies while in office, even if such President had just spent one month before his death or less than one month before his death or has not even been sworn-in as envisaged in Section 136 (1) of the Constitution. If it should not be taken as presidential gift, then the path follows Supreme Court judgements that counted the number of the so call “illegal” years of annulled gubernatorial election in addition to the number of years for the governors to spend if they win a re-run gubernatorial election. If the path of the re-run governors is chosen, it means the one and half years of President Jonathan's first tenure should be subtracted from his second or third term of four years if he is elected as President in 2015. Nigerians eagerly await the response of the National Assembly or the interpretation of the Supreme Court under which condition a democratically elected President of Nigeria can spend more than eight years in office.
*Mr. Osifo, a student of philosophy, wrote from Benin City, Edo State.
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 — 19
BY VALENTINE OBIENYEM
EATH has come under many writers scrutiny because it seems to be on the rampage among actors. Recently, it invaded the tribe of writers with the death of Prof. Chinua Achebe, easily one of the finest writers the world has known. Not an ornate or florid writer, but his prose is localised that it quickly carved a niche for itself. The ways people approach death and write about it as well as the mode of operation of death itself are quite perplexing. Reading most write-ups on the subject, you are left to believe that all the metaphysical problems of form and substance, of time and eternity, of matter and soul, of continuity and discontinuity in nature, which appear in the analysis of life, are even more intense when we seek to understand death. What do we really know about death? Is it the “finishing” of man or an interruption? Is it a plunge into nothingness as JP Sartre said? Does it signify absolute break, a discontinuity between the world of living bodies and the domain of inanimate things? Is it the continuity of nature preserved across the line which divides inorganic and organic matter? Is the difference between the living and the non-living one? If we are to be truthful to ourselves, we believe many “tales” about death, but we really rarely know what death is. When Socrates
was about to be killed, he was said to have told those consoling him that: “The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our way – I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows”. A most certain fact about man is that he is going to die; Martin Heidegger called him a “being unto death”. By death we usually imply permanent loss of consciousness. Speaking about the unpredictability of death, Homer wrote: “Miserable mortals who, like leaves at one moment flame with life, eating the produce of the land, at another moment weakly perish”. But is the perishing final? The certainty of death cannot be doubted, but what death is, is the problem. This is where diverse understanding and interpretations of death come in. It is common to hear all sorts of stories that sound like fairy tales about how a dead person came out again to torment his enemies. We hear tales of dead people who go to other distant lands, where they are not known, to start life anew get a job, rent a house, take a wife, and even beget children, only to disappear again once in contact with a person who knew them while they were “alive”. Incredible as these may sound, some people insist that dead people sometimes appear to the living for messages and for other reasons. All these tales reinforce many people’s belief that death is a mere taking off of the mortal coil that quite transcends the physical. Death exercises a profound effect upon the living. The historians
describe the various forms which the ceremonials of death take in every society. Whether the rituals are secular or sacred, they are among the most significant in any culture, for they reveal the value placed upon life and the conception of life’s meaning and man’s destiny. I read of a certain culture where a dead body is repeatedly taking away through many outlets, including holes made at different places in the room so that on coming back the body would be confused on the actual entrance. Take the case of Igbo people. It is believed that if the dead were not properly buried, their spirit would continue to torment the living and wander about aimlessly without being received into the spirit world. To them, proper burial, as prescribed by custom, apart from guaranteeing proper reception, also enhances easy reincarnation of a particular soul. Reincarnation presupposes life after death; the Pythagoreans call it “transmigration of soul”. Supposing we agree with the
Amnesty for Boko Haram: Need for better understanding BY DOYIN OKUPE
E have noted understandably the increased support for the call for amnesty, principally from some elders and opinion leaders in Nigeria; coming after the President’s rejection of the call made by His Eminence and Supreme Monarch, the Sultan of Sokoto. A few weeks have passed since President Goodluck Jonathan made his famous patriotic proclamation before the distinguished gathering of Borno Elders in Maiduguri. From the President’s statement, three things are very clear and self evident, namely:Mr. President insists rightly that the leadership of the Boko Haram must be identifiable and must come out and confirm their leadership of the sect unequivocally, so as to make it clear who the government is dealing with;Mr. President and the administration is not ruling out the possibility of an amnesty totally, but condition precedent must be the identification of authentic insurgent leadership.Though not explicitly stated, but nevertheless implied, is the requirement that the leadership need to assure the nation of their willingness to dialogue with the government and an irrevocable commitment to amnesty terms when granted. For the avoidance of doubt, President Jonathan has nothing to gain, but quite a lot to lose, by the unnecessary prolongation of the wanton destruction and pain caused by the activities of the insurgents. He, no matter what it may seem, means well and cares deeply for the people of the affected areas. But as President, unlike those who are personally involved, he must be able to critically look at the best option in the most dispassionate manner. And that is what he has done. There is, therefore, no need for the over
politicisation of the demand for amnesty, nor to blackmail the President for taking strong, patriotic but contrary views to those of some of our respected elders. Such, sometimes is the nature of statecraft and in many parts of the civilised world, situation like this are handled with equanimity and further deepening of consultation, certainly not acrimonious misunderstanding or open hatred. The true expectation is that our respected leaders will go back to the drawing board and increase internal consultation and networking with the aim of reaching out to the leadership of the insurgents and convincing them to do the needful and step out to be counted. The arguments being proffered by major protagonists are that the insurgents are not ghosts since, several of them are in Police custody across the region and also because the President was alleged to have said that Boko Haram existed in his government, Police and other security agencies. These interpretations of the purported statements by Mr. President are too simplistic and pedantic. Admission of the existence of fifth columnists in a government, as the speech may portend, is not the same as being in possession of actual knowledge of who the culprits truly are. Secondly, the arrest and detention of low level operatives is not the same as knowing the identities of the true leadership. It is common knowledge that these organisations thrive and succeed on high degree of compartmentalization and secrecy. The truth is that our leaders and elders to whom much has been given ought to stop playing “high wired” politics with this potentially dangerous and confounding situation but rather work assiduously, and internally by doing everything possible to bring the scourge of Boko Haram terrorism to a
They write about death
If we are to be truthful to ourselves, we believe many “tales” about death, but we really rarely know what death is; death exercises a profound effect upon the living
Igbos and the Pythagoreans that reincarnation is a reality, we shall find, again, diverse interpretations of the process of reincarnation. While the Igbos and others believe that man reincarnates as man, others represented by the Hindu and many other oriental groups, believe in the notion that the soul transmigrates from lower to higher forms of life according to its virtues and vices. A typical Pythagorean believes that those who love music a lot will become songbirds in their next avatar. I have read the story of a teacher, a Pythagorean, who was teaching reincarnation to his students. As the class was on, he heard the yelp of a beaten dog and ran to its rescue. Amused, his students wanted to know which he considered more important: the dog or the class, whereupon he answered: “I recognised in the cry of the dog the voice of a dead friend”. While some believe that the soul continues to reincarnate ad infinitum, others believe that it is nature’s way of giving man the opportunity to atone for his sins, after which reincarnation ceases; so many discordant views on the subject itself.
he notion of life after death is so strong that times were when kings were buried with their servants and wives to serve them in the hereafter. In some cultures, if the wife and servants became resentful, sculptors and carvers made statuettes resembling these aides; by a magic formula, usually inscribed upon them, the carved or painted objects could be quite as effective as the real ones. When the ancient Arabs tied dead people’s donkeys and horses to their graves, foodless until they
There is need for a great restraint when we advocate amnesty for those amongst us who have actually, through criminality, engaged in wanton destruction of innocent lives, public and private property
quick end. It is also important for our elders to recognise that while some consider the amnesty option as being highly recommended, the other notable and eminent Nigerians who also for good reasons vehemently oppose this proposition; and in a nation where equity must thrive, the merits of these contrary views and opinions also require understanding by the government. The comparison of the Boko Haram with Niger Delta militancy is unfair and may be taking things totally out of context.
uring the Niger Delta militancy, the demands were clearly stated and they had to do with unjustifiable perpetual and insensitive economic deprivation coupled with oppressive and socio-economically strangulating environmental degradation. The Niger Delta struggle did not witness killing of innocent Nigerians. There was no religious colouration or any over-riding nationally unacceptable ideological demand comparable to demands of the Boko Haram which include rejection of modern education, imposition of Sharia law and rule nationwide and wanton destruction of lives, properties and institutions, including, international agencies, Police Headquarters, and places of religious worships. Some have even suggested that Government
died, it was to save them the social disgrace of going on foot in the hereafter. In Christian and Moslem teachings, the soul does not reincarnate, but goes to heaven or hell depending on its state of grace; here the reality of life after death is highlighted. Thus Pindah said: “All human bodies yield to death’s device. The soul survives to all eternity. For that alone is derived from the gods, thence comes, and thither returns”. Those saints we hear of, though dead, are still alive and enjoying the blessedness of heaven; what St. Augustine called “the beatific vision”, while the sinful ones are alive also and suffering the pain of hell. Like Pindah, great religions believe in the immortality of the soul. However, when alone, when not under the “influence” of his religion, most adherents of these religions doubt this belief, being empirically unverifiable, as those with leanings towards the sciences would say. Our lives are mostly subsumed in the anonymity of collectivities that we are afraid or ashamed of going against the tide. Only a few have had the courage to state their convictions or doubts clearly. Writing in his Penses, Blaise Paschal says: “We ought to work for our salvation according to the doctrine of chance. If the chances of there being an after-life are equal to the chances of there being none, if the equiprobability reflects our equal ignorance of either alternative then we ought to wager in favour of immortality and act accordingly.”
*Mr. Obienyem, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Awka, Anmabra State.
should just accept as many as may decide to lay down their arms and embrace peace. This looks like a reasonable proposition on the surface. But it is fundamentally flawed in practice. Any amnesty that is not endorsed by clearly identifiable leadership is an exercise in futility and a waste of scarce resources. This is because, this gesture is open to flagrant abuse since anybody on the street of Kano, Maiduguri or Damaturu can just pick up some arms and claim to be Boko Haram when in fact they have no link with the sect whatsoever! This was not what happened in the NigerDelta. The late President Yar’Adua did not announce an amnesty programme until the leaders from the Niger Delta had gone into the creeks to confer and convince the militants virtually in every camp to lay down their arms and embrace the amnesty when announced. In fact, it is on record that DSP Alamieyeseigha was recruited by the late President Yar’Adua to mobilise support for the proposed plan by his government to grant amnesty to the militants. DSP Alamieyeseigha went to the Niger-Delta and slept in ALL the various camps, talking to the militants to embrace the government’s proposed amnesty plan. Many local leaders and stakeholders bought into the government’s amnesty programme. It was carefully planned, properly structured and effectively implemented with co-operation and willing support of elders, stakeholders and well known and nationally acknowledged open leadership of the militants. It is for these reasons that there is need for a great restraint when we advocate for amnesty for those amongst us who have actually, through criminality, engaged in wanton destruction of innocent lives, public and private properties; especially when their activities are based on ethnic and religious ideologies that actually strike at the foundation of our mutual co-existence. We also need to be mindful that we have other ethnic militias in the country who have remained essentially peaceful, and who may by these calls for amnesty be encouraged to now pursue violence. *Dr. Okupe is SSA to the President on Public Affairs.
20—Vanguard , FRIDAY FRIDAY,, MARCH 29 , 2013
Painful story of woman who lost three children in boat mishap M
RS.Ebobra Newman Ometan, 30 and members of her family comprising three boys and girl had fantastic plans for the Easter holidays until a dark cloud fell upon the hitherto happy family and things fell apart, leaving many unanswered questions. Mrs Ometan, who hails from Okerenkoko in Gbaramatu Kingdom of Warri-South West Area of Delta State and her husband are still in shock over the tragedy that befell them on Saturday 23, March, 2013. Indeed, that day will forever remain indelible and painful in their lives. It all started as a bright Saturday morning. At about 10 am, Mrs. Ometan and her four kids - Master Wisdom,13 and a primary six pupil, Progress and his twin, Favour who were aged nine and in primary three and the kid sister, Promise, 6, who was in primary one as well as a cousin’s son, boarded a boat to convey them to Opuwede-Bubor. Unfortunately, the boat capsized in the Warri River barely three minutes after take-off, leaving six children, including three of
Ometan’s kids and an adult dead. On board the boat at the time of the accident, were five adults and 14 c h i l d r e n . *Once upon a happy time: Mrs Ometan and her children before the boat mishap Mrs. Ometan was only able to rescue her son Favour and heavy with the aura of sorrow as into the main river from the kids to Opuede-Bubor, I was even the sun refused to shine backside of a vessel seized by taking them home for a threecousin’s son alive. Another occupant of the boat though there was no sign of the JTF. It was a blind angle week holiday with my mum. We who was identified as Mr. Victor impending rain. This made it hence he did not know that have always traveled during the Mala who had five kids in the difficult to get Mrs. Ometan to another boat was coming near holidays. My husband who bade boat, also lost three of them. He narrate her bitter story. It took her the arrested vessel. Suddenly, us safe journey, told me to call was only able to rescue two of elder sister, Mrs. Omare almost the boat ran across our boat and him when we arrived there. I even the children alive. Another man 20 minutes to convince Mrs. the heavy impact shattered our called him to inform him that we boat and it sank. One of the had boarded. I had no identified as Mark Oleke, who Ometan to speak to VM. passengers, Mr. Victor Mala was premonition of what was going recently got married also failed to happen. We were excited about A painful accident: hit in the upper arm. to survive the accident. But a Words may be inadequate to The other boat was carrying the travel.” woman who had two kids was Mrs. Ometan added, that her however lucky as all of them explain the pains the Ometans only loads; there were no twins would have marked their are going through as a result of passengers. As our boat was survived the boat mishap. th When Vanguard Metro, VM, the tragic loss of their three shattered, everyone sank. (At this birthday on April 10 . The visited Mrs. Ometan at her children in a twinkling of an eye. point Mrs. Ometan burst into deceased daughter, Promise was to mark hers on May 10th. “We Orhuwhorun Road residence on Their pain could, however, be felt uncontrollable wailing). were planning to go to church from their mournful faces as After about three minutes, she Sunday afternoon, the house was parked full with grief- relatives came to share in the stricken kinsmen who discussed irreparable loss. I am still in shock ; I can’t speak; I Mrs. Ometan who spoke with the accident in hush tones. The have lost hope and had to cry all couple, however, looked a tremulous voice said: “Barely unconsolable as they wept three minutes after we left the through the night jetty in Marine Police area, the profusely. Indeed the atmosphere was boat driver was about to launch managed to continue. “All the the following day if we get to the children held unto me as they village, “she said. fought hard to escape drowning. Mrs Ometan who said she did I beckoned on driver of the boat not sustain an injury lamented: which crushed ours for help, but “I am still in shock ; I can’t speak. he did not respond, apparently I have lost hope and had to cry due to shock.. all through the night”. I held unto my small daughter Mr. Ometan was able to add, as I struggled to remain afloat “One of my friends, Mr. Omawe with all the children. They were called me at about 11 am that my drowning gradually because family were involved in a boat they couldn’t swim. Because I mishap, i now rushed to Aladja later became tired, the baby waterside to pick a boat, the slipped out of my hand with the incident occured at about 10am. other two brothers. Only Favour I found my wife and son but I and my cousin’s son that held on lost my two senior sons and only until a rescue boat came about daughter, i put everything in the five minutes later,” she said hands of God.” amidst increased wailing. One hopes that like Job in the After another two minutes, Mrs. Bible, God should restore the Ometan continued, “My Ometan’s loss and the fortitude *Progress *Promise husband wanted us to take the to bear the great loss.
By AKPOKONA OMAFUAIRE
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 — 21
New railway law will drive private sector participation — Umar BY JONAH NWOKPOKU & WILIAM JIMOH
From left: Manager, Publications & Conferences, FirstBank Plc, Oze K. Oze; Group Head, Peculiar People Management, PPM, Delia Omatsola; Guest Speaker, Willie Jolley; Resource Executive, Marketing & Corporate Communication, FirstBank, Chidinma Igbokwe and Chief Executive Officer, PPM and Project Consultant, Ghandi Olaoye, at the Youth Excel Series programme, tagged, ‘Inspired to Excel Against All Odds,’ hosted by FirstBank,in Lagos.
Nationwide, 10 Nigerian banks bankroll vessels, equipment acquisition worth N57.68bn By GODWIN ORITSE
NITED States based firm, Nationwide Group together with ten Nigerian banks have provided a total of N57.68 billion ($600million) to assist local shipping firms , operators and marine construction firms in Nigeria to acquire vessels and equipment of various capacities in the last five years. Disclosing this to Vanguard at the Nigerian Summit organised by the Economist News Magazine in Lagos, President, Nationwide Group, Mr. Ed Kostenski, said that the firm’s decision to come into a risky economic environment like Nigeria was beginning to pay off. Statistical information made available to Vanguard showed that Access Bank provided guarantee and syndicated the highest amount of N4.536billion for some of the projects funded by the banks. Other banks involved in the mega vessels and equipment financing include: Wema Bank with a sum of N6.85billion; Zenith Bank committed a total of N7.277billion into some of the executed projects, while Keystone Bank committed N178.83million. Skye Bank, Diamond Bank and defunct Bank PHD committed
N8.309billion, N7.277billion, and N1.272billion respectively to the projects, while Stanbic IBTC Bank guaranteed a loan of N417.8million. Two foreign banks namely Amalgamated Bank of Angola and Sahel-Sahara Bank of Ghana both guaranteed a total of $4.710million for the acquisition of those vessels and equipment by Nigerians. Kostenski also said Nigerian banks have grown over the years, noting that it was almost impossible to take a bank guarantee to the United States or Europe to raise money. He stressed that with the positive economic indicators things were looking better. He noted that financing projects in Nigeria has added strength to some of the businesses owned by Nigerians, noting that Nationwide Group has over the years handled many projects undertaken in Nigeria. He stressed that the greatest strength of the firm is the people that help them to run the operations in Nigeria. He explained that at seven percent growth rate currently being recorded by the Nigeria, things can only get better with time as the situation will create more opportunities for investors to come in. He further explained that the firm tries to make funds available for companies
that want to acquire marine vessels tug boats, work boats, security boats, oil tankers crew boats and whatever they need to facilitate projects for the International Oil Companies (IOCs). “We help them to finance some of the contracts if they are strong enough on the paper and they give us a reasonable assurance of repayment, then our group will take a risk and make financial plans for acquiring the marine vessels. “If you are not a risk taker, you cannot do business in Nigeria, doing business in Nigeria is not for the weak people. If you want to make progress here in this country, you have to take some risk. So far we have not lost any money and that is because we investigate people, we check them to ensure that they are worth doing business with. “We are a very important part of the Nigerian maritime industry because we are committed to both the industry and the nation where the issue of project financing is concerned,” Kostenski said.
INISTER of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, said that a new bill seeking the participation of the private sector in the railway operation is underway and will drive activity in the sector. Senator Umar who made this known while speaking at an event in Lagos, recently, said that said his ministry has proposed a review of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) Act, and the draft copy of the new bill will soon be submitted to the Federal Executive Council, FEC. According to him, “There is need to review the NRC Act of 1955 and we are currently working on it. The draft railway Bill which is underway will repeal the NRC Act 1955 and to re-enact a new NRC law that will incorporate private sector participation.” The Nigeria Railway Corporation has welcomed the move. The Assistant Director, Public Relations, Mr. David Ndanusa, said the new law if passed will open up new frontiers of opportunity for the railway in Nigeria. “It is very much welcome. The implication is that the railway will be better funded and then new areas of operations will open up. That will be a new dawn for the railway. There would be improvement in the quality of train services.” “We expect positive development in the passage of the bill because the National Assembly is even craving for it. We are all working with the National Assembly, the Executive and the Railway authorities toward the same goal, The time for it has come because all over the world, that is what is happening - private sector participation and minimal involvement of government. So, it is a global phenomenon and we cannot be left out,” he added.
109.48 +0.12 96.13 CURRENCY BUYING CENTRAL DOLLAR STERLING EURO FRANC YEN CFA WAUA RENMINBI RIYAL KRONA SDR
154.75 233.657 197.5693 162.2798 1.6431 0.2844 231.3999 24.9017 41.2634 26.5078 232.3262
155.25 234.412 198.2077 162.804 1.6484 0.2944 232.1475 24.9827 41.3967 26.5935 233.0768
-0.21 SELLING 155.75 235.1669 198.846 163.3284 1.6537 0.3044 232.8952 25.0636 41.53 26.6791 233.8275
CBN Exchange rate as at 28/03/2013
22 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 201 3
Flour Mills names new GMD, retires Ukpabi BY MICHAEL EBOH
IGERIA’S largest flour miller, Flour Mills of Nigeria, FMN, Plc, yesterday, announced the retirement of Mr. Emmanuel Ukpabi as its Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer. According to a statement by the company, Ukpabi, who will officially retire March 31, 2013, after about 11 years as chief executive, will be replaced by Mr. Paul Gbededo from April 1, 2013, who is currently Managing Director, Agro-Allied Division, Flour Mills Group. The company said Ukpabi who joined the company in 1972, will assume the position of Vice-Chairman of its Board of Directors. According to the company, the new GMD/CEO Mr. Paul Gbededo, who has spent over 30 years with FMN Group, joined the Group at Nigerian Bag Manufacturing Company Plc, BAGCO, in 1982 where he acquired extensive experience in manufacturing and general management positions and became the first Nigerian Production Director in 1996. The company further stated that Gbededo, a Fellow of the Polymer Institute of Nigeria was educated at the Polytechnic of North London, United Kingdom, where he obtained Graduateship of Plastic and Rubber Institute and Associateship of National College of Rubber Technology in 1980. He also holds a Master of Science, MSc., Degree in Polymer Technology (1981) of Loughborough University of Technology, UK. An alumnus of Lagos Business School, he has attended several professional, managerial and strategic leadership courses locally and abroad.
Honeywell empowers bakers, trains 14
S part of its corporate social investment programmes, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc has continued empowering bakers with modern techniques aimed at ensuring improved production and maximum profitability. Fourteen of such bakers randomly picked nationwide were recently turned into certified master bakers as they successfully graduated from the company’s bakery school. The school has so far, trained and graduated about 300 master bakers from across the country in 20 regular courses and one executives’ course. Presenting certificates to the Regular Course 21 graduands, Executive Vice Chairman, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Mr. Babatunde Folaranmi Odunayo, noted that the school strives to empower bakers by equipping them with modern baking skills and flour handling procedures that they can use to maximise yield from flour and run their bakery operations more professionally and profitably. “At Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, we do not only produce superior quality flour which meets international standards, we provide total baking solution to bakers. Our supply chain management ensures that our customer’s orders are delivered promptly, and our sales and field marketing personnel are on hand at all times to attend to our customer’s issue.
First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Plc’s Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Segun Odusanya (middle); Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Mrs. Olajumoke Bakare (left) and Executive Director, Corporate Banking of United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr. Ifeatu Onejeme at the signing ceremony of a $225 million facility granted by FCMB, UBA, FirstBank, Stanbic IBTC Bank and FBN Capital to Accugas Limited, in Lagos.
FBN Capital, banks boost power reforms with $225m Accugas funding BY BABAJIDE KOMOLAFE
HE on-going efforts to reform the nation’s power sector received a major boost as FBN Capital and four banks committed $225 million to support construction of gas pipeline project of Accugas Limited. The documentation for the funding was completed at a ceremony where FBN Capital, its parent company- First Bank of Nigeria Plc, UBA, FCMB and Stanbic IBTC signed a US$225 million Syndicated Medium Term facility. The facility is to be utilised towards refinancing the existing US$55 million debt secured for the Akwa Ibom gas pipeline project, with the balance of US$170 million to be used towards part financing the cost of expanding its gas processing facilities and building a new gas pipeline to supply gas to the Calabar NIPP power plant. FBN Capital Limited acted as the Global Coordinator Bank, Financial Modeling Bank and also undertook the role of de-facto Financial Adviser to the Borrower; while UBA, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Stanbic IBTC and FCMB, jointly acted as Mandated Lead Arrangers on the transaction. The Calabar Project is the second phase in Accugas’ gas processing and distribution development programme aimed at bringing the substantial gas reserves from the South East Niger Delta market to meet the growing energy demand from power plants and industrial users in the region. It involves the construction of a 37km gas pipeline from the Uquo gas field in Akwa Ibom State to Oron for delivery of 131 MMscfpd of gas to the 560MW power plant in Calabar. Construction of this new pipeline is scheduled to be completed in July
2014. Speaking on the transaction, Philip Ihenacho, Chief Executive Officer, Seven Energy l, thanked the entire deal team for the laudable work done to bring this material transaction to a close. He said: “The successful signing of the Accugas financing clearly shows the confidence the financial institutions have in Accugas and Seven Energy, as well as the prospects for the Nigerian gas market”
Commenting on the deal, Bruce Burrows, Chief Financial Officer of Seven Energy, stated: “The completion of the Accugas financing marks a major milestone in the project’s evolution. With construction of the Ibom gas pipeline (Phase 1) now completed and on track to deliver gas to Ibom Power Plant from April 2013, we are now embarking on Phase two with construction of the Calabar gas pipeline, already commenced.
Why Ikeja Hotel has not paid dividend for two years — Goodie Ibru By WILLIAM JIMOH & JONAH
KEJA Hotel Plc has said that its inability to pay dividend in the last two years was due to the planned refurbishment of one of its subsidiaries - Lagos Sheraton hotel. Addressing shareholders of the company at its 39th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos on Tuesday, Mr. Goodie Ibru, Managing Director of the company, noted that they have to commence the refurbishment despite the fact that they have not been able to declare dividend in the past two years, saying that there is need to grow the company. “The year under review posed a number of operating challenges to our company, the major one being increased competition from new hotels both in the catchment area of Sheraton, Ikeja and in the Lagos metropolis as a whole. The room department is the
major revenue earner for any hotel,” Ibru explained. He noted that the company has completed the acquisition of controlling interest in Capital Hotel Plc, adding that they are now focusing on addressing the challenges facing it in order to put the company in a position that would make it function efficiently in the present state of hotel business in the country. His word, “Our company has now put behind it the cost of acquisition of controlling interest in Capital Hotel Plc. The immediate challenge is to reposition Sheraton Lagos to meet the growing competition in the Lagos metropolis.” Continuing Ibru said “This will entail extensive and costly refurbishment of the hotel,” just as he added that the work on refurbishment has commenced, and that the issue of funding the project has not been fully resolved.”
VANGUARD, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 — 23
Expert calls for policy on food security BY BOSE ADELAJA
From left: Osayande Ihase, Dr. Chukwuemeka Eke both of National Institute for Oil Palm Research, Benin-City; Moses Adebayo, LAUTEC, and other scientists at the dialogue and training workshop on plant breeding, genetics and biosciences for Africa, in Abuja.
African countries to benefit from maize, cassava, intervention N
IGERIA and 19 other African countries will directly benefit from the African Development Bankfunded initiative known as the Support for Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops (SARD-SC), but the multiplier effect of the project is expected to affect other regional member countries in the continent. Direct beneficiaries of the intervention include farmers in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. “But the project will have a positive spin off effect in the other member countries,” according to the Project Coordinator, SARD-SC, Dr Chris Akem at the country launch of the project in Abuja which ended today. Scientists, other stakeholders and policy makers say the initiative will help narrow the yield gap facing Africa’s strategic crops even as most countries on the continent embark on agricultural reforms. “SARD-SC is a huge opportunity for Nigeria to bridge the yield gap through increased local production,” says the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof Baba Yusuf Abubakar. Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akin Adesina, who was represented by Dr Martins Fregene also welcomed the project, noting
that it would compliment ongoing efforts to transform agriculture. Maize, cassava, rice, and wheat are considered crops of strategic importance for Africa. In Nigeria for instance, about 20 per cent of households consume maize at different times, according to ARCN. The crop is consumed by millions of people as either roasted or boiled and eaten off the cob or as dish prepared
from raw or fermented flour, says Dr Sam Ajala, IITASARD-SC Maize Commodity Specialist. The country also imports about 3.4 million metric tons of wheat annually to meet its demand. Rice importation is also huge while cassava is both a food security and cash crop. Prof. Abubakar said that the project would provide leverage for ongoing reforms especially the Agricultural Transformation Agenda.
Scientist urges northern states to plant date palm trees for agriculture, desertification BY ABDALLAH EL-KUREBE
PLANT Physiologist with Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research, NIFOR, Benin City, Dr. Chukwuemeka Eke, has called on northern states of Nigeria to plant date palm trees for agriculture and to check desertification. Presenting a paper in Abuja during a media training workshop organised by Biosciences for Farming in Africa (B4FA), he observed that if state governments in the north intensified efforts in the production of date palm tree, the region stands to gain immensely both in desertification control and agriculture. According to him, “Apart from Agriculture, growing date palm trees will also address the problems of
desertification in Sahelian Nigeria, Dr. Eke stated. He disclosed that since “world producers of date trees include Sahelian countries of Iran, Iraq, Israel, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and other middle East countries, Nigeria could do the same by replicating date palm tree production in the northern states.” Eke emphasized that the demand for improved materials already exists and that one hectare could produce as much as N6,048,000 (farm gate price of N560,000 per tonne, 10.8tonnes/ha), adding that “large-scale commercial date palm micropropagation should be enhanced in order to produce enough for the demand.” “Nigeria can become a date producer of importance and has a number of favourable factors.
NSTITUTE of Professional Agriculturists of Nigeria has called on the federal government to develop a policy capable of creating appropriate national development framework for increased food security and well being of the Nigerian people. Also, it said, government at all levels, should develop institutional framework to ensure good governance for sustainable development and food security which is possible through good leadership, availability of new technologies and fresh ways of doing things. At a communique issued at the end of its18 th annual conference with theme, “Enhancing Effective Agricultural Productivity and Resources Utilization in Nigeria”, held in Sondghai Rivers farm initiative Bunu Tai Rivers State, the institute noted that the nation must make fundamental paradigm shift by seeing agriculture as a business and not a development programme. ‘’It must be structured, developed and financed as a business for
us to fully unlock our agricultural potential,’’ said the institute. At the conference which was declared open by the Rivers State Honorable Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development Hon. Emmanuel Chindah, the institute noted that there is need for a new ‘’Green Revolution” where small scale farmers would be massively empowered to grow food in cluster arrangement and common market. ‘’Nigeria population which is growing at an exponential rate has stretched the capacity of agriculture to meet the food and feeds needs of man and livestock without sacrificing the environmental integrity of local landscape. ‘’As a matter of national urgency, a policy should be developed that would be predicted on a “One State, One Agricultural Export Policy ”. Every state in the Federation should be made to developed one agricultural produce which has a comparative advantage for local consumption and export sinceall the 36 states in the country has various potentials,’’ it said.
Uduaghan revolutionizing agriculture in Delta —Okwuada BY VICTOR AHIUMAYOUNG
RIOR to the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantity in Nigeria, agriculture used to be the main stay of the nation’s economy. In fact, agriculture was the greatest employer of labour in Nigeria before the discovery of the ‘black gold’ otherwise known as crude oil as more than 70 per cent of the total work force of the nation was actively engaged in agriculture. Today, the reverse is the case as Nigeria has, unfortunately moved from the league of food and cash crops exporting countries of the world to food importing nation. It is absolutely ridiculous to note that over one trillion naira is spent annually on food importation by the country. This, no doubt, has become a source of great concern to many Nigerians as it is becoming obvious that we can no longer feed ourselves as a nation. However, the good news is that conscious efforts are now being made by the federal and some state governments in the country to resuscitate the once booming agricultural sector of the nation’s economy. One of the states that had been in the forefront in the
crusade for the revamping of the agricultural sector is Delta State. In an interview with, a renowned Veterinary Surgeon, Agriculturist, and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Phed Breeder Farm and Hatchery Limited, Dr. Philip Okwuada, he spoke on food security in Nigeria and efforts by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan led administration in Delta State, towards boosting agriculture in the state among other issues relating to agriculture. Okwuada who defined food security as unfettered and continuous access to affordable food with adequate nutritional value, said that Nigeria with a whooping population of over 150,000,000 people is suffocating under a severe burden of food importation, adding that food importation leads to rise in unemployment. He listed the advantages of food security to include the availability of surplus funds for national development; improvement in the overall well-being of individuals in the country; increased mental and physical ability; improvement in the human capital output and increment in the overall human, social and capital development.
24 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
Education a must for change, progress —Experts at Economists confab By OMOH GABRIEL
T the Eko Hotels last week, it was a gathering of captains of industry in Nigeria to discuss the way forward for the crawling Nigerian economy. The gathering was orgnised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and sponsored by Etisalat. The summit members agreed on one very crucial issue, education as a necessary tool to move every aspect of the economy forward. Though the two-day event, attracted eminent personalities from all walks of life from the private and public sectors of the economy, with discourse touching on several topics, education turned out to be one point that seems to have taken the lead over others. The organizers set education up for pre-eminence when they came up with the topic: “The Future of Education in Africa: a Dialogue with Hakeem Belo-Osagie,” for the second day. The dialogue threw up education as the single most im-
graphic potentials to create a dynamic economy, she has to improve education systems drastically; otherwise, the lack of skills would translate the growing population into growing unemployment, poverty and conflict.” Belo-Osagie voiced his concern in these words: “How does the Nigerian State that has failed in so many respects succeed in the critical areas of education?” With unemployment, poverty and questionable leadership fuelling conflict, there is a growing tendency that only increased private sector participation as advocated at the Summit could save education from continuous decline in Africa. Tending to agree with BeloOsagie’s stance at the Rivers State Education Summit 2013, Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka pointed at defective education as the major cause of the reign of terror currently threatening security, peaceful coexistence, businesses and governance in certain parts of Nigeria.
Maintaining that quality basic education for everybody would aid both citizens and the society better than an army of tertiary school graduates who are ill-educated and ill-equipped to contribute to the economy
portant factor in ensuring effectiveness of labour in making other factors of production yield desired goals, - enabling and implementing change; in the process generating intense intellectual fireworks that left many with the consensus that the Summit climaxed on the second day. The strong panel joined the Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, Hakeem Belo-Osagie in dissecting the place of education in the evolving scheme of things in Africa, with specific focus on Nigeria. Driving the point home, Belo-Osagie said: “To arrest the decay in education, efforts have to be concentrated on teachers’ training and welfare so that teachers would become self confident, proud of their profession and live well in the society.” "The discussants at the Summit formed a consensus that “if Nigeria is to use her demo-
It is alarming that these thought leaders see crisis in education moving on to afflict the society. Belo-Osagie addresses it frontally: “We do face a crisis in education and it will keep worsening until we view education as a critical national need.” There seems to be solutions in sight for this critical national need with the federal government taking on the matter with the Almajiri initiative and private sector intervention with companies like Etisalat playing active roles. Belo-Osagie counsels that governments in Nigeria ought to concentrate efforts on providing quality education at primary and secondary school levels as against the current proliferation of tertiary institutions that deliver little educational values to the people and the economy. “My view is that the bulk of
From left: Minister of State for Works, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda; Chairman, Etisalat Nigeria, Hakeem Belo-Osagie and Partner/Director, Mckinsey Nigeria, Leke Acha, at the Economists Conference themed ‘Nigeria Summit 2013: Enabling and Implementing Change’ in Lagos.
government spend should go to primary and secondary schools with fewer universities so that everybody gets quality primary and secondary school education.” Similarly, Soyinka opines that ridding Nigeria of dangerous illiteracy would require a multipronged approach, for which he endorsed the Almajiri education programme being executed by the Federal Government. Incidentally, the Almajiri education programme focuses, like Belo-Osagie counselled on basic education for all, particularly the disadvantaged segments of the population.
Education for everybody The panellists shared BeloOsagie’s view that corruption’s most deadly impact is the income it takes away from various tiers of government that would have gone into proper funding of education, necessary to propel human capital development needed to drive changes and sustain growth in several spheres of human endeavour in Africa. Maintaining that quality basic education for everybody would aid both citizens and the society better than an army of tertiary school graduates who are ill-educated and illequipped to contribute to the economy, Belo-Osagie urged government to wake up to realities and address the decay of infrastructure in education. He charged the private sector to step forward and redeem education as it has done in areas like banking, oil, telecommunications etc, where government is known to have met with limited success in the past. He pointed out that the Nigerian model of active state participation in businesses in the
80s and 90s was not successful. “The economy has progressed to active private participation. What has been missing is the crucial role of education. The bulk of government’s spend on education goes to teachers’ welfare which remains incredibly poor, compelling many teachers to dissuade their children from aspiring to the profession,” he stated. Contributing to the dialogue, Managing Director, Crown Agents Nigeria, Mark Abani, lent credence to the stance of Belo-Osagie, adding that the school system and curricular must be redesigned to ensure impartation of skills on students because “that would boost school products’ preparedness for and performance in the workplace so that graduates can add value to themselves and the economy.” Stakeholders might still recall that a BusinessDay report in March 2011 following approval of four more private universities in Nigeria pointed out that that the approval brought the number to 45 private universities as against 70 universities then bankrolled by both federal and state governments in Nigeria.
Strategic drive This number has increased with various approvals believed to be politically motivated as against a strategic drive towards the provision of quality education for the people of Nigeria. This number of private universities might be at variance with the number of private tertiary institutions, though private universities have grown substantially from the three that pioneered investment in that segment in 1999. Nigeria’s first private universities are Babcok
University, Ilishan Remo, Madonna University, Okija, and Igbinedion University, Okada. Though opinions may differ on the quality, impact, access and mission of private universities, what no one can argue about is that they constitute an alternative approach to — and certainly fill a growing niche in higher education in Nigeria.
Public education system They also absorb the large chunk of young Nigerians who’s parents have lost faith in the public education system who ordinarily would have sought solution to their educations needs outside the shores of Nigeria, just as Belo-Osagie pointed out: “The bulk of government’s spend on education merely scratches teachers’ welfare on the surface, while quality of training and teaching are falling, forcing our young generation to seek quality education abroad.” Probably the intervention of the private sector in education could help avert crisis or at least ameliorate a situation that has become so bad that The Guardian newspaper’s survey in 2009 revealed that only 20 percent of parents would willingly send their children to public universities — largely because these are the only institutions that offer ‘dream’ professional courses in medicine, pharmacy, etc. About 70 per cent, on the other hand, prefer degrees from private universities and 10 percent from abroad were cost not an issue. What is evident is that Africa and Nigeria are left with no other option than to improve on education at basic level to show readiness for the future, now characterized by change and technology.
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 — 25
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26 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
Nigeria mobilises for 2013 World Cashew Expo, Fiesta BY DANIEL GUMM
T is clear that the global cashew industry has recognised that the future of cashew lies in Africa. Gradually, the up-coming 2013 world cashew expo to hold for the first time on the soil of Nigeria is gaining momentum, and giving reason for renewed interest in investing in the nation’s cashew industry. At the Executive Committee meeting of the African Cashew Alliance, which held in Accra, Ghana, attended by major global cashew stakeholders, a collective decision was taken to strongly support Nigeria and ensure that this year’s event indeed becomes the largest, best and most successful world cashew expo ever held. This year ’s world cashew expo will lead to a global declaration on the development of Nigeria and Africa’s cashew industry with emphasis on how it can realise its full potential in production, processing, food safety standards
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EXCO — From left: Marian Gymfi, Sotonye Anga (NCAN), Tola Faseru (NCAN) and Kofi Apia, at the Executive Committee meeting of the African
Cashew Alliance (ACA), which held at the Airside Hotel, Accra, Ghana. and marketing, thereby funding for scaling up to-production; generating revenue in research and developb. Improving tree proexcess of over US$300 ment of cashew produc- ductivity; million. tion and processing techc. Learning and innoBelow are guidelines nologies. While this re- vation in processing, that will be followed and search should remain the e.g. ergonomics; sustained: public sector’s responsid. Other relevant techSupport cashew procbility, nurseries and dis- nologies. essors and exporters in tribution should be priImplement investtraining farmers on qual- vate sector-driven, pos- ment incentives for ity, productivity and sibly through processors cashew processing uticrop handling. and exporters, and re- lising best practices! Farmers should decide search organisations To take off in Africa, how they market their should have private sec- the cashew processing products. tor input and/ or govern- industry requires govInvest in research, ance. ernment support in development Research and develop- learning to compete in Cashew research instiment should focus on the the international markettutes across Africa need following themes: place. Governments in to receive increased a. Reducing tree years- Africa need to imple-
ment investment incentives and policies to support value addition through processing in a consistent and transparent manner. These measures include but are not limited to the following: a. Full implementation of the elimination of tariffs, duties and taxes levied on raw cashew nuts traded between African countries as provided by the ECOWAS, CEMAC and SADC trade agreements; b. Tax and duty breaks for capital investments;
c. Promoting compliance to international standards; d. Time-bound exemptions to social security and taxation of salaries; e. Productivity-linked wages; f. Simplify and expedite the bureaucratic requirements for establishing agribusiness processing factories; g. Risk-sharing tools for investment and working capital finance; h. Implement all incentives based on best practices (e.g. consistently, transparently and timely).
Trade integration key to micro-economic convergence
NEW policy paper by the African Development Bank carries the importance of trade integration to macroeconomic convergence. Published in March 2013, the report titled: "Supporting Macroeconomic Convergence in African regional economic communities," recommends to link the roadmap in the implementation of macroeconomic convergence to
progress made in trade integration. In so doing, the AfDB report comes with some revisions to the application of macroeconomic convergence, building on the lessons from the experience in implementing the concept in Europe and elsewhere, with a view to ensuring a balance between the financial sector and the real sector programmes.
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 — 27
30 I got drunk first time in the studio
AFTER YRS. ON STAGE:
— Stella Monye BENJAMIN NJOKU Come April 28,one of Nigeria’s veteran female singers, Stella Monye, will be rolling out drums to celebrate both her 50th birthday anniversary as well as her 30th years on stage. The ‘Samba Queen’ will also use the occasion to officially unveil the remix of her 18-track album titled, ‘Best of Stella Monye’. In the 80s, Stella dominated the airwaves with her award-winning track ‘Oko Mi Ye’ performing at the prestigious Golden Tones Concert. She also represented Nigeria in several music and arts festivals across the globe with her albums such as Arigosamba, Change of Heart and One Nation. Here, she recounts the story of her journey into the world of stage. How has the journey been so far after 30 years on stage? It’s been wonderful. I’m most grateful to God because it’s been rough, tough and tumbled. But somehow, I survived it. I know some of my colleagues who are no more today, here I am. Glory and honour go to God. It’s not easy to be consistent with what you do for a living in this part of the world, considering the tough situation. Somehow, some of us have been able to overcome the obstacles,and stay there like soldiers. It’s nice, it has it’s own pros, cons and ups and downs. It comes with all kinds of problems but all the same , I enjoyed my 30 years stay on stage. Could you recount some of the bitter experiences you had as a result of the path you have taken in life? They are many because in a world that belongs to the men folk,
I N S I D E: Destiny Child winners drop singles C M Y K
I’m eyeing OSCAR award — Tamara Eteimo
a woman cannot stand in front to lead the way. When you are too ambitious, you are bound to encounter many obstacles on the way. It is applicable in all professions, not only in the music industry. It depends on how you comport yourself. If you give your male colleagues their respect, they will give you the room to excel. But that does not mean there was no bitter experience. It could be frustrating sometimes when somebody instead of doing you a favour, would consequently demand for your body in return. And of course, you no longer have your privacy . These were some of the bitter experiences I had during my early stage in the industry. How would you compare your time to what is happening today? I started singing as a teenager. I was just a young girl who went into music. I didn’t make money then, does not matter because I was still under the care of my parents. Of course, you can’t compare our time to what is happening today. This is because, during my time, we didn’t have the kind of leverage the present day musicians have today. Continues next page
uts LG Xboom desb for smar t DJ
28—Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
BOX OFFICE HITS ‘Late Christy Essien-Igbokwe paved the way for most us’ Continues frompage 27 Instead, they talk about their girl friends and how they slept with them last night. They sing these things and get all the money. But some of them are very creative and they are doing very well. Sometimes, I listen to some of the highlife music played by these new generation of musicians, it does not show any difference between what we did then and now. As a bridge between the legendary musicians and the new generation, we didn’t do well to cement our relationship. But we are waking up to that reality today. Some of us that ran out of the country are coming back and want to do music again. We need this generation of musicians because it goes to shown that the country is developing. But I must say that Nigeria is a place we don’t give opportunity to everybody. In America, you could see late Whitney Huston doing duet with Madonna, and Dolly Parton doing duet with Kanye West. I should be doing duet with Davido or 2face, but the way their managers try to segment them does not give room for growth in the industry. A couple of people have asked me in the past why I haven’t retired from singing. Today I’m 30 years on the stage. The first time you hit the studio to record your debut album, what was the experience like? I remember, I got dunk that fateful day. I took some alcoholic drink (wine), and I thought taking the drink would make me feel high. I said to myself, how am I going to handle this vocal. But after taking the drink, I became weak and I couldn’t sing again. Everybody was fanning me. It was so funny but it was a wonderful experience. 30 years ago, ventured into music, who were your contemporaries and what were some of the challenges you faced then? The late Christy EssienIgbokwe paved the way for most of us. She was there when we don’t have female singers in the country. So, as soon as she opened the door and it was good, most of us followed suit. Unfortunately, I was very young but I was thinking like the old skool. I was wild and had gone far in my thinking as I was able to fit into the generation. It wasn’t easy though, we scaled through. Then, my contemporaries included Funmi Adams, Funmi Davies, and others. As a youth, it was easier, because I didn’t have any commitments then, but as an adult, as one pays bills, and things get tougher, it wasn’t really very easy. For some years, you were off the stage, what happened? My son had an accident that almost claimed his life. I reasoned that it wouldn’t make any sense if I should continue to adorn the stage, while my son was bedridden. I had to take a break to
be with him. God has been seeing him through, and I know that He will finish what He has started in his life. You could not release an album for a long time now? It hasn’t been long I released an album. I had an album in 2007 titled , ‘Outburst”. What you can ask is whether I promoted the album because when I dropped the album it was supposed to be a project album . That’s why you are not seeing it around. It was supposed to be an album I would take to the campuses to educate the female students on the issue of morality on campuses. But unfortunately, the sponsors of the project declined for so many reasons. They weren’t able to put down enough money to sponsor the project, and I wasn’t ready to do a half-hazard project, that was how I suspended it.
Synopsis WEEKEND GETAWAY Weekend Getaway ’ is a glamorous, witty, suspensefilled drama about five couples with relationship issues who spend the Weekend in the plush, exotic Le Meridien Ibom Golf Course & Resorts. The film exposes the drama, dysfunction, intrigues, lies and ultimately love, that abounds in their lives. Produced by Emem Isong, Ini Edo and Monalisa Chinda and directed by Desmond Elliot. It stars Genevieve Nnaji, Ramsey Nouah, Ini Edo, Monalisa Chinda, Uti Nwachukwu, Bryan Okwara, Alexx Ekubo, Beverly Naya, Uru Eke, Bobby Obodo, Ime ‘Bishop’ Umoh and Ini Ikpe. The movier premiere today. TOP MOVIES OF THE WEEK HANSEL&GRETEL:WITCH HUNTERS FLOWER GIRL ZERO DARK THIRTY DJANGO UNCHAINED FLIGHT SILVERBIRD CINEMAS, VICTORIA ISLAND Identity Thief: 1:00pm, 6:15pm, 8:25pm Weekend Getaway: 2:55pm, 8:10pm Hansel& Gretel: The Withchhunters; 11;20am, 5:30pm,7:15pm Flower Girl : 1:25pm Zero Dark Thirty: 9:00pm SILVERBIRD CINEMAS, IKEJA Identity Thief: 12:00pm, 2:05pm, 4;15pm, 6:20pm, 8:35pm Weekend Getaway: 2;45pm, 5:00pm. Zero Dark Thirty: 5:05pm Flight: 12:20pm, 8:05pm Rise of the Guardian: 11;30am, 5:15pm Flower Girl: 12:45pm. SILVERBIRD CINEMAS, ABUJA Identity Thief: 12:00am, 2:20pm, 7:10pm, 9:30pm Weekend Getaway: 12;05pm, 2;10pm, 6;10pm, 8:20pm Hansel&Gretel: The Witch Hunters: 12:10pm, 2:00pm, 3:50pm, 7:30pm My Life My Damage: 5:10pm. Zero Dark Thirty: 1:50pm, 8:50pm Silver linings Playbook: 5:20pm, 8:00pm Flower Girl: 1:10pm, 6:30pm Flight: 6:30pm, 9:15pm. Django Unchained: 3:40pm. SILVERBIRD CINEMAS CEDDI PLAZA , ABUJA Weekend Getaway: 11:10am, 3:20pm, 7:10pm. Oluranlowo mi(My Benefactor): 5:20pm, 9:10pm. Looper: 4:10pm,6:30pm, 8:50pm. Flower Girl : 1:10pm Django Unchained: 8:40pm. SILVERBIRD CINEMAS PORT HARCOURT Identify Thief: 11:20am, 1:25pm, 3:30pm. Weekend Getaway: 1:5pam, 6: 20pm, 8:40pm Hansel&Gretel: 1:55pm, 8:55pm Flower Girl: 11:15am Django Unchained: 5:35pm SILVERBIRD CINEMAS UYO Weekend Getaway: 12:30pm, 2:40pm, 4:50pm, 7:00pm Silverling Playbook: 11;45am, 2:10pm, 4:30pm, 6;50pm Flower Girl : 12:20pm, 2:15pm. Django Unchained: 6:05pm. Hotel Transylvania: 12:25pm, 2;15pm, 4:15pm Here comes the Boom: 12:05pm, 2:20pm. . OZONE CINEMAS LAGOS Identity Thief: 1;55pm, 2:10pm, 6:25pm, 8:35pm Weekend Getaway: 3:00pm, 7:15pm Hansel&Gretel: The Witch Hunters: 3:00pm, 6:00pm Zero Dark Thirty: 10:45am Flower Girl : 12:50pm Rise of the Guardian: 10:50am
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 — 29
Naeto C and wife welcome baby boy
Destiny Child winners drop singles Set for London performance
apper Nae to the week w C during elcomed a baby b N ic o le in oy with his wife, mother an th e U S . B o th d child are said to b e d o in g w w h o s e re e ll . N a e to C a Naetochuk l n a m e is wu Chikw e got married to w model in A ife and former pril, 2012.
inners of the maiden edition of Destiny Ch ild gospel music reality show recently released their debut singles to thrill their fans during this Easter season. The young talents who are all signed to Autograph Records teamed up with the label’s in house producer, Tolu popularly known as T-Yanks to churn out 21st century music that edifies the soul of Christians as the songs have strong gospel themes. T Yanks was the competitions Music Director during season one of the competition. Israel Funsho, winner of Destiny Child Season one,titled his single, “Praise your Name”. The well crafted song is Israel’s gift to the world borne out of his desire as a music minister to spread the gospel of salvation. In his words “ I strongly believe I am alive today because God brought me into this world to do only one thing, praise and lead his people to praise him, hence the reason my first single is titled “Praise your Name”. The Osun state born music minister believes that lovers of good music will surely have a blast listening to this song. Femi Flames decided to stick to his mother tongue whil singing about the supremacy of God in his debut single entitled,
“Adanimagbagbe.” The song exalts God’s supremacy and reminds us all that God is a mindful creator. “I love singing from my heart, because if I do not connect to the song I am singing, I believe others won’t. So I decided to keep it indigenous because I needed to feel it in a different way. One thing is certain the world will be blessed by this song” he affirmed.
WapTV unveils new programmes
apTV, a leader amongst cable channels in Nigeria, has some fresh and unique additions to its impressive programme line up which are set to excite millions of viewers across the country. These new additions to the channel’s line up include Sabongari, a short narration of a Hausa proverb as well as its English translation with it’s application to everyday life presented by Sabongari Sophisticated; Akpan & Oduma, a short comical insight into the daily struggles and antics of two male youths from Cross River State who are looking for different ways to survive in Lagos; a programme which would take the wapTV presenters to several hospitals to generate the much needed awareness for genuine cases of patients in need of financial aid for treatment of critical ailments; as well as a programme being packaged which is primarily targeted at teenagers and youth in their twenties. According to Gina Ehikodi, A.G.M./Head of Programmes of wapTV, “These new additions to our programming are as a result of multiple requests from millions of audience members across the country via our Social Media platforms as well as our detailed research into the yearnings of the average Nigerian TV viewer.”
BY ANOZIE EGOLE
etermined to give its viewers and fun seekers, entertainment at its peak, DSTV is set to unveil FOX channel come next month. From Tuesday, April 9, 2013, viewers of DSTV will experience a new addition which will also be available in both HD and SD as simulcast on channels 125. The 24 hours channel is expected to introduce the best
DSTV set to launch “Fox” channel next month
316 debuts Jesus 4 Life By Opeoluwa Ogunjimi
gospel duo group, 316, made up of Electro and K.O, has dropped a mind blowing single, Jesus 4 Life. The group which majored on hip hop gospel rop music, says they are into music for Christ’s sake.
international fiction series of the moment, including drama and comedy. Viewers can also look forward to a number of series on the channel such as Falling Skies, The Walking Dead, The Transporter, The Simpsons, House of Payne and Cougar Town among others. A new reality series, Being Mandela, which features Z a z i w e *John Ugbe
“Music for us has been like life itself because nothing else will count. As beleivers, music has become a chariot to reach lives for Christ.” Presently, they already have three singles on ground, but Jesus 4 Life is presently making waves with the video already shot. Jesus 4 Life, is a song about an undivided love for Christ. It also stresses that there’s nothing worth living for than Christ. Produced by Emy Ace, the video shot by Big Weez in Festac Town, Jesus 4 Life has been an anthem on radio stations across the nation. The video has also gained ground with the likes of MTV Base, One Music, One Cube, Sound City and Nigezie.
Dlamini-Manaway and Swati Dlamini, granddaughters of world renowned icon and former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. The sisters invite DStv viewers on a journey into their busy lives and most importantly viewers will get to see the highs and lows of being a Mandela. Another gripping show not to be missed is JO, a one-hour crime series about Joachim “Jo” Saint-Clair, a veteran detective in Paris’ elite Criminal Brigade tackling the city’s most challenging murder cases.
30 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 with LAJU ARENYEKA
nd a s a i b i d I e h t Dubai, s e i s r e v o r t n o the car c With LAJU ARENYEKA
ongratulations to Nigerian music icon, Two Face Idibia and wife Annie who had their white wedding in Dubai during the weekend. Finally, the man has given all his ‘body and soul’ to one ‘African queen.’ You can read all about it somewhere else, but there are some memories that the Dubai wedding conjures up; one of them is when U.S pop singer, Nicki Minaj was nearly arrested in the UAE capital for hugging a guy. Narrating her experience, the singer said: “I went to Dubai. I almost got in so much trouble because the guys in Dubai are so cute. It’s not even funny. One of the rules is you can’t hug a man if you’re not married to the man. And so when we were leaving, there was this one guy that was so freakingly cute, I was like, ‘Bye!’ because I just wanted to have this one last moment to…savor the moment with him…” Two Face and Annie are married, but aren’t we a little bit concerned about the other celebrities who travelled? Dubai authorities let an American citizen off the hook, but all those Nigerian celebrities should please come home and not show their love till they are safely on Naija soil. Then um…there’s this other gist about Senator David Mark giving the Idibias a N47 million sports car. However, in a statement by his spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, Mark did not give a N47m Ferrari car to Idibia contrary to reports on social sites. Such reports are wicked, ridiculous and irresponsible.” He said. Mark’s spokesman went on to say that the Senator did not present any such gift to the Idibias and that he was not present at their wedding. Forgive the sensationalism, but one can’t help but wonder: if the scandal was that David Mark could not send any representative to the wedding of such an international superstar,
no doubt the press statement would be on the flip side. One more thing, Akwa Ibom state government governor Godswill Akpapio actually gave the couple a Toyota Prado. The car costs about N11 m. The Governor also said that he sent 20 of Annie Idibia’s family members to Dubai with about “N3m only.” Two face has more fans in Nigeria than Kim Kardashian, so we will not mention what benefit N14m could have been to the citizens of Akwa Ibom state…besides no one asked the state governor for an expensive wedding present. Enough said, let Akpabio face the fury of the hundreds of widows in Akwa Ibom State who trooped to the Government House, Uyo, urging him to empower them financially so as to enable them establish smallscale businesses. After all, they are also true daughters of the state who stood with their husbands through thick and thin. Just one last thing to consider before we sign out: if Senator David Mark didn’t give the couple that car, then who did? PS: Welcome home, Peaceful Peace-Ngozi Nwosu, the devil has been put to shame in your life. Continue being an inspiration to those who look to God for good health!
THE TEAM BENJAMIN NJOKU email@example.com
AYO ONIKOYI OPEOLUWANI OGUNJIMI
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 —31
Extra By FLORENCE AMAGIYA
amara Eteimo won the Next Movie Star reality show in 2011 after graduating from the University of Port Harcourt, where she studied Theatre Arts. She landed a lead role in the Wale Adenugba’s Production, Superstory and acted the role of UTOHAN, the female footballer. She’s one of the emerging actresses to watch in Nollywood. In this interview, she talks about her budding music career that she had to trade-off for her passion for acting. She also shares the story of how she emerged the winner of the Next Movie Star reality show among other issues raised by our reporter. Enjoy! My delving into music I got into showbiz after I graduated from the Theatre Arts Department of University, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. I have always loved singing and I hail from a family where music runs in our blood. My brother writes music while my younger sister is a songwriter. I did my first movie, “Still Born” while I was in the University. I played a lead role and I acted alongside some A -list actors in the industry. After completing my certificate programme in Theatre Arts, I delved into music. I was almost going to drop my debut album. Then, I had four singles making waves in the radio and TV stations in Port Harcourt. I remember when I went into music, I wanted to sing like ‘Beyonce. But I didn’t have the songs to convey my message. I only had the right sound. There weren’t any moral lessons in my songs then. I am somebody who believes so much in love. So, I started writing love songs and all that. I also developed the art of dancing. Then, I performed in a comedy show known as ‘Crack your Ribs’ in 2009. I also performed in Miss Obolga Beauty Pageant in Obiakpo Local Government Area of Rivers State as well as the Rivers State Carnival called Carniriv also in 2009 and I shot a musical video.
I’m eyeing OSCAR award — Tamara Eteimo, 2013 Next Movie Star winner in such a way that I was always waking up before every other contestant. I am sure the judges were amazed with my action. But that didn’t give me the fore-knowledge that I was going to win the contest. There was this Yoruba guy, Toluwa who was my close rival. I felt that since we were in Lagos and the organizers happened to be his kinsmen, it was sure that he would win the show. But I was surprised when my name
was announced as the winner of the competition. My aspirations Beside featuring in local films, I have a desire to star in international movies. By the grace of God, I want to star alongside Denzel Washington in future. I’m also eyeing being nominated for the OSCAR. Becoming Big Brother Africa
housemate I can’t go into the BBA house because I am already an ambassador of The Next Movie Star. Moreover, Big Brother Africa is not a career booster but a reality show that showcases how people cope living with strangers in the same house for as long as it lasts. I am a very professional person and I do not have that kind of time to waste. Though the money is cool, I cannot be confined to a particular house for 90 days without being productive. My relationship At the moment, I do not think I need to be in a relationship. But when it is time, you will be properly informed. My dress sense I am a very simple person. I do not believe in what’s in vogue, but when I see something that is beautiful, I do not hesitate to grab it.
Next Movie Star contest I visited Lagos in 2010, and registered with the Actors Guild of Nigeria. I went back home because I knew I wasn’t quite ready; I was yet to finish with school, my project and project defense. I travelled back to Lagos when I was through with school in September, 2011. I attended Delyork Film Academy coordinated by Stephanie Okereke and her husband, Linus Idahosa. It was at the academy that I obtained the form for the Next Movie Star Reality show about two days to the closing date and consequently, went for the audition. Participating in the reality show, wasn’t something I had planned. But I gave it a try since I didn’t want to focus on music. Surprisingly, I got a text message informing me that I passed the audition. Then, music was paying my bills but deep down in my heart, I wasn’t satisfied with it. That was it. I got into the house and stayed about 45 days without having contact with the world. I survived the jungle and emerged the winner. For now, I have dropped music. Winning the contest While in the house the spirit of winning the contest overwhelmed me
32 — Vanguard, FRIDAY , MRACH 29, 2013
Business Unusual T
ow did you feel when you were picked for the program? I was excited, but when I saw what the training was going to look like I decided I was not going to do it but somehow (my uncle) encouraged me to do it. He is like a father to me. But you applied for the training in the first instance? Yes, but they didn’t specify what. You apply to the Nigerian Content Development. Their work is to bring Nigerian youth and train them. When I applied I didn’t know it was going to be this particular type of training. What did you think it would be? Maybe computer based. I think this is the first Rope AcC M Y K
•Natasha cess training they ever had in Nigeria. How did it go? What was your personal experience? Initially it wasn’t really easy. You know what Rope Access is all about- climbing with rope. The first three days was so hard. I was discouraged at a point but after a while I had to pick up courage What discouraged you? The body aches, the pain, being the only lady among nineteen men. It was not really easy carrying pipes when we were doing scaffolding. One of the guys told me, do you know you encourage me?
HE Nigerian Government initiative regarding promotion of local content is guided by the Nigerian Content Development and monitoring board - NCDMB). The key objective of the NCDMB is to ensure maximum utilization of local resources in all major O & G projects executed in country. One of the main thrusts of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Content Development Act of 2010 is indigenous human capacity building.Towards realizing this vision, NCDMB dictates that International Oil companies set aside a proportion of project man-hours towards training and developing local manpower. Ofserv Nigeria Limited partnered with SNEPCO & NCDMB to deliver world class training programs geared towards effective knowledge acquisition, retention and readiness of the trainees to be absorbed into the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry. It was virtually out of desperation that computer science HND graduate Natasha Anwulika Okwuosa entered for the highly physical training session. Little did she know she was on the verge of history. At the end of the 30-day training sessions, Anwulika Natasha was singled out and certified as the first and only female Nigerian Rope Access Absailer in the country. Lipstick shares her excitement at the graduation ceremony, where she was specially awarded and honoured. Excerpts:
I was excited, but when I saw what the training was going to look like I decided I was not going to do it but somehow (my uncle) encouraged me to do it
That was when I picked up courage. What else was memorable? Mainly the attention; feeling like a queen among them and then the award that was given to be as the first female Rope Access technician. I felt ho-
noured. Did you get special treatment from the guys when you were being trained? During the training, no They didn’t try to help out? No. my colleagues wanted to
help out when we wanted to unscrew nuts during the scaffolding. I was like no, I think I’m a guy here because when we were climbing ropes nobody treated me as a lady so I want to continue as a guy here. I wasn’t treated differently from the trainers. Were you self conscious? No. at the time I was feeling like a guy because I was doing what they were doing. What are your plans for the future? Are you going to go along this line? It depends. I’m done with the training so I’m wondering, what’s next? If given the opportunity I would absolutely practice.
Xpressions Others in government should learn from Femi Fani-Kayode’s I
F the Nigerian government past and present does not appreciate the value of social media, they will at least appreciate its inevitability in no distant time. Media worldwide uses social media more than any other tool to get a feel of what the people are saying about every subject under the sun. Governments likewise. Around here, websites are created for the simple and simplistic aim of fulfilling all righteousness. Most likely, the cousin of an uncle of the oga who designs or hosts websites gets to build the site at some incredible costs, and then abandons it to the sad fate of being live but not living. Interestingly but not surprisingly, individuals in government past and present
have their presence on the worldwide web, mostly on the social networks. Everything they say on those social sites can and will be taken against
them, and this was the case with the contribution of erstwhile Obasanjo boy Femi Fani-Kayode, who found himself desperately hounded
and very unkindly dealt with after entering his opinion as his facebook status, of the murder charges against South African super athlete Oscar
Vanguard, FRIDAY , MRACH 29, 2013 — 33
Online Fashion Retail — the next big thing Y
OU go give a presentation with your team for that dream project and you are handed invitations for a cocktail Friday night—a once in a lifetime chance to discuss things in a more relaxed atmosphere. What to wear should not be so difficult. You have that
respectable yet totally sexy purple cocktail dress hanging in your closet waiting for an occasion such as this. But wait! You don’t have a purse and a bracelet to go with it just yet. Now, you are frantic. There are only three days between today and Friday and you are swamped if ever you have been. Alarm bells are ringing in your head, reminding you of the unlikelihood of your ever finding the two of hours it will take you to find your way to the good stores and try on many different shoes until you find the perfect shade and fit. At times like this, online shopping appears like a real miracle. Those pop ups that were so annoyingly in your face and made you really cross are suddenly appealing. You have finally realized what the online shopping sites always knew you would. That one day, you’d need them. The advantages are too many in this circumstance. Of course, shopping online can never compete with the real thing if you are hitting the shops with a bunch of your girls. The
•Online store soundless clicks of the mouse can never be the same as the giggling, the comments between fits of laughter as you try on in turns different dresses/wigs/pieces of underwear. Neither can you go off to get your hair done and grab a bite afterwards. It is also yet to be determined that the so called Retail Therapy- that light headed, euphoric, million-dollar feeling you get
when you have just spent some ridiculous amount of money shopping for stuff you might never wear (real window shopping counts too)- can be achieved via online shopping. But when it comes to plain, hardcore practicality, you can beat online. And it’s not exactly bad news for the Nigerian fashionista, for whom buying online from sites abroad had caused many a
facebook domestic violence goof Pistorius , who has been indicted for the murder of his girlfriend model Reeva Steenkamp. If Fani kayode had
understood the essence of social networking, and realized that anything with a social connotation can not bestow any sort of ‘privacy’ he might not have given that controversial piece of opinion on that forum.
f course, the Pistorius matter was just the straw that broke the long suffering back of his camel of controversy. Fani Kayode certainly had it coming. Still, the onslaught against him this time might be more as a result of existing bad public image than against the opinion he gave on that occasion. In the light of the fact that domestic violence is at least excused by the majority of the population, it is not his opinion that is being attacked
but rather his person. But for the odd feminist who refuses to see herself as a piece of meat whose existence is merely for the pleasure of men, very few really care. Decades of sponsorship of non-profit programs against domestic violence in Nigeria has resulted in higher reported incidence and a handful of domestic murder cases reaching the courts. No prosecution has been publicized to date. Any philosophy that attempts to pin responsibility of abuse on the abuse is a double jeopardy and proponents of and sympathizers to such philosophies no longer have the right to be at the discussion table when policies statecraft, development and civilization are being fashioned.
Of course, shopping online can never compete with the real thing if you are hitting the shops with a bunch of your girls
tear drop of frustration and unfulfilled style expectations and yearning.
he advent of a good many retail fashion online stores stocking products ranging from hair extensions to cocktail rings has meant you can buy stuff you actually need from the comfort of your home. While some of them operate as part of social networking sites, using these as marketing tools free of charge, others have their own websites and have their links on social networking sites as well as other sites. While the former are considered more intimate with their owners marketing mainly to people they know, the disadvantage is the presence of trust issues, with people who do not have direct knowledge of the owners of the online store not having enough confidence to shop. Taiwo, the operator of Stylistic, one of such online stores on facebook, operates from the United Kingdom but caters to Nigerians at home as well. She however has problems with people who do not know her and do not want to pay online in case it is all a fraud. Asked why she does not accept payment on delivery (POD) as some other popular sites do, she says she tried it but got burnt as some people would order and then change their minds upon delivery. She tries
to curtail this challenge by holding small cosy shopping fairs twice a year in some highbrow locations in Lagos where people are encouraged to bring their friends to shop physically and network. The advantage is of obviously lower overhead costs.
nline store, Dealdey, who run their own shop site do not seem to have this problem. Speaking to lipstick, a company representative says they get most of their customers by word of mouth from people who had had good experiences with them. She says online payments are actually more secure than over the counter ones, as they are on record. But what happens when the card is charged but it is not received? “It is not possible”, she says, because the money will be returned in no distant time. “We have strict quality controls, and this is why we are number 1”. While it remains for their customers to corroborate this, Comfort, a senior advertising executive shares not so savoury experiences with one of the competitors, who get paid on delivery and tells of how a simple order for some needed items took more than a week of calls and more calls before kit was delivered. Unfortunately, the delivery was done at the wrong time, meaning she could not attend to the courier. “Thank God they do not receive online payments”, she concludes, relieved. While the online marketing share of fashion retailing in advanced countries has shrunk, it has vast potential for growth in our side of the world and is set to create unprecedented jobs in marketing as well as warehousing, courier, administration, advertising, computer technologies and the creative industry. This could become a billion dollar industry. C M Y K
34 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
With PRINCE OSUAGWU firstname.lastname@example.org 08050498513
ike the name, XBOOM CM 9730, an all-new music machine released recently by LG Electronics, is giving a boom to home entertainment. Yet it seems a device capable of smoothing the edge between technology and entertainment. With its innovatively fitted hi-tech console for sizzling DJ skills, the device makes users enjoy music with real party mood. For music adventurers, the device can also pass for a smart DJ at home, It has RMS: 2300W and PMPO: 2500W speakers which give it a vibrant sound, Dual Layer Display, Beat Lighting LED speaker, Auto DJ and Turntable looklike. According to General Manager, Media division, LG LG Electronics, Mr. XBoom Jae Sang Lee, “the LG XBOOM CM 9730 is a music machine that is innovatively fitted with hi-tech
s t u b e d m o o b X G L s J D t r a m for s console for sizzling DJ skills, making it a new dawn for Nigerian DJs” Meanwhile in apparent design to test the wits of the new innovation, LG recently organized, LG XBOOM Scratch 2 Fame DJ competition, which it said was meant to discover budding DJ talents and empower them in ways they have never thought possible At the end of the competition, in fact, after a tension-soaked final at
More people now have mobile phones than toilets Y ou’ve been hearing that the world is going mobile and perhaps it would make much meaning. But the United Nation, UN’s recent foray into determining the depth and penetration of mobile phones in people’s lives, has brought the point home. At the eve of World Water Day last week, the U.N. offered a sobering statistic of how mobile phone has taken centre stage in peoples’ priorities. According to its recent study, more people on earth have access to cell phones than toilets. The study’s numbers claim that of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones, while only 4.5 billion have access to a toilet. The report stated that in India there are an estimated 1 billion cellphones, while with an estimated 626 million people, it is viewed as constituting 60 per cent of the world’s population that does not use a toilet. Also, the world’s most highly populated country, China, only 14 million people do not have access to a toilet, while 986 million have mobile phones. The U.N. Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson while announcing the report, said “let’s face it, this is a problem that people
do not like to talk about. But it goes to the heart of ensuring good health, a clean environment and fundamental human dignity for billions of people”. More than 750,000 people die each year from diarrhoea and one of its primary causes is from unsanitary conditions created in communities without access to toilets. In August 2012, the Bill Gates Foundation began its own effort to “reinvent the toilet” as a way to help curb the number of people around the world without access to sanitary waste disposal.
The Place, Ikeja, Lagos, where the event held, a winner emerged in Mr. Michael Festus Oriawe, a 31-year-old business executive, popularly known as DJ Mikey. He carted away an LG XBOOM CM9730 hi-fi system. The DJ competition attracted hundreds of participants from all over the country, who contested keenly for the ultimate prize. At announcement as the winner, DJ Mikey said: “I am excited to have won this competition; I commend LG Electronics for putting together this competition and giving young Nigerians the opportunity to showcase their talents and achieve their dreams.”
: p o t e h t t a My Oga
New media lessons for the older generation BY LAJU ARENYEKA
he new media seems to be bringing a contrasting dimension to the sage that an old man sees farther sitting down, than a young man at the top of a tree. Today, what the average young person sees on a computer screen, can only leave the elderly with no computer experience fumbling, scratching their heads in confusion, and probably saying ‘that’s all.’” The recent My Oga at the top ruckus, where Senior NSCDC official, Mr. Obafaiye Shem did not know the website of the organization he represents, does make one wonder about the level of understanding of Information and Communication technology among the older generation. As a post on the website, Naijastories.com reads, “Mr. Obafaiye Shem did not grow up in the internet-age. He never had to google a difficult concept for his assignments. He probably keeps an address book and diary for important places, and if you ask him for the physical address of his office, he most likely knows it. He grew up learning physical addresses, not web addresses. Maybe we needed this incident to remind us of the technology disconnect – the digital divide that separates cultures, and generations.”
hem is not alone in that world. Recently, some Professors, when asked to send emails as part of assessment for the position of Vice Chancellor at a Nigerian University, also fumbled. They did not know how. Does this mean that they are not learned? Surely their years of research and study should answer that question in the negative. Recent research carried out in the United Kingdom shows that most internet users are under 65 years of age. Tobey Gordon Dichter, founder of Generations on Line, an organization that seeks to graft older people into the internet age says that older people don’t use computers because they don’t have access to one, or they lack computer skills, or they are intimidated. The world is now, more than ever before, a tower of Babel, with the younger generation speaking social media, and the older, caught up in wide eyed disbelief. Is it really necessary for people who are fiftyish and over to make use of the internet? The answer is a definite yes. Nigerian youths are the leaders of tomorrow, but majority of the people handling top leadership positions in the public and private sectors in today’s ICT driven world are fifty and over. To this end, the Ogas at the top must make a move to remain literate, by continually training themselves with new media skills to keep up with the pace of globalization.
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013— 35
Tel: 08098097290 email: email@example.com
Kindness as act of ibadaah Allah and not solely about a salat without any iota of goodness to humanity. We read the story of an Israeli
to a dog. The dog was reported dying of thirst, running helter skelter searching for water. It got to
OODNESS or ihsan, and a sense of collective responsibility towards one another are the prerequisites for a good Muslims. With that, you can have orderliness in the society where majority of people will be happy. The poor and the needy will be given their dues. People will not be insensitive to the plight of others. Government and leaders will be responsible to their duties and the followers will be happy to do their part. Crimes will be reduced to the barest minimum and tolerance and peacful co-existence will rule the world. But are we all Muslims. If many of us are, are we Mumeen? Are we living our lives for others as advised by the Prophet (s.a.w)? The Prophet (s.a.w) enjoined us to always do good to others even to the point of sacrificing your interest if that will bring happiness and life to others. He taught that if a Muslim is performing ablution for prayer and somebody who is dying of thirst cries for water, it becomes necessary for the Muslim to sacrifice the water meant for ablution to quench the thirst of that person, even if he is a non-Muslim. Islam, therefore, is all about goodness to the creatures of
Are we living our lives for others as advised by the Prophet (s.a.w)? The Prophet (s.a.w) enjoined us to always do good to others even to the point of sacrificing your interest if that will bring happiness and life to others
prostitute who was saved from being one of the dwellers of Hell as a result of her kindness
a well and it was going round the well in utter discomfort. This Israeli prostitute saw this
dog and came to its rescue. She took off a pair of her shoes and watered it and fed the dog severally until the dog was satisfied. By this singular act, Allah forgave her and admitted her into al-janah. Those who are bent on amassing wealth, and denying the less fortunate a share are those who will suffer in the hereafter and will be deprived of the mercy of God. (3:180, 4:37, 47:38, 89:17 to 89.24). Not feeding the needy is cited amongst the major reasons for which someone will not be in paradise (74:42 to 74:46). Being insensitive to the plight of those in need of help is another means of incuring the wrath of Allah. The Quran describes as hypocrites those
who perform their salat but do not show kindness to the orphans and the needy; these are those who have sold their chances of being in al-janah. (107:1-7). Amassing wealth for its own sake or for the love of bequeathing money for children unborn is an evil deed deserving of extreme punishment on the Day of Judgment (9:35). The lesson is that not only are Muslims repeatedly instructed to spend, they are explicitly instructed to spend from their most cherished possessions, from what is dear to them, from what they consider to be the best that they own to releiving those who are in one for of hardships or the other. Aprt from financial consideration, kindness in deed, and act of goodness even to those who wrong you are the major kernel of what Islam is all about. Charity is not mandatory and has no preset limit, it is strongly encouraged in hundreds of verses in the Quran. Various verses of te Holy Qur’an pontificate the act as a means of obtaining God’s mercy and forgiveness (24:22, 92:17 to 92:18), cleansing the souls of impurity (9:103), and attaining superior degree faith (30:38, 76:8 to 76:9, 90:10 to 90:16).
NEWSBRIEFS Tambuw al urges Muslim sc holar ambuwal scholar holarss to correct misconception
OUSE of Representatives Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Tambu wal, has urged Muslim scholars to enlighten Nigerians on Islamic teachings and principles to correct misconceptions. Tambuwal made the call during the opening of the 27th National Qu’ranic Recitation Competition in Gusau. He said there was need to create awareness on the Islamic teachings of peace. He said: "I want the Muslim scholars to make it widely known that Islam encourages peace and anybody that wants to spoil the religion will not succeed. "No where is violence mentioned in the Qu’ran and the Holy Prophet never encouraged violence among Muslims. Ullamah should continue to teach the youth about peace and stability; without peace and stability, there cannot be unity and progress."
From right: Barrister Abdullahi Warri, Jama’at President; Alhaji Bola Omokanye, Ahmadiyya Jamaat President in Canada; Dr Gani Enahoro, Naib Amir (Dep National Head) Eastern Region; Bro Tajudeen Onabanjo, Benin Circuit President and Muallim Miftaudeen Abdullah Warri Jamaat Missioner during special lectures to commemorate the first day of 'Ba'iat' (Initiation) of members into the Ahmadiyya Sect of Islam recently in Warri. Yaomal 'Ba'iat' is marked yearly all over the world by the Jama'at.
Muslims urged tto o suppor supportt Sultan's peace ef efffor ortt
USLIMS in Nigeria have been urged to support the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar on his effort towards bringing peace to all parts of the country. The call was made by the President of the Delta State Muslim Council, Alhaji Mumakai Unagha while inaugurating the state chapter of the Jama’atul Nasril Islam, at Agbarha-Otor in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State. He described the Sultan as man of peace, adding that his efforts should be complimented by Muslims and non Muslims alike. Inaugurating the executive, Alhaji Mumakai Unagha enjoined them to sustain the
tenet of Islam which centers on love, peace and unity. The Muslim Leader reminded Muslims to cultivate the ideas of hands of fellowship to others no matter the situation pointing out that Islam is peace. Also, speaking Special Assistant to the Delta State Governor on Special Duties, Alhaji Awalu Tukur commended the initiative of the state Muslim Council. Highlight of the occasion was the foundation laying ceremony of a mosque at the JNI Centre by the President of the Delta State Muslim Council, Alhaji Mumakai Unagha, supported by the Special Assistance to the State Governor Alh Awalu Tukur. Those sworned in are, Alhaji
Jibril Ijenije - Chairman, Alhaji Yussuf Eregbemi–Vice Chairman, Muktar Usman Secretary, Mallam Lawal Ighoroje -Assistant Secretary, Alh Abdulsalam Ekpuze – Treasurer, Alhaji Nuhu Ahmed Ozziggis – P.R.O, Alh Isa Onokeroraye – Fin Secretary. Others are Alh Abubakar Suleiman – Missioner, Barr. Elunor – Legal Adviser, Alh Aminu Oki – Co-ordinator Delta Central, Alh Mohammed Okotie, Religious Officer, Mohammed Johnny Delta South, Kamaru Bello Delta North, Alhaji Awalu Tukur, Alhaji Mumakai Unagha, Alhaji Mohammed Isima and Alhaji Billiaminu Emiko Patrons respectively.
ISBON meets in Ogbomoso
SLAMIC Brotherhood of Nigeria, ISBON, will hold its yearly retreat in Ogbomosho, Oyo State, this weekend. According to the National Ameer of the association, Justice S. B. Belgore in his statement recently, the three-day event will address challenges militating agaisnt the growth of Islam in Nigeria, welfare of members among other issues. The retreat which opens today will last till April 1, with delegates expected from the West African states such as Ghana, Togo, Niger and Chad. National Chairman of the group, Alhaji Mansur Abdulhamid said the Ogbomosho camp was a life-time opportunity for members from all over the country to meet with fellow brothers from other countries in order to forge a common front to advance the cause of Islam.
Anwar Islam holds conference
HE annual conference of Anwar-ul-Islam Movement of Nigeria opens today. The three-day event which is the 97th in the series will discuss various challenges facing the country from Islamic perspective. Among them are challenges of violence, crime, corruption and insecurity with a view to proferring solutions to them. The guest lecturer is Dr. Nosiru Onibon, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies, Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. The conference which holds at Jubril Martin Memorial Grammar School, Iponri, Lagos by 9am daily will last till Sunday, March 31, 2013.
36 — Vanguard ,
FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
Court bars NBA from collecting practising fee BY INNOCENT ANABA & BARTHOLOMEN MADUKWE
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, restrained ed the Nigerian Bar
Association, NBA, from collecting the newly introduced practising fee for lawyers in the country. The court ordered the association to revert to the
status quo, pending the determination of the substantial suit filed by some lawyers. Trial judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, made the
order, following an application for injunction by the plaintiffs counsel, Mr Tunji Gomez, praying the court to halt the collection of the new fees.
Group backs Jonathan on amnesty for Boko Haram BY FESTUS AHON
UGHELLI-PRESIDENT of Delta Political Network, DPN, Mr Princewill Ejogharado, yesterday, said there was no need for President Goodluck Jonathan to negotiate with the Boko Haram Islamic sect, noting that after careful examination of the group, it “had decided to throw its weight behind the President’s position on our Northern brothers’ agitation for amnesty
for Boko Haram.”. Ejogharado in a statement said “The President should not negotiate or grant amnesty to a faceless group, which has been killing Nigerians living in the North and until the Northern leaders and elders are able to persuade the group to come out in the open. “We berate those equating Boko Haram to the Niger
Delta militants. Niger Delta militants were not faceless. The Niger Delta militants paraded known names such as Asari Dokubo, Tompolo, Boyloaf and others. “And the quick response of the Niger Delta leaders like Chief Edwin Clark, Chief James Ibori, Chief D. Alamesiegha, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and others, who personally went into the
creeks to persuade our brothers to lay down their arms and accept the Federal Government’s hand of fellowship as proposed by then President Musa Yar’adua of blessed memory. “We appeal to the President to include other ethnic groups such as the Urhobos and the Isokos in the amnesty programme. They are being left out in the programme."
UFGGOV faults critics of Bayelsa information committee
A Socio-political pressure group based in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, United Front for Good Governance, UFGGOV, has faulted the oppositions to the newly inaugurated Committee on Public Information Management, arguing that it will greatly bridge the seeming i n f o r m a t i o n dissemination gap between the government and the public. The group in a statement in Yenagoa, by its Secretary, Mr. Timothy Kigimukumo noted with dismay, the unnecessary controversy the inauguration of the committee had generated in some sections of the media, with some fifth columnists seeing it as an attempt to pocket the media. Kigimukumo said, there was no iota of truth in the report that the governor was trying to gag the press.
From left: Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Delta State Governor; Elder Godsday Orubebe, Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs and Arc. Darius Ishaku, Minister of State for Niger Delta, during the Minister's courtesy call on the Governor, at the Government House Annex, Warri, yesterday.
University of Uyo disowns media report on fake doctor BY TONY NYONG
UYO-The University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Akwa Ibom State, has denied media reports that one Usen Effiong, was apprehended by the internal security of the hospital and handed over to the police on Tuesday for pretending to be a medical doctor and consulted for the hospital. The hospital said that the
media report, that the fake doctor had been consulting and attending to patients in the hospital was ‘absolutely false’ as all the doctors and other categories of medical personnel in the employment of the hospital are well trained and easily recognizable. In a statement, yesterday by Director Corporate Affairs, S.O Williams, UUTH explained that the
Akpojene withraws resignation letter as President General of IDU UGHELLI-PRESIDENT General of Isoko Development Union, IDU, Chief Gregory Akpojene, has withdrawn his resignation letter as President General of IDU. Akpojene had on February 26, 2013 resigned his position as head of the cultural body of the C M Y K
Isoko people, IDU. Akpojene in a statement, yesterday said; “You may recall that I resigned my position as the President General of IDU recently. The news of my resignation led to series of meetings of patrons and leaders of
thoughts of Isoko nation. “Arising from this intervention, I have withdrawn my resignation and will continue with my leadership of IDU. The inconveniences caused by my former announcement is highly regretted.”
said Effiong was found loitering around the Out Patient Department of the hospital and was picked up by the university’s security and handed over to the police. It said Effiong’s movement was suspicious even though he was wearing a ward coat, thereby giving people the fake impression that he was a medical personnel with the Teaching Hospital. “The attention of UUTH management, has been drawn to the news item on the arrest of a ‘’fake medical doctor ” at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo on March 26, 2013 by both print and electronic media. We wish to say that the contents of the news do not in any way represent the true position of what happened as the new casters did not bother to cross check and confirm the facts from the authorities of the University of Uyo
Plaintiffs in the suit are Mr. Seth Amaefule, Miss Amaka Aneke, Mr Celestine Nwankwo, Mr Charles OlaOni, and Mrs Tayo Arojo. They had asked the court to make an order of mandatory injunction, compelling the defendants to continuously collect the fees as it were on January 1, 2012. The plaintiffs had challenging the upward review in the practising fees for legal practitioners in the country, and averred that with the current fees regime, lawyers with less than five years standing at the Bar, were now to pay N10,000, as against N2, 000 the previous fees. Counsel to the plaintiffs, Gomez, who moved the motion for the interim order, urged the court to grant the prayer of the plaintiffs and make an order restraining NBA from collecting or enforcing the new fees regime. Gomez also asked the court to stop the defendants from sending text messages to lawyers, persuading them to pay the new practising fee, until the case was finally determined. Defendants in the suit are NBA President, Mr. Okey Wali; General Council of the Bar; the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, chairman NBA Lagos Branch, Taiwo Taiwo, among others.
Group expresses readiness to develop Agbor A GROUP, Agbor Opinion Social League, has expressed its readiness to help address the infrastructural problem bedeviling Agbor community, saying that the overall development of Agbor has always been their top priority. Chairman of the group, Dr. Cletus Otene, said the group was established to address the infrastructural problem in Agbor, adding that the development of Agbor had always been their top priority as they will continue to champion the course till every part of Agbor was developed. Otene, while playing host the President General of Agbor Community, MajorGen Nick Agbogun (rtd), and some members of his executive at Asaba, Oshimili South Local Government Area, Delta state, promised on behalf of members of the group to give full support to the Gen. Agbogun led executive, so that together they will achieve their aim of making Agbor a better place to live.
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013—37
NIMET warning: Rivers House to revisit Emergency Readiness Bill BY EGUFE YAFUGBORHI
IGERIAN Meteorological Agency, NIMET's, forecast of more rains this year, has compelled Rivers State House of Assembly to reconsider its rejection of a bill for a State Emergency Management Agency. Consequently, the lawmakers have overwhelmingly supported a motion tasking the state executive to put proactive measures in place against a re-ocurrence. Mr. Augustine Ngo (Abua/Odual Constituency), who moved the motion, reasoned that, “Victims of the 2012 flooding are still suffering its impact. We cannot stop nature, but we must avoid applying another medicine after death by being prepared to minimise the impact.”
10 shortlisted for NB Golden Pen Award
Delta 2015: Obasanjo pledges support for Anioma cause BY HUGO ODIOGOR
HE desire of Anioma people to produce the next governor of Delta State has received a boost in Abeokuta, Ogun State, from former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Receiving a delegation of Anioma traditional rulers and elders, led by the Asagba of Asaba, Prof. Chike Edozien, weekend, who visited him under the auspices of Anioma Congress, Obasanjo, said he was supporting Anioma people to produce the next governor because of his belief in equity and fairness. He said: “I will be a subtle advocate for the Anioma cause because it is based on justice, fairness and equity.” He advised the delegates to work hard and build alliances with their ethnic neighbours in order to achieve their objective. Obasanjo enjoined Anioma people to harmonise their various candidates and present a marketable personality with proven track record of performance, so as to receive acceptance from others.
Baptist High School, Orerokpe, holds anniversary
APTIST High School, Orerokpe, Old Students Association, BAHISCOOSA, holds its first anniversary tomorrow, with CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, as Chairman. The event has been scheduled to hold at T.M Hotel and Suites, Airport Road, Effurun, Delta State.
C M Y K
ioma Congress as an umbrella organisation of all Anioma people with the objectives of bringing Anioma people together, actualising the creation of Anioma State and producing the next governor of Delta State, if no
BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA
ENAGOA—BAYELSA State Government has reiterated its preparedness to support the military in stamping out pipeline vandalisation and crude oil theft in the state. Governor Seriake Dickson, when the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, called on him in Yenagoa, emphasised that no amount of assistance to the security agencies was too much in view of the colossal damage the vices had
caused the nation’s economy. Dickson, in a statement, said it was in realisation of this that his administration had been investing in security, which he noted, was yielding positive results. He said: “Bayelsa State has transited from being a constant national flashpoint to being on the vanguard of stability and security in the past one year.” He admitted the prevalence of illegal bunkering, crude oil theft and refining activities in the state and expressed the determination of the current administration in
the state to fight the scourge. He said the state government would do everything possible to ensure that the 15 fast-moving patrol gunboats it recently acquired and handed over to security agencies were put to use. “The weakness and vulnerability that you have identified are from the creeks (waterways) because in the last one year, the measures we had taken were such that criminals find the upland areas and the state capital too hot for their comfort. Now, we have discovered the way they are operating," he said.
Edo CPC carpets PDP over 5-junction road project BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
ENIN—CONGRESS for Progressive Change in Edo State has faulted what it described as alleged attempt by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state to lay claim to projects being executed by the Governor Adams Oshiomhole administration, when the people of the state suffered under development for 10 years under PDP government.
state was created in Nigeria before the 2015 general elections. On the entourage were the Obi of Owa, Obi of Issele-uku, Obi of Onicha Ugbo, Obi of Atuma and the Ogene of Ibedeni.
SIGNING: From right: Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu with Managing Director, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, NLNG, Mr. Babs Omotowa, during the signing of the $310 million Additional Programme Debt, of the Bonny Gas Transport Limited in London.
Bayelsa backs Navy in battle against pipeline vandalism, illegal bunkering
EN journalists and sev-en photojournalists have been shortlisted for the 2012 Nigerian Breweries Golden Pen Award. The winner of the award, which seeks to recognise and reward objective reportage of Nigerian Breweries stories and activities, would be known on April 5, when the fifth edition of the award holds in Lagos. The award jury is led by Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi.It includes Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, Mrs. Nkechi Ali Balogun and Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, Editor-in-Chief, Vanguard Newspapers.
Earlier, Prof. Edozien thanked Chief Obasanjo for the warm reception accorded the entourage. He told Obasanjo that the traditional rulers and elders of Delta North Senatorial District inaugurated the An-
The party, in a statement by its chairman, Mr. Godwin Erhahon, recalled that the state government paid compensation to those whose houses were demolished around the 5-junction area, noting that it was ungodly for the Federal Ministry of Works to claim the project. He said: “CPC is aware, like other good people of Edo State, that it is the Edo State Government under Governor Oshiomhole, that is paying compensation for
property destroyed in the process of constructing the ring road. What the fraudulent claim means is that PDP knows what is good for the people but it hates to do same because of its anti-people policy. “This is obvious from the fact that the Federal Government is bereft of ideas, remains deaf and blind to the need for more desirable ring road at the Federal Government's Murtala Muhammed Way in Benin City."
Warri federal constituency hails Reyenieju BY DANIEL GUMM
ARRI—CONSTITUENTS of Warri Federal Constituency, yesterday, expressed satisfaction with Mr. Daniel Renenieju for his quality representation in the House of Representatives as well as the hand of fellowship he extends to members of his constituency. Some members of the constituency, in a statement, said Renenieju had proved his worth as a good representative to his community, especially his use of dialogue to handle the amnesty for Itsekiri people. They said: “In particular, we wish to appreciate Reyenieju for ensuring the inclusion of Itsekiri youths in the amnesty programme after they were unjustly and inexplicably denied rehabilitation as former militants. He showed us that dialogue is always superior to violent agitation and when the slots were allocated to the Itsekiri to correct injustice, the way the slots were allocated shows transparency and love for equity.” The constituents commended him for writing the name of the Itsekiri in gold and identifying with the less privileged in the community.
38 — Vanguard ,
FRISDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
Lagos speaker tasks journalists on professional ethics BY EBUN SESSOU
From right: Mr. Wolfgand Kollermann, Julius Berger Finance Director; Mr. Jochen Stolle, Project Manager for NESTOIL Project; DR. Ernest Nnaemeka Azudialu, President/CEO, NESTOIL Plc and Engr. Wolfgang Goetsch, Julius Berger Nigeria; Mr. Jochen Stolle, Julius Berger Project Manager for Nestoil Project; Alh Zubari Bayi, Executive Director, Admin JBN, during the signing ceremony, in Abuja, of the N24billion Nestoil Headquarter, to be built by Julius Berger, in Lagos. Photo: Sunday Aghaeze
Corruption most challenging problem facing Nigeria — Salvation Army BY ETOP EKANEM
HE NATIONAL Leader of The Salvation Army in Nigeria, Commissioner Mfon Akpan, has described corruption as the most challenging problem facing the country today. In his Easter message signed by Mr. Ntiense William, National Public Relations Coordinator of the church, Akpan said: “Corruption is the most dangerous of the ills in our present society today which has eaten so deep into the fabrics of our society. “We need a concerted effort and determination from everyone of us starting with our leaders to be able to cleanse our country from this menace. “We in the Church are constantly praying for divine providence upon our leaders and followers alike. We all need to eschew corruption at all levels. Don’t give or take bribe. Churches should not just celebrate riches, but preach against ill-gotten wealth. “For us to really confront corruption all arms of government, individuals, corporate bodies, among others, must be involved. “The resurrection of Christ gives us hope of a better life here and now and future lives that will be even the best. Without the resurrection of Christ, there would have been no hope...no hope for any of us.”
OURNALISTS HAVE been charged to always consider ethics of the profession in the dissemination of information to the public as change agents in the society. The charge came during a three-day workshop organised by Lagos State House of Assembly in conjunction with Multi-Talent Heritage and Associates, for correspondents covering the House as well as information officers and assistants. Giving the charge, Speaker of the House, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said journalism was a profession guided by ethics which everyone taking on such profession should adhere to the ethics without fear or favour. Ikuforiji, who was represented by his deputy,
Anambra Govt spends N80bn on 700km road A
WKA—ANAMBRA State government said, yesterday, that it spent more than N80 billion on the construction of 700 kilometres of roads across the state in the last seven years. The Commissioner for Works, Mr. Callistus Ilozumba, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Awka that the feat was recorded under Gov. Peter Obi’s administration. Ilozumba said that the administration had undertaken the construction of more than 20 bridges within the period under review. He said that the bridges included the three along Atani-Ozubulu Road, which
cost about N4 billion. Ilozumba said that the total distance and cost of the road projects covered some ongoing projects which, he assured, would all be completed before the end of the current administration. “Gov. Peter Obi’s administration is responsible. It does not award contract for the sake of doing so without completing it. “For every road project we flag-off, the money has already been made available,” Ilozumba said. The commissioner said that the state government was currently negotiating for small mobile asphalt plants to assist
the Anambra Road Maintenance Agency, ARMA, maintain the roads effectively. “The government is also working round the clock to establish a laboratory where materials would be tested to ensure high quality of road projects,” Ilozumba said. According to him, the g o v e r n o r h a s demonstrated that prudent management of scarce resources could produce tangible achievements without borrowing. “In the past, there were a number of donor agencies in the state, who left for one reason or the other.
Kolawole Taiwo, stated that as much as journalists were ready to give out certain information to the public, especially as it concerned politicians, absolute professional ethics should be considered so as not to misguide the public. According to him, “the assessment of politicians by journalists should be carried out in such a way that would put them on their toes.
Gov. Elechi commiserates with NUJ exNational Deputy President
B A K A L I K I — GOVERNOR Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State, yesterday, commiserated with the family of ex-National National Deputy President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Chief Abia Onyike, over the death of his mother, Mrs. Janet Onyike The governor described late Mrs. Janet Onyike as a woman of substance who contributed her quota towards community development and women empowerment in her life time. In a letter of condolence to the family, Elechi explained that “Mrs. Janet Onyike was reputed as an activist for just causes, a devout Christian and a role model to the younger women around her.” He urged the family of Onyike, one-time Commissioner for Information and State Orientation in the state, to be consoled by the fact that the woman left behind many legacies of honour to her credit.
Ebonyi community cries out over alleged illegal exploitation of resources BY PETER OKUTU
BAKALIKI — OPI community, Amasiri, in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, yesterday, raised alarm over alleged illegal exploitation and use of its natural resources at Ohaechara village by a Lebanese Quarry Company, Conrock, since March this year. The community leaders, who are threatening to chase the workers of the company out of the disputed site, added that tension began to brew in the area, following disobedience of a High Court order by the Lebanese company which restrained it from carrying out quarry operation in the area.
In a chat with Vanguard, a community leader in the area, Chief Okoche Osim, stated that despite the order restraining the company from operating in the disputed area, pending the final decision of the court on the matter, the company still went ahead with its alleged activities. He threatened that unless the company obeyed the court order by stopping quarry activities in the area, the community was ready to ensure that justice and fairness prevailed “We cannot allow them to continue operations despite court order stopping them. The mineral resources is ours, we cannot allow foreigners to be exploiting us without concrete
agreement. The Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, presided over by Justice M.A. Onyetenu, had on February 28, 2013, ordered the
respondents, Conrock company and nine others, from carrying out quarry operations in the community, pending the hearing of the motion on notice.
Chicken Republic implements innovation strategy As part of a global market repositioning strategy, Chicken Republic has commenced the revamp of its restaurants. t has also introduced its variant of crispy chicken, named
Spicy Crunch, to offer extraordinary dining experience to its customers. According to the company’s Head of Marketing and PR, Mrs. Susan Rotimi, “Chicken Republic is committed to developing
best-in-class ambience that offers customers more than an eating experience. This is the way we are living our commitment to helping our customers get more out of life.” She added that Chicken Republic will continue to offer soulful, African spiced chicken delivered in a world-class modern environment. “We realise the importance of constantly raising quality and standards," he said
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AGM—Mr. Wale Oyeyemi (middle), Mr. Ola Azeez, Mrs. Ayoade Igbeyi, Mr. Kayode Ogungbuyi, President and other newly elected fellows during the AGM of Nigeria Institute of Training and Development, NITAD, in Lagos.
RECONCILIATION—Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Tony Anenih (2nd left); Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu (right); former Chairman of PDP, Chief Barnabas Gemade (left) and Niger State PDP Chairman, Abdulrahaman Enagi (2nd right), during reconciliation visit by members of the BoT in Minna, Niger State.
INAUGURATION—From left: Deputy Governor, Prince Segun Adesegun; Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; New Chairman, Council of Obas, Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Adetona during the inauguration of the new Chairman, Ogun State Council of Obas in Abeokuta.
LAUNCH—From left; Ms Omolabake Afuwape, Assistant Manager, Mr Kofi Abunu, Chief Operations Officers, Mrs Susan Rotimi, Head Marketing and Public Relations and Mr Oye Idowu, Operation Manager during the launch of spicy crunch by Chicken Republic in Lagos. Photo: Kehinde Gbadamosi.
SCIENCE FAIR—Principal of Avi-Cenna International School, G.R.A, Ikeja, Mr David Ogburn (middle) and students during a science fair organised for schools in Lagos.
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OPENING— From left: Ms. Kiran, Chief Excecutive and Ms. Jyoti, Restaurant Manager, during opening of Bazaar Restaurant at Mega Plaza, V.I, Lagos. Photo: Shola Oyelese.
VISIT—Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, Chief of Naval Staff at the Navy Logistic Command Headquarters in Oghara, Delta State during a visi. Photo: Akpokona Omafuaire.
BRIEFING—From left: Aida Diarra, Regional Vice President for North Central and West Africa; Peter Ojo, Chief Executive Officer, VTNetwork Limited and Tarik Alhassani, Senior Country Manager (ECOWAS) at a briefing on Western Union VTN Mobile Money Transfer Service at Protea Hotel Ikeja Lagos. Photo: Akeem Salau.
BOOK LAUNCH—From left: Engr. Tony Ogbuigwe, Executive Director, Petrochemical NNPC; Mrs Adesuwa Onyenekwe, Special Guest of Honour, Mrs Titi Horsfall, author of the book with her husband, Mr Onamari Horsfall and Mr Micheal Ikpoki, Chief Executive Officer MTN Ghana during a book presentation in Lagos. Photo: Akeem Salau.
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Nigerians urged to imbibe new values to stem corruption
Bauchi teachers suspend strike BY SUZAN EDEH
BY TAYE OBATERU
OS— DIRECTORGeneral of the Nigerian College of Accountancy, Jos, Dr. Joseph Adebisi has said a re-orientation of Nigerians and their values was the key to tackling the endemic problem of corruption in the country. He said during an interaction with journalists in Jos that various efforts to tackle the menace had not worked because of wrong values adopted by Nigerians right from a tender age. He said a complete reorientation was therefore necessary if the war against corruption must be won. He disclosed that the college which is the training arm of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, ANAN, has incorporated courses aimed at instilling integrity in her students, which they bring to bear on their professional practice. He said ANAN. Has constituted a committee to discipline members involved in fraud and other professional misdemeanors.
Late Adeoti Engr. Tunji Adeoti is dead, aged 71. The late engr. Adeoti who died, February 5, 2013 will be buried on Friday, April 5, 2013 at his 61A, Sokoto Road, Sabo-Oke Ilorin, Kwara State after funeral service at the Christ Anglican Church, (Citadel of Possibility), Omido Irepodun LGA in Kwara State. Etertainment of guests holds at the Community LGEA school, Omido, Kwara State. C M Y K
INSPECTION—Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed (2nd right) being conducted round the International Vocational Centre by the Managing Director , Duravic Engineering , Abbas Hamoud (right) during an inspection visit by the governor at Ajase-ipo, Wednesday.
Suswam signs N136bn Benue budget into law BY PETER DURU
AKURDI —GOV ERNOR Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, yesterday, signed the
state’s 2013 budget of N136 billion into law. This came a few days after the state House of Assembly unanimously passed the appropriation bill. Speaking shortly after signing the budget in Makurdi,
Suspended Bauchi lawmaker sues House for N30m BY INNOCENT ANABA
AUCHI—NINE months after her suspension, a member of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Mrs Rifkatu Danna has dragged the House before a Bauchi State High Court, seeking the restoration of her seat. She is also claiming N30 million as damages. The matter is before Justice Ibrahim Zango, while further hearing has been adjourned till April 12, 2013. Danna, the only female member of the 31-seat parliament, is asking the court to declare her indefinite suspension illegal and unconstitutional, claiming that it violates Sections 109-110 of the 1999 Constitution. The member representing Bogoro constituency is also urging the court to set aside her purported indefinite suspension as well as directing the Speaker and the House to pay her outstanding salaries, constituency and committee allow-
ances from the day of her suspension and restoring her official vehicle and security details forthwith. Danna, the only Christian member of the House, was placed on indefinite suspension on June 7, last year following the report of the House Committee on AntiCorruption, Ethics and Privileges which found her remarks during a parliamentary session “ repugnant, detest full and quit derogatory (sic).” During a debate on the proposed relocation of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area headquarters from Tafawa Balewa to Bununu, Danna, who is representing Bogoro constituency, was the lone voice, explaining that the headquarters of local governments listed in the 1999 Constitution could not be changed without constitutional amendment. Tafawa Balewa, which is recognised by the 1999 Constitution as the Local Government headquarters, is dominated by Christians, while Bununu is a predominantly Muslim community.
the state capital, Suswam commended the good working relationship between the three arms of government in the state. ”The good relationship we enjoy as arms of government is responsible for the milestone we have achieved as a government and we will continue to work within the provisions of the budget as we continue to strive to better the lot of our people. ”We all know that we have barely two years as an administration and within this period we are expected to work harder in our quest to leave lasting legacies for our people,” Suswam said. Earlier in his speech while presenting the bill for the governor ’s ascent, Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Mr. Emmanuel Ayua called for full implementation of the budget in order to realize its objectives. Suswam had earlier sworn in three newly appointed permanent secretaries, pledging to embark on a complete overhaul of the state’s civil service. Lamenting what he described as the drift in the Benue State civil service, Suswam said that he had mandated the newly appointed Head of Service to commence the processes of the complete transformation of the civil service. Suswam however, cautioned civil servants against lobbying for postings and positions warning that “anyone caught lobbying for postings should consider his job terminated.”
AUCHI—THE Aca demic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, ASUSS, in Bauchi State, yesterday suspended its indefinite strike action following the suspension of payment of their allowances by the state government. This was contained in a communiqué jointly signed by Abdul Hassan on behalf of the State Head of Service and Chief of Staff to the Governor and the State Chairman of ASSUS Comrade Abdullahi Ningi in Bauchi at the end of a meeting between the union officials and representatives of the state government yesterday. The communiqué stated that all issues raised under the ASSUS demands would be fully examined by the office of the state head of service.
Katsina procures N7.9m drugs for control of measles
ATSINA— KATSINA State Government has procured drugs worth N7.9 million for the control and management of measles, Alhaji Hussaini Garba, the Commissioner for Health, has said. Garba said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, yesterday in Katsina. He said that the drugs had been delivered to the 34 primary healthcare coordinators for distribution to all comprehensive health centres in the state. “The drugs are to be given to patients infected with measles free of charge,” he said, and expressed delight that the outbreak of the disease was being controlled in the state. The commissioner said the government had at the beginning of the year also supplied drugs for the control of other diseases to the 34 local government areas of the state.
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MARCH 29, 2013
Tuberculosis:‘New herbal therapy, Consio will tackle drug resistance’ BY CHIOMA OBINNA LOBALLY, estimated 14 million people worldwide are infected with active Tuberculosis (TB), which is a disease of poverty affecting mainly young adults in their most productive years. Latest data released by the World Health Organisation in November 2010 shows that the number of new cases continues to fall globally and in five of the six WHO regions. Worldwide, deaths from TB fell by 35 percent between 1990 and 2009. If current trends continue the world can meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target for incidence – that new cases should be falling by 2015 – and the Stop TB Partnership Target to halve TB mortality by 2015 in comparison with 1990. Although the incidence of new cases worldwide is falling too slowly at around one percent per year, Multidrugresistant TB, MDR-TB, is on the increase, in some part of the world including Nigeria. For many years, scientists and researchers across the world have been
trying to stop the spread of one of the world’s deadliest disease by working towards universal access to treatment for all patients. Although WHO have a treatment programme known as DOTS, which has actually reduced and cured many of the illness, yet access to treatment and strict adherence remain major challenges to stopping TB. In Nigeria today, most TB patients are battling with drug resistance. One of these concerned stakeholders, whose therapy may have given hope to sufferers in the country, is a Nigerian- based Evangelist, Dr. Joseph Solomon, also, Chief Executive Officer, Jusud-One-Integrated Global Limited. Solomon who claimed to have developed a therapy that could bring hope to thousands of tuberculosis patients in Nigeria disclosed that the new remedy, Consio would provide a lasting cure for tuberculosis as well as put to rest the issue of MDR-TB in the country. He claimed that he has cured many patients who had TB in varying degrees, using this herbal therapy. Although, the use of this medication has been limited to his family cycle, the reality to expand its use so as to help mankind dawned on him in 2007. “My Church was having a three–day medical outreach when some foreign doctors that came from America detected some people with TB. Unfortunately, they never came with TB drugs. My heart poured
•Managing Director, Mr. Thabo Mabe; Brand Building Director, Mr. David Okeme, both of Unilever Nigeria; Registrar/CEO, Dental Therapist Board, Mrs. Aramide Keshinro; and Category Manager, Oral Care, Unilever Nigeria, Miss.Vivian Ihaza, at the launch of Close Up Fire-freeze in Lagos recently. out for them. I was now forced to come back to the venue of the outreach the next day with six bottles of the herbal mixture and administered it on them. Few days later, they were all free from the terrible illness. “From that day on, people who heard about it began to persuade me into preparing more of the mixture, but I refused. As an Evangelist, I never wanted to get involved in anything traditional. But my decision to go back was informed by a phone call I got from a friend that his younger brother died of TB. I was devastated.”Although,this
supposed cure has not been endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Health, and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Dr. Solomon is calling on the Federal Government to come and verify his claims and support in the production of the therapy, which has cured the dreaded disease in many patients. According to him, the therapy, which he said, was made from natural herb was handed over to him by his maternal grandmother, it has now improved upon over the years and would and definitely bring a lasting
Unilever launches closeup fire-freeze
O ensure better oral health for Nigerians, Unilever Nigeria Plc has launched into the Nigerians market CloseUp Fire-freeze. The new product, CloseUp Fire- Freeze is formulated to reduce bad breath. At a media presentation of the product, Managing Director, Unilever Nigeria, Thabo Mabe, said “We live in a world where tooth decay affects around 90 per cent of people worldwide, while up to 20 per cent of the world’s adult population suffer severe gum disease.” “We are proud that through innovations like Close Up Fire Freeze, we can play a part in promoting oral health in Nigeria and globally. CloseUp Fire freeze truly embodies the timeless qualities that have made CloseUp the number one toothpaste brand in Nigeria. This includes ingredients that offer consumers long lasting freshness and protection from germs,” Mabe stated. On his part, the National President of the Nigerian Dental Association, NDA, Dr. Olurotimi Olojede, noted that many people who have mouth odour don’t know they have it, “we want people to know that Close Up Fire-freeze will take good care of your mouth while also leaving it with long lasting freshness.” Brand Building Director, David Okeme,
asserted that with the new Closeup Fire-Freeze formulation, consumers can experience both warming and cooling sensations, working together in the mouth to give longest lasting freshness like never before. “The warm red gel helps fight odour causing germs to reduce bad breath while the cool blue gel cools the mouth for Closeup’s new longest lasting freshness
variant.“Together, both gels guarantee strong, white and healthy teeth and that is why Closeup Fire-Freeze is suitable for the entire family” “Closeup fire freeze formulation and sensational delivery is a result of a breakthrough
technology developed by the Research and Development team at Unilever globally, patented and exclusive to Unilever alone,”Category Manager, Vivian Ihaza, stated that Close Up is the only brand in Nigeria endorsed by NDA.
Friends Africa develop fact sheet on TB
N recognition of the danger pose by Tuberculosis, TB, and the need for information about the airborne disease, Friends Africa has developed a fact sheet aimed at sensitising and informing the general public on the dangers and myths surrounding tuberculosis. A statement signed by the Founder, Dr Akudo Ikemba noted that the fact sheet became necessary following the need for people to know that the disease is preventable and curable and the fact that it kills 4000 people every day. Ikemba in the statement noted that as the World celebrates World TB Day 2013, there is need for authorities in affected countries to
significantly increase their efforts to stop the deadly disease from breeding inside prisons. “As a result of overcrowding and poor nutrition, TB rates in many prisons are 10 to 40 times higher than in the general public.” She notes that the Friends Africa TB Fact Sheet contains overview of TB and what people should know about the disease, the prevention, causes and the need to adhere to treatment
programmes. “If the TB disease is in your lungs, you may: cough a lot, cough up mucus or phlegm, cough up blood, or have chest pain when you cough. Friends Africa is a Pan African NGO which mobilises African Governments, civil societies, the private sector and individuals in its advocacy campaigns in the fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and ,Malaria on the African continent.
solution to the issue of Multi- Drug Resistant TB in Nigeria. “Consio is of 100 percent natural and local ingredients, and brings relieve to sufferers within three days of administration. Just two bottles is enough for any patient no matter the degree of the disease. Each bottle will take about 13 to14 days,” On how the therapy works, he said, only two table spoons of Consio is taken morning and night for two weeks. Within three days, the therapy will locate the virus and the patient will be coughing out mucus. Subsequently, after the first day, he or she will have peace. “Once the patient starts applying the drug he/ she will sleep very well and will have peace because every part of the organ, nerves would have calmed down. He however, maintained that just like the DOTS treatment by the WHO, non adherence to treatment will also cause treatment failure. Patients must ensure that the treatment is taken strictly even after four days in order to clear whatsoever that hangs on inside the organ like the kidney, the lungs,etc. Solomon said he had written to the Lagos State Commissioner for Health about the drug. “My motive is not to make profit or to be praised by anyone. I am ready to submit the drug for further scientific investigation. I want to give hope to these dying Nigerians. All I want is for government to recognise that we can do it in Nigeria,” he said.
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days ago announced that the commission has rejected the application by the African Peoples Congress for registration as a political party for allegedly failing short of the constitutional provisions. INEC’s Director, Public Affairs, Emmanuel Umenger said, “The Commission has written to this political association and had stated in very clear terms that they are in breach of section 222 (a) of the constitution with the additional explanations stated in the letter. The Commission also observed that the submission made on form PA 1 does not contain the addresses of the national officers of the political association as stipulated and it means this association has the responsibility to prove, because these are the things the commission has observed and the law says if you do not meet any of these requirements you will not be registered as a political party.
APC: The battle before battle The merger plans by the nation’s leading political parties is again on course after some pulsating shadow boxing over the custody of the acronym, APC
HE game of intrigues over the shape of the political opposition in the country may now have taken a breather. The battle started about seven weeks ago, precisely on February 6, 2013, after three of the nation’s opposition political parties, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and a faction of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA announced during a press conference that they had agreed to merge into a new party to be known as the All Progressives Congress, APC. A few weeks later another group, known as the African Peoples Congress, with the same acronym of APC emerged and applied to the INEC to be registered as a political party and in quick succession, a third group with the name All Patriotic Citizens also emerged to seek registration with INEC as a political party. The third group, however, seems to lack the political strength to fight for registration as nothing after the said application has been heard of them. The emergence of African Peoples Congress triggered confusion and uproar within the political space with allegations and counter-allegations between the merger parties and the
African Peoples Congress led by Chief Onyinye Ikeagwuonu and relatively unknown politicians. The thrust of the allegations from the merger parties was that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was behind the Ikeagwuonu-led APC. While the promoters of the two APC’s continued to flex their political muscles and prowess to outwit the other by holding series of media briefings and consultations, INEC remained mute over the confusion as it was also apparently consumed by the confusion.
Intellectual property Leaders of political parties driving the All Progressives Congress, who were visibly confused and to an extent frustrated, talked tough, boasting that neither the PDP nor INEC, could stop them from using the acronym ‘APC’. They also accused some INEC officials of working in concert with the ruling PDP to scuttle the merger. Chairman of the All Progressives Congress merger committee, Chief Tom Ikimi, insisted that despite the fact that the African People’s Congress approached INEC before All Progressives Congress, the merger parties owned the intellectual property of the acronym, APC, since INEC is in
the know that the political parties are already engaged in merger talks. The merger group also accused the African Peoples Congress of submitting to INEC forged documents with some sort of inconsistencies on them. But in their reaction, African Peoples Congress denied asking “Nigerians to discountenance the theatrics of the merger group who insists that democracy in Nigeria must be on their own terms.” However, an impeccable source in INEC told Vanguard that the commission was confused over the development especially the allegation of collaboration with the PDP and presidency to scuttle the merger plan. The source that spoke on the condition of anonymity said that the commission had remained neutral over the issue despite the allegation, adding that the whole matter required carefulness. He said, “The way I see that thing (the APC controversy), we have to be very careful. On February 6, 2013, the merger political parties addressed a press conference to the world over their proposal to merge with the name All Progressives Congress that has APC as its acronym, but there was no formal communication to INEC on the issue. “But another group of people which I will describe as mischief makers, suddenly ran to INEC to apply for the registration of a party with APC as the
acronym.” He said the commission relates with the public by application and that it was not correct for INEC to use informal knowledge to deny a people that had come first
BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
But in his reaction, legal adviser of African Peoples Congress, Kingsley Nnadi claimed that the party met all the constitutional requirements and threatened that they will not allow some democratic elements to derail the democracy in the country and ready to challenge INEC up to the Supreme Court to ensure that the right thing is done. ACN’s national publicity secretary in his reaction told Vanguard that the party was, however, not pleased with the
While the promoters of the two APC’s continued to flex their political muscles and prowess to outwit the other by holding series of media briefings and consultations, INEC remained mute over the confusion
to register. “When equity is equal, the first in time prevails,” he said, explaining that it did appear that the ‘mischievous group’ has beaten the other APC to that. The way it is going now, it will end up in court,” he said. According to him, despite the announcement of the proposed merger name by the opposition party, “The activity that was going on was not specifically addressed to INEC, rather to the world, so you can’t say that INEC has formal information. Before then, there was no application to INEC. “If they had written an application on the 6th of February to inform INEC, it will be a different matter. INEC is not in any way responsible for the APC controversy,” he stated. But surprisingly, INEC few
reason given for the rejection as he insisted that the denial should have been founded on the “constructive knowledge” the commission had on the February 6, 2013 announcement of the emergence of the All Progressive Congress. Ikeagwuonu and the association’s Legal Adviser, Mr. Kingsley Nnadi had told Vanguard before INEC turned down their request for registration that, the association had fulfilled every process for registration and was set for the Anambra Governorship election. But whether INEC will succumb to intimidation and sacrifice any group to appease the other or follow strictly the constitutional provisions is not certain now, but at any rate the political clime is busy.
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ANY followers of Nigeria‘s politi cal development are worried about the year 2015. The prophets of doom have serious doubts about the future of Nigeria as one country before or after the 2015 elections. Many think that the year 2014 (when Nigeria will be 100 years old as a nation) would certainly foretell what the events would look like in 2015. Those who are planning for the centenary celebration are yet to be unanimous on what the celebration would represent- success or failure. In a situation where the security situation is shaky and the poverty condition worsening in spite of the seeming steady progress of the transformation agenda of the Federal Government, it looks as if there should be a re-assessment of the condition of the state of the nation. It is not only the pessimists who fear the state of anarchy, also, the incurable optimists fear the steady march into the deep valley of a “failed state”. The `pull` from the gorge of anarchy and uncertainties has now become a lively debate among many lovers of Nigeria, foreigners included. It is not that the present Federal Government is not trying, but its best seems not good enough to withstand the overwhelming forces of modern governance in a plural society and rural economy. The present struggle of smaller parties to merge into a strong opposition is one of the democratic ways of providing an alternative government to the present one. This does not stop the agitation of the enlightened minds to engage in a constitutional dialogue to find ways on how Nigerians would work together peacefully in a prosperous country. Many supporters of democracy place higher hope in the possibility of a better government in 2015. In short, some in their wildest imagination, hope that the yet-to-be registered All Progressives Congress (APC) would produce better programmes to run an effective and progressive Federal administration. But how possible it is to have an alternative government without defeating the present one? The answer is quizzical. If the political question is put directly, can the present Federal Government be
STATE OF THE NATION:
Is PDP beatable In 2015? defeated in the 2015 elections by the combined strength of the opposition parties? I guess the answer would harp on the possibility of the defeat of any ruling party that fails to work in the interest of the people in a fair and clean election. But the problem is, can there be a free and fair election in an atmosphere of corruption and nepotism? And where money seems to be the arbiter in any dispute: Nigerian politics is money and money facilitates politics and politicians are rich because of politics. Thus, a perfect atmosphere for political contests is yet to exist in the country. However, the present position of the PDP as the ruling party in the Federal Government; and its 23 Governors (out of 36) in the country looks unsalable. Judging by the circumstances of 2011, the position of President Jonathan (if he wants to contest in 2015) seems too strong for any opposition. Looking at 2011 Presidential election result, President Jonathan scored 22.5 million votes against all others with 15.7 million votes including the merging parties of CPC, ACN, and ANPP of about 15.2 million votes. Apart from heavy votes of PDP in the South South zone, there was concentrated PDP support of over 5 million votes in the South Eastern zone. While the opposition votes were heavy in the North West and North-
East zones, the results showed considerable show of strength by the PDP in these areas. If the merger of the smaller parties becomes a reality; it means the opposition would expect to shine in the NorthWest, North-East and South-West zones of the country leaving the PDP to garner support from the South South, South-East, and the North Central zones in any possible election. The difference is that the opposition parties are very weak in the areas where the PDP is very strong, but the PDP has a strong base in areas where the opposition is very strong. It looks as if by relying on 2011 results, (which are not free from rigging), the PDP looks like the party to beat any day, year 2015 inclusive. I must agree that the above analysis relying on 2011 election results looks simple but unrealistic. A cogent argument states that voters for President Jonathan in 2011 were not only PDP supporters but included thousands of those who envisaged a new change from the older military regimes and political hegemonies of Hausa/Fulani and the Yoruba. Also, the high (turn-out above the normal 4050%) in some specific areas suggested foul play and manipulations. The prediction of easy victory of PDP in 2015 ignores the persistent crisis within the PDP and the growth of the opposition
Chinua Achebe By EDDIE MBADIWE
This is the concluding part of this tribute which was first published yesterday
E wished us well and accepted to be chairman. That was vantage Chinua. It will be inappropriate and in a way cowardly to end this short tribute without saying a word or two about the controversy surrounding Achebe’s latest and last book ‘THERE WAS A COUNTRY’. In the lives of all great men, there is always the hand of fate and so it is with Chinua. The writing and publication of ‘There was a Country ’ are not mere coincidences!!! The reason people engage in pains-taking research (not examinations) in reputable universities is first and foremost to seek out the truth and in the process make a contribution (no matter how
small) to the vast body of knowledge. The price for this endeavour could be a doctorate degree. One hopes Nigerian universities will guard this tradition jealously. In the true spirit of scholarship we must read ‘There was a country’ against this background. Facts are sacred and comments are free. Chinua Achebe in what he called ‘A Personal History of Biafra’ reported events as he saw them. The main bone of contention from Achebe’s critics is what he wrote about Chief ObafemiAwolowo.
Chinua achebe helicopter at St. Philips School, Arondizuogu and
The main bone of contention from Achebe’s critics is what he wrote about Chief ObafemiAwolowo
Chief ObafemiAwolow is very high in my list of heroes. As a secondary school student, I left school without an exeat to go watch Chief Obafemi Awolowo land in his
deliver a campaign speech. He had been warned not to make that trip but he ignored the warning. That was in the DPNC days of my late uncle Dr. K. O
parties and increase in political enlightenment of the present day Nigerians. Political enlightenment is represented in the careful examination of performance of any government in power and the ability of that government to carry the people along. The present political enlightenment takes into consideration the drive by the Ibo to have one of them as the President of the country. This calls for their expectation of the Yoruba to repay the Ibo for the political support given to Moshood Abiola (whose election as President was annulled) and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who took the two slots allotted by the PDP to the Southern part of the country. There is Ibo solid block of about 6 million votes which could not be neglected in any race to the Aso Rock. There is no doubt that in a situation where the Hausa/Fulani, the Yoruba have failed to produce the necessary tonic on Nigeria’s development and prosperity and the Ijaw man is in the midst of a turbulent sea, the campaign for the call for election of an Ibo President seems reasonable and desirable. Analysts who think that the place of one’s birth should not dictate the rise to political leadership belong to those Nigerians yet unborn. Many Nigerians feel, and justifiably so, that any governing party that fails to solve the Power problem (with electricity supply in constant epileptic state); where poverty is endemic; where economic growth is not reflected in rising employment; and where insurgency is rife, it is possible to think and work for a democratic change. This may be the main reason why the PDP as a party may find it difficult to succeed itself in 2015, especially with its internal crisis and the general stamp of inefficient and ineffective management of economic and human resources. However if the problems of governance is rooted in the deficient structure of the polity, there is no reason why the present leadership should not see the wisdom of forming a genuine national government and also initiate a Discourse on how Nigerian people could live in peace and prosperity with one another in a stable and prosperous polity.
Mbadiwe.Chief Awolowo’s courage was simply phenomenal and he surrounded himself with some of the best brains in the land - Chief F . R . A Williams, T o n y Enahoro, C h i e f Shonibare, S.G Ikoku, J.S Tarka, etc. Chief Awolowo’s commitment and defence of the Yoruba nation cannot be faulted. Every Yoruba man to an extent is a beneficiary of Chief Awolowo’s vision in education - UPE, healthcare, rural water and electrification. With hind sight, one wonders if Nigeria would not have been better off if the other regional leaders followed in his footsteps. It is possible we would have ended up with a strong working confederation called
Nigeria. However, the fact remains that Chief Awolowo either said or wrote that ‘Starvation is a legitimate instrument of war’. It is also on record that at the end of the war, every Easterner who had money in any bank received £20 irrespective of his deposit. We will be doing a great disservice to knowledge by wishing away these facts. I also agree with those who say that we have moved on from those positions but you cannot vilify Chinua for recording history as it unfolded. Chinua has translated to immortality but in the interest of knowledge and scholarship those spitting fire at Chinua should have another read of his book. They may be in a better position to sift facts of history from the deductions made by Chinua. To Christie his devoted wife of many years and her children, I offer my sincere condolences and pray that God will bless and welcome Chinua to his bosom. Adieu Chinua!
48—Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
South Africa, BBC, Ngugi wa Thiong’o honour Achebe
BY UDUMA KALU
HE death of Africa’s foremost novel ist, Prof. Chinua Achebe, continues to resonate around the world. As Vanguard, yesterday, received a tribute from one of Africa’s versatile writers, Kenya’s Ngugi wa Thiong’o, a message from the BBC and a newsletter that South Africa remembers Chinua Achebe. Ngugi, in his tribute, noted: “Achebe is synonymous with the Heinemann African Writers Series and African writing as a whole.... As the general editor of the Heinemann African Writers Series, he had a hand in the emergence of many other writers and their publication. As a person, he embodied wisdom that comes from a commitment to the middle way between extremes and, of course, courage in the face of personal tragedy! “Achebe bestrides generations and geographies. Every country in Africa claims him as their own. Some sayings in his novels are quoted frequently as proverbs that contain universal wisdom. His passing marks the beginning of the end of an epoch.” In South Africa, the late novelist was honoured in a ceremony, tagged memorial service in honour of Chinua Achebe. Achebe was honoured by the country’s SABC at Auckland Park, South Africa. The BBC, yesterday, had a special programme for Achebe, the fourth since Achebe died, while South Africa’s Nadine Gordimer, Kenya’s Binyavanga Wainaina
Beef- up security now, Imo Professionals task Okorocha
S the Easter season draws nearer, concerned Imo intellectuals under the aegis of Imo Professionals have called on their state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, to as a matter of urgency rise up to the security challenge of the state to guarantee the safety of lives and property during the celebration. Also the group while condemning the recent Kano luxury bus bombing, advised Ndigbo resident in the North to return home given the serious threat to their lives in the North. Dissatisfied with the spate of kidnappings and general insecurity in the South East, particularly in Imo State, Imo Professionals noted that there would be no progress and genuine development in the state without a secured environment. A statement by the group’s President, Mr Vitus Okwara advised Okorocha not to relax as most indigenes are apprehensive of coming home as a result of the state of insecurity. The statement read in part: "The level of security challenge in Imo State is worrisome and there is an urgent need by the state government to beaf up security this coming Easter season so as to assure those coming back for the celebration that there is no cause for alarm. With the trend of kidnapping in the state where the governor’s aide was even murdered there is urgent need to adopt more effective method. "We are no longer comfortable with the federal government kid glove approach to the killings of Ndigbo and it is time to say enough is enough. We call on Ndigbo resident in the North to return home for it is only the living that can enjoy wealth."
and two Nigerians, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Chibundu Onuzo were the guest speakers. Describing Achebe as one of the 20th Century’s most important and best-loved authors, the BBC said Achebe’s death had saddened readers around the world, adding that although he apparently didn’t like the phrase, Achebe was often described as “the father of modern African literature” and certainly his first novel, Things Fall Apart, published when he was still in his twenties, launched a whole new literary generation, not least because it was a story of Africa told by an African. “That book confronted the psychological and cultural damage caused by colonisation. But, over the years, Achebe also addressed the corruption of post-independent Nigerian politics, and the nightmare of military dictatorship.”
NSE extends deadline for financial statements’ submission
By NKIRUKA NNOROM
HE Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, yesterday, said it has extended the deadline for quoted companies to submit their financial statement by 30 days in view of challenges experienced by companies in meeting the regulatory periodic filing obligation. It also said that it will no longer impose sanctions in terms of financial penalties on any company that fails to submit its financial statement timely. This is apparently in response to concerns raised by over 160 representatives of different quoted companies that attended the launch of NSE’ X-Issuer’s Portal on Tuesday. The operators had complained among other things that their primary regulators were responsible for the late submission of their financial statements, while demanding for waving of sanctions for defaulting companies. In a statement signed by Dante Martins, Head, Corporate Communications, NSE, the Exchange said that the extension was coming as an intervention to ensure that listed companies present their financials accurately. The statement added that the extension will cover results due for submission for fiscal 2012 Audited Accounts and 2013 Interim Accounts. It said: “The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has confirmed on Thursday March 28, 2013, that it will exercise discretion by granting all listed entities an extended filing date from the due date of the required financial periodic submissions. "The new announcement offers a fresh assurance to businesses and advisors affected by the early adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and levels of regulatory approvals which now includes Financial Reporting Council (FRC)." The General Manager, Legal and Regulation Division of The NSE, Ms. Tinu Awe, stated that “The Exchange is in consultation with FRC and other Primary Regulators. While we believe that the timely disclosure of financial information is critical to stakeholders in the capital market, as well as investors, the challenges which the entities are facing are germane.”
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 — 49
•Jacob Zuma, South Africa
BRICS summit begins with agreement to form $10bn devt bank F
INANCE Ministers of the BRICS nations, this week, reached a deal to establish a $10 billion development bank. The deal was reached at a meeting few hours to the commencement of the fifth meeting of the Heads of States of the five nation economic group in Durban South Africa. BRICS is an acronym for the powerful grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. “It’s done,” Pravin Gordhan, Indian Finance Minister said after meeting with his counterparts from Brazil, Russia, India and China. “We made very good progress, the leaders will announce the details,” he added, just hours before a summit in the South African port city of Durban. The first BRIC Summit took place in Yekateringburg, Russia, where the elected leaders of the four countries formally declared the membership of the BRIC economic bloc. South Africa joined the bloc in 2010, resulting in BRICS.
Creation of new development bank The main agenda for the summit was the creation of a new development bank. The idea for setting up such a bank was put forward by India, as a sign of firming the power of the group and increasing its influence in global decision-making. Discussions at the summit will focus on the capital, governance and membership of the development bank. These issues are expected to be resolved at least over next year. The aims of the bank would include: funding development and infrastructure projects in developing and least developed countries lending, in the long term, during global financial
crises such as the Eurozone crisis; and issuing convertible debt, which could be bought by the central banks of all the member states and hence act as a vessel for risk-sharing. Bank to rival World Bank, IMF: Together the BRICS account for 25 per cent of global GDP and 40 per cent of the world’s population. But members say institutions like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Security Council are not changing fast enough reflect their new-found clout. In the face of competing policy demands, BRICS negotiators had been under pressure to come up with an agreement that proves the grouping is relevant.
BY BABAJIDE KOMOLAFE
boon for BRICS leaders many who have tethered their reputations to a deal. Flaunting BRICS influence: Xi Jinping has underscored the growing importance of the group by making Durban his first summit as China’s president. In a keynote speech in Tanzania on Monday Xi vowed Beijing’s “sincere friendship” with the continent, and a relationship that respects Africa’s “dignity and independence.” Meanwhile host President Jacob Zuma has lauded the summit as a means of addressing his country’s chronic economic problems including high unemployment. “BRICS provides an opportunity for South Africa to promote its competitiveness”
The idea for setting up such a bank was put forward by India, as a sign of firming the power of the group and increasing its influence in global decision-making
And to reach a deal that would send a strong message to the United States and Europe that the current balance of power is untenable. But an Indian diplomat involved in the talks said many of the details are likely to be left for another day, allowing leaders to announce a deal, however tentative. The bank is not likely to be up and running for years. Currency swap in the pipeline: Brazil’s central bank chief also said there was also good progress made on a deal to establish currency swap lines, which is likely to be worth in the region of $100bn. “We are working on it,” said Alexandre Tombini.The fund would be used to draw on in times of liquidity or other crises and to encourage trade. Securing both deals is a thumb in the eye to those who argue the Brics is little more than a talking shop for disgruntled nations. It is also a
Zuma said in a speech on the eve of the summit. “It is an opportunity to move further in our drive to promote economic growth and confront the challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment that afflicts our country.” BRICS nay-sayers not dissuaded: “Ironically it may be the cleavages within the BRICS grouping that more accurately hint at the future of the global order: tensions between China and Brazil on trade, India on security, and Russia on status highlight the difficulty Beijing will have in staking its claim to global leadership,” said Daniel Twining of the German Marshall Fund. Leaders will try to counter that view when the summit begins at 17:30 GMT, when more details of the Brics development bank are likely to be known. Diplomats say it could start with $10 billion
seed money from each country, but the exact role of the bank is up for debate. Indian officials have pressed for a BRICS-led South-South development bank, recycling budget surpluses into investment in developing countries. Many developing nations inside and outside Brics will hope that is a way of tapping China’s vast financial resources. Meanwhile China would no doubt like the bank to invest in trade-multiplying projects. The currency swaps would open the door for Brics countries to tap some of China’s massive $3.31 trillion foreign reserves, the
world’s largest. Brazil also signed a bilateral accord with China to promote trade in their national currencies. Brics leaders will also establish business and think tank councils and launch an investigation into how trade can be more balanced, with other Brics countries exporting more to China. With Syria’s two-year long civil war escalating through the suspected use of chemical weapons, BRICS leaders will also have to weigh a call from President Bashar alAssad to intervene. In a message to the summit leaders Assad asked “for intervention by the Brics to stop the violence in his country and encourage the opening of a dialogue, which he wishes to start,” said his senior adviser Bouthaina Shaaban after he delivered the message to South African President Jacob Zuma.
50— Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
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France, Chadian troops continue offensive in Mali F
RENCH and Chadian troops continue an operation against Islamist fighters in northern Mali which has seen the deaths of 63 Malian soldiers and 600 militants while civilians remain on high alert in the cities of Timbuktu and Gao, infiltrated by jihadists last week. Meanwhile, Hundreds of troops began human rights lessons Wednesday as part of their training for the Malian army, which is accused of abuses in its battle to flush Islamists out of its northern desert. A group of 300 soldiers were given a manual spelling out the obligation of the frontline trooper to “refrain from the use of his weapon against the civilian population” and “protect and save women and children from attacks”. “Respect for civilians, mostly women and children, should be the top priority for all combatants,” said To Tjoelker of the Dutch Embassy in Bamako, which is organising the training with the United Nations.
“Abuses have been committed in northern Mali by rebel groups and by the Malian military. We must move towards a situation of full respect for human rights on the ground.”
HE United Nations has given the Democratic Republic of the Congo four more days to begin prosecuting soldiers accused of raping scores of women in an eastern town or it will halt support to two battalions, the world body said yesterday. The United Nations said 126 women were raped in Minova in November after Congolese troops fled to the town as so-called M23 rebels briefly captured the nearby provincial capital of Goma. The U.N. special envoy to Congo, Roger Meece, informed Congolese authorities in a March 25 letter that they had seven days to take action. “The letter informed the Congolese Government of the termination of all MONUSCO support to the two battalions involved in the Minova rapes, should not appropriate action be
and threatening the capital Bamako. Islamist groups have largely been driven out of the main cities in the north and are waging a guerrilla war against French, Malian and
other troops seeking to help the government assert its control over the entire territory.
Uhuru Kenyatta apologises to judge for poll gaff
Militant Islamists took control of northern Mali last year
Mandela responds positively to lungs treatment
ORMER South African President Nelson Mandela is “responding positively” to treatment for a recurring lung infection after being admitted to hospital overnight, the government said
UN gives Congo DR trial date for rapists
French forces launched a surprise intervention on January 11 to help the Malian army stop Al Qaeda-linked fighters who had controlled the north since April 2012 from moving southward
taken immediately, within 7 days,” a spokesman for the U.N. department of peacekeeping said.
yesterday. “He remains under treatment and observation in hospital,” it added in a statement, without giving further details about the health of the 94-year-old antiapartheid leader. Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president in 1994, has been mostly absent from the political scene for the past decade, but remains an enduring and beloved symbol of the struggle against racism.
•Nelson Mandela He is renowned at home and abroad for spending 27 years in prison fighting the last bastion of white rule in Africa and then promoting the cause of racial reconciliation.
Al-Qaeda affiliates in North Africa goes on Twitter Maghreb, or AQIM, had 16 and the next day
HE media arm of AlQaeda’s offshoot in North Africa launched its Twitter account on yesterday by offering “glad tidings” to its supporters, US monitors SITE Intelligence Group reported. “We send glad tidings to our Muslim Ummah in general and its sons from among the supporters of the mujahedeen in particular,” SITE quoted the Al-Andalus Media Foundation as saying on the microblogging website. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic
originally opened its @Andalus_Media Twitter account on March
posted two messages that were later deleted, according to SITE.
Salafist boss threatens to topple Tunisia’s Islamist govt
UPPORTERS of fugitive Salafist leader Abu Iyadh, wanted over a deadly attack on the US embassy last September, threatened yesterday to topple Tunisia’s government led by moderate Islamist party Ennahda. “To the leaders of Ennahda, if he remains
restrain your sick one, otherwise he will be the target of our war to bring him down,” said a post on the Facebook page of jihadist group Ansar alSharia, referring to Ennahda Prime Minister Ali Larayedh. It called on the party “to catch up... or else you will not hear our response, you will see it
ENYA’s presidentelect, whose victory is being challenged in the Supreme Court, apologised yesterday for comments in which he seemed to dismiss the judges as “some six people” who will “decide something or other”. Uhuru Kenyatta, who also faces trial at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity over postelection violence five years ago, made the remarks which went viral on social media - while consulting with allies at a resort. The gaffe emerged after Kenya’s chief justice last week told politicians to stop speaking publicly about the petition against the March 4 election result, to try to ease any tensions over a case seen as a major test of the country ’s democratic system.
US flies B52 bomber over S/ Korean airspace
HE United States flew two Stealth bomber practice runs over South Korea yesterday, in a second show of force to North Korea after a B52 bomber made a similar run earlier this week amid rising tensions on the Korean peninsula. The flights came after North Korea said it would attack American bases in the Pacific following a U.S.-led drive to impose sanctions on North Korea for its third nuclear weapons test. The North has also threatened U.S. “puppet” South Korea with war and the U.S. mainland with nuclear attack. “This mission by two B2 Spirit bombers assigned to 509th Bomb Wing...demonstrates the United States’ ability to conduct long-range, precision strikes quickly and at will,” the United States Forces in Korea said in a statement.
52—Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
Re: Call for amnesty for Boko Haram Dear Sir, Nigeria is a complex entity and sometimes I just pity our leaders helplessness in a system where people who are in position and are expected to be very objective in state matters do otherwise. I am referring to the call by the highlyrespectedSultanofSokoto, that Boko Haram should be granted amnesty. Without mincing words, I have great respect for the Sultan because
from the little I have known and followed about him, he is a detribalised Nigerian. But on this issue of giving amnesty to Boko Haram, I wish to say, he goofed. On the other hand, my thinking tells me, going by his precedence that he may have been under pressure from some unknown forces or is this call a cry of helplessness? If the issue of Boko haram is politicised, then the end will not be close. You can only
Leave politics out of ministerial appointments
PHCN and FG accord with succession coys PRESIDENT Jonathan should please speed up the privatization process of Power Holding Company of Nigeria PHCN, to succession companies. Nigerians are tired of living in darkness. Felix 07057464301 5 years single tenure The word democracy according to Fela Ransome Kuti means “ Demonstration of Craze”. Nigerians will agree with me that truly our political environment is becoming crazy and the spirit of corruption has eaten deeply into the lives of our leaders and they are trying to inflict the coming generation with such negative characters. Many greedy leaders have forgotten that only God can rule forever. A single tenure of five years is good so that the craze for first, second and third tenure will be over. The National Assembly should please do something about tenure elongation. Steadfast Foundation
It is true that The President is sponsored by a Political Party but the moment the Election is over, the Winner becomes THE PRESIDENT of all Nigerians and not only limited to members of his Political Party. Award of Contracts is different from these appointments and we should not bring politics into everything that is Government so that Nigeria could gain from all citizens whether they belong to a party or not. Please, let us copy some of the good things from other countries and leave politics out of Government appointments. Nigeria shall survive! Chief Olayinka Ogunmekan President, Nigerian-Swedish Chamber of Commerce Lagos
08121945298 Odi judgment The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has displayed the age-long courage the judiciary is known for. The baton definitely will be handed over to the Court of Appeal
grant amnesty to a known offender. The questions now are who are the representatives or leaders of Boko Haram? What are their grievances? What are the objects of their rebellion? For me, we are shying away from the root of the crises staring glaringly on our faces. My worry is the daily emasculation of socioeconomic life of Northern Nigeria and by extension the whole nation by the actions of Boko Haram. These are trying times for our nation, but we must all stand for what is right regardless of whose ox is gored. I can still remember during the critical days of militancy in the Niger Delta, that the militant groups and their leaders were known. That was why elders from the region like Chief E.K. Clark went to the creek several times to negotiate with them. Can you negotiate with spirits. Let’s face the fact. Boko Haram is faceless and its members have not been able to state categorically what their grievances are except that western education is forbidden according to them. If that premise is anything to go by, then it will be
safe to conclude that Boko Haram is an ideology. Even at that, let the leaders come out and identify themselves. It is at this juncture
Dear Sir, I read a story in your widely read Newspaper in which the PDP National Vice Chairman, South-East Col Austin Akobundu (rtd), criticised the romance of the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha with the newly-formed All Progressives’ Congress, APC. The PDP chieftain did not just criticise the Governor for aligning with the APC, he also described him as a failure and a disappointment to the people of the state. According to Akobundu, Okorocha squandered the goodwill and support of the people by failing to deliver any tangible project nearly two years after he assumed office. He regretted that they (PDP) made a big mistake in entrusting the state to Okorocha. The PDP stalwart further challenged Okorocha to point out any project he had started and com-
pleted since assumption office in 2011 and accused him of being clueless, unfocussed and unprepared to tackle the challenges of the state. I felt so bad after reading the story because the PDP, a very unpopular party in Imo State, arrogated to itself, the power to chose who governs Imo State that boosts of the most literate number of Nigerians. My question is this, what yardstick did Akobundu and the PDP use to measure Okorocha’s performance? I sincerely believe, just like majority of Imo State indigenes, that Okorocha’s performance in two years has yielded more dividends to Imo State than the 12 years of Udenwa and Ohakim’s misrule put together. Akobundu and his likes should always endeavour to be objective in their criticisms. Chinonye Njoku Uzoagba Ikeduru
country. They have the highest number of people who have occupied that position in the history of Nigeria, still , they believe they must present the next president. This is injustice to other parts of the country that have not occupied such office before. They should learn to be considerate. They should also be patient with President Jonathan to have his full term and then allow other parts to take their turn before dreaming of occupying that position. Charles 080381196780
President Jonathan is actually being opposed by a majority of Nigerians and not just Northerners alone. He has to step up his performances before the next elections or face being disgraced at the polls, that is, if he is able to ward off the challenge of aspirants from the Northern region at the primaries. The problem, however, is that he may wangle his way back to office since our votes have never counted. Ngozi 08030987726
marginalisation of his people rather than gossiping about the young man and plotting evil deeds against him. God is watching!!! Moses Mala 08139602571
Dear Sir, I READ the report that the PDP is proposing that only card carrying members should be appointed as Ministers etc. As good as it sounds for loyalty, I think we should allow Mr President to use his discretion in the appointments . Nigeria belongs to all citizens irrespective of their political leanings. If we start with Ministerial positions now, it will soon come to the Head of The Police. Immigration, Customs, FRSC etc. Then, where shall we go from there? All appointments should not be a reward for partisanship but should be based on merit. It should be devoured of politics, religion or tribe if we want this Country to move forward.
The North should realise that other Nigerians have a right to occupy the topmost political position in the country; they have the highest number of people who have occupied that position in the history of Nigeria, still , they believe they must present the next president and subsequently to the Supreme Court. We expect to see the courage endure all through the process. Anonymous 08036662923
Nor therners battle Jonathan over 2015
The North should realise that other Nigerians have a right to occupy the topmost political position in the
that I call on the elders from the North to stand up to the situation, after all what are elders for. GrantingamnestytoBokoHaram is like running around the issue. We must rise up collectively to fight against this crippling phenomenon. If we must see the end of this ugly trend, the North has a major role to play. May God keep and strengthen our nation. Alexander Ighoro Warri, Delta State
Division in PDP
President Jonathan and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo should have a common interest if they are really serious about solving the problem in the People Democracy Party. Two persons can not work together unless they agree.
Jonathan, the North and 2015
PDP and Okorocha’s performance
Good leadership and Government Tompolo
It is unfortunate that 90 percent of Gbaramatans are still ignorant about true leadership. Otherwise, they would have been giving praises to Government Tompolo, a young man who has struggled so hard for the recognition of Niger Delta and the
I am ashamed to hear that the French Government has sent helicopters into Nigeria to rescue their nationals from their kidnappers as alleged. If that is truth, then, it shows how incompetent our government is. We are only concerned with embezzling public funds. The federal government should prosecute those that involved in stealing of public funds and return every kobo so Nigeria can avoid to buy more helicopters to capture all those perpetrators of evil in our country. Steadfast Foundation 08121945298
SAYINGS OF OUR ELDERS 1.You have to know when to stop and let go of somethings for they say "A stubborn fly follows the corpse to the grave". Simon Adewale (08056180103), Lagos State . Send us your Sayings of Our Elders. They must be African sayings or proverbs. Biblical or English proverbs are unacceptable. You will be paid N100.00 for every saying published. Address your sayings to: The Media Ltd., PMB 1007, Apapa,
Vanguard, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013 — 53
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AFN drops over-age sprint sensation BY BEN EFE
THLETICS Federation of Nigeria yesterday dropped junior sprinter, Ese Brume from the Nigerian team to the African Youth Athletics Championships that began yesterday. Brume dominated the girl’s sprints and long jump at the D.K Olukoya championships where the team was selected. But it emerged that she was over 17 years of age and she was subsequently asked to go home by Team Nigeria camp commandant Jide Josiah who is also vice president of the federation. “Last year I personally screened her out of the Under-18 championships, because she was overage. “We have to drop her. Even as some of the coaches, felt like she should have been allowed to compete, because she is likely to win medals for Nigeria. “But winning at all cost is not our objective. We want to see only junior athletes who are under the stipulated age category,” said Dr. Josiah. He stated that Nigeria was capable of winning the championships without using over aged athletes. Investigations revealed that it was not only Brume that is over the hill in the Nigerian camp. There are about two other athletes, one of them participated in the National Sports Festival. However, Josiah insisted that all the remaining athletes were within the age group. “We are presenting a team that is mainly under 16 and 17 athletes. None of them will be disqualified. We are not working to win by default.”
Obuh Continues from B/P He said the Eagles must have learnt a bitter lesson from their last match against Egypt. ‘’We beat Egypt before and they came back for a revenge mission which they achieved. This is our chance against Mali and they can’t escape it.” C M Y K
Gov. Uduaghan (r) and Sports Minister, Abdullahi at the championship in Warri.
AYAC: Egypt grab gold Cross-section of fans at AYAC 2013. Photos by Henry Unini
South Africa’s absence weakens sprints competition BY BEN EFE
OUTH Africa registered 30 athletes for the African youth athletics championships, but as at yesterday, they were yet to arrive in Warri. It was gathered that changes in the administration of the South Africa Athletics federation frustrated their plans to be in Nigeria. However, Athletics Federation of Nigeria officials said they are still expecting the South Africans. “That is the only country that I expected to give Nigeria stiff competition at the championships. Their absence will weaken
competition most especially in the sprints and field events. “In the middle and long distances it will be Kenya and Ehtiopia, but in the sprinters we do not see any other country other than South Africa giving us a challenge,” said a member of the AFN. Also former national long jump champion Tunde Suleiman said that Nigeria will dominate the jumps based on the preparations his athletes put in camp. “We have two girls that I am banking on to give us medals. They are Kazie Ugeh in the triple jump and Uyoyo Mercy Abire in the long jump. “We have really worked
NFF writes FIFA, CAF on tricky June duels
HE Nigeria Football Federation on Thursday wrote to world football-governing body, FIFA and the African body, CAF over tricky 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying games and the FIFA Confederations Cup, all in the month of June. FIFA had last week adjusted Nigeria’s matches, meaning the Super Eagles would play Kenya in Nairobi on Wednesday, June 5 and take on Namibia in Windhoek on Wednesday, June 12, before flying to the FIFA Confederations Cup tournament in Brazil.
Nigeria became Africa’s flagbearer at the tournament following triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa last month. “We have fully appraised our priorities and wish that either of the following options be seriously considered: 1) That the matches in our African qualifying Group F (Kenya Vs Nigeria; Malawi Vs Namibia and; Namibia Vs Nigeria; Malawi Vs Kenya) be played on the SAME DATES of Wednesday, 5th June and Wednesday, 12th June, 2013 respectively.
hard in training and from what I am seeing, there could be a revival of the jumps in Nigeria.”
GYPT yesterday won the first gold medal of the maiden African Youth Athletics Championships, but Nigeria and Kenya immediately responded, indicating a long drawn battle for supremacy. All the winning times and distances were championships records. Amira Khaled
Mohammed, who threw 42.40m in the women discus event, won the first gold in a cool evening at the Warri Township Stadium. Her compatriot, Fatima Khaled Abdou was second best with 36.66m, while Benin Republic’s Cabine Koukou was third with the bronze at 21.32m.
AYAC Continues from B/P in celebration. The students were there to watch young athletes from the continent take to the tracks in a youth event that could make them world beaters. And when the opening ceremony started, 34 African countries were in the stadium. The crowd was unprecedented in track and field in Nigeria. Not even football attracts such crowd. The facilities were first class and the brief show entertaining. A cultural show had gone on after Africa’s Queen of the tracks Mary Onyali Omagbemi sang the National Anthem. A historic relay followed. 86-year-old Awoturo Eleaya started and the baton went to Tony Urhobo, Victor Omagbemi, Ogho Egwero and the daughter of Onyali, Tia Alero who together with Elaeya handed the baton to Uduaghan. It was a symbol of some transition from the past generation of great athletes of Delta origin to the present and the future as represented by Tia who is already running in the United
States. They handed over to Uduaghan to keep up his good work in sports development. Uduaghan said he was keeping the baton not only as a souvenir but a reminder of the race he must continue to run for sports in Nigeria. ’’It’s only in the World Championships and Olympics that I have seen such an atmosphere and facilities,’’ Duro Ikhazuaegbe, Sports Editor of Thisday said, adding ‘’Delta has raised the bar tremendously.’’ Dare Esan, a known Track and Field reporter showered encomiums on the facilities and said ‘’this is good, this is beautiful for Africa.’’ ’’We can’t believe this is a youth competition. The facilities, the atmosphere and the organisation. This is good for our sport,’’ Haman Said from Djibouti said. He is an official. Their coach Para Navello repeatedly said ‘’great, great, great,’’ blowing a kiss to fully express himself. Head of Confederation Africa Athletics Marketing Department Aminata Gueye shook her head several times and said ‘’this is amazing, it’s
crazy. We don’t get this in senior championships.’’ Moses Bantsi from Botswana who represented President of CAA Ahmed Kalkaba appeared emotional in his speech: ‘’Africa is at home in Delta State. The championships will create an venue for kids in Africa to compete with their mates at the world level. We thank the Governor of the state as well as the people of Warri for creating the atmosphere to stage a competition of this magnitude. We are at home here and it’s been a great feeling. Nigeria is our country, Delta State is our state and Warri is our city.’’ Sports minister Bolaji Abdullahi commended the state for the facility they put up and said that the competition would afford young talents in Africa to show their skills and develop from there. Dr. Uduaghan welcomed all to Warri, wished them a wonderful stay and declared the championship open amidst cheers. Before then, popular artist Inyanya had thrilled the crowd.
VANGUARD, FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013
Edafe strikes first gold for Team Nigeria BY BEN EFE
HILE the women 3000m ran its full course, Nigeria’s Oreva-Oghene Edafe was doing justice to the men’s long jump, he leapt 6.91m to clinch the gold and he was
confident that in the next couple of months, he will make improvements and earn a place among the class of the 8.00m jumpers. Ethiopia’s Abebe Mesfin Mekonen was second with a jump of 6.85m. Nigeria’s David Oke also made
6.85 in the fourth attempt to keep the bronze. “I am delighted winning the first gold for Nigeria. I can only wish that I will improve to world standards in a short period,” said Edafe. The event continues today with the 100m heats and semi-finals.
We’ll compensate Nigerians with a bronze, says Obuh BY JACOB AJOM, Algeria
Ejummeta David wins first gold for Nigeria. Photo: Henry Unini
Amira Mohamed of Egypt
Chepwogen Mercy of Kenya (left) and Jepkemei also of Kenya after clenching Gold and Silver medals in the 3000m event. Photo: Henry Unini
LYING Eagles chief coach, John Obuh has sworn that his team cannot afford to lose two matches in quick succession, particularly, as the Flying Eagles will be battling for the bronze medal today with Mali, the team that first handed them a 1-0 defeat in Group B ‘s opening match. Asked if the match was a must win, considering the low morale in camp, Obuh cuts in,”yes it is a must win match. It is a match we want to use to wipe the tears in the
Warri dazzles Africa as AYAC 2013 begins BY ONOCHIE ANIBEZE
HE stadium was full, the ambiance superb and Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan walked with
his shoulders soaring above his height. Thousands of fans, many of them school children cheered ceaselessly as he stepped
into the Warri township stadium for the opening ceremony of Africa Youth Athletics Championship otherwise known as AYAC Warri, 2013.
five’ with some of them who were cheering and thrusting their hands. Each time he did so, they went wild Continues on Page 55
Continues on Page 55
He went round the stadium and the students cheered him on with so much passion that he occasionally reached out for a ‘high
eyes of Nigerians. As for my players, it is an opportunity for them to redeem themselves against Mali and reassert themselve as a force to be reckoned with in the continent. They cannot afford to lose to Mali twice.” Obuh said he would charge his players to go all out for revenge against their West African neighbours. ‘’The Malians came with determination to avenge what the disgrace the Super Eagles handed their national team in South Africa. That informed the kind of determination that saw them dent our image. I want to see my boys go into today’s match with that kind of determination and pay them back in their own coins,” Obuh said.
YESTER DAY'S YESTERDAY'S
ACROSS 3 Chasm (5) 9 Fester (6) 10 Active (6) 11 Bowl (5) 12 Grit (4) 15 Shape (4) 17 Orator (7) 20 Route (3) 21 Kingdom (5) 23 Spool (4) 25 Light (4) 26 Object (5) 28 Welcome (3) 30 Glowing (7) 33 Curve (4) 35 Dumb (4) 36 Larceny (5) 38 Paradise (6) 39 Mourn (6) 40 Crawl (5)
DOWN 1 Stupid (5) 2 Silly (5) 3 Vestment (3) 4 Glass (6) 5 Slender (4) 6 Transgression (3) 7 Under (5) 8 Dwarf (5) 13 Authorise (7) 14 Stunned (5) 16 Rearing (7) 18 Reappear (5) 19 Sick (3) 22 Principle (5) 24 Guided (3) 27 Lottery (6) 28 Concerning (5) 29 Messenger (5) 31 Drill (5) 32 Cogs (5) 34 Singe (4) 36 Spasm (3) 37 Faucet (3)
YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS ACROSS: 3, Abyss 9, Rankle 10, Lively 11, Basin 12, Sand 15, Form 17, Speaker 20, Way 21, Realm 23, Reel 25, Lamp 26, Demur 28, Ave 30, Radiant 33, Bend 35, Mute 36, Theft 38, Utopia 39, Lament 40, Creep.
How to Play Sudoku
DOWN: 1, Crass 2, Inane 3, Alb 4, Beaker 5, Slim 6, Sin 7, Below 8, Pygmy 13, Approve 14, Dazed 16, Rampant 18, Recur 19, Ill 22, Maxim 24, Led 27, Raffle 28, About 29, Envoy 31, Auger 32, teeth 34, Char 36, Tic 37, Tap.
lace a number (1-9) in each blank cell. (No line can have two of the same number). Each row (nine lines from left to right), column, (also nine lines from top to bottom) and 3 X 3 block within a bold block (nine blocks) contains number from 1 through 9. This means that no number can appear twice in any block, column or row. No mathematics is involved – no adding, subtraction, division or multiplication, just plain logic and your imagination. Printed and Published by VANGUARD MEDIA LIMITED, Vanguard Avenue, Kirikiri Canal, P.M.B.1007, Apapa. Phone: Newsroom: 018773962. Deputy Editor: 01-8944295. Advert Dept: 01-7924470; Hotline: 01-8737028; Abuja: 09-2341102, 09-2342704. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Advert:email@example.com Website: www.vanguardngr.com (ISSN 0794-652X) Editor: MIDENO BAYAGBON. Phone: 01-7742861, All correspondence to P.M.B. 1007, Apapa Lagos.
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