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...towards a better life for the people VOL. 25: NO. 61934

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ONLINE | www.vanguardngr.com

N150

MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

Nobody forced me PDP: Court hears motion into Islam •P.8 on Tukur's sack today 8 — Charity Uzoechina

£3,000 UK Visa bond takes off Nov •Britain insists Nigerians, others pay mandatory fee

BOKO HARAM AGAIN!

•P.17

COLUMNISTS:

DELE SOBOWALE •P.42

LES LEBA •P.48

OCHEREOME NNANNA•P.54

PAUL BASSEY •P.61 BY UDUMA KALU, WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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AGOS—THE pro posed new United Kingdom visa policy requesting visitors from Nigeria and five other countries to deposit a 3,000 pounds bond before entering the UK will commence in November, despite British Prime Minister, David Cameron’s assurance that he would not sanction the controversial policy. The policy is to restrict some visitors from India, Nigeria, Kenya, Sri

Continues on page 5

Mr & Mrs

BOKO HARAM—Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) medical officers treating civilians injured by suspected members of the Boko Haram Islamist sect in Dawashe village, Kukawa district of Borno State, weekend. AFP PHOTO /Nigerian Army. See story on Page 9.

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POCKET CARTOON

AWARD— Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and his wife, Roli (3rd&4th left); Chairman of the occasion, Chief Sunny Odogwu (2nd left); former Chairman of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan (right) and Mr. Emeka Obasy after receiving his award at the 2012 Zik Prize for Good Governance Award, held at the Civic Centre, Lagos on Saturday. Photo Henry Unini.

£3,000 UK Visa bond takes off November Continues from page 1 Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. They will have to pay the refundable cash in return for visitor visas that allow them to stay in the UK for up to six months. At the height of the controversy, Mr David Cameron had assured that he would not sanction the policy. But last weekend, Financial Times said: “Britain is pressing

ahead with its trial of a scheme to make visitors from six countries pay a £3,000 bond, despite an international backlash and complaints from businesses. The government said it would begin a trial of the scheme in November to impose visa restrictions on six Commonwealth nations, including India and Nigeria, even though David Cameron poured cold water on the

LIFEWORDS

BY PASTOR ITUAH

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new heaven to the human spirit— Helen Keller. No pessimist ever got to what was their possibilities.

TAKE HEART BY ELLA RANDLE

Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever —Native American proverb

D

URING Mark’s first month at college, the pro fessor gave his students a pop quiz. He was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until he read the last one: “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?” Surely this was some kind of joke. He had seen the woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her fifties, but how would he know her name? He handed in his paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward the quiz grade. “Absolutely,” said the professor. “In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They each deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘hello’”. Mark never forgot that lesson. He also learned her name was Dorothy. This story best illustrates the importance of recognising that everyone is important and relevant in the scheme of things. In essence, knowing and acting on this principle in our everyday dealings with people we encounter, may just be the key to not only influencing and making good friends, but also, to being loved and appreciated as we would love to see happen in our world.

scheme in June after it provoked uproar in Delhi.”

Targets "high risk" applicants

The British government has reportedly decided to go ahead with it though the Home Office insisted that it was meant to target only “high-risk” applicants. An official told the media that the scheme would be “highly selective,” targeting only “suspicious” applicants. Under a “pilot” scheme to be introduced in November, first-time visitors from six nonwhite Commonwealth countries, including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, will be required to deposit a cash bond of £3,000 for a British visa. According to the government, these six countries pose the “most significant risk of abuse” of visas by their citizens. “In the long run, we are interested in a system of bonds that deters overstaying and recovers costs if a foreign national has used our public services,” the Home Office said. The move comes barely weeks after Mr. Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg were reported to have refused to clear the scheme in its present form, fearing that the backlash in India and Nigeria threatened to damage bilateral relations at a time Britain is desperately trying to

woo Indian investors and tourists. Cameron was reported as saying that he would “not sanction” any policy that was likely to undermine his push for investment. The Financial Times said that the u-turn had provoked anger in Britain’s business circles, who described the plan as an “insulting deterrent” to wealthy tourists from countries like India and Nigeria. “They are urging the government to drop the pilot, saying the restrictions will damage their business if Commonwealth tourists, particularly Nigerians, now the sixth biggest spenders on luxury goods in Britain, are put off,” it said.

How FG reacted

When the story of the visa bond broke last month, the Federal Government in its reaction described it as discriminatory and capable of undermining the spirit of the Commonwealth. The Jonathan administration therefore asked the British Government to reconsider the proposed policy saying it has a responsibility to take appropriate measures to protect the interest of Nigerians who might be affected by the proposed policy if finally introduced. Following public outcry against the visa policy, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru summoned the British

High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocok to express Nigeria’s displeasure over the proposed visa policy. At the end of the closed-door meeting, which lasted several hours in the ministry, the British envoy clarified that the policy had not reached the stage of implementation.

Policy’ll negate joint commitment

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, signed by its spokesman, Ogbole Ode said: “The minister recalled with nostalgia, the times when nationals of the Commonwealth travelled freely to the UK and to other member states. This, no doubt, deepened the strong historical bonds among the peoples of the various countries who were all regarded at that time as Commonwealth citizens. He further recalled that this time-honoured practice was unilaterally jettisoned by the UK government in 1986, thereby weakening the bonds of the Commonwealth family. “The minister further noted that the proposed policy would definitely negate the joint commitment by Prime Minister David Cameron and President Goodluck Jonathan to double the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries by 2014, just as it would hinder people-topeople contact, which is one of the cardinal principles of the Commonwealth. “Ambassador Ashiru said the decision of the UK Government is coming at a time the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers have unanimously recommended for adoption at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM, holding in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November, a proposal to remove visa requirements for holders of official and diplomatic passports from member states.

“The minister, therefore, called on the UK Government to reconsider the proposed policy, which is incompatible with the strong and cordial relations built over the years between the UK and Nigeria." "He, however, informed the British High Commissioner that the Federal Government has a responsibility to take appropriate measures to protect the interest of Nigerians who may be affected by the proposed policy, if finally introduced.”

No decision yet

—British High Commissioner

Clarifying the visa policy, the British High Commissioner in a statement signed by Head of Press and Public Affairs Section, Rob Fitzpatrick, explained the position of his government. According to him, “the details of the pilot scheme are still being worked out. No final decision has been made. If the pilot were to go ahead in Nigeria it would affect only a very small number of the highest risk visitors. The vast majority would not be required to pay for a bond. Those paying bonds would receive the bond back, if they abided by the terms of their visa. “Let me put this in perspective. Over 180,000 Nigerians apply to visit the UK each year. About 70 per cent or around 125,000 of those applicants are successful. Travel between our two countries is a key part of our strong cultural and business relationships. Financial bonds would be focused on only a tiny minority of potential abusers. It would not be a ‘£3,000 visa charge’ as some media reporting has alleged. “As soon as more details of the policy have been decided, we will inform the Nigerian government and public fully and officially."


6—Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

5 killed, houses burnt in fresh Plateau crisis

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OS— NO fewer than five people died, Saturday, and three others injured in a fresh violence in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State. Reports said gunmen numbering about 50 attempted to attack Kumbul village but met resistance from members of the Special Task Force in Plateau which killed five of the attackers. Residents of Kumbul village said they also put up a spirited resistance to repel the attackers until they (attackers) ran away due to the superior gun battle with members of the STF. Spokesperson of the Special Task Force in Plateau, Salisu Mustapha, confirmed the incident, saying: “The attackers intended to attack Wase town but were repelled by our troops. They burnt a few houses and looted property.

Gunmen abduct 70-yr-old retired school principal BY EMMA ARUBI

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ARRI— A RETIRED school principal, Mrs. Clementina Bakpa, was Friday abducted by unknown gunmen at Ovwian in Udu council area of Delta State on her way to church in company of her husband, Mr. Emma Bakpa, an engineer. Vanguard gathered that they were on their way to morning mass at the Catholic Church, Ovwian when the incident occurred at about 6 am and driven off in a speed boat to unknown destination. Mrs. Bakpa, a former principal of Dom Domingo College, Warri and Delta State University Demonstration School, Abraka is a mother of six children and proprietor of Holy Family School, Airport Road, Warri. No ransom has be demanded by her abductors who has no access to contact her family members as she was without her GSM handset at the time she was kidnapped.

Murder of alleged prostitute: Abia police nab two ...as decomposing body recovered in uncompleted building BY ANAYO OKOLI

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MUAHIA — TWO suspects are currently telling the Abia State Police Command what they know about the death of a 16-yearold girl, whose name was simply given as Esther. The decomposing body of Esther, said to be from Ebonyi State was found in an uncompleted building around the Cattle Market, Gariki, in Lokpanta, Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State. Until her death, Esther was alleged to be a girl of easy virtue, a trade she was said to have plied at the Lokpanta Cattle Market. The suspects, Uchenna Okorie and Levi Nwankwo, are currently with the Criminal Investigation Department, CID, where they are helping the police in their investigation into what happened to Esther. It was, however, not possible, according to the police, to know if any part of her body was tampered with because of the decomposed nature of the remains. According to the police, on the

The uncompleted building where the decomposing body was recovered.

Esther... before her death

night of Thursday, July 11, 2013, one of the suspects, Uchenna Okorie, said to be Esther's lover, engaged the service of the other

Husband allegedly poisons wife for being barren BY DAYO JOHNSON

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KURE —THE Police in Ondo State have arrested a 47year-old bricklayer, Damilare Olotu, for allegedly poisoning his wife, Mary, for being barren. The 45-year-old Mary who hailed from Kwara State was a trader and had been having running battle with the suspect over her inability to conceive. Reports had it that following the condition of the deceased the suspect married a second wife, Kemi, from Igbara Oke area of the state who bore him two children. The suspect who is from Akure used to live with the deceased in Ibuji, Ifedore council area of the state. It was alleged that the second wife reportedly insisted on packing into the suspect's house but the deceased resisted. The junior brother to the deceased, Mr. Lawrence Omotosho, told newsmen that the suspect and the second wife connived to poison his sister. According to him, the sister had told him that the suspect had threatened to kill her. Omotosho asked the police to investigate the matter thoroughly and bring the culprit to book. Also the only child of the deceased from her former marriage, Shola Olatunji who is an undergraduate in Kogi State said the family of her late mother warned her not to re-marry but she refused.

Contacted, the police image maker, Wole Ogodo, said investigation into Mary’s death ws ongoing, noting that the case has been transfered from Igbara Oke to the headquarters in Akure for further investigation.

suspect, Levi Nwankwo, an Okada operator, to take Esther to his house. Levi Nwankwo, the police said, claimed that he picked the girl as instructed by Uchenna Okorie and that when he got to Okorie’s home, he was not around but he dropped Esther there and asked her to wait for her boyfriend. According to him, she sat under a mango tree in the compound before he left. However, some days later Esther’s decomposing corpse was found in an uncompleted building. According to the police, it was the stench from the decomposed body that attracted the people around the area, which led to the discovery of Esther’s body. The incident, the police said, was reported by one Friday Eke. Before then, it was reported that

Esther’s colleagues at the Cattle Market had raised alarm that they did not see her for a couple of days. However, the clue that led to the arrest of the two suspects, the police said, was given by one Mercy Sunday, said to be a food vendor at the Gariki, who gave the information that she saw when the late Esther was carried on an Okada by Levi to Uchenna’s house. Contacted, the Abia State Police Commissioner, Mr. Usman Tilli Abubakar, confirmed the incident and said the police would get to the root of the matter. Abubakar said whether Esther was a prostitute or not, she deserved to live, hence the police’s on-going investigation must unravel what happened to her.

Navy arrests alleged fake commander

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BY EVELYN USMAN

AGOS — THE Nigerian Navy, NN, has arrested a man allegedly masquerading as a commander in the service, at Liverpool area of Lagos. The suspect, Alfred Oniye, who could have passed for a genuine commander to both serving naval personnel and civilians alike, was reportedly arrested by a naval patrol team. The suspect had full naval uniform, identity card and rank. Parading the suspect, weekend, Executive Officer, NNS Beecroft, Captain James Pindar, said Oniye met his waterloo following the suspicious manner he acknowledged salute from the ratings on patrol. Before he was arrested, he explained that following several complaints received on the likes of Oniye, the Navy commenced a clampdown which had led to several arrests.

Explaining how he was arrested, Pindar said: “The way he acknowledged the greeting gave him away and when asked to identify himself, he said he was the Commanding officer, NNS Pathfinder, Port Harcourt. That again, gave him away because that post is manned by a Commodore, and not a Commander. He is one among several others who has been giving the Navy bad image. We arrested six of such persons recently. We are therefore, warning others to desist because the NN is not the type of service they can impersonate”, he stated. However on his part the suspect disclosed that he was a Merchant Navy personnel, saying he only identified himself as a Navy Commander to avoid being beaten to stupor by the naval ratings. According to him, “I alighted from my car for an inspection when I was arrested. I identi-

fied myself as a Commander on NNS Pathfinder because I did not want them to kill me. If I had not said that, they would have killed me because immediately I said so, the beating reduced and they brought me to their base. “ I am not a fake Merchant Navy personnel. I even told them to take me to our directorate in Olodi Apapa area of Lagos to ascertain whether I am a Merchant navy or not. “I have not committed any crime because this uniform is what Merchant Navy used to colonize us. It was when we were having problem with the Navy that the directorate instructed we changed the appellate to cross.” Asked where he got the uniform from , he claimed to have bought it from an undisclosed person, while Naval authorities said he would be handed over to the police for prosecution.


Vanguard , MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013—7

‘We've met criteria for APC's registration’

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ABUJA RAIL: From left— Senator Smart Adeyemi, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, FCT; Senator Bala Mohammed, Minister of FCT, and Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, Minister of State for FCT, performing the groundbreaking ceremony of Abuja Rail Mass Transit Stations at the National Park Station, Wuse District, Abuja. PHOTO: Gbemiga Olamikan.

25 killed as Boko Haram, Civilian JTF clash in Borno zOritsejafor alleges persecution of Christians BY LUKA BINNIYAT & NDAHI MARAMA

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AIDUGURI—SUSPECTED members of Islamic sect, Boko Haram, have killed more than 25 civilians, including five vigilante youths, when the youths attacked the sect members in Dawashi Village of Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State, a border town with Niger and Chad Republic. The vigilante youths, also known as Civilian JTF and popularly called Yan Gora, in Maiduguri, who have been assisting the men of the Joint Task Force, JTF, in arresting suspected Boko Haram members, were said to have been ambushed and killed, weekend, in Mainok Village of Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State. It was gathered that the Mainok incident took place when some volunteer youths from Ajilari, Gomari and Bulunkutu Kasuwa wards of Jere and Maiduguri metropolis, stormed the village in their patrol vehicles. They were there to arrest suspected sects members. But the Civilian JTF, who went without the cover of the military task force were overpowered as the terrorists fired gunshots on their convoy, killing five of them, with one injured. Mainok, about 50 kilometers away from Maiduguri, is one of the areas dominated by suspected Boko Haram members until last month when JTF raided the village and killed

over 40 terrorists, burning of over 100 motorcycles suspected to have been used for terrorists activities. When news of the killings of the five civilian JTF filtered into Maiduguri yesterday, as their corpses arrived Umaru Shehu Specialist Hospital, some members of the vigilante youths mobilised to Mainok village with the back up of military JTF and set the entire village ablaze.

JTF spokesman confirms incident

Confirming the Mainok incident, JTF spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, in a statement to newsmen said the vigilante youths were on operation in Mainok town over the weekend. He said that in the course of their operation, they were attacked by suspected Boko Haram members. Sagir said both the deceased and the wounded were in Shehu Umar Specialist Hospital Bulumkutu in Maiduguri metropolis. He added that on hearing the news at about 11p.m. last Friday, JTF troops were drafted to the area and have been operating on Mainok and surrounding villages to apprehend the bandits, pointing out that the situation in the area was now calm. On the killing of 20 innocent civilians in Dawashi, it was gathered that a group of volunteer youth from Maiduguri stormed

Dawashi village in search of Boko Haram members when the suspected sect members came armed and fired sporadic shots that killed over 20 innocent civilians, while a dozen had serious gunshot injuries. The victims, it was gathered were mostly fishermen and traders. It was also gathered that the Dawashi, Daban Masara and Malan Karanti of Kukawa areas were considered stronghold of the sect. Media Coordinator of the Multinational Joint Task Force, MJTF, in Baga town of Kukawa Local Government, Lieutenant Haruna Mohammed, also confirmed the incident. He said: “At the time of compiling this report, the victims were still lying within the premises of MNJTF Field Ambulance, receiving medical treatment from the injury sustained during the attack.”

Oritsejafor

In a related development, President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oristejafor, weekend, regretted that policies and the inaction of United States of America had helped sustain what he said was the persecution of Nigerian Christians in Northern Nigeria. He lamented what he described as failure of US to designate the Islamist group as Foreign Terrorist Organisation, FTO. The CAN President also revealed that 70 percent of all killings targeted at Christians

globally, are from Northern Nigeria with 3,000 killed and over 500 Churches burnt between 2010 and 2012. Oristejiafor, who addressed the Christian Association of Nigeria in America, CANAN, in Washington DC, weekend, however hailed the activities of some Muslims youths in parts of Borno State, who have been tagged Civilian JTF, for assisting JTF in Borno State in hunting down fleeing members of Boko Haram. His speech read in part: “I was recently re-elected into my second and final term as President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, an aggregation of all Nigeria’s 80 million Christians. “The population of Christians in Nigeria is equivalent to the entire country of Egypt. The population of Christians in northern Nigeria is more than the entire population of Syria. “We are by no means a minority, which makes what we are going through all the more alarming and a warning to countries who believe Islamist terrorism and insurgency could never happen in their territories.

Statistics

“In my first term, about 3,000 Christians were killed. Last year alone it averaged over 100 every month. In March 2010 about 500 Christians were slaughtered in one night on an attack on their villages. “In April 2011 we lost over 500 churches, thousands of homes and businesses in a 48-hour period and in 2012 about 70 percent of all Christians killed worldwide were in northern Nigeria alone.”

CTION Congress of Nigeria, ACN, says All Progressives Congress, APC, has met all the requirements to consummate its merger, hence Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has no defensible reason not to approve the merger. In a statement issued in Lagos, yesterday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said in spite of recent media reports concerning the antics of some negative forces within INEC over APC’s registration, the emerging party’s leadership had no doubt that in the end, the electoral body would do what is right in accordance with the law. On reports that INEC was planning to write a letter to the proponents of APC to find another name because of a court case instituted by a political association over the APC acronym, the party said: “We are convinced that INEC has no discernible reason to write such a letter to us. “There could be many court cases, but until there is a court order, no one can preempt what a court will do and act on that basis. “Again, we have met all the stipulated requirements. INEC has also inspected our proposed headquarters in Abuja and has seen all our interim officers. “The merger process may be novel, but we have played according to the rules and we expect nothing less from INEC.” ACN expressed satisfaction with the statement credited to Mr. Kayode Idowu, spokesman for INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, that there is no court injunction compelling the Commission to stop the merger. It said: “We believe we are on the same page with INEC as far as this trail-blazing merger is concerned, and that has been confirmed by INEC spokesman, and we therefore call on the Commission to do the proper thing right now, which is the registration of APC.”


8—Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

PDP: Court hears motion on Tukur's sack today zParty moves to vacate order stopping convention BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI & CHARLES KUMOLU

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BUJA—AN Abuja High Court at Apo will today hear a motion seeking to sack National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, from office. The motion was filed by three aggrieved members of the party, Abba Yale, Yahaya Sule and Bashir Maidugu. This is coming as fresh facts emerged, yesterday, on what transpired between President Goodluck Jonathan and five northern governors at a parley, weekend. Sources said the governors wanted a comprehensive convention to oust Tukur and elect all officers, a move that has been criticised by a northern pressure group, the Inspired Group. Meanwhile, Dr. Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, said the parley be-

tween the President and the northern governors and the issues they discussed were private. Abati said: “It was a private meeting. Ordinarily, key principal officers normally attend such meetings but no principal officer was at the meeting. It is not every meeting the President holds that we attend. Anybody writing anything on what the President and governors discussed is speculating.” However, an impeccable source, who accompanied one of the governors to the meeting, which he said Senate President David Mark attended, disclosed that the parley dwelt on the crises ravaging PDP across the country and at the national level.

Jonathan, five govs parley

The source said: “The President wanted to know why Gov-

ernor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State said he was going out of PDP, and that he would help bury the party. You know that the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has taken the Adamawa PDP away from the governor. “As we speak, Nyako’s commissioners and aides have moved into All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP. So his leaving the party is a question of time, if the issue was not well addressed. “In one of the Northern states, a member of PDP Board of Trustees, BoT, had been holding meetings with the opposition to destabilise the governor ahead the 2015 elections. “They told the President to ensure that a comprehensive convention of the party is held to elect new officers into all the positions. If what they discussed with the President is granted, then Tukur is on his

way out of PDP as National Chairman.” Picking holes in the demands of the governors, the Inspired Group, in a statement by its Chairman, Alhaji Isah Yunus, urged the governors to channel their grievances to the just constituted reconciliatory committee headed by Governor Seriake Dickson. Yunus said: “To us, the call is not only selfish but devilish. In a democratic setting, we wonder were on earth the governors derived their power to mandate the number one citizen to carry out their bidding. “In fact, it is in public domain that these governors are angry with PDP National Chairman because they have discovered that it is no longer business as usual. The purported sin of the party Chairman is that he is bent on sanitising the party in line with the vision of the founding fathers, where all and sundry will be given a level play ground.”

Motion to sack Tukur

INSPECTION: From left— Engr. Salisu Daura, Head of Department, Electrical Engineering; Mr. George Uriesi, Managing Director; Sir. Wendell Ogunedo, Director, Security Services; Mr. Okpaisi, General Manager, Advert, and Dr. Adeniyi Balogun, D-Commercial, all of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, during the authority's Leadership Team inspection of the power house in Lagos airport. PHOTO: Kehinde Gbadamosi.

The plaintiffs had on Friday secured an order that barred PDP from conducting any form of convention for the purpose of electing its national officers, pending the hearing and determination of an originating summon they entered before the court. The order had put paid to plans of the party to conduct its South-West congress and mini-convention on August 24 and 31 respectively, as was suggested by its newly inaugurated Special National Convention Planning Committee led by former Information Minister, Professor Jerry Gana.

Nobody forced me into Islam, Charity Uzoechina insists BY WOLE MOSADOMI

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INNA—MISS Charity Uzoechina, who still lives in the palace of Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, after converting to Islam, has finally broken her silence. She called on Nigerians to leave her alone to practice the religion of her choice. In a telephone conversation with Vanguard yesterday, Charity insisted that nobody forced her into the religion and that she should be left alone. She said: “I did it on my own. Nobody forced or enticed me to become a Muslim. I converted to Islam on my own. Am I the first to convert to Islam in Nigeria? So what is it?” Her father, Pastor Raymond

Uzoechina, had earlier said that Charity was abducted and hypnotised to say and do what she was doing. He challenged the Nupe to produce Charity in court for cross-examination by his lawyer. However, Charity said: “I know people are influencing my father and I am praying for him and other members of my family to know that this is the right religion.” On whether or not she would go home with her father if eventually the rift was settled, Charity, who has changed her name to Aisha, insisted that she was not interested in going back home with her father. She said: “I am not going back to my father because of

his actions in recent times. He has been threatening me and at my age (25), I am free to practice any religion of my choice and so, I should be left to decide. “If I want to sue him to court, I can at this my age because it is my right to practice any religion I want.”

Niger CAN intervenes

Meanwhile, Niger State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has waded into matter and hoped that the issue would be resolved out of court before the August 1 date for ruling on the appeal filed by Pastor Uzoechina on the earlier ruling of the Sharia, granting the palace custody of Charity.

Niger State CAN Chairman, Rev. Musa Dada, told Vanguard that CAN had visited the Etsu Nupe’s palace along with other CAN officials from Abuja officially on the matter and that plans were on to settle the case out of court. Rev. Dada, who was reluctant to discuss the issue in details, simply said: “We have met with the Etsu Nupe and other stake holders involved at the Etsu’s palace and we have made progress. “I can assure you that probably before the August 1 (Thursday) date, when the case is expected to come up at the Sharia Court, Bida, something positive is likely to come out which will put an end to the rift.”

Meantime, the party has through its lawyer Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), approached the court, begging it to vacate the order barring it from holding the convention, insisting that it had initiated moves to settle with the plaintiffs amicably. This is even as the plaintiffs, in a fresh motion, have asked the court to order Tukur to step down, pending the determination of the suit. Pre-empting the move, Tukur, on Friday, filed a 13-paragraphed affidavit and a written address with which he successfully persuaded the court to join him as the second defendant in the suit which previously had only PDP as defendant. Likewise, counsel to the party, Dr. Ikpeazu, told the court that PDP had already conceded to the demands of the plaintiffs, saying it was the sole reason it ab-initio okayed the resignation of its former national officers with a view to conducting a fresh convention in accordance with the provisions of its constitution. It will be recalled that the plaintiffs had through their lawyer, Mr. Jubril Okutekpa (SAN), sought for an order of interlocutory injunction to restrain the National Chairman of PDP and other officers of the party from holding the scheduled “special convention,” which date they said was announced by a committee led by Gana. Meanwhile, shortly after the matter was slated for hearing, 17 national officers of the party listed as 2nd to 18th defendants, voluntarily resigned from office and their names were accordingly expunged from the case. In his argument, Okutepa maintained that “the resignation of former PDP Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, and 16 others, was an affront on the integrity of the court.” He contended that “since the matter was still pending in court PDP (defendant) ought to have allowed it to be decided by the court, rather than proceed to appoint members to act in the stead of those that resigned. Although PDP on the other hand, urged the court to dismiss the suit on the premise that it has reduced to a mere academic exercise considering that the defendants had resigned, the court, on Friday, declined the request, saying it is yet to determine the validity of some of the actions that were taken by those national officers before they vacated their respective offices.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY

29, 2013—9

Former ICPC chair blames religious tension on politicians BY INNOCENT ANABA

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LECTURE: From left: Hon. Justice, Mustapha Akanbi, former Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, boss and President of the Court of Appeal; Mr. Soji Awogbade,Guest Speaker; Prof. Timothy Shah, Associate Director of the Religious Freedom Project, at Berkley Centre for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, and Mrs. Funke Adekoya, SAN, at the 9th Aelex Annual Lecture, at Muson Centre, Lagos.

Chidi Llyod going blind — Pro-Amechi lawmakers .Says house may go to Int’l Court for redress BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI, JIMITOTA ONOYUME & EGUFE YAFUGBORHI

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ORT HARCOURT — PRO-GOVERNOR Rotimi Amaechi members of Rivers State House of Assembly, have threatened to drag the Nigerian Police to the International Court of Justice over alleged torture and continued detention of the Leader of the House, Mr. Chidi Lloyd, claiming that he is going blind because of his continued incarceration.

A statement by the lawmakers, alleged that Mr. Llyod, who was brought into Port Harcourt last Friday amid tight security was tortured and manhandled by the Police. The lawmakers, who questioned why the Police had to allegedly chain and blindfold their leader, condemned the alleged actions of the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Mbu. They also said Mbu should be held responsible, if anything happened to Lloyd. Lloyd is being held for his alleged role in the attack on Mr. Micael Chinda, member representing Obia/ Akpor II in the state Assembly. He has since been flown abroad for medical attention. Meanwhile, the Police Force Headquarters, yesterday, said that it had uncovered an influx of heavy arms into Rivers State and plans to rob some banks. In a statement by the Force Spokesman, Mr. Frank Mba, read: “Following an extensive intelligence operation, the Rivers State Police Command in the early hours of Friday, July 26, 2013 aborted a planned robbery attack targeted at one of the leading commercial banks in the state.” On the seized arms, he said, “the cache of weapons was recovered from three vehicles hidden at a mechanic village in Ihugbo on the EastWest Road, Ahoada, Rivers State. The weapons recovered include two General Purpose Machine Guns, GPMG with 59 rounds of GPMG ammunition; eight AK– 47 rifles with 1635

rounds of AK-47 ammunition and 57 magazines. Others included one G3 rifle with magazine; two dynamites with detonators and other explosives canes; two gas cylinders with welding accessories; one sledge hammer, one axe and three vehicles in which the weapons were concealed.” Briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday, on behalf of other lawmakers on the fate of Lloyd, Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Leyii Kwanee, said, “you all can recall that Chidi Lloyd, who reported himself at the Force Headquarters, Abuja was sneaked into Port Harcourt on Friday and we thought he would be charged to court same day. "As I speak to you, we have just been informed that he is being held at the Force CID by the same police authority under Commissioner Joseph Mbu. The Deputy Speaker said recent under-currents in

the polity and Rivers State indicated that embattled Commissioner of Police, Mbu would soon be removed from the state. “We expect Mbu to be on his way out of Rivers State any moment from now. If you observed, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro left this arena a while ago.|" "He has been in the state to see things for himself." Don’t forget, the Senate has also recommended for Mbu’s removal. We expect that the decision of the Senate, the highest lawmaking body in country should be respected.” Similarly, he said the recent reconciliatory committee on the crises in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, might not achieve much. According to him: “You know that apart from the Chairmanship of Dickson, two members of that committee are against the government of Rotimi Amaechi. I think that committee is not intended to serve the party."

521 die in Lagos auto accidents in four years BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI

LAGOS — NO fewer than 521 persons died in 2, 493 road accidents that occurred in Lagos State between 2009 and 2012, Lagos State Transport Management Agency, LASTMA, has said. In a release by LASTMA, the victims lost their lives in auto accidents that involved 4, 637 vehicles. According to the agency, 2,242 persons sustained various degrees of injury with male casualties being the highest. Meantime, the Chief Vehicle Inspection Officer, VIO, Lagos State, Gbolahan Toriola, has called on motorists to imbibe road safety culture as panacea to combating road accidents and carnage in the country. Toriola, who spoke while delivering 2013 Mechanical Engineering Maintenance Lecture, titled “Reducing Accidents on Nigeria Roads: The Role of Engineers,” said, “Safety is the first priority for any transportation system, our roads must be safe for all Nigerians, (road users) of all ages.

AGOS—FORMER C h a i r man of Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, Justice Mustapha Akanbi, has blamed politicians for fueling religious tension in the country. Akanbi, former President of the Court of Appeal who chaired the Aelex 9th Annual Lecture, with the theme, “In God’s name: Religion, Politics and Economic Development,” in Lagos, said members of the extremist group, Boko Haram, were not Muslims as “ no religion preaches violence, including Islam.” The keynote address of the lecture was delivered by a renowned religious scholar, Prof. Timothy Shah. Akanbi said: “Muslims and Christians believe in God. Both religions believe in the basic principles-thou shall not steal and thou shall not kill. “There is also no compulsion in religion. The duty of governance is a question of the line politicians want to tow and what they want their country to become. If you go into politics to develop your country, you will not engage in acts that are unhealthy. “The political terrain in Nigeria today is bad. Most of our politicians claim to be either Christians or Muslims but they do not practice the core values of their religion. I am not saying there are no good ones, a few of them are good. “In Islam, if you kill one, it is assumed you have killed 1, 000. Boko Haram is an evil that has come on us all and we must find a common solution to it. Most of the problems we have today, including religious are caused by politicians.” Professor Shah in his keynote address, noted that there was a nexus between religion, politics and economic development, just as he called on countries of the world to stop religious oppression. He said about 75 per cent of countries in the world oppressed religion, leading to violent opposition, adding that the disparity between the expectations of religious groups and realities had also forced a lot of people to do many violent things in the name of God.


10—Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

Pastor, 3 others arrested for robbery

Community, Akure monarch clash over land, chieftaincy

BY DAUD OLATUNJI

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BEOKUTA — THERE was a mild drama, yesterday, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital following the arrest of a pastor (names withheld) with a Pentecoastal Church in the city by police for alleged armed robbery. Vanguard gathered that the clergyman was apprehended, weekend, alongside three other suspects who were subsequently detained at the Ibara Police Station in Abeokuta. It was further learnt that, the gang allegedly robbed a house in the town successfully, but luck ran on them when one of them was arrested which led to the arrest of others including the pastor. When the news of the arrest of the pastor filtered in to the town, some members of the church besieged the Ibara Police Station protesting that it was a mixup, insisting that their spiritual leader was not involved in such criminal activity.

BY DAYO JOHNSON

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KURE — ANOTHER crisis is brewing between the Isinkan community in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State and Deji of Akure, Oba Adebiyi Adesida over the installation of lesser chiefs and an expanse of land. The community in a petition to the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko through its Development Council, ICDC, asked the government to call the Deji of Akureland to order before the issue between the communities snowball into communal crisis.

The petition was copied to all security chiefs in the state, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Speaker the State House of Assembly and Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. The community alleged trespass on the land of Isinkan by the agents of Deji and the alleged deliberate efforts by the foremost monarch to undermine the authority of Iralepo of Isinkan, Oba Olu Ojo. It was signed by six chiefs of Isinkan including the Iralepo, who said Isinkan community is one of the communities constituting Akure kingdom and the community has

been existing alongside the other communities constituting the kingdom from time immemorial. According to the Iralepo, Isinkan community has its own people, its history, culture and land which are well distinguished from that of other communities in the Akure kingdom. The ICDC said “for some reasons which are best known to the incumbent Deji of Akure, he has of recent been engaging in various acts that could provoke the anger of members of Isinkan community, but every time the situation has always been treated by the elders of the community with maturity so that the peace

within Akure kingdom will not be endangered. Their words: “The position of the Deji against the people of Isinkan is rather becoming unbearable to us hence the need for your good offices to let him realise the limit of his power over the people of the community. “Going by what obtains in other communities around us the example of Isinkan community abounds, hence the need for the Deji to allow peace to reign in Akure kingdom.” Contacted, an aide to the Deji of Akureland said the monarch was not aware of the petition. The aide said in confidence that the Deji is the paramount ruler of the town and would not be drawn into any battle with his subjects.

One dies, 9 injured in Ogun auto crash

Ramadan life-changing experience, says Amosun

BY DAUD OLATUNJI

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GUN STATE gover nor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has admonished adherents of Islam to put to practice the lessons of Ramadan so that the holy month can become a life-changing experience for them all. He said the fear of God, self-discipline, study of Koran, obedience to the teachings of the Holy Prophet, prayers, unity, national consciousness and fulfilment of civic obligations exhibited during Ramadan should be sustained after the holy month so that Nigeria would be a better place for all. Amosun spoke, weekend, in Abeokuta during the 2013 Special Ramadan Iftar, organised by the state government. In his Iftar lecture entitled, ‘The Principles, the Myths, the Politics and the Sciences of Moon Sighting in Nigeria,’ the SecretaryGeneral, Nigeria Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Is-haq Olanrewaju Oloyede, explained that “Islam is a communal region” and not driven by individualism. “You cannot just wake up and claim you have sighted the moon and hence begin fasting; you have to inform the authorities who are experts in such matters,” he explained.

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SYNOD: From left, former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd); Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese, Dipo Okpeseyi, SAN; Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko; Dupe Olomolehin, and the Bishop of Owo Diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. James Oladunjoye, during the commencement of the first session of the 11th Synod of the Diocese of Owo, at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Uso, in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, yesterday.

Oyo faults Ladoja’s comments on Ibadan flyover BY OLA AJAYI

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BADAN — GOVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi-led administration in Oyo State has advised a former governor in the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja to eschew political bitterness in his criticism of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, government. The state government was reacting to the comments made by the ex-governor on the Mokola flyover commissioned by leaders of the party. Speaking through the Commissioner for Works and Transport in the state, Mr. Kayode Adepoju, the state government said, “it is as if the former governor is deliberately out to misguide the people with a lot of information that are far from the truth, inconsistent and outright misinformation and which

portrays the old man as somebody with little or no knowledge about the essence of a flyover.” Adepoju, who spoke in Ibadan, further said; “Former governor Ladoja doesn’t seem to understand the difference between the usual bridge constructed over a river and a flyover which is meant to solve traffic gridlock and whatever one is done to ensure that the purpose is not defeated should not be seen as an admission of low quality or standard as being portrayed by the former governor”. “As an engineer of many years with a name to protect, I can’t be here over-seeing sub-standard construction. So, it is very wrong and uncharitable to conclude that barriers were put on the bridge to avoid its collapse. What purpose will the bridge serve if an articulated truck

should break down on it or fall on the ones plying the main road under the bridge?” Adepoju asked. Ladoja also stated the contract sum was incongruent with that of a similar bridge in Ogun State. To this, Oyo government said it was absolutely wrong to compare two structures constructed in two different places as the former Governor Ladoja had done in his comparison of the Mokola, Ibadan bridge with the one in Abeokuta. He added that there was difference in the length of the two bridges and the cost because of the ancillaries that accompanied the one constructed in Ibadan at a total sum of N2.9bn. He also faulted the rumour that the Chinese firm that bilt the bridge, CCEC was owned by Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu noting that the firm was owned by the government of China.

B E O K U TA — ONE person died while nine others were critically injured in a lone accident which occurred at Itori village in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State on the Abeokuta – Lagos expressway over, weekend. The Itori Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Fatai Bakare confirmed the accident, adding that the auto crash involved a passenger bus with registration number LAGOS, MUS 418 XE. According to Bakare, the driver of the bus lost control when he suddenly ran into bad portion of the road, and crashed into the bush. He said the passenger bus contained 10 occupants which comprised three males and seven females. The Itori Unit Commander, however, said that one of the female victims, who was rushed to the hospital by officials of FRSC along other occupants later died while the nine others were on danger list.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 201312—11

27 policemen benefit from accident insurance scheme BY GABRIEL ENOGHO-

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ENIN—MILLIONS of naira were weekend, presented to beneficiaries of the Nigeria Police Group Personal Accident Insurance Scheme by the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone, 5 Benin, Edo State Alhaji Hashimu Argungun. A total of 27 beneficiaries were presented with cheques ranging from N100,000 to N1million for accidents they suffered in the course of duty and for others, who died in line of duty, Presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries, AIG Argungu, said that the occasion had brought to the fore, the determination and commitment of the Inspector- General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar to staff welfare. He said: “I enjoin the beneficiaries to make proper use of the money so that the purpose for which it was meant will not be defeated.”

LASAA promotes programmes, projects of govt — Noah

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AGOS STATE Signage and Advertisement Agency, LASAA, has said its billboards are used as a vehicle for social communication to support and propagate the various programmes and projects of the state government. Managing Director of LASSA, Mr. George Noah, stated this during an interactive session with members of the outdoor advertising industry. The meeting which was first of its kind under Noah’s leadership as Managing Director, was aimed at addressing some of the salient issues affecting the business particularly in Lagos. Key on the agenda was the issue of rate review for all outdoor advertisement structures. Mr. Noah informed the gathering that LASAA would exhaust all avenues to ensure that billboards within military formation were properly regulated. On rate review, he said “we have reduced our rates and we are the lowest at the moment."

S-South PDP passes vote of confidence on Jonathan BY FESTUS AHON

President Jonathan, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Chief Tony Anenih, Governor Godswill Akpabio, Governor Liyel Imoke, Senator Victor NdomaEgba, Mr. Leo Ogor, Chief Edwin Clark and Governor Seriake Dickson. “ZWC expresses satisfaction with President Jonathan midterm performance score card

and expresses her gratitude to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan for accepting to host the ZWC meeting in Asaba. “On tour of some facilities, the committee was satisfied with the level of infrastructural development in the areas of education, network of roads, healthcare, aviation and

sports. The committee commends the governor for providing purposeful leadership in Delta State and for the giant strides he is taking to make the state first among equals in the country. ZWC urges all members of the party in the zone to remain disciplined and supportive of the party.”

ASABA—THE leadership of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, South-South zone, has passed a vote of confidence on President Goodluck Jonathan for the success of his transformation agenda, stabilisation of national economy and enhanced security of lives and property. The PDP leadership in a communiqué after its Zonal Working Committee, ZWC, meeting in Asaba, Delta State, weekend, also praised President Jonathan’s effort in the fight against terrorism and other related crimes in the country. ZWC also commiserated with the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan on the passing on of her mother and prayed God to grant her the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. The communiqué by the Zonal Chairman, Dr. Steve Oru and Publicity Secretary, Mr. Omo-Owo Okpokpo, said: “ZWC condemns the breakdown of law and other in Rivers State and appeal to the warring factions to sheathe their swords. “The committee call on well SERVICE: From left: Provost, Cathedral of St. Michael, Very Revd. Samuel Nwaeze; Rev. meaning stakeholders to reCanon Thomas Furrer of the Trinity Episcopal Church, Tariffville,USA and Bishop of Kaduna solve the crisis in Rivers State. Anglican Diocese, Most Revd. Josiah Fearon, at the service of collation for Rev. Furrer as an To this end, the committee reArchdeacon of Kaduna Diocese in Kaduna, yesterday. Photo: Olu Ajayi. solves to visit and discuss with

2015: North’s opposition against Jonathan cracks …As pro-Jonathan groups warn govs to face region’s problems and forget 2015 BY SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North

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BUJA — THE attempt by influential Northern leaders to rally support for a consensus presidential candidate to replace President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, has backfired, leading to the emergence of sundry groups flaying the leaders for trying to dictate to them on the way to go politically. The crack in the north came barely two weeks after the Northern Elders Forum, the Arewa Consultative Forum and three other groups had met in Kaduna and resolved to coalesce into a Joint Action Committee with a view to

ensuring the emergence of President in 2015. Under the plot, which was confirmed to Vanguard by the Secretary of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, the six groups had accepted to retain their identities, but to work as a team with a view to stopping Jonathan’s return to the top post. According to Abdullahi, the move was deliberately initiated to bring the six groups under one umbrella for easy mobilisation and control as the race to the Villa gathers momentum. But barely two weeks after the meeting, some northern groups sympathetic to Jonathan, have

opposed the NEF and its allies in the north, saying that they did not have the right to dictate to them who becomes the President of Nigeria in 2015. Apparently drumming up support for Jonathan’s re-election, the groups, noted that the North had never lined up under any particular candidate and would not be forced to do so in the next election. One of the groups, which calls itself, Coalition of Concerned Northern Youths, CNY, said in Abuja, yesterday, that its members were concerned over the role of politicians in the north particularly governors, who seem to have taken it upon themselves to de-

KIDNAPPED DELSU LECTURER: We‘re not

magicians, Aduba, Delta CP replies ASUU BY EMMAAMAIZE

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ARRI — DELTA State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, has said that the police were not magicians and require realistic information from the public to establish the whereabouts of a female lecturer of Delta State University, DELSU, Abraka, Dr. Mercy Mokobia, kidnapped, April 9, from her home

in Obiaruku. Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, DESLU, Abraka branch, Dr. Emmanuel Mordi, had asked the state Commissioner of Police to produce the lecturer, dead or alive, lamenting that over 20 lecturers had been kidnapped in the last two years. Mordi said that the university lecturers were gravely worried

about the fate of Dr. Mokobia, a lecturer in the Science Education Department, as the police had not given any cogent explanation on her whereabouts since her abduction over three months ago. Responding to Mordi’s outburst, Mr. Aduba, said “I appreciate the concern of lecturers of the Delta State University and all other citizens of the state, but you will agree with me that the police

cide for others who gets the presidency in 2015. Mohammed Danjuma, who signed the document in his capacity as the National Chairman of the CNY, warned the northern governors to stop meddling into the choice of a president for Nigeria in 2015 but to concentrate on their mandate to provide service to the down-trodden masses in the region. “As concerned youths, we have found it necessary to state that the governors of the North were not elected to be traversing every nook and cranny of the country in chartered jets for their own personal agenda instead of tending to the constitutional responsibility for which they were elected in the first place. “We have not only found this behaviour not only appalling but also repulsive, especially when the North is currently suffering from the devastating effect of insecurity, misrule, endemic poverty caused mainly by the lukewarm attitude of the leaders of the zone, who have always taken it upon themselves to tackle problems in other states leaving their home in disarray. “It is because of these developments that we call on the governors to take urgent steps to concentrate on developing their states instead of wasting task payers’ money on moving around the country.


12— Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

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Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013— —13

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14—Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

State creation not foreclosed, says Mark

ASUU denies plan to call off strike on Thursday zSays issues remain unresolved

BY HENRY UMORU & JOSEPH ERUNKE

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B U J A — S E N AT E President, David Mark, yesterday, raised the hope of Nigerians agitating for creation of more states, saying the National Assembly would revisit the various requests to that effect. This was even as the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution turned down various requests for creation of states in the ongoing constitution review. He asked agitators for state creation not to be disillusioned at the recent turn of events, saying “there is still a window to address the issue.” He spoke when he met with a group of people from his constituency, under the aegis of Idoma National Forum, INF, who had come to express displeasure over failure of the National Assembly to grant request for creation of proposed Apa state out of Benue State. Mark insisted that state creation was not yet laid to rest and explained that the draw back in the recommendation was that Chapter 8 of the 1999 Constitution made it cumbersome to actualize creation of state. But he disclosed, however, that the system was being streamlined to enable agitators meet their targets. Senator Mark said: “I have never minced words about my position for the creation of additional states. It is not that we cannot live together with our brothers and sisters but I am a firm believer that state creation will bring more development and progress nearer to the people. “You should continue with the agitation for state creation and work towards meeting the requirements. I am sure that when the conditions are met, states would be created. “Milk may have been spilled but not fallen over. There is still a window and the National Assembly will hearken to the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry.” The Senate President told his people to continue to maintain peace and unity which, he noted, would engender the progress of a people. He promised to continue to be good ambassador of not only Idoma nation but Benue State and Nigeria in general, saying his actions and deeds would be guided by the fear of God, fairness, objectivity and the rule of law.

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BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU

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BUJA—ACADEMIC Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has described as speculative reports that the strike embarked upon by the union over the inability of the Federal Government to implement the 2009 agreement it willingly entered into with the union would be called off this Thursday. National President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagge, told Vanguard that he was surprised to hear that the union was going to call off the strike on Thursday when the issues tabled before government had not been resolved. Faggae said: “There is nothing like that (suspending the strike). I am also surprised to hear people say that we are going to call off the strike. He said: “Our members have made it categorically clear what they want. This meeting we had with government on Friday at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, is just exploratory. “We are trying to look at issues holistically and see how we are going to address them. So assignments were given to various people that attended the meeting and the expectation is that we will meet tomorrow (today), Monday and look at the

assignment given and also look at it on Thursday again. “So, that is why I’m surprised to hear people say that we are going to suspend strike on Thursday. The mandate of our members is very clear. So, we will wait and see what the Monday and Thursday meetings unfold and then we report back to our members.” On how long it would take ASUU leaders to convene a meeting with its members after

the meeting with government on Thursday, the ASUU boss said “ we are in constant consultation with our members, we don’t really have problems with that. “After the meeting, we will decide when to link up with our members depending upon what is placed on table on Thursday.” Commenting on the speculation that the union might suspend the strike if the

government met up to 50 per cent of the agreement, Faggae said the union would prefer to get to the bridge before crossing it. He commended the positive disposition of the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Education towards the resolution of the crisis. Fagge added: “For us, the interaction we have had with the Joint Committee clearly indicates that they are concerned like other Nigerians".

MEETING—From left: Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Ekiti State First Lady; Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education/Chairman of the occasion; Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, President, Women Arise for Change Initiative; and Mrs Funmi Falana, Women Empowerment and Legal Aid, WELA, during a stakeholders' meeting on proposed legalization of child marriage, organised by Women Arise For Change Initiative, at the Airport Hotel, Ikeja Lagos. Photo: Kehinde Gbadamosi.

CBN, NDIC, NAICOM, others okay establishment of financial Ombudsman in Nigeria BY HENRY UMORU

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BUJA—CENTRAL Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, among other stakeholders, have hailed the proposed establishment of Nigerian International Financial Centre, NIFC. According to the CBN, NIFC will attract top-rated international financial services firms to invest in the centre and participate in Africa’s development. CBN and other bodies made these positions known in its Financial System Strategy 2020, FSS2020, submitted to the Senate during public hearing on the proposed Bills to establish NIFC and office of the Nigerian Financial Ombudsman, ONFO. CBN deputy governor incharge of Corporate Services, Suleiman Barau, said with the proposed Ombudsman, Nigeria will become Africa’s financial hub and a powerhouse in the global financial system as well

as create a financial system that could support Nigeria in line with its aspiration to be one of the world’s 20 largest economies by the year 2020. On the establishment of the Financial Ombudsman, Barau, who noted that it was an alternative financial dispute institution, reminded the Senate of “international best

practice” applicable in the UK where the Financial Ombudsman made a yearly report to the regulator (in this case CBN) on the discharge of its functions. Senate President, David Mark, while declaring it open, said the centre would facilitate the diversification of the Nigerian economy via increased

contribution to the financial sector. Represented by Senate Deputy Leader, Abdul Ningi, Mark noted that the Bill, when passed into law, would allow investors to come to Nigeria, adding that it will put an end to the present mono economy nature of Nigeria., He stressed that any transaction can equally be done through the Ombudsman.

Bi-Courtney threatens to sue FAAN official over alleged libelous statements BY KENNETH EHIGIATOR

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PERATORS of MMA2, Bi Courtney Aviation Services Limited, BASL, has threatened to sue the General Manager, Corporate Communications of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Yakubu Dati, for alleged libelous statements made against the company in an interview on a national television unless N500 million was paid as damages.

A letter written by the company’s solicitors, Babalakin and Company, to Mr. Dati, dated July 24, 2013, said it had been drawn to certain false, derogatory and defamatory statements and allegations made by Dati in the television interview on June 26, 2013. The two-paged letter, titled, “Libelous statement made against Bi-Courtney Aviation Services on Channels Television on June 26, 2013,” accused the FAAN’s spokesman of making “several false and maliciously deprecating

statements of and concerning our client, and in the way of its business and reputation.” It quoted him as using such derogatory statements as “I’m talking about a company whose stock in trade is manipulating court processes, and going round the back to secure all kinds of court judgements which they misinterpret, even to the public.” Referring to other statements credited to the FAAN spokesman, the letter read further: “It is because they (BASL) have decided to bend the rules to short change the Nigerian people;’...


Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013— —15

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16 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013 FORTY-SIX years ago, the counter coup to the first coup of that January claimed the lives of Gen Thomas Johnson Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi and his host Lt-Col Francis Adekunle Fajuyi. Ironsi was in Ibadan as part of his reconciliation tour, after the first coup that killed mostly prominent Northern politicians and army officers. Both Ironsi and Fajuyi fought in the United Nations operations in the Congo. Ironsi led the contingent. Ironsi was the target of the coup plotters, but Fajuyi, then military Governor of Western Region, died protecting his leader and guest. They remain the most unsung military officers of their era. Accusations against Ironsi were that he made laws to facilitate Igbos leadership of the country and he failed to punish the first coup plotters. These were at most speculations. Six months in power, Ironsi was murdered. He has been demonised, blamed for every Nigerian challenge, and accorded no respect, though he was medalled for his leadership in the UN Congo operations. Fajuyi is tarred with the same brush over his refusal to turn in Ironsi. Ordinarily, it should have counted

BY MIKE OSUJI

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HE Nigerian oil industry has continued to play a significant role in the nation’s drive towards economic growth and development. Nigeria remains Africa’s leading oil producer and major crude oil exporter in the world. Although herpetroleum reserves, production and exports constitute only a small proportion of the world total, the contribution of the sector to the national economy is quite tremendous. The sector has become the mainstay of the economy, pivoting other sectors and accounting for well over 90 per cent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings and well over 80 per cent of consolidated government revenues. There is no gainsaying the fact that all the three tiers of government in Nigeria predicate their development agenda on revenue derived from oil and are therefore vulnerable to the vagaries in the international prices of oil. Indeed, it is to be noted that oil resources are not infinite, and the fear is already there that Nigeria's oil assets may dry out in less than 50 years. The question has always been asked: Without oil, does Nigeria and by extension the component states have a future? No, if we maintain our current attitude of rent seeking from an enclave economy. Yes, if we look beyond the ephemeral oil present and diversify the economy. It is gratifying to note that Delta is already looking inward and thinking ahead of the possibility of Nigeria without oil. The Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, has successfully synchronized this into his Three-Point C M Y K

29 July 1966 – 4 7 47 Year s Of F allacies ears Fallacies for him as an act commensurate with his status as an “officer and gentleman”. Lt-Col Yakubu Gowon announced himself Head of State on 1 August, without accounting for Ironsi. The military Governor of the Eastern Region, Col Ojukwu rejected Gowon’s leadership and, wanted to know where Ironsi was and insisted that Brigadier Babafemi Ogundipe, the highest ranking officer after Ironsi, should assume command. Killing of Igbos in the North continued with an intensity and bestiality that made earlier killings child’s play. By October 1966, over 50,000 Easterners were killed in a week. More than two million Easterners fled

the North. These events cascaded to a crisis that tore the country apart. Negotiations finally collapsed in January 1967, in Ghana, The Aburi Accords, which each side gave a different interpretation. When Lt-Col Gowon created 12 states in May 1967 to replace the four regions, LtCol Ojukwu declared Eastern Nigeria the Republic of Biafra. A brutal three-year war claimed more than two million lives. These summarise the dark side of Nigeria after independence. A rash of publications on the war has failed to address the causes of the war. The books have mainly served to document bravery of some officers who had commands in the war. Their accounts are hardly different in substance. If the January 1966 coup was an Igbo coup, does that explain riots across the North that targeted unarmed and defenceless civilians – children, women, among them pregnant ones whose bowls were ripped? Nigeria is only months to its centenary, it would benefit from dismantling the falsehood that justify military rule and the war.

OPINION Perspectives on the 2013 DBIR retreat Agenda in the form of Delta Beyond Oil, DBO. In point of fact, for His Excellency, the DBO is essentially ‘…an economic agenda; that will develop other areas of the economy, different from oil and gas but using the current funds coming from oil and gas to develop the other areas of the economy, especially in the areas of agriculture and solid minerals’. The DBO initiative is also geared towards unleashing the alternative sources of revenue for the economy of the state, especially in terms of development of the dormant mineral resources, which the state is endowed with. The state is guarded by the fact that oil wealth is the catalyst that engenders corruption, kills creativity and also fuels low national productivity. This, as it were, has created what is called the resource curse. In an event of the depletion of Nigerian oil resources, Delta State is one of the few states that can survive the fiscal fall-out. It is instructive to note that the Delta State Government through the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, DBIR, is already factoring tax into the DBO mantra. This understanding underscored the theme of the 2013 DBIR retreat tagged: "Delta Beyond Oil: Implications and the Role of DBIR", which took place recently at the state capital, Asaba between May 13 and 17. The excitement of the Governor was palpable when he declared the retreat open. He gave an expose of the concept of DBO and gingered participants by soliciting their perception of DBO. He also enjoined

participants to be forward looking by being game changers in the new Delta Beyond Oil. The Chairman of the DBIR Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, in his welcome address, appreciated the Governor’s proactive thinking by approving the 2013 retreat. The Chairman was unequivocal about the Governor’s commitment to the needs of the Board and assured His Excellency of the Board’s unwavering commitment to the Delta Beyond Oil initiative.

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t the plenary and technical sessions, the array of papers presented at the retreat was a clear manifestation of the fact that the Board is endowed with the right human capital to drive the renewed quest for tax to be a decisive variable in the new DBO. The utility of tax and taxation was laid bare while also dissecting the implications and the role of DBIR in the DBO. Projections were made on vision of Delta when oil wells dry out and how Delta State can use the available oil resources to invest and prepare itself for the eventual non-oil economy period. The importance of a non-oil revenue base was emphasized as the way forward in diversification of the state’s economy through innovative strategies. Taxation was noted as top on the agenda to solve the problem of dwindling oil revenues because a ‘life without tax is a lie’. ‘The very act of taxation has profoundly beneficial effects in fostering better and accountable government ‘.One of the most basic advantages of taxes is that they allow the

government to spend money for basic operations and stimulate economic growth through infrastructural development. Taxes also redistribute wealth between tax payers and individuals who receive government assistance. Instead of consecutive borrowing with its attendant accumulation of debt, it is salutary to look inward and employ tax as a veritable means of revenue generation. What to note is that the 2013 DBIR retreat was for the Board and staff a time for sober reflection and introspection about their place in DBO. Right from the inception of the Uduaghan’s administration, it was noted that there has been a steady increase in IGR. This, to all intents and purposes, is a strong indication that Deltans are already tuned to adjust to the new dawn. Their enthusiasm is propelled by the visible mega projects which are partly funded by tax payers in the state. The focus of the Delta State government on massive infrastructures such as the dualisation of the Asaba-Ughelli road, the Asaba International Airport and the expansion of the airport at Warri as well as the on-going Independent Power Plant at Oghara are loud indications that the state is prepared to provide enabling environment for industrialisation and its attendant diversification of the revenue base of the state. The presence of up and running small and medium scale industries will engender taxation and by extension, increase in revenue for the state and less dependence on oil revenue. There is no doubt that Delta state is already at the next level as far it has elected to free itself from the petroleum incubus. *Mr. Osuji, a commentator on national issues, wrote fromWarri, Delta State.


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MARRYING THE NIGERIAN BOOK TO TOURISM:

A celebration of Olaudah Equiano

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BY OKOFU UBAKA

OOK tours are a rarity in this part of the world. But when they do take place, they are interestingly rewarding, especially for a nation with so much to celebrate. The seeming barrenness in this sector might have been the docility, if not the inability, of the relevant authorities to take advantage of a marriage between the Nigerian book sector and the country’s buoyant tourist potentials. Perhaps, it was against this backdrop that the Delta State University, DELSU 2012/2013 MA students marked Olaudah Equiano’s birthday (1745-1797) with a tour to the demised slave writer’s Ashaka birthplace in Ndokwa East LGA of Delta State. The tour would go down in the anal of history as one such committed group’s effort in identifying with the Nigerian book in such a Olaudah Equiano unique and patriotic fashion. The last time a book tour was embarked cape route to Sapele en route Koko, and upon in this country was in 2000. Then, it probably Warri where the White merchants was as a build up to the LAGOS 2000 were waiting for an onward human transBOOK FAIR. Synergy Educational, a La- portation through the Atlantic Ocean to gos based non-governmental organisa- the New World, and the Caribbeans. There were only two links in this part of tion, and a Nigerian book advocate in partnership with the Nigerian Railway Cor- the Delta during the dark days of slavery. poration, which had suffered, and still suf- The Warri (Escravos) and the Koko estufering the same fate of neglect as the Ni- aries or coastal outreaches. These two gerian book organised the Ake: Book Tour, outreaches were fed by both the Ethiope with Okofu Ubaka Omamuli as land of- and Ughoton channels. The network is further complemented by a half-straight ficer for the event. Essentially, the Ake Book Tour was built and a half-winding footpath called Jackson around Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka’s Line; it was used to link these water chanAke: The Years of Childhood. The initia- nels. The purpose of JacksonLine, like the tive by DELSU 2012/2013 MA students to channels earlier mentioned, was to protake a tour of some of the landmarks vide access for slave kidnappers and their Equiano mentioned in his narrative is in- victims down to Koko, Warri and several sightful and commendable. The students hidden slave loading ports in the Delta. and notable names in Delta State literary There is no gainsaying that Africa’s peace circle and friends of Prof. Darah thick- was disturbed by the unwelcome White ened the event as well as joggled the invaders, and in no time, the continent memory of the people of Ashaka, and in- was a big cauldron of torment, pains, andeed Deltans of a rich heritage in guish and distrust. Looking back, the slave Equiano. The visit to Ashaka, the birth phenomenon in Africa left no fewer than place of Equiano, which the demised slave 10 million Black souls ferried en mass author describes as “a charming fruitful through the “Middle Passage” as chattels to the New World and the Caribbeans. vale”, is historic. Although, it is pathetic and regrettable, one thing is certain: that the gory slavery Childhood experiences had further expanded and experiences enriched the history of Africa. It is true At Ashaka, the guests relive the that all races have their own history; that Equiano’s cherished and innocent child- of Africa, and especially the Blacks, for its hood experiences, and took some read- slave experiences shouldn’t be one at a ings from his book The Interesting Nar- glance! Africans must be proud to identify rative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano with this aspect of her history. Long before now, early slave heroes and (1789) in reminiscence of the tranquility heroines made it very clear to their adverthat was characteristic of an African communal life. Participants of the tour de- saries that the difference between them parted from Abraka through Obiaruku and and their masters were only in the colUmuaja, the source of river Ethiope. At ours of their eyes, skin and texture of their Ashaka, the august visitors paid homage hair and not in intellect as the latter had to the Opala Ukwu and the council of conceived. Although providence was kind elders in the community. At Mater Dei to these slaves, they were also said to have Grammar School, Ashaka, the students demonstrated a high sense of industry and presented a matinee of the re-enactment uncommon desire to succeed. Africans of Equiano’s kidnap episode. The visit stand to gain a lot by living through these was rounded off with a light entertainment. experiences. One cannot but imagine how Why a stop at the river Ethiope source inspirational the activism of Sojourner at Umuaja, one might ask? It is believed Truth (1797-1883) had contributed to catathat the serpentine river Ethiope offered pulting the likes of Oprah Winfred, Amiri Equiano’s kidnappers and those of other Baraka and Michelle Obama, the Amerimillion slaves stolen from this part of the can First Lady to that point they are toold Niger Delta area the cover and es- day. C M Y K


50—Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

2015: APC zones Enugu guber to Nsukka

Ngige declares bid to contest Anambra guber in 2015

BY TONY EDIKE

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NUGU—AHEAD of the 2015 governorship election in Enugu State, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has zoned its governorship ticket to Enugu North senatorial district, also known as Nsukka zone. The decision to zone the ticket to Nsukka was taken at a meeting in Enugu, weekend. A member of APC Merger Committee, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, who spoke to newsmen after the meeting, appealed to credible aspirants from Enugu East and Enugu West to support this decision in the spirit of brotherhood. Okechukwu, who was the state gubernatorial candidate of Congress for Progressives Change, CPC in 2011 explained that Enugu East and West senatorial districts had produced the governor for eight years each since the return of civil rule in 1999, adding that equity, fairness and justice demanded that power should shift to Enugu North district.

Chime attributes success to prudent management BY TONY EDIKE

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NUGU—GOVERNOR Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, weekend, attributed the successes of his administration, especially in infrastructure development, security and provision of basic social amenities to prudent management of resources and a clear vision of the problems and needs of the people. Chime, who made this known during a dinner party for members of 1980 class of the University of Nigeria Law Faculty and some of their lecturers, also said contrary to the notion held in some quarters, the administration was not borrowing money to finance the many notable projects in the state. He said: “We have not been borrowing to do projects in Enugu State. It is just that we always know where and how to apply money as it comes. Before we receive any money, we already know where it is going and what projects or programmes it would be used to execute”. C M Y K

DEFECTION—Former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose (left), a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Buruji Kashamu (middle), and a former member of the House of Representatives, Kayode Amusan (right), during the defection of some Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, members to the Peoples' Democratic Party, PDP, in Ijebu North East LGA of Ogun State, yesterday.

Police abort impeachment rally against Jonathan in Abuja A

BY LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU

BUJA—A rally meant to persuade the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against President Goodluck Jonathan over the lingering Rivers State crisis was weekend prevented by the Nigerian Police in Abuja. The protest, which had the support of General Muhammadu Buhari, Tunji Braithwaite, Ben Nwabueze, SAN, Mike Ozekhome, among others, was planned by over 49 groups of eminent Nigerians who fused under an umbrella known as United Nigerians Group, UNG. The grouse of the group against President Jonathan hinges on the current state of the nation which, according to it, was affected by insecurity. Amongst other reasons advanced for the protest was also the

lingering Rivers State political crisis which the group fingered President Jonathan to be the mastermind. It further accused the President of lacking the political strength to curtail the insecurity in the country. Co-Convener of the Mass Protest, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, who spoke to Vanguard condemned the action of the Police which stopped the rally last week. He said: “The protest was supposed to commence Wednesday last week. But all of a sudden, on Tuesday, we got a letter from Force Headquarters, by the IG restraining us from holding any peaceful protest or rally and what we did to prove that we are law-abiding citizens was to formally write to the Police that we intend to hold a peaceful

rally and we are marching down from Berger RoundAbout to the National Assembly, telling them that we need their protection. We are not asking them for permission because we knew that under the constitution, there is a law backing us to hold peaceful protest as free citizens of the country. "The next thing we saw was a letter that we are being restrained from organising any rally. It has been banned. To us, we felt it was an abuse of our right.” Yerima who is also the National President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, AYCF, however, stated that the stoppage was a blessing to them as the group was strategizing and recording an influx of more Nigerians who have invested interest in the rally.

APGA accuses INEC of double standards in crisis BY PETER OKUTU

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BAKALIKI—THE All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, weekend, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of contributing to the crisis that had plagued it for a long time. It accused the commission of double standard in matters affecting the party, arguing that APGA wouldn’t have been in court, if INEC had performed its constitutional function to the letter. In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Bernard Akoma, APGA called on INEC to ratify its 2011 national

convention held in Awka, Anambra State, as any action to the contrary might spell doom for candidates who would want to run for election on the platform of the party. He said: “It never said that the convention of APGA in 2011 which was the issue in contention was properly conducted according to its constitution. The judgment simply leaves INEC with an opportunity to do its job in this regard because it monitored the convention. “The truth remains that APGA would not have been in court if INEC had performed its

constitutional roles in APGA as it has done to PDP. It is the double standard approach of the Commission that has left APGA where it is today. “If the party can remain in crisis, it will not muster the strength to present a common front for elections. If, however, the party is able to wriggle out and win election anywhere, the opposition parties will have enough ground to nullify the election in court because APGA candidates may not claim to have been nominated by validly elected organs of the party according to the party constitution.

HE senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, Dr Chris Ngige, has declared his intention to contest the governorship election in Anambra State scheduled to hold in November, 2013. In a letter intimating the Senate President of his decision, Senator Ngige said his decision to contest the gubernatorial seat in Anambra state was based on pressure “by many people from all works of life from my home state.” However, he said the decision to vie for the governorship seat in Anambra State was not “a personal ambition” adding that the “cry and the demand of my people have been a source of incredible pressure and has increased tremendously with the release of the Anambra Governorship Election timetable by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.”

Excitement as power supply improves in Awka BY VINCENT UJUMADU

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WKA—THERE has been excitement in some parts of Awka, the Anambra State capital, following the noticeable improvement in electricity supply in the area in the past 10 days as a result of the completion of a new power generating sub-station in the town. For many years, electricity consumers in the area were used to the usual load shedding by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, in which most parts of the state enjoyed electricity every other day and sometimes two or three days in a week. Following the improved power supply, Vanguard visited some on-going power projects in the state and found out that the reason was because a new mobile 40MVA feeder line at Agu Awka using two transformers had successfully been installed and is currently on test run.


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Health alert:

Your cell phone is making you fat! BY SOLA OGUNDIPE

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F you are trying to lose weight, and you sincerely wish to succeed in your weight loss plan, you need to ditch your cell phone. Why? The short answer: Your cell phone is making you fat. That smart little gadget of yours which has become the centre of your world of late, is slowly but steadily transforming you into a lazy bag of bones and if care is not taken, you’ll end up a fat slob before you know it. Remember how you woke up this morning, all fired up to go to the gym - for the first time in ages - and you really meant to go, but then your phone buzzed before you even got out of bed. It turned out to be your colleague at work texting a delicious tidbit of gossip. You had to respond back and forth for about 10 minutes. And since your phone was in hand,

it only made sense to check Facebook and to see what else was going on in the world, which led you to a friend’s Instagram profile, then pinterest, twitter, etc. Suddenly, those 40 minutes you had dedicated to going to the gym had been eaten up by all those little apps on your smartphone. According to a new study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, persons in the habit of staying glued to the cell phone 24/7, are most likely to get less exerciseand are likely to end up being in worse physical shape than those who use their phones less frequently. Unlike all of the other sedentary devices such as TVs, video games and computers, cell phones, regardless of their portability, tend to discourage movement and

on-the-go activity much more readily. Researchers studied 300 students at Kent State University involving lowfrequency cell phone users (90 mintues a day); moderate users (average of 5 hours a day); and heavy users (up to 14 hours a day). They measured their fitness levels by having them run on a treadmill till exhaustion, as well as measuring their body fat. As expected, those who used their phones the most were in the worst physical shape. Some students even reported that certain

phones were more of a time suck than others. One interview subject said: "Now that I have switched to the iPhone, I would say it definitely decreases my physical activity because before I just had a Blackberry, so I didn't have much stuff on it. But now, if I'm bored, I can just download whatever I want. I really cannot get bored using it. Before I would always get bored and I would have to find something else to do and that would involve like going somewhere or playing sports or doing something."

•First step to losing weight: Put down your cell phone!

Pathcare, Cycology promote cycling for health BY CHIOMA OBINNA & ESTHER ONYEGBULA

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YCLING is a pastime health experts recommend as not just fun, but healthy. Cycling is one of the easiest ways to exercise,

•The Nestlé/IAAF Kids Athletics programme was launched last week. About 200,000 pupils are expected to benefit from the initiative which holds July 2013 till September 2014. Some of the athletes with Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo and Yussuf Alli during the activation exercise at Opebi Model Primary School, Lagos.

but is not a fitness activity that solely involves the legs. Cycling builds strength in a holistic manner since every single part of the body is involved. Regular cycling builds muscle tone, improves stamina and cardiovascular fitness just as it improves coordination and reduces stress. To inculcate the culture of healthy living through cycling, PathCare Laboratories, Lagos, in collaboration with Cycology Cycling Club, last week organised a 40 kilomtre cycling tagged; “Know Your Numbers Ride” to raise public awareness about various health problems. At the event, about 40

cyclists took off from the Astro Turf, Ikoyi through the 3rd Mainland Bridge to Yaba, Adekunle and back to the starting point. Participants also benefited from free health screening and health talk. Martha Maha, Head Clients Services, PathCare said the campaign was to enable people obtain credible health information from experts, at the same time providing a free Know Your Numbers health card. “We want to encourage people all over Nigeria to collect this card as it showcases all the essential health numbers everyone should know. It has a unique bold pressure chart which

enables individuals to understand the difference between normal, prehypertensive levels which helps them know how to manage their blood pressure”. PathCare Pathologist, Dr. Emmanuel said the Know Your Numbers initiative emphasizes the importance of prompt and constant health checkups, preventive care, treatment options and lifestyle modification. Promoting cycling as a lifestyle, Captain of the Cycology Cycling Club, Mr. Frank Ozoma said it was one of the actions needed to be taken as daily exercise to prevent illness from taking over the body.

SOGHIN worries over Hepatitis B

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ISTURBED by the high vulnerability of Nigerians to Hepatitis infection, the Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Nigeria, SOGHIN, has called on Federal government to immediately declare the epidemic as a national public health emergency. Making the call weekend ahead of the 2013 World Hepatitis Day, marked globally on July 28, SOGHIN President, Professor Olusegun Ojo, lamented the glaring lack of awareness and education about the Hepatitis B virus among Nigerians living with the condition. “SOGHIN is disturbed that so many Nigerians are vulnerable to the epidemic of Hepatitis infection. That is exactly what it is, or how else can we describe a virus that has affected over 20 million Nigerians and is

causing thousands of deaths each year?" He remarked. Ojo, who raised alarm over the menace of the disorder within the populace, admonished government at the top to prioritize Hepatitis B response by first having an established goal of eliminating the Hepatitis B virus and to proper treatment and prevention initiatives quality. "The fact that many infections are silent, causing no symptoms until there is irreversible damage to the liver, points to the urgent need for universal access to immunisation, screening, diagnosis, and antiviral therapy particularly from public sponsored treatment programmes which unfortunately do not exist in Nigeria currently." Hepatitis B is treatable, and effective vaccination remains the best mode of prevention. C M Y K


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Imoke sacks 145 monarchs BY EMMA UNA

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ALABAR—ONE hundred and forty five traditioal rulers were relieved of their certificates of authority in two local government areas of Cross River State, following what the state governor, Senator Liyel Imoke described as their “partisan roles, failing to live up to their responsibilities and not stopping inter communal conflicts which resulted in loss of lives and property in their respective areas.” Mr. John Eyikwaje, the Governor ’s Special Adviser on Chieftaincy Affairs, weekend, said that the governor was angry with the role played by the

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traditional rulers and had ordered their immediate sack. He said that the clan heads and chiefs of the following villages in Yakurr and Obubra affected by the order include Adun clan, Oderega, Ekoma Eko 1 and 11, Ebo 1 and 11, Ogbokora, Eganarim, Muwane, Evokwadem and Otaba. Along with the Ababene clan head are the chiefs of the villages of Ababene, Opubantam, Akoro, Aranga, Okparangwu, Itatona, Mbem, Oyong Awuma, Uboknikode, Igbabonghe, Ogbaka, Ekona, Ebingha, Egor, Ayontomoh, Otasi, Ijerewot, Ejirika and Ewama. In Obenben clan, 17 chiefs with the clan head were affected. These

villages are Obubem, Ahana,Itamekog,Oranghatem, Akwat, Ivaoke, Ogbong, Ebona, Eyube, Egbeyinka, Eganarin, Oghanawon, Ogbakwuru, Kangha, Oyengha, Ayigba, Owuwemtem. The Ovat clan communities whose chiefs were sacked include Ofat Akon, Owomodim 11, Okpubang, Ibam, Okumedo, Odereghakwepa, Ogada, Itura, Ofrekpe, Nkwumor, Oron, and in Ofodua clan also in Obubra are Ofudua, Waterside, Ofodua Inland, Oyinkpindem, Ijouda, Ochikpor, Imughe, Otingha, Ntingha, Ekoma, Obegha, Ovaregba,Ivarowonoke, Ivaobeten and Ivaenang.

BY JIMITOTAONOYUME

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ORT HARCOURT—RIVERS State Governor has condoled with the First Family of the country over the death of the mother of Mrs. Patience Jonathan. Governor Chibuike Amaechi, who said that he received the death of Madam Charity Oba with shock and sadness, urged the first family to take solace in the assurance in the scriptures that she had transited to a far better place. “It is with utmost shock and sadness that we received the news of the death of your dear mother, confident and cherished companion, Madam Oba. Yet in the midst of our pain, we must not forget that we are Christians and therefore, should not mourn like those without hope. “It is our firm belief that our

Amaechi condoles with First Lady over mother’s death beloved Sisi has gone to a better place. Her charity and faith remain a hallmark not just in Obaama and Okrika but everywhere she lived. Her ever open arms and warm hospitality cannot be forgotten and remain as always, a beacon of hope and candle light that all who love her can cling unto. “On behalf of my wife Judith, the GovernmentandpeopleofRiversState, I want to assure you of our prayers and steadfastsupportatthisverytryingtime, as we trust our ever faithful God to grant you and your family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”


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54—Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

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My takes on constitution amendment

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ETWEEN 2005 and 2006, the regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo started elaborate amendment of the 1999 Constitution. He empanelled the National Political Reform Conference (NPFL). The effort died on the floor of the Senate due to Obasanjo’s insertion of a clause seeking to extend his tenure. Shortly after being elected in 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan also inaugurated the Justice Alfa Belgore panel to review outstanding issues of our constitutional conferences since independence. On Tuesday, 12th July 2012, the Committee submitted its report. Based on this, the National Assembly embarked on the latest round of largescale amendments of the constitution. Bearing in mind that during President Umar Yar’ Adua’s reign the constitution was also amended, we are left with the grim conclusion that every regime will have to tinker with the constitution. We are in this constitutional mess because the military bequeathed a document that is simply unviable, inchoate and discreditable. It is like trying to patch a structurally flawed building which has developed cracks all over. I have always maintained that we need to write an entirely new constitution that will usher Nigeria into a new century devoid of the weaknesses, mistakes and mischief that ruled our crisis- and conflict-riddled first century as a nation founded by a foreign colonial power and dominated by internal regional overlords. It gave way to violent rebellions, a civil war, coups, countercoups, and currently terrorism. We must come together and evolve a constitution that will exorcise the demons of centralised federalism, which is a legacy of our colonial and military past. It is amply evident that the only viable and credible system of federalism suited for Nigeria is one that decentralises power to the six geopolitical zones. This is the most adequate grouping of Nigerians based on principles Professor George Obiozor terms: “contiguity and consanguinity”. Violent agitations in the country’s history were rejections of our centralised federalism. The failed secession of the Eastern Region (Biafra) was a flee to safety from a country unwilling and unable to protect its innocent citizens under attack. The many failed counter coups carried out by officers of the Middle Belt (Col. BS Dimka’s coup of 1976, Major General Mamman Vatsa’s coup of 1985 and Major Gideon Orkar’s coup of 1990) were rebellions against Muslim North’s domination. The campaign for the revalidation of Chief

Every major group has violently indicated its yearning for full, decentralised federalism. So, what is holding us from simply putting it into effect? Why have all constitutional efforts since the end of the civil war avoided it, opting to sustain a glorified unitary system that has failed to build the nation?

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Moshood Abiola’s presidential mandate from 1993 to 1998 championed by the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) with activists from the South West zone as the spearheads was a struggle for power shift and true federalism.

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he armed struggle of Niger Delta militants that lasted between 1998 and 2009 was a struggle for Resource Control. In 2000, Sharia riots swept through the Muslim North, after the Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Sani Yerima, unconstitutionally declared full implementation of the Muslim law. Thousands of lives were lost. Today, the

Boko Haram insurgents have taken up arms to implement the same Jihadist agenda, killing thousands of people across the North and sparking off the ongoing emergency rule. The handwriting on the wall is simple to decipher: Muslim North also wants true

federalism where they can live their Islamic cultural life to the fullest. Every major group has violently indicated its yearning for full, decentralised federalism. So, what is holding us from simply putting it into effect? Why have all constitutional efforts since the end of the civil war avoided it, opting to sustain a glorified unitary system that has failed to build the nation? Therefore, my take on our constitution is that of total re-engineering, starting with the empanelment of a constituent assembly. The National Assembly ’s attempts to amend the military constitution will continue to fail. The Assembly is arrogating to itself the power to give Nigerians a constitution through the back door by amending a faulty military constitution. In the subsequent parts of this article I will examine whether the 1999 Constitution is truly supreme. I will declare my stand on the controversial issues of immunity, autonomy for the local governments and creation of states.

Deportation of Igbos from Lagos

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HEN I first heard about it I could not believe it until the details were everywhere in the media. A detachment of officials of the Lagos State Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) bundled 70 indigent Nigerians of Igbo extraction and dumped them on the shores of the River Niger at Onitsha and sped back to Lagos! It was a display of deep seated barbarism and an assault on the citizenship rights of Nigerians whose only sin was that they were indigent non-indigenes. Since I have not heard where the Lagos State Government (LASG) has dumped similar citizens of Lagos and South West extraction, it is difficult to dismiss accusations of xenophobia against the LASG. I find it curious that an LASG that, since the days of the leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bola Tinubu, as the Governor of Lagos, has responded to the electoral support of non-indigenes with concession of posts within his government to them, has now resorted to this inciting and uncivilised hostility to non-indigenes under Governor Raji Fashola. I do not support the mass migration of people without means of livelihood to Lagos or the urban areas. People like that have better uses in the native communities than to become pests in the cities. But the LASG must approach the cleaning of Lagos streets of mendicants and destitute persons in a decent, lawful and wholesome manner, ensuring that no particular ox is gored. Lagos should go about its “mega-city” business with lessons learned from other great societies that have travelled the road. The growing rudeness and aggressiveness to non-indigenes must stop. Lagos is our national commonwealth. It was built with the oil wealth of the former Eastern Region as the capital of Nigeria before being handed over to LASG in December 1992 when the seat of government moved to Abuja. There are millions of Igbos and non-indigenes doing big time business, providing employment and paying through their noses to the coffers of the LASG. Nonindigenes make the Lagos economy tick, while the indigenes simply milk their effort. The scanty Igbo down-trodden in Lagos are entitled to care of the government because their virile and affluent brothers who control all the markets in Lagos, enrich the coffers of the state to the tune of billions of Naira monthly. LASG must find a better method of moderating the complex social situation in the state because the resort to “Area Boy” strategies will not help anyone. Besides, those deported might have found their ways back to Lagos already!

OPINION BY ADEWALE KUPOLUYI

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HE ongoing political brouhaha in Rivers State is assuming a perilous dimension that should be halted before it snowballs into complete breakdown of law and order. The foiled impeachment attempt on the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Otelemaba Amachree by only five members out of the 32-member assembly is the latest in the dance of shame going on in the oil-rich state. The crisis in Rivers State, though unnecessary, is beginning to assume a more embarrassing and dangerous turn, with the supporters of both sides now confronting and attacking each other openly. After the violence had ensued, some lawmakers were seriously injured, making the House of Representatives to hurriedly pass a resolution mandating the National Assembly to take over the duties of the state assembly while the Senate too decided to probe the entire saga. The turmoil in the state is believed to be a calculated attempt at creating a scenario that could lead to the collapse of the political ambition of the Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, perhaps through impeachment, for rivaling President Goodluck Jonathan’s quest to come back to the Aso Rock Villa in 2015. Before this impeachment drama, earlier efforts by the five recalcitrant legislators to make their colleague lawmakers see reasons why the governor should be removed had failed, hence the latest conspiracy. What is, however, saddening is that these young men, who are supposed to be bastion of democracy by virtue of being

Needless Rivers crisis law makers, should find themselves in this illegality and mess. The leader of the five anti-Amaechi lawmakers, Evans Bipi - who ordinarily should have been arrested by now in a sane clime - kept insisting that he remained the authentic Speaker, having led four other members Assembly to hatch the plot, running afoul of the constitution, which stipulates that for the impeachment of any elected official to be valid, ‘not less than two-thirds of the members of the House must vote in its favour’. For me, I don’t see any big deal why Amaechi should become targets of all sorts of political bashing because of a feeling that he posed a political threat. With the growing violence and acrimony in Rivers State, many observers are beginning to feel that the next general elections may not be free, fair and credible. Critical appraisals of the unfolding scenario in these last few weeks indicate that there is every likelihood of an unseen, powerful hand behind the travails of Amaechi. The non-recognition of his re-election by the-powers-tobe as the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum could be the fall-out of his refusal not to re-contest as NGF Chairman when his party told him so, as well as his opposition to the running of the Sovereign Wealth Fund, Excess Crude Account and call for complete transparency and accountability in the payment of petrol subsidy, among others could also be his ‘offence’.

Is it transfer of aggression or how does one refer to the experience of the four Northern states governors; Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu (Niger), chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum on a solidarity visit to Amaechi, who were allegedly pelted with stones by protesters ? The Vanguard reported that the attack was sponsored as “thousands of Nyesom Wike’s loyalists stormed the airport, protesting the visit of the four northern governors. The protesters literarily took over the exit gate of the VIP lounge of the airport, singing anti-Amaechi songs. Some of the placards they carried read: ‘Northern governors leave Rivers State alone!’ ‘Amaechi must go’, ‘Rivers money for Rivers people’ ...” Therefore, if the speculation is true that the needless crises in Rivers is borne out of politics, Jonathan should ensure that a stop is put to this and work harder to win the hearts of the people by putting more efforts in the areas of security, power and unemployment. Amaechi too could leave the PDP and look for another platform where he could realise his ambition, if his membership of the party that had already ostracised him, will continue to cause him nightmare. The way it is, the current political situation in the state is being worsened by bitter political infighting, ethnic, enmity and religious conflicts going on in other parts of the country, almost on a daily basis. *Mr. Kupoluyi wrote from Federal Varsity of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013— —55

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HEN we gained admission in 1985, we were among the youngest lads in the Mass Communications class of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. While I quickly reconciled myself to the daunting task of ‘flowing’ with men, a few of whom were more than twice my age as classmates. Douglas Akachukwu Ude, was determined to follow a different path. He wanted not just to exist cordially with these ‘men’, but to be regarded as “a fellow adult”. So, for the whole of our first year (as he’d admit later), he kept some distance from me and even occasionally led joshing sessions targeted at me on my relative youth. As he’d later confess, it was my good-natured handling of this ribbing that made him realise the futility of running away from his youth and brought us closer as the years progressed. One thing that struck you immediately about him was the great promise he embodied even in his early youth. You could sense his rare intellect and wit even from the first sentence he uttered - you just knew this guy was going places even from the relatively rustic settings of our campus in Nsukka. Within a few weeks of interaction, we discovered Douglas was not just a very brilliant mind; he was also a prodigiously-gifted artist. He could do a perfect pencil sketch of the visage of any classmate in

minutes, regardless of the level of challenge posed by the facial features! One particularly hilarious episode was his pictorial rendition of the faces of some select classmates as 70-year-old men while a Radio/TV class was in progress and his circulation of this sketch to members of the class. It was only the grace of God that saved the class from the ire of a visibly irate lecturer, bewildered by the loud guffaws from class members as the paper was surreptitiously passed from one desk to another. That was vintage Douglas - the life of the party! While my two internship programmes in school took me to Lagos, Douglas headed to Enugu; specifically to Daily Star, the regional media powerhouse then, where my mother was variously the Features Editor and Woman Editor. Perhaps because my mother was also an alumnus of the same department, he was posted to work with her and, when she noticed his artistic gifts, she encouraged him to do sketches for the newspaper’s stories. So good were these sketches that he became the unofficial cartoonist of the paper literally ‘overnight’! Going by the rather curious pen name, “El Tito”, his sharp, witty sketches soon became a popular staple in the daily editions and the newspaper had to break with tradition by paying an intern for his services. More significantly, the alias El Tito, became a household one, especially in my family circle where he was an instant hit with

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everyone. Tito was among the best graduating students of our set and, while we moved over to Lagos to pursue our career aspirations, he was driven by the entrepreneurial bug to seek his fortune in Port Harcourt. With his very rare endowment of talent and confidence, it was not a surprise to many of us that he struck out on his own so soon after graduation. He set up a firm, Goldcross, and drove it with his usual zest, making considerable inroads into the marketing communications terrain of Port Harcourt.

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e also became a livewire of sorts to the University of Nigeria Alumni Association both in his Port Harcourt local chapter and the National body where he not only held key offices but was a compere of distinction at their functions. With time, it became apparent

RIGHT OF REPLY

Senate did not vote on marriage age BY ENYI ABARIBE

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HE Senate last week voted on the report of its Constitution Review Committee and at the end of it all, it once again achieved a milestone in altering the 1999 Constitution to bring the document in line with the general aspirations of the Nigerian people. However, while the Senate appreciates and welcomes the healthy debate that ensued within the public on some aspects of the sections that were voted on, which it sees as a veritable feedback that signals the public acceptance and overwhelming followership of the happenings in the hallowed chambers, it is nonetheless bothered by negative commentaries which suggest a deliberate misinformation and distortion of what actually transpired on the floor when the distinguished senators voted on the each section of the report by its constitution amendment committee. For the avoidance of doubt, at no time did the senators vote, neither did they ever deliberate on any clause that has to do with marriage age. They also did not vote to introduce any new law on underage marriage. The senators only voted to amend some clauses in the articles that were already in the Constitution. It is pertinent for the public to know that the section up for amendment had to do with persons qualified to renounce Nigerian citizenship. The 1999 Constitution as amended in Section 29 (which has suddenly become a hot issue for both informed and uninformed interpretation in the press and social media), states in section 1 S29(1): "Any citizen of Nigeria of full age who wishes to renounce his Nigerian citizenship shall make a declaration in the prescribed manner for the renunciation". S29(4): "For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, (a) 'full age' means the

age of eighteen years and above; (b) 'any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age'. The prevailing view of the committee before the initial vote was that Section 29(4)(a) was gender neutral but with section 29(4)(b) specifically mentioning "woman" , it now looked discriminatory and as such is in conflict with section 42 of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination of any form. The committee thus sought for it to be expunged from the Constitution. Senators, therefore, voted earlier to expunge that sub-section and it scaled through by 75 votes. Note that under the Constitution, to amend any clause you will need 2/3 of the members of the Senate which translates to 73 votes. However, the revisiting of the voting on that section was to take care of objections raised by Distinguished Senator Ahmad Sani Yerima, among others. He pointed out that removing the clause 29(4)(b) contradicts section 61 of the second schedule of the Constitution which restricts the National Assembly from considering matters relating to Islamic and Customary law. Revisiting the section was pure and simple a pragmatic approach. It had to be so, considering that the Senate as the representative of the people represents all interests and all shades of opinion. Therefore, a fresh vote was called and even though those who wanted that section expunged were more in number, they failed to muster the needed votes to get it through. What it meant was that majority of senators voted to remove it but they were short of the 2/3 majority or (73) required to alter an article of the Constitution. Had voting in constitutional amendment not been based on the mandatory two-third or (73) votes of senators at the seating, perhaps the issue would have been rested by

that the possibilities offered by Port Harcourt for his profession were limited, with the overwhelming concentration of powers and activity in corporate head offices in Lagos. So, in 2004, he relocated to Lagos, determined, in his inimitable style, to stamp his professional authority on his new sphere of operation. When he joined Fidelity Bank in 2005, after a brief stint in Linkserve, he found the perfect environment to thrive and was easily among the most popular staff in the bank, not just for his quick grasp of the essentials of the banking business but also for the ease with which he made friends and struck alliances across various functional areas of the institution. The last time we met was at an art exhibition, a month ago in Ikoyi, where we discussed the burial plans for my brother in-law, Dr. Chinwuba Amaechina, and Tito pledged to be in Nri, Anambra State, for the burial ceremony on July 5, 2013. I was therefore shocked, a few days to the burial ceremony, to learn that he was shot in an exchange between daredevil robbers and the police after his car had been snatched and he and his wife, Chioma, were held captive as the robbers proceeded for an operation! I was stunned beyond description to learn on the evening of July 4, 2013 that my friend passed on as he was being wheeled into the air ambulance hired by his bank in a desperate effort to provide him with the first class medical attention that has continued to elude us locally despite the abundant wealth God has brought our way in our 53 year-old soujourn as a sovereign nation. On July 4, 2013, I lost not just a

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BY EJIKE EKWEGBALU

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Goodbye El Tito

He was one of the most rounded and gifted persons I’d ever met; Tito’s death was simply too tough to come to terms with; he was so full of life that, even in death, it appears sinful to describe him in the past tense

The Senate has done its best with utmost concern for national interest and its leadership has ably navigated its affairs with high level of integrity, sense of responsibility and fairness to all Nigerians

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now, but be that as it may the outcome of the voting remains the position of the Senate. S29(4)(b) still remains part of the Constitution. What is important is for the issue to be put in its proper perspective. This clarification has become necessary because of the willful and deliberate act to distort and misinform the general public on what was neither discussed nor contemplated by the distinguished senators.

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t no time was marriage as a section of the Constitution discussed or voted for. The National Assembly in 2003 had passed "The Child Rights Act" which specifically took care of the fears being expressed in a cross section of the media. The Act clearly states in section 21: "No person under the age of 18 years is capable of contracting a valid marriage, and accordingly, any marriage so contracted is null and void and of no effect whatsoever". 22. 1. "No parent, guardian or any other person shall betroth a child to any person" 2. A betrothal in contravection of subsection (1) of this section is null and void. Therefore, under the Childs Right Act the lawful age of marriage is 18years. The Constitution does not provide for

friend and classmate, but a brother. Coming so soon after losing a brother-in-law of inestimable value in the most sudden and shocking manner possible, Tito’s death was simply too tough to come to terms with. He was so full of life that, even in death, it appears sinful to describe him in the past tense. Of course, he would have had his flaws (all humans are flawed), but you knew that he was a good man simply driven by the quest to make the best of the challenging climes God had situated him in (Nigeria) and to provide the very best for his family. He left you in no doubt of this by his very positive attitude to life, the vitality he always seemed to exude and charm that could thaw even the iciest visage. One fact that cemented our friendship was the excellent tribute he wrote on my father’s death which was so good that I must have reread it over a thousand times. It was not just about the way he described my father; it was the very succinct way he captured my family in our growing up years in Enugu and the superb prose that made it a timeless read. We also shared a love for the arts, music (all sorts) and books! He was one of the most rounded and gifted persons I’d ever met.His generosity of spirit was also amazing! It is tragic that we lost Douglas in circumstances that should not be associated with any organised society in this day and age; more so when that society is as divinely gifted as ours. I grieve to think of his young wife and those wonderful very little children of theirs.

*Mr. Ekwegbalu wrote from Lagos.

many rules of human engagement such as marriage and only makes provision for specialised laws to take care of such matters. That is why the National Assembly now made a specialised legislation to address the matter of lawful age for marriage as seen above. In fact, section 23 of the Childs Right Act provides stiff penalties: A person (a) who marries a child; or (b) to whom a child is betrothed ; or (c) who promotes the marriage of a child; or (d) who betroths a child commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) or imprisonment for a term of five years or to both such fine and imprisonment. It was the Senate of this Federal Republic that made this law which is still operative in some states. The snag in any case is that the Child Right Act does not automatically apply across the country. It has to be domesticated on state by state basis by the respective Houses of Assembly. Up to date 12 states are yet to domesticate or adopt the law. It is with respect to those states that the advocacy on age of marriage should be directed since it was the National Assembly that passed the law in the first place. The essence of this further clarification is to remind all that the Senate in its wisdom passed that law, which has become operative in most states with the exception of the remaining 12. The Senate has done its best with utmost concern for national interest and its leadership has ably navigated its affairs with high level of integrity, sense of responsibility and fairness to all Nigerians. It would have made a whole lot of sense had the various commentators displayed the capacity to reason and do due diligence to the issue before rushing to conclude that the Senate did what was not even before it.

* Senator Abaribe is Chairman, Senate Committe on Information, Media and Public Affairs.


56 — VANGUARD, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

Constitution Amendment:

Majority had their say but minority their way— Ekweremadu DEPUTY Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu (CFR), is the chairman Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution. In an interview with Senate Correspondents, he spoke on Senate’s clause-by-clause voting exercise on the Constitution amendment process, noting that the requirement of two-third and not simple majority for amendments to sail through sank many proposed amendments in the Senate. Excerpts:

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OUR committee made recommendations that were largely popular among Nigerians. Are you surprised that some of them were not passed by your colleagues? Let me say straight away that I am speaking for the Committee on Constitutional Amendment. I am just giving you the position of things regarding our recommendations to the Senate. People voted in accordance with their consciences and the dictates of their constituencies. When we sent our recommendations, we had no delusions whatsoever that all the recommendations will go through. We believed that some will go through and some may not. But I believe that as a committee, we were justified in our conscience that we recommended to our colleagues what we believed to be in the best interest of Nigeria.

Constitution amendment So, if people are protesting that we didn’t pass it, again I think it is a justification of the position taken by our committee that, that was also good. So for me it is like giving a nod to those recommendations we made. We believed that those things were right but of course, this is democracy and our colleagues are entitled to vote the way they wanted. So, the only thing I can say is that the issue of constitution amendment is a continuum. If in the future we have the opportunity of going through this process again, these issues that they feel strongly about will be revisited. Just as the issue of independence of State Houses of Assembly, you will recall that though the Section in that particular exercise failed in the hands of the states Assembly

•Ekweremadu themselves, but there were agitations that we need to ensure that it happens. Because of that, we have brought it back in this exercise and subsequently it has gone through the Senate and hopefully, it will go through the House of Representatives and we will send it to the states. If it passes through the states, it means that we were right to bring it back. So what will happen to the ones that people are agitating for is to represent them again when the opportunities come, and recommend to our colleagues for possible consideration because we cannot be actively indifferent to the feelings of Nigerians. Possibly, by then our colleagues will be able to have sufficient votes to see them through.

Don’t forget that what is needed to pass any part of the amendments is two-third, which is 73 votes and some of the amendments got as much as 70, which is a majority. So, what we are saying is that most of the amendments that failed to pass had more than half of the Senate votes and this shows that they were quite popular with the Senate, but because we needed two-thirds, there was nothing we could do about. This is a situation where the majority will have their say but the minority will have their way. We believe that in the future, we will revisit them. Is it possible to bring back some of the failed clauses into the amendment process during harmonization? The answer is yes because once

we have set up t h e harmonization committee, it is going to be with the mandate of the Senate. If the House voted positively for it and we voted it out and we believe that the House members were right, then we will concur with them and it forms part of the harmonized version and then we bring it back to our people for voting. That is sincere enough. The fact that it failed in the Senate will not stop us from adopting it if the H o u s e recommends it and we are convinced that it is the right thing to do. Y o u r committee recommended that Section 29(4)(b) of the Constitution be deleted because it infringes on the rights of the

Public policy (3) The President may withhold the registration of any declaration made under subsection (1) of this section if(a) the declaration is made during any war in which Nigeria is physically involved; or (b) in his opinion, it is otherwise contrary to public policy. (4) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section. (a) “full age” means the age of eighteen years and above; (b) any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age. So, Section 29(4)(b) is specifically and unambiguously for the purposes of renunciation of citizenship, not marriage. In doing its work, the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution went through the Constitution to fish out and

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BY HENRY UMORU & JOSEPH ERUNKE

its editorial that “Under Section 29 (4a and 4b) of the Constitution, a woman shall not be qualified for marriage until she is 18 years of age. The Senate, on Wednesday, proposed to change that provision to ‘a woman is deemed to be of full age once she is married’, irrespective of the age she did so”. This, as you are aware, is totally untrue. First, Section 29 of the Constitution has absolutely nothing to do with childmarriage. Rather, the Section in question is about Renunciation of Citizenship. The section reads: 29. (1) Any citizen of Nigeria of full age who wishes to renounce his Nigerian citizenship shall make a declaration in the prescribed manner for the renunciation. (2) The President shall cause the declaration made under subsection (1) of this section to be registered and upon such registration, the person who made the declaration shall cease to be a citizen of Nigeria.

What is needed to pass any part of the amendments is two-third, which is 73 votes and some of the amendments got as much as 70, which is a majority

girl child. The inability of the Senate to delete it has obviously put the Upper Chamber in the eye of the storm. What is the way out? You are right. The decision of the Senate on this part has been widely misinterpreted, misreported, and totally taken out of context. In fact, a highly respected national daily wrote in

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recommend for amendment other provisions such as Section 26(2)(a) and Section 42(1) deemed to be discriminatory against Nigerian citizens. These were passed. In the same vein, Section 29(4)(b) was recommended for deletion because the committee

Continues on page 57


VANGUARD, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013—57

Majority had their say but minority their way — Ekweremadu Continues from page 56 considered it discriminatory. Section 29(4)(a) has already defined “full age” as age eighteen and above. We considered it gender discriminatory and imbalance to place the man and woman on different scales in matters of citizenship renunciation. If there is no gender discrimination in matters relating to voting rights, education age, driving age, and so on, we felt this discrimination was abnormal and, in fact, an inelegant drafting. As such, it was recommended for deletion, but could not pass eventually. In essence, the Senate has not done anything new to that part of the Constitution. Therefore, on the issue of Section 29, I want to appeal to Nigerians to please show understanding, to possibly read this Section and understand that the issue has nothing to do with early marriage. It has nothing to do with Islam. Essentially, it has to do with the renunciation of citizenship. So, you have to give it a proper perspective. I want to assure them that in the future, we are ready to revisit it if Nigerians feel strongly about it. We have no Bill to approve early marriage. We are not sponsoring any Bill against Islam.

We are not trying to silence anything. Rather, we are trying to ensure that we cover all interests, including the interest of those who are asking for a new constitution or a constitutional conference. Now, as you say in law, you can’t put something on nothing and expect it to stand. Our stand has been yes, Nigerians may need a new constitution, Nigerians may need a conference, but there must be a legal foundation for it. There is no way we can go and set up a group of people to start writing a constitution. On what basis? Where do you derive the authority from? So, that has been the problem. As I said, you can’t put something on nothing and expect it to stand, otherwise, you are calling for anarchy. We decided after going round in other jurisdictions to do what others have done in the past- like Kenya, Zimbabwe and Brazil. They too had no such provisions in their constitutions and the first thing they did was to put in their constitutions the powers to make a new constitution or

Renunciation of citizenship This particular provision has been in our Constitution since 1979. Ours was an attempt to remove that aspect so that men and women would have equal footing regarding the issue of renunciation of citizenship. And we will never support early marriage. On the issue of Section 29, one of your colleagues addressed a press conference where he •Ekweremadu pleaded that he voted in error. the processes through which that can What is your take on this? I am not in a position to say whether happen, then thereafter, they proceeded they looked at it or not. The only thing I to do a new constitution. So you cannot be calling for a referendum can say is regarding my colleague from Ondo State. It has been said that he made or sovereign national conference, when a mistake in the process of voting and I there is no such provision for it. Where do believe him because he had no reason to you get the powers to do so? So, we decided to put in place a legal foundation vote against that particular clause. Secondly, in the Senate, just as in the upon which not only the National House of Representatives, our pattern of Assembly who has been given powers voting is usually voice vote. You will recall under Section 4 of the constitution to make that it is only when we are voting in laws for the country, to do so, but also to constitutional amendment that we insist ensure that the people are directly on electronic voting so it is almost a new involved in the process. This is why we thing and some are not used to it. So we now decided to involve the people directly tried to do it over and over before we to have the final say on the constitution proceeded. So, it was possible for anybody through a referendum. That is what we to make a mistake and press “No” instead have done now. So that has taken care of of “Yes” and press “Absent” instead of all interests- the interest of those who are “Present”. I understand that it was quite asking that Nigerians should be involved and the interest of the National Assembly possible for one to make a mistake. What is your take on comments that who are saying it is our constitutional your Committee’s recommendations on power under Section 4 to make laws for Section 9 which was passed by the Senate this country. So, Section 9 covers both interests and to create a process for enacting a new Constitution is a ploy to silence the we believe that if it scales through, that agitation for a Sovereign National will be one of the best things to have happened to this country. Conference?

feeding the mill will not be a problem as we will generate enough rice paddy for the mill. Like in my local government where they tell you that they generate only N60, 000 annually as their IGR. And I know that if the potentials of the council area are harnessed we can generate a lot of money. Do you see the governor imposing candidates on the people? •Chima: I will boost IGR It is obvious that imposition of candidates on the electorate is counter productive; it cannot bring progress or anything good, because those who make peaceful changes impossible only make violent changes inevitable. It is only when BARR. Eni Uduma Chima, who represents people cannot have Afikpo South/West state constituency at the their way in a manner Ebonyi State House of Assembly, is a second prescribed by law, that term member of the House now with the make them to start ambition of becoming the next local plotting on manners not prescribed by law government chairman of Afikpo South LGA and I thank God that in the forthcoming council elections due in the governor has not September. embarked on the In this interview Chima gives his blueprint imposition of on how to boost the IGR of the council candidates, granted among other issues. Excerpts: that he might give his opinion on a matter. BY PETER OKUTU I have never within the seven years that I worked under him experienced him HAT are your plans for imposing any candidate on the Afikpo South LGA? people. I want to bring about changes in the What is your advice to youths area of Internally Generated Revenue towards the forthcoming election? of the council. I have been a member My advice to the youths is to shun of the House Committee on Local any activity capable of causing Government and Chieftaincy Matters violence; we have always preached and I have embarked on oversight non-violence because if you want functions where I discovered that to be in any relationship with the council chairmen rely so much on the government of this state, especially allocation from the federation account the government of Chief Martin and that is not healthy; they ignore Elechi you must operate on the

N60,000 annual IGR is not acceptable for any LG council — Chima

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Constitution Amendment:

If there is free and fair election, no matter the number of times it is done, we will come out victorious because the people of Edda want me

other sources or avenues through which they can generate resources internally. The modern rice mill established by the governor in Oso Edda is indeed big. Our plan is to make agriculture attractive, establish a demonstration farm which would feed the rice mill twice every year with rice paddy. So, we have to mechanize our rice farming, empower the youth and make agriculture generally attractive for them; empower people through soft loan and form them into cooperative societies to ensure that rice is produced twice a year in Afikpo South in commercial quantities and you have to be rest assured that

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platform of peace but many times, the cause of violence is only existent on the pages of newspapers. At times, all those things you hear about Edda are all propaganda by all those people who cannot win under a free and fair election; what they do is to try to create a reason why there should be political interventions in their favour. How confident are you that you will emerge victorious at the polls? If there is free and fair election, no matter the number of times it is done, we will come out victorious because the people of Edda want me.


58 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

Nigerians, other migrants drown in Libya boat mishap BY UDUMA KALU with agency report

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FRICAN migrants inluding Nigerians died at the weekend when the boat they were travelling on capsized off Libya, Italy’s Ansa news agency has said. Most of the migrants came from Nigeria, Gambia, Benin and Senegal, and the survivors were suffering from shock and hypothermia. More than half the people aboard a rubber boat carrying 53 African migrants, died,the report added. It said 31 people were drowned in the accident that occurred late Friday, and the rest were rescued by a freighter and brought on Sunday to the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, Ansa reported, citing the survivors. Italian authorities said that more than 470 migrants have reached Italy in a 24-hour period. Italian TV yesterday showed a wrecked motorised rubber dinghy that the Africans told authorities had capsized after setting off from Libya’s coast. Each year, thousands of

migrants pay smugglers in hope of slipping ashore in Italy. Many attempt the Mediterranean crossing during periods of calm warm seas, as in recent days. Media reports said the camp where the migrants are housed on Lampedusa, which lies between Tunisia and Sicily, is overcrowded with 1000 people staying there although the camp has space for only 350 people. Under international law, Italian authorities have to check whether people they rescue at sea have grounds to seek asylum. If not, they repatriate them although the border police struggles to enforce the policy strictly.

Egypt rally: Death toll reaches 72 •As Minister warns Muslim Brotherhood again

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EATH toll in weekend clashes between Morsi’s backers and security forces near one of the sit-ins had reached 72, in the deadliest single outbreak of violence since the July 3 military coup.

Malians vote amid threats of violence

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A L I A N S , yesterday started voting in the country’s first election since last year’s military coup and subsequent French intervention that drove out rebels, who had captured most of the country’s north amid a political vacuum. The ballot opened at 8:00am local time (08:00 GMT) yesterday under heavy security a day after one of the main armed groups in northern Mali said it would “strike” polling stations. “The polling stations and other voting places for what they are calling the elections will be targeted by mujahideen strikes,” the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) said in a statement carried by the

Pro-Morsi protesters in the street

Mauritanian ANI news agency. It did not specify what form the attacks would take. The group warned Malian Muslims against taking part in the election, ordering them to “stay away from the polls”.

This is even as Egypt’s interim interior minister has issued second warning to pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood who have vowed to continue fighting despite warning. Meanwhile, Egypt’s interior minister has pledged to deal decisively with any attempts to destabilise the country, a thinly veiled warning to supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi occupying two squares in Cairo in a month-long stand-off with the security forces. “I assure the people of

Egypt that the police are determined to maintain security and safety to

OPE Francis has closed the biggest-ever Roman Catholic youth festival with a Mass on Brazil’s Copacabana beach. More than three million people were estimated to have gathered for the service in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Many of the pilgrims had slept on the beach after attending an all-night vigil, which Pope Francis also led. Yesterday’s ceremony marked the end of the Pope’s five-day visit to

Brazil - his first foreign trip since becoming pontiff in March. The BBC’s Wyre Davies in Rio said that almost every inch of the two-and-

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IMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe yesterday warned his main rival Morgan Tsvangirai that he would be arrested if he claimed victory before official results were announced in an election this week. In his final campaign rally ahead of a presidential and parliamentary vote on Wednesday, Mugabe said

a-half mile long beach was occupied ahead of the Mass, as most of the young people stayed after the vigil, pitching tents or sleeping in the open.

his ZANU-PF party was confident of victory, which would extend his three decades in power. But he expressed

AWMAKERS in the U.S. House of Representatives are due to vote on a tough Iran sanctions bill this week that seeks to squeeze the Islamic Republic’s oil exports to a trickle.

The Republican-led House is due to vote on Wednesday on the bill that seeks to cut Iran’s oil exports by another 1 million barrels per day within one year, congressional aides

concern that Tsvangirai, who is making a third run at the presidency, had threatened not to wait for official results from the electoral authorities.

Bananas thrown at Italy’s first black minister

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ACIST taunts against Italy’s first black minister, Cecile Kyenge, took another ugly turn over the weekend when someone hurled bananas at her during a rally. Kyenge’s appointment as Italy’s minister of integration three months ago isn’t sitting well

U.S set to vote on tough Iran sanctions

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graduation ceremony at the national police academy.

Mugabe tackles Tsvangirai against early poll win claim

Pope holds final mass on Copacabana beach

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their nation and are capable of doing so,” Mohamed Ibrahim told a

said. The bill, expected to pass easily in the House, would not become law immediately as no companion legislation has yet passed in the Senate.

with right-wing radicals whose racial slurs and antics have overshadowed her tenure. The banana incident is just the latest. It took place Friday in Cervia, where Kyenge was speaking to supporters. A man popped up out of the crowd and launched two bananas toward the podium, Kyenge spokesman Cosimo Torlo said. The bananas fell short of the stage, landing between the first and second row of spectators. Giancarlo Mazzuca, chief editor of the daily newspaper Il Giorno, was sitting two chairs away from Kyenge.


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60—Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

AGM: From left: Prof. Dipo Akinkugbe, Director, Fidson Healthcare Plc; Dr Fidelis Ayebae, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer and Mr Felix Ohiwerei, Chairman during the 14th Annual General Meeting of the company, in Lagos. Photo: Joe Akintola.

I’m ready to reconcile aggrieved PDP members — Dickson zMay conduct activities in camera zWarns members not to grant media interview BY SONI DANIEL, REGIONAL EDITOR, NORTH

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AGOS — GOVERNOR of Bayelsa State and Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party ad-hoc committee on reconciliation, Mr. Seriake Dickson, yesterday, said he was ready to reconcile all aggrieved members of the party with a view to ensuring the success of the party in the next election. Dickson, who has come under attack as unsuitable to head the committee apparently because of his closeness to the President, said he would be neutral and fair in handling his assignment. The governor said he would first consult with the founding fathers and stakeholders of the party with a view to ensuring the success of his committee. Dickson said the committee was conscious of the enormous responsibility being placed on the members and that they had resolved to conduct the assignment with the highest sense of responsibility and commitment to the core values of national unity and party cohesion. The position of the committee was contained in a statement signed by its Secretary, Amb. Umar Damagum and made available to Vanguard in Abuja. The committee said: “The Reconciliation Committee’s work shall place emphasis on utmost confidentiality of all matters brought to it. Members shall ensure strict confidentiality of all information received by them or such information that may be processed by the committee, its leadership or any of its organs as may be established from time to time.

No interaction with media “To boost the level of confidence among our members nationwide while this committee undertakes its

assignment, no member shall interact with the media on any matter under consideration by the committee, except with due approval by the committee or its leadership. “The committee shall be committed to the principles of neutrality. To this end, no member of the committee shall serve in any congress committee in a state where such a member is an interested party. “Similarly no member of the committee shall hold any inappropriate meeting or contact with any party member, whose matter is under consideration by the committee especially as regards the subject matter under discussion by the committee. “The committee as a whole and its individual members shall be committed to the principles of fairness to all parties. All party

members to be reconciled shall be guaranteed the right to fair hearing.”

Elections in Anambra, Ekiti It noted that in view of the approaching gubernatorial elections in Anambra and Ekiti states, the committee was conscious of reconciling warring factions in the two states with a view to ensuring that the PDP captures them. The governor, however, urged aggrieved members of the party in the two states to refrain from all forms of hostilities and allow them to do the work at hand in the interest of peace. The governor noted: “The committee also seizes this opportunity to call on all patty members at all levels, irrespective of status, to refrain from comments, remarks, utterances or actions that may inflame tension among party members and overheat the polity. “This is important in order to create the needed atmosphere for genuine reconciliation.”

No support for Jonathan in 2015, unless ... —Igbo youths sive support Ndigbo gave him in 2011. His words: “We expected massive AGOS — AHEAD of the 2015 industrial and infrastructural develpresidential election, Igbo opment. We are not seeing that. We youths have vowed not back Presithought he would keep his promises. dent Goodluck Jonathan’s re-elecFrom the way things are going, it is tion bid unless he fulfils his 2011 clear that only the Enugu Internacampaign promises to the Southtional Airport could materialize beEast geo-political zone. fore 2015. According to the youths, of 10 “He promised us at Enugu Stadium, promises, the President as of now at Imo, Ebonyi, Abia and Anambra is only tackling one and appears campaign rallies, 29 months ago, that bent on shifting the rest to his secwe would see a functional seaport at ond term, which they said was not Onitsha and Oguta, power plant at fair. Oji River, dry inland port at Aba, secIn a chat with Vanguard, Evang ond Niger bridge, re-work on the Elliot Uko, President of Igbo Youth Enugu-Onitsha road, Enugu-Port Movement, IYM, an amalgam of 42 Harcourt road, etc. But we suspect Igbo youth groups, said Jonathan he wants to shift all these to his sechad not really appreciated the masond term; that is not fair.” BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE

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The Abidjan war that was not

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NE of the reasons why some of us came to Abidjan was to see how we could use our presence, connections and authority to diffuse what was expected to be a “major football war.” The Nigerian press as vibrant as ever was in the middle of a build up that threatened even the travel plans of the Nigerian team. First were series of quotes alleging that the Ivoriens were so bitter about their treatment in Kaduna that they were ready to pay the Nigerians back in their own coins.(?) Then came the allegations (Press) that the Nigerians compromised the referees and that they were ready to do the same to guarantee victory. The third news that gained prominence was that the match had been moved to a synthetic pitch to destabilize Nigerians, so coach Keshi had to immediately change his training venue to suit expectations. I travelled to Abidjan with African journalist boss Mitchell Obi. On arriving Abidjan airport we were surprised to find out that the match did not “exist.” Not in the minds and discussions of the airport personnel, not in their treatment of Nigerians. Before then, the Nigerian teams had touched down to the warm embrace of their host. Efficient bus for the team, a car for the leader of delegation as stipulated by the rules, opportunity to train on the pitch twice without hindrance, wonderful ambiance and camaraderie, that further necessitated caution given the way the press back home had prepared our minds before departure! “We should not be deceived by this hospitality..oooooo. I smell a rat,” an NFF Board member said. At the pre-match meeting the same ambiance of friendship existed so much that even the declaration of “using every thing at our disposal to win” was greeted with laughter. Then came match day, and off we went to Stade Robert Champroux. The reason why the Ivoriens played there is because Stade Houphoet Boighny is in a terrible state and undergoing repairs, not because of any “strategy and plan to catch Nigerians unawares” In fact, the CAF Champions league match this week end between Sewe Sports and Angola’s Recreativo de LiboLo will be played in the same venue. My argument was even that, except for Calabar, Uyo

The way we were playing there was no way the Ivoriens were not going to score four goals without any reply

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and Owerri, all the venues in Nigeria are artificial. So ALL the domestic league players cannot afford not to be happy that they were given an opportunity to play on synthetic turf! Then came the match proper and that is where the real war was. Most of us were not prepared for the storm that hit us. Others have blamed “inexperience” and I wonder. Whereas there has been an argument for deploying another coach to the CHAN Eagles, the NFF in its wisdom has made coach Keshi to continue his domestic players building process and the boys have been beneficiaries of an elaborate camping process that has seen some of them graduating to the senior team...Obaobona, Azubike Egwuekwe, Sunday Mba, Solomon Kwambe…Chibuzor Okonkwo….. How can you then explain the elementary mistake by Azubike that saw him heading aimlessly, the untimely run of a jittery Chigozie and the resultant sixth minute goal by Sewe Sports danger man Zougolla Kevin, an early one that the Ivoriens were praying for in their quest to hammer three past us and qualify. Thereafter, it was the Ivoriens all the way. The Nigerians completely fell apart. Kevin with 17 goals was the highest goalscorer in the Ivorien league. (Last

VANGUARD, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013 — 61 year he notched 16 to also top the chart). This is the man that the Ivoriens used to threaten Oboabona, Francis Benjamin, Solomon Kwambe and Femi Oladapo. WE were in tatters, jittery and uncoordinated. We could not do anything right. In one of such moves, Rabiu Ali went in hard in the box, felled Woukoro Ahmed and referee El Jaafari Noureddine of Morocco enthusiastically pointed at the penalty spot. Kevin stepped out and effortlessly converted. Two goals in less than thirty minutes. We believed this was it. No hope in sight. The way we were playing there was no way the Ivoriens were not going to score four goals without any reply. Then the tide changed. Ten minutes to the end of the first half, the Eagles took over. Confidently, they sprayed the passes, took control of the midfield, had complete possession and for once looked like a side that could score a goal or two. The crowd was made to sweat. Second half, what was Keshi going to tell them? What about the inevitable changes? There was not much difference, initially. Gomo Onduku, Femi Oladapo and an injured Kwambe had to make way. In came Gero, the U-20 international I saw him struggling upfront, jumping, pushing and kicking…..Mitchell Obi had a different view. Gero he said was the match winner, the stabilizer. “Because Gero kept the defence line of the Ivoriens busy, they could not join the attack as they did in the first half, so it offered the Nigerians the needed breathing space to stabilize “ He said. Take a bow Sunday Mba. My man of the match. Aside his goal scoring prowess in South Africa, this was the best match I have seen him play. So much confidence, exquisite touches, vision and space….then perhaps Rabiu Ali. Minus the penalty, he held his own. If we could not score, then we should not allow them to score...tense forty five minutes. At a stage I jumped for joy believing the referees final whistle had sounded, only to be subjected to another minute of tension. Finally, an historic qualification, the proverbial return to the drawing board as January approaches….. See you next week.


62 —

VANGUARD, MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

Keshi

Continues from BP the second half and I must say to you that I am happy and this is a great experience for a young side like the home based side”. The former Stade D Abidjan libero admitted that his players were jittery at the start of the match which led to them conceding two quick goals in the first half but they woke up and gave a good account of themselves in the second. “If you say it was a game of two halves I may tend to agree with you because we started poorly largely due to inexperience and then when we came into the game they struggled against us. But that is football, we are just grateful to God, the NFF and Nigerians that we made it for the first time to the CHAN tournament”. Ivorian Coach, Saraka

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Norbert, who also spoke at the post match conference admitted that the Nigerian side were slightly more experienced than his side, even as he refused to blame the two red cards the team received in the first leg in Kaduna for his side’s ouster. “Nigeria is a great country economically, socially and even in football and we must admit that when we get to their heights in the near future, Ivorian football will be great again”, he said.

Real plan £95m Bale offer R

EAL MADRID were last night preparing a jawdropping £95million bid to finally snatch Gareth Bale from Tottenham. The Spanish giants will offer £51m cash plus £25m-rated Angel Di Maria and £19m Fabio Coentrao in what insiders described as the deal of the century. Real have already had an £81m worldrecord bid for Welsh wizard Bale turned down. But president

Okagbare

Continues from BP the women’s 100m race in the forthcoming IAAF World Championship in Russia If she maintains her current form. He said this in the light of Okagbare’s latest victory, which saw her broke the Africa women’s 100 metre

record at the London Diamond League, which took place at the weekend. She first ran 10.86 second in one of the heats, which was better than the previous African record of 10.90, held by fellow Nigerian Gloria Alozie.

Florentino Perez has gone all out to make the Spurs star his latest Galactico.

Real’s new raid will ratchet up the pressure on Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, who has so

far held firm and refused to sell. Bale has told Levy he would like to join Madrid.

Don’t give Oliha’s kids money to his brothers •Friends urge Edo, Kwara govts BY JOHN EGBOKHAN

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RIENDS of the late Thompson Oliha have urged the Edo and Kwara State governments not to give out the grants they promised the children of the former Super Eagles midfielder, to his brothers because of fear that it would not be used for its purpose Oliha was buried weekend at his Upper Sokpomba residence in Benin City, with Edo and Kwara donating N2m and N1m respectively to the children. Edo plans to release the money

today at the Government House. The 44 year-old former Bendel Insurance and Heartland player left behind an eight-year old son, Jesus Aisosa Oliha and four year-old

daugther, Paris Oliha. Both are from two women, Ajara and Iris, whose unions with the deceased were not legalised before his death on June 30 in Ilorin, Kwara State.

Bayelsa emerge champions of E.K. Clark Wrestling

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AYELSA state arguably, the home of wrestling in Nigeria proved their mettle with a grand performance at the recently ended maiden Chief E.K Clark W r e s t l i n g Championship held in

Warri, Delta state. A breakdown of the medals shows the state, with most of the country’s and African record holders, won 8 out of the 10 gold medals available in the men’s free style wrestling, with two silver medals.


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Vanguard, MONDAY, JULY 29 , 2013

— Page 62

We were jittery, Keshi admits •Ivorian coach says Eagles were superior

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UPER Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi has described Nigeria’s 2-0 loss to the Elephants of Cote D’ Ivoire in the second leg of the final round of the

CHAN qualifier as a good experience for the national team. “We thank God we qualified at the end of the day but my boys did not pick up till

Continues on Page 62

Okabgare excites Minister

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HE Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has predicted that Blessing Okagbare may emerge the world champion in Continues on Page 62

•Okagbare

RESILIENCE: Super Eagles Oladapo Olufemi (C) vies for the ball with Ivory Coast’s players during the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying match on July 27, 2013 at the Robert-Champroux Stadium in Abidjan. Ivory Coast defeated Nigeria 2 - 0. Nigeria qualify on 4-3 aggregate. PHOTO AFP

Maigari salutes resilient Eagles

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RESIDENT of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari on Saturday praised players and officials of Super Eagles Team B for earning Nigeria’s firstever qualification to play in the finals of the African Nations Championship. But the Nigerians held on for a historic berth and will be at the finals to be staged in the South African cities of Cape Town, Polokwane and Bloemfontein in January next year. A joyous Maigari said: “It was never going to be easy, but I was confident the Eagles would pull it through and make Nigeria proud. Ofcourse, there were bound to be so many odds against them, being on away ground."

QUICK CROSSWORD

Sudoku TODAY'S

PUZZLE

YESTER DAY'S YESTERDAY'S

ANSWERS

ACROSS 3 Adjust (5) 9 Refer (6) 10 Scamp (6) 11 Sag (5) 12 Ooze (4) 15 Gown (4) 17 Detonate (7) 20 Snoop (3) 21 Additional (5) 23 Burden (4) 25 Aid (4) 26 Rendezvous (5) 28 Immerse (3) 30 Bother (7) 33 Detail (4) 35 Fastened (4) 36 Cliff (5) 38 Increase (6) 39 Detest (6) 40 Brush (5)

DOWN 1 Hesitate (5) 2 Slumber (5) 3 Append (3) 4 Mock (6) 5 Poke (4) 6 Faucet (3) 7 Ladle (5) 8 Passage (5) 13 Feat (7) 14 Fold (5) 16 Crisp (7) 18 Live (5) 19 Epoch (3) 22 Concerning (5) 24 Arid (3) 27 Toy (6) 28 Sofa (5) 29 Roost (5) 31 Nativity (5) 32 Sidled (5) 34 Killed (4) 36 Coach (3) 37 Dandy (3)

YESTERDAY'S SOLUTIONS ACROSS: 1, Admire 5, Savant 9, Endow 10, Career 11, Rabble 12, Lorry 14, Pail 17, Lay 19, Oust 20, Tuned 22, Array 23, Discard 24, Surge 26, Tepid 29, True 30, Cut 32, Rude 33, Basis 35, Appear 36, Nestle 37, Kedge 38, Tossed 39, Emerge.

How to Play Sudoku

DOWN: 1, Accept 2, Margin 3, Reel 4, Enrol 5, Sorry 6, Away 7, Arbour 8, Treaty 13, Raucous 15, Augur 16, Ledge 18, Order 19, Sapid 21, Die 22, Art 24, Strait 25, Rumpus 27, Punter 28, Delete 30, Cared 31, Tinge 33, Bake 34, Seem.

TWO WEEKS TO LIVE

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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: editor@vanguardngr.com, news@vanguardngr.com, letters@vanguardngr.com. Advert:advertproduction@yahoo.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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£3,000 UK Visa bond takes off Nov: Britain insists Nigerians, others pay mandatory fee  

Vanguard Newspaper July 29 2013