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BusinessDay 08 Apr 2018

C002D5556 Sunday

C002D5556 Sunday 08 April 2018 14 Comment comment is free Send 800word comments to PUBLISHER/CEO Frank Aigbogun EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Prof. Onwuchekwa Jemie EDITOR Zebulon Agomuo DEPUTY EDITOR John Osadolor, Abuja ASSISTANT EDITOR Chuks Oluigbo NEWS EDITOR Patrick Atuanya EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SALES AND MARKETING Kola Garuba EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OPERATIONS Fabian Akagha EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DIGITAL SERVICES Oghenevwoke Ighure ADVERT MANAGER Adeola Ajewole MANAGER, SYSTEMS & CONTROL Emeka Ifeanyi HEAD OF SALES, CONFERENCES Rerhe Idonije SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER Patrick Ijegbai CIRCULATION MANAGER John Okpaire GM, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (North) Bashir Ibrahim Hassan GM, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (South) Ignatius Chukwu HEAD, HUMAN RESOURCES Adeola Obisesan EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Dick Kramer - Chairman Imo Itsueli Mohammed Hayatudeen Albert Alos Funke Osibodu Afolabi Oladele Dayo Lawuyi Vincent Maduka Wole Obayomi Maneesh Garg Keith Richards Opeyemi Agbaje Amina Oyagbola Bolanle Onagoruwa Fola Laoye Chuka Mordi Sim Shagaya Mezuo Nwuneli Emeka Emuwa Charles Anudu Tunji Adegbesan Eyo Ekpo NEWS ROOM 08022238495 } Lagos 08034009034 08033160837 Abuja ADVERTISING 01-2799110 08116759801 08082496194 ENQUIRIES TAYO OGUNBIYI Ogunbiyi is of the Lagos State Ministry of Information & Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja It is no longer news that Winnie Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid crusader and former wife of the First Black President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, has died at age 81. In the tempestuous years of apartheid, Winnie was a rallying point for the unconditional release of her incarcerated husband. She was dubbed the “Mother of the Nation” while numerous musicians and writers across the world, who celebrated Nelson Mandela in their works, also accorded her eminence consideration. She was married to Nelson Mandela for 38 years, including the 27 years the late President spent in prison. She kept the memory of her imprisoned husband alive during his years on Robben Island and helped give the struggle for justice in South Africa a universal image. Up till the time she breathed her last, she was a leading member of South Africa’s frontline political party, the ruling African National Congress, ANC. At the time of her death, she was a member of the country’s parliament. In 1993, she was elected president of the ANC’s Women’s League. In 1994, she was Winnie Mandela: Heroine or villain? elected to parliament and became Deputy Minister of Arts, Science and Technology in the country’s first multi-racial government. Born in 1936 as Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela, Winnie married Nelson Mandela in 1958 at age 22, and firmly supported him at the risk of her own life and freedom throughout the dark years of apartheid in the Rainbow nation. She declined to be cowed despite the emotional pains and aches of unending pestering of her family by security forces, detentions, solitary confinements and banishment. Thanks to her doggedness, as well as the staying power of her co-fighters, in 1990, the curtain finally drawn on white minority rule in South Africa. Ironically, despite Winnie’s vital role in securing a new and unprejudiced political system in South Africa, she became a victim of the political struggle that played out during the anti-apartheid campaigns. In view of her deep involvement in the vicious anti-apartheid battle, she became entwined in a series of scandals that eventually ended her marriage with Nelson Mandela. In 1986, she was widely linked to “necklacing”, a code name for ‘jungle justice’ which involves the burning alive of suspected traitors who had flaming, petrol-soaked tyres forced over their heads. In December 1988, her bodyguards, known as the Mandela United Football Club, kidnapped four boys belonging to another anti-apartheid party. One of them, Stompie Moeketsi, was subsequently assassinated by her bodyguards. In May 1991, she was sentenced to six years in prison for kidnapping in relation to the incident, but the sentence was later reduced to a fine. In 2003, she was convicted of fraudulently taking out bank loans and theft. But according to her, the loans were used to help poor people. Her conviction for theft was later reversed since she had not recognized any personal gain from her actions. South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission also accused her of human rights abuses during the apartheid years. Winnie was also accused of having several lovers while her husband was in prison. For instance, she was alleged to be having an affair with Dali Mpofu, a lawyer 30 years her junior and a member of her defence team. It was even alleged that she carried on with the affair with Mpofu after Mandela left prison. The story of Winnie and Mandela is a classical narrative of people who chose to sacrifice their life, comfort and family for the good of the society and people. For Winnie, her whole life was defined by Mandela’s deep and passionate involvement in the struggle for a free South Africa. When she gave birth to her children, her husband was never there for her. Even though he was not in jail at the time, he was out on several commitments for the struggle. But then, she was aware of Mandela’s obsession with the struggle before marrying him, knowing quite well that his first marriage crashed because of the struggle. In view of her several scandals, many have tried to paint Winnie as the devil who puts on the garment of an angel. But in all reality, how could she at the age of 28 have endured the emotional torture of being separated from her husband and tendering the children for the long period (27 years) she did without possibly getting involved in the several messy episodes that eventually consumed her marriage? In the first place, was it right for Mandela to have been so deeply caught up in the struggle to free his people without giving appropriate consideration to his family? All alone and emotionally shattered, could Winnie have toed a more angelic path than she did in the face of loneliness, persecutions, betrayals and several other emotional traumas? How many women in her shoes could have been more rational in thoughts and acts? Meanwhile, how will history judge Winnie? As a heroine or a villain? Time will tell. Ogunbiyi is of the Lagos State Ministry of Information & Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja. SUBSCRIPTIONS 01-2799101 07032496069 07054563299 The Brook, 6 Point Road, GRA, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. 01-2799100 LEGAL ADVISERS The Law Union MISSION STATEMENT To be a diversified provider of superior business, financial and management intelligence across platforms accessible to our customers anywhere in the world. OUR CORE VALUES BusinessDay avidly thrives on the mainstay of our core values of being The Fourth Estate, Credible, Independent, Entrepreneurial and Purpose-Driven. • The Fourth Estate: We take pride in being guarantors of liberal economic thought • Credible: We believe in the principle of being objective, fair and fact-based • Independent: Our quest for liberal economic thought means that we are independent of private and public interests. • Entrepreneurial: We constantly search for new opportunities, maintaining the highest ethical standards in all we do • Purpose-Driven: We are committed to assembling a team of highly talented and motivated people that share our vision, while treating them with respect and fairness.

Sunday 08 April 2018 comment is free Send 800word comments to 15 C002D5556 Comment The major setback to the development of Imo State over the years has been incompetent, visionless leadership. Since its creation in 1976, Imo has largely been “blessed” with lacklustre leaders with no vision, no mission, and no understanding of what the real issues are. Of course, if you do not understand what the problems are, if you do not understand the urgency of the moment, how do you even begin? You’d only continue to grope in the dark. Especially since the return to civil rule in 1999, the politics of Imo State has been dominated by ex-fraudsters (419-ers), people without character or competence, people with no track record of achievement, people who had no verifiable means of livelihood before they went into politics and whose daily survival now depends entirely on how close they are to the magnetic field of political power. Politics is their sole business and they would do everything to stay relevant, whether as godfathers or godchildren. They have nowhere else to go because, in the first place, they had no strong foundation before politics happened to them. The result is that 42 years after its creation, Imo remains backward on many fronts. When Imo State was created in 1976, Ndubuisi Kanu, then a young commander, was sent to steer its affairs. It was with high spirits that As the battle for Abia Govt House rages GODWIN ADINDU Adindu is the Publicity Director of the All Citizens Forum (ACF) Sir Winston Churchill, the war-time British Prime minister, is right, very, very right: politics is like war. “Politics are almost as exciting as war and quite as dangerous, although in war you can be killed only once, in politics, many times,” so said the renown speech-maker and veteran of the Second World War (SWW). He continues: “Politics are very much like war. We may even have to use poison gas at times.” For the All Citizens Forum (ACF), the frontline Pro-Group in Abia, the return of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to Government House for a second term in 2019 is a battle that must be won. The ACF is approaching the struggle as a battle but they are not going to use poison gas. They are going to deploy strategy and tactical actions. This is why the group is re-jigging all its structures through the Wards, LGAs, Zones and State levels. They have demonstrated their readiness in their moving parades in all the mega rallies so far held in Abia State. They stole the show at Okpuala Ngwa, at the Second Ukwa Ngwa Panorama with CHUKS OLUIGBO (08116759816) he arrived in Owerri, the capital of the new state, on March 15, 1976 to confront the Herculean task ahead of him. And he confronted it frontally. Within record time, he had laid the necessary foundations for statehood and produced a master plan for the development of the capital territory. Today, history remembers him for the link roads with good drainages he constructed within Owerri metropolis, creation of 21 local government areas in the state, and establishment of the Imo Broadcasting Service (IBS). His successor, Commodore Adekunle Lawal, established the Standard Shoe Factory, Owerri and Oguta Motel. Col. Sunday Adenihun who came after Lawal established Imo Newspapers Ltd (which published Sunday Statesman and Nigerian Statesman). It was also in his tenure that the College of Technology (now Federal Polytechnic) Nekede commenced operations. So, by the time Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe came on board as the first elected governor of Imo State in 1979, he had a solid foundation to build on, and he capitalised on the modest achievements of his predecessors to build and expand an industrial base for Imo State. To Mbakwe’s credit is the establishment of Progress Bank (now distressed), Concorde Hotel Owerri, old Imo State University (now Abia State University), and Imo Television Authority (ITV). He also initiated Declaration. They repeated the feat at Uzuakoli at the Bende Endorsement and on Easter Monday, at the Ukwa Ngwa Youth Unite for Governor Ikpeazu mega rally held at Ngwa High School, Aba. The ACF is currently embarking on a largescale mobilisation of men through the 17 local councils of the state as foot soldiers against the opposition and as resource persons for tactical actions that will lead to the victory of the Governor. But, why is ACF so much committed to this project? Men of the ACF are pointing at equity and justice, insisting that equity demands that Abia South completes its tenure of eight years like the other zones in the past. They are also referring to performance and saying that with over sixty roads completed and commissioned and a wide array of ongoing construction work in the state, Governor Ikpeazu has done creditably and should GO AGAIN. The ACF recognises that the Governor through his caterpillar revolution has changed the narrative of governance in Abia State. The infrastructural renewal drive has seen to the rehabilitation of many public centres and has created a new face for the state. Aba, the great Enyimba City, has witnessed a new social transformation and has boldly taken a place in the global marketing Rescuing Imo is a task that must be done the building of Aluminium Extrusion Industry at Inyishi, Resin and Paint Industry at Aboh Mbaise, Cardboard Packaging Industry at Orlu, Imo Flour Mills Ltd., Aluminium Product at Naze, and the Imo Modern Poultry at Avutu. Mbakwe, who till today is regarded as the best governor the state has ever had, was re-elected in 1983 but the Muhammadu Buhari coup of December 31, 1983 cut short the Second Republic. The military came on board. Sadly, the succeeding military governments in Imo State did not share in Mbakwe’s industrialisation dream. From Ike Nwachukwu to Allison Madueke to Amadi Ikwechegh to Anthony Oguguo, through Evan Enwerem’s 22 months of civilian interregnum, to James Aneke, and Tanko Zubairu who handed over to Achike Udenwa in May 1999, Mbakwe’s industrial expansion dream suffered a death blow. Within this period, 1984-1999, there was no effort to further Mbakwe’s industrialisation dream and so the significant gains of the previous administrations took a big dip. Social infrastructure in the state collapsed and state-owned industries died an untimely death. Adapalm, Standard Shoe Industry, Avutu Modern Poultry, etc decayed beyond recognition. Roads, hospitals and schools dilapidated. Amaraku Power Station and the Resin Paint Industry were auctioned off. IBC and Imo Newspapers became ghosts of their old selves. Concorde Hotel became abode for rats and cockroaches. Perhaps the only event of note during these dark years was the laying of foundation for the Imo Airport, which was built by Imo people themselves. When Achike Udenwa was sworn in as governor in 1999, he promised “to rehabilitate our infrastructure, arena. Impressed by these initiatives that are fast expanding the frontiers of life in Abia, ACF is ready to re-enact the solidarity that led to the victory of Governor Ikpeazu in 2015. The ACF will have taken up the gauntlet for the struggle for the completion of a two-term for Governor Ikpeazu. As they lead in the battle in conjunction with other pro-groups, the ACF will, among other things, significantly present the Governor’s records in developing the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Abia as a basis for their conviction that the Governor must complete his tenure of 8 years. This effort has produced great results in developing the latent ingenuity and creativity for which Aba is celebrated. It has led to a renewed attention to the artisans of Aba and a review of the future of the fabled Aba Made Goods. In the first year of his administration, 60 shoemakers were mobilised to Turkey to understudy modern technologies in shoe production. And just recently, 30 youths were also mobilised to China as the first batch of 100 ambassadors selected for the training in China. The ACF is also pointing at the Governor’s achievement in fulfilling the primary obligation of government which is the maintenance of law and order. The Governor has provide basic amenities, ensure social justice and create job opportunities through reactivation of our ailing industries and encouragement of private sector investment”. He claimed that under his administration, the state was “witnessing a great renaissance, a silent but sure-footed revolution that is rapidly transforming Imo State and restoring its lost glory, every minute, every hour and every day”. However, the reality on ground shows that Udenwa’s administration was a far cry from the revolution that Imo needed, and still needs. Then came Ikedi Ohakim with his empty promises. When he was inaugurated in 2007, Ohakim said he was transforming Imo into a one-city state, a modern model state, and tourist destination of the world. He said he was constructing the most ambitious road project ever in the history of Nigeria, a 150-km Boulevard called Imo Interconnectivity Multilane Freeway, which would pass through 500 communities, 19 LGAs, 39 markets with 13 electronic tollgates and connecting Oguta Resort and the entire state. In the end, most of the projects never left the architectural drawing board. Those that did became permanent money-guzzlers and conduits for looting the treasury. Even Rochas Okorocha, whose coming to power on May 29, 2011 through an unprecedented mass support was termed ‘The Imo Revolution’, has left a sour taste in the mouths of Imo people. Seven years down the line, the hopes and expectations elicited by Okorocha’s election lie in scattered heaps like ruins of a demolished building. As another election season dawns, and as many candidates declare their intention to join the Imo governorship excellently fulfilled this primary obligation of government by ensuring that there is adequate security in the state. His fight against kidnapping and other violent crimes has yielded maximum result. The ACF is also calling the attention of the world to the Governor’s far-sighted vision which found expression in his pioneer experiment with rigid, pavement technology (also known as cement technology) in the construction of Aba roads. He raised the bar in quality and innovation in road construction by introducing cement technology into the lexicon of road construction work in Abia. Though the cost of this technology is higher than the conventional construction methods, the Governor experimented on it as a measure to strengthen the load bearing capacity of some roads in Abia and boost the strength and quality of the finished work. This is because roads constructed with this technology have a sustainability guarantee of ten to twenty years. They will point at major signature projects like the reconstruction of Faulks road and re-channeling of the Ifeobara Water Basin which have enhanced business at the Ariaria International Market; the construction of the first Flyover at Osisioma junction, the construction of the access road linking Umuaro – Ekwereazu to Akwa Ibom and race in 2019, hopes are high again. So far, over 30 candidates have declared for the governorship race. Sadly, majority of these aspirants do not even understand what the issues are. They are not telling us why they want to be the governor of Imo State in 2019 and what experience they are bringing with them; they are not telling us what they would do in the areas of healthcare, education, security, agriculture, employment creation; they are not saying what they would do with all the unfinished and abandoned projects littering the entire Imo space; they are not telling us how they would settle the backlog of debts owed by the state in the form of unpaid salaries and pensions, contractors’ fees and so on; they are not talking about how to raise Internally Generated Revenue in a period where states are finding it difficult to meet their financial obligations owing to shrinking federal allocation; they are not talking about nonexistent public utilities, especially potable water; they are not talking about how to engender rural development by making the local governments functional again. Rather, they have latched onto Governor Okorocha’s non-performance and his plot to install his sonin-law, Uche Nwosu, as his successor – a move that has been aptly tagged “incestuous democracy” by the indefatigable Archbishop AJV Obinna of the Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri. It has become their campaign slogan. Now is still morning. It is still time enough for Imo people to put their eyes and ears on the ground, research each candidate, ask the hard questions and, when the time arrives, elect that governor who would pull the state out of the doldrums and reverse the de-industrialisation that past administrations have inflicted on it. the new bypass linking Ohafia and Arochukwu. They will point at the Governor’s efforts to link Aba to the sea through the development of the Obuaku City Port. This will give a great boost to Aba as the commercial hub of the South East. They will refer to the effort to revitalise moribund industries. Today, the Aba Glass Industry has started full operation with over 400 staff strength. The ACF will speak of the One Ward, One Project Initiative being executed by the Abia State Rural Infrastructure Development Initiative (ASTRIDE). This initiative is aimed at providing at least one project in each of the 184 INEC Wards in the 17 local councils and the idea is to close the gap of infrastructural deficit in the rural areas Indeed, in the battle for the reelection of Governor Ikpeazu, the only arsenal in the disposition of the All Citizens Forum is the scorecard of excellent performance. While the opposition will throw missiles of blackmail and propaganda, ACF will counter with a proof of claim of work done. We will match their capacity for violent lies with our capacity for genuine evidence. Adindu is the Publicity Director of the All Citizens Forum (ACF) We cherish readers’ reactions to stories and articles published in BusinessDay. 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