12052019 - Ganduje defies court order

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Vanguard Newspaper 12 May 2019

PAGE 2 — SUNDAY Vanguard, MAY 12, 2019


SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 3

L-R Chairman/CEO, Brittania-U, Catherine Uju Ifejika; Senator Annie

Okonkwo, his wife Lady Chinyelu Annie Okonkwo, Mother of the bride

Executive/Vice Chairman, Techno Oil Limited, Mrs. Nkechi Obi; Chief

Ziggy Azike, and former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi. Uncle

to the bride during the traditional marriage of Adaeze Obi and Nnamdi

Umeofia at Agulu Anambra State.

L-R, Senior Customer Sales and Service Agent, Alaka Abosede; Emirates

Regional Manager, West Africa, Afzal Parambil; Chairman, Brand

Journalist of Nigeria (BJAN), Princewill Ekwujuru and Emirate Customer

Sales and Service Agent, Akindele Doris during the Media Viewing

of the Pan-African Brand Campaign in Commemoration of 15th Year-

Anniversary of Emirates in Nigeria, held in Lagos.

AS CANDIDATE REGISTERS 23 TIMES:

JAMB withholds 34,120

candidates’ results

By Joseph Erunke

ABUJA—THE Joint

Admissions and

Matriculation

Board, JAMB, has withheld

results of 34,120 candidates

as it released the results of

the recently held 2019

Unified Tertiary

Matriculation

Examinations,UTME

yesterday.

The board also released

the results of 1,792,719

candidates, out of a total of

1,826,839, that sat for this

year’s UTME.

Similar, JAMB said 116

Computer Based Test, CBT

centres, were delisted or

suspended for engaging in

fraudulent practices.

The Registrar of JAMB,

Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, who

announced this on Saturday

at a media briefing in Abuja,

advised candidates to check

their results from Computer

Based Test (CBT) centres, but

use the short-code of 55019

to check on their phones.

Recall that JAMB

conducted the UTME

between April 11 and 17,

2019, across the 36 states of

the federation and Abuja.

He said: “For the 2019

UTME, 1,886,508

candidates registered

including those who

registered at the foreign

centres. Out of this number,

which excludes the Direct

Entry candidates, 59,667

were absent.

“A total of 1,826,839 sat

the UTME. Today, we are

releasing the results of

1,792,719 candidates.

Some 34,120 results are

being withheld including

the results of 15,145

candidates being further

clarified as identical twins

and siblings.”

Oloyede expressed

regrets that despite the

innovations adopted by his

administration to curb

malpractices in the 2019

UTME, the board

unravelled monumental

fraud perpetrated by

candidates, parents, CBT

centre owners and other

interested parties.

He said some candidates

engaged in multiple

registrations, even when

“JAMB had cautioned in

the media that no

candidate should register

more than once and that

multiple registrations

adversely affect data,

which impact negatively

on education planning in

the country.”

•Releases 1,792,719

•Delists 116 CBT centres

He said: “We went further

to announce that any

candidate who wishes to

gain admission through

Direct Entry and had

registered for UTME need

not apply for DE separately

but use the opportunity of an

upgrade to the DE status at

no cost without having to

register more than once.

“Double registrations led

to the cancellation of some

results last year but we

realised that this year not

only double registrations

but also multiple

registrations were

recorded,” he said,

disclosing that: “Someone

for instance registered as

many as 23 times for just a

single examination!”

Oloyede explained that:

“The foundation of

examination malpractice

is laid at the point of

registration with the active

connivance of some CBT

centre owners, who allowed

themselves to be infiltrated

by those who parade

themselves as owners of

tutorial classes.”

“Unfortunately, some

elite institutions that

charge exorbitant fees,

which they had made the

parents part with in the

name of secondary

education, became active in

the procurement of ‘best

results’ for their students at

all cost,” he said, adding

that: “These characters

have permeated the system

By Adekunle Aliyu

with agency report

he Federal Government

Thas accused former

President Goodluck

Jonathan and his then oil

minister, Diezani Alison

Madueke, of accepting bribes

and breaking the country’s

laws to broker a $1.3 billion

oil deal eight years ago, a

London court filing shows.

The deal, in which Anglo-

Dutch company Royal Dutch

Shell and Italian peer Eni

jointly acquired the rights to

the OPL 245 offshore oilfield,

has spawned legal cases

spanning several countries.

In a response, last night,

Jonathan said “there is

nothing new in this fabricated

bribery claim.”

In papers advancing a

such that it is herculean to

confront and dislodge

them.”

Revealing that there

were many cases of

multiple registration in the

UTME, Oloyede warned

that the board would only

temper justice with mercy

this year, saying

henceforth, candidates

caught engaged in

multiple registration

would be treated the same

as those engaged in

examination malpractice.

Hear him: “While the

rich procure graduates and

senior undergraduates to

write examinations in the

name of their pampered

children who will then use

the highest score to obtain

admission to some

institutions of choice, the

not-too-rich do multiple

registrations by simply rearranging

their names,

then claim the highest of

the scores obtained.

“The extent of this

infraction is appreciated

through the huge amount

of money JAMB makes

from the correction of

names , dates of birth by

the perpetrators. One of

the major strategies of

JAMB to counter this is the

introduction of a short

code where every

candidate types his or her

name and sends it directly

to 55019 on the particular

phone. This was

introduced in 2018 UTME

London commercial court

suit against Shell and Eni,

lawyers for the Nigerian

government said Jonathan

and Diezani conspired to

“receive bribes and make a

secret profit”, keeping the

government from getting

what it was owed from the

deal.

“Bribes were paid,” the

filing, reviewed by Reuters,

states. It says “the receipt of

those bribes and the

participation in the scheme

of said officials was in breach

of their fiduciary duties and

Nigerian criminal law.”

The 2011 deal is also the

subject of a corruption trial

in Milan in which two

middlemen have been

convicted and former and

current Shell and Eni officials

are also on trial.

Enugu State Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

(left) with a private estate developer and

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Copen

Group, Rev. Surv. Ugochukwu Chime during the

inspection of the 100 Housing Units for Nigerian

workers, being developed by the Federal

Mortgage Bank of Nigeria in partnership with

Enugu State Government, Nigeria Labour Congress,

Trade Union Congress of Nigeria and Nigeria

Employer's Consultative Association, under

the National Affordable Housing Delivery

Programme.

but it did not reduce the

menace of multiple

registrations as over N200

million was still paid to

JAMB by the syndicate to

correct data relating to

pre-meditated name-error.

“Another means

deployed was to register

more than one candidate

who will all log into the

exam hall and log out the

legitimate owner who

would now call for help as

a result of not being able

to access the questions.

This scenario will

An Eni spokesman said the

Italian firm was assessing

whether UK courts had

jurisdiction on a case of “such

duplication” to the Milan

proceedings and repeated its

view on “the correctness and

compliance of every aspect of

the transaction.”

The London lawsuit relates

to payments that Shell and

Eni made to acquire the

licence.

The companies transferred

more than $1 billion to the

Nigerian government,

according to the filing. Milan

prosecutors have argued in

their case that the bulk of that

money was sent on to Malabu

Oil and Gas, which was

controlled by another former

oil minister, Dan Etete.

In a response, entitled, ‘On

Malabu: Let The Facts,

ultimately cause the

rescheduling of exams and

allow professional

examination writers to

have as many candidates

as possible to sit for.

“The Board this year has

deployed appropriate

technologies to detect not

only the facial duplication

of candidates but also

biometric multiplication.

“The Board has also gone

as far as identifying

identical twins and

siblings whose existence

should be recognised but

ALLEGED BRIBES: Jonathan fires back at FG over N1.3bn oil deal

Rather Than Propaganda,

Guide All Concerned”,

Jonathan dismissed the

“report as a recycled

falsehood that is blatantly

dishonest, cheap, and

predictable”.

The former President, in a

statement, went on: “Although

there is nothing new in this

fabricated bribery claim

which we had severally

debunked in the past, we

will continue to restate the

following facts:

* Former President

Goodluck Jonathan did

not ask for or collect any

bribes, neither has he been

charged for asking or

collecting bribes, neither

will he ever be charged

with asking for or

collecting bribes, because

such never happened.

not allowed to create a

loophole for the

fraudsters. Many twins

across the country will

testify that we were in

touch with them as a way

of verifying their identities.

“For those we are not sure

of their distinct identities,

we have created a platform

to justify their

characteristics in order not

to throw the baby out with

the bath water.”

“Those who belong to

this doubtful category are

treated as follows: Those

who have facial identities

in multiples are crosschecked

further by

ascertaining their

fingerprints. Where

fingerprints are not

identical or not more than

two registrants even if

their fingers are identical,

we give them the benefit of

the doubt especially when

only one exam was taken.

“We canceled those with

multiple registration and

who wrote two or more

examination with

identical finger prints.

“We therefore caution

that this is the last time

that double registration

will be given any

consideration.

“ Henceforth, anyone

who registers more than

once will be taken to have

engaged in examination

malpractice and be treated

as such. The bloated figure

of registrants distorts data

and derail proper

planning.”

He disclosed: “In the

2019 UTME, we were able

to identify a large number

of impersonators who

have been writing UTME

for candidates.”

According to him, “Most

of the tutorial masters

specialize in recruiting

such professional writers

for the candidates. They do

so by using the names

directly or variants of the

name or by multiple

registrations.”

* That this particular

dispute predated the

Jonathan administration

and survives it.

* That former President

Jonathan is 61 years old

and throughout his life has

never opened an account,

nor owned property

outside Nigeria. Perhaps

those behind this latest

propaganda would be bold

enough to make the same

deposition?

The fact remains that as

recent national events

continue to vindicate

former President

Jonathan, and as the

world continues to

celebrate him, those who

are insecure will feed such

propaganda to their media

agents to feed their

inferiority complex”.


PAGE 4 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019

L-R: Dr. Umar Musa Mustapha, 1st Vice-President of National Institute of Marketing of

Nigeria, (NIMN); Mr. Innocent Idibia, (A.K.A 2face) recipient of a Honourary Fellow Award

from NIMN; his wife Mrs. Annie Idibia and Mr. Tony Agenmonmen, President and Chairman

of Council, National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, (NIMN) during Dinner and

award Night of National Institute of Marketing of Nigerian (NIMN) in Port Harcourt,

weekend. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke

L-R: Chief Bisi Ogunjobi, former Vice President, African Development Bank; Prof.

Olu Akinyanju, Chairman, Sickle Cell Foundation, Nigeria; Dr. Annette Akinsete, National

Director/CEO Sickle Cell Foundation, Nigeria and Caroline Oghuma, Executive

Head, Corporate Affairs, MultiChoice Nigeria at the Closing/Certificate Award Ceremony

of the 18th Genetic Counselling Training Course on Sickle Cell Disorder sponsored

by MultiChoice Nigeria held on Friday May 10th, 2019 at the National Sickle

Cell Centre, Ishaga Road, Idi-Araba, Surulere Lagos.

Pastor, mistress to die by hanging for killing husband

By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu

FTER six years of the

A slow wheel of justice,

Mrs. Enebong Victor Isogunyo

and her accomplice, Pastor

Udoka Nkachukwu, were

convicted and sentenced to

death by hanging for the murder

of Victor Isogunyo by an

Edo State High Court sitting

in Benin City presided over by

Justice Geraldine Imadegbelo

Ȧlso found guilty of the crime

committed on November

29th 2013 were Christopher

Odiase and Amen Osemenhai,

who were sentenced to

one year imprisonment with

an option of fine of N50,000

for conspiracy and two years

imprisonment with an option

of fine of N100,000, respectively

for forgery of the deceased

vehicle documents in

the name of the Pastor.

The late Victor Isogunyo, as

at the time of his gruesome

murder was a Deputy Manager,

Engineering Department

with the Nigerian Petroleum

Development Company

(NPDC), a subsidiary of the

NNPC.

He was deceived to give

Pastor Nkachukwu a ride

along Sapele Road and while

inside the car, the pastor

stabbed him with a sharp object

and set his car, with his

body inside ablaze, to create

an impression that he was involved

in an accident with the

vehicle engulfed in flames.

However, police post mortem

report, the court heard, showed

that the man’s heart region

was pierced by a sharp object.

It was learnt that the deceased

and his wife had been

having issues with the paternity

of their children after the

deceased was said to have suspected

that his wife was having

an extra marital affair

with the Pastor.

The deceased was said to

have visited their home in

Akwa Ibom State to complain

to both his family and the

family of his wife after suspecting

that the pregnancy

which his was wife was carrying

then was not from him.

Consequently, the families

resolved that a DNA test would

be conducted after giving

birth to the child. It was learnt

that it was this arrangement

that infuriated the wife, who

then plotted with her lover

Pastor to murder her husband,

Victor.

The Pastor whom Sunday

Vanguard gathered has been

a close family friend, called

the deceased on phone and

told him he wanted to see him.

The deceased was said to

have driven to somewhere

along Sapele Road, to meet

with the Pastor. On getting

there, it was gathered that the

Pastor entered the vehicle and

stabbed the deceased twice,

he drove the car to a hidden

destination along Sapele

Road and set both the car and

the deceased ablaze.

The now convicted wife was

said to have gone to the office

to report that the husband

was missing but after visiting

the husband’s office, she was

said to have gone to the bank

to withdraw N4milion from

the account of her husband.

The wife of the deceased

also went to the police to report

the incident. However,

staff of the NPDC were informed

that people observed

a burnt car and somebody

inside it somewhere along

Sapele Road, they quickly

rushed down and found it was

that of Mr Isogunyo.

Friends and associate of the

late Victor became curious

when the wife did not show

expected soberness after her

husband was declared missing

and later found burnt in

his own car as they were said

to have been shocked when

they went to the deceased wife

at their home to inform her

of the situation and found her

sitting comfortably at home

watching African Magic.

It was also discovered that

She married another man without divorcing me, husband cries out

By Idowu Bankole

fter several years of

Amarriage, Marian

Ekiomado is allegedly

married to another man

while she is yet to divorce

her husband.

In an interview with

Sunday Vanguard, Shola

Motunbi, 39, the husband

to Marian, on Friday,

accused his wife of

betraying their marital

vow by getting married to

another man without

divorcing him.

“I got married to

Marian Ekiomado on

August 6 2016. We had

tradition and white

wedding. We also went to

marriage registry.

However, a few months

into our wedding, I caught

her with different text

messages on her phone

and on Facebook chatting

with her boyfriend”, the

husband lamented.

“Whenever I left the

house, she would remove

the wedding photographs

from the house and invite

her boyfriend.

Meanwhile, she had a

little girl called Treasure

who was her first daughter

outside wedlock.

Whenever I came home

the daughter will tell me

that “mummy removed

the photographs from the

house and one brother

came in to check on her”.

She almost killed her

daughter one particular

night if not that I was

around. After all the

arguments, the parent

begged, and so I let go

until, again, I caught her

chatting with a man she

was having an amorous

affair with on Facebook.

I confronted her and the

mother, but she

vehemently denied having

anything to do with the

man.

“But what got me

suspicious was that after

she was 3 to 4 months

pregnant, having lost two

pregnancies in the name of

stress, she called her

younger brother to fight

and injure me in the house.

I left and returned after she

delivered on 5 September

2017. I went there just to

see the child with my

family. Thereafter, she

refused to pick my calls

and refused to bring the

child me. These made me

suspicious the more and so

I demanded a DNA test

which she and her parents

refused. But to my greatest

surprise I received a

call on Saturday, 27 April

2019, that she was getting

married in her mother’s

house at Sapele Road. I

later found that she was

getting married to

another man whose

picture I saw on her

Facebook page.”

Shola has since filed a

suit in a magistrate court

to seek redress in what he

termed a “breach of

marital laws”

Marian, when

contacted, denied the

husband’s claims.

the new Volkswagen Passat

car given to him by the company

following his promotion

was no longer in their compound.

Detectives tracked the

car to a compound at Ekenwan

Road, Benin City, and

when they accosted a lady in

the compound, she said that

the car was parked by a Pastor

that lives in the compound.

When the Pastor came out,

detectives observed burns in

his left hand and his face. The

Pastor disclosed that one of his

daughters in the church

sowed a seed with the car.

He subsequently took them

to the residence of the deceased

where it was discovered

that it was the deceased

wife. The two were arrested

A source close to the Ekiamados,

who spoke under

the condition of anonymi-

and confessed to have committed

the dastardly act and

were subsequently charged to

court.”

Reacting to the judgement

on Thursday, brother of the

deceased, Gabriel Isonguyo

said “No matter what judgement

they get, it cannot bring

my brother back. I thank the

judiciary for the judgement.

At least other people will

learn from the lesson that

whoever that kills by the

sword would die by the

sword.”

A friend of the deceased,

David Anjoba said “it has

been a long struggle and today

we are happy, we give

God the glory that we got justice

at the end.”

Violence threatens women’s participation in politics

—Ekiti First Lady

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

WIFE of the Ekiti

State governor,

Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has

identified violence and

high level of intimidation

against women as threat

to their political

participation in the

country.

Mrs. Fayemi spoke during

the 5th Distinguished

Guest Lecture at the University

of Medical Science,

Ondo, entitled,

‘Clapping With One

Hand: Female Education,

Leadership And The Quest

For National Development’.

According to her,

research and anecdotal

evidence had shown that

violence or the perception

and or real fear of

violence are a major

*Enebong Isogunyo

deterrent for women to

engage effectively in

politics.

“The latest number of

these incidents reportedly

take place during political

campaigns or rallies

while others occur at

political party events”,

she said.

She however said that “

strategies, such as the use

of affirmative action and

quotas even if only on a

short term basis could

make all the difference for

Nigerian women”.

The Vice Chancellor of

the university, Prof. Friday

Okonofua, expressed

worries over the current

rate of underrepresentation

of women

in all spheres of our

national lives.

Okonofua noted that

Nigeria has one of the

lowest representation of

women in parliament

among all African

countries.

Firm unveils ease of financial access services in Nigeria

By Esther Onyegbula

N a bid to establish

Ieasy access in

financial services, a

leading mobile money

company, Paga, has called

for structural flow in the

mobile money ecosystems

security agencies from

across Nigeria.

The call was made at its

first annual workshop,

tagged, ‘Security

Organisations: What you

need to know about

*Motunbi & Marian

mobile money and

payment in Nigeria’.

Paga has been at the

forefront of driving

financial inclusion with

support from the Central

Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The

company has created

financial access services

points (Agent Network)

across the length and

breadth of Nigeria

processing payments and

making life possible for the

financially excluded.

The Co-Founder and

Director of Business

ty, however confirmed the

story.

Development, Paga, stated

that the country needs clear

perspective on financial

payment processes. “At

Paga, we constantly seek

opportunities to learn and

understand how payments

are processed and other

extraneous variables that

could hinder a successful

transaction.”

Commenting on its

benefit to businesses,

President, Association of

Mobile Money Agents of

Nigeria, AMMAN, Victor

Olojo, explained,


SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 5

L-R: Ekiti State Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Dapo Kolawole; Ekiti State

Governor; Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Branch Controller, CBN Ado-Ekiti, Atobatele Ademola;

PSSD CBN Headquarters, Abuja, Arc. Olajide Bandipo; and Engr. Iheanyi Eke;

during the CBN Team’s meeting with the Governor in Ado-Ekiti.

Odein Ajumogobia, SAN; Maj Gen Ike Nwachukwu (rtd), Alabo Tonye Graham

Douglas, the celebrant; Chief Timi Alaibe, and a guest, at the 80th birthday celebration

of Alabo Douglas in Port Harcourt.

AMID RUMOURED PLAN TO DEPOSE EMIR OF KANO

Ganduje defies court t order

der, , says 4 new emirs s have come to stay

By Adekunle Aliyu

& Abdulmumin

Murtala

In defiance of the Friday

order of a High Court

restraining him from

installing four new emirs,

Kano State Governor

Abdullahi Ganduje,

yesterday said the new

emirates have come to

stay. In essence, Ganduje

said the creation of the

new emirates was

irreversible.

The development

effectively reduces the

jurisdiction of Emir

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II,

who hitherto was in

charge of the Kano

Emirate Council

comprising 44 local

government areas (LGAs)

but will now be in charge

of only 10 LGAs.

It also fuelled the

speculation that the

By Johnbosco

Agbakwuru

HE Presidency on

TSaturday warned the

Peoples Democratic Party,

PDP to stop dragging the

presidency into their

alleged current sponsored

media smear campaign

against the President of

the Court of Appeal,

Justice Zainab

Bulkachuwa.

Prof Gambari calls for constitutional amendment

Ganduje administration

was serious about deposing

Sanusi II.

The governor spoke at a

ceremony organised for the

emirs in charge of the new

emirates to express their

appreciation to the

governor for their

appointment.

The new monarchs

include Ibrahim Abubakar,

the Emir of Karaye; Aminu

Ado-Bayero, the Emir of

Bichi; Ibrahim Abdulkadir,

the Emir of Gaya, and

Tafida Ila, the emir of

Kano. Sanusi was absent at

the occasion.

The Friday court order

had followed a suit filed by

one Rabi’u Sule-Gwarzo

challenging the decision of

the governor to create the

four additional emirates in

Kano.

Justice Nasiru Saminu

gave an interim injunction

directing all parties

involved in the suit to

The Presidency was

reacting to the reports

claiming that an agency of

the government, the

Department of State

Services, DSS has indicted

Bulkachuwa of

corruption.

A statement by the Senior

Special Assistant to the

President on Media and

Publicity, Mallam Garba

Shehu said that the reports

were “the latest of this

Nigeria needs the col

laborative and selfless

efforts of the political

elites as well as constitutional

amendments to build a

better Nigeria for all.

Former United Nations

Under-Secretary and Nigeria’s

permanent representative

to the UN, Professor Ibrahim

Gambari expressed

these views as guest lecturer

of the maiden University’s

Public Affairs Forum held at

Babcock University Ilishan-

Remo, Ogun State.

The Babcock Public Affairs

Forum, an initiative of

the School of Veronica

Adeleke School of Social

Science, was created as a

veritable vehicle for addressing

pressing national issues.

His paper, Federalism and

the Future of Nigeria: the

Challenge of Restructuring,

called for a paradigm shift

on restructuring and a revisiting

of the 2014 constitutional

conference to allay

fears on restructuring and

move Nigeria forward.

He said had the consensus

reached at the 2014 constitutional

conference been implemented

rather than

thrashed, we would not be talking

about restructuring today.

According to him, since restructuring,

nation building,

and federalism were hinged

on the same principles, Nigeria

needed to embrace restructuring

as a necessity, not an

option for survival.

“You cannot build a nation

with increasing inequality,” he

said. “Our constitution should

continue to be amended until

we get a perfect model.”

He said as a matter of urgency,

Nigeria needed to create

safety nets to take care of

the underprivileged and the

handicapped.

Citing the restructure of Nigeria

from three regions to

four before states’ creation, he

said agitations for change

were inevitable.

Professor Gambari also

called on universities to be

part of the national conversation

and be in the forefront of

brainstorming on solutions to

national and global challenges

Ḣe commended Babcock

maintain the status quo

pending the hearing and

determination of the

motion on notice.

Saminu also gave an

order directing the state

governor and the

Government Printer to stop

the publication and

release of the law that

created the four new

emirates.

The state House of

Assembly had reviewed the

law on Local Government

and Chieftaincy Affairs

seeking the upgrade of

some traditional rulers to

the status of First Class

Emirs.

This followed a petition by

a team of lawyers led by

Ibrahim Salisu Chambers

and within 48 hours of the

passage of the bill by the

lawmakers Ganduje last

week, gave his assent.

A State Emirate Council

was also established by the

bill, that will have the five

sponsored campaign

aimed at causing

disaffection between the

Executive and the

Judiciary, the two arms of

government that had

operated smoothly under

the

present

dispensation.”

According to the

statement, “While the PDP

and its candidates are free

to exercise their right to

challenge the results of the

Emirs heading the

emirates, the Secretary to

the State Government, the

Commissioner for Local

Government, Chairmen of

all the Local Government

Councils in the state, at

least two king-makers

from each of the five

Emirate Councils as well

as not more than five

others to be appointed by

the state governor, as

members.

Speaking at the

ceremony organized for

the four newly emirs,

yesterday, Ganduje said he

had received the

information of planned

protests against the

appointment by some

aggrieved individuals.

He, however, insisted

that the law had gone

through all the

constitutionally required

processes and was

irreversible.

The governor warned

that any violent reaction

against the new law would

not augur well in Kano as

he called on residents to

exercise restraint to allow

peace and tranquillity to

reign in the state.

Ganduje stressed that the

idea behind the breakup of

the Central Emirate was to

share the burden of

development of the state to

the new four emirate

councils for effective

service delivery.

He charged the new

emirs to participate

actively in the area of

education, security and

agricultural development

in the state.

“These four Emirate

Councils existed for many

centuries ago. We have

deemed it wise to revive

them in order to fast-track

our development agenda,”

the governor stated.

“I charge these emirs to

fast-track development of

Judiciary: Presidency warns PDP against smear campaign

University for its role in adding

value to higher national

education.

By Eric Ugbor /

Ugochukwu Alaribe.

BIA State government

Ahas said that several years

of the rot in the Civil Service

System in the state was

responsible for the lofty

pension arrears and

outrageous wage bill

bedeviling the state.

The state Commissioner for

Finance, Mr. Obinna Oriaku,

disclosed this when he met

with members of Aba

Federated Chapel of the

Nigerian Union of

Journalists at the government

secretariat in Umuahia.

He noted that several years

of ignoring and overlooking

the improper and

undeserving promotions in

the civil service led to a hike

in salaries and skyrocketed

pensions.

Oriaku, who was responding

2019 presidential election,

it is unacceptable to drag

the name of the President

or other organs of the

executive branch into the

campaign of character

assassination against the

President of the Court of

Appeal.

“The DSS doesn’t conduct

its duties in the manner so

described and you can’t

use a fake security report

to drag the presidency into

a smear campaign against

the President of the Court

of Appeal.

“Attacking judges because

the outcomes of cases

don’t favour you and

keeping quiet when the

verdict is in your favour

smacks of insincerity,

double standard and

mischief.

“Intimidating and

impugning the character

of judges in order to force

them to bow to blackmail

is against the spirit of an

independent judiciary.

“The PDP praised the

verdict of the Osun

gubernatorial election

tribunal because it

favoured them, but they

are now singing a different

tune because they lost their

appeal.”

Continuing, it stated, “We

cannot keep changing the

definition of an

education, agriculture and

security. We want to see you

going house to house to

ensure every child goes to

school.

“We want to see you

participating in the fight

against insecurity because

you are familiar with

strangers that enter your

town. You will know new

faces that enter your towns

and know how to tackle

the security in your areas.”

Ganduje urged the emirs

to work harmoniously in

the development of the

state.

In their respective

remarks, the newly

appointed monarchs

expressed appreciation to

the governor for what they

described as “historic

appointment”, pledging

their commitment toward

working to fight drug

abuse, insecurity and even

development in Kano.

independent judiciary to

suit our political

convenience and bias

without ultimately

creating chaos in the

system.

“If the PDP continues to

blackmail and smear judges

with fake news stories, we will

ultimately find ourselves

dealing with a situation where

judges may be afraid to

handle cases, thereby

creating delays in the

dispensation of justice.

“ If the presidency had any

influence on election

petition tribunals, APC

candidates wouldn’t have

lost a single case before the

courts.”

Abia bia govt vt blames rot in civil service on backlog of unpaid

pensions

to a question about the

protest staged by some

pensioners on May Day in

Umuahia, described the

situation of Abia on the issue

of pensions as fundamental

which must be addressed for

the state to move forward.

“It’s a fundamental problem

that has nothing to do with

Ikpeazu. It’s a problem that

we’ve been able to diagnose

and identify where it’s

coming from. l’m very careful

when I talk about pensioners

because, some of us are well

groomed in African culture

because you’re talking about

old people who are our

mothers and fathers.

But as a government, we take

responsibility of whatever

goes on as it affects our

standings with pensioners”,

he said.

“At the inception this

administration, the Federal

Government asked the entire

states to sum up their

outstanding liabilities by way

of pensions, gratuities and

salaries. We did that and the

total outstanding of Abia

State came about N39 bn.

These include gratuity of over

N20bn and the other ones

outstanding pensions and

small salaries. This happened

five months into Okezie

Ikpeazu’s administration”.


PAGE 6— SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, receiving the

Fellowship Award of the Institute of Change Management from president of the institute,

Mr. Nat Osewele, Fellow and member of the Governing Council, Asiwaju Olasunkade

Azeez (left) and Registrar, Mr. Joseph Anetor, recently.

Ekweremadu splashes N29m Scholarships/Bursary on Constituents

The Deputy President of

the Senate, Senator

Ike Ekweremadu,

weekend, awarded N29 Million

in scholarships and bursary

to 399 indigent undergraduates

of Enugu State.

Also, 302 adult learners

Awujale,at 85, commends

Globacom's developmental strides

On the occasion of his

85th Birthday, the

Paramount ruler of

Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode

Adetona, has commended

national telecommunication

company, Globacom, for

engendering great development

and progress in his domain

through its phenomenal

support.

Speaking at the 3rd Annual

Oba Adetona Professorial

Chair Lecture of the Olabisi

Onabanjo University, Ago

Iwoye, held in Ijebu Ode on

Friday to commemorate his

birthday, Oba Adetona also

thanked the people of Ijebuland

for their unalloyed support

since he ascended the

throne 59 years ago.

The paramount ruler

prayed especially for long life,

good health and continuous

progress for Globacom

Chairman, Dr. Mike

Adenuga, Jr.

In a goodwill message read

from 32 Ikeoha Foundation

Adult Literacy Centres, who

were educated under Ikeoha

free education programme,

received their First School

Leaving Certificates. This

brings the number of beneficiaries

to over 12,302.

on his behalf at the occasion,

Dr. Adenuga stated that good

governance will be firmly entrenched

in the country if the

noble values of honesty, hard

work, integrity, probity and

good character as enshrined

in the “Omoluabi paradigm”

(diligence and integrity) are

properly inculcated.

He commended the organisers

for choosing a very strategic

theme for the Lecture:

"Grassroots Governance, the

soft underbelly of Nigeria's

political architecture", adding

that "if we get it right at

the local government level,

we will get it right at the top

as all politics is local".

Dr. Adenuga also paid

glowing tribute to Oba Adetona

for donating the Professorial

Chair at the Olabisi

Onabanjo University, and

prayed for more successes

during the reign of the monarch.

380 students received a

bursary award of N50,000

each, while 19 students across

the State also received

N400,000 in scholarship

each.

Speaking during the disbursements

to the beneficiaries

at the 2017/2018 Ikeoha

Adult Literacy Day and

Scholarships/Bursary Awards

at Ndeabor, Aninri Local

Government Headquarters,

Ekweremadu said the gesture

was his modest way of giving

back to a society that had

shown him consistent support

over the years.

Although beneficiaries of

bursary awards were supposed

to be 300, but Ekweremadu,

owing to the supports

by his friends who donated at

the event, increased the number

of recipients to 380, while

the initial award of N40,000

was increased to N50,000.

He, however, enjoined the

beneficiaries to make the best

use of the funds and also remember

to bless others in

their own way, especially

when God uplifts them.

“By the grace of God, we

will continue to do what we

are doing. Our intention is to

continue to improve on what

we are doing and get more

people to benefit. We started

with beneficiaries from Enugu

west, we now cover the

whole of Enugu State, and we

L-R: Pro Chancellor, Igbinedion University Okada, Prof. Sheikh Ahmed Abdulah; Former

Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar; Chancellor, Igbinedion University Okada,

Chief Gabriel Igbinedion and his wife, Lady Cherry Igbinedion at the 20th Anniversary of

Igbinedion University Okada, held in Edo State……on Friday

‘Over $900m found in secret non-TSA accounts’

Over $900 million has

been found in secret

non-TSA accounts,

according to a House of Representatives

panel.

The House, according to

Premium Times, made the

revelation while adopting the

report with 20 recommendations

by the Ad Hoc Committee

on the Need to Ascertain

the Proceeds of the TSA to

Enhance Transparency, Accountability

and Good Governance.

It accused the Nigerian National

Petroleum Corporation,

the Nigerian Ports Authority,

the Federal Inland

Revenue Service, the Nigeria

Customs Service as well as

other ministries and banks of

various infractions.

The House asked the Ministry

of Finance, the Office of

the Accountant-General of

the Federation and the Central

Bank of Nigeria should

intensify efforts to enforce full

implementation and compliance

with the TSA policy by

all the MDAs.

It also wants the MDAs who

had violated the TSA policy

to be sanctioned accordingly.

Sanction and prosecute offenders

The lawmakers ordered

that the Ministry of Finance

and OAGF “should be directed

to publish, sanction/prosecute

with immediate effect

all MDAs, private persons,

private organisations as well

as banks, where FGN funds

are hidden based on the discoveries

made in the report

of the consultants engaged by

the OAGF and review the

compliance with the TSA.”

They said applications for

exemptions/waivers must follow

the guidelines on TSA

implementation and duly

approved and signed by the

president only.

Presenting the report, the

Chairman of the Committee,

Danduram Abubakar, said

during the investigations,

overwhelming discoveries

were made.

According to him, it was observed

that funds belonging

to the federal government to

the tune of billions of naira

and hundreds of millions of

dollars were operated outside

the TSA by the MDAs in collaboration

with the banks.

“After the meeting with Deposit

Money Banks, the Central

Bank of Nigeria, the Office

of the Accountant-General

of the Federation, the Office

of the Auditor-General of

the Federation and the Nigerian

National Petroleum Corporation

on August 15, 2017,

the committee discovered

that over $900m is still being

held outside the TSA.

“While some banks fully

complied with the directive of

the ad hoc committee by remitting

these funds into the

TSA, it is worthy of note that

the sum of about $995.71m

was still held outside the TSA

by some other banks. This

sum of $995.71m includes

the principal deposit and the

accrued interest on the deposit.

Also discovered was an

amount of N1.207bn and

€23,704.01,” he explained.

The lawmakers agreed that

“the issues bordering on the

Nigerian Ports Authority fund

totalling €6,626,429.59

seized by the Economic and

Financial Crimes Commission

should be resolved immediately

and the funds released

to the appropriate

owner. The EFCC should be

informed in writing to immediately

refund the same

amount into the TSA account

with the CBN.”

The NNPC was also asked

to make full disclosures on the

nature and status of the fund

held in the NNPC Pension

Fund Limited domiciled in

Aso Savings and Loans Plc

and Unity Bank.

It also resolved that “the

Ministry of Finance, the Office

of the Accountant-General

of the Federation and the

Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation

and Fiscal Commission

should make a definite

and appropriate categorisation

of the Brass LNG dividends

as a federation account

item or as an independent

revenue of the Federal Government;

that subsequent

funding and expenditure of

the Brass LNG project be

done based on approved budgetary

provisions by Appropriations

Acts and the funding

shall be done through the

FAAC/CRF Account.

“That the revenue collection

arrangement entered

into by the Industrial Training

Fund with Puzzle Technologies

Limited be suspended

and the Ministry of

Finance and the Office of the

Accountant-General of the

Federation should immediately

conduct an investigation

into the circumstance of

the arrangement.

“That there should be an

immediate takeover of the

assets used for the asset swap

for Aso Savings & Loans

Plc’s debt owed various

Madalla Market Suleja to be

relocated; Niger, investor begin

construction of 5,000 shops

By Wole Mosadomi

At last, the Madal

la Market situat

ed along the Suleja-Abuja

road is to be relocated

to decongestant

the ever busy road.

In the past few years,

many lives and property

worth millions of Naira

have been lost to fatal accidents

along the road.

Niger State government,

while handing over

the project site to a private

investor (Dodo Constultant

Limited and Pre-

want to take it to the next level.

“We are also talking to our

colleagues and friends and

development partners across

the world and if we succeed,

we will also try as much as

possible to extend it to the

South East, to Nigeria also

to the rest of Africa.

“The society has offered us

so many opportunities and

this is just one little way of

giving back to the society.

The only thing we request of

the beneficiaries is to copy

what we are doing so that by

the time God blesses you,

you should also be blessings

to others. We are trying to

plant this culture of giving

in the minds of many people

as possible. That is the only

way our society can make

progress. The best thing that

will happen to you is when

you are able to put happiness

on the faces of ordinary

people”.

He urged the clergy and

the people to pray for the

Foundation so that the human

capital building efforts

could continue.

On his part, Governor Ifeanyi

Ugwuanyi of Enugu

State, extolled Ekweremadu’s

benevolence and

charged the beneficiaries

and members of the pubic to

emulate him in their own little

ways.

MDAs. The Federal Ministry

of Finance and the OAGF

should be communicated to

immediately inform the affected

MDAs to take advantage

of the offer.”

The House also accused the

NNPC of extra-budgetary

spending as the committee

said from the information

submitted by the corporation,

Brass LNG received an appropriation

of $511.60m while

the actual release was

$461.54m during 2012-2017

fiscal years.

mium Capital Investment

Solutions), which is the financier,

in Madalla yesterday,

disclosed that it will

construct five thousand

shops at the sum of N5.7

billion.

Governor Abubakar

Sani Bello said the project

is one of the pragmatic

approaches to industrialize

the Suleja economic axis.

Represented by the Commissioner

of Commerce

and Investment, Mohammed

Mundi, the governor

said the project will have

4,484 shops and warehouses

and is expected to be

completed within three

years.

He disclosed that the

Madalla Market, one of

the biggest market, since

the creation of the state in

1976, will occupy 69.7 hectares,

saying, “We have 42.7

hectares ready and we will

compensate for the remaining

27 hectares”.

The Project Consultant,

Architect Umar Jama’a,

disclosed that the market,

will have facilities such as

mechanized abattoir, meat

shop, fruit and vegetables

shops, warehouses, bank,

lock-up shops, restaurants,

toilets, motor park, poultry

stores, grains stores, observatory

tower for security,

mosque, fire service and

cold room.

The representative of Premium

Capital Investment

Solution, the financier of

the project, Mr Adebiyi Olumayewa,

confirmed his

firm’s readiness to embark

on the market project, adding:

“It will enhance the

economic well-being of not

only people of the area but

also that of the Government

and that it will be

handed over to the state

government in 15 years

time.”

Olajuyigbe

dies at 75

• The late Prince Olajuyigbe

The death has occurred of

Prince Oludare Olaniyi Olajuyigbe,

a community leader

and elder statesman. He was

aged 75.

Olajuyigbe who passed on

in the United States of America

on Tuesday, March 19 this

year was of the Ejisun branch

of the Onidasa Royal Family

of Ipoti-Ekiti in Ijero Local

Government Area of Ekiti

State, South-West, Nigeria.

Funeral proceedings commence

with a Service of

Songs on Monday, May 13

at 4.00pm at his Lagos residence,

Road 23, K Close, Festac

Town, followed by the

Christian Wake on Wednesday,

May 15 at 4.00pm at 37,

Ejisun Compound, Ipoti-Ekiti.

The Funeral and Thanksgiving

Service holds at the

Seventh-day Adventist

Church 1, Ipoti-Ekiti on

Thursday, May 16 starting

from 11.00am; to be immediately

followed by reception

of guests at Ipoti Civic Centre

premises/ L. A. Primary

School playground, Ijero

Road, Ipoti-Ekiti.

He is survived by his wife,

Olori Adediwura, children,

grandchildren, brothers, sisters

and a host of other relations.

Vanguardman

buries mum

•The late Madam Mosadomi

he death has been an

Tnounced of Special

Mother In Israel Josephine

Modupeola Amoke

Mosadomi.

Aged 79, mama Mosadomi

was born on 30 May,

1930 to the family of Opaleye,

Abodua Compound,

Oshogbo, Osun State and

passed on to eternal glory on

Wednesday, 3rd April.

Christian Wake Keep

comes up on Thursday, 30

May at her residence, No 6,

Bishop Street, Oshogbo

while final interment and

thanksgiving service comes

up on Friday, 31 May 2019

at Methodist Church Cathedral,

Isale Aro, Oshogbo.

She is survived by five children

among whom is Wole

Mosadomi, Niger State Correspondent

of Vanguard

Newspapers.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 7

From left H.E. Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Adnan Mahmoud

Bostaji and Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, SSA to the President on Foreign Affairs &

Diaspora discussing issues of common interest between the two countries at the

Ambassador's office in Abuja on Friday

Taraba: Fear of the unknown turns over

200 to IDPs

By Femi Bolaji,

Jalingo

WHILE many peasant

farmers across the

country are preparing to start

cultivating crops preparatory

to the rainy season, those in

Jenibanbur, Murbai, Jakum

woro, Surbai and Jauro Jangai

communities under

Ardo-Kola local government

area of Taraba state

are on the run.

Their homes, which they

once cherished and

adored, have suddenly become

a nightmare over the

fear of the unknown.

Their fear stemmed from

the invasion of Murbai,

Yawai-Abbare, Kisbap and

Sembe early in the week

by unknown gunmen

which led to the killing of

no fewer than six persons

while several others were

injured.

When Sunday Vanguard

visited Jenibanbur, residents,

old and young, were

seen with their luggage

moving out of the community.

For those that had the

means to convey their luggage

with farm produce

carriers, personal belongings

like mattress, some

appliances, among others,

were being moved out.

While the police

claimed it was a false

alarm that there was an

impending attack on the

communities, locals resorted

to fleeing for safety.

However, in the last four

days, there has been influx

of those running from

danger into Jalingo, Taraba

State capital, which

they see as a haven pending

the time tension douses.

Nukkai Primary School,

which currently houses the

over 200 fleeing villagers,

mostly women and children,

is the latest of the numerous

IDP camps established

in the state capital.

Invasion

News broke penultimate

Tuesday of the invasion of

Yawai-abbare, Murbai and

Kisbap communities by unknown

gunmen.

While there are different

versions of what actually

transpired by residents of

the affected communities,

one thing they all said in

common was that the invaders

came on motorcycles,

shooting sporadically

which led to the death of

some people, while several

others were injured.

Confirming the incident,

spokesman for Taraba State

Police Command, DSP David

Misal, said six corpses

were recovered.

Some of the locals, who

did not want their names in

print, said problem started

Monday morning at Yawaiabbare

between a local and

a herder.

The disagreement was

said to have led to the duo

sustaining injuries.

The matter, which was later

reported to the community

leader, was later settled

as each person was said to

have forgiven each other.

Unfortunately, on Monday

evening, after members

of the community had returned

to their normal businesses,

unknown gunmen,

on motorcycles attacked the

community which later

spread to Murbai and Kis-

bap villages.

When Sunday Vanguard

visited Nukkai Primary

School, where the displaced

persons now call

home, most of the inmates,

who were women and children

sat under trees and reliving

their experiences.

It was also gathered that

the women and children

were evacuated to secure

them from harm’s way,

while the men stayed back

to prevent hoodlums who

were in the habit of looting

properties.

While most of the inmates

declined to talk, a community

leader in Nukkai, John

Awoshiri, who received the

fleeing victims, spoke to

newsmen on community

efforts rendered since they

started trooping in.

“When they started trooping

in and I was informed

of their presence here, I organised

local vigilantes to

give them security.

“Subsequently, we discovered

that most of them

kept coming in and among

them were sick children

and pregnant women”.

Contacted, the spokesman

for the state police

command, Misal, said security

operatives had been

deployed to affected areas

to prevent people from fleeing

their abode and ensure

their safety.

Legendary filmmaker, Eddie Ugbomah,

...Nollywood practitioners mourn

dies at 78

By Benjamin Njoku

The Nigerian movie industry

was again thrown into

mourning yesterday as it lost

one of its surviving pioneer

film makers, Chief Eddie Ugbomah

to the cold hands of

death.

He died yesterday afternoon,

at the hospital where

he was scheduled to undergo

surgery on Monday. Ugbomah

would have been 78

in July, having been born in

1941.

Film critic and journalist,

Shaibu Hussein broke the sad

news on the film makers

WhatsApp platform called,

Film4Film.

He wrote: “I have the permission

of the Chairman of

the Chief Eddie Ugbomah

Medical Fund Committee,

Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, Director

General, National

Film and Video Censors

Board, NFVCB, to break the

news of the passage into eternity

of the veteran film maker,

Chief Eddie Ugbomah

OON. The veteran film maker

died an hour ago at the

hospital where he was scheduled

to undergo surgery on

Monday. Sad...but we totally

submit to the will of the Almighty

God.”

In recent times, Ugbomah

had pleaded for help to raise

funds to treat a brain ailment.

In October 2018, his family

had canvassed for funds, revealing

that he was suffering

from high blood pressure. He

was scheduled for surgery on

Monday but he could not

make it.

Industry practitioners have

been paying tributes to the

veteran film maker since the

news of his demise was made

public.

Leading the pack was veteran

film maker, Tunde Kelani,

who described the demise

of the legendary film maker

*** Gov Ishaku Directs Security Agencies To

Troubled Spots As Tiv, Jukun Conflict Festers

By Femi Bolaji, Jalingo

GOVERNOR Darius

Ishaku has directed

security agencies in Taraba

State to restore normalcy in

communities bordering Benue

States where renewed

clashes between the Tiv and

Jukun tribes reportedly

claimed six lives.

The governor said he was

saddened that the peace efforts

of Taraba and Benue

State governments to see that

both tribes cohabit peacefully

eventually came to naught

with the renewed killings.

Ishaku, in a statement by

his Senior Special Assistant

on Media and Publicity,

Bala Dan Abu, also condemned

the killing of innocent

people in some farming

communities of ArdoKola

and Jalingo local government

areas of the state.

The statement said: “The

unfortunate violent clashes

between Jukuns and their

Tiv neighbours in Kente and

Rafinkada which occurred

on Friday May 10, 2019 like

the ones before resulted in

the loss of innocent lives and

the destruction of valuable

properties.

“This is unfortunate and

should not be allowed to happen

again.

“The Jukuns and the Tiv

living in the border communities

have every reason to

live together in peace because

they are both farmers

struggling to erk a living

mainly from the produce

from their farms.”

Ishaku, who urged leaders

of the two ethnic groups

to prevail on their people to

sheath their sword for sustained

peace, also told residents

of the affected communities

“to deliberately seek

and promote peace among

themselves for their mutual

benefit.”

Groups warned against threat messages to CNL

FOLLOWING a threat to

shut down operations of

Chevron Nigeria Limited in

Egbema Kingdom by a

group ‘General Creek

Mandate’, the Executive

Chairman of Egbema and

Gbaramatu Communities

Development Foundation

(EGCDF), Ambassador

Jude Ebitimi Ukori, has

called on all groups issuing

threats to the oil giant

in Egbema Kingdom to eschew

violence and embrace

dialogue.

Ukori, who made this

known in a statement, said

EGCDF remained the legal

authority representing the interest

of the communities, saying

dialogue was the globally accepted

means of agitating for

one’s rights.

“As the constituted authority

which represents the interest

of the communities.

We are working closely with

Chevron Nigeria Limited to

ensure that all germane issues

raised by various interest

groups are addressed”, he

said.

“We can discuss and deal

with all issues raised by our

people with Chevron Nigeria

Limited without issuing ultimatum.

I quite appreciate that

expectations are high but it

should not be made worse by

creating tensions in the kingdom.

N

igerians who make up

google local guides

were celebrated in Lagos on

Saturday, May 4, 2019, for

creating content that has added

to the rich tapestry of sights and

sounds that is Nigeria online.

The event held in Lagos was

exclusively for local guides: a

global community of explorers

who write reviews, share photos,

answer questions, add or edit

places, and check facts on

Google Maps. Millions of

people rely on their contributions

“I promise to take germane

issues in the most civil manner

and therefore those issuing

threat should stop forthwith”.

to decide where to go and what

to do.

Juliet Ehimuan, Director

leading Google’s business in

West Africa, in her keynote

congratulated top local guides

for their role in contributing to

putting Nigeria on the map;

helping to change the narrative

through pictures, reviews, places,

encouraging others to take a

closer look at Nigeria.

“The Google Local Guide

program is a way for users to

contribute content to Google

Late Chief Ugbomah

as “saddest news. May the Almighty

God grant him eternal

rest. May He grant his

family and industry stakeholders

the fortitude to bear

this great loss,” he wrote.

Also, paying tribute, veteran

actress, Joke Silva prayed

God to grant Ugbomah eternal

rest and comfort the family

he left behind. “Ugbomah

left his stamp on this film industry

that cannot be erased.”

Veteran actor and producer,

Francis Onwochei, said

“Eddie Egbomah had played

his part. We match on. Goodnight

Chief Eddie Egbomah.”

Popular film maker, Teco

Benson, described the deceased

as ‘a father and acquaintance.”

He said he believed

so much in the survival

of the Nigerian Film industry.

“ I recall how passionate

he was when he called three

months ago and asked me to

be part of a new movement

to rescue the industry,” Teco

Benson said.

Former President of AMP,

Mr. Zik Zulu Okafor, said we

never thought he would die

so soon. “Too strong, too resilient,

too optimistic. Too, too

defiant, an epitome of uncommon

drama...” Okafor

wrote.

Ugbomah was the Chairman

of the Board of Trustees

,BoT, of the Association of

Movie Producers, AMP. He

began his film career in an

American university in the late

50s, produced and directed

some controversial films and

documentaries about Nigeria.

He had directed and produced

films such as the ‘Rise

and Fall of Oyenusi’ in 1979,

‘The Boy is Good and Apalara,’

a film about the life and murder

of Alfa Apalara in Oko

Awo, Lagos, among others.

Ugbomah, a native of Village

Ashaka area Aboh in East

Ndokwa, Delta State, Local

Government, grew up in the

Obalende and Lafiaji area of

Lagos. He was educated at St

Matthias, Lafiaji, Lagos and

City College school. He traveled

to London for his college

education and attended various

colleges studying journalism,

drama and later film.

Ugbomah last year year announced

his decision to quite

showbiz, listing ill-health and

old age as reasons.

Ijaw congratulate Alabo Graham

Douglas at 80!

By Tony Nwankwo

THE Ijaw Monitoring

Group has described

Alabo Tonye Graham Douglas

as one of Nigeria’s living

legends and statesmen

who has contributed to the

political and economic

growth of the country. In a

message by Comrade Joseph

Evah to mark the 80th

birthday anniversary of the

|Niger Delta leader, the

group stated that Douglas

added value to governance

as the only four-time minister

in Nigeria’s history, adding

that his attempts to use

his experience to manage

the affairs of Nigeria as an

elected President in 1999

was aborted by forces of

darkness during the PDP

primaries.

Google celebrates Nigerian local guides community

Maps. If we want the narrative

about Nigeria and Africa to

change, it is up to us to actively

put our own content online,” she

said.

She also noted that while we

enhance navigation and other

features on Maps, local Guides

play a key role in building the

best Maps experience in Lagos.

“This is no easy task. Creating

information about a world that

was previously known only to

locals takes dedication and

passion for the community.

“We thank God that one

of the few living legends in

Nigeria today, Alabo Graham

Douglas, is 80 years old

and we are proud of his

greatness. With him and a

few other legends, nobody

can intimidate the Ijaw or

Niger Deltans. There are a

few giants that Nigeria cannot

do without, as the world

knows Niger Delta produces

the highest number of giants

for Nigeria. We urge

the Federal Government to

name institutions and monuments

after Nigeria’s living

legends like Graham

Douglas as a mark of honour

for their contributions to

nation building. We thank

the Kalabaris for giving the

Ijaw Nation, this special star,

that when he appears anywhere

on the global stage, all

appreciate that the Ijaw are a

special people”, it added.

Many of the local guides signed

up out of a simple desire to help

others and ensure that local

business and places got the

recognition they deserved.

Others did so out of pride for their

communities, and yet others are

creating content for the sole

purpose of sharing the joy of

exploration. Whatever their

reason, collectively, these local

guides have added 89,000

photos to Google Maps that

have more than 146 million

views, and they have written

487,000 reviews that have

helped 3.4 million people,”

Ehimuan added.


PAGE 8— SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019

NLC will pay for waking

me up with petrol

laden trucks – Ngige

• Narrates how he escaped

blockade to attend FEC meeting

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

The organized labour, led by the President

of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade

Ayuba Wabba, on Wednesday, picketed the

private residence of the Minister of Labour and

Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, in

Asokoro, Abuja. The protesters went with

two tanker trucks. The protesters allegedly

blocked the entrance into the Minister’s

residence and the development

snowballed into fracas with suspected

thugs. In this interview, Ngige says he will

drag the NLC to court for alleged arson against

him and his family.

Excerpts:

You were accused of unleashing thugs

on the NLC that came to picket your

house. What really happened?

Well, I just read newspapers today

(Thursday) and I saw the story. It is a

misleading story because the scenario

that emerged yesterday (Wednesday)

was that I was woken up around 5am

by my wife who reported to me that our

security guards were having problem

with some strange fellows at the gate

house. And that some people were also

on the walls of the house; that they

arrived there by 4:30am.

When the security people accosted

them, they discovered that it was the

President of the Nigeria Labour

Congress himself that came physically

with two tankers; one laden with

petroleum, the second half empty. One

was put at the gate of my house and

the second at the gate of my

neighbour’s house.

When I heard the story, it was very

strange. I looked from upstairs and I

saw that the tankers were actually

blocking the entrance to my house. I

came down and asked for the chief

detail who told me the whole story. And

it emerged that they even had a scuffle

with the President of the NLC when

they were struggling for the keys of the

tankers. So I went back and made calls

to the FCT Commissioner of Police,

Director of SSS and the Federal Road

Safety Commission to see if they could

move the vehicles.

Picketing does not mean that you go

to people’s private residence because

you don’t know who occupies there. For

example in my home, my wife, my

children and the children of my

domestic staff and security personnel

were trapped. My neighbour, his wife

and children couldn’t go out. It is

obstruction; it is against the law of the

country. Then putting a tanker with

petrol is arson, the place could have

caught fire, the entire street could have

been on fire. I don’t know what to say.

That is not trade unionism. Trade

unionism means you dialogue, you

discuss, you talk. That is why we call it

social dialogue because you must

continue to talk. If you are in

government, you continue to talk; if

you are labour, you continue to talk

with your employer and if you are

employers, you continue engaging

them.

So, I was surprised to read about

thugs and people hospitalised, people

beaten. I have tried to

do investigations and,

from my preliminary

enquiry and the

reports I got, it looks

like the NLC people

disagreed with the

people they brought to

my house. I

understand that they

were contracted to

work till 10am which is

FEC time, the aim

being to obstruct me

from going to Council.

I left my house at 8

o’clock, a friend

picked me up and I

was able to make it to

Council.

So, I am very very

distraught, my family

is traumatised, the

people in my house

are traumatised, my

domestic staff and

I understand

that they were

contracted to

work till 10am

which is FEC

time, the aim

being to

obstruct me

from going

to Council

their families are traumatised; even my

neighbour and his wife couldn’t do

their business for the day. Those

tankers were removed around 6pm.

Are you planning to take any action

against the NLC?

My neighbour says he is going to

take legal action. I will also take legal

action, illegal actions are actionable;

nobody is above the law. Their grouse

•Senator Chris Ngige

is the inauguration of the NSITF

Board. We had fixed the date for April

18 and they invaded the place and

disrupted the function. We had to

postpone the function and said we were

going to fix another date for the

inauguration but, since then, they have

been maligning my character and

integrity because I am the Labour

Minister. And they forget that

according to the

International Labour

Organization (ILO)

convention, I am what

they refer to as the

competent authority.

Mr. President, Mr. Vice

President, Mr.

Secretary to the

Government of the

Federation will not

come and do labour

matters. But, it is an

obtuse thing we have

here.

The labour people,

led by Wabba, feel that

they are secondary arm

of government and he

answers President of

NLC, so he equates

himself with the

President of Nigeria.

But there is only one

sovereign authority of

the Federal Republic of

Nigeria and, for today, by the grace of

God, is President Muhammadu

Buhari. The Act setting up the NSITF

gave labour two nominees, private

sector under NECA two nominees.

Labour appropriated the two for NLC

and made a nomination and

government has also made a

nomination. What we are doing now is

that we have proposed and the

government has approved a fit and

neutral person, not a government

officer, not a labour coloured man and

not a private sector man. That is what

obtains in tripartite arrangement and

we exhibited it for you all to see under

the national minimum wage tripartite

committee.

Ms. Amal Pepple is a neutral person

that has experience and background

as a former permanent secretary,

former minister of housing, former

head of service of the federation and

even a former clerk of the Senate. So

she was a round peg in a round hole.

We are also going to put a square peg

in a square hole. We are going to go

ahead and inaugurate the board, we

will not have any further distractions

on this and we are consulting to fix a

date for the inauguration immediately.

Does it mean that Chief Kokori is not

a neutral person?

I did not recommend him. I am the

minister permitted by law to do that

recommendation and I am telling you

unequivocally that I did not

recommend him, simple.

Do you have anything personal

against Kokori?

Nothing! I am following the law. I

cannot recommend a labour coloured

person. I did not recommend him and

I am not foolish to do so. And if I am

not foolish to do so, NLC should not

armtwist me, blackmail me into

submission. I am not a man who will

submit to blackmail.

Were you summoned to the Villa

because of the matter?

No. Mr. President did not summon

me. I came for a meeting and I have

finished my meeting and I am going.


PAGE 10 — SUNDAY Vanguard, MAY 12, 2019

•Ahmed Lawan

•Femi Gbajabiamila

•Bola Tinubu

NASS LEADERSHIP TUSSLE

Crisis looms in APC as

Lawan, Gbajabiamila’s

alleged ties to Tinubu

creates ripples

ambitious man with a presidential ambition

in 2023, counselled Lagosians on how to

defeat godfatherism, boasting of dismantling

such in his home state.

He had said: “Godfatherism! This is Lagos.

Let me tell you something sir; you know,

Kaduna State used to be like that. There were

three or four politicians in Kaduna that you

could not become anything unless you had

them on your side

“Those were the godfathers of Kaduna politics

and you had to carry them along and, you

know, the three words, ‘carry them along’,

mean paying them regularly.

“But we chose a different path and the long

and short of it now is that after this election in

2019, we have retired all of them; we had to.

“Here in Lagos, you have over six million

registered voters, only about a million voted

(in 2019 general elections); five million did

not vote. If I want to run for governor of Lagos,

I will start now.

“I will commission a study to know why those

five million registered voters did not vote;

where do they go on election day? Then I will

start visiting them for the next four years. I will

try and get just two million of them to come

and vote for me; I will defeat any godfather.

By Levinus Nwabughiogu To realize the objective of stopping him, Another factor they are citing is equity and The key is to go to the people.

however, the northern senior party members, justice and this has prompted the outgoing “The card reader and the biometric register

Crisis appears imminent in the

Sunday Vanguard learnt, have initiated Speaker of the House of Representatives, have given us the tools to connect directly with

ruling All Progressives Congress,

moves, reaching out to other leaders in the Yakubu Dogara, to champion an agenda for the people. I assure you if you do that for the

APC, over the party’s insistence

North.

a North-Central candidate.

next four years, connecting with the people;

to field Senator Ahmed Lawan

The plan, according to a source, is to storm The zone is said to have been

the tin godfather, you will

as Senate President and Hon.

the Presidential Villa any time soon to arrange marginalized for 20 years

retire him or her permanently.

Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House

a new set of candidates for the two topmost without producing either the

“But it is hard work; it requires

of Representatives in the incoming 9th

offices of the 9th National Assembly. Speaker or the Deputy.

three to four years of hard

National Assembly.

The new moves are subsumed under the new Dogara, who was re-elected as a

work. So, if you want to run in

The party had, last month, endorsed the duo

narratives springing up against godfatherism federal lawmaker, is not a

2023, you should start now.

for the positions, following which many senior

by some northern leaders.

member of the ruling APC and The new

“With about N2 billion, if you

members of the APC keyed into it.

Sunday Vanguard reliably gathered that some may not return as Speaker in the

start, you see these guys with

But a sudden realization by some of the senior

powerful individuals around the President, a 9th Assembly, but he still wields moves are black ties, they will give you

party members that the endorsement was a

couple of northern governors, some emirs and influence in the House.

the N2 billion. Many of the

subsumed

bad omen for them regarding who succeeds

lawmakers in the National Assembly have

godfathers are either on paper

President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 is

already keyed into the plan.

el-Rufai’s comments under the new or in the mind of people in

generating ripples which may tear the APC

They are said to be rising in unison, regardless

politics. They are defeat-able.

apart along ethnic lines.

of their political leanings and religious in Lagos

narratives “We retired four of them in

Another issue reportedly being considered by

backgrounds, against what they considered A dependable source, who craved

Kaduna State within a fouryear

time and they are gone.

some of the senior party members, especially

as an individual from the South becoming anonymity, confided in Sunday

springing up

from the North, for backing out of the party’s

too powerful in Nigerian politics.

Vanguard, saying that the feeling

One of them boasted that he

against

decision is the perception that supporting the

To this end, they are rooting for candidates of imposition of candidates and

put me in the Government

two candidates, who they say are the allies of

that would not be seen as allies of a godfather. the politics of 2023 were the godfatherism House and he would take me

a former governor of Lagos State and

But while the resentment is mute in the Senate developments that mostly jolted

out”.

National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola

probably because the zoning of the Senate the present narrative against by some

Tinubu, would amount to giving unlimited

Presidency to the North-East is right, it has godfatherism being championed

Dogara’s sermon against

political powers to an individual.

reached a disturbing crescendo in the House by the governor of Kaduna State, northern

godfatherism

According to them, giving unlimited powers

of Representatives where many members-elect Nasir el-Rufai, and Dogara.

Similarly, Dogara, while

leaders

to an individual is inimical to the country and

feel that the seeming micro-zoning of the The source was quick to cite el-

delivering a keynote address

the Presidency of Muhammadu Buhari.

speakership to Lagos State, South-West, which Rufai’s recent journey to Lagos

at a conference organised by

Tinubu is speculated to be scheming to

already has the Vice President, was a call for where he, at a forum, canvassed the the #NotTooYoungToRun# Movement for

succeed Buhari in 2023 even though he has

disenchantment.

destruction of godfatherism, especially in young lawmakers elected at both the national

serially denied the claim.

Lawan is from Yobe State (North-East) while Lagos politics.

and state levels, on Tuesday in Abuja, spoke

Gbajabiamila hails from Lagos.

el-Rufai, also a widely speculated politically Continues on page 11


SUNDAY Vanguard, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 11

Crisis looms in APC as Lawan, Gbajabiamila’s

alleged ties toTinubu creates ripples

Continued from page 10

against godfatherism.

He said: “Unfortunately, the leadership model

we have practiced so far is the kind of

leadership that produces sycophants who are

expected to serve their political godfathers and

not the people. Our so-called leaders have

mastered the art of political witchcraft so

much so that if you are independent-minded,

you are automatically disqualified and, if for

any reason you are picked, then you have to

surrender your soul for them to eat in small

bites until you become their worshipper.

“In the midst of this pandemic sycophancy,

our so-called godfathers expect us to

fit in and not to stand up to be

counted or make a difference.

We need leaders who will

lead us to build a nation

and serve others, not

godfathers who

demand that we

worship and serve

them rather than

serve the people.

•Yakubu Dogara

“For you,

trailblazers who

carry the burden

and the

promises of a

generation

that must not

fail, if you are

ever going to get there, it must be on the wings

of discipline that produces character. This is

because without character, you cannot be men

and women of influence and without influence

you cannot change anything.

“Character means that you cannot be

separated from your word, a quality no

godfather in history has ever possessed.

Character is not only that your word is your

bond but that you are actually what you pretend

to be. While godfathers always pretend to be

something other than whom they really are,

leaders do not. Imagine where we will be as a

nation if all these godfathers that litter the

political landscape become what or who they

pretend to be.

“You must be reminded that true greatness

only comes while serving others and not when

serving yourself or godfathers. Above all, what

will define you as a triumph in this journey is

like I have said, discipline because everything

that has ever gone down is traceable to

indiscipline

“If you have followed closely the antecedents

of the National Assembly, it has often charted

its leadership course. A leadership of the

legislature that is determined by external

interests will never find the convergence to

legislate for the people or hold the executive

to account. It is in this regard that, as fresh

legislators who are youth, you need to

demonstrate acute perspicuity that you will

define the kind of leadership

that will be answerable to

you, the representatives of

the people and the people

you represent, not to some

godfathers who live only for

themselves”.

Joe Igbokwe’s

response to

el-Rufai

Rising in defense of Tinubu

over the remarks of el-Rufai,

the Publicity Secretary of the

Lagos Chapter of APC, Mr.

Joe Igbokwe, reportedly

regretted that many have

failed to recognize the many

sacrifices of Tinubu.

In a statement, Igbokwe

said, “He (el-Rufai) was

making reference to Asiwaju

Tinubu. The person that

threw up the question is Muiz

Banire, and you know the

relationship between Banire

and Asiwaju. But Lagos is

not Kaduna.

“They want to be like

Asiwaju, they want to

command respect, they want

the world to accept them the

way they have accepted

Asiwaju, they want to get

great followers like Asiwaju

BAT, they want to be admired the way people

admire Asiwaju, they want the people to love

them the way they love Asiwaju, they want to

stand tall anywhere they go like Asiwaju, they

want to attract attention like Asiwaju, they want

to be celebrated and honored like Asiwaju,

they want to be worshiped the way Asiwaju’s

great followers worship him, they want to be

They cannot deny

themselves

freedom for the

sake of others the

way BAT does.

They cannot

stand for the

ordinary people

the way Asiwaju

does. They

cannot be trusted

the way we trust

BAT

lifted up the way God has lifted

Asiwaju up, they want to be

noticed like Asiwaju, they

want to stand out like

Asiwaju and they want to influence decisions

at all levels like Asiwaju, etc.

“But in actions and deeds, they are not like

Asiwaju. In character and in tolerance, they

are not like Asiwaju. In commitment and hard

work, they are not like BAT.

“In grace and empathy, they are not like BAT.

In temperament and love for humanity, they

are not like Asiwaju. They cannot surrender

their home to the people the way BAT has been

doing. They cannot fight for others the way

BAT does.

“They cannot deny themselves freedom for

the sake of others the way BAT does. They

cannot stand for the ordinary people the way

Asiwaju does. They cannot be trusted the way

we trust BAT.

“They cannot give the way BAT does. They

cannot sacrifice what BAT has sacrificed for

humanity for close to 40 years. They cannot

live for others the way Asiwaju has done for

years. I can go on and on but he who must

lead others must first lead himself.”

The Ndume candidacy

Sunday Vanguard gathered that it was against

the background of the fear of Tinubu that the

northern lawmakers are

converging to resist the

imposition of anyone as

Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

Our source pointed out that the

new development was what

also reinforced the feeling in

Senator Ali Ndume to renew

his campaign for Senate

President against the party’s

choice of Lawan with an

unusual vigour.

“The new narrative against

godfatherism by the northern

leaders is not unconnected with

the House leadership tussle.

They are realizing that giving

too much power to one person

or zone can be very dangerous

much more for 2023”, the

source said.

“I can tell you that the northern

lawmakers are realigning.

They are seriously considering

someone from the North-

Central zone for the House

speakership to balance the

power allocation. This time,

even the South-East is being

factored in. Remember that the

North-West has produced the

President and South-West, the

Vice President. APC has zoned

the Senate Presidency to the

North-East. But why would

Ndume up his campaign

suddenly? Why would el-Rufai take his

counselling to Lagos of all states of the

federation? Something is in the offing. I pray

for their candidates anyway. But the support

for the favorite choices of APC will wane

shortly. The game is on”.

Dogara’s group settles for

•Ali Ndume

Bago

Another source in the House of Representatives

told Sunday Vanguard that Dogara’s camp

has opted for Hon. Mohammed Bago for the

speakership and may have met this weekend

to cement plan for formal adoption.

Recall that there are two aspirants for the

speakership from the North-Central who had

been campaigning on the factors of equity,

justice and fairness.

They are Bago from Niger State and John

Dyegh from Benue.

Another aspirant, Hon. Ahmed Wase, from

Plateau State, had, last week, collapsed his

campaign team into that of Gbajabiamila,

hoping for the position of Deputy Speaker.

But Bago and Dyegh have vowed never to

back down their aspirations until the

emergence of a new leadership.

The source, who initially expressed fear in the

winning possibilities of Bago, however, stated

that the camp had no doubts about his

competencies and capabilities to lead the 9th

House, saying he’s got the requisite legislative

skills and acumen.

The source said: “It appears the Dogara group

wants a Speaker to come from the North-

Central because of the fact that they want

fairness and then those of us from the North-

East, a school of thought is saying we should

just relax because of the fact that the Senate

President is coming from there. “And the other

school of thought is saying on the issue of the

Senate Presidency that the South-West is not

fair. So if somebody is not fair, you can’t also

be fair to get your own.

“If you have a candidate in the North-West

that you think can stand and defeat them, that

should be considered. So in the Dogara

faction, the first person they are considering is

Bago but, again, this decision was taken about

two weeks earlier but could not be officially

communicated to the group because, when

news started filtering that they may want to

settle for Bago, people had the belief that Bago

may not be a candidate that can defeat Femi.

“Some caucus members within the Dogara

group, with his endorsement to select a

candidate, actually settled for Bago in the

North-Central knowing full well that Wase

has backed out and has decided to go for

Deputy Speaker in Gbaja group. Then John

Dyegh is not a member of Dogara group. He

is on his own. You know, he was the DG of

Wase initially but on his own now. “But the

people think we cannot adopt somebody who’s

not from our group because we don’t know

where his loyalty is. Whoever asked him to

contest, we cannot be sure of him. So, the only

person left now is Bago.

“Some people are saying why can’t we go

back to the North-East and choose between

Namdas and Betara and say to hell with the

zoning matter? This is what is dangling but a

final decision has not been arrived at. The

other problem Bago is facing is that his

governor has not endorsed him.

“Initially, his governor endorsed him but it’s

like Asiwaju and co have gone to him to say

‘what’s the problem?’ They asked him not to

support him. That’s the problem at the

moment. So, people are now feeling that if the

governor of his state is not supporting him

and he cannot point to one single member,

then how can we be sure that he can beat the

main challenger? But the truth is that he is

only candidate that everybody is sure can run

the race from the beginning to the end. You

know, this is another quality that we are also

looking for. If you nominate him, you can be

sure he will run to the end no matter the

intimidation. But again, the problem, people

want to win an election.

“There are some candidates in the Dogara

group that say if it is Bago, they are going to

put forward their ambition. But then, that does

not mean that Bago matter is dead. It is not

dead. People are saying that we have to sit

down this weekend and iron this thing once

and for all because the momentum is on Gbaja

side. If you don’t do anything here, there could

be problems. So, this is scenario.

el-Rufai’s intervention

“Another angle is that el-Rufai group

has finally realized that Gbaja is not

the project of the President, he is

the project of Tinubu and he

has tried to mobilize

people. They have

even started

holding some

nocturnal

meetings

that they

should

forget

about

Gbaja

and do another

candidate. They didn’t give a specification as

to where but the first thing is to solve Gbaja

matter. He is Tinubu and 2023 project. Of

course, you know that the South-West is eyeing

the presidency.

“The man (el-Rufai) has realized it and that’s

why he went to Lagos. Even the members of

the camp who initially were spearheading the

project have started withdrawing that this

thing cannot work. So, it is obvious that the

initial support Gbaja was having will not fly.

This is what is happening at the moment. This

decision was taken just between yesterday and

today.

el-Rufai talking to

governors, emirs

“And el-Rufai has been able to talk to some

governors and emirs in the North that they

cannot surrender the Federal Government to

the whims and caprices of Tinubu and the

main people around Buhari are buying this

idea as I speak. “They don’t want to come out

and challenge the President’s candidate but

you know el-Rufai is a stubborn person. He

can do it. And they believe he should continue.

In fact, they are asking many of the aspirants

to stay in the race so that they can overheat the

system to give them the opportunity to say

‘OK, we told you that this thing will not work’,

to get legitimacy from the Presidency.

“Initially, to be fair to the President, he

wanted to have Gbaja as his project not

even Tinubu’s project because he said that

when Tinubu came to him, he did not even

bring up Gbaja story, he was talking about

his wife being Deputy Senate President

and then, the President said ‘no, it cannot

work’. So, when he realized that his wife

thing cannot fly, that was when he now

threw his weight behind Gbaja. And the

President was wholeheartedly for it but

because of the pressure coming from the

North that Tinubu wants to be President,

even Senator Ahmed Lawan is Tinubu’s

ally, so they said there are too many

Tinubu’s allies: Speaker, Vice President

and about five Ministers.

“So they asked him, ‘Mr. President, what

then do you, as a person, control?’

el-Rufai wants to

be President too

“There are some governors backing el-Rufai

because he too wants to be President. The

bulk of the support for Gbaja is from

the North-West and el-Rufai is from the

North-West. By the time he succeeds in

changing these people’s minds; and they

were holding on this matter to meet the

President when he returned from his

London trip. “And the President is not

saying anything. He seems to be

enjoying what is happening. Up till

today, he has not mentioned from his

mouth ‘let’s do Gbaja’. He has never

said it in any function. Anytime APC says

it, he doesn’t deny. He will just keep

quiet.”


PAGE 12 — SUNDAY Vanguard, MAY 12, 2019

Buhari doesn’t care about

who emerges as Senate

President — Aduwo

By Olalekan Bilesanmi

Comrade Olufemi Aduwo, a human rights activist,

is President of Rights Monitoring

Group. In this interview, Aduwo explains

why corruption is difficult to tackle

despite the efforts of President

Muhammadu Buhari.

As an indigene of Ondo State, are

you bothered about what is

happening in your state especially

in the political arena where the

governor there is on suspension

from APC?

Of course, I am not happy. You cannot

be happy if you truly you are from there

and love the state. I think what is playing

out in Ondo is supremacy battle. Governor

Akeredolu is my good friend; even though

he knows I don’t like his party, his party

and national leaders have made a mistake

on his suspension. Ondo does not believe

in god- fatherism. By suspending him, you

make him more popular. By this action

of his party, he is going to win second term

if he seeks re-election. Akeredolu is doing

well. There was no light in my senatorial

district until Akeredolu was elected. He is

constructing roads as well. These are some

of his campaign promises and he has so

far delivered on them. You can’t dictate to

the people of Ondo on who should govern

them. I learnt he was suspended because

he was said to be involved in anti-party

activities. Well, if there is anyone to be

suspended for such offence, they are those

who sponsored Olusola Oke against

Akeredolu in the last Ondo governorship

By Hamisu Suara

Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, as governor

of Kaduna State, has enough

problems on his plate. From the

daylight banditry and the menacing activities

of kidnappers who have taken over the major

artery into Kaduna, his state capital, to the

farmers-herders conflictand religious discord

and insensitivity stoked by his Muslim-Muslim

governorship pair, the governor has enough

securi issues to contend with. Elected for a

second term apparently on the back of

President Muhammadu Buhari’s popularity

and a few weeks to mount the saddle again,

El-Rufai is already setting his sight on the 2023

presidential election. And perhaps to smoothen

his campaigns, he is engaging in lectures and

talkshops.

It was in continuation of that, that El-

Rufaicame to town recently to lecture us on

how to defeat godfathers. He spoke at a forum

organised by a group called the

Bridge Club, led by his private

lawyer, Mr. A. U. Mustapha (SAN).

El-Rufai said at the forum that

godfathers existed only on paper or

in the minds of the people and that

the key to defeating them was in

going directly to the people. He

boasted that he defeated and retired

four political godfathers in Kaduna

State without naming them.

Everything about the gathering

was to unravel when three-time

commissioner in Lagos State, Mr.

MuizBanire (SAN), got up to inquire

from the lecturer how godfathers

could be dealt with.

This is how El-Rufai responded:

“Godfatherism. This is Lagos. Let

me tell you something Sir; you know,

Kaduna State used to be like that.

There were three or four politicians

in Kaduna that you could not

become anything unless you had

them on your side. Those were the

godfathers of Kaduna politics and

you had to carry them along and

you know, the three words “carry them along”

mean paying them regularly.

He added: “Here in Lagos, you have over six

million registered voters, only about a million

voted (in 2019 general election); five million

did not vote. If I want to run for governor of

Lagos, I will start now. I will commission a

study to know why those five million registered

voters did not vote, where do they go on Election

Day? Then I will start visiting them for the next

four years. I will try and get just two million of

them to come and vote for me; I will defeat

any godfather. The key is to go to the people.

•Aduwo

election.

Bola Ilori,

who is former

Governor

Aregbesola’s

associate, was

the Director General of

the Oke Campaign

Organization. Oke was

Alliance

for

Democracy, AD,

candidate in that election.

Meanwhile, Akeredolu has made some

mistakes on some of his actions which I

believe are going to bounce back on him.

As soon as he became governor, he

increased school fees in the state.

As an anti-corruption crusader,

are you impressed so far with the

fight against corruption by the

Federal Government?

Many things are on life support in

Nigeria, including politics and economy.

I don’t see any difference from what we

had before 2015 and we have seen so far.

And the coming four years won’t be

different either. Fighting corruption isn’t

the only thing you should be doing as a

government. There is corruption

everywhere in the world. But putting

systems in place to deter corruption is the

way to go. Nothing has since changed

since 2015. This government is not

fighting but monitoring corruption. I

helped Ibrahim Larmode when he was

Chairman of the Economic and Financial

Crimes Commission, EFCC, to uncover a

fraud of six billion naira. Instead of this

so-called fight against corruption,

why not have processes that can

detect corruption before it is

committed? Fighting corruption is

not by word of the mouth, it must

be action-backed. For example,

when government talks about

procurement policy and adherence

to its laws, I just laugh. A car you

can buy from a dealer for

N10m, they will tell

that based on

procurement law,

it is awarded to a

contractor and

who will supply

it for N24m.

T h a t

procurement

policy is one of

the biggest

avenues for

corruption. Are

you saying that

all the officials

in this

government,

including

ministers and

governors, are

above board?

We are not fighting

corruption, we are

just monitoring

corruption. You

know that you

cannot have

N100m in your account, your bank will

tell you that you cannot access the money;

they will tell you that the EFCC is

monitoring you.

What happened when some PDP

members emerged as principal

officers of the National Assembly in

2015 seems to be playing out again

as APC lawmakers appear to be set

to go against the order of their party

that everyone should queue behind

Ahmed Lawan for Senate President

and Femi Gbajabiamila for House

Speaker.

El-Rufai and His

Tantrums

The card-reader and the biometric register

have given us the tools to connect directly with

the people. I assure you if you do that for the

next four years, connecting with the people,

the tin godfather, you will retire him or her

permanently. But it is hard work; it requires

three to four years of hard work. So if you want

to run in 2023, you should start now”.

Both El-Rufai and Banire, it would appear,

were using the word godfather as

an allegory for Asiwaju Bola

Tinubu, the APC National Leader.

Asiwaju, it must be pointed out,

became a godfather who ought

to be retired in the thinking of

Both El-Rufai

and Banire, it

would appear,

were using

the word

godfather as

an allegory

for Asiwaju

Bola Tinubu,

the APC

National

Leader

Banire because he failed to get

the backing of the APC leader to

become governor after being in

government effectively for 16

years (four years as Special

Adviser from 1999 when Asiwaju

came in as governor and

commissioner for three terms of

12 years). Asiwaju was no

godfather for all those years

because Banire got all he wanted.

The bubble burst only when he

couldn’t get to be governor in

2015.

El-Rufai excoriates and labels

Asiwaju a godfather, yet each

time he encounters the same man,

he grovels around him,

apparently wanting to benefit

from the power and influence of

the same so-called godfather. You

can then imagine how self-serving the person

who asked the question and the responder.

How altruistic are El-Rufai and Banire?

Perhaps they are out to replace their alleged

godfather with themselves as godfathers.

Now, let us examine El-Rufai’s assumptions

and prescriptions. He said, and quite rightly

too,that the key to being governor is to go

directly to the people, pointing out that a

princely sum of N2billion should be set aside

over three to four years for the project. But El-

Rufai forgot that if money could do it, the

political figures like former Presidents

•El-Rufai

Obasanjo and Jonathan and the duo of PDP

presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and

outgoing Senate President BukolaSaraki

would have long captured Lagos. Indeed,

Obasanjo pulled all stops including deploying

massive state resources in a bid to stop

Asiwaju’s re-election as Lagos governor in 2003

and the emergence of Mr. Babatunde Raji

Fashola as governor in 2007, but the people

flatly rejected his overtures.

In 2015, former President Jonathan moved

to Lagos from where he coordinated his and

PDP’s plans to take over Lagos. Again, it was

all to no avail. If money was all that was

required, the duo of Atiku and Saraki would

have foisted their PDP candidate Jimmy

Agbaje, on Lagosians, as opposed to the

people’s candidate, APC’s BabajideSanwo-

It is not in the Constitution that the

ruling party must produce the leaders of

the National Assembly. Yes, it is beautiful

when the majority party produces the

principal officers but it is not a must. It is

just a convention. APC Chairman Adams

Oshiomole said the party does not need

the PDP to produce the principal officers.

I guess he forgets that PDP has about 44

seats in the Senate. How can there be any

election of any principal officers without

the support of the PDP, how it can be done?

Oshiomhole is making a very big mistake,

politics is not about giving orders; it is

not a union. It is about dialogue, it is about

diplomacy. It is about give and take. I

thought the normal thing for them to have

done is, since you said the Senate President

has been zoned to the North-East, why not

allow senators-elect from the zone to have

a mock election where they can choose

among themselves who will represent

them instead of narrowing it down to one

particular person in the name of Ahmed

Lawan? Ahmed Lawan will lose. PDP is

coming with bloc vote. PDP is not vying

for the Deputy Senate President but they

will make sure that all those the APC put

down will not win the election. In fairness

to Buhari, he doesn’t care who wins. Forget

about the celebrated Villa dinner, he never

endorsed anybody. However, my concern

in all of this is that, in the spirit of equity

and fairness, why not zone the speakership

to the South- East since the Vice President

is already in the South-West?

How did you get into activism?

The late Chief MKO Abiola made me

join activism. I was influenced into

activism by the injustice meted out to

Abiola. I was returning home from France

in 1993 when I was picked up at the airport

under Decree 2 and taken to Shangisha

on the grounds that I was a gun runner. They

said I went to France to get guns for NADECO.

I told them that gun runners, to my

understanding, are very rich. I was not. I was

detained for six months under Decree 2. One

year later, I discovered I was no longer safe in

the country, so I travelled abroad. I returned in

1999 after a new civilian government had been

ushered in. Since I came into activism and

saw the inequality and injustice going on in

the system, I made up my mind that I will do

nothing but activism. Today, by the grace of

God, my NGO is one of the few NGOs in the

world that have representatives at the UN. I

am a returnee of the World Bank, IMF Board

of Governors meeting since 2012. We have

representatives in Geneva, Vienna and the UN

in New York. So something must be unique

about my NGO to be so recognized by the UN.

Olu, all in a bid to spite Tinubu for their

disastrous failure in the 2019 elections. If money

is all that is required to win elections,

Muhammadu Buhari would not have been

President today. Mallam Aminu Kano would

not have been able to cast his name in iron in

the minds of the people of Kano.

El-Rufai is averse to alternative views. Those

who hold such views are categorised as

enemies who should be hounded and their

properties pulled down on flimsy grounds. If

in doubt, ask Senator Suleiman Hunkuyiand

AlhajiInuwaAbdulkadir, the APC National Vice

Chairman, North-West. El-Rufai brooks no

opposition. He is loyal to no one else but

himself. Former President Obasanjo, in his

book “My Watch” Vol. 2, said “El-Rufai’s

penchant for reputation salvaging is almost

pathological”.

The former president was nail on the head

when he said El-Rufai lacked the capacity for

loyalty and consistency. For the same man

moving to ridicule godfathers was once

godson to former Vice President Atiku

who brought him into Obasanjo’s

cabinet and politics. How did he

pay him back? He castigated

Atiku and stabbed him on the

back when he needed him most.

But I think the people of

Lagos know better. They have

consistently made their choice

along the progressive line.

They know the leaders they

can trust. The

AsiwajuTinubu that we

know believes in the people.

He connects very well with

the grassroots. Asiwaju’s

continued relevance flows

from his recognition,

appreciation and respect

for the people. The people

have always been the

cornerstone of his politics

and it’s from them that he draws his essence.

This essence and the high esteem majority of

Lagos people hold him is not down to money I

think. No amount of money can do this.

Again, Asiwaju is noted for placing high

premium on merit and competence. Some of

the people he has supported to assume

leadership positions in Lagos and beyond

represent some of the best in the land. Leaders

who believe in the people, invest in them and

accord them the recognition and respect they

deserve like Asiwaju will continue to enjoy the

people’s support and admiration, as opposed

to some midget with no redeeming value now

masquerading as a true leader.

*HamisuSuara is a political analyst

based in Abuja.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 13


PAGE 14, SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019

Alleged feud: Dabota

Lawson couldn't be referring

to me because I don't know

her – Yvonne Jegede

Bad blood among

Nigerian celebrities is

not a new thing. It has

been there like forever and it

will continue to be. So, when

former beauty queen, model

and cosmetics entrepreneur,

Dabota Lawson called out a

certain Nollywood actress who

mocked her for marrying for

money (her crumbled marriage

to billionaire Prince Sunny

Aku) when she could have

married for love, as the actress

claimed to have done, nearly

everyone thought she was

referring to Nollywood actress,

Yvonne Jegede who married

the late Bukky's son, Olakunle

Fawole, known as 'Abounce'

even though that marriage has

also crumbled.

The former beauty queen

said she got mad for the

double standard of the said

actress for asking people not to

blame teen actress, Regina

Daniels for marrying 59 yearold

billionaire, Ned Nwoko

when she had mocked her for

marrying the CEO of Novena

Majesty Furniture, Sunny Aku

who was 35 years older than

her, for money.

Hear her : A certain

Nollywood actress used to

mock me and make statements

like: “I can’t believe

she got married for money“,

actually let me use her words

“Na wa wetin girls dey do for

money eh God forbid“ , then

I think she married for love

and the marriage crashed

with a child involved, then

now she’s chasing clout or

maybe more understanding

that love or money, age

difference or no age difference,

relationships can

crumble . So she’s out here

shouting: “mind your

business and leave Regina

alone.”

When she made the post,

almost half of the people that

responded hinted that she

was referring to Yvonne

Jegede who has a child out

of her crashed marriage.

However, in a chat with

Potpourri, Yvonne

Jegede denied she

could be referring to her.

“She couldn't be

referring to me because I

don't know her. I don't

know her and she

doesn't know me either.

She wasn't referring to

me,” she said.

•Dabota Lawson

•Yvonne

Jegede

I lost my virginity at 30

•Juliet Ibrahim

– Juliet Ibrahim

By TOLULOPE ABEREOJE

Alluring Ghanaian actress,

Juliet Ibrahim in a question

and answer session via her

Instastory recently revealed

that she lost her virginity

when she was 30 years old

and this has become a

controversial topic on

social media.

Juliet, 33, was previously

married to a

businessman, Kwadwo

Safo between 2010 and

2014, and the union

produced a child

named Jayden Safo,

who was born in the

first year of the

marriage.

The question as to

whether or not the

actress’ claim is

true or false

remains unanswered

as fans

demand

clarification

from the

renowned

actress.

You can hook

me up with

your brother

– Mandy

Ujunwa

Jagamaster Distillers unveils

Nollywood actor, Ninalowo

Bolanle as Brand Ambassador

By INNOCENT ANABA

Amidst

funfair

Jagamaster Distillers

Ltd., a subsidiary of

Madonna Liveth Ind. Ltd., has

signed up handsome

Nollywood actor, Bolanle Ninalowo,

aka Nino B, as its

Brand Ambassador.

With the agreement, the

banker turned movie star will

now be the face of the

company’s brand, named

Jagaban Alcoholic Bitters. The

Nollywood star will represent

Jagaban Bitters and features in

its promotional activities across

the country.

Speaking at the event, the

Chief Executive Officer, CEO,

of the Company, Mr. Emeka

Ajamma, expressed gratitude

to God and their numerous

customers for supporting and

making the company a

frontline distilling company

with high quality.

Unveiling of Nino B

“Our company is known for

producing quality beverages

and we cannot offer less.

Today, we are unveiling a very

big brand, Jagaban Alcoholic

Bitters, a quality alcoholic

bitters with international

standard. Our new product

which is Jagaban Bitters, an

alcoholic bitter, is a blend

of herbs and roots, the

product is the outcome

of our research of many

years, its recipes

which are majorly

herbs and roots are

sourced from within

and outside the

country,” he said.

Expressing his

gratitude, the handsome

Nollywood actor said: “I feel

great and honoured. It’s an

awesome feeling to be able to

represent a great and quality brand

like Jagaban Bitters, if you are

yet to drink Jagaban Bitters, you are

yet to drink the real bitters.”

•Mandy

Ujunwa

No doubt, the social media has

become a playground for

entertainment stars to invent all

sorts of games, gimmicks and

entertainment to build awareness about

their brands. Remember, it is not about

the personality anymore, its about the

brand inside the personality. So, when

rising Nollywood star, Mandy Ujunwa

took to her Instagram page to introduce

herself, one wonders what awareness she

was trying to convey about herself or her

brand.

But her message, however enshrouded

in mystery, it may seem, is like the Nnewi,

Anambra State-born actress is single and

searching.

Read her post: “Just a very short introduction

about myself to my old and new

followers. I am Ujunwa Mandy Obi, from

Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria. A Nollywood

Actress. I was born on the 31st of

December . I am in my twenties. I am

single, don’t think this is relevant but you

all can hook me up with your brother. I

am Anglican , a believer, I tell you I have

learnt a lot from experiences. I gave

myself BLACK QUEEN because am

black & beautiful. I am all about positivity,

learning everyday, listening to people

and sharing my own thoughts and

experiences”.

Mandy Ujunwa has a respectable

career building up in the industry as she

has featured in some good home video

flicks. She’s gradually building up a

community of followers on Instagram and

she may soon hit the 100 grand mark on

account of her sensual photos which are

very alluring and tantalising.

C

M

Y

K


SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 15

Revealed: How Delta billionaire

Ned Nwoko married Nollywood

actress, Regina Daniels

*Plus all you need to know about husband

By JULIET EBIRIM

The social media and sections of

the mainstream press had been

abuzz with rumoured sizzling

romance between Anioma billionaire,

Prince Ned Nwoko and Nollywood

actress, Miss Regina Daniels.

Speculations were rife as Prince Ned

Nwoko was reported to have showered

opulent gifts on Regina, ranging from an

eye popping palatial mansion in the

heart of Asaba, the Delta State capital,

exotic cars and a multi-million Rolex

wrist watch among sundry items of

endearment.

The delectable Nollywood star has

also been sighted severally aboard a

private jet in Murtala Mohammed

International Airport, Abuja, courtesy of

the Delta big boy reputed as one of the

wealthiest business moguls in the Niger

Delta.

But the big news today is that Ned

Nwoko, an international lawyer and

prominent politician from Idumuje

Ugboko in Aniocha North Local

Government Area of Delta State is

officially married to Regina Daniels.

Sunday Vanguard can authoritatively

report.

The betrothal of the love birds took

place on Sunday, March 31, this year, at

Asaba the Delta State capital. Ned as he

is fondly called by his numerous admirers

reportedly drove himself in one of his

exotic cars, a glittering black Rolls Royce

followed by a convoy of few automobiles

to meet the family of Regina for the

customary marital introduction.

Among those who accompanied him to

the quiet, but eventful ceremony,

according to impeccable sources, were

some of his expatriate friends, selected

close family relations and few palace

chiefs including the Iyase of the

Idumuje – Ugboko, Chief Chris Ogwu.

The customary marriage reportedly

took place in Regina ‘s palatial duplex

gifted by Ned at Okpanam Road behind

an upscale Asaba hotel, Swiss Spirit.

Investigation carried out showed that

Regina’s entire family are enthused

with her romantic liasion with the

Idumuje Ugboko prince. Her mother,

Rita Daniels who lives in Asaba is said

to be fully in support of the affair with

prayers for a blissful relationship.

The gist of Ned Nwoko/ Regina

Daniels romance has before this latest

development generated widespread

attention and mixed feelings.

Ned is 59 years old, while Regina is

about 19. Some bystanders have raised

eye brows over the love tango due to the

age difference. This category see the

engagement as incongruous and totally

strange.

Others have however given thumbsup

for the love-struck duo celebrating

the affair as permissible, since the two

are consenting adults entitled to privacy

and preference. According to the

proponents of the engagement, neither

Ned Nwoko nor Regina Daniels had

broken any law of the land since the

relationship aligned with the

established legal age of matrimony

which is 18 and the religious inclination

of Ned.

Engagements/marriages among older

men and younger females abound

world-wide and had existed since ages.

Prince Ned Nwoko’s engagement to

Regina Daniels is a celebrity love story

reminiscent of the famous tie between

iconic Biafran war lord, Chukwuemeka

Odemegwu Ojukwu and ex-beauty

queen, Bianca Onoh who got married in

1994. Ojukwu then was over 60 years

and Bianca in her 20s.

The story of Prince Ned Nwoko is a

tale of grit and grace. He had his

primary and secondary school education

in Nigeria, before moving to the United

Kingdom where he got his first degree

in law and history at the prestigious

University of Keele, Staffordshire UK.

He also attended Kings College,

University of London, culminating in a

post graduate class with an LLM in

Maritime and Commercial Law. He was

Ned Nwoko and Regina Daniels

Only good musical contents should

be accepted by music listeners

- Ikayh

Fast-rising music star and songwriter,

Ikechukwu Ejiofor, popularly known as

Ikayh has said music listeners and enthusiasts

across Africa and beyond should only embrace

good musical contents that would enrich and

add more values to their lives.

The budding artiste, who said he’s ready to

storm the industry with songs laced with rich

contents hinted that artistes who lacked good

lyrical contents would find it hard to throw such

songs at people once they know listeners may

reject such songs.

Ikayh, who is currently studying Metallurgical

and Materials Engineering is confident of

breaking into the music industry, saying he’s one

of those artistes that has a knack for good music

and this always reflects in his music delivery,

which he said would be his mainstay.

Speaking on what propelled his music career,

the Anambra-born singer recalled that his music

journey started shortly after he won a talent

competition back in his school days, adding that

music for him is a passion and he would do

everything possible to show the world that he

has what it takes to rise to the top of his game.

With many artistes battling for the same space

in the industry, Ikayh said he was unfazed by the

competition, pointing out that people love quality

and they go for what they want when they see it.

called to the English Bar, at Lincoln’s

Inn. He began his legal career with the

crown prosecution service as a prosecutor

and qualified as a solicitor of the

Supreme Court of England and Wales.

He was awarded Honorary Doctorate

degree in Letters (D.Litt.) by Commonwealth

University C ollege, Belize, North

America. He recently bagged another

honorary doctorate degree from Federal

University of Petroleum Resources,

Effurun (FUPRE), Delta State, where he

made his first public appearance with

Regina, as husband and wife.

A sharp witted lawyer, he had a stint

establishing his own firm in London:

Ned Nwoko & Co-Solicitors. At the peak

of his legal sojourn in the UK, he was

reputed to have had the biggest black

law firm in England and was recognized

as the best black lawyer of African

descent in England in 1995.

Prince Ned Nwoko gained prominence in 1999

when he returned from Britain to assume political

office as Member of the National Assembly. It is to his

credit that he made a remarkable entry into Nigeria’s

political turf when he was elected member of the

House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003.

Hon. Nwoko represented Aniocha/Oshimili Federal

Constituency, making an impressive showing in the

legislative house with a record number of 22 bills and

provision of critical social infrastructure in his

constituency.

In 2018, he contested the Delta North senatorial

primary under the PDP but his fiercest rival, Senator

Peter Nwaobosi was declared winner. Prince Ned

Nwoko and his supporters believed he was cheated

and went to court. On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, a

federal high court sitting in Abuja declared Prince Ned

Nwoko winner of the PDP Delta North senatorial

primary.

Delivering judgement, the presiding judge, Hon.

Justice A. R Mohammed said from all available

evidence before the court, Prince Nwoko convincingly

won the Delta North PDP senatorial primary election

held on October 2, 2018.

Ned lives in opulence and grandeur. He is reputed to

be worth over a

billion dollars. He

is the initiator of

the Paris club

loans refunds to

Nigerian government,

a mouth

watering deal that

attracted billions

of dollars. He

owns the biggest

private resort in

the Niger Delta,

Mount Ned, a

tourism destination

with amazing

exotic architecture

and the rarest

collection of wild

life.

Patoranking to name

new album after

daughter, Wilmer

By Tolulope Abereoje

Popular reggae- dancehall musician,

Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie aka

Patoranking has, over the months,

caused a stir as news of him having a daughter

hit the internet.

The ‘Available’ crooner confirmed the

speculations by sharing photos of his daughter,

Wilmer, on his Instagram page. The singer

dedicated his forthcoming album to Wilmer,

with an emotional

poem which

narrates the

challenges he

faced in his years

up till when he hit

stardom and

eventually had

his beautiful

daughter.

The album is set

to be released on

May, 24, 2019

and fans are

anticipating lots

of emotional

Patoranking songs in it.


PAGE 16 — SUNDAY Vanguard, MAY 12, 2019

FG, states spend N37.2

trillion in two years

***Earmark N18.1 trillion for 2019

•S/South emerges as highest

spender, S/East least

•Cross River’s budget higher

than SE, NC, NE budgets

By Clifford Ndujihe,

Acting Political Editor

WITH the National

Assembly’s passage

of N8.916 trillion

2019 appropriation

bill, the Federal

Government and the 36 states will

spend N18.057 trillion this year and

N37.189 trillion in two years, if the

Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

spends what it spent last year..

The hefty sum could be higher

because a few of the states have not

passed their budgets and the FCT,

Abuja, which spent N371.533 billion

in 2018, is yet to propose its 2019

budget. There is also ample room for

supplementary budgets.

The figures were upped by Cross

River State’s N1.306 trillion budget of

kinetic crystallization in 2018 and

N1.149 trillion budget of quabalistic

densification of 2019.

Of the N18.057 trillion 2019 budget

only N7.794 trillion or 43.16 per cent

will be spent on capital projects. The

rest (N10.264 trillion) or 56.84 per cent

will be squandered on recurrent

expenditure (see tables).

In the zones, the South-South is the

highest spender among the trillionaire

zones with N3.176 trillion. It is

followed by the South-West (N2.037

trillion) and the North-West (N1.197

trillion).

The least spender is the South-East

(N871.796 billion). It is followed by

the North-East (N912.508 billion) and

North-East (N947.693 billion).

Interestingly, the Cross River State

Of the N18.057 trillion 2019

budget only N7.794 trillion or

43.16 per cent will be spent on

capital projects. The rest

(N10.264 trillion) or 56.84 per

cent will be squandered on

recurrent expenditure (see

tables)

budget is higher than the budgets of

the five states of the South-East, six

states of the North-Central, and six

states of the North-Central.

In like manner, the South-South

budget is higher than the budgets of

the three zones of the North as well

as the combined budgets of the South-

West and South-East.

Most of the zones will spend more

money in 2019 than they did last year.

The exceptions are South-South and

South-West (see table).

Also, most of the states elected to

spend more in 2019 than they did in

2018.

States that appropriated lower

budgets in 2019 are Delta, Rivers,

Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Lagos,

Nasarawa, Plateau, Kogi, Jigawa,

Kano, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe,

and Borno.

HOW THE ZONES FARE

Zone 2019 budget (Nb) Capital (Nb) Recurrent (Nb)

S/East 871.796 569.231 302.568

S/South 3.176 trn 2.287 trn 887.854

S/West 2.037 trn 1.156 trn 881.388

N/Central 912.508 448.108 464.398

N/East 947.693 512.675 434.979

N/West 1.197 trn 726.404 470.526

FG 8.916 trn 2.094 trn 6.822 trn

FG, STATES 2019 BUDGET

S/South 2019(Bn) 2018(Bn) Cap(Bn) Rec (Bn)

A/Ibom 672.985 646.65 447.902 225.082

Bayelsa 299 316.9 135.7 163.3

Delta 390.3 336.474 233.3 157

Edo 183.7 146 102.9 80.8

Rivers 480.644 538.352 323.289 157.355

C/River 1.149trn 1.306 trn 1.044 trn 104.317

sub-total 3.176trn 3.290 trn 2.287 trn 887.854

S/East 2019(Bn) 2018(Bn) Cap(Bn) Rec (Bn)

Abia 140.207 140.9 72.41 67.8

Anambra 157.17 166.7 91.84 65.33

Ebonyi 188.402 208.33 146.846 41.556

Enugu 109.199 103.5 43.493 65.706

Imo 276.818 190.921 214.642 62.176

sub-total 871.796 810.351 569.231 302.568

S/West 2019(Bn) 2018(Bn) Cap(Bn) Rec (Bn)

Lagos 873.532 1.046 trn 479.691 393.841

Ekiti 129.9 98.6 57.2 72.7

Ogun 400 345.4 251.423 148.577

Ondo 193.903 181.425 110.051 83.852

Osun 154.407 126.256 93.609 60.798

Oyo 285.151 271.732 163.531 121.620

Sub-total 2.037 trn 2.069 trn 1.156 trn 881.388

N/Central 2019(Bn) 2018(Bn) Cap(Bn) Rec (Bn)

Kwara 157.802 158.9 86.7 71.1

Benue 199.7 164.5 90.4 109.3

Niger 164.5 134 99.1 65.5

Nasarawa 90.170 139.3 31.967 58.203

Plateau 153.6 163.1 68.1 85.5

Kogi 146.736 151.678 71.841 74.895

Sub-total 912.508 911.478 448.108 464.398

N/West 2019(Bn) 2018(Bn) Cap(Bn) Rec (Bn)

Jigawa 160.14 167.994 76.57 83.57

Kano 219.97 246 134. 134.87 85.1

Kaduna 157.449 218 94.47 62.97

Katsina 202.4 187.847 144.7 57.6

Kebbi 151 151.2 104 47

Sokoto 169.653 220.5 99.184 70.468

Zamfara 136.428 133 72.610 63.818

Sub-total 1.197trn 1.325 trn 726.404 470.526

N-East 2019(Bn) 2018(Bn) Cap(Bn) Rec (Bn)

Adamawa 244 177.9 140.505 103.495

Bauchi 198.849 167.89 116.19 82.654

Yobe 91.63 92.182 41.37 50.26

Gombe 122.4 114 60.9 61.5

Borno 144.74 181.2 80.91 63.83

Taraba 146.074 129 72.8 73.24

Sub-total 947.693 862.172 512.675 434.979

FG 8.916 trn 9.12 trn 2.094 trn 6.822 trn

FCT ***** 371.533 ***** *****

Grand Total 18.057 trn 18.760 trn 7.793 trn 10.264 trn


SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 9

NSITF:

Ngige must

be prosecuted by

the police & relieved

of his ministerial

duties – Ajulo

D

r Kayode Ajulo, a lawyer and

human rights activist, in this

statement, says Senator Chris Ngige

should be sanctioned over the face-off

at his Abuja residence with the

organised labour.

Embarrassment

The event of Wednesday, May 8, 2019

in Abuja, which gave way for the

humiliation of labour leaders, was

undoubtedly a national embarrassment

which has grossly put Nigeria in bad

light.

Frankly, it is within the rights of

members of Nigeria Labour Congress

(NLC) to protest against the Minister

f o r

Labour

a n d

Employment,

Dr. Chris

Ngige, on his

failure to

inaugurate the

Board of National

Social Insurance

Trust Fund

(NSITF) with Comrade (Chief) Frank

Kokori as the Chairman, and for the

Minister in reference to disrupt the

protest out-rightly showed how low our

public servants could go.

The defenceless workers were

allegedly shot at, while some of them

who sustained injuries were taken to the

National Hospital in Abuja for treatment.

It is not new anywhere in the world that

workers are known for picketing, which

is a form of protest in which they

congregate to draw public

attention to a cause.

From all indications, the

Abuja protesters were nonviolent,

with the sole aim

to put pressure on the

Minister to make Chief

Kokori as the NSITF

Chairman and, in

this instance, no

law was violated.

Laws

With my

practice in law

for almost two

decades, I can

•Kayode Ajulo

conveniently

say that

Nigeria and

her people

a r e

governed by

laws one of

which does

not condone

assault. It is

worrisome

to see a

former

Governor of a State, former Senator and

a serving Federal Minister to influence

some youths to cause bodily harm on

some high profile protesters like the

President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba

Wabba, President of NUPENG, Comrade

Williams Akporeha, others, who are

guided by law.

The act on Wednesday was utterly

callous and inhuman; where maximum

force and live bullets were used on

workers. Meanwhile workers went with

bare hands.

I am however making a passionate

appeal to the Inspector General of Police

to immediately cause investigation to the

act of the Minister of Labour and

Employment on what has happened to

the civil population.

Similarly, there is also need for

President Muhammadu Buhari to

relieve him of his job as a cabinet

member for this unfortunate conduct.

For the affected workers, especially

NUPENG, I urge them to embark on

nationwide industrial action in order to

strike a warning in order to avert repeat

of such in future.

They must also bear in mind that if

they allow this open assault to pass, it

may just be the end of picketing in this

country, a situation where the labour

movement will no longer have rights to

protect their interest or call the

government to order when necessary.

Showing solidarity to Chief Kokori, a

man that parades sterling credentials,

is a good step in the right direction. He

should be remembered and celebrated

at a time like this because of his role in

the struggle for democracy that we all

enjoy today, which made the

International Labour Organisation (ILO),

Amnesty International (AI) and labour

federations across the globe declare him

prisoner of conscience between August

1994 and June 1998. Kokori was in

solitary confinement for four consecutive

years in the infamous Bama Prison. He

was just dumped there with no charges

preferred against him by the evil regime

of Gen. Sani Abacha. Kokori has a lot to

offer Nigeria and he should be given all

the support to serve this country.

Burial ceremony for Mama Scholastics Maria Consin-Mosheshe held in Effurun

Photos Akpokona Omafuaire

From left: Abel Ighovodha, Nick Esemudje,

Prince Gboroge Mosheshe and a guest.

Rev. Olu Aderibigbe, Pastor (Mrs.) Esther Aderibigbe

with Evang.(Mrs.) Beauty Oghobaghase

(Nee Mosheshe).

From left: Fred Oraka and Gen Oviemo Ovade

(Rtd)

From left: The Chairman of Ijaw Bishops in Delta

State, ArchBishop (Dr.) G.E. Temekoga, ArchBishop

Goddowell Avwomakpa and Rev. Canon. David Otofia

Bishop(Prof.) Mike Okah (left) and a cross section

of some guests.

From right: Dr. Oganwu, Chief Bernard Edewor

and Dr. Alex Ice.

Sister Miranda Mosheshe, First daughter (middle),

Florence Enamejuwa (left) and Nancy Memuduaghan

(right)


While Katsina burns....

“A leader is best/ When people

barely know he exists…/

Worst when they despise

him…. Lao-tsy, Chinese philosopher

6th century—VAN-

GUARD BOOK OF QUOTA-

TIONS, VBQ, P 124.

Long before one Ogap

atapata announced he

was going to London

for a private visit, Katsina

State had become the kidnapping

capital of Nigeria. Its next

door neighbours – Zamfara

and Kaduna – pushed Borno

State off the top of the murder

chat; and it is now a two-way

race to capture the gold medal

for mayhem between the

two North West states. Gradually,

Nigeria, already the

world’s leader in poverty, children

out of school, maternal

deaths, children dying before

they reach the age of five, polio,

measles and several other

miseries afflicting mankind is

moving up to claim the dubious

gold medal for homicides

in a country not at war. And,

just as if to prove that the

rough-necks have little respect

for Nigeria’s Commander-In-Chief,

C-I-C, of

the Armed Forces, they have

taken the battle for control to

Katsina. There is a touch of

morbid irony in all these. And,

former President Jonathan

must be mildly amused by

what is going on. There were

no roughians in Daura in

2015.

In 2013-2015 when it was

only Boko Haram, BH,

threatening three or four states

in the Northeast, the entire

country was deafened by the

noise of CHANGE. Each time

BH struck anywhere, one

noisy fellow, the National

Publicity Secretary of the All

Progressives Congress, APC,

one Alhaji Lai Mohammed,

fired off a press release to all

media houses asking Jonathan

to resign if he was incapable

of ensuring the security of

Nigerians. APC members

thought he was clever. Even if

Jonathan had accepted the

advice, his resignation would

not have brought Buhari to

power immediately. Instead,

the former Vice President

would have taken over and he

would have appointed another

VP. A hundred PDP Presidents

could have resigned between

2011 and 2015 and

APC would still have had to

wait until 2015.

“He who speaks without

modesty will find it difficult to

make his word good.”

Confucius, Chinese Philosopher,

551-479BC. VBQ p 162

The impression they gave

“Fellow Nigerians”, including

the people of Zamfara and

Katsina was that candidate

Buhari being a retired General

(in how many wars did he

take part before becoming

General, we might ask?)

would step in and wipe BH off

the map. CHANGE!! We (including

me) were gullible

enough to believe all the propaganda

of Lai Mohammed

and the APC. History would

record that as Buhari was finishing

his first term in office

and about to start his second

term, BH is still around. And,

whereas BH was the only terrorist

group the nation knew

under GEJ, several more had

been added since 2015.

First, Fulani Herdsmen, a

group which had appointed

the President as their Life Patron,

now kills as many Nigerians

all over the country as

BH does in the North East.

Whereas Buhari had no hesitation

going after BH, he started

by offering excuses for the

herdsmen, blamed state governments

for attempting to

save their farmers and communities

from herdsmen attacks.

He all but provided

them with immunity from

punishment. During all these

atrocities, Lai Mohammed,

who had transformed to Minister

of Information did not

once ask Buhari to resign. That

should tell you something

about the man.

“Against stupidity [of Nigerian

governments] the gods

themselves struggle in vain.”

Frederick Von Schiller, 1759-

1805, German Philosopher.

Second, with one terrorist

Nothing can be changed

if it is not faced

an history – Minister of Defence,

National Security Adviser,

Director General of DSS, all

the Service Chiefs and the

former Inspector General of

Police. Whatever they reported

to him about the NW was

either mostly inadvertent falsehood

or based on poor intelligence

or even sabotage. I travelled

to Sokoto through Kebbi

and came down through Zamfara,

Katsina and Kaduna three

times last year and twice to

Kano State. As early as April

last year, there were signs that

large areas of some of those

states, especially Zamfara,

were not totally under government

control. Bandits commandeered

food stuffs, particularly

rice, with impunity all

over.

If Buhari was informed, his

neglect of the rising insecurity

was absolutely inexcusable. If

he was kept in the dark, perhaps

he should examine possibilities

of punishing the officers

– including those who are

no longer in office. They have

individually and collectively

endangered all our lives. What

To be quite candid, it

is the invasion of

Daura and the

President’s silence

that really bothers me.

It is very symbolic

we have experienced is nothing

compared to what will follow.

The bandits are now wellentrenched.

“Commuters shun buses, besiege

Abuja train stations.”

PUNCH, May 4, 2019.

When suicide bombers exploded

bombs in Abuja and

Jonathan went dancing in

Kano, he probably sealed his

own fate in 2015. Citizens, all

over the world, take dim view

of a President who goes on foreign

trips, unless medically

challenged, during a national

crisis involving loss of several

lives. Callousness is the least

charge against the leader who

does that. Buhari’s recent departure,

deliberately shrouded

in mystery by him and his dishonest

handlers, has coincided

with the period when the

deadliest attacks by the new

terrorist groups took place.

Buhari has not cut short his trip

despite that. If he is sick once

The pains of slave trade

should be getting duller

and should be

consigned to academic

and historical interest. I

do not want to be

pessimistic, but slavery

and slaving continues

because of economic

necessity to exploit one

another.

group virtually granted immunity,

others in the North started

organising. Cattle Rustlers

(that is the elegant name given

to vicious and armed livestock

thieves) increased in

number and ferocity. They also

spread to more states from

their original base in Zamfara

State. Just as they did with the

herdsmen, Buhari and his security

officers, as well as Ministers

ignored the problem –

ill-advisedly expecting it to go

away by itself. Obviously, none

of them has ever heard that

“appetite grows with eating”.

The more the rustlers succeeded

the more of them there were

and the more each armed robber

wanted. They have seen

new mansions springing up in

Katsina and Daura now

owned by “never-do-wells”

since Buhari became President.

They recognise “Wealth

without work” when they see

it; and they want their own

share of the national cake –

with no more investment than

what is needed to procure an

AK-47.

It is difficult to determine

when they transformed from

just rustling to limitless banditry

– with kidnapping as a

subsidiary business. But, by the

time our self-admitted “Baba

Go Slow” went about campaigning

for the second term,

the terrors he had either ignored

or been too slow to understand

had gone out of hand.

Governor Masari of Katsina

had joined Yari of Zamfara

before the February elections

in raising alarm that their

states were increasingly under

the control of bandits. At least,

this is one problem which Buhari,

ever ready to shift the

blame for his government’s

failures cannot attribute to

Jonathan and the PDP. Lai

Mohammed remained mute.

“It ain’t the things you don’t

know that cause the problem;

it’s things you think you know

that ain’t so.” Ralph Waldo

Emerson, 1803-1882.

The President went on campaigning

for second term without

taking any discernible

measures to check the spread

of banditry and kidnapping.

He assumed and behaved as

if the problems would wait

until he had secured the coveted

second term. Very selfish!

Buhari operated in almost total

ignorance of the growing

menace of banditry, kidnapping,

extortion of farmers and

communities in the Northwest

because he had assembled perhaps

the most incompetent security

officers ever in Nigeri-

SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 17

again, he cannot blame anybody

for being regarded as of that rock thrown at self-pro-

worse now. That reminds me

heartless. If he is not sick, claimed patriots by Dr Samuel

Johnson, 1709-1784, “Pa-

then words fail me to describe

his absence.

triotism is the last refuge of

While it might be difficult the scoundrel.” Can it be true

to call what Buhari did by a in this case?

name, the bandits have “spoken”

loud and clear in Daura

and Kaduna-Abuja high-

TO BE 75

WHY ME? INCREDIBLE

way. These hardened criminals

must have absolute contempt

for the C-I-C to have who believe in them.” Anony-

“Miracles happen to those

gone within striking distance mous.

of Buhari’s compound at I came across that statement

Daura to snatch a traditional

leader.

the VANGUARD BOOK OF

while collecting materials for

However, the significance QUTATIONS, VBQ, in a Public

Library in San Juan, Puer-

of all the other atrocities pale

into insignificance compared

with the seizure of the six years old and wrote it

to Rico in 1970 – just twenty

Kaduna-Abuja Expressway down. By the time I started final

compilation of the book,

by the hoodlums. Kaduna

was the regional capital of I had lost my two remaining

the Northern Region before elder brothers in the Sobowale

family; none of them

states were created. It is still

the second most important made it to 60 years. For my

city in the North and the Governor,

who cannot be be-

prayed for was for a male child

family, the only miracle we

lieved, claims that he had to reach 60 in two centuries. I

secured $500 million foreign lost all hopes in the miracle

investment in four years. and deleted the quotation

Now, Kaduna has been added

to the “murder” states of My eldest brother who died

from the book.

the North West; in fact it is in 1990 was the most painful.

now the leader by far. With I was in Sokoto planting, buying

and milling rice at Haske

the Kaduna-Abuja road now

unsafe, those wanting to Rice Mill, Kalambina Road

leave Kaduna are trapped. and I was also preparing “special

rice” for my brother’s 60th

Going to Kano or Katsina is

out of the question. Niger birthday – together with pure

State has also joined the groundnut oil to cook all

“murder” states. So, that is meals. Late Chief Sanu

also out. It will be interesting

to see how many of those Justice under Governor Ja-

Sobowale, Commissioner for

who pledged to invest $500 kande passed away a few

million in Kaduna will exercise

their option and receive was the last of our generation.

weeks before reaching 60. I

bullets in the heads for their If I didn’t make it, the curse

generosity. Does Buhari give would pass to the next generation.

I was an unlikely can-

a damn? I don’t know. Do

you?

didate to reach 10 – not to talk

“When your neighbour’s of 60 and I was 46 then. I was

fence is on fire; it becomes convinced that I would never

your business.”—Horace, reach 60. To begin with I was

65-8BC.

born prematurely at seven

To be quite candid, it is the months and spent weeks in a

invasion of Daura and the makeshift incubator at Massey

Children’s Hospital, Ita-

President’s silence that really

bothers me. It is very symbolic.

Historical rumours doctors certain I would not

faji, Lagos Island with the

have it that “Nero fiddled make it and the nurses praying

I would.

while Rome burnt”. Is Buhari

“in the other room” enjoying

while Katsina and Dau-

75. The Almighty is exceed-

On May 8, 2019, I turned

ra are going up in flames? If ingly generous. Miracles happen

even to those, like me,

so, the bandits have every

reason to despise him. who don’t believe in them.

Meanwhile, Lai Mohammed

is not asking for the Pres-

now is: Why me?

The question bothering me

ident’s resignation. In one interview

as APC spokesman, just a small get together

P.S. No money for a big bash;

he claimed that he was carpeting

Jonathan because it ter the Ramadan out of re-

planned for a few friends af-

was the patriotic duty of every

Nigerian to speak out at a ers and sisters. Happy Ramspect

for our Muslim broth-

time like this. Well, things are adan to all of them.

A people without the knowledge

of their past history, origin

and culture is like a tree

without roots—Marcus Garvey

he call for restitution and

Treparation has grown

louder for western institutions

built on slavery proceeds. Of

course those that benefit from

the most heinous crime

against humanity would say

let bygones be bygones. That

it is all in the past,let sleeping

dogs lie. The trouble with this

sleeping dogs is, it refuses to

lie and continues not only to

bark but bite as well.

It would be convenient if

those people that suffered and

continue to suffer from the institution

and the systems of

slavery and oppression can

just not keep opening up old

wounds and live their lives

while there is an obvious elephant

in the room that serves

as a reminder of the past,

present and the future.

Or can't they see that ‘mistakes’

have been learnt and

why people can't just forgive

and forget. It is not that simple,

as these institutions and

its peoples continue to benefit

from its proceeds while perpetuating

the system of oppression

to suppress generations.

Over the couple of years,

people of colour and all those

who would like to redress the

injustices and crimes of slavery

petitioned and lobbied for

the removal of statues and

street names of those strongly

connected to slave trades and

its riches.

These also include prestigious

seats of learning such as

Cambridge and Oxbridge, institutions

that benefitted greatly

from the grizzly trade.

“The Centre for the Study

of the Legacies of British

Slave-ownership at UCL has

created a vast database that

shows just how profoundly

slavery shaped modern Britain

– well beyond its two bestknown

universities. Among

the institutions with a history

of slavery connections are the

Bank of England, high-street

banks (RBS, Barclays and

Lloyds), railway companies,

insurance companies and

even the Royal Mail. And as

these organisations flourished

through their use of forced labour,

their owners bequeathed

part of their huge wealth to

some of the UK’s leading cultural

institutions, including

the National Gallery, the Royal

Academy, the Tate, the Victoria

& Albert and the British

Museum. Visitors to these galleries

today are given little or

no indication of their murky

histories”.

It is the profits of slavery that

drove the industrial revolution

and the riches of Britain going

forward. So, wherever

there is Tate library or museums

it was built from the proceeds

of slavery.

Ten years ago, marked the

bicentenary of the abolition of

slavery. This heinous chapter

in human history should never

be forgotten and of course

one would wish the lesson

learnt, would mean that never

again should this despicable

time be repeated any where in

the world. It should serve a deterrent.

This sadly is not the

case. Time and again, the reminders

and the proceeds of

slave trade aggrandise big cities

and towns in the West.

Slave owners were compensated

for the loss of goods and

business prior to the abolition

of slave trades and the slaves,

well they received nothing

most were promised their freedom

but worked for no pay to

be released from slavery.

After freedom, most were

promised a mile and piece of

land, instead they received serfdom

and tiered to the slave

masters.

The British government

paid out today’s equivalent of

£16bn to former slave owners

to “compensate” them for their

loss of “property”, a national

debt that took until 2015 to be

paid off. Yes, that means the

descendants of slaves here in

the UK were, until just four

years ago, paying off slave

owners for their ancestors’ freedom.

The notion of supremacy

pervades western society

more so now with the resumption

of nationalist and racist

movement across Europe and

the Americas.

My dad, Kola Animasaun

wrote in 2009:

“Should such reminders indicate

and direct our gaze to

the future occurrence?

The future must be preceded

by our knowledge of where we

were coming from. The on going

celebration has furnished

us with those who have made

the preservation of our agonies,

their duty. Among them

are the museums and art galleries

in the UK; the British Parliament's

show at Westminster;

the Church (St Paul

Exhibition),the working papers

of Thomas Mills and his

son, John Mill ,big plantation

owner. They have sorrowfully

enriched themselves. Nigerians

felt the full being of this

enslavement, kidnapping and

whole sale of the young and

able and the potential of a continent

stolen for generations.

In Nigeria, the Badagry

slave museum is a constant

reminder of the dehumanization

of our people. At the

museum are chains and other

accoutrements by which

those captured from the

comfort of their homes and

divested of the lives of their

families were tethered like

livestock before they were

shipped across the ocean's

inhumane conditions, suffering

sickness and uncertain

death on the journey.

No one is sure of how

many were shipped to plantations

but glimpses have

been given.Lindon merchants

between 1802 and

1807, period of five years

brought and enslaved

20,000 Africans of which

about 85% arrived to their

destinations. Before then between

1618 and 1730, about

one million enslaved Africans

were taken to plantations

and we will never know

the figures in between. Slavery

is as old as the ages and

predicated on the exploitation

of the weak for the benefit

or agreement of the rich,

the powerful or the elite. The

wonders of the world may be

marvels but they were built

on sweats of the slaves or by

whatever names they were

called. He could have been

a prince or a princess, a king

or a chief; an upstanding

member of his society. However

with his owner he was

nothing. This was copiously

illustrated with Kunta Kinte

in Alex Haley's Roots. And

there is a body of literature

detailing his sufferings.

Which became his inner

strength manifesting in spiritual

songs ( this has nothing

to do with the slave's religion

which could have been Christianity,

Islam, voodoo) in literature

and in art. The pains

of slave trade should be getting

duller and should be consigned

to academic and historical

interest. I do not want

to be pessimistic, but slavery

and slaving continues because

of economic necessity

to exploit one another.

African are flocking the

countries in the west and are

suffering humiliation in different

hues because of the need

for survival. This is the first

law. All sorts of impediments

are being put in their path to

restrict their immigration.

Strict Visa regulations and

discriminatory wages being

just two of them. Yet against

all odds, Africans are struggling

to leave their countries.

Many die illegally-drowned

or killed. Many die in the

desert either from exhaustion

or fringe desert marauders.

Yes, slave trade has ended

formally but its variants persists.

I want however to look

on the brighter side. Here in

Lagos we have events that remind

us of the ugly past but

which also gives us pleasure.

We have the Fanti festival,

which may not compare to

its forebearers ,the Rio de Janeiro

carnival in Brazil or

Notting Hill carnival in London

. Tapioca, a meal made

from cassava starch and coconut

milk and Frejon,a bean

and fish dish by returning free

slaves from Cuba and Brazil.

Architecture from Cuba and

thereabouts sits on the Lagos

landscape and still a beauty

to behold.


PAGE 18 – SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019

By Soni Daniel, Editor, Northern

Region

Senator Ita Solomon Enang is the Senior

Special Assistant to the President on

National Assembly Matters (Senate), and

has many years of cognate experience in National

Assembly Matters having served as Chairman of

the Senate and House of Representatives Business

and Rules Committee at different times. A lawyer

by training, Enang serves as a bridge between the

Presidency and the National Assembly, defending

Mr. President on one hand and upholding the rights

of the lawmakers on the other hand.

In this interview, the Akwa Ibom State born

politician defends the rejection of 40 bills passed

by the NASS for presidential assent and explains

why it was imperative for Buhari to reject the

controversial Electoral Bill early this year. He also

talks about how he is able to relate between the

Presidency and the lawmakers in the midst of frosty

ties between the two tiers of government.

Excerpts:

Four years after, how do you assess the

relationship between the Presidency and the

National Assembly?

I would describe the relationship as very robust,

productive and constitutional based. That has

aptly enabled the National Assembly to

concentrate more on its core legislative functions

since there has been little politics to do while the

President has also focused on his assigned

functions: the President has always considered

all the issues necessary for assenting to bills

dispassionately and in the best interest of the law

and the people of Nigeria and not on the basis of

any other consideration.

Is this why we have more bills passed by the

NASS and the President has rejected no fewer

than 40 bills in less than four years? Is that a

good omen for a country?

Let me first of all commend Mr. President on

the attention he has given to bills and other

legislative measures because it is under his first

term administration that the highest number of

bills have been passed by the legislature. We

also commend the leadership of the Senate and

the House of Representatives, Senator Bukola

Saraki and Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara because

it is under their leadership and management that

the highest number of bills has been passed.

Rejecting bills is part of the functions of the

President or a governor; assenting to bills is

another part. Remember when a bill is passed

and transmitted to the President or a governor,

he cannot add or remove anything. In other

words, the President or governor cannot therefore

edit and so if there are things that are considered

as impurities, if there are constitutional

infractions, if there are issues of policies, if the bill

passed is dealing with a matter which there is

law already regulating it, if the bill passed is

on a matter where there is already an existing

law, the President will not assent to it, or if

it is a bill which ought to amend an

existing law and then you go to bring an

originating law, the President will not

assent to it.

Again, if the bill passed is on a matter

which is outside the legislative

competence of the NASS but within

the competence of the state House of

Assembly or local government, the

President will not assent to it; if it is a

matter which ought to be done by any

other means, for example the Ajaokuta

funding bill, the President cannot

assent to it.

As of the time the legislature passed

the bill to fund Ajaokuta Steel Plant, the

2019 budget was with them and so they

ought to have related with the Ministry

of Budget and National Planning, Mr.

President, Minister of Finance, Minister of

Steel and Solid Minerals and source for the

N1billion for the bill to be assented to by Mr.

President. But that was not done to an

appropriation bill.

It is very rare for the legislature, on its own, to

originate appropriation. Second, it is a bill on a

matter where you seek to take money from the

Federation Account and the Excess Crude

Account (ECA). Don’t forget that the money in

both accounts belongs to the three tiers of

government and not the Federal Government.

For you to spend any money from the ECA,

you must first obtain the approval from the

National Economic Council, NEC, which must

be sanctioned by all the governors and thereafter

passed over to the Federal Executive Council

for approval to lay before the legislature for the

purpose of appropriating.

Therefore if you seek to appropriate money from

a source of funding which does not belong to the

Federal Government, does not belong to the

President and is outside the powers of the

President, he cannot assent to such bills. Don’t

forget that Mr. President had sworn to defend

and protect and defend the Constitution, and

cannot assent to any bill that offends the

Constitution of Nigeria.

The Petroleum Industry Bill, for instance, makes

provision for 10 percent of the money to be spent

by the Petroleum Regulatory Commission as

management fee. The President considered and

rightly that, that money will deprive state and

local governments of money that belongs to them

because the Petroleum |Regulatory Commission

is an agency of the Federal Government and that

•Enang

it was excessive for the commission to use such

amount of money as management fee.

For instance, we have the Climate Change

Commission Bill, which was also rejected by Mr.

President on the grounds that its functions would

sweep away the core mandate of the Ministry of

Environment. Most of the countries that have

the Climate Change Commission don’t have

environment ministries to avoid overlap of

functions.

It is better to have one and do away with the

other because they are basically doing the same

thing and when international partners want to

do anything with Nigeria, with competing

agencies, it would make it difficult to know who

to deal with.

The same thing applies to the Transport

Commission Bill, which the President declined

assent on the grounds that it was meant to make

the Ministers of Works, Aviation, Transportation,

NPA, Inland Water Ways and NIMASA report

to the commission and not their respective

ministries.

It is wrong for an agency under the Ministry of

Transportation to sponsor a bill that seeks to

subsume the parent ministry and its functions.

Once the President gets such a bill, he would ask

NASS LEADE

We picked Lawan o

Senate President b

parliament – Enan

• Says choice was by consensus

• Explains why President rejected Electora

Bill, PIB, 37 other bills passed by NASS

for the implications of signing it into law and

would unfailingly decline assent because of its

inconsistency with the Constitution of Nigeria.

Is that why he refused to assent to the

Electoral Bill despite many rejections and

readjustments by the NASS?

The President clearly stated the reason why he

declined assent to the Electoral Bill. First, it was

wrongly drafted. The second reason was that

when the President pointed out what was wrong

to the bill, the National Assembly corrected the

mistake but did not integrate it into the original

bill and remove the offending provisions, which

he objected to, before forwarding it again for

assent.

What was wrong before and what was to be

integrated?

There were many things which were wrong and

NASS members agreed when the President raised

those objections. But instead of integrating these

corrections into the former bill and removing

those objectionable sections, they simply

forwarded only those things that they corrected

to the President as stand-alone matters and did

not include the other ones. When the Presidency

raised the issues, they said the Chairman of the

committee was reprimanded. The Chairman told

me the President ought to have incorporated

those corrections to the one they sent earlier before

signing it but the truth is that the President cannot

touch the bill.

But the argument of the President was

that the timing was wrong, being too

close to elections?

No, that was the second one. The third one

was that when we sent it back and drew their

attention and they eventually incorporated it only

a few weeks to the elections, the President pointed

to the fact that it was rather too close to the

elections and declined assent. He took into

cognizance of the time it would take to bring

into effect the provisions of the new law, which

would have automatically affected the method

of planning and voting and what to acquire for

the polls. Take for instance, the electronic voting

method which would take at least six months to

secure all the facilities needed for the operations

and so on.

But the bill did not talk about electronic voting

but electronic transmission of results.

No, it was for both electronic voting and

electronic transmission of results. They were all

in the bill. There were a lot of things

recommended by the new bill. However, the

lawmakers appeared to have forgotten that

Nigeria is a state party to the ECOWAS Protocol,

which provides that no new legislation should

be made to the Electoral Act at least six months


SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 19

• Number of bills passed by 8th Senate – About 300

• Number rejected by PMB – About 40

• Notable bills rejected – Electoral Amendment Bill, Ajaokuta

Steel Plant Funding Bill, Climate Change Commission Bill,

Transport Commission Bill, PIB

• Number of bills passed by 5th Senate -129

• Number of bills passed by 6th Senate – 72

• Number of bills passed by 7th Senate - 128.

RSHIP TUSSLE

ver Ndume for

ased on seniority in

g, Buhari’s adviser

l Amendment Bill, Ajaokuta Steel Funding

to elections. President Buhari is the Chairman of

ECOWAS and he could not been seen to be

breaching the protocol affecting the entire West

Africa and Africa on elections in his own country

and particularly an election concerning him.

The feeling among many Nigerians appears

to be that the President and his party were not

ready to change the Act so as to use noticeable

loopholes to their advantage. If it is not so, is the

President ready to send a new bill to the NASS

for a law prescribing full electronic voting in

future elections?

What I know is that the NASS has reworked it

and they are going to send it to him and, when

they send it, he will look at it again.

The expectations of Nigerians was that when

Buhari assumed office, he was going to deviate

significantly or even marginally from the ugly

situation where appropriation bills are unduly

delayed but we have even sunk deeper into it;

what is responsible for this?

I am sure you remember that the President

came in 2015 and that year, he presented his

budget in November and the NASS took up to

April to pass the budget.

In 2016, it was the same scenario and, in that

2016, because of delayed presentation and the

short period of implementation, NASS made an

adjustment to the budget cycle and agreed that

it should operate for 12 calendar months from

the date of assent into law.

Regarding this year’s budget, it was officially

passed by the NASS on May 1 and, as we speak,

we are yet to get the copy transmitted to the

President. When the President receives the budget

in May, he will have to take the normal

constitutional period which may not take up to

30 days to examine the budget.

360 members of the House of Representatives

and 109 senators took five months to examine

the budget, so the President will take a little while

to take a look at it and see the issues involved.

Yes, we may say the budget is passed late but, in

actual fact, it is not passed late. A budget is

passed late when it is passed at a time when there

is no budget for the country to operate or at the

time when the subsisting budget has elapsed or

had been repealed or ceases to exist.

The budget for 2018 was assented to on the

20th of June and we still have up to 20th of June

2019 to operate the budget. We can say rightly

that there is a subsisting budget that was passed

in April/May and it may be transmitted in May.

In actual fact, other than the necessity to align

the economy with that of the private sector and

the normal situation of returning the economy

and the budgeting cycle to January to December,

I would say that the budget is not passed late.

I know that in President Buhari’s second term,

the priority would be to make sure that the budget

is received in October/November and passed in

December and implementation starts in January.

Would you then say whether Nigeria

has made legislative progress under

President Buhari or has the nation

stagnated?

Nigeria has made the greatest legislative

progress under President Buhari because it is

one government that has told the legislature to

stick exactly to its constitutional functions and he

will stick exactly and precisely to his. Thankfully,

there has been no time for too much politicking

as was the case in the past and not much of

concessions which have the potential to

undermine the Constitution.

Therefore, the legislature has concentrated on

passing bills, which has led to their passing more

bills than any other previous legislature. The

legislature has concentrated on looking at the

work of the executive than previous

administrations and this is somehow

misunderstood which is not; it is oversight.

Again, there have been situations whereby the

public seems to believe that when the legislature

asks questions about any executive action, they

will say there is confrontation or that they are

confronting Buhari, no; the legislature is simply

doing its duty. The President himself is in support

of such scrutiny of his officials and agencies. But

he maintains the simple rule that everyone should

not allow their duties to cross the line of the other

to avoid misunderstanding.

That is why the President does not interfere

when many top government functionaries are

charged to court for one reason or the other. He

wants them to do their job without looking at his

body language. In the main, that presidential

disposition has led to a great amount of work by

the legislature and the relationship has kept the

legislature very active.

But the Presidency and the APC appear to have

refused to learn any lesson in the selection of

principal officers for the NASS and they may run

into the same trench it fell into in 2015.

We have learnt lessons and we have taken

every step to avoid the 2015 scenario and this is

handled by the party and the government is not

keeping his eyes away because the President is

the leader of the party.

As part of that carefulness, there have been

consultations, lobbying, and interactions across

party lines with the executive being present in

the caucuses where the party has taken most of

these decisions and where the members of the

NASS have taken a decision as to who they want

to have as their leaders.

As of today, the returning and members as well

as members-elect have met and taken a decisions

that, in the best tradition of the parliament, it is

the next highest-ranking member of the party that

returns that normally goes up to be the leader.

As of today, Ahmed Lawan is the highest and

longest-serving member of the NASS in Nigeria.

He was elected to the House of Reps in 1999

and he served till 2003. From 2003 to 2007, he

was elected to the Senate and he has served there

for three terms of four years making 12 years.

What of Ndume, who also

claims to be the most qualified

to become the Senate

President, has vowed not to give

way for Lawan?

No, Udume came in 2003 to

the NASS.

But have the APC and the

Presidency explained to him

that he is junior to Lawan?

No you don’t need to explain

any of that.

What if he picks a form on

the day of the NASS election

and teams up with the

opposition to embarrass the

APC and the Presidency as it

was in 2015?

It is not a question of picking

a form, it is a question of the

members nominating him; it is

not him going to fill a form. So

what has been done now is that

the party has approved that the

highest-ranking member

should take the seat. As of today,

Senate President Saraki is not returning, DSP

Ekweremadu has returned but he is of the

minority party; the next highest person in the

majority party returning is Lawan.

If you go to the House of Representatives, Femi

Gbajabiamila is the most senior person there

having come to the House in 2003 and has been

consistently there till now; he has done his 16

years in the House of Reps. Yes, there are two

people who have done 20 years but he is the

highest ranking member in the leadership as of

today.

After Speaker Dogara, who is returning but he

is in the minority party, the Deputy Speaker is

not returning and after him is the House Leader

and the House Leader is Femi Gbajabiamila and

so he is the highest ranking person and so,

automatically, he takes the seat and the rest

follow; that is the best parliamentary tradition.

And the members themselves, with the

leadership of the party being with them, have

taken this decision and the party has endorsed

that decision for them. Yes, what the party and

the leadership are doing is to ensure that we

show enough respect to each of the senators and

members contesting for any office and to accept

that they have the right to go for any office but to

also liaise and plead that, by parliamentary

tradition, which we have all been beneficiaries of,

we should allow the situation to be.

We are not saying that ‘if you do this, we will do

this to you’, no. They have a right having been

elected as either Representatives or as senators

of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to be in the

NASS. We are only working to assuage them to

see reasons with us and to build consensus and,

as of today, we are conscious that we are going to

have a situation of a consensual nomination

without opposition.

Are you conceding some positions to

opposition?

That would be the privilege of the presiding

officers when they emerge but we are not telling

them that ‘you are not going to get anything’.

That is in terms of committee positions. But the

party Chairman says the party is going to get all

positions.

I am not to counter what the party Chairman

has said but the best parliamentary tradition is

taking account of, in the course of lobbying,

allowing the members of the PDP to vote as one

and queuing behind Lawan and Femi

Gbajabiamila. There will be trade off, there will

be other issues and there will be accommodation

of PDP members and other political parties but

the most important thing is the best strategy to

get to the seat and, when we get to the seat

using any strategy, we will respect all

parliamentary traditions in the overall best interest

of the country.

Every senator is a senator irrespective of

whatever party he belongs. His vote counts and

not the party he belongs. If we need to amend

the Constitution today, APC does not have

enough number of persons to have two thirds; so

you need to build a consensus which is what we

have done.

I am sure you may have noticed that there has

been calm in the contention for these offices just

because consensus has been made and we are

nearing a situation of a unanimous candidate.

As of today, we are sure that the number of

senators rallying round Lawan is more than two

thirds and, since we seem to have that, we are

not saying that the rest does not matter.

We want to have a unanimous 109 votes for

Lawan to win so that it will not appear as if there

was a contention and a divided Senate, so that

the second term of President

Buhari will not have the kind

of turbulent beginning as the

one that is about to end.

I am sure you

may have noticed

that there has

been calm in the

contention for

these offices just

because

consensus has

been made and

we are nearing a

situation of a

unanimous

candidate

Again, we want to ensure

that no senator is treated as if

he belongs to the other side

and they start building

factions of those who

supported the present or new

leadership so that we have a

smooth takeoff and the same

in the House of

Representatives.

As one of the two most

senior representatives of

Mr. President from Akwa

Ibom State, what

success story will you

tell Akwa Ibom people

from the Buhari

presidency?

The most of that is in the

area of social investments. Mr.

President has not

discriminated against us in

his social investment,

housing programmes; Tradermoni; the school

feeding programme; GEEP, etc.

Have all of that taken off in Akwa Ibom?

Yes, they took off a long time ago. There is a

housing programme that is done directly opposite

the teaching hospital along Abak Road in Uyo

by the Federal Ministry of Housing, Works and

Power. The Minister has been there twice to

inspect and those houses are already being sold

to people and people are moving in.

Read more on

www.vanguardngr.com


PAGE 20 — SUNDAY Vanguard, MAY 12, 2019

bunmsof@yahoo.co.uk

08056180152, SMS only

S

Why the death of a mum is the most

difficult to get over

I

lost


my mother six

months ago and I’m still

devastated” - wrote a

reader.

“She was my best friend as

well as my mum and since her

death, I haven’t been able to

cope. I’ve been put on sleeping

tablets but I still can’t sleep

I am a single mother and my

mother was very supportive

when the father of my child

didn’t show any interest in my

daughter, and I never wanted

for anything. I haven’t got

many friends, so I don’t know

who to talk to. I can’t talk to

my dad because he is also

grieving and is really bewildered.

As things are now, I feel

as though I can’t carry on without

my mum”.

With the passing on of one’s

mother, the shape of a family

changes abruptly. The children

are in shock, and the father,

even though he’s expected

to be strong, is most of

the time bewildered. With

time, the pain might be dulled,

but the grief resurfaces from

time to time over he years.

“When I was in my teens”, remembers

Aweni, now 36; “my

mother was strict and controlling

… She forbade me to wear

make-up, attend discos and go

out with boys. I used to seethe

to myself a lot bust |I had no

choice but to comply. When my

mother died in a motor accident,

I was 19. Although I felt

really sad, I felt like I could

breathe again – was free to do

whatever I waned. So I stayed

out, went to parties a lot, and

my father turned blind eye.

With time though, I realised

my liberation was double-

edged. I felt like I finally belonged

with my friends, but I

was still in pain because I

missed my mother so much.

“We had so many arguments

that I didn’t get the chance to

make up with her, and I felt so

guilty and just behaved the way

I wasn’t allowed to before.

Things got really bad when I

was getting married and there

was no mum to help with my

plans”. Some decades ago,

when I was editing Happy

Home magazine and doing the

Love Story slot, I remember asking

a particular husband the

question: If you wee to choose

between your mother and your

wife, who would you choose?

Without bating a n eyelid, Femi,

the husband replied: “My

mother”, ignoring the pained

expression on his wife’s face

right there by his side, he went

on about the fantastic sacrifices

his mother had made for him.

He came from a polygamous

family, he allege, and it was

his mother who made sure he

had the best food and education

even when she had to

beg and borrow money! I

wondered then how he would

feel if his mum passed on.

Years after, his mother died, I

had the opportunity to seek

the views of both of them.

“After my mother died”, recalled

Femi, an only child

and spoilt by his mum,”I became

adamant I wouldn’t do

anything that would let her

down so I never drank and I

never touched a cigarette because

she used to disapprove

of me dong those things. It

took me a long time to face

he fact that the situation I was

in was unchangeable. I had

to make myself face the fact

that I’m not supposed to have

a mother any more. Even now,

I still find myself talking to

her, but knowing she will never

be around for the most important

landmarks in my life. Her

death was as if a huge part of

me was ripped off. I still hear

her voice to this day”.

Femi’s wife, on the other

hand, was glad to see the back

of her other-in-law. She said:

“She was very over-bearing

and was always threatening

me with substitute wives

whenever I fell out with her

precious son. I was running a

fashion house that he set up

for me and she was always

around like the proverbial bad

penny. When Femi began

looking into my business’ takings,

she backed him up.

Whenever he was ill, she

would be around like a shot,

sleeping in his room whilst I

slept in the guest room. The

relationship was very unhealthy

and it eroded any respect

I had for my husband.

He was actually lost when his

mother died. Unfortunately,

he lost his job too and I had to

relocate abroad with the kids

as they’re all British citizens.

In the end, he graciously

agreed to join us there but

when he started being heavyhanded

all over again, I gleefully

kicked him out. Let him

go to his mother’s grave an

ask her wheat he should do

with the rest of his life!”

No matter how sad you are

at the death of your mother, a

sociologist advises you should

console yourself with the

thought that she lives on in

the hearts of all that loved her.

According to her: “You feel her

influence in caring for people

he raised and on her grandchildren’s

faces. You will continue

to live with her values

and to judge yourself as she

might. When you feel down,

be as kind to yourself as she

would have been to you. Whatever

a grieving child does she

should remember that her father

needs consoling more

than ever. Allow yourself to

show you love him. He may

not want to talk about his grief,

but a part of him very much

needs to. Just popping over to

ask him how he is and to volunteer

to help with the cooking

or shopping will permit

him to feel that he is still loved,

rather than isolated and bereft.

Lastly, when your dad feels

ready to pick up the pieces of

his life by committing to another

woman, don’t interfere.

It’s his life after all, and you

should let him get on with it!”

Y

OUR column to express your loving

thoughts in words to your sweetheart. Don’t

be shy. Let it flow and let him or her know how

dearly you feel. Write now in not more than 75 words

to: The Editor, Sunday Vanguard, P.M.B. 1007,

Apapa, Lagos. E.mail: sundaylovenotes@yahoo.com

Please mark your envelope: “LOVE NOTES"

Rain Eyes

It is hard to pierce through the rain,

To see love through rheumy blinds.

How the rain slices you into waterlets.

It is hard to tell the rain from teardrops.

They fall to the abyss of the heart,

Inundating everything that once was, once

whole.

Veins in the eyes are lightning belt.

It is hard to see through slicing rain, to

see you.

Flood now fits the heart you once filled.

Kingsley Alumona

kingsley.alumona@yahoo.com

Let him take charge!

Don't impose yourself on him because he may

not like it. You have to change your strategies

and allow him to take the full charge of the

relationship. It is very important that you stop

foisting things on him. You should rather show

him affection if you want to sustain the relationship

at all.

Michael Adedotun Oke

maof2020@gmail.com

08027142077


SUNDAY Vanguard, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 21

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COMMON SEXUAL PROBLEMS AND THEIR NOVEL

VELTY BASED SOLUTION (ADVER

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- Morgan

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Dear Uche, I am 54 years old,

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For years now I have not had a

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Could this be the cause of my

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I also have a small penis which

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Dear Femi, I want to first assure

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Herpes infection is common. It

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Rhino 99 is not like Viagra

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PAGE 22—SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019

Ladies felt l had no

time for marriage

before l met my wife

— Tunji Sotimirin

ow I met my wife

H I married my wife in 1994. I met her

while I was heading to the Lagos Island,

where I used to present an entertainment

programme on NTA Channel 7. I used to do a

solo-performance. It was hilarious and

everybody loved the programme. When she

saw me, she was like, “wow, look at this man.”

I gave her a ride and we got talking on the

way. That was the beginning of our

relationship.

Love at first at sight

Yes, ours was love at first sight. I’m telling

you the truth. It was absolutely love at first

sight. When I saw her, she was calm, very

warm and the enthusiasm with which she

approached me and recognized my talent gave

me instant affection that here was somebody

meant for me.

Courtship

I invited her to my house and she told me

that her father would not like that idea. I replied

that she should not worry, that I would come

to see her dad. I told her that she’s someone I

loved. She has a very warmth personality and

her character was second to none. “I like you

•Tunji Sotimirin and family

By Benjamin Njoku

Tunji Sotimirin is an actor, a comedian and a lecturer at University

of Lagos. Sotimirin, who is among those who pioneered soloperformance

in Nigeria, says many ladies felt he was married to his job

before he met his sweetheart, Adeola. And what started like ‘ a hide and

seek game’ developed into a full-blown affair. 25 years after they tied the

knot, Sotimirin relives fond memories of the circumstances that brought

him and his wife together as husband and wife.

and I would come and see your dad”, I said

to her. She replied: “Okay,

let’s give it a trial.” I didn’t

see her dad until much later,

not because I was afraid but

because I needed the

relationship to stabilize in

order to give both us the kind

of confidence we would

wish in a relationship that

would lead to marriage.

When I met her, she was

living with her aunt. And her

aunt was also taking her

time to study my kind of

person. I used to dress very

well then, and I’m still

dressing well. And her aunt

saw me as a good guy. That

was it.

Ready to marry

I was not prepared to

marry when I met her. But I

needed a partner to start a

relationship that would lead

to marriage. My mother had

just died and she had

I was not

prepared to

marry when I met

her. But I needed

a partner to start

a relationship

that would lead to

marriage

•Tunji Sotimirin

wanted me to get married and

give her grandchildren before

she passed on. But that never

happened. I wanted that

relationship to get to a level

where I would compensate my

mum even in her grave with

grandchildren. Well, it didn’t take

too long before we tied the knot.

And we are happy today.

Women in my life

To be honest with you, I was

not in any relationship before I

met my wife. I was deeply

involved in my work as a

performing artiste who was

travelling around the world. I

didn’t have any relationship. It

was just hi, hi, hi type of

relationship. And I jokingly

proposed to a couple of ladies who

thought that this man who was passionate

about his work would not have time for them.

I didn’t have any serious relationship before

I met her. She was someone who accepted

me and made my life a pleasant one.

Sustaining marriage

Honesty, sincerity and understanding have

sustained our marriage. Sincerity is the key

to every successful marriage. If I have one

naira, I would show it

to everybody in my

family. Also, if I have

an issue, I discuss it in

a plain and open

manner with my

children and my wife.

And they know that I

don’t hide anything

from them. That’s what

has sustained our

union.

Making babies

Let me confess to you,

before we tied the knot

she was already pregnant

for me, and that is what

instigated the

engagement.

The woman I married

She keeps improving in

her behaviour and that

encourages me the more.

Once in a while, we’d have

friction but that does not

mean that she has changed

from being the woman I

married. She keeps

improving so as to enable me

also to keep understanding

life more and more as a

mature man who is

blessed with three

children.

Weaknesses in

marriage

I can’t identify any

shortcoming

because the

understanding is a

very strong factor

between us and it

does not create any

room for frailty. As

human beings, we

have weaknesses. I

can’t identify any

weakness, but other

people who have

watched us, over time,

should be the ones to

answer this question.

What she complains

about me

Maybe if I want to

wear my cap or dress

in a particular way,

she would object to it.

But I have made her

to understand that I

don’t want to be like

every other person. I

want to do things in

my own way. Let me

do it creatively. I

think she has now

understood the kind

of husband I am. I

want to be unique

in everything about

me. Wear my cap,

company cap that is

unique and popular

around the world. I

created the idea of

company concept

with my cap as a

symbolic expression.

Initially, she used to

quarrel with me, but I

have made her to

understand that it’s me and

I cannot be like any other

person. And she has understood that.

Being romantic

I don’t like emulating strange cultures. I

am an African man by nature; all those

strange things don’t appeal to me. Life is

worth living when you don’t begin to live like

a capitalist. I am a socialist by nature. My

wife can sit at the back of the car, if I like I

can sit beside her.

Making out time for family

I do my shows and get back to my family.

In fact, as much as they miss me, they are

also happy that I am engaged meaningfully.

Wedding day

At our wedding, I was the anchor. I have a

musical outfit called Konkere. I brought the

band to perform at the wedding. At some

point, I was coordinating the band and

wedding ceremony.


Paying off the killer herdsmen

Iam stuck between the op

tions this week of re

sponding to two very

poignant developments in the

life of this Buhari administration.

First, is about Mr. Garba

Shehu, the President’s own

“Goebel,” whose very ludicrous

claims about Buhari’s

achievements as president set

Nigeria’s blogosphere wagging

last week. Even right inside

his marrows Mr. Shehu

knows that he has told a great

fib when he asserts that Buhari

has spent four years in office

“without a scandal.” Is this a

joke? The entire Buhari era is

a scandal! Oil revenue disappearing

through the black

holes.

Billions of dollars found hidden

in flats occupied by Buhari

officials. Contract scandals

involving Buhari’s Secretary

to government. Many

more. The scandal of nepotism,

which has taken the talk,

“family affair” to new heights.

Garba Shehu would not insult

the sensibility of traumatized

Nigerians with his statement

released to the press last week

that Buhari has fought corruption

if something is not wrong

somewhere.

Buhari has not fought corruption.

Buhari has given corruption

in Nigeria a new cap.

It may now wear a cap from

Daura but it is still corruption.

Buhari has not moved Nigeria

beyond the infrastructural

projects started and completed

in part by the Jonathan administration.

Buhari has

mired Nigeria in only four

years, in debt beyond what the

PDP administration committed

it to in sixteen years. The

National security situation has

worsened in the last four years

Today let’s take a

break from politics

or any national (or

international) discourse

and talk generally on what

we are facing in the new

world dispensation of “development”.

Let us go on a journey

back in time and take a

look at the new styles, the new

outlook on life and by extension,

the new way of doing

things. The many things that,

sadly, may not conform with

acceptable norms in a normal

society.

This piece, written and published

in this column on

March 1, 2015, did not directly

“get an inspiration” from

any recent event in Nigeria or

in the United Kingdom. But,

to be honest, as I watched the

various groups of Nigerians

gather for and against the

presidential candidates in

London on February 26,

2015, I know my people have

evolved. The realisation of this

“evolvement” took a long time

for me, though.

The gatherings in and

around Chatham House were

mixtures of various classes of

Nigerians – Christians, Moslems,

Atheists, Students, Professionals,

Lesbians, Gays,

Straights and also the confused.

While we are used to

some of the classes mentioned

above, many of us still have

not had a one on one experience

with lots in these categories.

For whatever reasons,

of Buhari, so much in fact that

only this past week, the Emir

of Kastina cried out in alarm

and frustration to the governor,

begging for security protection,

from bandits, marauders,

Boko Haram and the

ISIS West Africa, all of whom

have grown wings since Buhari

became president. Nigerians

know, and cannot be

fooled by Garba Shehu’s contumacious

claims about this

president.

Nigeria conducted the worst

election, the most brazen theft

ever made of public mandate

under the Buhari administration,

and this president has not

only failed to live up to the expectations

of the ordinary voters

who swarmed to him in the

North in 2015; those ordinary

voters, who bought the ruse

about a “strong leader” who

will “do justice to ordinary

folk” have since found much

to their chagrin that they were

sold a carefully crafted dummy.

Those same “common people”

of the North – the poor

and woebegone will soon

make the rain that will beat

all those who hide in the sheltered

Rocks of the presidential

office to mock suffering

Nigerians with insensitive,

self-adulatory claims. A reckoning

is coming. And dare I

say, Mr. Garba Shehu knows

exactly why he is putting out

this kind of misrepresentations

of the actual realities of

the Nigerian situation under

Buhari. I think he could feel it

right inside his bones that Nigeria

is unraveling under this

president faster than they

could anticipate. The Buhari

presidency is struggling with

a massive legitimacy problem

given the very tepid reception

more Nigerians abroad are

daily turning away from the

values that the country is

known for through the ages.

They are instead, adopting

strange ideas.

Far away from the prying

eyes of relations, parents, or

friends, these “new” Nigerians

are not shy to identify with

their unique form of “development”

and freedom(?).

They see nothing wrong in

their choices, especially when

no one can ask them about

their choices.

Let me introduce you to my

friend, Adam (not real name).

Adam is a thirty-somethingyear-old

Nigerian who came

to study in the UK a few years

ago. Adam stayed behind,

like most Nigerians, after his

studies. I met Adam at a function

some months ago. Seated

on different tables, waiting

for the event to kick off,

he approached my table and

asked if he could sit next to

me. “Yes, why not?” I could

do with a company.

At the end of the function, it

felt as if I had known Adam

from birth. But as events will

unfold later, I discovered I

was wrong.

I left the event with little

thought for my new friend.

You know, just one of many

Nigerians you run into every

day on the streets of London,

Manchester or Birmingham.

You meet them in the library,

in stores, parks and always

to his so-called victory in the

last presidential elections.

Even Garba Shehu ought to

know that Nigerians do not

think Buhari has their mandate.

Many think the mandate

stolen in an election that saw

the spill of too much blood.

And given the electoral map

as we even know it, Buhari did

not receive a national mandate.

He is not a national leader.

He is the president with the

least broad acceptability of

any president of Nigeria. The

Buhari era will pass, certainly,

and he will disappear into

history as Nigeria’s worst political

leader.

But he would have destroyed

the fundamental balance installed

in the founding ideas

of the Nigerian state to make

nation-building possible and

tolerant. His precedents will

haunt this country. And talking

about precedents, I think

Nigerians feel two powerful

emotions this week between

outrage, and the kind of frustration

that drives people to

utter silence and credulity.

What, with the alleged announcement

this week by the

Minister of Defence, Mr. Danbanza,

a former military General

and Chief of Defence Staff

of Nigeria, that the Buhari administration

has negotiated

to pay N100 billion of tax payers

money to the Killer

Herdsmen to commit them to

stop killing and kidnapping.

Again, for a moment, I

thought this was a joke! First,

does this decision to pay off

killers have any legislative

backing? Since all government

security budgets must be

cleared by the National Assembly,

any payment from the

national coffers made to the

Fulani killer herdsmen will be

unfunded mandate and illegal.

But perhaps it will come

from what we call the “Security

Votes” of the president?

Then in fact, time has come

to really, finally eliminate and

end this illegal, unconstitutional,

corrupt use of public

money. A sort of “commie” for

the executive.

However, Nigeria is the

only nation in the world with

a “security vote” – a slush fund,

unaccounted for at the disposal

of the executive body – with

no legal or financial oversight.

This is not only dangerous

use of national resources

it is abetting corruption, and

it creates a dark loophole in

public finance and expenditure.

Security votes normally

must be properly accounted,

and such special, “dark money”

must be placed by special

Nigerians must

not accept for an

elected

government to

pay war tax or

ransom to the

killers of Nigerian

citizens. It would

be damn right evil!

budgeting procedure under

the trust of the three branches:

the Legislature (through

the National Security oversight

Committees of the

House and the Senate), the

Executive branch, through the

office of the President’s National

Security Adviser, and

the Judiciary, through the Attorney

General’s Office.

The use of the slush fund, or

what we call “Security vote,”

must be scrutinized specifically

by a special branch of the

office of the Auditor-General

of the Federation. Such a security

vote, deployed as “slush

fund” or “special security operations

fund” must be kept

distant from the office of the

president to effect what is often

called “deniability,” because

the president of Nigeria

must never be associated,

even if he authorizes under

special circumstances, the

elimination of a unique national

security threat, after all

strategic consultations, by

means that might compromise

the integrity of the office

of the president, or any office

of the executive branch of the

federation.

We Are Our Choices

Far away from the

prying eyes of

relations, parents, or

friends, these “new”

Nigerians are not shy to

identify with their

unique form of

“development” and

freedom(?). They see

nothing wrong in their

choices, especially

when no one can ask

them about their

choices

SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 23

Now, I do not consider the

decision to pay Fulani killer

herdsmen N100 billion by the

Nigerian government

through the Ministry of Internal

Affairs a legitimate means

of dealing with that threat. It

amounts to handholding and

appeasement of the worst

kind. The president’s supporters

have compared it with the

amnesty program of the Yar

Ardua/Jonathan administration

of the Niger Delta. First,

it is not. Secondly, the situation

is markedly different.

Thirdly, even many of us had

disagreed with that move by

that administration because

we concluded that the long

term effect will only encourage

greater, more brazen

criminality. It would put money

in the hands of war lords,

and the Niger delta would become

mired in endless violence

because there will be

money to get more guns by

criminal gangs.

Events in the Niger delta

have since borne out this position.

What the Buhari administration

is doing is providing

money to the Fulani to

buy more arms, and conduct

greater rampage, using methods

of direct occupation with

arms procured with the Nigerians

people’s money paid as

ransom. Nigerians must as a

matter of urgency rise to resist

this extremely dangerous

development, even if it means

all citizens arming themselves

by all means necessary

to defend the Nigerian space.

Nigerians must not accept

for an elected government to

pay war tax or ransom to the

killers of Nigerian citizens. It

would be damn right evil! It is

enough time already for Nigerians

to stop sitting on the

sidelines wringing their

hands, and watching this president

mortgage the security of

this nation on the altar of expediency,

and on the conduct

that is increasingly a strange,

unaccountable strategy inconsistent

with Nigeria’s National

Defence policies. Here

is the implication of this move

to pay off the killers of Nigerian

citizens: one, it marks the

ready to talk, sometimes about

‘home’ or just willing to keep

you company or get you annoyed.

Some of these countrymen

and women are interesting,

while some you silently

pray to walk away and let you

be

Ȧdam appeared to be genuinely

nice, though curiously

overboard in his hand movement

and gesticulations.

A few weeks ago, I ran into

Adam again at the City Centre.

I barely recognised him,

but he did and called out my

name, excitedly. To be honest,

at this time I could not recollect

his name as my memory

failed me.

We shook hands and I

“jumped start” the conversation

in a bid to remember his

name. “Buddy, you got me. For

you to still remember my

name, you must have a good

memory.”

God answers prayers. He

said, “I, Adam, never forgets a

name.”

“Yeah, Adam”, I chorused.

I had just a few minutes to

spare and also not in the mood

to encourage much banter, especially

in the City Centre.

Sensing my eagerness to

“move on” Adam stretched

out his hand again for a handshake.

I caught it and he held

on to it, looked into my eyes

and said in a conspiratorial

manner, “You know my status

has changed. I am married

now,” showing off his wedding

band. I stylishly touched mine

on my finger and was reassured

it was still there.

I did not remember him telling

me anything about his

partner or love life the first day

I met him. However, I feigned

interest and shouted “What?

Adam, congratulations. I am

so happy for you.” He ignored

my remark and continued: “I

got married to my partner two

weeks ago”.

“That's good news, Adam,”

I managed to say as I tried to

gain freedom for my right

hand. But he was not done yet.

He said: “You know what? My

partner and I do not want to

change our surnames, so we

decided to both keep them,”

he said.

“How come?” I asked curiously.

“Is she not meant to bear

your surname or better still

keep hers if she does not want

to bear yours.”

“No, you do not understand.

We love each other so much,

but at the same time, we do

not want to lose our identities.

So we are have decided to

bear both surnames,” Adam

said, with a big smile on his

face.

“Brilliant, sort of a compound

name? But is your

wife’s surname gonna be before

yours?” I sounded

alarmed at this strange arrangement.

“Yes, Morak, it’s the modern

thing. I know it has not

caught up with us back at

home, but times are changing.

Our culture back at home is

too restrictive for people like

me,” he said. Now I moved

from being alarmed to confused

and concerned and all I

could say was “Really?”.

Adam continued: “I have

been running around changing

records to reflect the new

name. I have to change my

bank cards, notify my employer

and utility suppliers. It’s

been hard work, bro,” he said.

Now I really felt out of place

with Adam and wanted to

move on so I congratulated

him again ready to leave,

“Adam, let me wish you a very

happy married life. I can assure

you it is an enjoyable life.

Extend my warmest regards

to your wife and tell her I hope

to see her one day.”

“Oh, you mean to see him

one day?” Adam said, laughing.

dead-end of Buhari’s National

Security strategy, if ever

there was one. It means Buhari

has no other options. If

this is so, he and his minister

for the Interior ought to resign.

Once we start paying off

people to stop the kidnap of

Nigerians, it means that the

Nigerian state is formally

dead. We are now running a

criminal enterprise. Two, it

also opens the doors for the

commerce of terrorism. So,

we start paying off every

armed militia from attacking

and kidnaping or occupying

areas of Nigeria, it means that

the Federal government no

longer has the capacity to defend

Nigeria’s sovereign

space. There is nothing that

could stop the Biafran movement

next week from activating

an armed guerilla option

that will occupy, not only the

East of Nigeria, but anywhere

where the Igbo live in Nigeria

Ȧ guerilla operation mounted

by the IPOB in Nigeria will

most certainly make the Nigerian

state ungovernable.

They too can begin to push

for reparation as the condition

for ending their nationwide

guerrilla operations. So

too can OPC. They too know

how to procure arms, train

combatants, and launch “killing”

operations. So do all the

other ethnic agitators in Nigeria,

who are now likely to

see that violence begets, not

terrible sanction, but handsome

pay-offs. If you are Boko

Haram, and you’re caught,

you are paid off, and if you’re

jailed, you make a deal, and

are integrated under “special

amnesty” into the Nigerian

Security services. So, why not

pick up arms? This is atrocious

and dangerous policy.

It pisses on the face of all

peaceful people. It says, “Kill

and thou shall be paid!”

On the flip side, the government

has since come out to

deny the story of the payoff;

but do Nigerians believe?

Enough said.

Shocked, I said “Him?”

“Yes,” he replied in a nonchalant

manner and continued

“I love him dearly. He

means the world to me,” he

said.

“Adam, I am really happy for

you. I wish you a very happy

one,” I said as I hugged him

and did a few back slaps and

hurried off.

Throughout the day, I could

not get the thoughts of Adam

and his revelation out of mind.

Adam is a completely adorable

person, so I cannot fault

his decision. But I find myself

trying to “cook up “an excuse

to avoid him when next I run

into him. But a word of caution

came into my ears, “you

cannot judge him based on

what he just told you”.

Yes, I have no right to judge

him. Everybody has choices.

Adam has decided to make his

choice and as an adult, he has

this right. So who am I to fault

him?

I tried very much to justify

Adam’s choice to the society

he has found himself. Is it to

conform to some values or to

fall in, as many people do? Was

it a case of a trial and error

that went wrong? I longed to

know about his journey to

making this choice, but I

lacked the courage. I wished I

could spend more time with

this young and amiable guy

so he could pour his heart out

to me. But I already judged him

and made my conclusions

based on his choices.

He made his choices, as

long as he is happy, I do not

really matter in the scheme of

things.

This article was first published

in this column on

March 1, 2015.


PAGE 24 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019

•Essien

Inyang ...

admits to

plan to

sell

babies

From left: Chinonye Oparaocha and four suspects allegedly involved

By Esther Onyegbula

These are, indeed, times when

odd happenings throw you off

balance. And you begin to

wonder, what could prompt a

mother or a father to sell his or her

child? Or how do parents who sell

their children explain the motive?

Or at what point do illiteracy,

hunger, lack or greed become so

grave that selling your child

becomes an option?

Two weeks ago, a 30-year-old

man, Edet Essien Inyang, a

native of Akwa Ibom State

but who resides in

Odukpani Local

Government Area of

Cross River State,

allegedly took his

two children to

Murray Street with

a price tag.

Edet Essien, who

was said to have

planned to sell the

two kids for N350,

000, broken into the

son for N200, 000

and daughter for

N150, 000, said, “I

wanted to sell

my kids to raise

money and save

myself from the

poverty and

hardship I am

g o i n g

through”.

But for

concerned

residents who

delayed

Inyang while they invited the

police at Atakpa Police Station to

arrest him, only God knows what

would have been the fate of those

kids. Currently, Inyang is being

investigated by Akwa Ibom State

Police Command Criminal

Investigation Department.

Another parent, 23-year-old

Chinonye Oparaocha, who

allegedly conspired with a nurse at

an undisclosed hospital to sell her

baby for N850, 000 barely six hours

after delivery in Owerri, Imo State,

was arrested.

Oparaocha was arrested

alongside five others, Confidence

Anyanwu (28); Duru Christian (38);

George Iyowuna (38) and William

Cynthia (44), in connection with the

transaction two months after she

had sold the baby.

Describing the suspects’ action as

absurd and irritating, Imo State

Commissioner of Police, Rabiu

Ladodo, said it took coordinated

intelligence by his men for the baby

to be recovered.

Narrating the incident, Ladodo

said that, on February 8, 2019, at an

undisclosed clinic on Nekede Road

in Owerri West LGA, Oparaocha

was delivered of a baby boy.

•Kenneth

Ofoke ...

accused of

child theft

“The woman immediately

conspired with one Confidence

Anyanwu, a nurse and native of

Umuhu Okwuato in the Aboh

Mbaise LGA, in company with her

husband, Amanze Anyanwu (at

large), and carried the six hours old

baby to Port Harcourt, Rivers State,

where one Duru Christian was

standing by. At Port Harcourt,

Christian, in company with

Iyowuna, met them and took

custody of the baby”, he stated.

“George Iyowuna met them at

their hideout, took the baby boy and

handed him over to a prospective

buyer, William Cynthia, and her

husband, who eventually paid the

sum of N850, 000.

“On April 13, operatives of the

Scorpion Squad of the command,

after diligent investigation, arrested

these five suspects, including the

mother of the baby and the nurse,

who delivered her of the baby”.

In the case of Ugorji

Nkemakolam, and his wife,

Happiness, who were arrested by

the Abia State Police Command for

allegedly selling their two-monthold

baby girl for N300, 000, they

claimed that hardship forced them

to do so.

New born babie

•Couples who sell their kids

Happiness said, “My husband

and I decided to sell our baby

because of hardship. We have four

children and my husband is not

working. When I was pregnant,

there was no money for me to go for

antenatal and feeding was even a

problem. That is why we decided to

sell our baby. It was the auxiliary

nurse who delivered me of my baby

that linked us with a lady who, in

turn, helped us to sell the baby for

N300, 000”.

The husband, Ugorji, noted that

he had been jobless since they

relocated to his Isialangwa village

from Port Harcourt.

“I agreed with my wife to sell our

baby to raise money for my family.

I was operating Keke on hire

purchase in Port Harcourt”, he said.

“But when I could not meet up

with the payment, the owner

collected it from me. So we

relocated to my village in

Isialangwa and, since then, I have

not got any other job and I have

nobody to help us because I am an

orphan.

“It was my village people who

informed the police that I sold my

baby because I couldn’t give them

a proper account of the baby when

they discovered that my wife had

delivered”.

Another couple, Mr. Ifeanyi Elijah

and his wife, Emmaculata, sold their

baby, Chinecherem, for N400, 000,

a few hours after delivery on

January 26, 2018.

The couple, who were residents

of Irete in Imo State but

indigenes of Amakpu- Umuba,

Abia State, were

apprehended alongside

suspects identified as Grace

Mezu, Fedalia Ariri and

Amarachi Obiekwe.

It was alleged that the

couple sold the baby to

Obiekwe through Mezu

and Ariri.

The newborn baby

was recovered on

February 17, 2018 in

Lagos State, a month

after she was sold.

Then-Public Relations

Officer of Imo State

Police Command,

Andrew Enwerem,

disclosed that the couple

had given birth to seven children,

but the whereabouts of two others,

outside of the baby, were unknown.

Debt as a factor

For some couples, debt is enough

reason to sell their children.

Explaining why she sold her baby,

29-year-old Chidinma Richard, who

was arrested by operatives of the

Inspector General of Police

Monitoring Team in Rivers State,

said she had fallen sick during

pregnancy and borrowed money to

treat herself, adding that the

husband was a wheelbarrow

pusher.

Chidinma stated that her

husband, Benson, earlier did not

accept her advice to sell the baby,

saying he, however, changed his

mind after seeing the reality of their

situation.

“I am from Isiala Mbano, Imo

State. I was arrested by the police

because I sold my day-old baby. I

sold him for N250, 000 through one

Ugonma”, she narrated.

“I sold the child because of our

condition. I have given birth to four

children. One died because of our

situation. We are left with two

children now. I never wanted to give

birth to another child after two

children but this one happened by

mistake. When I gave birth to this

one, I told my husband that we

should sell him. My intention was

for us to use the money to settle our

debt and then relocate to Umuahia

in Abia State.

“All these happened because my

husband is not working, we have

been living in my village and I

wanted us to relocate. When I got

pregnant again, I was involved in

an accident and I borrowed money

to treat myself and meet some other

needs. When they took the baby, I

cried, but I had no alternative.”

Stealing, selling kids

Some couples also go as far as

stealing other peoples’ babies and

selling them to buyers after which

the kids are trafficked.

Last year, the Anti-Kidnapping

Unit of Imo State Police Command

arrested a couple, Ifeanyi Anyanwu

and Amarachi Anyanwu, for

allegedly stealing and selling a

two-year-old boy, Ikechukwu

Nwachukwu, for N500,000.

The couple allegedly stole the

child on August 28, 2018 from his

parents in Umuozu-Uguiri in Isiala

Mbano Local Government Area of

the state.

Prior to the incident, Ifeanyi and

Amarachi had allegedly sold their

first child on credit to a man in Port

Harcourt, Rivers State capital.

Imo State Commissioner of Police

at that time, Chris Ezike, alleged

that the couple kidnapped and sold

Nwachukwu for N500, 000 to one

Ifeanyinwa Duru.

Duru allegedly resold the boy to

one Mrs. Chidinma Emmanuel for

N700, 000. Duru and Emmanuel

were nabbed in Aba, Abia State,

and the child rescued.

Another couple, identified as

Ugochukwu and Glory

Nwachukwu, sold three different

babies including their own four

months old child, for N600, 000.

It was learned that the couple

conspired and lured one Jovita

Aloka of Irette in Owerri West Local

Government Area of Imo State to

Naze in Owerri North where they

tactically disposed her of her two


SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 25

in the sale of her baby

s for sale!

to make ends meet

children, Adaugo Oliver, three

years, and Daniel Oliver, six months

and sold them to unknown persons.

According to Ugochukwu, who

was arrested alongside his wife by

operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping

Unit of Imo State Police Command

on August 20, 2018 at Umuokai

Owerri -Nta in Isiala Ngwa South

Local Government Area of Abia

State, “I discussed with my wife

before selling the (own) child. I sold

the child for N400, 000.

“My reason is that I wanted to join

the Army and I did not have money

to process it. The bill they gave to

me was too high and I went to the

point of selling my properties and

still could not make it.

“What I did was to use the

remaining money to buy a

motorcycle and start fishery

business”.

Collusion

Investigations revealed that the

sale of infants happens in different

parts of the country but the act

particularly thrives in the eastern

and southern parts where it is

operated by individuals or

syndicates who use orphanages as

cover-up to sell newborns.

Last month, Kenneth Ofoke, who

was arrested for alleged child theft,

revealed that he had made over

N.7million, selling stolen babies in

Benin, Lagos, Enugu and Port

Harcourt.

Ofoke, who hails from Ohrza

village in Izzza Local Government

Area of Ebonyi State, was among

suspected criminals paraded by

Edo State Commissioner of Police,

CP, Dan Malam Mohammed, in

Benin-City on April 24.

“The first was seven weeks male

twin who I sold for N500, 000. The

second was three years old baby

boy named Wisdom, I collected N30,

000”, he said.

“A two-year-old baby girl was

given out for N200, 000 and I was

waiting to receive some money from

‘madam’ when the police arrested

me on March 26, 2019.

“I am a professional bricklayer. I

used the proceeds to pay my house

rent and bought some household

property in Benin-City.

“The possibility of recovering the

children and reuniting them with

their biological parents is very slim

as some of the buyers were from

Lagos, Enugu and Port-Harcourt

where an orphanage is being used

as a spot for the illicit trade.”

Confession

Recounting how she got into the

business of buying and selling

children, a 48-year-old suspected

member of a syndicate that

trafficked in children, Eucharia Jaja,

revealed that she trafficked four

children out of Nigeria within 12

months.

According to the mother of four,

who was arrested alongside a

couple who sold their one-day-old

baby by the Inspector General of

Police Monitoring Team in Rivers,

“it was a traditional birth attendant

named Rose Onyia, now late, who

introduced me into this business”.

The suspect went on, “She (birth

attendant) also introduced me to

other associates. I have sold about

four children within the last one year

that I joined the business.

“We don’t get babies every time;

it is not something you get every

time. My husband does not know

much about the business because

•Mr Ugorji Nkemakolam

and his wife, Happiness ...

nabbed for allegedly

selling two-month-old

baby

he is a tailor.

“What I do is to tell him

to drive me sometimes

when I want to go and deliver a

baby. It is only twice he drove me. I

am a nurse before I joined the

business.

“We search for vulnerable

pregnant mothers, married and

unmarried, harbour them for

months and then take them to illegal

maternity homes for delivery. After

delivery, we pay them off and sell

the children to waiting buyers.

“I was arrested after I bought a

baby boy from Rose Onyia at

Omuagwa in Ikwerre Local

Government Area of Rives State for

N550, 000. I sold the baby to a client

in Lagos”.

The many battles of law

enforcement agencies

In a bid to curb the trend of selling

babies, the police and the National

Agency for the Prohibition of

Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP)

Some couples also go as

far as stealing other

peoples’ babies and selling

them to buyers after which

the kids are trafficked

have rescued several babies and

also continued to arrest suspects.

For instance, last year, NAPTIP

arrested 11 persons in different

parts of Anambra State for child

trafficking, abduction and sale of

•Mr Ifeanyi and his

wife Emmaculata Elijah

... allegedly sold baby for

N400,000

children.

The suspects allegedly belonged

to a syndicate that specialized in the

kidnapping and sale of babies

across the country.

Three kids, aged between eight

months and four years, were

recovered during the operation.

A two-year-old girl, reportedly

stolen from Lagos, and a four-yearold

boy, who was allegedly stolen

from his parents in Gudaba, Abuja,

were among the kids rescued. The

two-year-old was stolen from

Okpoko in Anambra State and

recovered in Lagos.

One of the suspects arrested in

connection with the case, Rosemary

Okafor, 30, confessed to selling one

of her four children (newborn baby)

to one woman, simply identified as

Madam Pink, for N350, 000. She

said she sold the baby to be able to

train the other three in school.

Also few weeks ago, NAPTIP

declared two women wanted over

their alleged involvement in the

trafficking of a three-month-old

baby from Lagos to Banjul. “Two

women, Andy Emerald Bassey

Pastor and Anthony Ibeneme Edith

Omon, have been declared wanted

by NAPTIP over their alleged

involvement in the trafficking of a

three-month-old baby from Lagos

to Banjul”, the statement said.

“Anyone with useful information

about their whereabouts which will

aid the on-going investigations

should please contact NAPTIP on

07030000203”.

Meanwhile only a few of the

suspects eventually get prosecuted

and jailed because of corruption and

the complicated nature of the

nation’s judicial system.

Why people sell their

children —Expert

Reacting to the selling of children

by couples, the Executive Director,

International Center for Human

Rights, Nonviolence and Safety

Awareness, Ene Sarah Unobe, said

there are several reasons that would

make a woman give up her child

away or sell the child.

Her words, “For instance, the

circumstance of that baby’s birth is

one reason. If it brings sorrow to her

or the child is a product of rape,

incest or defilement, she won’t like

to have the baby.

“Or if she cannot abort the baby,

especially when she didn’t discover

she was pregnant in time, so she has

no choice but to give birth to the

child. But the child will become a

memorial of pain and shame, so

what she does is to give that child

out because she doesn’t want to have

anything to do with the father of the

child or to do with a rapist.

“Like the women raped by Boko

Haram members and they got

pregnant, some women wouldn’t

want to have anything to do with

the children.

“Also it could be economic

problem; when you have two or

three children and you don’t want

to have the fourth child and you are

pregnant. At the end you realise you

can’t even feed the two or three

children but now you have number

four. “They believe selling the child

could help the child ‘end up in a

better place than this house’.

“They don’t see the danger that

the child could be used for rituals

but prefer to believe that he could

end up like Moses in Pharaoh’s

house and become a

prince

there.

“Some

o f

them

have

t h e

mentality

that ‘yes,

I have

two or

three

children; I

can put

them for

adoption or

sell them to

a rich man’.

So the hope

of the child

getting a

better life,

greener

pasture could

make them sell

the child.

“Also some

couple see it as

an opportunity to

pay the debt they

owe. They could

use their children

as mortgage. Also

in the spiritual aspect, a

spiritualist can tell them that ‘this

child will bring bad luck or that she’s

a witch, his destiny is this and that;

why not sell him off’. They are told

that the children have bad luck and

‘if you sell them, you can have good

luck but if you continue to keep

them, nothing good can come out of

your life because they are evil

children’. So some could take them

out and sell them because they are

made to believe that their destiny

may be bad.

“Government needs to urgently

address the issue of unemployment,

especially when there is a system

of modern slavery because of the

high poverty rate and insecurity. A

lot of women become widows;

children become orphans, so there

are serious poverty issues.

“These are consequences of

insecurity, terrorism and poverty.

Before now we didn’t have issues

of insecurity or we had it but it

wasn’t as much as this. Insecurity

has given birth to socioeconomic

problems.

“So women, who are supposed to

farm in their farmland to feed their

children, cannot do so because their

farmland has been destroyed and

government is not giving them

alternative or an option.

“The situation makes them live

under the bridge and vulnerable to

rape. So, government must look at

the issue of providing

employment.

“They should create a ministry

where children will be taken from

women who cannot fend for the

children for adoption; if these

women cannot do legal adoption,

they will go through an illegal

means by selling their children off

for money because they believe

they are selling the children off

based on the child’s destiny to

someone who will be able to take

of the children than them”.


PAGE 26—SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019

Bogus life pensions to

public officers for what?

Anyone seeking to

understand the ab

sence of the middle

class in Nigeria should

start by taking a look at

how the elite class has been

so powerfully empowered

in every aspect of public

affairs in the country. The

most over-pampered is the

political elite. Our constitution

for instance provides

for immunity for our top

executives and their deputies

from any litigation in

the country. The argument

is that if those in that group

are not so protected, they

may have to abandon their

offices daily to face one

prosecution or another

from aggrieved persons.

Unfortunately, it was assumed

that it is only when

people drag them to court

that they could be distracted,

while no one thought of

the possibility of they, being

the initiators of litigation.

So, the law stops any

of us wronged by them from

taking them to court but allows

them to take us to

court if we wrong them.

What this suggests is that

the immunity clause does

not stop them from being

distracted as many of them

are fond of distracting

PhD,Department of

Philosophy,

University of Lagos

08116759758

themselves and the entire

country through petty partisanship

and abuse of

power while in pursuit of

enemies, real or imagined.

Again, the constitution

grants the same class, full

salary as pension for life. In

which case, such persons

whose greatest number of

years in service is not more

than 8 years only, are to be

paid their full salaries for

life, whereas most of us who

laboured for no less than

35years in service only get

a fraction of our salaries.

Interestingly, the group

members save their salaries

for the period they are in

office as the state feeds and

accommodates them and

also takes care of their general

needs. How come it is

those who salaries were

saved while in office that

are now lavishly provided

for thereafter? To make

matters worse, provisions

are surreptitiously made

these days for them to get

double or triple their salaries

plus several other bogus

allowances. If this class

can be described as Nigerian

citizens, the rest of us,

not so privileged, are clearly

second-class citizens.

Tribute to a philosopherqueen,

Prof. S.B. Oluwole

t was shocking to learn that

IProf. Sophie Bosede Oluwole,

who fondly calls me ‘Socrates’

right from my undergraduate

days, had died at the

age of eighty-three. The sad

news was so sudden given that

“Mama” had aged gracefully

into her eighties and there was

no sign she had any serious

health issue the last time we

met. As a young undergraduate

student of Philosophy, University

of Lagos, in the mid-

1980s, Dr. Oluwole, as she was

known then, taught my set

courses in Ancient Greek Philosophy,

Ethics and African

Philosophy. I remember also

that as the lecturer for Advanced

Philosophy of Religion

during my doctorate programme,

she gave me a fairly

recent important book on the

subject to read. That very work

introduced me to liberation

theology, which was very popular

in Latin America at the

time. Liberation theology,

championed initially by radical

Catholic priests and theologians

with Marxist orientation,

is an interesting blend of

Marxism with Christian doctrines

and serves as a powerful

ideological framework for addressing

concretely the problems

of poverty, inhuman living

conditions, illiteracy, social

alienation, and disillusionment

particularly in developing

countries. Thus, the book

opened my intellectual eyes

not only to appreciate the rationale

for liberation theology

but also introduced me to several

other hotly-debated issues

in the philosophy of religion

such as theodicy, the need for

respectful dialogue across religions,

and the role faith

should play in a technologydriven

globalising world,

among others.

Now, what was it like studying

under Prof. Oluwole? To

be candid, Mama misses her

lectures often, and she usually

comes late the days she is

available. Considering the

quality of her scholarly output,

she does not belong to the

category of the very best. But

she made up for all this by her

relaxed and conversational

method of teaching, which I

really enjoyed, and by her

crisp critical intellect. She was

not one of those boring lecturers

who read verbatim from

textbooks and prepared notes

for us to copy. Rather, she

would introduce a topic and

engage the students in a reasoned

discussion on it. Her

method of teaching is Socratic

and somewhat informal.

Sometimes, when asked a

question by a student, Prof.

Oluwole would respond with

a question of her own, or with

an answer that generates

more questions. For those of

us who are uncomfortable

with rigid formalism in teaching

and learning, Mama’s didactic

approach is a refreshing

alternative to the boring

lectures of her colleagues. Oftentimes,

she displays a critical-analytic

approach to philosophical

topics that challenges

students to go and read

more and reflect on the problems

and arguments articulated

by philosophers to resolve

them.

Later in her career, before

she retired from the upwardly

mobile University of Lagos,

Prof. Oluwole deepened her

focus on African Philosophy,

This ought to stop if insecurity

is not to persist in the

country because the overwhelming

affluence of the

privileged group can lead

to corruption among the

general working class and

indeed to all forms of criminalities

by the downtrodden

populace.

There is doubt if we can

halt the ugly trend especially

in the states where rubber-stamp

Houses of Assembly

are ever ready to

approve more privileges

for their erstwhile governors.

A good example is the

case of Akwa Ibom state

where in May 2014, legislators

amidst public indignation,

passed a new law

offering a former governor

and his deputy, severance

gratuity allowance of 300

per cent of their annual basic

salary as at the time of

leaving office. In addition,

the ex-governors and their

deputies were also to get

furniture allowance of 300

per cent of their annual basic

salary once in every four

years; yearly maintenance

and fueling of vehicle allowance

of 300 per cent of

annual basic salary; utility

allowance of 100 per cent

of their annual salary; and

entertainment allowance

of 100 per cent of annual

basic salary. An ex-governor

and spouse were also

entitled to N100m for medicals

annually, while a

former deputy governor

and spouse would get a

maximum of N30m. Widows

or widowers married

to former governors while

in office would do with

N12m medical allowance

a subject that was unfairly

denigrated by those late Prof.

C.S. Momoh derogatorily labelled

“African logical neopositivists.”

Unlike the latter,

both Momoh and Oluwole

accepted unhesitatingly the

existence of an authentic philosophical

thought in pre-colonial

traditional African setting

despite the challenges

posed by lack of literary culture

in most autochthonous

communities south of the Sahara.

Prof. Oluwole correctly

insists that the philosophical

achievements of ancient African

sages, the African equivalents

of Socrates, Plato and

Aristotle, are embodied in the

myths, proverbs, aphorisms

and folktales of indigenous

Africa. Of course, a well-developed

literary culture provides

unsurpassed medium for

articulating, documenting

and preserving the thoughts of

thoughtful members of the

community. Still, she maintains

that through diligent research

a rich heritage of African

thought systems can be

distilled or retrieved from oral

traditions. Moreover, the orality

of traditional African Philosophy

does not make it inferior

or less authentic than what

obtains elsewhere because a

well-developed written script,

though very important, is not

a conditio sine qua non for the

existence of philosophy

which, from the etymology of

the word, means “love of wisdom.”

She believes, correctly,

that the attitude of wonder

arising from curiosity about

the world and existentiality of

the human condition that trigger

the urge for philosophising

is universal, meaning that

sagacious African ancestors,

like their counterparts all over

the world, grappled with the

perplexing perennial questions

of philosophy and attempted

to answer them rationally

from both their personal

and communal experiences.

A tireless advocate of the

critical importance of using

indigenous languages as the

medium of instruction at all

levels of education, Prof. Oluwole,

the philosopher-queen,

in a year, while those of deputy

governors would take

N6m.

It seems patently

unfair that those

who siphon such

huge funds are

among our leaders

who have the

temerity to deny

their fellow citizens

a paltry N30, 000

minimum wage

The situation in Lagos

was much the same except

that the 2007 Law provided

other benefits such as

three cars, made up of two

back-up cars and one pilot

car for the ex-governor every

three years. One striking

difference in the Lagos case

was the provision of one

residential house in Lagos

and another in the Federal

Capital Territory, Abuja, for

a former governor and one

residential house in Lagos

for his deputy. But why a

former Lagos governor

would need a house at the

expense of the state’s taxpayers

in a location outside

the state where he served is

not clear, may be, because

Lagos, the commercial capital

needs to close ties with

Abuja our political capital.

•Late Prof Oluwole

makes the case, proved experimentally

by the Prof. Babs

Fafunwa’s 1971-1976 Ife

Project, that learners tend to

learn better and become

more creative when they are

taught in their mothertongues

than in a foreign language.

It is a disgrace that up

to this time there is nowhere

in Nigeria where an indigenous

language is the medium

of instruction throughout all

levels of education. As far as

Oluwole is concerned, if the

sciences, mathematics and

engineering can be taught in

German or Mandarin, for example,

those subjects can also

be taught in Yoruba or any

other indigenous Nigerian

language.

Mama, in her book, Witchcraft,

Reincarnation and the

Godhead, attempts to examine

the three controversial

topics from an Africanist (specifically

Yoruba) perspective.

For her efforts in trying to debunk

the negative stereotypes

of witchcraft, she earned the

nickname ‘witch’ from the

students. Her analysis of reincarnation

and God represents

genuine effort to encourage

original thinking on these topics

different from the usual

Christian and Islamic prejudices

that hamper enlightenment

when such issues are debated

even by scholars. She

continued her quest to legitimise

and justify African philosophical

heritage by investigating

the extent to which humanity

can mine the wealth

of insights and knowledge in

Ifa literary corpus and deploy

them to address current concerns

in education, history, art,

and inter-group relations. Her

latest contribution to the temple

of philosophical knowledge

is entitled Socrates and

If financially healthy states

could afford such expenses,

poor Edo state had no business

being part of such profligacy,

but she did. Just before

the comrade governor

left office, the state House

of Assembly approved for

him and his deputy a pension

benefit of a residential

building worth N200 million

and N100 million respectively.

The House also

amended the Pension

Rights Law of 2007 to enable

the former governor to

enjoy many other benefits

including pension for life at

a rate equivalent to 100

percent of his last annual

salary. This happened in

many states except Akwa

Ibom which raised hers to

300 percent perhaps because

of its uncommon

governance philosophy. So

far, the highest paying

states in descending order

are: Rivers, Akwa Ibom,

Lagos, Niger, Borno, Sokoto,

Jigawa and Gombe.

Painfully, this trend of inexplicable

squandermania

has encouraged legislators

who have been used to perpetuate

it, to begin to explore

possibilities of helping

themselves too. Bayelsa

state has already passed

a bill proposing a monthly

pension of N100,000 for

members while the Speaker

and Deputy Speaker will

be entitled to N500,000

and N200,000, respectively.

The bill which was hurriedly

passed has however

been unable to get the consent

of governor Seriake

Dickson who has argued

that the bill is inconsistent

with Section 124 of the

country’s constitution.

Dickson’s main point is

that a State Assembly

lacked the powers to expand

the categories of public

servants who should be entitled

to pension. But as persuasive

as Dickson’s point

appears to be, legislators in

some other states have not

dropped the ambition. Although

this writer was unable

to confirm the current

status of the “ Public Office

Holder (Payment of Pension)

Law 2007 (Amendment)

Law” reportedly proposed

as far back as 2015

to give life pension to the

Speaker and his deputy, in

Lagos, a fresh case is that

of Kano State which last

Tuesday passed what was

described as “Pension

Rights of Speaker and Deputy

Law 2019” which approved

life pensions for

Speakers and deputies after

they leave office. Since

1999, Kano state has had

10 Speakers that may benefit

from the plan if assented

to by governor Abdullahi

Ganduje.

With top politicians initiating

scandalous laws to

pay themselves humongous

life benefits which

would make them earn

more pay in retirement than

when they were in office,

how can the nation stop

otherwise diligent public

officers from helping themselves

to the treasury when

they are legally discriminated

against? It seems patently

unfair that those who

siphon such huge funds are

among our leaders who

have the temerity to deny

their fellow citizens a paltry

N30, 000 minimum

wage.

Orunmila, wherein she

presents an interesting comparative

analysis of the two

iconic personalities. She teases

out some interesting parallels

between Socrates and

Orunmila, the latter representing,

in Yoruba mythology,

the spirit of wisdom among

the Irunmole and the divinity

of destiny and prophesy. Commenting

on the significance

of the work, Prof. Jacob

Olupona, who presented a

thought-stirring commendation

lecture in honour of the

deceased philosopher-queen

entitled “Courage, Scholarship,

and the Revitalisation of

Traditions: The Life and Legacy

of Professor Sophie Bosede

Oluwole,” avers that

what is fascinating about it is

that “unlike many other scholars

who spend ample time on

prolegomena in the study of

African Philosophy, Sophie

Oluwole plunged straight into

the debate to explicate the

problem. By so doing, she

showed the world of learning

how Africans engage philosophical

inquiry, thus creating

for us prestige and honour

that are often only begrudgingly

granted to black

scholarship.”

I am one of the beneficiaries

of Prof. Oluwole’s kindness.

Sometime in November

2000, she collaborated with

Goethe Institute, Lagos, to

organise an international

conference on Immanuel

Kant’s Universalism, and graciously

included me as one of

the paper presenters notwithstanding

the fact that I was a

junior lecturer then. Prof. Gernot

Bçhme, the guest lecturer

from the Technical University

of Darmstadt, Germany,

was so impressed by my presentation

that he autographed

for me a copy of his book,

Coping with Science. A few

weeks later, he invited me to

deliver some lectures in his

university, which I accomplished

successfully in January

2001. I also recall that

Prof. Oluwole gave me Science

and the Quest for Reality,

a valuable book in my area

of specialisation. She visits the

Faculty of Arts once in a while.

Anytime we meet on such occasions

she would inquire

about my family, how I am

coping with work and about

the Department generally.

She also discusses her on-going

research projects. Occasionally,

I ran errands for her

as well. As an outspoken public

intellectual, Prof. Oluwole

lent her critical voice to dissecting

the problems of contemporary

Nigeria and proposes

mostly home-grown solutions

to them. Her interventions

during public lectures,

workshops, television and

newspaper interviews etc. establish

her as an academic

who believes that knowledge,

no matter how esoteric,

should transcend the perimeters

of the university and be

relevant to the larger society.

Mama is one of those lecturers

that did not reduce their

age in order to remain in the

system longer than necessary,

an ugly trend that leads to the

accumulation of deadwoods

in Nigerian universities. Indeed,

when she retired before

some elderly Professors in the

Faculty of Arts that were obviously

older than her, the old

“hold-outs” were embarrassed

– some of them quickly

retired within a short period

afterwards. Prof. Oluwole is

like fine vintage wine. She is a

lively interlocutor and an agile

octogenarian. Even in her

eighties she did not slow

down; she continued working

to promote African Philosophy.

I deeply regret not having

the opportunity before she

died to thank her once again

for her kindness to me. The

lesson from this unfortunate

experience is clear – we should

not procrastinate in expressing

gratitude, affection or

kindness to those who deserve

it because anyone can die at

any time, after which it would

not matter anymore to the

person concerned.

Like every human being,

Prof. Oluwole has several

short-comings. However, her

positive attributes outweigh

those character flaws. She was

an unpretentious, kind-hearted,

down-to-earth human being

with a surprising sense of

humour.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 27

RUINED!

From six children,

I became a widow,

childless

— Survivor of fire set t by y jilted lover

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

JUMOKE SANUMI, the 35-year-old

mother of the six children who were

roasted alive in their one-room

apartment allegedly set ablaze by the jilted

boyfriend of her junior sister, Deji Adenuga, in

Igbodigo in Okitipupa council area of Ondo

State, said she escaped death by the whiskers

in the early morning arson.

“Were it not that l left the room to answer the

call of nature few minutes before the arsonist

came and set the room on fire, l would have

died along with my sick husband and the six

children”, Jumoke told Sunday Vanguard.

Aside the six children, four boys and two

girls, namely, Adebayo, Joy, Mercy, Johnson,

Adesewa and Temidayo, Jumoke’s husband,

who had been down with stroke, and a visiting

child were killed in the arson.

The suspected arsonist, a 45-year-old palm

wine tapper, said to have been jilted by Titi, set

the room in which nine family members were

in deep sleep on fire at about 2am, thereby

roasting eight of them alive.

He said he purchased N500 worth of petrol

purposely to burn the two sisters, Jumoke and

Titi, and not others who slept in the room that

night.

Ironically, the two sisters, who were the

targets of the assailant because, according to

him, they had turned him to their Automated

Teller Machine (ATM) and wanted to dump

him, survived the arson.

While Jumoke suffered minor injuries from

the fire while trying to rescue the children and

her husband, Titi,

according to a family

source, is on admission in

a hospital for injuries she

sustained in the fire.

Speaking with Sunday

Vanguard in Igbokoda

where she is staying with

one of her relations,

Jumoke said her life had

crashed and she was in

serious pains.

“Since the tragedy

occurred, my life has

become empty. But all l

want is that justice is done

to this killer”, she told

Sunday Vanguard.

I need justice

in this matter.

The man must

not be allowed

to go away

with what he

has done to

ruin my life

Narrating what

happened on the ill-fated

day, the arson survivor

said, “The incident

happened around 2am. I

woke up to use the toilet

and I suddenly heard a

sound at the back of the

door.

“He must have poured

the petrol inside the house while we were

sleeping.

“l was still in the toilet when suddenly l heard

the sound like a bomb in the room with heavy

smoke coming out. The sound woke

neighbours but, before long, all the occupants

of the one-room apartment had burnt beyond

recognition, mostly my children, who could

not help themselves from the fire and the

smoke at the same time.

“I quickly ran to open the door for my sister

whose head was already on fire. I pulled the

mats on which the children were sleeping and

they rolled to the door. I started throwing out

the children. It was in the process that I was

affected by the fire. I lost all my six children,

my husband and one of my junior sister’s

children.

“I need justice in this matter. The man must

not be allowed to go away with what he has

done to ruin my life”.

‘Don’t let me die’

Appealing to public spirited people, the

widow said, “I beg you, don’t let me die. I

don’t have money to take care of myself. I

need help. I am in serious pains.”

According to her, the lantern that was lit

inside the room must have aided the fire which

burnt the eight persons beyond recognition.

The arson suspect, who was arrested in ljebu-

Ode, Ogun State, five days after he allegedly

committed the heinous crime, had said he was

infuriated because Titi aborted the fourmonth-old

pregnancy she was carrying for

him without his consent and that she had

refused to return the N55, 000 he kept with

her.

Ondo State Police Commissioner, Adie Udie,

alleged that Deji was an ex- convict who

murdered his first wife, Aboye Akinola, in year

2000 with a knife, detained on the grounds of

the alleged crime pending trial but escaped

during a jailbreak at the Olokuta Prison,

Akure, the state capital.

The suspect explained that he was also

provoked by the refusal of his girlfriend to

return his money (N55, 000)

and planned to ditch him in

connivance with the sister,

Jumoke.

“Titi and her sister, Jumoke,

were fond of taking advantage

of our relationship to dupe me”,

he had said.

“Each time we had a

misunderstanding, she would

move to her sister’s place until

I could provide money to settle

the sister and my girlfriend. I

was angry because she aborted

my four-month old pregnancy

and failed to return my money

to me. The money was N55,

000.

“Her mother made several

efforts to intervene but she

refused. It was her sister,

Jumoke, whose house I set

ablaze, that was behind the

whole issue. We lived together

in my house. We started our

relationship last year. She has

no issue for me. The pregnancy

was about four months and she aborted it.

“I asked her to return my money to me if she

was no longer going to marry me. She refused.

That’s what caused the fight and they

threatened to deal with me if I ever returned

to ask for the money”.

‘Lies’

Jumoke, when confronted with the suspect’s

allegations by Sunday Vanguard, denied.

•Jumoke Sanumi

Her words, “I don’t know the man. I don’t

know what led to the incident. It is still a

mystery to me. My sister came to me and she

didn’t tell me anything about her

disagreement with the man. She slept in my

house and the man came to pour petrol on us.

That was the first day my sister would sleep in

my house. She always came to greet and play

with me after which she would leave.

“It is true she was befriending the man. I

was not aware of the money he said he gave

to my sister. He told lies against me. I

didn’t go to their house. I was not aware

they had any disagreement. My sister

didn’t tell me about it. She just came to

my house. My sister didn’t bring her

properties to my house.

“I had gone to sleep by the time my sister

came. I always come back from the

market late, in the evening, and tired. We

used two rooms in the house. My children

were still playing when I slept. They were

the ones who usually lock the doors.”

The survivor added, “Titi (sister) is now

on admission at the Intensive Care Unit

of the Trauma Centre, Ondo town. She

sustained serious injuries in the inferno

which affected her ankle, wrists and

skull”.

Prayers

Meanwhile, condemnation has

continued to trail the fire incident.

The traditional ruler of Igbodigo, Oba

John Ebunola Ayeku, said the fervent

prayers of the people of the town led to

the arrest of the suspect.

He wondered why anybody could

decide to kill a whole family because a

lady jilted him.

Ayeku said “Deji Adenuga is from Ode

Erinje in Okitipupa Local Government

Area. He came to live here in Igbodigo. I

don’t know him. I have never met him as

we speak. What they came to tell me here

is that Adenuga and his girlfriend had a

disagreement.

“She left the house of Adenuga for her

sister’s house. We heard that the man went

to buy petrol and wet the room where his

girlfriend and other members of her

family were sleeping. He set the house

ablaze and ran away. As at now, eight

people have died as a result of the

incident.

“It is a sad development. When we

received the report, the family of the

deceased came to me as the king of the

town. The community made efforts to

ensure that the man was arrested so

that the problem would not be

compounded. We met twice on the

issue.

“The deceased people are from

Moferere community, Etikan area of Ilaje.

Members of our community were worried.

The police made efforts. We also made

efforts. The incident put the family in

trouble and we are not happy about

it.

“We have appeased the family of the

deceased. They have come to me here.

Erinje, the community where the

deceased man came from, does not have

a monarch. It only has regent. I have

spoken to the leaders of the community to

find ways of appeasing the family of the

deceased so that there will be peace. The

regent and chiefs accepted my proposal

and pledged to implement it.”

The suspect has been arraigned before

an Akure Chief Magistrate Court and the

matter adjourned till the 10th of June.


PAGE 28 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019

MEASLES: LOW IMMUNISATION COVERAGE

Four million Nigerian

children endangered

• Sokoto, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Adamawa,

Yobe, Zamfara, Kebbi, Bayelsa make list of 18 poor performing states

By Chioma Obinna

Ahealthy child is a pride of his or her

parents and, in turn, guarantees a

better future for the country. But, today,

many Nigerian children do not live to

celebrate their fifth birthday due to nonvaccination

against preventable diseases.

According to experts, Routine Immunisation,

RI, remains one of the greatest and most costeffective

investments any country can use to

protect, safeguard the future of its children

and give them a chance to live healthy and

productive lives. Meanwhile, millions of

Nigerian children miss out of this cheap but

life -saving vaccines. While the World Health

Organisation, WHO, recommends a threshold

of 95 per cent immunisation coverage to

achieve ‘herd immunity’, according to the

2016/2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey/

National Immunisation Coverage Survey

report, Nigeria’s National Routine

Immunisation coverage stood at 33 per cent.

Although a recent report by the National

Emergency RI Coordination Centre, NERICC,

showed a substantial improvement in RI

performance, the country still ranks among

countries with poor immunisation coverage.

Sunday Vanguard reports:

Complications

“I am afraid to lose him. His temperature in

the last one week has been unimaginable”,

37-year-old Mrs Suliat Suleiman said amidst

tears.

Two-year-old Ahmed had spent three days

in one of the public hospitals in Lagos where

he was confirmed to have measles.

Although he was old enough to have the

first dose of measles vaccines, he was never

given.

He was one of the over 29 percent of

children whose vaccination cards were seen

but not fully immunised.

According to medical experts, measles is a

highly infectious viral illness that can result

in a serious health complication.

Ahmed suffered some of these

complications at home before he was rushed

to hospital after the mother was done with

self-medicating.

He had high temperature for weeks before

rashes covered his whole body. Children like

Ahmed with weak immune systems are at

risk of measles complications.

Measles, which is one out of the diseases

covered by routine immunisation, can cause

complications such as diarrhoea and vomiting,

leading to dehydration, middle ear infection,

which lead to earache, eye infection and

inflammation of the voice box. In rare cases,

experts say, it can lead to serious eye

disorders, such as an infection of the optic

nerve and nervous system problems, a fatal

brain complication, which can occur several

years after measles. It occurs in one in every

25,000 cases.

In Nigeria alone, a report by UNICEF to

mark this year’s World Immunisation Week

showed that four million children missed out

of the first dose of measles vaccines in 2017

and the country had the highest number of

children under one year of age who missed

out on the first dose of measles followed by

India with 2.9 million, Pakistan, Indonesia (1.2

million each) and Ethiopia (1.1 million).

To reverse the situation, UNICEF Executive

Director, Henrietta Fore, said, “If we are

serious about averting the spread of this

dangerous but preventable disease, we need

to vaccinate every child in rich and poor

countries alike.”

As far back as 1990, Nigeria

had achieved universal

children immunisation

coverage of 81.5 percent.

But since then, the country

has witnessed a gradual but

consistent reduction in

immunisation coverage.

According to the World

Health Organisation, WHO,

vaccines have been one of the

biggest success stories of

modern medicine and it is no

longer news that millions of

deaths have been prevented

due to vaccinations delivered

around the world.

Many lives have also been

protected from disability

associated diseases such as

pneumonia, diarrhoea,

whooping cough, measles and

polio.

Successful immunisation

programmes also enable

national priorities like

education and economic

development to take hold.

Although the country made

great strides in reducing

deaths of under 5-year-old children from 158

to 120 per 1000 births between 2011 and 2016,

according to UNICEF, in the same period,

the coverage of the main vaccines offered

through routine immunization continued to

decline.

The 2016/2017 MICS report showed that

only one in four children in the country receive

all the recommended vaccines and over 36

percent of these children live in urban areas

while only 14 percent are found in the rural

areas.

Shuaib said the

National Emergency

RI Coordination

Centre, NERICC,

team had prioritised

18 poor performing

states for

implementation of

strategic

interventions

The South-West has the highest number of

children fully vaccinated with over 47 percent

(47.9) while the South-South followed with

over 38 percent, the South-East 36. 5 percent

and the North-Central 26.2 Percent, the North-

East has 17. 5 percent and the North-West

have only 7.9 percent. It further showed that

immunization coverage for pentavalent

vaccine in the 36 states varies dramatically

from 80 percent in Lagos to three percent in

Sokoto and is still below the recommended

global goal of 90 percent in all of them.

But experts say with proper immunisation

and vaccination coverage, Ahmed and

millions of Nigerian children will be saved

from vaccine-preventable diseases including

whooping cough, measles, German measles

(rubella), meningococcal C pneumococcal

disease, chickenpox, tetanus, mumps, polio,

diphtheria, rotavirus and

hepatitis.

Today in Nigeria, experts

have identified several

challenges facing routine

immunisation in the

country. According to them,

illiteracy, ignorance or low

awareness

on

immunisation,

misconception, inadequate

refrigerators or cold chains

equipment, shortage of

vaccines and immunisation

supplies, religion, political

influence and negative

attitude of health workers

have contributed to the poor

immunisation coverage in

Nigeria.

For instance, in 2003, some

parts of the country

boycotted immunisation

following rumours that polio

vaccines can cause infertility.

According to the Executive

Director, National Primary

Healthcare Development

Agency, Faisal Shuaib, the

majority of states with low

immunisation coverage are

located in the North and the main causes of

poor immunisation in the region include lack

of awareness/knowledge of caregivers on

immunisation-related issues, mistrust or fear,

insecurity in some areas, attitude of health

workers, inadequate commitment and

ownership by some of the leaders, especially

at the sub-national level.

Shuaib said the National Emergency RI

Coordination Centre, NERICC, team had

prioritised 18 poor performing states for

implementation of strategic interventions.

“Since the establishment of NERICC, there

has been increased nation-wide immunization

coverage and, by March 2019, the figure stood

at 54 percent, based on the 2018 Standardized

Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and

Transitions (SMART) survey report”, he said.

“The programme aims to reach at least 84

percent immunization coverage by 2028

through sustained implementation of the

current NERICC’s strategic interventions”.

The Executive Director listed the 18 states

as Sokoto, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina,

Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Adamawa, Yobe,

Zamfara, Kebbi, Kogi, Taraba, Nasarawa,

Niger, Bayelsa and Plateau states.

NERICC’s strategic interventions are

focused towards surpassing Nigeria’s

Strategy for Immunization and Primary

Healthcare System Strengthening (NSIPSS)

projected average of 84 percent coverage in

2028,” added.

A Private Sector Champion for

Immunization in Africa by Gavi, Awele

Elumelu, during the celebration of Africa

Immunisation Week under the theme: ‘Protect

together: Vaccines Work’ in Abuja, said

immunisation yields healthy dividends for

countries.

“The efforts to achieve widespread

immunisation coverage cannot happen

without the effective collaboration of the

public and private sectors. This is why

partnerships with public health organisations

such as the NPHCDA matter”, he said.

Elumelu disclosed that since inception in

2000, GAVI has been able to immunise just

over 300 million in Nigeria and prevent about

10 million deaths. “We still have up to about

over four million unimmunised children so

there is still a lot to be done.”

TIPS on vaccination:

Experts say vaccination is a very safe

prevention tool. However, no medication can

ever be 100% safe. The benefits of vaccination

far outweigh the risks of becoming ill with a

life-threatening disease.

Any concerns about vaccine safety should

be raised with your doctor or immunisation

provider.

Your child should not be vaccinated if they

have a fever over 38.50C on the day of

vaccination.

Like all medications, vaccines may have side

effects. Nearly all of these are minor reactions,

such as soreness at the injection site or a mild

fever. Most side-effects are short-lived and

do not lead to any long term problems.

About 1 in 17,000 babies may develop

intussusception in the first few weeks after

the 1st and 2nd vaccine doses following

rotavirus vaccination.

It is important to keep a record of your child’s

vaccinations. Proof of vaccination is often

needed to enrol your child in childcare or

school in some countries of the world.


SUNDAY Vanguard, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 29

08112662589

Dirty old men with a bit of get-up-and-go!

Open marriages work

when none partner, usually

the wife, turns a blind eye

to her husband’s shenanigans.

In most cases, the husband

is usually careful not to

push his luck by always flaunting

his trophies. In a few

cases, however, wives have

been known to forgive he humiliation

of serial adulterer all

in the name of love and a sad

excuse of hanging on to the

marriage. When Ope met

Abdul a coupled of years back,

it was at the insistence of

Clara, her best friend.

“We both worked as nurses

in the teaching hospital”, Ope

said, “]and she was there for

me after my marriage of six

years crashed. For months, I

was depressed and weepy.

Clara was a lot of help but

when she realised I wasn’t

going to get over my heartbreak

in a hurry she suggested

I had a chat with her dad.

“He is a good ;listener”, she

said, “and had counselled a

few people with reasonable

success”. I was a bit wary.

Clara’s dad was in his 60s and

had a reputation of a ladies’

man. The rumour was that his

wife of over 30 years didn’t

mind his affairs and I found

that a bit daunting. My ex was

a dog and I was happy to pack

up the marriage after humiliating

affairs. I couldn’t begin

to imagine any woman hanging

on to a man like Clara’s

dad, but who was I to judge?

There is this adage about

not chasing rats when

one’s house is on fire. The

Nigerian house is on fire for insecurity

of every ramification and

we appear to be chasing rats.

The President was out of the

country for some time and on his

return, Journalists asked how he

intends to address the security

question in the country and he responded

that he has seen the acting

Inspector General of Police

and he’s losing weight as evidence

that he is working to solve

the problem of insecurity in the

country.

His answer did not go down

well with many Nigerians. When

did weight loss become evidence

of hard work? We all know how

the IGP looked from the very day

he was sworn in and the fact that

his belt could barely hold his trouser

which looked like it would slip

off his waist. The IGP is not on

the fat side and there are many

people with that kind of stature.

“I’d seen him a couple of times

when I went to their house. This

time round, he knew why I came

and he hugged me sympathetically

whilst his wife looked on.

For the next few hours, I spilled

out my heart. He is a good listener

and he hugged me whenever

I got tearful. Inspite of his

generous beer-belly protruding

under his shirt, his bug was

comforting. He urged me to feel

free to call any time I needed

sympathy but I knew I wouldn’t

take him up on his offer.

“A few months later, I ran into

him at a supermarket. He paid

for the few items I had in my

Basking in the euphoria

of confusion

Going by how things happen in

Nigeria, the IGP ought to have

added weight with his stomach

bulging out from the time of his

appointment to the present day

but nothing like that. To me, the

IGP could be the type that does

not like food or he has not started

eating! Or maybe, this IGP will be

different.

But by the way he answered the

question, the president exposed

himself as someone not seriously

bothered by the goings-on in the

country and many Nigerians accused

him of making a joke out of

the insecurity in the country.

It was indeed strange that amidst

all the killings and kidnappings

Buhari still makes jokes. The IGP

is losing weight and so, the IGP is

working. Wonderful.

And Oby Ezekwesili trashed

him: “And this is supposed to be

funny? A President @MBuhari

making a joke of the daily drenching

of the country in the blood of

his citizens who are killed daily

without any consequence while he

bears the title “Commander-in-

Chief” ? Carry on.

“I frankly decided to never again

waste my voice on a political class

that has no redeeming prospect of

caring about their citizens.

“Citizens of every country have

the power to determine how their

Political Class can treat them.

“Until we are collectively ready

to end the joke that our Political

Class has turned NIGERIA into,

they’ll continue.”

Weight loss is not an evidence of

Is the office

headquarters more

important than the

insecurity problem

besieging Nigeria?

Or should we

continue to chase

rats while our ‘house’

is on fire?

working hard in Nigeria? So

many things can make someone

lose weight. Or should we now

adopt that mentality in our daily

lives? If we don't sweat in the work

or job, we are not doing anything.

Sweating and weight loss is the

yardstick for hard work.

Till date, many Nigerians are

still asking if “losing weight” automatically

translates to hard

work or results.

Buhari was away in the United

Kingdom on a private visit during

which period at least five

cases of kidnapping happened in

the country, including the abduction

of the father-in-law to his

Aide de Camp (ADC), Colonel

Mohammed Abubakar in the

President’s hometown of Daura

in Katisina state.

The President was expected to

have responded with an assuring

answer when the question was

posed to him on his arrival at the

airport as insecurity, especially

hostage-taking or kidnapping is

undoubtedly one of the biggest

challenges currently facing the

basket, then drove me home.

He invited himself into my flat

but nothing happened. He visited

a couple of times more

and I found myself having

feelings for him. I was appalled.

He was my best

friend’s dad and married. I

knew how I’d be feeling if my

husband kept disappearing –

jealous, suspicious. “What

does your wife think about you

going out all of the time?” I

asked him. He just shrugged.

“She doesn’t really mind”, he

said. “She wouldn’t mind if

we were having sex either”.

“I was flattered, but confused.

He volunteered to give

me a massage and before I

knew it, he started peeling off

his clothes. His chest, crinkled

and saggy had some white turf

on it. I’d seen hundreds just

like it – on the geriatric ward

at my hospital job. But the love

making that followed was

mind-blowing. Later, two

words kept playing on my

mind – open marriage. What

kind of a relationship was that

exactly? What did it really

mean? How could his wife let

him make love to other women?

What exactly is in all this for

me?

”From then on, we met twice

a week and he was his old sexy

self until he evening he starting

gasping for air as we made

love. Was he having a heart

attack? He said he suffered

from angina but had effective

drugs to control it.

“Still, that didn’t put me off.

What he did was that every

time he left my bed, he’d go

back to his wife. I was very

jealous and I told him so. I’d

suffered the pain of losing a

husband to another woman

and I didn’t want that to happen

to my friend’s mum. In

the end, he offered to come

clean to his family and make

me a second wife.

“Telling his wife was a nightmare.

He looked haggard and

drained – and the fact that I

was pregnant with my first

child didn’t help. “How did

your 3wife take our news?”, I

country.

And for this to have happened

at a time a rumour was flying all

over the place that the federal

government has promised to give

Miyetti Allah N100bn to stop the

killings and kidnappings happening

around Nigeria. There was

furor over this rumour after a

meeting between government

forces and Miyetti Allah Cattle

Breeders Association of Nigeria.

The furor of anger over this development

was worsened by

Malam Garba Shehu’s statement

in response to Ohanaeze Ndigbo

which expressed concern about

the meeting between the government

and Miyetti Allah.

The presidential aide had seen

Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo

as representing same interests as

Miyetti Allah, an association of

Fulani herders.

Garba Shehu had drawn the ire

of many Nigerians by comparing

Miyetti Allah with Ohanaeze and

Afenifere and regarding same as

an ethnic organization or interest

group that is a legal

stakeholder in the nation and

should be respected.

He said: “We maintain that the

government needs to engage all

stakeholders and seek partnership

in building our country. The

activities of Miyetti Allah do not

benefit select ethnicities or Muslims

only, but everyone.

”Long before petroleum became

the core of Nigerian

economy, agriculture was the

main source of Nigerian wealth.

Cattle, hides and skin were a

major part of Nigerian export. It

is right to state that there are

criminals among every group in

Nigeria and in every country.

There are criminals among the

northern population as there are

in the southern part of the country.

asked him. “Badly”, he said.

“She just cried and cried”, I

felt a bit guilty but relieved.

At last I could have my child

in peace. It wasn’t all as plain

sailing as I’d thought. Our

relationship seemed to offend

everyone . Disgusted, Clara

refused to talk to me for a long

time. And my own family were

appalled too. Even strangers

seemed to judge us. He was

labelled a “dirty old man”.

While their silent stares

seemed to scream `gold digger!’

at me. Yet, I didn’t love

him for his money – we just

clicked.

“So, now my new husband

shares his time with me and

his family. I know his wife will

never kick him out, why

should she? They’d been

married for over 30 years and

she allowed him to have an

open marriage. Giving a passionate

man like him permission

to see other woman is

crazy. I never set out to get him

and it wasn’t a seedy affair.

Life’s too short to worry about

little things, especially the 30-

plus age gap between us.

“His wife confessed she allowed

him an open marriage

to try and make him happy.

That she didn’t mind us being

together because he was

too randy and she couldn’t

cope. He knows that I won’t

stand for that nonsense. If he

cheats on me, I would send

him packing – to his long suffering

wife!”

“We are pleased that Afenifere

and Ohanaeze Ndigbo found our

insights worthy of attention even

when they disagreed with our

view that they, as socio-cultural

associations, represent same interests

as Miyetti Allah, an association

of Fulani herders.”

So, was Garba Shehu trying to

justify the gift of N100bn to

Miyetti Allah to stop the killings?

That is like saying government

knows who the killers are and has

identified them but is doing nothing

but could bribe them to stop

instead of arresting the killers and

getting them to face justice.

But the Acting Inspector General

of Police, Mohammed

Adamu, denied the allegation

that the Federal Government offered

to pay Miyetti Allah Cattle

Breeders Association of Nigeria

N100bn to shun kidnapping in

the country. The Police I-G said

the need for such agreement between

the Federal Government

and MACBAN did not arise if kidnapping

in the country was to be

tackled, adding that the social

media report was the figment of

somebody’s imagination.

When he appeared before the

senate to answer questions on the

insecurity challenges in the country,

the IGP told the senate that

the Police need help.

So the police need help and instead

of expending resources to

help them tackle these issues confronting

Nigeria, the Federal Executive

Council, FEC , recently

approved N1.4bn to design the

N35bn headquarters of the Department

of Petroleum Resources,

DPR, in Abuja.

Is the office headquarters more

important than the insecurity

problem besieging Nigeria?

Or should we continue to chase

rats while our ‘house’ is on fire?

You can ask that again.

C

M

Y

K


PAGE 30—SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019

Our father died younger

than he should have because

he went into politics

– Chief (Mrs) Obayi, Nwodo brothers’ sibling

By Dennis Agbo

Chief (Mrs.) Grace Obayi was

born into the Nwodo family

and her siblings include a

former Governor of Enugu State, Dr

Okwesilieze Nwodo, and President

General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief

Nnia Nwodo. Mrs. Obayi, an

educationist, just turned 80 years. In

this interview, she shares the

experience of Nigeria’s ‘classical age’

and the events now, advising

government to place emphasis on

agriculture to create employment and

wealth for the younger generation.

What was your growing up like

coming from an influential family at

that period?

I grew up like every other child in a

very simple home. My father was the

late Igwe Dr. J.U Nwodo and my

mother Chief (Mrs.) Josephine

Nwodo. I was born into a civil servant

family but, after sometime, my father

took to politics. I did my elementary

school in Holy Rosary Nsukka and

later went to Onitsha to do my

secondary at Queen of the Rosary

College. These two schools were run

by Holy Rosary Sisters and both of

them complemented the training my

parents gave me. My father was loving

and my mother was most loving but

they would not joke with the discipline

of their children. After schooling at

Onitsha, I passed the entrance

examination to attend Nigeria College

of Arts and Technology, then

established by the federal government

in Ibadan, where I did my A level.

From there, I gained admission into

University of Ibadan and University of

Nigeria Nsukka. That was the year

University of Nigeria was established;

my father was a Minister in the

Regional Government and was among

those who had fought very had to

establish the university and so it was

his joy that I should

come in and be one of

the foundation students.

So I had to give up my

admission at UI and

went to do my degree at

UNN. I read English,

finished and took up

appointment in the civil

service of Eastern

Region as an education

officer.

At that time, was there

class disparity between

the rich and the poor as

it is now?

There was nothing

like that. I went to a

primary school run by

missionaries, attended a

secondary school run

also by missionaries. In

my days, government

was not involved

directly in the running

of schools. It was long after I left the

university that government decided to

take over schools from missions and

individuals. At the time I finished from

the university in 1963, government had

established only one girls’ secondary

school in the whole of Eastern Region

and that was Queens School Enugu,

which is still a state school now, with

a very high standard and the entire

country as its catchment area. What

qualified you to attend Queens School

was your brain and nothing else.

If you were able to pass the

entrance examination, no

matter whom your

father was, whether

he was a labourer, a

peasant farmer or a

Minister, you will

get into the

school. The

primary school

that I attended,

my father’s

d r i v e r ’ s

children were

there; even my

b r o t h e r s

attended the

same school

with my father’s

d o m e s t i c

assistants’

The primary

school that I

attended, my

father’s

driver’s

children were

there

children. There

was no disparity

whatsoever. The

only one was

Government College

Umuahia for Boys and it

was your ability that

qualified you for admission and

not your background. I went into the

civil service passing through the

interview like any other candidate and

I was posted to Queens School

Enugu. At the time, if you took to

education, after a few years on the job

and you were adjudged a successful

classroom teacher, you will be

converted into an Inspector. That

happened to me and I became an

Inspector of Education but, before

then, I had taught at Queens School

and the then Nigeria College of

Technology which later transited, in

fact I was part of the Okongwu

Committee that worked out the

transition to IMT

(Institute

of

Management and

Technology Enugu). I

had taught there too

before I finally moved to

the Inspectorate

Division where I grew

like every other officer

and, through what I

was able to do, I became

the Head of the

E x a m i n a t i o n

Development Centre.

From there, I became a

chief and government

considered me an

outstanding civil servant

and gave me a merit

award in the service to

level 16, and later

appointed me a

Permanent Secretary and

Commissioner for

Education in 1986. I later

became DG and served

two military governors. It was a rich

experience working for the public in the

civil service.

At 80, are you worried that times

have changed and are these

changes for the good or for the

bad?

Chief (Mrs.)

Grace Obayi

Life is not

static. I think

that life, by nature,

is dynamic. So you expect the changes and

many of the changes are for good. But,

certainly, there are areas where the past

is better than the present and we keep

praying that the future will be better than

the past and the present. In our days, we

studied with tears but learning is easier

now like the present children refer to us

that we were the digital age but they are

computer age and this is global. So, in

terms of reaching out for knowledge, they

have better access to knowledge now, but

whether the children have the same

commitment as we have, no, they don’t

and this is my worry. If only they have the

commitment, the sky will be their limit;

because many of the Nigeria children are

endowed but they are not bringing out

their best. You need to force them to read.

Getting the children to concentrate to

read is a problem, they are more

interested in television and parents have

to regulate their children properly; let

hours for studies be devoted to studies,

hours for recreation be devoted to

recreation and then regulate according

to their ages what they should watch and

what they shouldn’t watch, and that is

where decadence in the society begins.

Parents are busy because of hard times.

How did you meet your husband?

I married a man from Nguru quarters

in Nsukka, luckily from a very well known

home. He belonged to the famous Obayi

family and one of the best gentlemen I

came across in my life. I was lucky to be

married to him, a lawyer by profession;

the first from Nsukka cultural zone to be

appointed the judge of a High Court. The

whole of Eastern Region knew him and I

kept wondering if I could cope when he

died. I had so many suitors before we got

married so much so that I was confused

on whom to choose. His mother was from

my place and that was a plus for him. My

parents had known him but I think it was

more of his personal qualities that

attracted me to him. We got on very well

together and God blessed us with four

children though two are gone. In my next

life, I would like to come back into my

(Nwodo) family. There is a difference

between the new age and our age. The

things of competition in our time, you

hardly see them now. But in our own days,

my father, for instance, if you should ever

take the second position in your class, you

will get some lashes and explain why you

degenerated to the second position and,

when you remember those lashes, you

won’t like to take second position again.

Your brothers are known in the society

as politicians but one hardly hears about

you. Why do you keep low profile?

Well, I love politics but I do not want to

be an active politician. I don’t like it to

the extent of being an active politician.

Yes, my brothers are in politics because

we have a political background and

anybody watching our father develop will

develop interest in politics but, honestly,

my father died younger than he should

have because he went into politics. The

stress in politics is too much and also

there is insincerity among politicians. It’s

not what they tell you in the morning that

they will talk in the afternoon and I can

hardly stand that. So, it’s better to leave

it for those who can cope in that aspect of

politics. I am interested in what goes on

in the world and I listen to news and do

my own analysis and discuss with

friends; that is the extent of my interest,

not to go vying for political offices. I can

still fight for society without doing that

and I did that, even in the civil service

where I became a very strong fighter for

women rights. I did same thing with the

National Council for Women Societies

from eastern states. In Anambra State, I

became the President of Women Council,

Vice President at the national level and,

at the international level, I became a

consultant to the International Council

for Women. And also through radio

programmes, newspapers and

interviews, I contribute to women

involvement, the merits of women and

their ingenuity to hold public offices.

When you give girls equal rights as

you give to boys, you will be amazed

at what they can do.


SUNDAY Vanguard, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 31

BATTLE FOR KANO

Deposition

cloud hangs

over Sanusi?

By Abdulmumin Murtala, Kano

The development in Kano State

that saw the breaking of the mega

emirate, with 44 local government

areas under it, into five emirates has

sent tongues wagging that it may be a

prelude to the deposition of the Emir

of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi,

by the Ganduje administration.

Under the new dispensation, the four

new emirates are Rano with 10 LGAs,

Gaya with eight LGAs, Karaye with

seven LGAs and Bichi with nine LGAs.

Kano Emirate has 10 LGAs under the

headship of Sanusi.

The speed with which the matter was

processed by Kano State House of

Assembly is, in itself, significant.

The Assembly had reviewed the law

on Local Government and Chieftaincy

Affairs seeking the upgrade of some

traditional rulers to the status of First

Class Emirs.

This followed a petition by a team of

lawyers led by Ibrahim Salisu

Chambers.

And within 48 hours of the passage

of the bill by the lawmakers, Governor

Abdullahi Ganduje gave his assent.

A State Emirate Council was also

founded by the bill, that will have the

five Emirs heading the emirates, the

Secretary to the State Government, the

Commissioner for Local Government,

Chairmen of all the Local Government

Councils in the state, at least two

kingmakers from each of the five

Emirate Councils as well as not more

than five others to be appointed by the

state governor, as members.

The State Emirate Council will be

chaired by the Emir of Kano, who will

be assisted by the Emir of Rano.

The chairmanship will be renewed

every two years.

Analysts believe that the move,

though wrapped as an effort to bring

development to Kano, decentralize the

traditional council, bring the emirates

closer to the people and enhance

security, is primarily targeted at

reducing the influence of Emir Sanusi

II in the state.

Sanusi II is believed to have fallen

into the black books of the ruling All

Progressive Congress, APC, in Kano

during the general elections as well

as the inconclusive election that took

place in the state.

He was alleged to have exhibited

support for the opposition Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP, through certain

actions in an election in which

Ganduje was seeking second term as

the candidate of APC.

But the embattled monarch was

reported to have publicly apologized

to Ganduje after he was declared

winner of the inconclusive election.

The apology, it was reported,

followed widespread rumour that he

was going to be deposed by the regime.

No one actually doubted the

deposition rumour because, at the peak

of the celebration of the governor’s

victory at the polls, his supporters

allegedly destroyed the pictures of the

Emir at the Coronation Hall of

the Government House Kano,

when Ganduje went to

celebrate with them.

They allegedly chanted

slogans calling on the

governor to remove Sanusi.

Serial offences

The Emir actually is said to

have committed serial

offences against the

governor and the ruling

party in Kano on the grounds

of his alleged sympathy for

the PDP.

The Emir actually

is said to have

committed serial

offences against

the governor and

the ruling party in

Kano on the

grounds of his

alleged sympathy

for the PDP

This, according to observers, is not

unexpected as the PDP leader in Kano,

Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso played a

major role in making him the emir.

Sanusi’s problem with Ganduje is

traced to his critical comments in 2017

on the award of contracts to some

Chinese companies by the state

government and on the governor’s foreign

trips.

In addition to the breaking of the Kano

Emirate, the allegation of the monarch

spending of N6 billion of the Kano

Emirate Council without the approval of

the state government, which was earlier

closed, is being revisited by the Kano State

Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption

Commission.

In a letter dated May 2, 2019, the state

anti-graft body invited one Isa Bayero to

appear before it to shed light on the

payment vouchers from 2013 to 2017 in

his name.

There are also three other members of

the emirate scheduled to be quizzed by the

anti-graft commission.

The anti-graft commission invited them

over alleged violation of Section 26 of its

enabling law which borders the

management of the emirate’s funds while

the invitation is sequel to the powers

conferred on it under Section 9 and 15 of

Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-

Corruption Commission Law 2008 (as

amended).

There are also accusations bordering on

the destruction of some artefacts in the

Kano palace levelled against the monarch.

The artefacts were said to have been in

existence for hundreds of years but were

•Emir of Kano, Alhaji

Sanusi Lamido

said to have been destroyed to pave the

way for the construction of a modern

palace.

In fact, the artefacts destruction,

according to sources, did not go down well

with a lot of people who have direct link

with the royal house.

As the state government decided to

appoint new emirs for the new emirates,

the powers of Sanusi II have apparently

been curtailed.

Meanwhile, if the Emir fails to

appear before the anti-graft

commission and he is indicted on the

allegations, analysts say there is the

likelihood that he might be deposed

even as the Ganduje administration

will definitely issue a white paper

barring him from the palace.


PAGE 32— SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019

Let the Father speak

rethren did you say a

Bword of thank you to God

this morning? If you didn’t,

please do so now. It’s not too

late. When you remember that

you slept yester night without

any knowledge of when and

how you will wake up but God

has kept you alive, you will

see the need to thank him.

It is not all who slept that

woke up peacefully. Some

woke up in the hospital and

some couldn’t wake up.

I’m sure you now appreciate

why you need to say thank

you Jesus.

Today, we are considering

the authority of the Father in

our lives.

Pastor J.T. Kalejaiye of the

Redeemed Christian Church

of God in his book, “ When

the Fathers speaks ” categorized

fathers into three : The

Heavenly FATHER, Spiritual

fathers and Biological fathers”.

This article focuses on our

Heavenly Father.

How do we know that there

is a Father in Heaven? The

Lord Jesus revealed this while

teaching his disciples how to

pray.

Our authority is found in the

gospel according to St. Luke

11 vs. 2-4 “ Our Father which

art in heaven, Hallowed be

thy name. Thy Kingdom

come. Thy will be done on

earth. Give us this day by day

our daily bread. And forgive

us our sins; for we also forgive

everyone that is indebted

to us. And lead us not into

temptation; but deliver us

from evil”.

The Lord Jesus taught us

that with this prayer, we are

sure that we have a Father that

can meet all our needs. He

told us we have a merciful God

that is able to forgive our sins

if we repent and do not take

revenge on others. We were

also taught that our Father is

able to deliver us from all forces

of darkness ( evil).

We can also refer to God as

the Father of Adam and Eve

because he created them and

gave them all that they needed.

What a great provider? .

Genesis 1 vs. 26 “ And God

said, Let us make man in our

image, after our likeness: and

let them have dominion over

the fish of the sea, and over

the fowl of the air, and over

the cattle, and over every

creeping thing that creepeth

upon the earth”.

We have another example

of our heavenly Father speaking

in Matthew 3 vs. 16-17

during the baptism of our Lord

Jesus. Our emphasis is on

verse 17 “ And lo a voice from

heaven, saying, This is my beloved

Son, in whom I am well

pleased”.

If there is a Son, the Holy

Spirit confirms there is a heavenly

Father.

Our Father’s words are

backed with full authority.

He speaks and it is done.

This season God will speak

a word that will turn your sorrow

to joy in the name of Jesus.

During the baptism of Jesus

Christ, God spoke through the

Holy Spirit. As he did then,

he still does now.

Remember how God called

Samuel. How did the story

end? Samuel became the representative

of God in Israel.

God also spoke to Moses ,

Exodus 3 vs. 2-4. We’ll consider

verses 3&4 “ And Moses

said, I will now turn aside,

and see this great sight, why

the bush is not burnt. And

when the Lord saw that he

turned aside to see, God called

unto him out of the midst of

the bush, and said, Moses,

Moses. And he said, Here am

I”

Ḃrethren, examples abound

in the Holy Bible of people

that heard our heavenly Father’s

voice.

The Holy Bible tells us

more about the words of our

Sin opens our

lives to Satan

and his

demons to

attack us

heavenly Father in Isaiah 55

vs. 10 &11” For as the rain

cometh down, and the snow

from heaven, and returneth

not thither, but watered the

earth, and maketh it bring

forth and bud, that is may give

seed to the sower, and bread

to the eater: So shall my word

be that goeth forth out of my

mouth: it shall not return to

me void, but it shall accomplish

that which I please , and

it shall prosper in the thing

whereto I sent it”.

Brethren, do you need any

other confirmation what

when he speaks it is done?

However, it is not everyone

that can hear his voice.

Are you qualified to hear

His voice today? When God

speaks about a challenge, be

confident that the days of that

challenge are numbered.

God will not speak and leave

you permanently in that condition.

We also know that God has

numerous ways of speaking.

He can speak through the

Word of the Holy Bible, Visions,

Words of Knowledge,

Words of Wisdom, and

Dreams. He can also speak

through the Holy Spirit,

through a man of God, and

several other ways.

Many people do not realize

that God could use a testifier

to lead them to breakthroughs.

This is why the time

of listening to testimonies

should be taken seriously. Not

a few people have been led to

their miracles through the testimony

of others.

However, it is not everyone

who can hear when our Father

speaks. Sometimes, even

those who hear him clearly

fail to obey completely.

We need to pray to ask God

to open our ears to hear from

him and give us the heart of

obedience.

When we hear and obey, the

end result is always victory

over that challenge.

For instance, while waiting

on the Lord for children, a

lady went from one church

to another.

On a particular occasion,

she went to a very popular

Pentecostal church where the

man of God said to all women

waiting on the Lord, “ God

said “ I will send you help”.

Brethren, many didn’t know

how the help will come but

believed.

Then one day, God showed

her a preacher in a particular

kind of garment but she didn’t

understand the dream.

Then the wife of her boss

who was also waiting on the

Lord invited her to a particular

church. Reluctantly, she

went there. After attending the

services for about two times,

the Lord said to her in a

dream “ Last bus-stop”.

It was then she knew, that in

that particular church, God

would terminate the delay in

child bearing.

During one of the services

in that church, she felt that

someone touched her. She

looked around and didn’t see

anybody. The couple next to

her was busy with praise worship

and she couldn’t ask them

if they touched her.

Once God had mentioned

“ Last bus- stop”. She remained

in that church for

about six years of regularly

attending services.

Finally, the yoke was broken

and her Samuel, a baby

boy born.

Brethren, the message here

is that you should let Our Father

in Heaven speak to you.

You can only hear his word, if

you do his will. It is important

that you find time to listen to

the word of God, meditate on

his word, worship and serve

him.

It does not matter what you

are going through, encourage

yourself in the Lord by singing

praises to the Lord.

By the grace of God, you will

sing victory songs over that

challenge and people will join

you to praise the Lord.

If the return of the Lord tarries,

we’ll have another edition,

next week by God’s grace.

Remain blessed.

janet.adetu

@jsketiquetteconsortium.com

Moments with a Mother

Mother’s Day it

comes up and is

celebrated twice a

year in March in the United

Kingdom and in May in the

United States. A moment to

remember, recognize and celebrate

all the Mother figures

in your life.

The number one being your

beloved birth mother. So once

again this year this is wishing

all our dear Mothers a Happy

Mother’s Day today!!!

I am currently writing this

article seated in New York just

as Mothers Day is buzzing

everywhere. I walked into a

mall and every business is

cashing in on the upcoming

weekend for mothers. From

designer bags, watches, dresses,

accessories, perfumes,

makeup, home giftings the lot.

If anyone forgot about the

seacial weekend you were

quickly awakened by the

buzz of the moment.

I then decided in the spur of

the moment to speak to a few

mothers to get there perspectives

on being a mother since

this is not something discussed

everyday unless you re in a focus

group. I have taken the

time to share the questions and

responses as we learn more

each day by our own experiences

as well as from others

too.

Feel free to read on their

views and share yours too.

Q1. Wecome to the life of

being a mother. When you

were growing up, or when you

just got married how many

children did you desire?

Mother One:

I come from a big family of

eight children so I always

knew I would want from four

kids and above, I’m still working

on it.

Mother Two:

Well for me my husband and

I decided on two from the get

go.

Mother Three:

I like the idea of three children

at least to have the baby

of the house around when the

others go off to college.

Mother Four:

I was dreaming of four kids

but with the two I have now

and the challenges involved I

am tempted to say I am just

fine where I am. Who knows

this may change later but it is

not easy.

Q2. A quick straight forward

question, Is motherhood

what you expected?

Mother One:

What can I say I saw my

mother go through a lot of

stress raising us all but I sure

learnt a lot of discipline from

my mum. I knew it was not

going to be a walk in the park

but I guess I did not realize

how draining it could be juggling

my career life with

motherhood. Even with help

at home I have promised myself

that I will be the best

WOGMAN vows to end illegal bunkering in South South

Waterways Oil and

Gas Marketers As

sociation of Nigeria

( WOGMAN), has vowed

to put an end to Illegal bunkering

of petroleum products

in South South region.

This was contained in a

statement issued by the

group at Ovwian in Udu

Local Government Area of

Delta State.

WOGMAN an affiliate of

Association of Nigeria Refineries

Petroleum Marketers

(ARNPM) in the statement

also vowed to put an

end to sharp practices in oil

and gas marketing businesses

such as illegal exploitation,

dubious middlemen,

artificial scarcity, adulteration

of petroleum products,

among others.

The statement that was

signed by the South South

Zonal Supervisory Committee

Chairman, Evangelist

Prosper Ohwojero, South

South Zonal Secretary,

Comrade Vivian Omoghene

, Delta State chapter

Chairman, Pastor Iyelagha

Doubra, Rivers State chapter

Chairman, Okoko Imebiesemokumo,

Edo State

chapter Chairman, Comrade

Joshua Isuekebor and

Bayelsa State chapter

Chairman, Comrade

Progress Kemebigha admonished

consumers not to

patronize illegal refiners

and sellers of adulterated

petroleum products, warning

that those caught in any

sharp practices in the business

would be made to face

the wrath of the law.

The statement calls for

useful information from

members of the public that

could lead to the apprehension

of illegal refiners and

sellers of petroleum products.

The body advised those

who indulge in illegal bunkering

to desist and join

hands with WOGMAN to sanitize

the waterways oil and

gas marketing industry, explaining

that the group is not

involved in waterways, pipelines

and security and that

WOGMAN would seek the

services of the various government

security agencies in carrying

out her operations.

Mum ever.

Mother Two:

To be honest I am still learning

the ropes and have a long

way to go. My expectations

have always been moderated,

I take each day as it comes.

Mother Three:

I have had very high expectations

because of the fear of

failure when it comes to motherhood.

I actually took time

out of work for two years for

each child just to be available

at that tender young age. I see

the children today and see so

much lacking, manners, respect,

consideration and all. I

truly fear for the next generation

as they are too exposed

and mums are busy chasing

other things.

Mother Four:

Motherhood is what I expected

and more. It is hardwork,

lonely, challenging, difficult

at the same time rewarding,

a blessing, joyful and

a pleasure. I will still choose

to be a mother over and over

gain.

Q3. Were you prepared for

motherhood before and after

marriage?

Mother One:

Not really.

Mother Two:

In a little way.

Mother Three:

Absolutely not thank God

for the presence of my mother.

Mother Four:

My Grandmother was my

life saver, I could not have

done it without her.

Q4. What are the joys of being

a mum to you?

Mother One:

i. I get to see my kids

grow daily

ii. I get to be called Mum

iii. I am experiencing

what it is like to train a child

with good values

Mother Two:

i. A sense of fulfilment

ii. The pride of extending

the generation to great

grandchild

iii. A marital desire

come true

Mother Three:

i. Happiness within

ii. A blessing fro above

iii. Accomplishment

Mother Four:

i. Watching my kids

Umutu Kingdom gets new Onotu Uku

By Festus Ahon

new 'Onotu-Uku' (Tra

A ditional Prime Minister)

has been installed in Umutu

community, Ukwuani Local

Government Area of Delta

State in line with the age long

tradition of the people.

He is Chief Ojo Obianukor,

the father of Dr Alphonsus

Ojo, member representing

Ukwuani constituency and

Chairman, House Committee

on Health in the Delta

State House of Assembly.

With the installation, the responsibility

of coordinating

other chiefs in the kingdom

in administrating affairs in the

community now rests on

Chief Obianukor, in consonance

with the 'Okpalla Uku',

the traditional ruler of the

kingdom.

The installation ceremony

was witnessed by the cream

de-la-cream in the society, including

political office holders,

top government functionaries,

captains of industries,

community and opinion leaders

and various youth and

women groups.

The staff of office was handed

over to the new 'Onotu Uku'

by the immediate past holder

of the traditional position in

the community, Chief Okwa

Joseph Eleh, who has been

admitted into the council of

'Okpalla Uku'.

It was gathered that age, fitness,

influence, service, exposure,

integrity and respect

were major factors that are

considered in the choice of the

Onotu Uku of Umutu community.

These qualities, according

to the people were inherent in

Chief Ojo Obianukor as he

has been a great asset to the

kingdom having served as the

treasurer of the community

for over 30 years.

grow together

ii. My husbands joy of

being a dad

iii. Adding value to my

kids

Q5. What would you say to

a mother to be?

Mother One:

Motherhood is a joy to discover

but please sit down

think about it and discuss with

you partner or spouse to eliminate

any surprises.

Mother Two:

Learn from the experience

of others, ask lots of questions,

read lots of books and just be

you.

Mother Three:

Plan your journey of motherhood.

Do not be caught off

guard, be happy about your

transition and try to be the best

mum you can.

Mother Four:

Pray a lot, be disciplined, live

life happy with yourself and

circumstances. Grow

yourseld daily and be the best

mum you can too.

Interesting conversations,

we actually discussed a lot

more but due to spacing we

may just continue this another

time.

I hope these responses resonate

with may mothers as experiences

are shared.

Have a Blessed and Great

Mothers Day

janet.adetu@jsketiqueteconsortium.com

janet.adetu@gmail.com

@janetadetu

The handing over of the staff

of office was heralded by

wide jubilations with gun salute,

cultural displays and

dance parade around some

major streets in Umutu.

Speaking with newsmen at

his chambers, the new traditional

Prime Minister, Chief

Ojo Obianukor said service to

his people was a passion he

has sworn to uphold till his

last day on earth, stressing

that his installation as Onotu

Uku of Umutu Kingdom

came with enormous responsibilities.

The Ozodinogwe of Umutu,

Chief Peter Enwuniku, retired

Rear Admirer Mike

Onah (Ret.) and Dr Alphonsus

Ojo in their separate remarks

extolled the leadership

qualities of the new Onotu

Uku, describing him as a

champion of peace, unity,

progress and development in

Umutu community.


SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 33

The many reforms of

Okechuwu Enelamah

• Enelamah....We aspired to make Nigeria one of the most attractive places to do

In all areas of the

Ministry’s

mandate, there are

ongoing reforms

but Enelamah is

able to keep his

eye on all the balls

business in Africa

By Bisi Daniels

Nearly all four years

at the helm of the

Ministry of Industry,

Trade and Investment, Dr.

Okechukwu Enelamah has

been driven by the need to improve

Nigeria’s business environment

for sustainable

economic growth.

“When I became minister,

I promised that my vision for

the Ministry is for it to be seen

as the Ministry of Enabling

Environment,” he says.

“We aspired to make Nigeria

one of the most attractive

places to do business in Africa

and even the world, by improving

the business environment.”

Backed by President Muhammadu

Buhari’s commitment

to a more conducive

and attractive business environment

in Nigeria, the

Presidential Enabling Business

Environment Council

(PEBEC) was established

under the chairmanship of

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

As Vice Chairman of PE-

BEC, the Minister is actively

involved in Nigeria’s ongoing

efforts to achieve a sub-100

ranking by the World Bank

on Ease of Doing Business.

Recently, he was in Lagos

to launch the

REPORTGOV.NG App, an

official public service feedback

and complaints platform

to support business climate

reforms implemented

by the Council since 2016.

The platform is to facilitate

the escalation and resolution

of issues encountered with

Ministries, Departments and

Agencies (MDAs) towards ensuring

a more businessfriendly

environment.

PEBEC has also commenced

the fourth 60-day

National Action Plan (NAP

4.0) on Ease of Doing Business

(EoDB).

The NAP 4.0 aims to further

reduce the challenges

encountered by SMEs and

businesses in areas such as

starting a business; access to

credit; paying taxes; enforcing

contracts or trading within

and across borders;

amongst others, by eliminating

critical bottlenecks and

constraints.

The first, second and third

National Action Plans resulted

in significant progress, and

the fourth National Action

Plan is anticipated to

strengthen these ongoing reforms.

The concerted efforts at

improving the ease of doing

business have paid off.

Among the achievements are

improvements in Nigeria’s

business regulatory environment.

The country rose 24

places from 169 to 145 in the

World Bank’s 2018 Ease of

Doing Business Index; its

highest jump in the history of

the rankings.

And although Nigeria

ranks 146 in the latest Doing

Business rankings, the country’s

Distance-to-Frontier

(DTF) score, which is the absolute

metric, improved from

51.52 in Doing Business 2018

to 52.89 in 2019.

In all areas of the Ministry’s

mandate, there are ongoing

reforms but Enelamah

is able to keep his eye on all

the balls.

The mandate of the Ministry

is creating an enabling

business environment for

businesses to thrive; implementing

the Nigerian Industrial

Revolution Plan (NIRP);

attracting long-term local

and foreign investment; encouraging

expansion of MS-

MEs; and promotion of global

and regional value

chains that enhance trade.

One of the silent reforms of

the Ministry is in Intellectual

property, such as trademarks

and patents, an area key to

ensuring an enabling environment

for business.

It entails the development

of a National Intellectual

Property Policy for Nigeria;

modernisation of the legal

framework to capture existing

treaty obligations of Nigeria;

extend the coverage of

the law to more recent developments;

and the modernisation

of the administrative regime

for IP in Nigeria.

In the past, stakeholders

were encountering problems

such as delays and lack of

clarity about processes, poor

state of records, which were

not digitised, making for ease

of destruction and loss; as well

as difficulties with access and

retrieval of records.

These necessitated urgent

transformation of the administrative

processes within the

Commercial Law Department

of the Ministry and, indeed,

the structure and operations

of the Department.

Among the early achievements

are streamlining of the

Registries as separate Registries

(Patents & Designs, and

Trademarks) with different

registrars in accordance with

the Acts establishing them.

This has made for better

accountability; and the backlog

of applications for registration

and issuance of certificates

for accepted and unopposed

applications dating

back to 2014 has been

cleared by the registries. It has

also relieved stakeholders of

frustrations and restored their

confidence in the registries.

For the first time since the

Trademarks Act came into

force some 51 years ago, an

Annual Report on Trademarks

has been issued.

Total files digitised as at

October 31, 2018 was

266,318: made up of 16,650

files from the Registry of Patents

and Designs; and

249,668 files from the Registry

of Trademarks.

The importance of industrialisation

in Nigeria’s economic

growth has never been

in doubt, yet its contribution

to Gross Domestic Product

has been low. With a commitment

to making Nigeria

competitive for local production

and thereby increasing

the contribution of manufacturing

to GDP, the Ministry

has been leveraging the country’s

comparative advantage

and factor endowments.

To accelerate industrial development,

the ministry,

which has embarked on an

aggressive implementation

of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution

Plan, initiated the establishment

of the Nigeria

Industrial Policy and Competitiveness

Advisory Council

aimed at increasing the contribution

of the manufacturing

sector to GDP by 250 per

cent over a five-year period,

and establish Nigeria as the

manufacturing hub for West

Africa, by implementing initiatives

aimed at accelerating

industrialization, leveraging

private sector expertise and

capital.

The Council has made

many high-level interventions

to address industrial

sector issues such as electricity

supply, broadband penetration

and access roads. A

recent example is the Road

Infrastructure Development

and Refurbishment Investment

Tax Credit Scheme, under

which the private sector

has committed to sponsoring

the construction or rehabilitation

of road projects across

the country.

The Council is also engaged

in the implementation

of sectoral policies for areas

in which the country has comparative

advantage such as

in agriculture and petrochemicals.

Acknowledging the major

role of Small and Medium-

Scale Enterprises in industrial

and economic development,

the Ministry made noticeable

improvement in access

to finance for this category

of investors.

Numbering over 77 million,

MSMEs contribute almost

half of Nigeria’s GDP

and employ over 60 million

people.

In the last four years, there

have been sustained efforts to

build capacity, increase access

to finance and eliminate

bottlenecks to conducting

business in Nigeria. Some of

the achievements in support

of MSMES include the inauguration

of the National

Council on Micro Small &

Medium Enterprises (NC-

MES) for more focus on

MSMES.

The Ministry has increased

access to finance for MS-

MES by providing capital for

both start-ups and expansion

through the interventions of

the Bank of Industry and the

World Bank-funded Growth

and Employment (GEM)

Project.

The Bank of Industry,

which is an agency of the

Ministry, provides relatively

low-interest rate and innovative

financing solutions as

incentives towards stimulating

interest and growth of entrepreneurship.

The bank’s disbursements

are to 11 sectors, including

food processing, agro- processing,

healthcare and petrochemicals,

solid minerals,

N-Power, the creative industry

and gender business

amongst others.

Between January 2015 and

October 2018, the bank disbursed

a total of N487.5 billion

to 3,334 large, medium

and small enterprises.

The N112billion Government

Enterprise and Empowerment

Programme (GEEP)

fund, which is part of the ¦

500billion National Social

Investment Programme, is

aimed at providing microcredit

facilities to market women,

traders, artisans, farmers

and agricultural workers at

zero per cent interest rate.

GEEP is estimated to reach

1million beneficiaries annually.

So far about ¦ 37.72 billion

has been disbursed to

1,266 enterprises.

The Bank introduced the

TraderMoni product for micro-businesses

across value

chain clusters – motorcycle

riders, food vendors and petty

traders. The fund has eased

access to suitable finance by

these categories of businesses

which in turn will enable

them to grow their businesses

İt also initiated MarketMoni

to provide financial aid for

the under-banked and unbanked.

This objective is being

achieved by providing

easy and quick loans at no

interest rate.

Under the GEM project, a

total of NGN 3.7b (USD

12.2m) has been disbursed to

910 grantees via the grant

windows, while over 21,191

MSMEs have received technical

assistance.

And, in partnership with the

private sector, the ministry is

developing a technologybased

MSME solution,

known as SME Portal, to ease

the operation of businesses

across the country.

The capital needed to

transform Nigeria to the

country of our dreams cannot

be funded entirely by the

government so the ministry

has reached far and wide

across the globe for the needed

capital through active partnership

with the private sector.

Investment sourcing capabilities

of the Nigeria Investment

Promotion Commission

(NIPC) have been

strengthened with a focus on

proactively targeting and attracting

domestic and international

investors and investments.

NIPC is also actively

providing after-care support

for businesses in Nigeria.

Recent achievements include

the attraction of

US$73.08 billion proposed

investments for 65 projects in

18 states and the FCT; and

the signing of MoUs with

United Kingdom, Germany,

and China for investment

commitments totaling several

billions of dollars.

To accelerate the Nigeria

Industrial Revolution Plan, a

project to develop world-class

Special Economic Zones to

position Nigeria as the preeminent

manufacturing hub

in sub-Saharan Africa, and a

major exporter of made in

Nigeria goods and services

regionally and globally, was

initiated.

Called Project MINE,

(Made in Nigeria for Exports),

it is to aid structural

transformation of the Nigerian

economy by increasing

the manufacturing sector’s

contribution to GDP to 20 per

cent by 2025; contribute to

sustainable inclusive growth

by creating 1.5 million new

direct manufacturing jobs in

the initial phase; and to increase

and diversify non-oil

foreign exchange earnings to

at least US$30bn annually

by 2025, by increasing manufacturing

sector exports.

In February, the Federal

Government signed investment

agreements with three

Development Finance Institutions;

Afreximbank, Bank

of Industry and the Nigeria

Sovereign Investment Authority

(NSIA) for the development

of the project.

The three DFIs are among

the five to partner with Nigeria

SEZ Investment Company

Limited (NSEZCO) and

the Ministry of Finance Incorporated.

The other investment

partners are Africa Finance

Corporation (AFC)

and African Development

Bank (AfDB).

NSEZCO intends to raise

at least US$500million in

equity over the first five years

in order to execute its ambitious

strategy of becoming the

leading investor in special

economic zones in Africa.

The projects in the pilot

phase include Enyimba Economic

City, Funtua Cotton

Cluster and Lekki Model Industrial

Park. Pre-development

studies have also commenced

in other locations

such as Benue, Kwara and

Sokoto States and are about

to commence in other locations

such as Ebonyi, Edo and

Gombe States.

In recognition of the interrelationship

between industrialisation

and trade as key

drivers for economic growth,

the Ministry established the

Nigeria Office for Trade Negotiations

(NOTN) to address

challenges arising

from the absence of a coordinated

and integrated approach

to trade policy negotiations.

Laudable as these reforms

are, the proof of their desired

relevance in the socio-economic

development of the

country will be their continuity

in an environment

plagued by policy reversals.

•Daniels is the Strategy

and Communications Adviser

of the Minister of Industry,

Trade ad Investment


PAGE 34 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019

MANAGING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA:

By Obiora Okonkwo

Ido not profess to have superior knowl

edge of issues involved in the manage

ment of business in Nigeria, but as a businessman,

I will make effort to share practical

insights from my experience of managing a

business in our dear country in the past decades.

I expect that through that, we shall see

some of the challenges of doing business in

Nigeria and at the same time, appreciate the

prospects that they provide for us. They may

come as little issues, but I bet you, they mean

a lot. In understanding the challenges, we see

the prospects that are there for us. So, I want

to talk generally with you and not to make

this technical. I know you have had plenty of

that in the course of your study here, so as a

dinner talk, it is for me an akuko na egwu

with you all.

I also want to seize this opportunity to once

again, applaud the vision of the founders of

the Unizik Business School. This school is strategic

to the economic interest, and survival, of

the south-east. I say this because, when you

look back in time, you will find great businesses

founded by great Igbo men and women,

which sadly died with their deaths. A few

of such businesses which outlived their

founders failed to make it beyond the first generation

of the founder’s successors.

The Case of Ojukwu, Porsche and Tata

I don’t intend to run anyone down here. But

for the reason we are here, please permit me

to recall the great business exploits of the likes

of Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, and use same

as a reference point in our discourse tonight.

Information gleaned from online sources reference

him as “Nigeria’s first recorded millionaire,

and was the founder of Ojukwu Transport,

Ojukwu Stores and Ojukwu Textiles.”

When you read further about him on Wikipedia,

you find such sweet references of him as

“the first and founding president of The Nigerian

Stock Exchange as well as president of

The African Continental Bank. He was also

either chairman or, on the board of directors

of some of Nigeria’s most profitable companies

such as Shell Oil Nigeria Limited, Guinness

Nig. Ltd, Nigerian National Shipping

Lines, Nigerian Cement Factory, Nigerian

Coal Corporation, Costain West Africa Ltd,

John Holt, Nigerian Marketing Board

amongst others.” He was also said to have

“diversified his interest, bought some industries

invested heavily in the real estate sector

and became a director in numerous major

corporations including the state-owned Nigerian

National Shipping Line.”

But Sir Odumegwu Ojukwu, from Umudim,

Nnewi, here in Anambra state, died in September

of 1966. That’s some 52 years ago.

Not many Nigerians born 40 years ago remember

anything of business linked to the

Ojukwu family. The mention of Ojukwu today

resonates only with linkage to Biafra, and

to an extent, APGA. In contrast, we read that

Ferdinand Porsche, a German automotive

engineer, was the founder of the Volkswagen

Group. He died in January 1951. The business

he founded has grown to create several

other subsidiaries including Porsche, Audi,

Seat, Skoda, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti,

Ducati etc. These businesses are in operation

until this moment.

You may also have read that Jamsetji Tata

died in 1904. Before he died, he had founded

Tata Group. References to him say this: “He

had four goals in life: setting up an iron and

steel company, a world-class learning institution,

a unique hotel and a hydro-electric plant.

Only the hotel became a reality during his

lifetime, with the inauguration of the Taj Mahal

Hotel at Colaba waterfront in Mumbai

on 3 December 1903. At that time, it was the

only hotel in India to have electricity.” Today,

Tata Group is managed by one of his greatgrandsons,

Rajan Tata, who joined the group

in 1961. He has successfully led the expansion

of the group and made “Tata Tea to acquire

Tetley, Tata Motors to acquire Jaguar

Land Rover (a British auto manufacturer), and

Tata Steel to acquire Corus -a steel company

with headquarters in London.”

With a 2018 staff estimate of over 703,000,

Tata Group, aged about 151 years, has Tata

Steel, Tata Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Tata

Consultancy Services, Tata Advanced Systems

Limited, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata

Global Beverages, Tata Coffee, Tata Teleservices,

Titan, Voltas, Tata Cliq, Tata Communications,

and The Indian Hotels Company

Limited (Taj Hotels), on its list.

So, the question comes back to you and me:

Why did businesses established by Sir

Odumegwu-Ojukwu end with his demise? This

should be a matter for deep reflection because

you and I stand here as persons of history. We

live to make our marks and build legacies the

Challenges and Prospects

In our clime, business vision is rare.

Most of our business people

establish businesses without clearly

defining their visions. Many just

establish a business for the sole

reason of having an office address

and waffling through with whatever

comes

future will remember. Looking at Sir Ojukwu,

we can extrapolate and also ask the same

question about Nigeria. Which Nigerian businesses

have outlived their founders to the second

generation? If there are any, how many

are they? Why do businesses established by

Americans, Europeans and Asians outlive their

founders, but those established by Nigerians

(Africans) don’t? don’t give me answers here.

But think about it in your private time.

Importance of Vision

It is always very easy to blame the lack of

infrastructure and regulatory issues for business

failure. Those ones have been there and

will always be there in different shades. They

come as taxation, nepotism, over regulation,

poor government policies and policy somersaults

etc. But remember, when Tata built the

Taj Mahal, it became the first hotel to have

electricity. It means, there were hotels existing

before Tata moved in with Taj Mahal. Did

those ones fail because they had no electricity?

No. They must have operated optimally

until Tata came with the vision of offering electricity

at his hotel, thus challenging the norms

and pushing up the competition. He offered

what others did not offer and must have used

that to entice clients of other hotels to his own.

In other words, he set the standard for his competitors.

That is Vision.

In setting the standard for your competition,

you must research. In researching, you

are looking for what your competitors are not

doing at all, or not doing right. In doing this,

you set your vision at changing the landscape

and challenging the norm. In the local road

transport sector for instance, two companies,

ABC Transport and God Is Good Motors, introduced

innovations that got everyone acting.

ABC Transport started building modern

bus terminals and eliminating touting. It succeeded.

Everyone joined the fray. Today, God

Is Good motors has created premium buses

which offer wifi and tablets so that passengers

can be online till the end of their journey. That

is vision.

In our clime, business vision is rare. Most of

our business people establish businesses without

clearly defining their visions. Many just

establish a business for the sole reason of having

an office address and waffling through

with whatever comes. This approach leaves

one with one certain end -Failure! Businesses

will fail if founders fail to properly define their

vision and communicate the same to their

teams and also, trust them to drive it. Vision is

about the next big picture. When you envision

•Obiora

Okonkwo

the next big picture for your business, you set

strategies to achieve them. The next big picture

talks more about where you want your

business to be within the time frame you set

for yourself.

Setting Out Clear Objectives

Looking at your next big picture, which

should ordinarily spur your action, you must

take note of what mindtools.com define as

‘The Five Golden Rules’. The rules say: Set

goals that motivate you; set smart goals; set

goals in writing; make an action plan and,

stick with the plan. In making smart goals, it

means that your goals must be specific, measurable,

attainable, relevant and time-bound.

Now, those are traditional notations you learn

in school. But in practice, the game is different.

You must lead with a clear vision.

As I say these, I have a feeling that someone

here would be asking himself or herself if I

did all these in ensuring my businesses grew.

The answer is an obvious yes. When I invest, I

look at what the business would yield in the

short, medium and long term. By so doing, I

hire the best hands to drive my vision. By hiring

the best hands, I communicate my vision

and lead them to buy into those visions. To get

my team to buy into those visions, I let them

see the next big picture. In seeing the next big

picture with me, they are able to answer one

critical question -what’s in it for me? Once

your team see what is in the next big picture

for them, they take ownership and work hard

to actualize your vision. They do so because

they realize that as the business grows, they

too grow. The more stable the business is, the

more stable their jobs are. The more profit the

business makes, the more bonus they share.

Remember, everyone who shares in your vision

and buys into it, also envisions himself or

herself as possible CEO or ED. Simply put,

everyone desires to get to the top. How they

get there depends on what visions they buy

into.

As you graduate from this business school,

investors will come to hire you. You may also

go to set up your own businesses, that is, if you

don’t already have one. If you are to be hired,

remember that no one will hire you because

you are handsome or beautiful. You will be

hired because someone believes that having

been trained, you have been brushed up by the

best of human capacity developers to become

an expert in delivering their business vision

and achieving goals. So, in my own practical

experience, I hire people not to give me excuses

on why certain things cannot, and should

not be done, but to break through the hurdles

and deliver return on investment. That is why

my motto in business is: Don’t tell me about

the storm. Deliver the cargo. To make

sure that the business you are called upon to

drive succeeds into the next decade and also

outlive the founder, you must challenge whatever

the limits are. You must also tell yourself

that there are no ceilings. In fact, in the drive

for success, the sky is not the limit. For if the

sky is the limit, it then means that there is a sky

where all of us will drop the anchor. Here, in

the drive for business success, only death ends

the call. Remember, Friedrich Nietzsche said,

“every possibility ends in death”. So,

why would anyone die when death hasn’t

come?

Human Resource As A Critical Tool

Like I said at the beginning, I promised to

talk more from my experiences as a businessman

and an investor. An investor is also a manager

of human resources. Once you set up your

business, your next big worry is where to get

the best of humans to manage it. I am deliberate

in saying “the best of humans”. But beyond

the best of humans, you need people of

competence and capacity. When I talk of competence

and capacity, I make reference to both

natural and academic competencies and the

right skills set. You will need people with the

right skill set. You’ll be richly blessed if you get

them. Often, you get to sit at interview sessions

to hire the best of hands. You find humans

with the best of CVs. They have the best

designed CVs. They have all sorts of qualifications

and certificates to boost, but they lack

the competence and capacity for the task of

delivering on the expectations of the investor.

Sometimes, you farm out your hire process to

a recruitment expert. He returns to you with

some of the best CVs and certificates. But on

the job, you begin to imagine how they made

it through school.

This may sound funny, but it is the source of

heartache for businessmen and businesswomen.

In many university certificates, you find

such phrases as “found worthy in character

and learning”. It means that the university,

haven found you worthy in character and in

learning, awards you a degree. In reality, you

have human capital that is either deficient in

character or in learning. Many of those you

will work with will exhibit one of these deficiencies.

But you still have to manage them.

How you do that may not necessarily be taught

at the business school. It may be learned from

the school of reality. It means that you have to

find the best of tricks to bring out the best in

your team without destroying it. I say this because

you will find a character mix in your

business or in your office. The best approach

for me has always been to focus on what is

important in achieving results and leave out

personality flaws. If you can change people,

fine. If you can’t, focus on what is most important

for achieving results and move on.

Needed Ethics

I am sure all of you here watch football.

Have you ever wondered why many football

coaches enter the stadium for a football match

wearing a suit and a necktie instead of sporting

wears? Ever wondered? The football team

coach is a business manager. And the business

he does is taking his team to battle and

coming out with results. That is why while the

match is on, he sits back working on strategies

for victory. That is what a business manager

does. So, for him, the suit and tie are his

work tools. So, what is your business dress?

Often times business managers fail to connect

their outfits with the business they do. If

your business demands that you wear jeans

and tee-shirt to work every day, don’t go wearing

a designer suit. If your business demands

that you wear a business suit to work every

day, wear it. In wearing it, please get welltailored

suits and matching neckties, and when

you get them, please also, get a good dry cleaner

close-by. You will need him. Most business

leaders go for black suits. Black is a power

colour. Avoid flowery colours.

When you have done this, please also, take a

proper look at your shoes. Good shoes don’t

cost a life. You may have heard it said,

“you are addressed the way you dress”.

That’s a truth that will confront you as you

grow in business. It simply says that good dresses,

for the business person, are not fashion

statement s . They are rather meant to help

you drive your business. You may not be thinking

of it but you will also realize that human

beings are like monkeys. They like to copy. If

you dress well to work, wearing good clothes,

nice shoes and sweet perfumes, chances are

that you will inspire your team and without

even discussing it, you will soon find some

copying you. They begin to dress fine to work.

What that does to your business is that it elevates

your personality and your business. Not

many people are likely to want to meet you a

second time if you come to talk business with

them poorly dressed and with an awful odour.

Sadly, what I have, however, seen in our environment

is that people wear their best clothes

to church and dress mindlessly to work. Good

dresses and perfumes open doors. When you

have done this, then, mind the car you drive

out to work and business meetings.

Read more on

www.vanguardngr.com

•Being an address of a Maiden convocation

to Executive MBA Graduands

of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University

Business School at Beersheba Hall,

Stanel Station, Awka, Anambra State

May 10, 2019


Our goal is to

solve problems

– Juwon Lawal, al, founder

ounder, , S8 Contract

actor

ors

By Olalekan Bilesanmi

In an era of increasing youth

apathy and economy

downturn, Juwon Lawal, is

a case study for youth aspiring

to be great.

The Kogi State, Nigerian born

has no doubt carved a niche as a

big player in almost every

business sector with his

ingenious venture in oil and gas,

organic and non-organic food

products, marine logistics and

services, E-commerce,

entertainment, feed mill, and

information technology and

services.

In his mid-30s, Juwon sits atop

Africent Group, Oillets Services,

S8 Contractors, and Cropyfy

Incorporated. Lawal is the brain

behind ABD Fuels, a bunkering

firm that marketed and supplied

marine fuels to ships in port and

at sea along West Africa coast,

which has now transformed to

S8 Contractors.

In this interview, the

unassuming socialite, share the

story of his trials and triumphs.

Excerpt…

You launched ABD Fuels

which was a unique

initiative in the oil and gas

industry. What is the latest

about ABD Fuels and would

you let us into the idea

behind the new ventures, S8

Contractors & Company Ltd

and Africent Group?

ABD fuel was a physical

supplier of marine fuel and

active provider of related

logistics. ABD became a PLC

company and was to be acquired

by another firm looking to

explore this industry and had

always admired our expertise

and goodwill but the deal was

not concluded. S8 Contractors

is now to take further the

activities of ABD even though not

at downstream but mid-stream

and more of upstream logistics

support services.

Was maritime business

your original dream as an

ambitious young man or

you had other plans when

you found yourself in it?

Yes, it was and that was much

realized at the right time. It is

still a passion and I still

When ABD Fuels got

transformed, did you have

to start all over again or

you were able to build on

the original clienteles and

what has the result been

thus far?

No, we took it right from there

and now we are more into

upstream support services

including mining onshore

logistics services.

As an entrepreneur, what

major challenges do you

encounter regularly as you

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strive to be better than your

last result?

Here are tons of challenges

and challenges are good tools to

grow faster than we even

envisaged.

What were your goals at

the time you came fully into

business?

Our goal was to solve

problems and be entrepreneurs

that create meaningful ventures

that would positively impact the

society.

You have a new food

company based in the

United Kingdom, Cropyfy

Foods Inc., is this business

in joint partnership or a

subsidiary of Africent

Group. And what is Cropyfy

all about?

Yes, Cropyfy is a food products

and Delivery Services Company

As a genuine

entrepreneur, you would

face challenges and that

increases the chance for

growth and motivation.

And you must surround

yourself with highly

positive people

based in the UK. It is an affiliate

of AfriCent Group by

supervision.

How do you get motivated

to keep at your goals?

As a genuine entrepreneur, you

would face challenges and that

increases the chance for growth

and motivation. And you must

surround yourself with highly

positive people.

As a business investor, at

what level would you

honestly say that Nigeria’s

economy is now growing,

given the present condition

she’s in?

Firstly, I’m very passionate

about this country and I strongly

believe in Nigeria and Africa at

large. Economic growth is a

challenge across the globe but

we can do much better.

•Lawal

Small businesses are said

to be vital to the survival of

a nation, what is your honest

view on this?

Small is powerful, so thriving

small businesses are the true

reflection of a country’s economic

well-being.

You were among the

participants at the 2018 and

2019 editions of the

International Petroleum Week

in London, what did you take

away from this important

forum regarding the future of

oil as the mainstay of

Nigeria’s economy?

Yes, I mostly attend IP Week in

London and to be honest, as a system

operator, we exchange relevant

ideas and these help to open rooms

to inter-trades and service

relationships among oil and gas

players.

Do you have interest in

active politics since you fall

in the category of not-tooyoung-to-rule?

Well, I am a quiet politician but

with no party alliance. I was born

into politics because my late father

was a local politician and very good

at it. He was man of the people.

Meanwhile, I’m not interested in

politics at this time but will always

support good governance and

committed leadership in Nigeria.

What is the experience like

at the recently concluded

2018 African Forum you

attended alongside

prominent business

personalities from Africa,

and its potential positive

effects on Nigerian and

African business climate.

The forum was very productive

and enlightening. It was an

inclusive African business

gathering for entrepreneurs and

aspiring entrepreneurs. The host

president, His Excellency, Al-

Sisi, should be commended for

awakening the business and

economic potentials of African

nations.

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SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019, PAGE 35

How furniture business

became a goldmine

– Andrew Ngene

By AYO ONIKOYI

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•Ngene

The manufacturing sector in Nigeria

has been in limbo for very

long, such that no one wants to take

the plunge into it, and some of those

in the sector have had to close shop

and looked elsewhere for survival.

But for Lawrence Nonso Ngene, the

Chief Executive Officer of No Limits

Furniture Limited, based in Jos,

Plateau State capital, it is a different

story. According to him, the furniture

business in Nigeria is beginning

to enjoy a boom, so much so

that foreign competitors, who were

enjoying more patronage, are beginning

to close shop as government

is creating an enabling environment

for local manufacturers to

thrive.

ou read business ad

Yministration at University

of Jos; how did you find

yourself in furniture business?

I was born into it. My dad was a

local carpenter. So during my primary

and secondary school days,

after closing from school, I would

head to the workshop to help my

dad. So, gradually from there, I developed

interest in it. I was also very

good at drawing and painting in

school, so that was added value for

me because my type of furniture requires

thinking out of the box and

being creative. My breakthrough

came after I finished secondary

school. I was at home for about

eight years, and that was the period

I became fully active in it. After I

got my first showroom in 2011, I

decided to go back to school. I read

business admin at the University of

Jos. I combined the furniture business

with school. And it was not until

after my NYSC that I got the time

I needed to face my furniture business,

and that’s how I got to where I

am now.

With the harsh economic realities

in the country, how lucrative

is the furniture business

and how have you been

breaking even?

The furniture business is very lucrative

if only you know what you

are doing. Government has also encouraged

us local manufacturers by

increasing tariff on imported furniture.

So, we can now compete

favourably with the imported ones.

Again, every home in Nigeria needs

one piece of furniture or the other;

there is hardly a home without furniture.

Yes, the economy is harsh,

but we have been scaling through,

by producing high quality furniture

that can stand the test of time, making

our products affordable for all,

bringing up contemporary and

unique designs, and organising

sales promo during festive periods.

When you set out, what were

the challenges you encountered

and how did you surmount

them?

In every business there are challenges.

But being committed, consistent

and, above all, involving

God in whatever l do made me overcome

the challenges involved in the

furniture business.

The business is also capital intensive.

I didn’t have this much when I

started. I started from my dad workshop;

then I got a small space where

I could display my products. I also

went out to meet with the big people

in the industry, showing them

what I could supply to them at attractive

prices. There were two big

names in the industry then in Jos

who I supplied furniture, and whenever

they sold my items, they would

remit my money to me.

And because I was very creative in

my designs, it also attracted more

sales to these big names and indirectly

to me as well. Gradually, I

raised funds to get a larger space

and then compete with these big

names as well.

What future do you see for

the furniture business in Nigeria

in view of government

policies and the average Nigerian

attitude to local manufacturers?

The future for furniture business

in Nigeria is very bright. People are

beginning to see the goldmine in it.

Even people who have no idea of

the business are venturing into it

with their money. Government too

is encouraging like I mentioned

earlier in the area of tariff on imported

furniture. But, again, more

needs to be done by government in

the area of electricity and provision

of other infrastructures as this is a

major challenge for virtually all

manufacturing firms in Nigeria. For

example, the amount of money I

spend on gas is huge. This is a major

challenge but we are hoping

things would get better. As for the

average Nigerian attitude towards

local furniture, honestly it's very encouraging.

Our market for now is

local, and we are getting high patronage

from Nigerians. And we expect

more patronage and I can see

that in the near future, foreign furniture

will get little or no patronage.

What is your advice for people

eyeing the industry to invest?

It depends because there are those

who buy and sell and, of course,

manufacturers like me. However,

my advice are as follows:

1: You must have passion for it,

that’s the driving force even when

money is not coming forth.

2: Be ready to sacrifice time and

money.

3: Be very creative and trendy.

4: Don’t expect quick returns. Use

your first two years to create good

content. That is, produce good and

quality furniture.

5: Above all, if you put God first in

all you do, there will be NO LIM-

ITS to what you can achieve.

Lastly, can you share your

humble beginnings with us?

How you came to define your

path?

I was born into the family of Mr. &

Mrs Felix Ngene. I grew up knowing

the real struggles of life as a kid.

Like I mentioned earlier, during my

school days, after the close of school,

you would always find me in my

dad's workshop. I barely had the

normal fun kids had growing up.

Things were very rough. Even the

few friends I had growing up, they

didn't come close whenever my dad

was around because it was always

work and work, with little or no pay.

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users whilst saving data and maintaining

data speed and efficiency. The itel P33 is

being sold for 24,200 and can be

purchased in any authorized itel retail

store.

The itel P33 is the ideal solution for

those who are always on the move. Not

only does it save you the hassles of running

out of juice on your smartphone but it is

more affordable compared to other

smartphones in its category. With such

great features pegged at that price, the

itel P33 and P33 Plus are both an attractive

option for students, working professionals,

businessmen, and women looking for a

smartphone with good battery and

reliable functionalities.


PAGE 36— SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 12, 2019

sam.eyoboka@gmail.com

08023145567 (sms only)

Buhari should show

his true colour in

second term---Ojo

ARCHBISHOP Joseph Imariabe Ojo, former National Secretary

General of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, for a decade,

is the presiding bishop of Calvary Kingdom Church, CKC, on

Lagos-Badagry Expressway in Lagos. He is a product of the

University of Benin, the West Africa Theological Seminary and the

All Nations for Christ Bible Institute International. Born on April 18,

1949, the fifth child in a family of of Idiaghe Ojo of Uhen, in the old

Bendel Region now Ovia North-East Local Government, Edo State

and was born into the family. He attended St. Patrick Primary School,

Uhen. He celebrated his 70th birthday with fanfare on Saturday, April

20 with prominent men and women of God like the presiding bishop

of TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo, Rev. (Dr.) Mercy Ezekiel and Bishop

(Mrs) Chioma Grace Dauji and many others in attendance. In this

interview with Bose Adelaja, he bared his mind on the state of the

nation and

more.

Growing Up

Having grew

up in a cosmopolitan

city like

Benin, he was

popularly called

"Bolingo", being

a member

of a dreaded

group called

"Ogbe Boys"