20052019 - Storm over Obasanjo's stance on ‘Fulanisation' agenda

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Vanguard Newspaper 20 May 2019

INSIDE

Economic growth

remains weak at 2%

in Q1’19-Analysts

forecast

Dangote

rated 11th

of 50

World

Greatest

Leaders

9

Scores killed,

many injured as

Boko Haram fires

rocket launcher

into Borno IDPs’

camp

8

WHY NOT:

Creeping fascism

and how criminals

hijacked politics

in Nigeria,

By Pat Utomi

-- Pgs.

32&33

VOL. 26: NO. 63813

MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

ong>Stormong> ong>overong> ong>Obasanjo'song> ong>stanceong>

on ‘Fulanisation' agenda

•Lamido, Musa, Junaid Mohammed berate Obasanjo

•Obasanjo is right — Ohanaeze, Afenifere, PANDEF, others

VISIT TO IDP CAMPS IN BORNO

From left: Mr. Kyari Bukar, past Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG); Ms. Edem Wosornu, Head of

Office, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Nigeria; Mr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing

Director, Access Bank; Gong>overong>nor Kashim Shettima of Borno State and Adewale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive, Oando PLC,

during a private sector visit to IDP camps in Borno State under the umbrella of the United Nations Nigeria Humanitarian Fund-

Private Sector (NHF PSI)

LG FUNDS:

Falana, Agbakoba

disagree as govs

ask Buhari to call

NFIU to order 14

Atiku demands

N500m damages

from Buhari’s

aide for

‘defamation'

KOKORI: Industrial

action looms, as

Ngige, NUPENG

tango ong>overong> union’s

finances 8

COLUMNISTS OWEI LAKEMFA SOBOWALE HENRY BOYO

8

31 29 30

STORY

ON PAGE

5

I need time

to disclose

spending

on security

votes

— Al-Makura

tells SERAP

13

Police kill

mastermind

of UBEC

chair in

shootout

6

Mr & Mrs


2 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—3


4 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—5

POCKET CARTOON

CLEANSING BENIN KINGDOM –Disturbed by the upsurge in cases of violent killings occasioned by

armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, sacrilegious acts and the seeming inability of security agencies to

stem the tide, the Benin Kingdom, here, weekend invoked age-long traditional practice to cleanse the

land and appease the gods for any infractions that may be responsible for such acts.

BOKO HARAM’S ISLAMISATION AGENDA:

ong>Stormong> ong>overong> ong>Obasanjo'song> ong>stanceong> on

‘Fulanisation' agenda

•Obasanjo is right –Ohanaeze, Afenifere, PANDEF, others

By Emma Amaize,

Clifford Ndujihe, Dapo

Akinrefon, Charles

Kumolu, Dennis Agbo &

Olayinka Ajayi

SOME northern

l e a d e r s ,

yesterday, gave

former President

Olusegun Obasanjo hard

knocks ong>overong> his comments

that the Boko Haram

insurgency was no longer

about lack of jobs for

youths but a full blown

‘Fulanisation’ of West

Africa, Islamisation of

Africa and global

organised crimes.

Giving the keynote

address at the 2019

Synod of the Church of

Nigeria, Anglican

Communion, held in

Oleh, Isoko South Local

Council of Delta State,

weekend, Obasanjo said:

‘’It is no longer an issue

of lack of education and

lack of employment for

our youths in Nigeria,

which it began as, it is now

West

African

Fulanisation, African

Islamisation and global

organised crimes of

human trafficking, money

laundering, drug

trafficking, illegal mining

and regime change.’’

The former president’s

comments elicited harsh

criticisms from northern

leaders such as former

Gong>overong>nor of Jigawa State,

Malam Sule Lamido;

Second Republic

lawmaker, Dr Junaid

Mohammed; and Second

Republic Gong>overong>nor of old

Kaduna State, Alhaji

Balarabe Musa.

However, Obasanjo had

kind words from the pan-

Yoruba socio-political

organisation, Afenifere;

apex Igbo socio-cultural

organisation, Ohanaeze

Ndigbo; the Pan Niger

Delta Forum, PANDEF;

former Aviation Minister,

Femi Fani-Kayode; and

former Political Adviser to

the President, Mr. Akin

Osuntokun.

You’re a statesman,

don’t be a bigot,

Lamido replies

Obasanjo

Reacting to the

comments, Sule Lamido

advised Obasanjo not to

allow his disappointment

with the current

administration to turn

him to a religious and

ethnic bigot and urged

him to withdraw the

statement credited to him

that Boko Haram has an

agenda of ‘Fulanization

and Islamization’ of West

Africa.

Lamido, a political ally

of Obasanjo, stated this in

a press statement by his

media aide, Mansur

Ahmad.

Former President

Obasanjo had also said

that “the twin evils of Boko

Haram and marauding

cattle herders were

initially treated with kid

gloves.’’

Averring that Obasanjo’s

statement was improper

for a nationalist and

should not have come

from the former president,

Lamido said: “If it were

said at a non-religious

venue to a non-religious

audience, may be; it

might have been more

tolerable.

“Please sir, don’t let

your disappointment with

sitting presidents turn you

into a bigot. You must not

abandon the national

stage. The cracks along

the various divides in our

National cohesion are

already turning into huge

gorges.”

Lamido doesn’t

understand what bigot

means – Afenifere

Picking holes in

Lamido’s statement,

Afenifere said the former

gong>overong>nor does not

understand what bigot

means, adding that

Obasanjo was right.

Afenifere’s National

Publicity Secretary, Mr.

Yinka Odumakin said:

“Does he understand the

meaning of the word

bigot? What is Boko

Haram doing different

from what Obasanjo

painted? Nigeria is

currently the third most

terrorised country globally

after Iraq and

Afghanistan. If he has

briefings from Boko

Haram on their agenda

Continues on Page 49

By Bose Adelaja,Yinka Latona, Dickson

Omobola, Tolulope Oke, Chiamaka Uba

& Erinfolami Abdulkudus

Does FG have right to seize property without corruption charges (2)

There are people who

legitimately acquired

property. A gong>overong>nment

cannot curb corruption by

seizing the property of both

corrupt and non- corrupt

people.

The gong>overong>nment should

learn not to subject people

to live below the standard

of their taste especially

when they have really

worked hard for it and have

no record of tax default.

Miss Genevieve Alozie

Media Marketer

I

support the idea

provided they can be

honest in their

judgement because from

past experience, their

decision on who to

investigate was biased.

Their judgement was

influenced by personal

relationship . Honestly,

it is a good decision

which will serve as a

deterrent to others who

are planning to engage

in corruption.Princess

Ifedoyin Tubosun Health

officer

I

think it is not right

because the law says

a person is innocent until

proven guilty.

On what grounds would

the Federal Gong>overong>nment

base this decision?

Rather, let the judiciary

expedite action on

already convicted big

men and politicians.

Comrade David Lawal

Media Officer

It is not right to seize

anybody’s property

when there is no

corruption allegations

against the person.

The best would have

been to get a court order

for the seizure.

In Nigeria, our

institutions are so weak

to the extent that such

actions can be abused by

state officials.

Mr. Dapo Adeyemi,

Senior citizen

While dealing with

individuals who have

acquired wealth illegally is

good for the state but allowing

the law take its course is key.

In countries where anticorruption

war has been

waged in its most ideal form,

the law was allowed to take

its course in determining the

fate of persons accused of

corruption. The anticorruption

war by the

Nigerian gong>overong>nment must

respect the law.

Mr. Ayo Salami,

Businessman

There is need for

s e r i o u s

investigations and

conclusion before

seizing anybody's

property.

In any project, before

you arrive at a

conclusion, you must do

your findings, there

must be hypothesis,

recommendations and

conclusion. It is actually

a process.

Mr. Okon Wilson,

Student


6—Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

Priests, herbalists, others move against killers,

kidnappers, cultists, robbers in Benin Kingdom

By Alemma Aliu

BENIN

CITY—

RESIDENTS of Benin

Kingdom, Edo State Capital,

were weekend stunned to see

traditional priests and

priestesses of different deities,

native doctors, Ewuaise palace

society and different ancient

traditional worshippers

including Olokun and Ovia

Police

demmolish

kidnappers'

hideout in

Akwa Ibom

By Chioma

Onuegbu

UYO —OPERATIVES of

the Special Anti-

Robbery Squad, SARS,

Akwa Ibom State Police

Command, weekend,

demolished a kidnappers

hideout sited at Ekpri

Nsukara village in Uyo Local

Gong>overong>nment Area of the

state.

The uncompleted

bungalow, according to the

state Police Public Relations

Officer, Odiko MacDon, was

discong>overong>ed last Friday when

SARS operatives rescued

Mr. Gassan Naser from the

forest.

Naser, site Manager of

Zenith Construction

Company, working in

Mbiaya in Uruan Local

Gong>overong>nment Area of the

state, was kidnapped on

April 30 at the site while a

Police Sergeant attached to

him, Mohammed Sarba, was

shot dead as he attempted

to stop the hoodlums.

It was gathered that the

foreigner was rescued from

the hideout on May 17.

MacDon told newsmen at

the Police headquarters that

Police received approval

from Gong>overong>nor Udom

Emmanuel to demolish the

hideout same Friday that

Gassan Naser was rescued,

as three of the hoodlums

gunned were down by the

SARS team.

He said investigation

revealed that the high profile

kidnap syndicate was

responsible for the

kidnappings and killings of

top politicians and

monarchs in the state

during the past

administration.

It was gathered that the

kidnappers' building, which

had been roofed, which stood

alone in a thick forest in Ekpri

Nsukara village, was started

two months ago, after the

recently-concluded elections.

priestesses in their regalia parading

some major streets.

Their mission was to invoke agelong

traditional practice of cleansing

the land and appeasing the gods

following the upsurge in cases of

killings occasioned by armed robbery,

cultism, kidnapping, sacrilegious acts

and the seeming inability of security

agencies to stem the tide.

The different traditional

worshippers, native doctors and

priests in their hundreds

besieged the ancient Urhokpota

ground in red attires with

different traditional instruments

of war and unanimously

heaped disastrous curses on

those committing sacrilege in

the land and throne of the

kingdom.

According to the native

doctors and traditional priests,

the curses were also targeted

at traditions’ violators,

sponsors of cultism,

kidnappings and other

heinous crimes in the

kingdom.

Shortly after the

slaughtering of animals and

offering of sacrificial materials

to ancestors, the various

groups took turns to pray and

lay curses on those violating

the law of the land.

The groups, thereafter, had a

precession to strategic places in

the town including Sokponba

Road, Kings Square, Murtala

Mohammed Way, Igbesamwan

Street, Akpakpava Road and

ended at Emotan Shrine on Oba

Market Road.

The exercise was presided by

the Ewaise Group headed by

Chief Eguezigbon and Chief

Ohen-Egie of Ogbeson.

NATURAL RESOURCES: Commercial motorcycle riders (okadamen) washing their motorbikes with flood water on

Mile 2-Badagry Expressway, Lagos. PHOTO: Akeem Salau.

Police operatives kill mastermind of UBEC chair's abduction

By Joseph Erunke

ABUJA—THE Police, yesterday,

announced the killing of one

Sumaila Sule, mastermind of the

abduction of Alhaji Mahmood

Abubakar, Chairman of Universal

Basic Education Commission, UBEC,

and his daughter.

Mahmood and his daughter were

kidnapped on April 29 around Katari

Village, along the Kaduna-Abuja

Highway and later released.

Sumaila Sule, according to the

Police, was gunned down in a

shootout with operatives of Operation

Puff Adder, last Friday.

The Police, in a statement, by the

Force Public Relations Officer, DCP

Frank Mba, yesterday, said: “The

suspect, one Sumaila Sule, alias

Shaho, a native of Rijana village in

Kachia Local Gong>overong>nment Area of

Kaduna State, is one of the most

vicious and most wanted kidnappers

that has been terrorising citizens in

Kaduna and its environs.

“He died in the early hours of May

18, following multiple bullet wounds

he sustained during a shootout with

police operatives attached to

Operation Puff Adder.

“The shootout took place in the

evening of May 17, in the outskirts

of Rijana village. The Police

operatives, in line with the mandate

of Operation Puff Adder, were

carrying out routine surveillance

and raid of suspected criminal

hideouts, when they suddenly

came under gunfire attack from

a heavily-armed criminal gang.

“The Police team fought back

and eventually brought Shaho

down, while his gang members

fled. He was rushed to a

hospital, where he died.

Igbinedion Varsity lecturer killed

while escaping from kidnappers

By Alemma Aliu

BENIN CITY—A lecturer

at Igbinedion University,

Okada, Edo State, identified

as Kelvin Izebeokhai, has

been killed by kidnappers

operating near Okada

junction, along the Benin-

Lagos Highway.

The robbers were said to

have abducted other

passengers in the bus late

Kelvin was travelling in

while the driver of the vehicle

was said to have ran into the

bush along with four other

passengers.

The institution's

“Meanwhile, acting on

information elicited from the

suspect before his death, police

operatives, between and 19th

of May 18 an 19, carried out

sweeping follow-up operations

at different target locations.

“These coordinated

operations led to the arrest of

four other members of Shaho’s

spokesperson, Mr. Jide

Ilugbo, confirmed the

killing and described it as

babaric.

He said late Kelvin was a

First Class graduate and

was employed in the

university three years ago.

He said: “It was

unfortunate he ran into

robbers. The trailer park

before Okada Junction is a

hideout for criminals.”

Edo State Commissioner

of Police, Mr. Mohammed

DanMallam, confirmed the

abduction and the death of

the passenger.

He said Kelvin died

gang and the recong>overong>y of three

AK-47 rifles.”

Mba said the suspects have

confessed to participating in

several kidnapping and robbery

operations, including the kidnap

and collection of N7 million

ransom from Mallam Abdulahi

Umoru of Hong Local

Gong>overong>nment Area of the state.

during an escape bid, when

the victims were being

marched into the forest by the

kidnappers.

According to DanMallam

“unfortunately, one of the

passengers who tried to escape

during the abduction was

killed by the gunmen.

“The Police went after the

kidnappers in the bush and

succeeded in rescuing the

victims.”

He said the Police were

working on a new strategy

which entails taking the war

to the kidnappers’ den in the

jungle, adding that it is the

best way to tackle the scourge.


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—7

Police nab 2 Ondo

mortuary attendants ong>overong>

missing newborn's corpse

By Dayo Johnson

AKURE—TWO mortuary

attendants have been

arrested by Police detectives ong>overong>

the missing corpse of a newborn

baby and the placenta at the

mortuary of Ondo State-owned

specialist hospital in Akure, the

state capital.

It was gathered that the mother,

Nike Owonidaun, and the baby

died during labour May 15, at the

police hospital and were later

transferred to the state specialist

hospital mortuary.

The widower, Femi Owonidaun,

a policeman, deposited the

corpses at the hospital and left

after proper documentation.

However, when he returned to

claim the corpses, only that of the

mother was recong>overong>ed while the

corpse of the baby was missing.

There was pandemonium as the

father of the baby raised the alarm

and created a scene, saying his

wife died at the Police Clinic in

Akure after a Caesarian Section

was done without his knowledge

and that the corpse of his baby had

also suddenly disappeared.

He said the “materials used to

wrap the lifeless body of the baby

were found in the casket, but the

baby’s corpse was nowhere to be

found for the family to conduct the

necessary burial rites.

“After the death of my wife, I took

her corpse, the baby and the

placenta to the State Specialist

Hospital.

“They took the record of the

deceased at the mortuary. When

we came to the mortuary to pick

the corpses for burial, the mortuary

attendant could not produce the

corpse of the baby and the

placenta.

“After washing the corpse of my

wife, they put her in the casket

without the baby and the placenta.

We then asked for the corpse of

the baby and the placenta.

“They asked me if I wanted to

see the corpses of both my wife,

the baby and the placenta. They

asked if I wasn’t afraid of the ghost

of the dead.

“We insisted that we wanted to

see the remains of the baby

because we cannot just leave him

like that. We want to wrap him with

a white cloth and give him a

decent burial like his mother.

“When we insisted, we then

opened the casket only to find

only my wife. It was at this point

that we raised the alarm and

staged a protest that they must

produce both the baby’s corpse

and placenta.

“The State Commissioner of

Health came here, checked the

record and confirmed that we

brought the woman, her son and

placenta.

The Commissioner for Health,

Dr Wahab Adegbenro, said the

matter has been referred to the

State Police Command for

investigation.

Police image maker, Femi

Joseph, confirmed that two of the

mortuary attendants have been

arrested and helping the Police.

Joseph added that they ”have

started talking and very soon

we would unravel the mystery

behind the disappearance of

the corpse of the baby.”

Kebbi confirms 6 cases of

Lassa Fever, one death

KEBBI State gong>overong>nment,

yesterday, confirmed one

death from six cases of Lassa fever

in the state.

Dr Assad Hassan, epidemiologist

at the state Ministry of Heath,

disclosed in Birnin Kebbi that the

cases were recorded between

February and April.

Hassan said four of the victims

were from Birnin Kebbi, while the

remaining two were from Bunza

Local Gong>overong>nment Area of the state.

“The persons confirmed to be

infected with the disease are

between 23 to 65 years, and they

include four males and two

females,” he said.

According to him, one of the

female patients was the one that

died within hours of arrival at the

Federal Medical Centre in Birnin

Kebbi.

He said the blood sample taken

from the deceased tested positive

By Emma Nnadozie,

Crime Editor

THE sudden release from police

custody in Lagos of a suspect,

who allegedly obtained N15 million

from his friend in 2009 under the

guise of purchasing land for him

at the Federal Capital Territory,

Abuja, has generated controng>overong>sy.

It was gathered that the suspect,

Ikechukwu Odogwu, a

businessman at the popular

International Trade Fair market,

Lagos, allegedly collected of N15,

170,000 to purchase land for his

friend, Callistus Okafor, who was

residing outside the country then,

but ended up presenting fake

documents of a land he

purportedly bought in Abuja.

The complainant stated in a

petition he sent to the Assistant

Inspector-General of Police, Zone

2 headquarters, Onikan, Lagos in

2017 that the suspect convinced

him that the land was situated

within Lugbe 1, Extension Layout,

Abuja Municipal Area council and

later presented him with a

document entitled “Irrevocable

Power of Attorney,” purported to

have been given to his company

by another company called Demco

Textile International and receipts

as well as offer of the term of grant/

conveyance of approval purported

to have emanated from Abuja

for Lassa fever.

“The medical doctor that

attended to the deceased was

also infected with the fever, but

has been treated and

discharged from hospital,” he

added.

Hassan further explained that

the last confirmed case was on

April 27; refuted reports that two

children had died last week as

a result of the fever.

His words: “In response to the

outbreak, there has been

continuous sensitisation of

health care workers on Lassa

Fever detection and infection,

prevention and control

measures within the hospital

setting.

“Similarly, advocacy, social

mobilisation and community

engagement have been carried

out in all the 21 councils of the

state.”

Controng>overong>sy trails release of

Lagos bizman from custody

Municipal Area Council.

According to the complainant,

when he got to the aforesaid

office in Abuja to confirm the

authenticity of the documents,

he was told the documents were

fake and all efforts to recong>overong> his

money from the businessman 10

years after failed.

Police sources at Zone 2,

Onikan, intimated that after

investigations, the suspect who

was earlier arrested after he

refused to honour Police

invitation, confessed that he was

involved in the deal but stated

that he was also duped by land

agents in Abuja and wrote an

undertaken to refund the

money.

It was learned that after the

suspect failed to refund the

money, the case was

subsequently taken to a Lagos

High Court where the suspect

was granted bail, pending the

hearing of the case.

However, the case took a

dramatic turn when a telephone

call from a Commissioner of

Police in one of the states in the

South-West and a man that

claimed to be a Special Adviser

to the President ordered the

immediate release of the

suspect with threats to arrest

members of the IRT that

arrested him.

... with Emma'nKen (08163121378)

This hustle must pay

Two wise men

But she will do it and more

in the first year of marriage


8—Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20 , 2019

:Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058

VISIT: Executive Secretary (ES), Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD)

Sharon Ikeazor (4th left); representative of President, Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria,

CPIN, Mr Ose Ogukorode (3rd left) and other directors during the visit of the CPIN

delegation to PTAD headquarters in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: NAN.

Kokori: Industrial action looms, as Ngige,

NUPENG tango ong>overong> union’s finances

•Minister gives NUPENG 72 hours to render audited account

•Union directs members to prepare for nationwide strike

By Victor Young

THE

disagreement

between organised

labour and Minister of

Labour and Employment,

Senator Chris Ngige, ong>overong>

replacement of Chief Frank

Kokori as chairman of

Nigeria Social Insurance

Trust Fund, NSITF, has taken

a new twist, as the minister

has threatened to de-register

Nigeria Union of Petroleum

and Natural Gas Workers,

NUPENG, if it fails to submit

its audited account to his

office in 72 hours.

Consequently, NUPENG

has directed its members to

prepare for an indefinite

nationwide strike should the

minister take any further

illegal step to pursue

personal vendetta , attack,

victimise the union in any

guise.

The union also called on

President Muhammadu

Buhari and other wellmeaning

Nigerians to call

the minister to order to

prevent him from throwing

Nigeria into avoidable

industrial crisis of

unpredictable proportion.

NUPENG in a statement

signed by its president,

Prince Williams Akopreha,

yesterday, condemned the

perceived threat of the

Minister of Labour and

Employment to proscribe the

union, despite its strict

adherence to statutory mode

of operations within the laws

of the land as well as

international conventions

since its formal registration

as a Trade Union on August

15, 1978.

The statement read: “We

are not surprised though,

that this recent move by the

minister was an escalation of

his violent reactions and

attacks on organised

labour’s (not just NUPENG)

peaceful rallies and picketing

to all places of interest to the

minister, ong>overong> his failure to

inaugurate the Board of the

Nigeria Social Insurance

Trust Fund, NSITF, with

Comrade (Chief) Ovie Frank

Kokori as the Chairman and

use of armed thugs to attack

Labour leaders.

“It is shameful that the

Minister of Labour had to

condescend so low by

issuing a directive to

NUPENG to produce its only

outstanding Financial

Returns for 2018 within 72

hours when the extant law

stipulates 30 days, and even

when such returns are

supposed to be due by June

31, 2019.

“Meanwhile, we are by this

press statement putting all

our members in every oil and

gas installation, including

Petroleum Tanker Drivers

and all other members in the

value chain of the industry

on high alert while we watch

out for any further infantile

and ignoble antics from

Ngige.

“We, however, use this

medium to call on our

amiable President and

Commander-in-Chief of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria,

President Muhammadu

Buhari and all other wellmeaning

Nigerians to

please call the erring

minister to order before he

plunges this country into a

monumental industrial crisis.

‘’No one should test the

patience or perseverance of

oil and gas workers as our

solidarity remains constant

for the union makes us

strong.”

Minister’s letter

The minister had in a letter

by the Director of Trade

Union Services, Mrs

Damachi J.A, titled “Nonredention

of annual

financial returns,” said:

“Records available to this

office show that you are in

default in the rendition of

your Annual Financial

Returns and Audited

Accounts for the years 2017

and 2018 which is a

contravention of Section

37(1) of Trade Unions Act

CAP T.L4 of 2A04.

‘’In view of the

seriousness of the above

contravention by your union

on matters of probity,

accountability and

management of Trade Union

Funds entrusted to you, I am

directed to request that all

books of accounts of your

union should be submitted

to this office, in line with the

provisions of Section 40 of

the Trade Unions Act CAP

T.14 (LFN) 2OA4 on or

before close of work on

Friday 17th May, 2019.

Please treat as urgent and

comply.”

Atiku demands N500m from

Buhari’s aide for ‘defamation

P RESIDEMTIAL

candidate of Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku

Abubakar, has asked

Lauretta Onochie, an aide

of President Muhammadu

Buhari, for an apology and

N500 million for

“defamation.”

In a letter dated May 14

and addressed to Onochie

by Mike Ozekhome, his

lawyer, the presidential

candidate threatened to

commence a N2 billion suit

against her if she did not

meet his demands.

On May 7, Onochie had

tweeted that the former vicepresident

was on a United

Arab Emirates, UAE watch

list.

“Atiku on UAE watchlist-

Security sources,” Buhari’s

aide tweeted.

“Security operatives in the

United Arab Emirates, UAE,

are keeping a close tab on a

former Nigerian Vice Pres

Atiku Abubakar who has

been in the Middle East

nation for several weeks now

"What is he doing there?’’

She had tweeted.

But the presidential

candidate asked Onochie to

publish a retraction in six

national newspapers and

one international daily as

well as on social media.

The letter read: “Your

odious publication is clearly

also aimed at rubbishing our

client’s image and

reputation. It has caused

him national and

international backlash and

embarrassment and done

incalculable damage to

him.

“Your publication has also

caused our client, in the eyes

of reasonable members of

the public, unspeakable

odium, obloquy, hatred,

ridicule and psychological

trauma.

“He has, thereby, been

subjected to the shame and

infamy of being viewed by

members of the public as not

only corrupt, but as a

terrorist and sponsor of

terrorism.

"Numerous telephone

calls, emails, visits, letters

and private social media

chats by his family members,

friends, political and

business associates, and

international statesmen and

women in the last few days

attest to the alarm and

serious concerns generated

by your false publication.”

Scores killed, many injured as

Boko Haram fires rocket

launcher into Borno IDPs camp

By Ndahi

Marama

M Unspecified

AIDUGURI—

number of persons taking

refuge in one of the

Internally Displaced

Persons, IDPs, camps in

Dikwa Local Gong>overong>nment

Area of Borno State were

feared killed, weekend, as

Boko Haram terrorists

fired rocket propelled

launchers into a crowd in

the camp.

Several other persons

were said to have

sustained injuries and are

currently receiving

treatment in hospitals in

Maiduguri.

The attack came as a

group of insurgents also

on Saturday night,

invaded Lassa

communities of Askira-

Uba Local Gong>overong>nment

Area, sacked residents,

looted food items and

livestock before setting

ablaze several houses and

shops without

confrontation.

Dikwa is about 70km

drive east of Maiduguri,

the state capital, while

Lassa South, which shares

boundary with Sambisa

forest, is ong>overong> 200km away

and had witnessed series

of deadly attacks by

insurgents.

A staff of one of

humanitarian agencies

operating in the area, who

preferred anonymity, said:

“I can confidently tell you

that there was an attack by

insurgents in Dikwa ong>overong> the

weekend when rocket

launchers were fired at one

of the IDPs camps that

killed some people, while

others were injured.

“In fact, while I was in

Dikwa for our normal

humanitarian operations, I

saw the injured ones being

conveyed to Maiduguri for

treatment, while those who

lost their lives have been

buried according to Islamic

rite.”

Meanwhile, a group of

terrorists on Saturday night

stormed Lassa town of

Askira Uba Local

Gong>overong>nment Area and

wreaked havoc.

Although details of

casualty figure remained

sketchy at press time,

sources revealed that

fleeing residents who

returned to the community,

yesterday, morning saw

many residential houses

and places of business razed

into ashes.

The source, who hails from

Lassa town, but resides in

Maiduguri, told Vanguard

that he received a distress

call from one of his family

friends in Lassa that many

structures were razed by

attackers

without

confrontation.

FG disburses N12.7bn to 3

health agencies — Minister

By Luminous

Jannamike

A BUJA—THE

F e d e r a l

Gong>overong>nment has

disbursed a total sum of

N12.7 billion to three

health agencies as part

of the N55 billion Basic

Healthcare Provision

Fund, BHCPF, in the

2018 budget.

Prof. Isaac Adewole,

Minister of Health,

disclosed this in a

statement in Abuja,

yesterday.

He said the benefiting

health agencies,

namely, National

Health Insurance

Scheme, NHIS;

National Primary

H e a l t h c a r e

Development Agency,

NPHCDA; and Nigeria

Centre for Disease

Control, NCDC,

received N6.5 billion,

N5.8 billion, and N327

million respectively

through their TSA

accounts at the Central

Bank of Nigeria, CBN,

ong>overong> the weekend.

He said: “It is my

pleasure to inform

Nigerians and our

partners that the sum of

N12.7 billion was

disbursed into the NHIS,

NPHCDA and NCDC

TSA accounts at the CBN.

“The specific sums are

as follows: NHIS - N6.5bn

(50 per cent of available

resources) NPHCDA -

N5.8bn (45 per cent)

NCDC - N327m (2.5 per

cent).”

According to him, the

transfer marks an

important step in the

implementation of the

BHCPF programme

aimed at improving how

health care is financed

and delivered in Nigeria.

Adewole added: “In the

coming days, we will

work with NPHCDA and

NHIS to ensure the funds

are disbursed into account

of States that have been

set up at CBN

“We are conscious of the

enormous implementation

challenges ahead. 22

States have so far

demonstrated interest.

“Baseline assessments,

state and facility level

training and a

p e r f o r m a n c e

management system all

have to be in place in the

next couple of months.”


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—9

Dangote rated 11th of 50

World Greatest Leaders

F philanthropist OREMOST

and

richest man in Africa, Aliko

Dangote, has been rated 11th

of the 50 World Greatest

Leaders for 2019.

The rating carried out by

Fortune Magazine, an

American multinational

business magazine

headquartered in New York

City, United States was

released recently and focused

mainly on the businesses run

by the men and how they

have used them to impact

their society positively.

The time-tested magazine,

which first edition was

published in February 1930,

said the world’s greatest

leaders both men and

women are transforming the

world and inspiring others to

do so in business,

gong>overong>nment, philanthropy

and the arts.

“These thinkers, speakers,

and doers make bold choices

and take big risks- and move

others to do the same”, the

magazine declared.

This is the first time Fortune

magazine is recognizing and

including Aliko Dangote in

the annual ranking.

Specifically, Dangote

having popped up in the

magazine’s radar earned

nomination after being

adjudged as having used

business to acquire wealth

and who is now converting

his wealth into impactful

philanthropy through his

Aliko Dangote Foundation.

The top 10 greatest men

and women, according to

Fortune are: Bill and

Melinda Gates, Jacinda

Ardem (Prime Minister, New

Zealand), Robert Mueller

(Special Counsel,

HEALTH TIPS

By Sola Ogundipe

Relief for stuffy nose

A

stuffy nose from

allergies or a cold is

quite a common

occurrence. Whether it is

caused by cold or a bacterial

infection, there are simple

ways to relieve it

Try a saline nose spray for

nasal irrigation. Use a plain

saline spray that will ease

the swelling and help break

up the mucus that’s

clogging your nose.

Spray a little salt water

(saline) solution into one

nostril. As it flows through

your nasal cavity into the

other nostril, it washes out

mucus and allergens.

Don’t tilt your head back.

Gently blow your nose to

clear out the remaining

solution. Repeat the

procedure with your other

nostril.

You can use a humidifier

because stuffy sinuses

respond well to moist air.

Using a humidifier,

especially when you sleep

at night, will help keep

Department of Justice),

Pony Ma (Founder and

CEO, Tencent), Satya

Nadella (CEO, Microsoft),

Greta Thunberg (Student

and climate activist, Sweden),

Margrethe Vestager

(Commissioner for

Competition, European

Union), Anna Nimiriano

(Editor-in-Chief, Juba

Monitor), Jose Andres (Chef/

Founder, World Central

Kitchen), and Dough

Mcmillon and Lisa Woods

(CEO; Senior Director,

Strategy & Design for U.S.

Benefits, Walmart).

The ranking of Dangote as

one of the greatest business

leaders has attracted

comments by eminent

persons around the world

who described him as worthy

of the nomination going by

his business acumen and

philanthropic gestures.

Senate leadership: Crisis looms as senators

allege moves to change voting method

•Allege use of EFCC to harass senators, others to change the rules

•We aren’t aware of change in voting pattern —PDP senators

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA—AHEAD of the

inauguration of the 9th

National Assembly and

election of presiding officers,

there is palpable fear,

tension and looming crisis

in the Senate.

This time, the confusion

among the senators-elect is

ong>overong> the voting method that

would be adopted for the

elections of the Senate

President and deputy

Senate President.

your sinuses open and

relieve the pressure. You

can also try sitting in a

steamy bathroom after a hot

shower or inhaling the

steam from a pan of hot (not

boiling) water for faster

relief.

Add some drops of

Eucalyptus oil in the water

for faster relief.

Alternatively, apply a

warm compress to your

nostrils. A warm, wet wash

cloth across your forehead,

eyes, and cheeks will ease

swelling and throbbing .

An effective

decongestant nose spray

will also provide relief,

especially early in a cold.

You can get decongestants

as nasal spray, liquid, or

pill. If you use a

decongestant nasal spray,

don’t use it for more than

three days. Take an effective

ong>overong>-the-counter pain

reliever. If you have nasal

congestion from a cold that

isn’t better after 10 days,

consult your doctor.

INVESTITURE: From left, Mr Edward Adamu, Deputy Gong>overong>nor, Corporate Services,

Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN; Mrs Aisha Ahmad, Deputy Gong>overong>nor, Financial System Stability,

CBN, and Managing Director, Zenith Bank Plc, Mr Peter Amangbo, during the Fellowship

Investiture (FCIB) at the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, in Lagos.

It was gathered that with

the series of meetings in

homes, hotels, nocturnal

and during break of fast as

the Ramadan continues,

what forms the centre of

discourse is how to change

the secret voting pattern

currently in the 2015

Standing Order, as

amended, to the open one

contained in the 2011

Standing Order, which has

since been replaced by the

former.

It was learned that there

could be violent clash

among the legislators ong>overong>

the method of voting that the

National Assembly

management might chose

to adopt, just as senators

from both sides of the divide

actually expressed the fears

that the process could be

disrupted.

A source, however,

disclosed that senatorselect,

who are loyal to the

candidate favoured by All

Progressives Congress,

Senate Leader, Senator

Ahmad Lawan (Yobe

North), are allegedly

rooting for and mounting

pressure on the Presidency

to ensure the National

Assembly management

adopts the open ballot

system.

But on the other hand,

supporters of former Senate

Leader, Senator Ali Ndume

(APC, Borno South), are

kicking against the alleged

position of Lawan’s camp as

they are said to be making

efforts to ensure that the

2015 Senate Orders is used

for the election.

According to Ndume’s

camp, the 2015 Standing

Orders, which had already

been distributed to all

senators-elect during the

two-week induction

programme that took place

at the Trancorp Hilton

Hotel, is the authentic one

that must be used for the

election.

The 2015 Rule Book made

provisions for secret ballot,

while the 2011 version

provided for open ballot as

an option.

Use of EFCC to

harass senators,

others to change

the rules

Also ahead of the

emergence of the Senate

President, it was gathered

that the pro-Lawan’s camp

allegedly pressurised

officials of Economic and

Financial Crimes

Commission, EFCC, to

harass top management of

the National Assembly last

week.

Some of the invited officers

of the nation’s apex

legislative institution, who

spoke, yesterday, on

condition of anonymity, said

officials of the EFCC, who

grilled them for hours,

actually demanded to know

the voting method they

would adopt for the election

in June.

One of the officials said:

“The EFCC claimed that

our invitation was based on

the petition against us by the

legislative aides and after

answering the specific

questions they asked on the

issue, they shifted to the

issue of presiding officers’

elections.

“They (EFCC officials)

asked us to tell them the

voting method we want to

adopt for the election and

we explained that we have

already distributed copies of

the 2015 Rule Book to the

elected lawmakers during

their inauguration in April.

“We told the anti-graft

agency’s officials that the

lawmakers-elect are already

aware of the provisions in

the 2015 Rule Book.”

Imminent crisis on

inauguration day

Meanwhile, an APC

senator, who is loyal to

Lawan’s camp who spoke

on condition of anonymity,

said the inauguration might

be disrupted if the

management decided to

adopt the secret ballot

method.

The Senator said: “We are

going to adopt the open

ballot system because that

is the standard practice all

ong>overong> the World. The 2015

Rule Book, which made

provisions for the secret

ballot was forged, we must

use the 2011 version.

“I cannot guarantee that

the event would be peaceful

if the management

succumbed to the pressure

of the current presiding

officers of the eight National

Assembly by conducting the

election through a secret

ballot arrangement.”

Similarly, an APC senatorelect,

who is loyal to the

camp of Senator Ndume

during an interaction with

journalists, weekend,

however, vowed that the

management would adopt

the secret voting method to

avoid any violent clash on

inauguration day.

The senator-elect, who

also spoke on condition of

anonymity, said: “The

Lawan group is jittery that

their candidate would not

win if the management

adopts the current Rule

Book to conduct the

election.

“It is clear to the pro-

Lawan senators-elect that

some leaders of APC are

trying to force senate leader

on all of us and we would

reject such imposition.

We aren’t aware of

change in voting

pattern

—PDP senators

In a related development,

a senator elected on the

platform of Peoples

Democratic Party, PDP, who

spoke on condition of

anonymity,alleged that

there was a grand plan to

arrest some of his colleagues

ahead of the inauguration.

The PDP senator said: “A

ranking PDP senator was

invited by the EFCC

recently and would have

been kept behind the bars

until after the inauguration

but for the timely

intervention of a strong

member of the APC who

signed his bail conditions."

But when contacted to

speak on the

development, Deputy

Minority Leader, Senator

Emmanuel Bwacha, who

disclosed that PDP senators

were not aware of any build

up tension and change of

the Standing Orders, said:

“I’m not aware of any

tension anyway. I am not

aware that the voting

pattern has been changed.”

Meanwhile Ndume and

Lawan supporters have

expressed confidence that

their candidates would win

the election, while PDP

senators-elect are said to be

planning a surprise on

election day.

It was also gathered that

the PDP already has 44

senators-elect, while it is

hopeful that three others

would soon join from

Zamfara State and another

one from Imo State, to make

it 48.

In his response to the

issues, the spokesman of

Ahmad Lawan Campaign

Organisation, Senator Aliyu

Sabi Abdullahi, said: “This

is news to me. I am just

hearing that officials of the

National Assembly were

invited by the EFCC. But all

I can say is that we are not

aware.


10 — VANGUARD, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

Nigerian-born Idemudia-Jones,

Prince Williams, others kick

against trade in exotic animals,

poaching

THE Duke of

Cambridge, Prince

Williams has urged

gong>overong>nments, Non-

Gong>overong>nmental

Organisations, NGOs,

banks and the transport

sector to work closely

and even harder in

eradicating trade in

exotic animal specie and

poaching products.

At the Joint Taskforce

meeting of United for

Wildlife in London, UK

on Wednesday, May 14,

the Duke noted that so

far this year, $500,000

worth of such animals

and products were

seized in various

vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews

transport routes.

A value, Prince William

opined, probably is the

tip of an iceberg; he

stressed this is one

reason which should

motivate the Joint

Taskforce of the

Foundation’s financial

and transport sectors in

maintaining their

tradition of dedication

and hard work.

Among participants at

the Joint Taskforce

meeting is Ize

Idemudia-Jones,

Executive Director and

International Head of

Financial Intelligence and

Investigations at the global

bank, Morgan Stanley.

NEWS HOTLINES

018773962,

08052867058

Sanwo-Olu vows to rid Apapa of

gridlock in first 60 days in office

By Olasukanmi

Akoni

LAGOS — LAGOS

State gong>overong>nor-elect,

Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu,

weekend, promised to end

the protracted gridlock in

Apapa area of the state

within the first 60 days of

his administration.

Also, at a different forum,

Sanwo-Olu promised to

deploy technology to run

the state’s economy as a

major driver of gong>overong>nment

activities when he assumes

office.

He said not minding the

politics involved, he would

rid the area of all the trailers

whose operations have

been responsible for the

intractable gridlock.

Sanwo-Olu said this

during an interactive

session with his classmates

at the Executive Master of

Business Administration

class, University of Lagos,

1998/2000 set.

The erstwhile classmates

held a Congratulatory

Dinner Reception, in

Sanwo-Olu’s honour at

Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi.

At the dinner, they

presented to him a policy

document designed by

them, which contained

their ideas and suggestions

on some of what Sanwo-

Olu could do in office to

have a successful tenure.

They also asked him

specific questions and his

plans about them.

When asked what he

would do about the trailers

causing the gridlock in

Apapa,

Sanwo-Olu promised that

within the first 60 days in

office, he would rid Apapa

of the trailers.

He said: “The Apapa

trailer issue is a campaign

issue; it is very serious; I’m

going to take it very

seriously.

“I believe that it is

something that we are

going to solve in the first

60 days of our gong>overong>nment.

Whatever is going to be

required of us, we will take

them out.

“There is a lot of politics

being played around there.

But no, it cannot be the way

we’ll continue to live. We

cannot continue to give

excuses.”

Also, at the launch of the

Microsoft’s $100m Africa

Development Centre, ADC,

in Lagos at the weekend,

he said he was passionate

about how technology

would help his team build

a 21st Century economy

and ensure an enabling

environment for local and

international partnerships.

Gunmen kidnap wedding-bound travellers in Ondo

By Dayo Johnson

AKURE—NO fewer

than three persons

going for a wedding

ceremony in Ikare Akoko,

Ondo State were reportedly

abducted by gunmen

A police report had it that

the victims were travelling

in a Toyota Corolla car and

Mitsubishi van when the

gunmen waylaid them

along Auga-Ikare road in

Ondo state.

It was gathered that the

victims were abducted at

the same spot where the wife

of the Alauga of Auga, Olori

Agunloye, and her driver

were kidnapped last year.

However, the kidnappers

reportedly left off the hook

the wife and two children

of one of the victims to

report the incident to their

family members and to

open line of negotiation.

Family of one of the

victims, however, informed

Vanguard that the

abductors were yet to open

a line of communication

with any of the families of

the victims.

Vanguard gathered that

the police in Ikare, in conjunction

with some vigilante

group, had swung into action

by combing the bush

to rescue the victims and

arrest the criminals.

Speaking on the incident,

the Alauga of Auga, Oba

WAR AGAINST TRADE IN EXOTIC ANIMALS AND POACHING: From left; David Fein, Group General

Counsel, Standard Chartered Bank, Prince Williams, Duke of Cambridge, Ize Idemudia-Jones, Executive

Director and International Head of Financial Intelligence and Investigations at the global bank, Morgan

Stanley during the Joint Task Force meeting of United for Wildlife in London, UK, on Wednesday 14, May,

where the Duke of Cambridge exhorted gong>overong>nments, NGOs, banks and the transport sector to work closely

and even harder in eradicating trade in exotic animal specie and poaching products.

Falana sues EFCC, Police, AGF, others

ong>overong> media parade of suspects

By Ikechukwu

Nnochiri

A BUJA—HUMAN

rights activist, Mr.

Femi Falana, SAN, has

approached a Federal High

Court in Abuja, asking it to

declare that pre-trial media

parade of criminal suspects

by security and anticorruption

agencies in the

country as illegal and

unconstitutional.

The court is yet to fix a

date for hearing of the

matter.

Cited as Respondents in

the suit were the Inspector

General of Police, the

Economic and Financial

Crimes Commission, the

Nigerian Customs Service,

the Nigerian Security and

Civil Defence Corps, the

Nigerian Navy, the

Independent Corrupt

Practices and other related

Samuel Agunloye, said the

spate of kidnapping in the

northern area of the state

was alarming.

Oba Agunloye said: ”Two

things must be applied to

eliminate or reduce the

menace in the Northern

area of, the state.

He said for kidnapping

and other criminalities to be

reduced, there should be

Army formation with police

outpost in the area.

Contacted, the state police

spokesperson, Femi

Joseph confirmed that the

travellers were kidnapped

by gunmen, adding that

“we are on the trail of the

kidnappers and we would

soon get them arrested."

offences Commission, as

well as the Attorney

General of the Federation.

Specifically, Falana is

seeking, “A declaration that

the pre-trial media parade

of criminal suspects by the

Respondents is illegal, null

and void as it violates

Section 34 of the

Constitution of the Federal

Republic of Nigeria, 1999

as amended and Article 5

of the African Charter on

Human and Peoples’

Rights (Ratification and

Enforcement) Act (CAP A9)

Laws of the Federation of

Nigeria, 2004.

....Writes Buhari ong>overong> 40

persons detained by Navy

By Henry Ojelu

LAGOS — HUMAN

Rights lawyer, Mr. Femi

Falana, SAN, yesterday,

called on President

Muhammadu Buhari to

order the release of 40

persons, who have been

detained and held

incommunicado in

dehumanizing conditions

for periods ranging from six

to eight months by the

Nigeria Navy.

Falana, in a letter, said

the unlawful detention

contravened sections of the

1999 constitution and the

African Charter on Human

and Peoples Rights

Ratification and

Enforcement.

He had previously

written a similar letter to

the office of the Attorney-

General seeking release of

the detainees.

In the latest letter to the

President, Falana said: “It

“A declaration that the

pre-trial media parade of

criminal suspects is illegal,

null and void as it violates

Section 36(5) of the

Constitution of the Federal

Republic of Nigeria, 1999

as Amended and Article 7

of the African Charter on

Human and Peoples Rights

(Ratification and

Enforcement) Act, (Cap

A9) Laws of the Federation

of Nigeria, 2004.

“A declaration that pretrial

media parade of

criminal suspects by the

Respondents has been

prohibited by Section 2(xi)

may interest Your

Excellency to know that the

detainees have been held

incommunicado in

dehumanising conditions

for periods ranging from six

to eight months.

“In fact, some of the

detainees are incarcerated

in an underground military

detention facility in Abuja

while others are held inside

one of the vessels

impounded by the

Nigerian Navy in Marina,

Lagos.

“The detainees have been

subjected to mental,

psychological and physical

torture contrary to the

provisions of the Anti

Torture Act, 2017.

Furthermore, in utter

contempt of court the

authorities of the Nigerian

Navy have defied valid and

subsisting orders of

competent courts for the

unconditional release of

some of the detainees."

of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017.

Likewise, “An order of

perpetual injunction

restraining the

Respondents whether by

themselves, their agents,

privies and servants from

further exposing criminal

suspects to media parade in

any manner whatsoever

and howsoever.”

Canvassing reasons why

the court should stop media

parade of suspects, the

Plaintiff argued that by the

provision of section 36(5) of

the 1999 Constitution, as

amended, every person

who is charged with a

criminal offence shall be

presumed to be innocent

until proved guilty.

He argued that: “Article

7(1) (b) of the African

Charter on Human and

Peoples’ Rights African

Charter on Human and

Peoples’ Rights (Ratification

and Enforcement) Act (Cap

A9) Laws of the Federation,

2004also guarantees this

presumption when it states

as follows: 1. Every

individual shall have the

right to have his cause

heard. This comprises: (a)

the right to an appeal to

competent national organs

against acts of violating his

fundamental rights as

recognised and guaranteed

by conventions, laws,

regulations and customs in

force; (b) the right to be

presumed innocent until

proved guilty by a

competent court or tribunal;

(c) the right to defence,

including the right to be

defended by counsel of his

choice; (d) the right to be

tried within a reasonable

time by an impartial court

or tribunal."


VANGUARD, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019 — 11

Kashamu

denies plan

to join APC

By Daud Olatunji

A BEOKUTA—THE

l a w m a k e r

representing Ogun East

Senatorial District, Senator

Buruji Kashamu has denied

moves to join the All

Progressives Congress,

APC.

Kashamu, who was the

gong>overong>norship candidate of

the Peoples Democratic Party

in Ogun State in the last

election, said the emergence

of APC gong>overong>norship

candidate, Dapo Abiodun as

the winner in the 2019

gong>overong>norship election in the

state, has made him the

leader of the state.

In a statement, Kashamu

said he had never left PDP

since he joined the party a

decade ago.

He said: “There have been

insinuations in various

quarters about my political

ong>stanceong> and future. Let me

state in unequivocal terms

that when I joined active

politics ong>overong> a decade ago,

it was on the platform of the

Peoples Democratic Party. I

have remained in the PDP. I

have not defected to the All

Progressives Congress and

I do not intend to do so.

“However, the elections

are ong>overong> and winners have

emerged. As a true Muslim,

I believe the emergence of

any leader is divinelyordained.

Therefore, my

position has always been

that whenever there is a

contest and a winner

emerges, we all owe it a duty

to God and our people to

support the leader to

succeed, if our primary

motive for seeking public

office was to serve the

people.

“It is in this context that

some of our members were

invited to join the Transition

Committee and its sub

groups. That does not

mean they have joined the

APC. It is a call to the service

of our dear state. Now is the

time for gong>overong>nance.

Speaking on the crisis in

the party, Kashamu said he

was not competing with

anyone.

He said: “It is clear that

our people often exploit

the air of internal rivalry

and wrangling among us.

I am a PDP leader and

would remain so.”

WILSON

I, Kpokpo Wilson, wish to notify

the general public that during my

BVN registration, my name was

written as Kpokpo Wilson

Etakpobunor, instead of Kpokpo

Wilson, my correct name is Kpokpo

Wilson. All former documents

remain valid. General public please

take note.

ABIOLA

I, formerly known as Ronke

Josephine Abiola, now wish to

be known as Ronke Josephine

Bello. All former documents

remain valid, general public

take note.

12TH ANNUAL RAMADAN LECTURE: Gong>overong>nor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State (2nd

left), Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Abdurasheed Ayotunde Olabomi (2nd right), Akirun of Ikirun,

Oba Abdulrauf Adedeji (left), and Olororuwo of Ororuwo, Oba Qamar'deen Adeyanju Alawode

(right) during the 2019 12th annual Ramadan lecture at Aragbiji’s Palace, Iragbiji, weekend.

Labour leaders to Fayemi:

Use Paris Club refund to settle

workers' salary arrears, gratuities,

•Want payment of minimum wage to begin May

By Rotimi Ojomoyela

A leadership DO—EKITI—THE

of the labour

unions in Ekiti State, yesterday,

advised Gong>overong>nor Kayode

Fayemi to use the Paris Club

refund to pay workers' salary

arrears, gratuities and pensions.

They said the refund is another

opportunity for gong>overong>nment to

clear the backlog of unpaid

salaries, saying that though the

arrears were inherited from the

previous administration,

gong>overong>nment is a continuum.

Speaking with newsmen in Ado

Ekiti, Messrs Sola Adigun and

Kolapo Olatunde of the Trade

Union Congress, TUC, and

Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC,

respectively, said that the labour

would monitor the disbursement

of the fund to guide against

diversion.

On his part, Adigun said the

issue of minimum wage ought to

have been dealt with three years

ago.

He said: “We don’t want delay

tactics, we want to appeal to the

federal gong>overong>nment that before

the end of May the guidelines,

the template must be ready.

“This is what the states are using

as excuse to delay the payment

of the minimum wage to their

workers. N30, 000 is just a

pittance we appeal to them not to

increase price so that workers can

have real values for their wages.”

Why I suspended Fuji star, Obesere’s installation

— OLUBADAN •Debunks collecting installation fees

By Ola Ajayi

IBADAN—THE Olubadan of

Ibadanland, Oba Saliu

Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1 has

said that the procedure for

prescribing and consenting to

honourary chieftaincy title

holders in Ibadan is too

sacrosanct to be bent for anybody.

Oba Adetunji said this when

the Fuji Musicians Association

executives led by its National

President, Alhaji Sikiru Agboola

paid him a courtesy visit at his

Popoyemoja, Ibadan palace at the

weekend.

He also reacted to a controng>overong>sy

generated by non-installation of

Ibadan-born fuji star, Alhaji Abass

Akande Obesere as Agbaakin

Bobagunwa of Ibadanland.

According to the monarch,

while Obesere’s nomination was

conveyed to him in a letter, he

should have appeared in person

or by proxy to deepen discussion

on the next line of action by the

consenting and prescribed

authority before unilaterally

announcing Thursday May 2,

2019 as his chieftaincy installation

day in the media.

Oba Adetunji said: “That kind

of honourary chieftaincy title is

not conferred in Ibadan on

Thursdays which he (Obesere)

unilaterally fixed by himself

without recourse to the Olubadan

palace that should have taken into

consideration the diary of

activities of Olubadan for the day.

“When he came to the palace

about five or six days to the

proposed installation date with

his friends, he reportedly

admitted to the error he

committed and pleaded for

forgiveness.”

Oba Adetunji contended that

“nobody in Olubadan palace

collected a dime as installation

fees from the Ibadan-born fuji

music star as being insinuated in

some quarters, and that Alhaji

Akande Obesere is in a position

Tension grips Ogun town ong>overong>

planned imposition of new monarch

By Evelyn Usman

SHAGAMU—THERE was

tension in Emuren

town, Shagamu Local

Gong>overong>nment of Ogun State ong>overong>

alleged conspiracy by some

politicians to impose their

candidates as the next monarch

of the town.

Vanguard gathered that the

tension in the town followed

invasion of hoodlums in different

parts of the town during

the nomination of candidates on

Tuesday.

However, the deployment of

military personnel, policemen

from the Special Anti-Robbery

Squad, SARS and other security

to confirm or deny it.

He stated that this was the same

position he told his emissaries

whom he sent to him before and

after the installation date that

never was. To show that he had

been forgiven, I did promise to

confer the honourary chieftaincy

title on him at a more convenient

and acceptable date.

“But I was surprised to read a

story, Olubadan cancelled my

installation for refusing to

call Ijebu-born fuji star. This is

untrue, unfair and ungodly. ''

agencies, deterred them from

accomplishing their mission.

Vanguard gathered

that secretary to the Sagamu local

gong>overong>nment, Otunba Wale

Fakoya, had in a letter last

Thursday, directed the Olori Ebi

of the Owuyo ruling house to

convey a meeting of leaders of the

family to agree on a date for

nomination of candidates.

Reacting to the influx of

miscreants prior to the

nomination of candidates,

Tuesday, regent of the town, Chief

Nasiru Taiwo said: “We have tried

in the past to get new king

since we lost our last king in

2017, but there has been delay

from the gong>overong>nment.''

Ahaghauye ruling

house joins race

for Olowo stool

....As Saraki, Fayemi,

others grace memorial

service for late monarch

By Dayo Johnson

A

K U R E — T H E

Ahaghauye ruling

house said it would resist been

shut out of the race to produce

a new Olowo of Owo in Ondo

State.

Three ruling houses,

Olateru- Olagbegi, Ajike and

Ogunoye have for years been

ruling.

This came as an interdenominational

service was

held for the late Olowo, Oba

Victor Olateru Olagbegi ong>overong>

the weekend.

Speaking with newsmen after

the service, on behalf of the

Ahaghauye ruling house,

Prince Rotimi Ibidapo urged

“the kingmakers to widen their

horizon in picking a candidate

to fill the position of Olowo.”

Ibidapo said: “I want the

kingmakers and the people of

Owo to choose whoever they

want among the qualified

princes as Olowo from all the

ruling houses including

Ahaghauye.

“We have more than three

ruling houses. That is why I am

appealing to the kingmakers to

widen their horizon in picking

a candidate to fill the position

of Olowo.

“Nobody can foreclose my

family, I am not from Olagbegi,

Ogunoye or Ajike, my own

lineage is Ahagunaye. Nobody

or law forbids other princes

from contesting.”

Asked if he was interested in

the stool, Prince lbidapo said

“You cannot say you are not

interested in your father’s

belonging.

“I am very qualified for the

position by the virtue that I am

from a royal family.

“My lineage is Ahaghauye.

The point is that I am not

interested in the position in this

dispensation.”

Saraki, Mimiko, Fayemi,

others grace interdenominational

service for

late Olowo

Meanwhile, the Senate

President, Dr. Bukola Saraki;

wife of former Vice President,

Mrs. Alex Ekwueme; Gong>overong>nor

Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo

State, his predecessor, Dr

Olusegun Mimiko and

Gong>overong>nor Kayode Fayemi of

Ekiti State were among notable

Nigerians that graced the

interdenominational service in

honour of the late Oba

Folagbade Olateru-Olagbegi.

The service was put together

by the Redeemed Christian

Church of God, RCCG, where

the late monarch was a

prominent member.

Saraki, who said the monarch

brought pride to the nation

through his simple way of

handling issues, said that his

death came at a time the nation,

needed him most.

Akeredolu, while recalling

his encounter with the late

monarch, described him as a

great teacher whose imprint

was felt in all spheres of

human endeavours.


12—Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

Benin Airport upgraded to

operate night flights

By Lawani

Mikairu

THE federal airport in

Benin City, Edo State,

was weekend, upgraded by

the Federal Airports

Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.

The airport can now

operate night flights and

flights during low visibility

with the installation of

Precision Approach

Lighting System and

Instrument Landing

System, ILS Category II,

commissioned byMinister

of State for Aviation, Sen.

Hadi Sirika.

Speaking during the

commissioning of the

equipment at the Benin

Airport, Sirika said

Gong>overong>nor Gowin Obaseki

of Edo State had expressed

worry on why aircraft

cannot land at night,

during bad weather and

low visibility and why there

Ramadan: Towards self

transformation

ISLAM extends beyond

the realm of prayer and

fasting. Allah says in Quran

2:177 - "It is not righteousness

that ye turn your

faces towards east or west;

but it is righteousness to believe

in Allah and the Last

Day, and the Angels, and

the Book, and the Messengers;

to spend of your subong>stanceong>,

out of love for Him,

for your kin, for orphans, for

the needy, for the wayfarer,

for those who ask, and

for the ransom of slaves; to

be steadfast in prayer, and

practice regular charity; to

fulfil the contracts which ye

have made; and to be firm

and patient, in pain (or suffering)

and adversity, and

throughout all periods of

panic. Such are the people

of truth, the Allah-fearing."

Unfortunately, for many

devout Muslims, the

broader definition of good

deeds is often lost. They

think of good deed in terms

of humility and respect. Yes!

Many Muslims are quite

steadfast in their prayers,

very diligent and painstaking

in fasting, but they tend

to disregard other moral

etiquette as explained in

both Quran and Hadith of

making people smile and

laugh.

We rarely put into practice

what we learn from the

Quran and Hadiths. This

is, of course, another opportunity

to remind us of our

was no ILS, adding that

with the commissioning of

the equipment, those

problems have been solved.

According to Sirika, “from

now on, you have the

Instrument Landing

System, ILS, which will

allow pilots in reduced

visibility and bad weather

to be able to shoot on

approach and land in

Benin, just like they will do

in London. Also, it is no

longer closure from 6 p.m.

The operational capability

of the airport has improved

with the installation of the

equipment.”

The minister also said the

Federal Ministry of

Transportation (Aviation)

through the Nigeria

Meteorological Services,

NiMET, had constructed

and donated a

meteorological station to

University of Benin,

UNIBEN.

moral duties to others. So,

we need to broaden our

horizons on the issue of

moral duty.

Abstinence from food and

drink for one month alone

may not guarantee us the

whole blessings and reward

except we trasnform

ourselves and others.

Re-assess yourself and

see what habit you need to

change. What you were not

able to do in the first stanza

of the Ramadan and

how you can achieve them

in the remaining part of the

month.

Re-dedicate yourself to

change and improve in all

aspect of Ibadah and relationship

to Allah and humanity.

Endeavour to

break through old habits.

Ramadan should be able to

shift us into high gear for

increasing our obedience to

Allah and seeking His

pleasure.

Let us use this golden

opportunity to change bad

habit, shed away what is

impure to goodness and

get transformed into a new

being. This way, we can be

able to say as human beings

that we have benefited

from the month of Ramadan.

Abstinence from food and

drink for one month alone

may not guarantee us the

whole blessings and reward

except with total

transformation of our whole

self.

COMMISSIONING: Gong>overong>nor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State (middle), his

wife Martha (2nd right); Commander 2 Brigade, Uyo, Brig-Gen.T.A.Lagbaja (left); Deputy

Gong>overong>nor, Mr Mosses Ekpo (right) and Director-General, Divine Mandate Organisation,

Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, during the commissioning of renovated Army quarters at

Wellington Bassey Army Barracks, 6 Amphibious Battalion, Ibagwa, Uyo.

Declare ecological emergency in

N-Delta, OWN tasks FG

By Davies

Iheamnachor

PORT HARCOURT—

Oil Watch Nigerian,

OWN, a conglomeration of

civil society and nongong>overong>nmental

organisations, has urged

the Federal Gong>overong>nment to

declare ecological

emergency in the oil-rich

Niger Delta.

OWN also rejected

divestment of onshore

platforms by some

International Oil

Companies, IOCs, to

offshore, calling on the

Federal Gong>overong>nment to

review all divestments in

the region.

OWN, in a communiqué

at the end of its one-day

strategic meeting in Port

Harcourt, Rivers State,

weekend, said: “There are

continuous oil and gas

exploration and

exploitation in Nigeria,

especially in Niger Delta,

where oil has been

extracted for ong>overong> 50 years

without any sustainable

benefit to communities in

the region.”

The communique by

Citizens Trust, CT;

Environmental Rights

Action, ERA; FishNet

Alliance Okrika Water front,

Peace Point Development

Foundation, PPDF; Policy

Alert, PA; Lekeh

Development Foundation,

LEDEF; Social Action,

Niger Delta Citizens and

Budget Platform, Pius

Dukor Foundation, Ogoni

Ecological Defenders

Health of Mother Earth

Foundation, HOMEF, and

six others, added: “The

negative impact of the oil

and gas industry on the

people and environment of

Niger Delta is life

threatening and near

extinction experience and

thus there is need for urgent

attention.”

In the communiqué, the

groups said there was

continued oil exploration

and pollution in the region,

adding that there was need

for the Federal Gong>overong>nment

to declare emergency to

restoret he livelihood of the

people.

They said: “Due to the

destructive impact of oil and

gas extraction on the

environment and people of

Niger Delta, the Federal

Gong>overong>nment should pay

more attention to

environmental remediation

and livelihood restoration in

the area and declare the

region an ecological

emergency zone.”

They disclosed their

resolve to work with

fishermen and ecological

defenders to stop activities

that impact the rivers

negatively.

Why Buhari is committed to

Amnesty Programme —Dokubo

A BUJA—Special

Adviser to the

President on Niger Delta,

Prof. Charles Dokubo, said

weekend, that the Federal

Gong>overong>nment views the

Amnesty Programme as a

necessary and veritable tool

to transform the hitherto

restive oil-rich region.

This, he noted, informed

President Muhammadu

Buhari’s commitment to

actualising the objectives of

the programme.

Dokubo, who is also

Coordinator of Presidential

Amnesty Programme,

spoke in Abuja at a

commemorative rally to

mark the struggle for

emancipation of Niger

Delta spearheaded by the

late Major Isaac Boro.

The Boro Day is an

annual event organised by

the Ijaw in all states of the

South-South and Abuja.

Describing Boro as the

first person to see Niger

Delta as a viable region,

Dokubo noted that the

Amnesty Programme was a

direct reflection of his

desires for Niger Delta

people.

“We are here today

because of a journey he

started some years ago.

What we do here is to

symbolise the aspiration

and the ambition of Boro.

Amnesty is a direct

reflection of his desires for

Niger Delta people.

“The Federal

Gong>overong>nment, under late

President Yar’Adua took up

the issue of amnesty not

because it was a difficult

task, but because it was a

necessary task and that is

why this gong>overong>nment is

committed to the Amnesty

Programme.

"I have been around for

just a year plus, and I have

seen the desire of this

gong>overong>nment to make sure

the amnesty programme

survives and that the

people of Niger Delta

should benefit immensely

from the programme that we

run at the Amnesty Office.

"It’s like some of us don’t

even know the avenues that

are open to us. If we can

explore, exploit and make

use of the available

opportunities, Niger Delta

will be a different place.”

Obaseki uses local

contractors, says Ibadin

THE complaint by some

All Progressives

Congress, APC, members

in Edo State that Gong>overong>nor

Godwin Obaseki has

continued to use outside

contractors to execute

contracts in the state has

been described as a fallacy.

Obaseki was accused of

ignoring local contractors in

the state and instead

patronising Lagos and

Abuja firms.

Chief Executive Officer,

CEO, of Ibadin Global

Ventures Limited, Andrew

Ibadin, who denied the

allegation in a statement in

Benin City, lauded the

developmental strides of

Obaseki, noting that the

rumour of importation of

contractors was untrue as

his construction company,

Ibadin Global Ventures

Limited, had carried out the

construction work on some

roads under the SEEFOR

scheme across the state.

Reacting to the

allegations, Ibadin said: “I

am aware of other

indigenous contractors

who have benefited from the

ong>overong> 100 roads contracts in

the state.

“How can they be saying

that it’s only Abuja and

Lagos contractors that are

being used in the state? If

no job has been given to

them, they should remain

calm and wait for their turn.

“There is no way all the

contractors can get job at the

same time, it has to be

gradual,” he said.

Ibadin called on the

rumour peddlers to retract

and support the gong>overong>nor

in developing the state.


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—13

FCTA put raids on night clubs, others

on hold after parley with NHRC

ABUJA ENVIRONMENTAL

Protection Board, AEPB, and

other agencies of the Federal

Capital Territory Administration ,

FCTA, will put on hold further

raids on Night Clubs and other

locations in Abuja pending the

mainstreaming of human rights

into their operations.

This was part of agreement

reached when AEPB, and other

agencies of the FCTA, visited the

headquarters of the National

Human Rights Commission,

(NHRC to answer allegations of

human rights violations following

raids on Night Clubs and other

locations in Abuja.

The NHRC had on May 10th

2019 summoned to the Director

of the AEPB following complaints

received from some civil society

organizations CSO’s ong>overong>

allegations of raids on night clubs,

arrests, molestations and sexual

assaults of some women by

agents of the FCT led by the

AEPB.

Other resolutions during the

GRACE CAHILL,African

sales Manager for Oxford

University Press with James

Nicholson,author and trainer

for Oxford University Press

were in Nigeria for a two-day

training programme for

GSSCE and A-Levels

Mathematics teachers.Oxford

University Press is a section of

Oxford University and their

mission is to strive for

excellence,scholarship and

education around the world.

It is the largest University

Press in the world and have

a robust history of working in

Africa .It was established in

1914 in South Africa and these

trainings are aimed at getting

meeting were that “issue

concerning the distortion of

master plan of the FCT should

be targeted at business owners

and the FCT officials themselves

who approve such alterations and

not the innocent citizens of the

FCT using the facilities provided,

that a training programme to

mainstream human rights is to be

organized by the NHRC and

other development partners for

the personnel of the FCT and the

Task Force, an investigation to be

carried to fish out and bring to

book those officials and security

agents who perpetrated the

various acts of violation and

impunity in the course of the

raids.

“A meeting between the clubs,

similar business owners, and the

FCT be facilitated by the NHRC

to reduce noise pollution in

Abuja, ensure respect for the right

of others, the rule of law and

compliance to official

regulations.”

Oxford university press holds annual

teachers training in Nigeria

the best from students.

For the teachers, the

programme is to help build

their self worth and boost

confidence while discharging

their duties. The training took

place in Chrisland schools,

Lekki phase 1 and had

teachers within and outside

Lagos in attendance.

The teachers were intimated

on the GSSCE new

Cambridge Syllabus.The

annual event also serves as a

feedback forum for the press

to get a feel of how impactful

their books are on the

students.

From left —W.Stuart Symington, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria; Akin Banuso, Country Manager,

Microsoft Nigeria and Ghana; Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow, Al and Mixed Reality, Microsoft;

Lagos State Gov-elect, Babajide Sanwo-olu and Phil Spencer, Executive president, Gaming,

Microsoft, during the Microsoft Opens Africa Development centre site in Lagos.

I need more time to disclose spending on

security votes, Al-Makura tells SERAP

GOVERNOR OF Nasarawa

State, Umaru Tanko Al-

Makura, has responded to a

Freedom of Information request

by Socio-Economic Rights and

Accountability Project, SERAP,

and asked “for more time within

which to compile and provide

details on the spending by the

State on security votes, as this will

require more than 7 days to

process given that the information

being requested cong>overong>s a period

of eight years.”

This development was

disclosed today in a statement by

SERAP deputy director Kolawole

Oluwadare.

The gong>overong>nor’s response

followed FOI requests SERAP

sent last month to him and 35

other state gong>overong>nors as well as

President Muhammadu Buhari,

asking them to: “provide

information on specific details of

spending of appropriated public

funds as security votes between

2011 and 2019, given the current

security realities in the country.”

The letter with reference NS/

MOJ/ADM/108/VOL1/65, and

sent on behalf of gong>overong>nor Al-

Makura by the Nasarawa State

Attorney General and

Commissioner for Justice, read in

part: “I refer to your letter dated

12th April 2019 requesting

information on the spending of

security votes by Nasarawa State

between 2011 to date. I am

directed to draw your attention to

the fact that the information being

requested cong>overong>s a period of eight

years and will require more than

7 days to process. We shall revert

to you as soon as the information

is ready.”

Responding, SERAP said:

“Thank you for your letter and

expressed commitment to disclose

details of security votes spending

by your state. We urge you to fasttrack

the process to ensure that

the information is sent to us before

the expiration of your term on

29th May 2019. This would be a

perfect parting gift to the people

of Nasarawa, and show the way

for 35 other state gong>overong>nors and

the federal gong>overong>nment that have

Ortom appeals for support for

Cameroonian refugees in Benue

By Peter Duru

MAKURDI—GOVERNOR Samuel

Ortom of Benue State, has appealed

to relevant organisations and individuals to

extend support to Cameroonian refugees

residing in his state, even as he directed the

state Ministries of Health, Education as well

as Women Affairs to partner the United

Nations High Commissioner For Refugees,

UNCHR, to cater for the Cameroonians.

The Gong>overong>nor who spoke at the weekend

when he received the UNHCR country

Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS,

Antonio Jose Canhandula on a courtesy call

in Makurdi said the ministries were relevant

in the execution of the programmes of

UNHCR in the state assuring that his

gong>overong>nment would continue to extend

assiong>stanceong> to the refugees.

While commending the global

organisation for working hard to alleviate

the sufferings of the refugees who reside in

Kwande Local Gong>overong>nment Area, LGA, of the

state, Gong>overong>nor Ortom expressed hope that

the Cameroonian crisis would soon be ong>overong>

to enable the displaced persons return to their

country of origin.

“Our prayer is with the refugees

and we hope that the crisis in that

country would come to an end

soon to enable them return back

home but before then I appeal to

relevant agencies and individuals

to extend assiong>stanceong> to the

refugees because they are in dire

need of any help they can get,”

Ortom said.

The Gong>overong>nor also directed a

downward review of the

estimated amount as

compensation for the 59 hectares

of land allocated for the

resettlement of the refugees at

Ikyogen Cattle Ranch in Kwande

LGA.

He enjoined the host

communities to cooperate with

UNHCR as it erects structures for

the upkeep of the refugees

stressing that such structures

could still be beneficial to the

communities when the refugees

return to their home country.

failed, so far, to respond to the

FOI requests on security votes

spending.”

SERAP’s response dated 17th

May 2019, and sent to gong>overong>nor

Al-Makura, read in part: “In light

of your request, SERAP is happy

to extend the period within which

to provide the requested

information. We would be grateful

if the information is now provided

to us within 7 days of the receipt

and/or publication of this

response, failing which SERAP

shall take all appropriate legal

action to compel Nasarawa state

to comply with our request.”

Recall that SERAP in April sent

separate FOI requests to 36 state

gong>overong>nors and President Buhari,

stating that: “We need the

information to determine if public

funds meant to provide security

and ensure respect and protection

of the rights to life, physical

integrity, and liberty of Nigerians

have been spent for this purpose.

Our request is limited to details

of visible, specific security

measures and projects executed

and does not include spending

on intelligence operations.”

SERAP’s FOI requests to the 36

state gong>overong>nors and the federal

gong>overong>nment read in part: "Section

14(2)(b) of the 1999 Nigerian

Constitution (as amended)

provides that the security and

welfare of the people shall be the

primary purpose of gong>overong>nment.’

It is the security of the citizens

that is intended and not the

security of select individuals in

public office. Transparency and

accountability in the spending of

security votes are critically

important to fully implement this

responsibility imposed on both

the federal and state

gong>overong>nments.”

“We are concerned that rather

than serving the citizens, the

appropriation of public funds as

security votes ong>overong> the years

would seem to serve highranking

gong>overong>nment officials at all

levels—federal and states. We are

also concerned that the practice

of security votes entrusts

discretionary powers to spend

huge public funds on certain

elected public officials who may

not have any idea of operational

issues on security matters.”


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—13

FCTA put raids on night clubs, others

on hold after parley with NHRC

ABUJA ENVIRONMENTAL

Protection Board, AEPB, and

other agencies of the Federal

Capital Territory Administration ,

FCTA, will put on hold further

raids on Night Clubs and other

locations in Abuja pending the

mainstreaming of human rights

into their operations.

This was part of agreement

reached when AEPB, and other

agencies of the FCTA, visited the

headquarters of the National

Human Rights Commission,

(NHRC to answer allegations of

human rights violations following

raids on Night Clubs and other

locations in Abuja.

The NHRC had on May 10th

2019 summoned to the Director

of the AEPB following complaints

received from some civil society

organizations CSO’s ong>overong>

allegations of raids on night clubs,

arrests, molestations and sexual

assaults of some women by

agents of the FCT led by the

AEPB.

Other resolutions during the

GRACE CAHILL,African

sales Manager for Oxford

University Press with James

Nicholson,author and trainer

for Oxford University Press

were in Nigeria for a two-day

training programme for

GSSCE and A-Levels

Mathematics teachers.Oxford

University Press is a section of

Oxford University and their

mission is to strive for

excellence,scholarship and

education around the world.

It is the largest University

Press in the world and have

a robust history of working in

Africa .It was established in

1914 in South Africa and these

trainings are aimed at getting

meeting were that “issue

concerning the distortion of

master plan of the FCT should

be targeted at business owners

and the FCT officials themselves

who approve such alterations and

not the innocent citizens of the

FCT using the facilities provided,

that a training programme to

mainstream human rights is to be

organized by the NHRC and

other development partners for

the personnel of the FCT and the

Task Force, an investigation to be

carried to fish out and bring to

book those officials and security

agents who perpetrated the

various acts of violation and

impunity in the course of the

raids.

“A meeting between the clubs,

similar business owners, and the

FCT be facilitated by the NHRC

to reduce noise pollution in

Abuja, ensure respect for the right

of others, the rule of law and

compliance to official

regulations.”

Oxford university press holds annual

teachers training in Nigeria

the best from students.

For the teachers, the

programme is to help build

their self worth and boost

confidence while discharging

their duties. The training took

place in Chrisland schools,

Lekki phase 1 and had

teachers within and outside

Lagos in attendance.

The teachers were intimated

on the GSSCE new

Cambridge Syllabus.The

annual event also serves as a

feedback forum for the press

to get a feel of how impactful

their books are on the

students.

From left —W.Stuart Symington, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria; Akin Banuso, Country Manager,

Microsoft Nigeria and Ghana; Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow, Al and Mixed Reality, Microsoft;

Lagos State Gov-elect, Babajide Sanwo-olu and Phil Spencer, Executive president, Gaming,

Microsoft, during the Microsoft Opens Africa Development centre site in Lagos.

'I need more time to disclose spending on

security votes', Al-Makura tells SERAP

GOVERNOR OF Nasarawa

State, Umaru Tanko Al-

Makura, has responded to a

Freedom of Information request

by Socio-Economic Rights and

Accountability Project, SERAP,

and asked “for more time within

which to compile and provide

details on the spending by the

State on security votes, as this will

require more than 7 days to

process given that the information

being requested cong>overong>s a period

of eight years.”

This development was

disclosed today in a statement by

SERAP deputy director Kolawole

Oluwadare.

The gong>overong>nor’s response

followed FOI requests SERAP

sent last month to him and 35

other state gong>overong>nors as well as

President Muhammadu Buhari,

asking them to: “provide

information on specific details of

spending of appropriated public

funds as security votes between

2011 and 2019, given the current

security realities in the country.”

The letter with reference NS/

MOJ/ADM/108/VOL1/65, and

sent on behalf of gong>overong>nor Al-

Makura by the Nasarawa State

Attorney General and

Commissioner for Justice, read in

part: “I refer to your letter dated

12th April 2019 requesting

information on the spending of

security votes by Nasarawa State

between 2011 to date. I am

directed to draw your attention to

the fact that the information being

requested cong>overong>s a period of eight

years and will require more than

7 days to process. We shall revert

to you as soon as the information

is ready.”

Responding, SERAP said:

“Thank you for your letter and

expressed commitment to disclose

details of security votes spending

by your state. We urge you to fasttrack

the process to ensure that

the information is sent to us before

the expiration of your term on

29th May 2019. This would be a

perfect parting gift to the people

of Nasarawa, and show the way

for 35 other state gong>overong>nors and

the federal gong>overong>nment that have

Ortom appeals for support for

Cameroonian refugees in Benue

By Peter Duru

MAKURDI—GOVERNOR Samuel

Ortom of Benue State, has appealed

to relevant organisations and individuals to

extend support to Cameroonian refugees

residing in his state, even as he directed the

state Ministries of Health, Education as well

as Women Affairs to partner the United

Nations High Commissioner For Refugees,

UNCHR, to cater for the Cameroonians.

The Gong>overong>nor who spoke at the weekend

when he received the UNHCR country

Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS,

Antonio Jose Canhandula on a courtesy call

in Makurdi said the ministries were relevant

in the execution of the programmes of

UNHCR in the state assuring that his

gong>overong>nment would continue to extend

assiong>stanceong> to the refugees.

While commending the global

organisation for working hard to alleviate

the sufferings of the refugees who reside in

Kwande Local Gong>overong>nment Area, LGA, of the

state, Gong>overong>nor Ortom expressed hope that

the Cameroonian crisis would soon be ong>overong>

to enable the displaced persons return to their

country of origin.

“Our prayer is with the refugees

and we hope that the crisis in that

country would come to an end

soon to enable them return back

home but before then I appeal to

relevant agencies and individuals

to extend assiong>stanceong> to the

refugees because they are in dire

need of any help they can get,”

Ortom said.

The Gong>overong>nor also directed a

downward review of the

estimated amount as

compensation for the 59 hectares

of land allocated for the

resettlement of the refugees at

Ikyogen Cattle Ranch in Kwande

LGA.

He enjoined the host

communities to cooperate with

UNHCR as it erects structures for

the upkeep of the refugees

stressing that such structures

could still be beneficial to the

communities when the refugees

return to their home country.

failed, so far, to respond to the

FOI requests on security votes

spending.”

SERAP’s response dated 17th

May 2019, and sent to gong>overong>nor

Al-Makura, read in part: “In light

of your request, SERAP is happy

to extend the period within which

to provide the requested

information. We would be grateful

if the information is now provided

to us within 7 days of the receipt

and/or publication of this

response, failing which SERAP

shall take all appropriate legal

action to compel Nasarawa state

to comply with our request.”

Recall that SERAP in April sent

separate FOI requests to 36 state

gong>overong>nors and President Buhari,

stating that: “We need the

information to determine if public

funds meant to provide security

and ensure respect and protection

of the rights to life, physical

integrity, and liberty of Nigerians

have been spent for this purpose.

Our request is limited to details

of visible, specific security

measures and projects executed

and does not include spending

on intelligence operations.”

SERAP’s FOI requests to the 36

state gong>overong>nors and the federal

gong>overong>nment read in part: "Section

14(2)(b) of the 1999 Nigerian

Constitution (as amended)

provides that the security and

welfare of the people shall be the

primary purpose of gong>overong>nment.’

It is the security of the citizens

that is intended and not the

security of select individuals in

public office. Transparency and

accountability in the spending of

security votes are critically

important to fully implement this

responsibility imposed on both

the federal and state

gong>overong>nments.”

“We are concerned that rather

than serving the citizens, the

appropriation of public funds as

security votes ong>overong> the years

would seem to serve highranking

gong>overong>nment officials at all

levels—federal and states. We are

also concerned that the practice

of security votes entrusts

discretionary powers to spend

huge public funds on certain

elected public officials who may

not have any idea of operational

issues on security matters.”


14 — VANGUARD, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

ANGLICAN SYNOD: From left, former Chief of Defence Staff, General Alexander Ogomudia

(retd); Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Chief Kenneth Gbagi and Deputy Gong>overong>nor of

Delta State, Mr Kingsley Otuaro during the 2nd Session of the 7th Synod of the Church of

Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Diocese of Oleh, Isoko South Local Gong>overong>nment Area, Delta

State, where Obasanjo delivered a lecture weekend. PHOTOS: AKPOKONA OMAFUAIRE.

A cross section of some Anglican Bishops and priests.

Osinbajo pledges slots for

NGE on prestigious NIPSS

Course

THE Nigerian Guild

of Editors, NGE, the

umbrella professional

organisation for the

leadership of the print,

broadcast and online media

in Nigeria, will soon have

participants in the

prestigious Senior

Executive Course of the

National Institute for Policy

and Strategic Studies,

NIPSS.

Vice President Yemi

Osibanjo promised to

assign slots to members of

the Guild to undertake the

Course, with a view to

contributing their quota to

nation building and join its

fora, where academics of

excellence, seasoned policy

initiators and executors and

other citizens of matured

experience and wisdom,

meet to reflect and

exchange ideas on the great

and critical issues of

developing the Nigerian

society.

The Vice President said

members of the Guild

would be considered for the

rigorous screening into the

course and those who are

successful would fill the

discretionary slots for

enrollment for the Course.

He said his office would

work out a plan for editors

to participate in the course

from the next batch of the

training.

He spoke when he hosted

the newly-elected executive

of the Nigerian Guild of

Editors, led by its President,

Mrs. Funke Egbemode.

The Vice President

By Chioma Obinna

AS part of activities to

mark this year’s

World Malaria Day,

Geneith Pharmaceutical

Nigeria Limited, has

announced Nollywood star

and movie producer, Ebube

Nwagbo as Camosunate

congratulated Egbemode

and the Guild for its recent

rancour-free election, which

demonstrated that it is a

professional body of men

and women of integrity and

exemplary character.

The Vice President said he

regarded himself as a media

person because his first book

was on media ethics in

Nigeria, he would therefore

be open to support

specialised trainings for

editors and media

professionals.

Osinbajo said he would

always support the media

and explore means of an

intervention fund for

specific media projects. He

said he would welcome

ideas from the Guild on

improved gong>overong>nmentmedia

relations and in

resolving challenges posed

by Social media, which is

without regulation. He

challenged the NGE to

explore means of tackling

fake news and finding

effective means of

regulating the social media.

The NGE President had

told the Vice president that

the Guild was passionate

about training and retraining

of editors and

would be seeking to partner

with other agencies of

gong>overong>nment for capacity

building of editors.

Egbemode also intimated

the Vice President of the

current harsh economic

atmosphere in which the

media industry is operating,

saying while most other

sectors are out of

recession, the media

industry is not yet out of

the economic quagmire.

Nollywood's Nwagbo emerges Camosunate brand

ambassador

Brand Ambassador.

Camosunate, a highly

efficacious malaria brand, is

marketed in Nigeria by

Geneith.

The company in a

statement said it was

optimistic that

"Camosunate, which is

endorsed by National

Agency for Food and Drug

Joint Account: Agbakoba, Ubani disagree

as govs ask Buhari to call NFIU to order

By Henry Umoru &

henry Ojelu

A

B U J A —

GOVERNORS

under the aegis of Nigeria

Gong>overong>nors’ Forum, NGF,

yesterday asked President

Muhammadu Buhari to call

the Nigerian Financial

Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to

order.

This came as two

prominent lawyers, Olisa

Agbakoka, SAN and

Monday Ubani expressed

divergent views ong>overong> the

issue.

According to Agbakoba,

SAN, a former President of

Nigeria Bar Association,

NBA, “The role of NFIU is

very wide but I do not think

that part of that role is to

monitor the disbursement of

funds meant for local

gong>overong>nments. The gong>overong>nor

are absolutely right in

asking the president to

caution NFIU with regards

to how funds meant for local

gong>overong>nment should be

disbursed.”

On his part, Ubani, a

former 2nd Vice-President,

NBA, said “The gong>overong>nors

are not right in their

observations because they

have been stealing the

money that belongs to local

gong>overong>nments and Nigerians

have kept quite. I want

Nigerians and the National

Assembly to support the

NFIU in this directive to

save Nigeria. Nigerians are

leaving the country due to

mismanagement of funds

and now that something is

being done about it, some

people are crying foul. The

Administration and Control

sufferers of malaria in

Nigeria now have a

credible but efficacious

alternative in the battle

against the disease." It also

noted that the company

had massively discounted

across all channels

distribution the price of

Camosunate.

President should warn the

gong>overong>nors. The Gong>overong>nors

have no moral right to ask

the President to caution the

NFIU. What the NFIU is

doing is commendable and

must be encouraged."

However, the gong>overong>nors

argued that the NFIU must

not dabble into a matter that

was beyond its mandate.

The Chairman of NGF and

gong>overong>nor of Zamfara State,

Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, in

a statement yesterday

accused the NFIU of

“stoking mischief and also

deliberately seeking to

cause disaffection, chaos

and ong>overong>heat the polity.”

According to NGF, Local

Gong>overong>nment Councils were

a creation of the constitution

and not financial

institutions, insisting that as

gong>overong>nors, they were not

Reporting entities and

therefore not under the

NFIU in the manner

contemplated by the NFIU

so-called guidelines.

It will be recalled that

Labour lauds Buhari, NASS on June 12, CBN gov

By Victor Young

K

A D U N A —

NATIONAL

Union of Textile, Garment

and Tailoring Workers of

Nigeria, NUTGTWN,

weekend commended

“constructive

collaboration and

engagement” between

President Muhammadu

Buhari and the outgoing

8th National Assembly,

NASS, for the prompt

passage of the Public

Holiday Act Amendment

Bill, which recognises

June 12 as the new

Democracy Day.

The union also praised

President Buhari and

NASS for ensuring the

renewal of the

appointment of Godwin

Emefiele as Gong>overong>nor of

the Central Bank of

Nigeria, CBN.

In a statement, General

NFIU had penultimate

week, issued a guideline

which prevents state

gong>overong>nments from making

withdrawals from local

gong>overong>nments’ funds.

The NGF’s position was

contained in a statement by

the Head, Media and

Public Affairs,

Abdulrazaque Barkindo.

The statement reads in

part “Nigeria’s 36

gong>overong>nors have

approached the President

of the Federal Republic and

Commander-In-chief of the

armed Forces, President

Muhammadu Buhari on

the decision by the

Nigerian Financial

Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to

dabble into a matter that is

beyond its mandate.

“The Chairman of the

NGF and Gong>overong>nor of

Zamfara State, Abdulaziz

Yari Abubakar, signed off a

letter in which gong>overong>nors

expressed “dismay and

angst at this brazen attempt

by the NFIU to ridicule our

Secretary of NUTGTWN

and a member of the

National Executive

Council, NEC of Nigeria

Labour Congress, NLC,

Issa Aremu observed that

the bipartisan consensus

on the twin issues of

Emefile’s reappointment

and June 12th as the new

Democracy Day should be

sustained in the

resolution of urgent

critical national issues

such as reindustrialization,

inadequate electricity

supply, insecurity, human

capital development,

endemic infrastructural

deficits and pong>overong>ty

eradication.

He said the remarkable

consensus on the two

issues was a “win-win”

for Nigeria noting that

“where there was the

collective will”, there

would be collective way

collective integrity and

show total disregard for the

constitution of the Federal

republic of Nigeria (1999)

as amended.

“The Nigerian Financial

Intelligence Unit, NFIU,

which was excised from the

Economic and Financial

Crimes Commission, set

June 1, 2019, as the takeoff

date of the new order,

making it compulsory for all

LGA allocations to go

straight to their respective

bank accounts. The

decision is contained in a

guideline released by the

NFIU after a lengthy

meeting with officials of

commercial banks in Abuja.

“But in a swift reaction,

the NGF Letter was titled

Re: NFIU Enforcement and

Guidelines to Reduce

Crime Vulnerabilities

Created by Cash

Withdrawal from Local

Gong>overong>nment Funds

Throughout Nigeria

Effective June 1st, 2019."

for national development

insisting that both arms

of gong>overong>nment deserved a

praise for the deal.

Aremu congratulated

Emefiele for what he

called “earned and

d e s e r v e d ”

reappointment.

According to him, “it

will go on record that

Emefiele as the CBN

gong>overong>nor commendably

defended the autonomy of

the CBN against the

neoliberal forces that

were pushing for

unhelpful floating of

Naira with the attendant

unhelpful massive

devaluation in the wake

of the 2017 recession. The

relatively stable exchange

rate of the recent times

has allowed for national

planning and business

decisions needed for

growth

and

development.”


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—15

Without me, no APC in South-East, says Okorocha

By Chinonso

Alozie

O

W E R R I —

OUTGOING

gong>overong>nor of Imo State,

Rochas Okorocha,

yesterday said the 2019

election proved that without

him (Okorocha), there

would be nothing like All

Progressives Congress,

APC, in the South-East

zone.

Okorocha, through his

Chief Press Secretary, Sam

Onwuemedo, spoke in

Owerri while reacting to a

statement credited to the

Director of Voice of Nigeria,

VON, Osita Okechukwu,

ABA—RESIDENTS of

Aba, Abia State, have

decried the increasing

spate of insecurity in the

city and are accusing

soldiers and policemen of

not putting enough to stem

the tide.

By Chinedu Adonu

THE

gong>overong>norship

candidate of All

Progressives Congress,

APC, Enugu State, in the

just-concluded election,

Senator Ayogu Eze, has

again hinted on his plan

to formally withdraw his

petition.

Senator Eze had filed a

petition before the election

tribunal, ong>overong> the conduct

of the election in the state

won by the incumbent,

Gong>overong>nor Ifeanyi

Ugwuanyi.

Senator Eze, who gave

saying that he (Okorocha)

has destroyed APC in the

South-East.

Gong>overong>nor Okorocha

boasted that he started APC

in the South-East and

challenged Okechukwu to

build APC in Enugu and

not pour vituperations on

him.

According to the

release, ”Director-General

of the Voice of Nigeria,

VON, Mr. Osita

Okechukwu has continued

his media attacks on

Gong>overong>nor Rochas Okorocha

even when one had

thought that with the 2019

elections, he should have

stopped his insults on the

They alleged that most

soldiers and policemen

posted to provide security

in the city have abandoned

their duties to extort money

from motorists, as the

criminals mostly operate

freely using tricycles.

In an interview with

Vanguard, residents

the hint when Enugu State

Traditional Rulers•f

Council, led by its

chairman, HRH Igwe

Lawrence Agubuzu, paid

him a visit at his Enugu

residence yesterday, to

appeal to him to withdraw

the petition the tribunal in

the ong>overong>all interest of the

state, assured the

traditional rulers that

their effort to bring peace

shall not be in vain.

He described the intervention

by the royal fathers

as the climax of it all.

The APC chieftain, who

noted that he had received

Imo gong>overong>nor having seen

that the election had proved

that without Okorocha,

there is nothing like APC

in the South-East and in

Imo in particular.

“Mr. Okechukwu had in

his latest media

vituperations accused the

gong>overong>nor of ruining APC in

the South-East.

“Gong>overong>nor Okorocha had

toured the whole of South-

East when nobody believed

APC was going to see the

light of the day.

“He won the

gong>overong>norship for the party

in Imo, won 24 out of the

27 members of the House

of Assembly, won one

Enugu gov: Your peace efforts won't

be in vain, Senator Eze tells monarchs

several groups of notable

personalities on the same

mission, added that the visit

by the revered royal fathers

who are •"the custodians of

our culture and tradition"

was really a mark of honour

and respect.

He said: “I am highly

honoured by their

presence•and would revert

to them within the next one

or two days. I want to

assure them that their effort

to bring peace shall not be

in vain.I have been

consulting widely and I

also need to talk to the

leadership of my party.”

Senate and five House of

Representatives seats, all

for the party.

“But prior to the 2019

election, those playing the

politics of 2023 in 2019

recruited men like Osita

Okechukwu against

Gong>overong>nor Okorocha,

blackmailing him at the

least opportunity they had

and gave the erroneous

impression that without

Okorocha, they could fly in

Imo and South-East

generally with APC.

“In the 2019 polls, the fact

spoke for itself that

Okorocha truly holds the

ace of APC in Imo and in

the South-East generally.”

FACILITY MANAGEMENT: From left— Managing Director, Alpha Mead Development

Company, Damola Akindolire; Head of Facilities, Union Bank Plc, Alaba Fagun; Group Managing Director,

Femi Akintunde; Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Olusesan Ogunyooye, both of Alpha

Mead Group; Head of Properties, Nigeria & West Africa, Standard Chartered Bank Plc, Anne Rinu; and

Managing Director, Alpha Mead Healthcare Management Service, Professor Babatunde Green, after one

of the expert panel at the Nigerian Facilities Management Roundtable in Lagos

Residents blame insecurity

in Aba on Police, soldiers

By Ugochukwu

Alaribe

lamented that they can no

longer sleep with both

eyes closed, following the

criminal activities of the

dreaded Aro Cult boys in

some parts of Aba.

They called on authorities

of the Nigerian Army to

make changes in the

personnel deployed to Aba,

as criminals seem to have

outsmarted them while the

soldiers are now engaged

in settling civilian matters,

such as collection of debts.

A resident of Ogbor Hill ,

Mr. Austine Igwe,

lamented that the Aro cult

boys have taken ong>overong> the

area, dispossessing

residents of their handsets,

cash and other valuables in

broad day light.

Aba has been taken ong>overong>

by the feared and dreaded

Aro Cult with Eziama,

Azuka and Ohuru Isimiri

Police stations coupled with

several Army checkpoints

looking helpless.

A resident who

demanded anonymity for

security reasons, said the

boys, who are terrorising

Aba and its environs know

both the Army and Police

very well and having seen

how nonchalant they are,

took advantage of it

perfectly.

“Just go through any

military checkpoint in

Aba, you will see why

criminals have turned Aba

into their safe haven,” the

resident said.

EFTZ ready to work with

Akanu Ibiam Airport ong>overong>

proximity issues

By Sebastine

Obasi

STAKEHOLDERS in

the Enugu Free

Trade Zone, EFTZ, have

declared willingness to

work with the Ministry of

Aviation in addressing

all concerns ong>overong> the

proximity of one of its

units to Akanu Ibiam

International Airport.

Enugu Power Free

Zone Company,

Enpower FZC, which

manages the facility,

stated in a media release

weekend that the need

to work together in

addressing safety

concerns at the airport

has become necessary to

clear misconceptions

ong>overong> the well-conceived

aviation facility

development and

growth plans that

informed location of the

free trade zone close to

the airport.

The statement came in

reaction to media reports

crediting the Minister of

Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika,

with statements that

federal gong>overong>nment was

considering

downgrading the Akanu

Ibiam International

Airport, Enugu, to local

status and subsequently

By Anayo Okoli

U MUAHIA—THE

Ohanaeze Youth

Council, OYC, yesterday,

took a swipe at the

Transportation Minister,

Mr. Rotimi Amaechi,

ong>overong> a statement credited

to him that Ndigbo

should forget 2023

presidential ambition,

saying Amaechi does

not hold the key to the

political future of

Ndigbo.

The group warned

Amaechi not to arrogate

to himself the power to

select who becomes

President.

According to OYC,

Amaechi based his

position on the reasoning

that because the South-

East did not support All

Progressives Congress,

APC, during the last

general election, they

should therefore forget

the 2023 presidency.

Reacting to Amaechi’s

position, OYC in a

statement by its

Secretary General, Mazi

Okwu Nnabuike, said:

“Amaechi had come out

shut it down on safety

concerns.

Mr. Sirika was reported

to have listed major safety

concerns at the airport to

include bad runway,

state radio mast on

landing approach to the

runway, location of EFTZ

at the end of the runway,

and threats of bird strikes

from an abattoir at a

nearby market.

Chairman of Enpower

FZC, Mr. Emeka Ene,

who stated that the report

of the minister’s

comments have already

triggered panic among

international investors

that had staked interests

in the free trade zone,

said the company and

Enugu State gong>overong>nment

are already working to

address all concerns

raised by the minister,

including mast removal

and market relocation.

He however clarified

that the EFTZ which is

the only such facility in

the South-East zone of

the country is eminently

certified compliant to

Nigerian Civil Aviation

Authority (NCAA) and

International Civil Aviation

Organization (ICAO)

Annex 14 regulations for

Aerodrome Safety and

Height restrictions.

Amaechi can't determine

Ndigbo political future—Youths

to dance naked in the

public place.

“It was an insult of the

highest order for Amaech

to arrogate to himself the

powers he does not have.

“This is one of the most

awkward and

disappointing statements

we have heard in recent

times. However, it is partly

good so that we see those

who do not mean well for

this country; those who do

not cherish a united

Nigeria built on equity.

“It is most unfortunate

that Amaechi, from the

South-South zone, which

had the total support of the

South-East when

Goodluck Jonathan was in

power, should come out to

disparage our people.

“Amaechi’s position is

nothing else but a dance

of shame in the public

place. This is a man who

had before the election

declared that for equity

sake, the South-East will

produce the President in

2023.

“Amaechi has now

sacrificed equity; he is now

the chief promoter of

nepotism and injustice.”


16—Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

VISIT: From left— Mr. Seni Adio, SAN, chairman, Nigerian Bar Association-Section on Business Law

(NBA-SBL); Justice Opeyemi Oke, Chief Judge of Lagos State; Dr. Adeoye Adefulu, Chairman, 2019

Conference Planning Committee, and Justice Abiola Soladoye, Judge of High Court, Lagos State,

during a courtesy visit by the Council of NBA-SBL to the Chief Judge of Lagos State to announce the

13th annual business law conference in Lagos, weekend.

Edo North APC leaders to Govt: We'll resist

attempt to tarnish Oshiomhole's image

BENIN CITY—THE

Leadership of the All

Progressives Congress

(APC), in Edo North

senatorial district of Edo

State, yesterday, declared

they will resist any attempt

by the state gong>overong>nment to

tarnish the name of national

chairman of the party and

son of the soil, Comrade

Adams Oshiomhole.

The party urged the State

gong>overong>nor, Godwin Obaseki

to call his media team to

order, alleging that they

have embarked on

campaign of calumny

against Oshiomhole with a

view to joining his political

opponents across the nation

in scandalizing his name.

The leaders declared this

in their communique

signed by High Chief

Aloye,Chief (Alhaji) Usman

Mogaji Charlton and

Ahmed Musa Momoh.

According to the

communique, " the meeting

passed a vote of Confidence

on the leadership of the

national chairman of APC,

Comrade Oshiomhole. We

gathered to basically react

to the publication in the

Nation Newspapers, which

tends to portray in bad light the

party primaries conducted by the

Oshiomhole led NWC.

"We have no doubt that the

advert was orchestrated by those

in Osadebey Avenue who rose to

power and suddenly forgot how

they got there. We condemned

that publication and urged the

State Gong>overong>nment to stop playing

hide and seek game in its attempt

to rubbish the legacies of

Oshiomhole which we will surely

2020: Group drums support for Obaseki

By Alemma Aliu

BENIN CITY—THE

Joseph Ikpea Support

Group has endorsed the

second term ticket of

Gong>overong>nor Godwin Obaseki

and his Deputy, Philip

Shaibu.

It gave the endorsement

at a meeting held at

Ewatto, Esan South East

By Elizabeth

Uwandu

ASABA—DELTA State

Commissioner for

Information, Hon. Patrick

Ukah, has stressed the

need for information to be

made available to the right

audience in the right format

and at the right time, as an

integral part of good

gong>overong>nance in

constitutional democracy.

Ukah, who was a guest

resist.

"The leaders also reaffirmed that

the National Chairman remains

the undisputed leader of APC in

Edo North and Edo State

respectively. They resolved to

always stand by him and stand

Local Gong>overong>nment Area.

Ikpea, who was candidate

of the All Progressives

Congress for Esan South East/

Esan North East Federal

Constituecy in the last general

elections said the group was ready

to support Gong>overong>nor Obaseki and

Shaibu's bid for second term in

office.

He promised to provide the

speaker at the 2019

strategic political

communication workshop

for information, media and

communication persons in

gong>overong>nment of Delta State;

organised by the office of

the EA Communications to

Gong>overong>nor Ifeanyi Okowa,

emphasised that the

primary role of political

communication is to bridge

the gap between the

leaders and the led;

propagate gong>overong>nment

Delta Mortgage Bank opens head office in

Asaba

ASABA—IN line with

his vision to provide

quality and affordable

shelter for all Deltans,

,gong>overong>nor Ifeanyi Okowa

has called for the utilization

of the state gong>overong>nmentowned

mortgage facility as

he commissioned the head

office of Delta Trust Mortgage

Bank Limited.

Represented by the

commissioner for finance

Olorogun David Edevbie,

at the event which held in

for him at all-times.

"The leaders warned those

attempting to destroy the hard

earned reputation of the APC

National Chairman to desist from

such unwholesome practice.

financing for the group’s primary

aim of returning Gong>overong>nor

Obaseki and his Deputy back to

office.

The former council boss warned

members of the group not to go

about soliciting for funds to

execute the project.

He said Edo people would

thank Obaseki with votes for the

developmental strides recorded in

the past two years.

Every strategic information in gong>overong>nance

must be beneficial to govt —Ukah

Okpanam gong>overong>nor Okowa

commended the

management of the bank

for erecting a magnificent

edifice which reflected the

purpose of its establishment.

Gong>overong>nor Okowa promised

to transit the foreclosure

law to the transition

committee so that it can be

effective in the nearest future.

The bank board chairman,

Dr. Francis Abudu,

stated that the board which

was inagurated in 2016 embarked

on the reorganization

of the bank by charging

its strategic focus to suitable

profitable and aggressive

recong>overong>y of bad loans.

The managing director of

the bank, Mrs. Ruby Okoro

said that the mortgage bank

had the license to also carry

out other banking services

that will help artisans and

other low-income earners

realize their dreams of

owning a home.

policies and programmes

as well as achievements

to the citizens,while adhering

strictly to professional

ethics.

According to the

Information Commissioner

, every strategic

communication in

gong>overong>nance must be

beneficial to gong>overong>nment in

the sense that it would

produce positive outcomes,

meet set objectives identify

trends, strength, save money and

plan for the future, among others.

He expressed optimism that

there were bright prospects for

effective gong>overong>nment information

systems and collaboration among

communication and media

persons to build a stronger Delta,

owing to the enduring structures

put in place by the gong>overong>nment

of gong>overong>nor Ifeanyi Okowa.

Also speaking at the workshop,

Chief Press Secretary to Delta

State Gong>overong>nor, Mr Charles

Aniagwu told participants that the

primary assignment for all

gong>overong>nment media, information

and communication persons is to

make friends for the gong>overong>nor and

gong>overong>nment.

Saudi energy minister recommends

driving down oil inventories,

says supply plentiful

SAUDI Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on

Sunday he recommended “gently” driving oil inventories down

at a time of plentiful global supplies and that OPEC would not make

hasty decisions about output ahead of a June meeting. Saudi Arabian

Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih speaks to the media before the OPEC

14th Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee in Jeddah,

Saudi Arabia, May 19, 2019. “Overall, the market is in a delicate

situation,” Falih told reporters before a ministerial panel meeting of top

OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers, including Saudi Arabia and

Russia. While there is concern about supply disruptions, inventories are

rising and the market should see a “comfortable supply situation in the

weeks and months to come”, he said. The Organization of the Petroleum

Exporting Countries, of which Saudi Arabia is de facto leader, would

have more data at its next meeting in late June to help it reach the

best decision on output, Falih said.

China’s top diplomat calls for U.S.

restraint on trade, Iran

CHINA’s senior diplomat Wang Yi told U.S. Secretary

of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday that recent U.S. words

and actions had harmed the interests of China and its enterprises,

and that Washington should show restraint, China’s foreign ministry

said. Speaking to Pompeo by telephone, Wang said the United

States should not go “too far” in the current trade dispute between

the two sides, adding that China was still willing to resolve differences

through negotiations, but they should be on an equal footing.

On Iran, Wang said China hoped all parties will exercise

restraint and act with caution to avoid escalating tensions. U.S.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement

that Pompeo spoke with Wang and discussed bilateral issues

and U.S. concerns about Iran, but gave no other details.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have increased in recent

days, raising concerns about a potential U.S.-Iran conflict.

Earlier this week the United States pulled some diplomatic staff

from its Baghdad embassy following attacks on oil tankers in the

Gulf.

Huawei founder says growth

‘may slow, but only slightly’

after U.S. restrictions

HUAWEI Technologies’ founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei

said on Saturday the growth of the Chinese tech giant “may slow, but

only slightly” due to recent U.S. restrictions.

In remarks to the Japanese press and reported s.nikkei.com/2VMJSaT by

Nikkei Asian Review, Ren reiterated that the Chinese telecom equipment

maker has not violated any law. “It is expected that Huawei’s growth may

slow, but only slightly,” Ren told Japanese media in his first official comments

after the U.S. restrictions, adding that the company’s annual revenue growth

may undershoot 20 percent. On Thursday, Washington put Huawei, one of

China’s biggest and most successful companies, on a trade blacklist that

could make it extremely difficult for Huawei to do business with U.S.

companies, a decision slammed by China, which said it will take steps to

protect its companies. The developments surrounding Huawei come at a

time of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing and amid concerns

from the United States that Huawei’s smartphones and network equipment

could be used by China to spy on Americans, allegations the company has

repeatedly denied. A similar U.S. ban on China’s ZTE Corp had almost

crippled business for the smaller Huawei rival early last year before the curb

was lifted.

IMF’s Lagarde says U.S.-China

trade war could be risk for world

economic outlook

THE trade war between the United States and China could

be a risk to the world economic outlook if it is not resolved,

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine

Lagarde told Reuters on Friday during a visit to Uzbekistan.

“Obviously, the downside risk that we have is continued trade

tensions between the United States and China,” Lagarde said,

referring to the IMF’s world economic outlook. “And if these

tensions are not resolved, that clearly is a risk going forward.”

The IMF last month cut its growth forecast for 2019 to 3.3 percent,

down from the 3.5 percent it had previously predicted. It

warned at the time that growth could slow further due to trade

tensions and a potentially disorderly British exit from the European

Union. “But we expect that at the end of 2019 and in 2020 it

will bounce back,” Lagarde said of the world economic outlook

on Friday.

All stories credited to Reuters


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—17


18 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

AS the first term of President

Muhammadu Buhari winds up within

the next nine days, it is understandable

that Nigerians are looking back at the

passing four years to see if (and where)

the “change” the ruling All

Progressives Congress, APC,

promised showed up beyond mere

propaganda.

While the regime’s performance in the

economic sector can at best be described

as tepid, two federal institutions stood

out by dint of their internal innovative

initiatives beyond the general template

of the regime’s economic agenda as

contained in the Economic Recong>overong>y

and Growth Plan, ERGP. These were the

Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, under

its Gong>overong>nor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and

the Federal Inland Revenue Service,

FIRS, under its Executive Chairman,

Dr. William Babatunde Fowler.

Emefiele, who has emerged as the

first CBN Gong>overong>nor to be appointed for

a second five-year term since the return

Fowler’s FIRS tax revolution

of democracy in Nigeria in 1999,

earned his place in the Buhari

administration through the highly

successful Anchor Borrowers

Programme for agriculture (especially

rice production). He also stabilised the

Naira without compromising the steady

growth of our external reserves.

Fowler’s FIRS, on the other hand,

has met the expectations of many

Nigerians that he should take the

“magic” he performed at the Lagos

State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS,

to Abuja. The FIRS has now become

the Federal Gong>overong>nment’s dependable

organ for the steady accretion of nonoil,

tax-based revenue to service the

Federation Account.

Fowler halted the instability that

pervaded the FIRS since the tenure

of Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru

ended in 2012. Former President

Goodluck Jonathan had replaced her

with Alhaji Kabir Mashi. But in March

2015, Mashi was replaced by Mr.

Samuel Odugbesan who remained in

acting capacity until he was replaced

by Fowler.

Whereas under Fowler, the LIRS

increased from N600 million in 1999

to N20 billion per month in 2015, the

FIRS moved from below N2 trillion

per annum in 2015 to initial N3 trillion

in 2016, N4 trillion in 2017 and N5.3

trillion in 2018, which is more than half

of the 2019 Federal budget. In addition,

through the Tax Identification Number,

TIN, initiative, 45 million taxpayers have

now been brought into the federal tax

net. With the steady implementation of

the ongoing innovations, the future of

taxation assuming the lion’s share of

federal revenue in place of oil is bright

indeed.

The Buhari regime has done a great

job towards putting taxation in its proper

place in our national economy. Indeed,

Nigerian taxpayers can now genuinely

look forward to priding themselves as

the primary providers of gong>overong>nment

revenue for good gong>overong>nance and

development. This will eventually augur

well for accountability, safeguard against

corruption and promote zero-tolerance

for gong>overong>nment ineptitude.

We hope efforts will be made to foster

continuity and consolidation in this

sector.

OPINION

Emefiele: A presidential vote of confidence

By Arize Nwobu

THE re-appointment of the Gong>overong>nor,

Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin

Emefiele, for another five years tenure by

President Muhammadu Buhari is a vote of

confidence on Emefiele and the policies and

drive of CBN towards redefining and creating

balance and resilience in the economy for

sustainable growth and development. His reappointment

has been commended by a

spectrum of experts. Also for this writer as an

economy and business journalist who has

keenly monitored CBN policies ong>overong> the years,

the re-appointment is deserved.

In an article entitled: CBN and the economy,

going forward, written prior to his reappointment

and published in The Gong>overong>nment

and Business Journal and Leadership

Newspaper, I had noted thus: “Considering

the characteristics of the Nigerian economy

which had made it to be resistant to guidance

and discipline, and remained factor-driven for

58 years, the Central Bank of Nigeria deserves

commendation for evolving and

implementing policies that tend towards

reinventing the structure of the economy to

improve local production, expand the

country’s industrial base and create more

employment; a development that needs to be

sustained going forward.”

Furthermore, I remarked that Emefiele is

noted as the “most challenged” and “hardest

working” CBN gong>overong>nor in recent years in view

of the crisis occasioned by the recession and

the dexterity he deployed with his team which

contributed largely to pull the economy out of

the maze. The forex market crisis especially

put Emefiele on the spot and his critics shot

“fiery darts” at him and called for his removal.

In the crisis, the apex bank established creative

policies including the Importers’ and

Exporters’(I&E) FX Window- the trump card

that created a magical impact in the forex

market. The I&E FX window triggered an

inflow of forex which helped to kick-start local

production which hitherto was comatose, with

an increase in the ong>overong>all net inflow of forex

into the economy in 2017 increased to $57.32

billion against $37.19 billion in 2016.

Concluding the article, I noted that “going

forward, the momentum created by CBN

should be sustained even as some

commentators have advocated for tenure

extension for Emefiele to further drive the

policies for a maximum impact.” In reappointing

Emefiele, President Buhari allowed

statesmanship and genuine recognition and

objective performance evaluation to rise above

political considerations, especially as

Emefiele was first appointed by former

President Goodluck Jonathan. President

Buhari recognised the need to sustain the

momentum for the greater benefit of the

economy.

Emefiele has demonstrated a good

understanding of the art of central banking

vis-à-vis the Nigerian economy. With patriotic

zeal, he has worked towards redefining and

repositioning the economy through a

combination of monetary policies and

development finance options. He understood

that central banks in developing countries play

a wider role and perform both traditional and

non-traditional roles. According to experts,

central banks in developing countries perform

developmental and promotional activities,

especially because developing countries do not

have vibrant money and capital markets.

Vibrant capital markets help to improve the

monetary transmission mechanism, increase

public and private access to long-term finance

and widen participation in the economy. It

promotes inclusive financing and engenders

inclusive growth which is what CBN’s

development finance initiatives aim to achieve.

President Buhari and Emefiele seem to be

on the same page on the way forward for the

economy. Both are desirous to free the

economy from the stranglehold of unbridled

importation which depletes external reserves

unnecessarily and imports unemployment to

the economy. In a press report, Emefiele said:

“When the President came on board, he came

at a time when the global crisis was setting in

and I had a conversation with him, when I

said our reserves are going to plummet, and

we came up with an idea that we produce the

items we were importing that can be produced

in Nigeria.”

The idea led to the exclusion of 41 items

from the interbank foreign exchange market

to conserve reserves, a policy which evidently

resonated with the president. The excluded

items include toothpicks, tomato paste, sugar

and other such items which can readily be

produced locally. It was noted that the import

Emefiele has demonstrated

a good understanding of the

art of central banking vis-àvis

the Nigerian economy

bill for toothpick was $18 million per annum

and $400 million for tomato paste. The

importation of these items do not only deplete

external reserves but also transfers wealth to

other nations and import unemployment to

Nigeria.

Another CBN policy that resonated with

President Buhari is the Anchor Borrowers

Programme, ABP, which the president

launched in 2015 with the objectives to link

anchor companies involved in the processing

and small holder farmers, SHFs, of the

required key agricultural commodities such

as rice, maize, wheat, sugar cane, oil palm,

cocoa, etc and conserve external reserves by

reducing agricultural commodity

importation, increase banks’ financing to the

agricultural sector and create new generation

of farmers/entrepreneurs and employment.

Other objectives are: to reduce the level of

pong>overong>ty among small holder farmers, assist

rural small farmers to grow from subsistence

to commercial production level and increase

capacity utilisation of agricultural firms and

deepen the cashless policy and financial

inclusion, among others.

The importance of agriculture cannot be

ong>overong>emphasized. It is the back bone and starting

chain of the economy. Over the years, CBN has

been promoting agriculture, but took it to

greater heights with the ABP under Emefiele’s

leadership. It scaled up the amount to be

disbursed under the Commercial Agriculture

Credit Scheme, CACS, with 60 per cent of the

CACAS targeted at the identified commodities

even as the loan limit also was increased to

N50 million.

As noted by the Vice National President, All

Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Chief

Daniel Okafor: “CBN has been agriculturefriendly

since Emefiele’s tenure.” If CBN sustains

the momentum of ABP and other such

initiatives, the economy is likely to experience

the agriculture miracle which has transformed

other developing economies.

Going forward, all hands need to be on deck.

Both the fiscal and monetary authorities need

to evolve more creative policies to drive the

economy. CBN should sustain the momentum

of existing policies towards improving local

production, expanding the country’s industrial

base and creating more employment. The

economy needs further stabilisation through

diversification, greater energetic inflows and

transformational activities. Creating multiple

economic pillars, boosting the supply-side

productive potential and increasing aggregate

demand towards achieving double-digit growth

is the way to go.

•Nwobu, a business journalist and

chartered stockbroker, wrote from Lagos.


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019 —19

Equities market to sustain upward trend on MTN’s listing

By Nkiruka Nnorom

OPERATORS in the capital market

have projected that the gains

recorded in the equities market last

week following the listing of MTN

Nigeria Communications Plc will be

sustained as excitement ong>overong> the

listing still lingers.

They also pointed to bargain

hunting activity by value investors as

another booster that would keep the

market in the positive territory within

the week.

Last week MTN Nigeria

Communication Plc made good its

promise by listing its entire issued

and paid-up share capital on the

Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE,

Thursday, thereby ending many years

of waiting by investors.

Within two trading sessions, the

company’s share price advanced by

20 percent to N108.90 per share from

the listing price of N90, to lift the

equities market marginally out of red

territory.

Resultantly, the equities market,

which had gone down by 1.95 percent

as at Wednesday, May 15, 2019, rose

0.54 percent on Thursday following

the listing of the telecommunication

giant. It advanced further by 1.53

percent on Friday, resulting in 0.08

percent week-on-week (w/w) gains

with the All Share Index, ASI, settling

at 28,871.93 points from 28,847.81

points in the previous week. This also

moderated the month-to-date and

year-to-date return to -0.99 and -8.14

percent respectively.

Similarly, market capitalisation

advanced by N1.88 billion or 17.29

Continues on page 24

MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

By Babajide Komolafe

AHEAD of today’s release

of the data on Nigeria’s Gross

Domestic Product ,GDP, for the first

quarter of 2019 (Q1’19), by the Nigeria

Bureau of Statistics (NBS), analysts

forecasts indicate that

the pattern of weak economic

growth performance, recorded in

2018, continued in Q1’19, with

GDP growth rate of around 2.05 percent,

as inconsistent gong>overong>nment

spending, budget delay and election

hiccups undermined impact of high

crude oil price, increased foreign exchange

inflows and marginal monetary

easing during the quarter.

Meanwhile, the Monetary Policy

Committee (MPC) of the Central

Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may be forced

Economic growth remains weak

at 2% in Q1’19-Analysts forecast

•Rising inflation to halt MPC’s pro growth direction

•ERGP targets becoming unachievable —Experts

to abandon its pro-growth direction,

following the resurgence of inflationary

pressures reflected by the increase

in the inflation rate in April, which is

projected to persist in the coming

months.

While Nigeria recong>overong>ed from economic

recession in thre second quarter

of 2017 (Q2’17), economic growth

had remained persistently weak below

2.0 percent and far from the Economic

Recong>overong>y and Growth Plan

(ERGP) target of seven percent by

2020. Furthermore, the average of

growth forecast by the World Bank (2.2

percent), the International Monetary

Fund, IMF, (2.0 percent), and the

CBN (2.74 percent) indicate annual

growth rate of 2.3 percent for the nation’s

economy in 2019.

Against this background, economic

operators and analysts, especially

members of the MPC, are looking forward

with high expectation, to the

data on the nation’s GDP in Q1’19 to

be released by the NBS today.

Analysts’ forecasts

However, Financial Vanguard survey

of analysts forecast showed GDP

growth rate ranging from 1.9 percent

to 2.52 percent for Q1’19 with aver-

Continues on page 20

Nigerians open 4m

bank accounts in

Q1’19

Seplat’s acquisition plan We suspend raising Tier-1

still on course, assures capital to enhance

shareholders of capital

shareholders value

22 appreciation

24 —Access Bank CEO 29

C

M

Y

K


20 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

FINANCIAL VANGUARD

COVER

Economic growth remains weak at 2% in Q1’19-Analysts forecast

Continues from page 19

age forecast of 2.05 percent.

Analysts also projected that

economic growth was driven

by the non-oil sector in Q1’19,

helped by increase in foreign

exchange inflows due to attractive

yields in the fixed income

market and some light

manufacturing and construction

activities

which stimulated demand for

raw materials from agriculture

and construction. They, however,

cited the fiscal activities

of the federal gong>overong>nment as

the main constraint to economic

growth in Q1’19.

Speaking for Vetiva Capital

Management Limited, Ifedayo

Olowoporoku, said: “We

project a 2.5 percent to 2.7

percent, year-on-year, GDP

growth for Q1’19 as major

parts of the economy continues

to trudge along at low single

digit levels even as inconsistent

gong>overong>nment spending

has resulted in inconsequential

fiscal stimulus.”

Explaining the basis for the

2.48 percent GDP growth rate

for Q1’19 forecast by FSDH

Merchant Bank, Ajike Taiwo

said: “Drivers of the expected

growth include: Higher

crude oil price in Q1 2019,

will stimulate investment in

the oil and gas sector; a successful

election, has allayed

fears of uncertainties in continuity

of gong>overong>nment; increase

in foreign exchange

inflows due to attractive

yields in the fixed income

market; monetary policy easing

and lower yields, leading

to lower financing cost for corporate

and gong>overong>nment; some

light manufacturing/construction

activities have also taken

place – stimulating demand

for raw materials from agriculture

and construction

Sounding optimistic, Bunmi

Asaolu Head of Equity Research

at FBNQuest Capital,

said: “Our Q1 GDP forecast

is 1.9 percent y/y with nonoil

sector as the main driver

as usual. We are assuming

growth will pick up through

the rest of the year since Q1

is usually the softest for nonoil.”

Rising inflation to halt MPC

pro-growth direction

Analysts forecasts also indicate

that the MPC meeting

holding from today till tomorrow

will be concluded with a

decision to retain benchmark

policy rates due to renewed

inflationary threat. This will

be in sharp contrast to the

outcome of the last meeting of

the MPC held in March when

it signalled its preference for

pro-economic growth policy,

by reducing the Monetary

Policy Rate (MPR) by 50 basis

points (bpts) to 13.5 percent,

while retaining the Cash

Reserve Ratio at 22.5 percent

and the Liquidity Ratio at 30

percent

Godwin Emefiele CBN Gong>overong>nor

Explaining the rationale for

the MPC decision, CBN Gong>overong>nor,

Mr. Godwin Emefiele

in the communiqué issued at

the end of the meeting, said:

“In its consideration of the

best monetary policy option,

the Committee noted the need

for all agencies of Gong>overong>nment

to work hard, not only

in consolidating the growth

so far achieved, but also in

ensuring that appropriate policies

are put in place and implemented

to create jobs on a

mass scale and diversify the

economy in a proper direction.

“In doing this, the policy

options facing the MPC at

this meeting are a decision

between retention of the current

ong>stanceong> of monetary policy

or a slight loosening of the

policy rate, backed by the substantial

stability of the major

macroeconomic indicators.

The Committee felt that given

the relative stability in the

key macroeconomic variables,

there is the need to signal a

new direction that is progrowth.”

But the relative macroeconomic

stability cited by the

MPC came under threat in

April as the inflation rate rose

for the first time in four months

to 11.37 in April, following

three months of decline from

11.44 percent in December

2018 to 11.25 percent March

2019.

This sudden rise in the inflation

rate, according to analysts,

will persist in the coming

months, and may compel

the MPC to halt its progrowth

policy direction.

According to analysts at Financial

Derivatives Company

(FDC) Limited: “The rise in

inflation is expected to be sustained

in May and June. This

would be driven by both demand-pull

and cost-push inflation

factors. The commencement

of planting season

will result in food supply

shortages while the minimum

wage implementation and the

Ramadan fast would increase

consumer demand. All things

being equal, the confluence

of supply shortages and increased

demand would exert

pressure on prices.

“The re-emergence of inflationary

pressures increases

We expect that

the MPC will

adopt a ‘wait

and see’ approach

and

hold the current

rates at

its May 20-21,

2019 meeting

Yemi Kale Statistician General

the probability of the MPC

members adopting a more

hawkish monetary policy

ong>stanceong> at its May meeting.”

Corroborating this position,

Olowoporoku of Vetival Capital

said: “Despite the new

dovish ong>stanceong> of the Monetary

Policy Committee, we expect

most members will vote to

keep all policy levers unchanged

in the upcoming

meeting. Given that the committee

voted on a rate cut in

its last meeting, we expect

members to tread prudently

more so given the recent reversal

in inflation figures in

April – rose from 11.25 percent

to 11.37 percent y/y -

and expected additional inflationary

pressures in the coming

months.

“They may be tempted to cut

again (significant major of

members wanted to cut last

time) given the commentary

on “pro growth” but they may

just wait a little to give some

time for the last 50bp cut to

make an impact/and hopefully

measure it. Two cuts in a

row having not done anything

in 2.5 percent GDP growth

years would be a little surprising”,

said Asaolu of FBN-

Quest.

In their outlook for the outcome

of the MPC meeting,

FSDH Merchant Bank analysts

cited uncertain global

economic outlook and possibility

of capital flight as other

factors that may compel MPC

members to halt its progrowth

direction. They said:

“Given the recent positive developments

in Nigeria, namely

crude price above $70 per

barrel, stable foreign exchange

rate, rising external

reserves; the MPC members

may consider reducing policy

rates.

“However, FSDH Research

believes the short-term outlook

of the global economy

remains uncertain and may

not sustain strong growth in

crude oil prices. Other issues

that may affect the choice of

monetary policy implementation

in the short term are: an

indication of inflationary pressure

(the inflation rate went

up for the first time in 2019 in

April), the possibility of capital

flight if fixed income rates

drop further and the fiscal

deficit in the 2019 proposed

budget.

“Therefore, considering the

current situation, a cautious

approach to the conduct of

monetary policy is appropriate.

As a result, we expect

that the MPC will adopt a

‘wait and see’ approach and

hold the current rates at its

May 20-21, 2019 meeting.”

ERGP targets becoming

‘unachievable’

Meanwhile, analysts assessment

indicates that the

targets of the two year old

Economic Recong>overong>y and

Growth Plan (ERGP) of the

federal gong>overong>nment are gradually

becoming unachievable.

The targets include real GDP

growth rate of 7.0 percent and

inflation rate of 9.9 percent

by year 2020. Others are unemployment

rate of 11.23 percent

and crude oil production

of 2.5 million barrels per day

by year 2020.

In a report titled “Economic

Recong>overong>y and Growth

Plan: What has Nigeria

achieved? Analysts at Financial

Derivatives Company

Limited noted that,“With less

than one year to go, the targets

set in the ERGP are looking

more and more unachievable

by the day. It has become

highly unlikely that a seven

percent growth rate (from 1.9

percent in 2018) will be

achieved. Nor does a singledigit

inflation rate, from its

current level of 11.37 per

cent, nor an unemployment

rate of 11.23 percent, from

23.1 percent, seem likely in

less than 12 months. Even if

the right tools and policies are

deployed, the time frame is

unrealistic.”

On the GDP growth target,

the report stated: “The objective

to restore growth does

not appear to have materialized.

According to the ERGP

blueprint, economic growth in

2017 and 2018 should have

Continues on page 21


FINANCIAL

Continues from page 20

been 2.19 percent

and 4.80 percent respectively.

However, in

reality Nigeria’s

economy grew only

0.82 percent in 2017

and 1.9 percent in 2018.

The inability to meet

the targets in the first

two years of the framework

threatens the

federal gong>overong>nment’s

ability to meet its

growth targets of 4.5

percent in 2019

and seven percent in

2020. Output constraints,

such as

herdsmen conflicts,

flooding, and high interest

rates, have

stunted growth at a

sub-optimal level of

1.9 percent, below the

population growth

rate of 2.6 percent.”

While noting efforts

to achieve the second

objective of investing

in the Nigerian people

through strategies

such as social

inclusion, job creation

and youth empowerment

has been

mixed, vis-a-vis social

intervention programmes,

such as

Trader Moni and N-

Power, have been

launched in a bid to

empower Nigerian

youth and alleviate

pong>overong>ty, the report

observed that, “unemployment

increased

from 20.4

percent in 2017 to

23.1 percent in 2018.

Youth unemployment

increased from 26.58

percent in 2017 to

29.72 percent in

2018. In addition, two

years after the inception

of the framework,

Nigeria has

ong>overong>taken India as

the poorest country in

the world with 87

million citizens living

below the pong>overong>ty

line of $1.90 per

day. ”

The report also noted

that the Federal

Gong>overong>nment is still

far from achieving the

objective of a global

competitive economy,

via elevation to

top 100 in the World

Bank’s Doing Business

Report by 2020,

stating, “Thirdly, the

objective of building

a globally competitive

economy has

achieved some fair

progress within the

first two years of the

plan. While Nigeria’s

ease of doing business

rank dropped

one place from 145 in

2017 to 146 in 2018,

the launch of the

Presidential Enabling

Business Environment

Council

Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019 —21

Economic growth remains weak...

(PEBEC) has impacted

positively on the

Nigerian business

environment. PEBEC

has successfully

launched business

initiatives, such as

starting a business,

registering property,

getting electricity,

getting credit and

paying taxes. The

aim of the gong>overong>nment,

through this

initiative, is to elevate

the economy to

top 100 in the World

Bank’s Doing Business

Report by 2020.

Nigeria is currently

46 places away from

this target.”

The way forward

Against this background,

and to ensure

attainment of

the targets of the

ERGP, FDC analysts

recommended

review of the time

frame as well as the

establishment of a

monitoring and evaluation

committee.

“We suggest a review

of the time frame for

achieving the set targets

of the ERGP. An

extension of the

framework would allow

the federal gong>overong>nment

more time

to execute and implement

the right

policy tools to meeting

its objectives. A

medium to long-term

period, five to ten

year, would also encourage

policy continuation

of administrations.

“Policies established

by a ruling administration

are often

known to be discontinued

by the

next administration.

An extension of the

period and policy

continuation should

be complemented by

tough game-changing

decisions by the

gong>overong>nment to

achieve transformational

growth in the

near to long term.

“One such choice is

to provide incentives

for both domestic and

international investment

to achieve a

growth rate of 7.0 percent

or higher. Currently,

Nigeria’s

gross fixed investment

accounts for

only 14 percent

($66.3 billion) of GDP.

Increased investment

would have a multiplier

effect on consumption

and aggregate

demand.

“A second way to

achieve the set targets

of the ERGP is

through increased

state cooperation.

States across the Federation

can emulate

the example set by

the federal gong>overong>nment

by formulating

laid out objectives

and strategies to

achieve improved

growth and development.

“For inong>stanceong>, Kaduna

state has

launched its Infrastructure

Master

Plan, which is expected

to run between

2018-2050.

The 32-year framework

is aimed at restoring

the state to its

former glory as the

business and industrial

hub of the nation

through infrastructure

development.

If all states

work towards the

common goal of accelerated

growth, the

targets of the ERGP

could be achieved

within the new time

frame.

“The federal gong>overong>nment

should also

consider setting up a

monitoring and evaluation

committee for

the ERGP initiative.

The function of the

committee would be

to perform regular

and thorough observations

of the targets

and the progress of

each stakeholder in

achieving said objectives

and to report

the results.”


22 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

FINANCIAL VANGUARD

Nigerians open 4m bank accounts in Q1’19

•As inactive bank accounts rise to 49m

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

NIGERIANS opened four

million bank accounts in

the first quarter of 2019, Q1’19.

However, the number of inactive

bank accounts rose by 1.7

million or 3.0 percent to 49 million

during the period from 47

million in Q4’18, a development

attributed to the rate of pong>overong>ty

and lack of access to credit by

individuals in the country.

Financial Vanguard analysis

data from the Nigeria Interbank

Settlement System, NIBSS, on

bank accounts for Q1’19, showed

that the number of bank accounts

increased by 3.5 million or 3.0

percent to 121.638 million from

118.089 million in Q4’19. The

number of active bank accounts

rose by 1.7 million or 2.5 percent

to 73 million in Q1’19 from 71.2

million in Q4’18.

NIBSS further revealed

that the number of savings accounts

increased slightly by 0.18

million or 0.2 percent to 89.3 million

in Q1’19 from 89.1 million in

Q4’18 while the number of current

account rose by 13 percent

to 29 million in Q1’19 from 26

million in Q4’18.

Banking experts who spoke to

From left Gov Ibrahim Dankwabo of Gombe State; Mr .Tony Okpanachi, MD/CEO, Development Bank

of Nigeria /CIBN Fellowship awardee and former head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, chairman of

the occasion at the CIBN extraordinary Fellowship Investiture held in Lagos

Financial Vanguard said the increased

number of inactive bank

accounts reflects to the rate of

pong>overong>ty and lack of access to credit

by individuals in the country.

According to Dr. Uju Ogubunka,

President, Bank Customers

Association of Nigeria, BCAN,

“The reasons for increase in inactive

bank accounts are obvious.

Among several other reasons,

many bank account holders have:

lost their jobs and have not been

able to secure new ones; no cred-

CBN, Gowon charge bankers on integrity and ethics

DEPUTY Gong>overong>nor, Finan

cial Sector Surveillance,

Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN,

Mrs. Aisha Ahmad has called for

increased commitment to integrity

and professional ethics among

bankers.

This came as former head of

state, General Yakubu Gowon

called on bankers to stem the tide

of news reports on fraud and unethical

practices in the industry

which reflects decline in integrity

in the industry. The duo spoke on

the sidelines of the extraordinary

investiture ceremony of the Chartered

Institute of Bankers of Nigeria,

CIBN, at the weekend.

While Gowon was the special

guest at the occasion, Ahmad was

honoured with Fellowship of the institute

alongside the deputy gong>overong>nor,

corporate services of the CBN,

Edward Adamu, managing directors

of Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith

Bank, Development Bank of

Nigeria and Jaiz Bank, Segun Agbaje,

Peter Amangbo, Tony Okpanachi

and Usman Hassan as well

as the chairman of Goldfield

Group, Abimbade Yekini.

Ahmad said that the theme of the

investiture, “Ethical Dilemma in

Financial Institutions: the Way

Forward” was apt, adding, “we all

need to build in ourselves that high

sense of integrity and do the right

thing. Usually when you are very

clear about your value it is easier

to solve ethical dilemmas.”

Noting that upholding the highest

level of ethics and professional

standards in the banking industry

is critical, Ahmad stressed that it is

the responsibility of members of

the CIBN to “conduct ourselves

both in our personal lives and professionals

lives at high standards.”

She urged the CIBN to continue

to encourage the fellowship recipients

to persist in their commitment

to enhancing the level of standards

of professionals that are

working in the financial services

sector urging the new fellows of the

institute to “be role models and

mentors to other professionals in

the banking industry and also to

support the institute in its broader

activities in terms of what it is trying

to do in building capacity of

bankers and their professionalism.”

On his part, Gowon noted that

the Nigerian financial industry

has in recent times been in the news

for the wrong reasons. He cautioned

that the rising trend of bad

news constitute a threat to the public

trust in the financial industry

which thrives on integrity calling

on the institute to promote professionalism

in the industry.

“The Nigerian banking and finance

industry has in recent time

been plagued with frauds and unethical

practices. No day passes

without reports of frauds and other

unethical practices in the industry.

This constitutes a big threat to

the values of trust and professionalism

which ought to be the basic

principles of the banking industry”,

he said.

Heritage Bank promotes CBN’s sustainable

development in business operation

HERITAGE Bank Plc has

continued to make positive

impact in the implementation

of the Central Bank of Nigeria,

CBN, initiative on Nigeria

Sustainable Banking Principle,

NSBP, by given its backing

to greener environment in order

to deliver positive development

effects to society and business,

whilst protecting the communities

and environs in which

it operates and the customers.

The bank partnered the promoter

of the Redball initiative,

themed: “Going Green” to canvass

for tree planting in order

to contain environmental pollution

and promote the sustainable

development of the nation.

Speaking at the event held in

Port Harcourt yesterday, the

Managing Director/Chief Executive

Officer of the bank, Ifie

Sekibo, emphasised that Heritage

Bank at the forefront of

implementing the NSBP is carrying

out banking operational

and business activities, with

conscious consideration for the

environmental and social impacts

of those activities.

Sekibo who was represented

by the Directorate Head, South

South and South East, Osepiribo

Ben-Willie said trees play a

key role in neighbourhood landscapes,

a belief that has been

widely held for millennia in areas

beyond Sub-Saharan Africa.

STERLING Bank Plc, for

the second consecutive

year, has supported iCreate

Africa; an advocate of vocational

skills development in

Africa to host iCreate Skills

festival following its successful

debut in Abuja last year.

The event took a different

turn this year and will see the

team making stops at different

cities across Nigeria including

Kaduna, Enugu and

Lagos. The Kaduna regional

it balances in their accounts to

draw from; no credit facilities to

keep their accounts active; some

travelled out of the country in

search of better opportunities/education;

inactive businesses

without inflows; living from hand

to mouth without need for bank

accounts; school graduates

without jobs; dislocation from

place of residence; some customers

opened new account in another

bank and abandoned the

existing one; some customers have

grievances /complaints against

their banks and decided to stay

action on the accounts.

“In summary, the major cause

is that the economy has increasingly

been inclement.”

On the way forward, Ogubunka

said: “If you are looking for some

solutions, let the economy be revived

and made to grow; address

insecurity that has caused dislocation

of quite a number of people;

improved banker-customer relationship

and marketing approach of

banks.”

On his part, President Association

of Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria

(AMEN), Comrade Prince

Ichie, said: “The increase in inactive

bank account can be attributed

to pong>overong>ty. It is when one has excess

money that he would be able

to bank and save money. So some

people stop banking transactions

in their accounts because of their

numerous wants. Others decide to

hold their money because they are

disappointed by their banking activities.

Sometimes when you go to

the bank, they give so many reasons

for failed transactions such as

network problem. Some of them

probably have been affected by

Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

inefficiency. A salary earner that is

paid N30,000 monthly cannot save

in a bank because the amount is

not enough for him to take care of

the home talk less of saving.”

Ecobank’s ‘Digital Campus’

campaign returns with EcobankPay

ECOBANKPay, the life

style digital payment and

collections service of Ecobank

Nigeria will lead the

bank’s financial inclusion campaign

to higher institutions of

learning across the country.

The Digital Campus campaign

is making available digital

banking platforms to students,

teachers, other workers and

businesses within campuses

enabling them transfer and receive

funds easily, engage in

cardless withdrawals from

ATMs and make payments with

EcobankPay using their mobile

phones.

EcobankPay which enables

convenient and stress free digital

payment is accompanied by

Xpress pay point which facilities

seamless transactions.

Commenting on why the bank

Sterling Bank powers skills competition in Kaduna

decided to embark on the campus

campaign, Ecobank Nigeria’s

Head, Consumer Banking,

Ayodele Osolake, said: “The

last edition of this campaign has

warmed us more to the students,

lecturers and other workers

on the campuses visited, as

they are now able to do banking

just with their phones. This

has eased the entire banking

process for them, whether they

are opening accounts, sending

and receiving money, paying

school fees or withdrawing cash

without cards through the Ecobank

Xpress cash.

Parents and guardians are

now able to transfer money to

their children’s Ecobank accounts,

which they can withdraw

without a debit card at any

Ecobank ATM (using Xpress

Cash) or Xpress Point”.

competition which held recently

featured ong>overong> 80 competitors

across Nigeria’s northern

states and was dubbed, the

‘Grand Tournament of the finest

of skills in the north.’ The

competition focused on 15 skill

categories such as bricklaying,

tiling, tailoring, shoe making,

plumbing and web development,

among others.

While representing Sterling

Bank at the event, Adeola Adejokun,

Head of Public Relations

disclosed that “this is our

second year of supporting

iCreate Skills Festival because

the future of the country is in

jobs and there is need to do

all that is necessary to create

jobs in various sectors of the

economy.

“This explains the bank’s

intervention in areas and sectors

that have the potential to

create jobs thereby ensuring a

future of shared prosperity for

all Nigerians.”


FINANCIAL VANGUARD

Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—23

BANKING FEATURE

Reviving MfBs

to enhance

economic

growth

By Babajide Komolafe

NIGERIA is presently faced

with the challenge of weak

economic growth, which stood at

1.93 percent for 2018, and a huge

population estimated at 201

million people. The impact of

this challenge is reflected in the

high unemployment figures,

estimated at 23.1 percent, and the

86.9 million Nigerians living in

extreme pong>overong>ty.

At the core of this challenge is

the large number of micro,

small and medium enterprises

(MSMEs), without access to

credit as well as large population

of Nigerians who are financially

excluded, which means they do

not have access to financial

services.

Given that 80 percent of

businesses in Nigeria are

MSMEs which also generate

about 80 percent of employment

in Nigeria, and the well proven

impact of financial inclusion on

pong>overong>ty reduction, addressing the

challenge of weak economic

growth and pong>overong>ty requires a

policy framework and direction

that will help MSMEs to easily

access credit and also extend

financial services to the mass of

Nigerians who financially

excluded.

A policy initiative that has been

globally proven to work in this

regard is microfinance.

Microfinance is the provision of

financial services to the poor who

are traditionally not served by the

conventional banks. These

financial services include credit,

savings, micro-leasing, money

transfer and payment services.

Unlike conventional banks, the

distinct features of microfinance

are: Smallness of loans advanced

and savings collected; near

absence of assets-based

collateral; and simplicity of

operations. Among other things,

microfinance facilitates pong>overong>ty

alleviation, encourage

development of micro enterprises

as well as increase savings. It also

helps individuals generate

income, build asset base while

leading to improved quality of

life.

Nigeria’s Microfinance Policy

The above informed the

development and introduction of

the Microfinance Policy by the

Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN,

in 2005, which led to creation of

Microfinance Banks, MFBs. The

microfinance policy vis-a-vis the

performance of the

MfBs, challenges and

regulatory efforts to revive the

subsector were the focus of the

CBN seminar for finance

correspondents and business

editors held recently in Gombe

State.

The seminar with the theme,

“Repositioning Micro-Finance

Banks for Real Sector growth,”

was declared open by the CBN

Gong>overong>nor. Mr. Godwin Emefiele,

while it also featured

presentations by the Director,

Other Financial Institutions

Supervision Department,

OFISD, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins.

Explaining the rationale for the

policy, Emefiele, who was

represented by the Deputy

Gong>overong>nor, Corporate Services,

CBN, Mr. Edward Baru, said:

“In a developing economy like

ours. The link between

microfinance and the real sector

is quite strong. Microfinance

banks are conceived to serve as

critical financial lubricants for

the real sector, which is the pillar

of sustained economic growth. At

the moment economic policy in

The existence of the

huge financing gap

and un-served market,

prompted the CBN to

initiate a policy

framework; the

microfinance (MF)

policy was initiated in

December 2005

Nigeria faces a major challenge

of reviving growth which is the

(only) sure path to ending

pervasive pong>overong>ty. Microfinance

has worked in this regard in many

climes and promises to work in

Nigeria, it we get it right.

“By increasing access to credit

and related services to the

economically active segment of

the low income population,

microfinance directly contributes

to expanding the production base

and it is therefore a credible

strategy for increasing financial

inclusion and reducing

unemployment.”

Speaking on the objectives of

the MfB policy, Tokunbo Martins

noted that the policy was in

Godwin Emefiele

CBN Gong>overong>nor

response to challenge of

financing the real sector namely

the Micro, Small and Medium

Enterprises (MSME) and rural

finance. She said: “The existence

of the huge financing gap and unserved

market, prompted the

CBN to initiate a policy

framework. The microfinance

(MF) policy was initiated in

December 2005.

“The principal objective of the

MF policy is to create MFBs that

are financially reliable, self

sustaining and integral to the

communities in which they

operate, with the potential to

attract more resources and

expand services to their

customers”, adding that this was

in order to, “Provide access to

financial services for the unserved

and vulnerable groups;

Promote synergy and

mainstreaming of the informal

subsector into the national

financial system; Enhance

service delivery by MFBs to

MSMEs; Contribute to rural

transformation; Promote linkage

programmes between

development finance institutions

(DFIs) and MFBs.

She explained that the target of

the policy includes: The

economically active poor; lowincome

households; the unbanked

and underserved people;

vulnerable groups: women,

youths, the physically

challenged; informal sector

operators, micro-entrepreneurs

and subsistence farmers”.

She said that the benefits of

MFBs to the poor include

provision of employment

opportunities, reduction in

pong>overong>ty and vulnerability,

empowerment, as well as better

economic opportunities for both

clients and financial institutions

lead to growth and development

of the entire economy”

Performance of MfBs

Speaking on the performance

of MfBs, Emefiele stated: “Data

from the licensed credit bureaus

indicate that the operations of

micro finance banks have helped

to improve financial inclusion

amongst smallholder peasant

farmers, artisans and other small

business operators. As at

December 2018, aggregate loans

granted by MFBs was N482.9

billion. Of this amount loan sizes

below N1.4 million accounted for

72 percent. We equally observed

that small businesses have been

more successful in securing credit

from the microfinance

institutions rather than

conventional deposit money

banks (DMBs).”

Martins also noted that in spite

of some obvious challenges, some

milestones have been achieved

with respect to the MF policy.

These milestones she noted

include: “Increased awareness

among key stakeholders;

Enhanced supervision and

regulation of MFBs, through;

Licensing of Microfinance

Banks, and Issuance of

sector specific

guidelines,

c o d e s ,

operating

standards;

Mission

d r i v e n

institutions to

i m p a c t

economic

growth and

development;

Improved

access to

finance; Increased public

confidence (Deposit Insurance

Scheme); Capacity Building

Programmes; Attraction of

development partners and donor

agencies; Encouraged self

regulation (Apex Association of

Microfinance Banks); and

compliance with Anti-money

Laundering Act.

“Financial inclusion has had a

positive effect in Nigeria as the

exclusion rate reduced from 53

percent in 2008 to 46.3 percent

in 2010 and 36.8 percent in

2018.”

Challenges and reforms

Martins however stressed

notwithstanding the above MfBs

are yet to make the desired

impact on the society, adding

that this is due to a host of

challenges undermining the

subsector. These challenges she

noted include: Inadequate

capital base, dearth of skilled

manpower in the sub sector,

inaccurate/false data and lack of

understanding of microfinance

concept and methodology. Others

include: Poor corporate

gong>overong>nance and risk

management practices; Activities

of “Wonder banks”; High interest

rates; High expenditure profile of

operators; Lack of public

confidence in MFBs; Mission

drift and absence of basic

infrastructure.

To address the above

challenges, the CBN, according

to Emefiele, in collaboration

with other agencies of

gong>overong>nment, is implementing

various intervention schemes in

addition to promoting

microfinance. To address the

challenge of inadequate capital

base, the CBN recently increased

in the minimum capital

requirement of MfBs and

introduction of 2-Tiered Unit

MfBs, namely rural Unit MfBs

and Urban Unit MfBs. Thus the

apex bank increase the capital

base of Unit MfBs from N20

million to N50 million for rural

MfBs and N200 million for

urban Unit MfBs. That of State

MfBs was increased to N1 billion

from…while capital base of

National MfBs was increased to

N5 billion from N2 billion.

To address the challenge of nonperforming

loans, the CBN

mandated the use of Credit

Reference Bureaus for credit

administration by MfBs. This was

complemented with participation

of MfBs in the National

Collateral Registry and

implementation of the National

Association of Microfinance

Banks Unified IT Platform

(NAMBUIT) to address the

challenge of data integrity and

reliability.

NIRSAL MfB

In order to further leverage on

the microfinance policy to

facilitate credit to MSMEs at low

interest rate, as well as address

the limited spread of MfBs across

the country, the CBN in

conjunction with the Bankers

Committee, Nigeria Incentive-

Based Risk Sharing for

Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL)

and NIPOST recently established

the NIRSAL MfB (NMfB).

Speaking at the seminar, Aliyu

Abdulhameed, Managing

Director/Chief Executive of

NIRSAL said: “The NMfB will

leverage on NIPOST’s

geographical reach, via its

200 outlets across the country,

NIRSAL’s credit de-risking

infrastructure, Bankers’

Committee funding, adoption

and deployment of cutting edge

technology, in order to quickly

meet the needs of its target market

- Nigeria’s MSMEs.”

Represented by Steve Ogidan,

the National Coordinating

Consultant FCT Project,

Monitoring Reporting and

Remediation Office,

Abdulhameed said: “The

objectives ofNMfB is to enhance

financial inclusion; create jobs

and enhance the skills of citizens

in rural communities; provide

access to cheaper credit and other

financial services for smallholder

farmers; and improve and

grow the economy.”

Speaking on the readiness of

NIPOST to deploy its outlets

across the country for the

operations of NMfB, Postmaster

General of the country, Adebisi

Adegbuyi, said that 106 NIPOST

outlets have already been

selected for the first phase of the

rollout of the NMFB branches

across the country.

Adegbuyi who was represented

at the seminar by NIPOST

Director, Finance and

Investment, Usman Shaba said:

“A lot of Nigerians are unbanked

and these unbanked people are

mostly in the rural communities

and these postal outlets will be

leveraged upon to promote

financial inclusion in the

unbanked communities. So what

NIPOST is doing essentially is to

improve on these outlets. ong>overong>

2000 of them nationwide to make

available as outlets for the

commercial banks and in

particular the NMFB.

“Prior to this, the CBN having

looked at the infrastructural

spread of NIPOST have granted

NIPOST a super-agent licence

which makes it possible for

NIPOST to render financial

services on behalf of virtually all

the commercial banks in

Nigeria.

“NIPOST is very ready to

deliver the 106 outlets that the

NMFB has targeted for take-off.

NIPOST officials along with

NMFB and CBN have gone

through all the regions of the

country and the reason why we

even selected the 106 is to make

sure that each of the outlet we

selected are good enough and

ready”.


24—Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

FINANCIAL VANGUARD

Equities market to sustain

uptrend on MTN’s listing

Continued from page 19

percent to close at N12.717

trillion.

In their reaction analysts at

Cowry Asset Management, a

Lagos-based investment

banking firm, said: “We expect

the local equities market to

close marginally in green

territory as the euphoria of the

listing of the telecoms giant is

likely to be sustained. More so,

we expect investors to take

advantage of the general low

share prices in the market,

especially in the banking

sector, in order to maximize

their returns.”

In their own projection,

analysts at Afrinvest Securities

said that a combination of

scrabbling for MTN shares and

bargain hunting in

fundamentally sound stocks

would help to push the market

upward.

“In the coming week, we

expect to see increased

investors’ appetite for the

MTNN stock particularly in the

early days of the week and

bargain hunting in

fundamentally sound stocks for

short term gains. We therefore

maintain a bullish outlook for

the market in the near-term,”

they said.

Despite MTNN lifting the

NSE’s main gauge, all of the

five sub-indices closed in

negative territory, prompting

analysts at Cordros Capital to

maintain a call for caution.

They said: “Clearly, the gain

was not broad-based, at such,

we reiterate our cautious

trading pattern. Meanwhile,

we believe that the blend of

positive macroeconomic

fundamentals and compelling

valuations still supports a near

term recong>overong>y.”

However, a breakdown of the

sectorial performance for

trading last week showed that

all the five major sector closed

negative with the banking

sector leading decliners. The

sector declined by 4.3 percent

due to losses in Guaranty Trust

Bank (-4.4%) and Access Bank

(-9.2%). The consumer goods

sectotr trailed, shedding 4.1

percent on the back of price

depreciation in Champion

Breweries (-18.2%) and Nestle

Nigeria Plc (5.9%). Similarly,

sell offs in Regency Assurance

Plc (-20.0%) and Goldlink

Insurance (-13.0%) pulled the

insurance sector lower, down

3.3 percent. Also, the industrial

goods and oil & gas sectors

declined 2.8 percent and 2.3

percent respectively as investor

exited positions in Cement

Company of Northern Nigeria

(-9.2%), Dangote Cement (-

1.7%), Forte Oil (-18.9%) and

Eterna Plc (-3.8%).

However, trading activity was

mixed as average volume

declined 21.7 percent to 295.2

million units, while average

value traded increased by 45.8

percent to N2.2 billion.

By Peter Egwuatu

SEPLAT

Petroleum

Development Company Plc

has explained that its plan for

acquisition of plant to boost

production is still on course, just as

it assured shareholders of capital

appreciation. The company also

reiterated its commitment to

stronger growth in the oil and gas

sector.

Seplat announced N228 billion

revenue in its full year financial

result ended December 31, 2018.

The figure represents an increase

of 65 per cent from the N137 billion

the company made in the 2017.

Seplat, which is listed on both the

Nigerian Stock Exchange and

London Stock Exchange, also

recorded N73 billion profit before

differed tax, indicating 480 per cent

increase from N13 billion which the

company made ong>overong> the same

period in 2017.

In his address to shareholders at

sixth annual general meeting,

AGM, held in Lagos, Chairman,

Seplat Petroleum Plc ,Dr. A.B.C.

Orjiako, said: “The company’s 2018

operational and financial

performance reflected the

significantly higher year-on-year

levels of production uptime at its

AACN pledges to enhance portfolio investment

By Nkiruka Nnorom

ASSOCIATION of Assets

Custodians of Nigeria,

AACN, has expressed

commitment toward improving

and promoting activities of

portfolio investors in the

country.

AACN President, Mrs. Taiwo

core oil producing assets combined

with a firmer, albeit still volatile, oil

price and increased contribution

from the company’s gas

business. Our plan for acquisition

of plant to grow organically is still

on course. Once we are able to get

valuable asset to acquire we will

go for it.

He added: “As you are aware, our

results from the previous two years

were characterised by the extended

period of force majeure at the

Forcados terminal from February

2016 to June 2017. As we enter

2019, our reliable production base,

low unit cost of production and

discretion ong>overong> capital commitments

will allow the business to remain

highly free cash flow generative

and profitable. In the absence of any

major interruption or force majeure

event, this will enable Seplat to

honour its dividend policy and

provide an attractive yield to our

shareholders in addition to the

potential for capital appreciation.”

According to Orjiako, the

company will selectively invest in

low risk oil production drilling

opportunities within the existing

portfolio and the continued

expansion of the gas business, with

2019 set to be the year that activity

intensifies at the large scale Assa-

Sonola, made the commitment

at a one-day investors'

conference, tagged: “Nigeria:

The Economics of the Capital

Market”, saying that the

potential of Nigeria’s economy

is enormous and it is important

that the opportunities are

showcased globally.

Portfolio investors have been

Seplat’s acquisition plan still on course, assures

shareholders of capital appreciation

CIS awards Vanguard reporter, 30 other journalists scholarships

DETERMINED to invest in

human capital for ong>overong>all development

of the market in the area

of information dissemination, the

Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers,

CIS, has awarded scholarships

to Vanguard’s Assistant Business

Editor, Peter Egwuatu, and thirty

other financial journalists to undergo

its diploma progamme in Securities and

Investment Market.

The programme will not only

deepen the beneficiaries’ knowledge

of the market but pave way for them

to aspire to become professional securities

dealers.

Addressing the beneficiaries in Lagos

on Thursday, the Institute’s President

of the Council, Mr. Adedapo

Adekoje explained that it was part

of the corporate social responsibility,

CSR, to upscale the skills of those

who cong>overong> the capital market for professional

reportage. Adekoje underscored the

high propensity for market information

by the stakeholders in the capital market

ecosystem and the roles of financial journalists

in the process.

“It is hardly contestable to say that

investors, especially in Nigeria, form

their opinion of the capital market

from what they read in the mass

media. In recent years, this has been

further amplified by the social media.

It is, therefore, critical that financial

journalists are well-informed

about the market such that

they can give enlightened and balanced

reporting.

“In recognition of the very important

role of Journalists in the securities

and investment industry, the

CIS council recently approved a

scholarship scheme that will enable

North and Ohaji-South, ANOH,

gas and condensate development.

He added: “Seplat remains an

ambitious growth-orientated

company that is in a position of

strength to capture inorganic

opportunities where we can

leverage our competitive

advantages to seek out carefully

considered, price disciplined and

value accretive acquisitions. Finally,

I would like to thank all our

employees and wider stakeholders

for their efforts and continuing

support and I look forward to

updating all of our stakeholders on

our progress throughout the year

ahead.”

Also speaking at the AGM, the

Chief Executive Officer of Seplat

Petroleum, Mr. Austin Avuru, said:

“Seplat has delivered an excellent

operational and financial

performance resulting in robust

profitability and cash flow

generation providing us with an

extremely solid foundation for

growth in the coming years. At our

core assets in the West, OMLs 4,

38 and 41, the extension of the

license to 2038 means that we can

confidently plan and invest long

into the future to realise the full

potential of those blocks.”

outstanding financial journalists

undertake the CIS Diploma in Securities

and Investment (DSI) programme

at no cost. The scholarship

will cong>overong> registration fees, examination

enrolment fees and study

materials.

“The CIS Professional Diploma

in Securities and Investment

will give immense opportunities towards

understanding the capital

market better and position them

one step away from

becoming Chartered Stockbrokers.

I encourage them to make the

most of this rare opportunity and

make it count in their professional

journey. “

Guest Speaker and Publisher of

BusinessDay, Mr Frank Aigbogun,

who spoke on the “Roles of Financial

Journalism in Fostering Capital Market

Literacy “urged the awardees

to uphold the highest tenet of professionalism

to contribute immensely

to the growth and development

of the market. He advised

the beneficiaries to be on top of the

global developments in the financial

market and leverage on their

professional and technical knowledge

to drive debates on topical

economic issues in order to influence

public policy positively.

The Institute’s Registrar and

Chief Executive Mr Adedeji Ajadi

explained that the scholarship had

a life span of one year within which

the beneficiaries would write examination

twice. According to him,

the examination is June and September.

Ajadi urged them to attend

study centers for intensive coaching.

withdrawing from Nigeria

owing to uncertainty in the

economy. As at March this year,

foreign portfolio investors had

withdrawn N124.24 billion

from the stock market, 27.3

percent higher than N97.63

billion inflow.

She explained that the

conference aimed to build

foreign investor confidence

and provide a platform for

foreign investors to network

with the Nigerian capital

market regulators and

operators with particular focus on

custodians, fund managers,

broker dealers, and regulators.

Against the backdrop of the

successful conduct of general

elections in Nigeria, Sonola

reassured international investors

of the safety of their investments

in the country, while

highlighting the huge potential

to undecided investors.

She assured that the

association would maintain the

reputation of the Annual

Nigerian Investors Day as a

veritable platform to promote the

Nigerian economy, adding that

the next edition would be

reinvigorated and focused on a

salient issue on Africa’s biggest

oil producer, with the purpose

of unlocking opportunities in

such an area.

Adebola Adedeji, Financial

Secretary, AACN, noted that the

association has contributed in no

small measure towards

development of the Nigerian

financial markets, including

initiatives with the Central Bank

of Nigeria, CBN, and the

Financial Market Dealers

Association to facilitate a more

efficient and investor-friendly

electronic Certificate of Capital

Importation, CCI, processes

for the various investment

products in Nigeria and

collaboration with the Securities

and Exchange Commission,

SEC, to initiate the mandatory

appointment of Custodians to

registered Collective

Investment Schemes, CIS, and

joint development of

operational guidelines and

other prerequisites for

securities lending in the

Nigerian capital market.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN

gong>overong>nor commended AACN

for organizing the forum, which

he said fits into the apex bank's

and the federal gong>overong>nment’s

goal of making Nigeria Africa’s

top investment destination.


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—25


26 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—27


28 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019


FINANCIAL VANGUARD

Congrats CBN Gong>overong>nor, but

there is wahala

The graveyards are full of indispensable people—General Charles De Gaulle,

1890-1970. French President.

AN economist, who violently accumulated dollars for roundtripping,

cannot possibly be

disagreed with me that Mr.

Godwin Emefiele be retained as

the Gong>overong>nor of Central Bank of

Nigeria, CBN, was in the habit

of throwing in my face this

quotation which I had used

several times in the past when

the issue of second or third term

for any officer came up. He asked

me: what is so special about

happy with the gong>overong>nor.

However, for the majority of

Nigerians who were happy to

have enjoyed relatively stable

exchange rate for about two years

and who are apprehensive about

the short and medium term global

economic outlook, President

Buhari has taken the best

Emefiele that you have decision possible in the national

abandoned your former position

of giving somebody else a chance

after someone has had his turn

for years?”

My answer to him has always

been the same. “There is nothing

special about Emefiele. But, there

is something extra-ordinary

about the timing of the end of his

tenure which dictates that we

retain the “devil we know instead

of gambling on the ‘saint’ we

don’t.” I was under no illusion

that his retention would be

accompanied by criticisms. Some

would base their assessment of

the man’s performance on

principle. They act in the strong

interest by quickly removing this

top post from the list of those

which will be subjected to group

and individual selfish interests

pressure. I thank Buhari most

sincerely for this one. May Allah

give him the wisdom and will to

make other appointments with

the same degree of dispassion

and patriotism. Emefiele is the

right man at this time.

That said, I am afraid that the

CBN has embarked on one

programme which might create

problems for all of us. Emefiele’s

detractors might soon be telling

us, his admirers, “we told you”.

The CBN’s policy on cotton and

belief that the economy, textiles and the billions now

especially the exchange rate

component, could be managed

better. I beg to differ.

Others, reacting from the

standpoint of self-interest, well

camouflaged, would judge his

allocated to promoting higher

production of cotton, in a bid to

restore Nigeria’s textile industry

can only at best be regarded as

the right policy but at the wrong

time. At worst, it might even

performance unfavourably become the wrong policy at the

because it had brought adversity

to their business - a business

which profited immensely from

the mess we were in before

reforms brought by the CBN

wrong time and it might come to

haunt Emefiele by the middle of

his second term. My guess is that

the country will lose billions of

naira on the programme and lose

gong>overong>nor. They have my more ground with respect to food

sympathies and nothing more -

for a simple reason. Every

economic policy invariably

creates winners and losers.

None results in a win-win

situation - much as we all would

like. Those who benefited from

the deliberately inflated demand

for foreign exchange, which at

one time drove the exchange rate

to almost N500/US$1 and

security with each passing year.

Emefiele and his colleagues at

the CBN, it must be admitted,

have had to undertake extra duty

in formulating fiscal policies

which ordinarily belong to the

Executive branch. But, with

mostly economic illiterates

managing the economy under

the Vice President, and with no

discernible and coherent fiscal

policy framework, the CBN had

encroached on what is really not

its business. For inong>stanceong>, it was

the CBN, not the Ministry of

Finance, which announced the

list of items prohibited as imports.

Anyone following closely the

trade war between the United

States and China would notice

that neither the US Federal

Reserve Bank, nor the Chinese

Bank had said a word about tariff

increases. President Trump and

his Chinese counterpart have

been doing all the talking. That

is as it should be for one

fundamental reason.

Fiscal policy is frequently not

just and economic statement; it

It might even

become the

wrong policy at

the wrong time

and it might

come to haunt

Emefiele by the

middle of his

second term

is also a political declaration.

Gong>overong>nments apply fiscal

policies to address a whole range

of social, political and economic

concerns e.g re-distribution of

income, to promote birth control

or to clean up the environment –

depending on their set of

priorities. Central Banks are not

established to do this sort of

thing. Thus, the CBN’s selection

of goods to come under import

ban was largely economic in

nature. It does not in any way

address the lopsided wealth

distribution in Nigeria which has

created only the Haves and the

Have-nots – with no Middle

Class in between.

Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019 — 29

“Nature abhors a vacuum.”

And there is no vacuum which

attracts all sorts of illegitimate

claimants than the power

vacuum. With the Federal

Executive branch largely bereft

of ideas, the CBN has

increasingly arrogated to itself

the power to determine fiscal and

monetary policies without any

checks from any other branch of

gong>overong>nment. That is precisely

why we are now on the verge of

committing another economic

blunder which reminds those of

us of the folly of the 1980s.

Emefiele was far removed from

the centre of power at the time

and probably has not taken the

trouble to go into Nigeria’s

economic history. Let me help

him out before he tosses billions

of Nigeria’s financial resources

into a septic tank.

Those who do not remember

the past are condemned to repeat

it—George Santayana, 1863-

1952. VANGUARD BOOK OF

QUOTATIONS, p 93.

Those old enough and blessed

with long retentive memory will

recollect how Nigeria in the late

1980s embarked on a National

Wheat Programme. Then as now,

when Emefiele has embarked us

on an illusory Cotton

Programme, some people had

taken a look at Nigeria’s import

bill for wheat from which bread

and other baked products are

produced and had jumped to two

fallacious conclusions. The first

pronounced that Nigeria could

reduce its import bill for wheat

by growing the commodity

locally. Second, that the country

in a very short while would be

self sufficient in the product and

even have surplus to export.

Most Nigerians and half-baked

economists bought the idea. A

few of us thought differently. We

saw the wheat project as a scam

which some Northern selfish

interests were promoting in order

to fleece the Nigerian

gong>overong>nment.

Unfortunately, the Federal

Gong>overong>nment bought the idea and

very soon pilot wheat projects

were springing up all ong>overong> the

North and those paid to run them

were sending encouraging

reports to Aso Rock - the

everlasting recipient of false

claims. One particular event

summarised the hoax which the

Wheat Programme turned out to

be. Late Admiral August

Aikhomu, GCON, Chief of

General Staff, and Vice President

to Babangida, was invited to

Kano by Colonel Mu’azu,

Military Gong>overong>nor of the state, to

observe the progress made on

the wheat project. He was

conveyed in a helicopter which

flew well above tree tops.

Nigeria’s number two citizen

“saw” several hectares of wheat

growing and he was impressed.

At, the reception held in his

honour that evening at the State

House, Admiral Aikhomu

pronounced that his

“gong>overong>nment will never again

listen to the doomsayers who said

Nigeria could not grow wheat

after what I saw.”

Gong>overong>nor Muázu was redeployed

to Sokoto before harvest

time and a new gong>overong>nor

followed. At harvest time, it was

discong>overong>ed that Aikhomu had

been flown ong>overong> large expanse

of uncultivated grassland. But,

the real joke was what happened

that evening at Kano Club. One

of the pilots was there to tell a

few friends that they had just

deceived the vice president

about wheat. We, his listeners,

were not surprised. The project

manager had long confessed

that the project was a disaster.

Hundreds of million of naira went

down the drain on wheat in the

1980s and early 1990s. Emefiele

is about to throw more good

money out of the CBN window

on cotton….

NEXT: Reasons why timing is

wrong for cotton initiative.

FINANCIAL VANGUARD MICROFINANCE

Umuchinemere MFB disburses N268m loans in Q1’19

Stories by Providence

Emmanuel

ENUGU

based

Umuchinemere Pro-credit

Micro Finance Bank, UPMFB,

said it disbursed N267.9 million

loans to 1,125 customers

in the first quarter of 2019

(Q1’19).

The figure represents marginal

increase when compared to the

N264.3 million loans disbursed

to 1,001 customers in the

same period of 2018.

Further breakdown shows that

660 male customers received

N111.4 million while 465 female

customers received N156.5 million.

Head of Credit, UPMFB, Mr.

Charles Udeani, in statement

said that the slight increase in

loan disbursement was due to the

bank’s passion to maintain its

goal of playing active role in the

sustainable development efforts

aimed at eradicating pong>overong>ty in

the land through the gong>overong>nment

policy of financial inclusion designed

to meet the financial needs

of the active poor people to uplift

them out of pong>overong>ty condition.

He added that the record is an

indication that the bank is stepping

up efforts toward meeting its

goal of pong>overong>ty eradication, which

was part of the reasons for its

establishment by the Roman Catholic

Diocese of Enugu in 1995.

Meanwhile, Udeani observed

the prevalence of multiple borrowing,

a worrisome development

which the bank has been able to

ong>overong>come through credit bureau

searches.

140 migrants graduate from LSETF/GIZ capacity building scheme

THE Lagos State Employ-ability

Support Project, LSESP, skills

acquisition arm of Lagos State Employment

Trust Fund, LSETF, has

graduated 140 trainees following the

successful completion of their skills

acquisition programme.

The beneficiaries were trained under

the pilot phase of the Skills Development

for Youth Employment,

SKYE Programme, an initiative

of the Deutsche Gesellschaft

for InternationaleZusammenarbeit,

GIZ, a development

agency of the German Gong>overong>nment

in partnership with

LSETF with a view to reducing

illegal migration of Nigerian

youths.

The fund said that the project

was targeted at 140 potential migrants

including voluntary returnees

from the European

Union in furtherance of its commitment

to build capacity and

up skill youths whilst empowering

unemployed and underemployed

persons in the state.

While the beneficiaries of the

program comprises 89 percent

of potential migrants and 11 percent

of voluntary returnees, 61

percent of the 140 graduate

trainees, make up the female

gender.

In a statement, Permanent Secretary,

Ministry of Wealth Creation

and Employment, Mrs

Abidemi Raji, said that the partnership

stems out of the deliberate

employment intervention

policies made by the state which

showcases its commitment to capacity

building, entrepreneurship,

empowerment and sustainable

youth development.

Acting Executive Secretary,

LSETF, Mrs. Teju Abisoye, said

that youths would be confident

and hopeful of staying in the

country to realize their dreams

only when they are equipped

with the right skills to take advantage

of any employment or entrepreneurial

opportunities in the State.

Abisoye who was represented by

Director, Finance and Corporate Services,

LSETF, Mr. Rahman Akinwonmi,

stated: “We are very pleased

to have witnessed a very successful

first outcome of this initiative, in which

the LSETF and the GIZ join forces in

their shared mission of up-skilling the

capacity of thousands of youths in

Lagos to make them globally competitive

to gain sustainable employment

and be dissuaded from embarking

on the dangerous illegal migration

to Europe.


30 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

(08052201997)

Naira: Redesign, redenomination or revaluation?

THE primary reason for

public rejection of lower

Naira denominations, was

identified, in this column, in

the last fortnight, as their

negligible purchasing values

rather than the material of

fabrication.

Indeed, both hard wearing,

longer lasting coins, and the

latest polymer notes for the

fabrication of lower Naira

denominations, which CBN

released, against better

judgment, in April 2019, will fail

the test of public acceptance

because of their grossly eroded

purchasing values.

Consequently, any plan for

mere redesign of N5, N10, N20,

and N50 denominations in

polymer, is clearly misguided

and wasteful, as public’s

rejection of these

denominations will not change.

N o n e t h e l e s s ,

Redenomination of the existing

Naira profile, with 2 or 3

decimal points, will consolidate

purchasing power and

encourage popular acceptance

of primary coins of 1Kobo,

5Kobo, 10Kobo, 20Kobo,

50Kobo and one Naira

respectively.

Instructively, however, if the

monetary strategy failure that

instigated rejection of lower

denominations persists, any

redenominated Naira profile,

will predictably, gradually lose

value ong>overong> time, and become

ultimately rejected for

settlements because of their

grossly eroded values.

Conversely, however, 2 or 3

decimal points redenomination

will increase acceptance of the

same lower Naira

denominations! The above title

on the need for Currency

Revaluation was first published

in August 2013. Please read

on.

“In a recent interactive

section with the House

Committee on Banking and

Currency, CBN Gong>overong>nor,

MTN

Nigeria

Communications Plc

has announced the signing of a

seven-year N200 billion medium

term facility with a consortium of

seven mostly local banks, with

Citibank acting as co-ordinator

and Quantum Zenith as Facility

Agent.

The seven banks are: Access

Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank

Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Fidelity

Bank Plc, First City Monument

Bank Plc, and United Bank for

Africa Plc and First Bank Nigeria

Plc.

The agreement was formally

Lamido Sanusi, noted that if the

plan to redesign naira notes,

last year, was successful, "it

would have made it impossible

for counterfeiters to cook”. He

further noted that best practice

currency management is

that “Within a period of 5–8

years, you redesign the

currency, after which

counterfeiters tend to catch up

with you".

“The salient question,

however, is whether

counterfeiting or redesign is

the most serious problem with

our currency, particularly when

Sanusi, himself, admits that "in

terms of what we see as

counterfeit in the processing of

naira notes, the percentage, is

very low"!

“In reality, the issues of

unwieldy portability, the

acrimony associated with

shortage of change for small

transactions, the inflationary

stimulus in product pricing, the

rapid deterioration of both

paper and polymer notes

because of their high turnong>overong>

rates and ultimately the

reduction in the purchasing

Naira value as a result of

double-digit annual inflation

rate, are all equally significant

challenges to acceptable Naira

profile. Consequently, it will be

self-delusion to expect that a

mere redesign of naira would

counter or remediate these

weaknesses!”

“Indeed, some analysts have

suggested

that

redenomination/decimalization

would make Naira more

portable, and provide room for

primary kobo coins, to fill the

gap for change in small

transactions, and also make

competitive pricing of

consumer products more

practical.”

“Instructively,

redenomination is the simple

process of changing the

nominal value of a currency by

moving the decimal point; for

It is therefore clear

that neither currency

redesign nor redenomination,

will

satisfy the qualities

of portability, store

of value and acceptability,

as a medium

of exchange

FINANCIAL VANGUARD

MTN Nigeria signs N200bn medium term loan facility

signed at a ceremony at the law

offices of Aluko & Oyebode in

Ikoyi, Lagos, in the presence of

key partners and other

stakeholders. The medium term

facility will enable MTN to fund

its evolving business

opportunities while assisting with

capital expenditure and working

capital, to deliver enhanced

customer service.

It follows the successful

establishment of a similar seven

year, N200 billion facility by

MTN in 2018 and forms part of

the company’s wider programme

to raise domestic debt.

example, if the naira is

restructured by two decimal

points, then, N1000, which is

the highest in our current

currency profile, will be

replaced by a N10

denomination. Similarly, the

existing N100 note will become

N1; furthermore, the new N1

denomination can be fabricated

as a coin, and still have the

same purchasing value as the

old N100 note. Similarly, N50

would become a 50Kobo coin,

while N10 will become 10Kobo

coin.”

“Consequently, such a

redenominated currency

profile, would not only facilitate

portability, it would also

increase the purchasing power

of coin denominations and

make them attractive for

transactions and accepted also

for provision of change.”

“Furthermore, consumer

products will become more

competitively priced, in 1Kobo

steps, rather than the unusually

wide leap of N5 or more, due

to scarcity of primary coins.”

“The advantages of

redenomination may however,

be short-lived, if the abiding

economic instigators of inflation

are not adequately

tackled. For example, the

Ghanaian currency, the Cedi,

which was redenominated in

2007, with four decimal points,

so that C10,000, became just

one new Ghana cedi and

therefore equal to almost

US$1.2; however, since the

root cause of Ghana's average

Speaking at the signing, Chief

Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria,

Ferdi Moolman, expressed

enthusiasm at the completion of

the agreement, saying it

signposts MTN’s commitment to

and confidence in Nigeria, and

the strength of the strategic

collaboration between MTN

Nigeria and local financial

institutions, that will help deepen

and broaden the provision of ICT

services in Nigeria:

“This facility expands our

existing successful domestic debt

programme which we are using

to fund increased network

annual above 15% inflation rate

remained unresolved, five

years thereafter the cedi has

since crashed, by ong>overong> 50%, to

Ghc1.8=US$1.”

“It is therefore clear that

neither currency redesign nor

redenomination, will satisfy the

qualities of portability, store of

value and acceptability, as a

medium of exchange.”

“Conversely, this writer has

consistently argued that value

is the major challenge to a

coherent Naira profile; for

example, a much stronger naira

value, just like with

redenomination, would make

primary kobo coins more

valuable. However, if the root

causes of double-digit annual

inflation rates remain

unresolved, the purchasing

power of the redenominated

naira would be rapidly

eroded.”

“Some analysts have argued

that the naira value cannot be

enhanced or improved unless

we diversify our economy and

produce more to earn

additional export revenue;

instructively, however, a

diversified economy can never

evolve without liberal access to

cheap funds at rates not

exceeding 5-6%, while the

exchange rate must also become

stronger, so that critical

imported industrial raw

material costs will fall.”

“Regrettably, such benign

enabling climate will never be

possible, if Nigeria’s economy

remains besieged by the

unyielding threat of excess

Naira supply, which ultimately,

according to Sanusi, predicates

the crazy reality of

gong>overong>nment borrowing back its

own funds at between 13 and

14%, so that the real sector

becomes forced to borrow at

ong>overong> 20%, while inflation will

remain largely untamed.”

“Notably, the creation or

substitution of humongous

naira sums as replacement for

capacity, and the expansion of

both the voice and data services

on our network to customers in

new areas, and with new next

generation services. We have

enjoyed remarkable funding

support from Nigeria’s financial

institutions since our first facility

in 2003 and this has been critical

to the development of one of the

largest telecoms network in

Africa, with ong>overong> 60m

subscribers. I am delighted that,

so soon after our successful

listing on the Nigerian Stock

Exchange, we are able to

compliment it with such an

monthly statutory allocations of

dollar-denominated revenue,

results in a conscious

manipulation of the balance of

demand and supply, in favour

of the dollar exchange rate.”

“For this reason, the Naira

has paradoxically depreciated,

even when Nigeria’s dollar

reserves climbed consistently

from less than $4bn in 1996 to

ong>overong> $50bn in 2007. Thus, an

appropriate realignment of

Naira/dollar exchange rate will

be, to issue negotiable dollar

certificates for allocations of

dollar-denominated revenue,

rather than to recklessly fix an

exchange rate and create

bloated Naira sums as

replacement. The resultant

market supply imbalance of

more dollar certificates/value

chasing less Naira balances

will provide a platform for a

stronger Naira/dollar exchange

rate.”

“In reality, there is no sensible

explanation why naira should

have exchanged for N80=$1

between 1996 and 1998, when

Nigeria had only four months

imports demand cong>overong> under

dictatorship, while inexplicably,

the Naira currently exchanges

for N160=$1, despite ong>overong> 12

months surplus imports

demand cong>overong>. Ultimately, a

much stronger Naira, will make

primary Kobo coins more

valuable and readily acceptable

for transactions.”

“In conclusion, therefore, a

reformed naira/dollar price

mechanism will evolve a

currency profile with, stronger

lower denominations that will

remain a stable and portable

store of value, which is readily

accepted, for change in

transactions and as a medium

of exchange. Notably,

however, neither currency

redesign nor redenomination

can sustain the purchasing

power and stability of any

Currency’s profile against the

heavy inflationary headwinds

aggressively driven by

systemic excess Naira supply.”

ECONOMY

important addition to our portfolio

of debt.”

Moolman lauded the

participating financial institutions

for staying committed to MTN,

stressing that the loan syndication

showcases the strength of the

Nigerian financial institutions

and their confidence in MTN’s

vision, as well as both parties joint

ability to stimulate significant

economic growth.

The facility is structured with a

two-year moratorium and a

repayment plan of seven years

and is denominated in Naira. This

is the eighth syndicated loan

agreement by MTN in Nigeria

since its inception 18 years ago.


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—31

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Thank God, May 29 is no

longer Democracy Day

GOVERNOR Mohammed

Abubakar of Bauchi State

is a learned lawyer. He meant well

for the state. One of the most

laudable steps he took was signing

into law the bill establishing the

Public Property and Funds

Recong>overong>y Tribunal 2017 aimed at

recong>overong>ing all stolen public assets

and funds. The Tribunal has the

mandate to recong>overong> state assets,

including properties and monies

stolen by past gong>overong>nment

officials, civil servants, companies,

individuals and also prosecute

looters.

However, the electorate did not

reward the gong>overong>nor with votes

during the March gubernatorial

elections. Having failed to secure

a second term mandate, the

amiable gong>overong>nor has to leave

office on May 29. That seems to

be a problem.

The major media reported that

on Wednesday May 15, that is 14

days before the handong>overong> date,13

of the 31 members of the Bauchi

State House of Assembly, alleged

loyalists of the out-going

gong>overong>nor, passed a new bill to

reverse the Recong>overong>y law.

The new bill was said to have

been passed at the speed of

lightning; scaling through first,

second and third readings within

hours without any objection.

Kawuwa Damina, Speaker of the

Assembly, was quoted as saying

that none of the honourable

members present objected to the

passage of the bill. I am waiting

for the Assembly to deny these

reports or for Gong>overong>nor Abubakar

either to decline or assent. Perhaps

the recong>overong>y law was good for the

past leaders of the state, not the

outgoing ones.

That is not the only issue in

contention. Ahead of his exit on

May 29, the gong>overong>nor is said to

have recruited ong>overong> 2,000 workers.

In-coming gong>overong>nor, Bala

Mohammed says such recruitment

will not be binding on his

administration. Curiously, while

Gong>overong>nor Abubakar’s gong>overong>nment

is making weak denials of such

‘secret’ recruitment, it insists that

he has the power and the right to

hire and fire until May 29.

Gong>overong>nor Abubakar is not the

only gong>overong>nor who wants to tie the

hands of his successor. Gong>overong>nor

Abiola Ajimobi, The Constituted

Authority of Oyo State, last

Thursday, dared his successor, Mr

Seyi Makinde: “We will work till

the last day of this administration.

We don’t care about what some

people are saying... As I am talking

to you today, this administration

still has 18 days and some hours

to expire. When they get there, let

them cancel all the contracts we

have signed. Let them investigate

us and if we have stolen, they should

arrest us.” He claimed his

administration made giant strides

in virtually all aspects of life, from

education to agriculture capped

with a four-star rating in

investment. For a man with such

monumental achievements, it is a

wonder why he could not even win

the senatorial seat he contested

while his party lost the

gubernatorial elections. Perhaps

his gigantic achievements are not

visible to the ordinary eye.

It is not only the elected that are

in a race towards May 29, the

Thank God May

29, with its

unending

intrigues, has

been annulled as

Democracy Day;

June 12 is the new

Democracy Day!

appointed also are. There is a lot

of hyper activity. For inong>stanceong>, the

Minister of the Federal Capital

Territory, Mohammed Bello, was

classified as one of the snoring

ministers. That was until a few

weeks ago when he sprang to life

suspending the Fire chief. In the

past two weeks, he has been in the

news after his men arrested alleged

sex workers who were summarily

tried. Seventy of the women

claimed that they were sexually

molested or raped after their

arrest. The minister has capped his

moral activism with the

demolition of the building where

some of the women were arrested

for being strippers. He deserves

reappointment for such 'glorious

acts'.

The acting Inspector-General of

Police, Mohammed Abubakar

Adamu, deserves to be confirmed

and retained. After series of

security disasters, including the

near surrender of the Abuja-

Kaduna Highway to bandits and

kidnappers, he surprised the nation

last Thursday with an

announcement that his men have

not only retaken the highway, but

had also captured 93 suspected

kidnappers and armed robbers

within a fortnight in Kaduna,

Niger and Katsina states.

Police spokesman, Frank Mba,

who picked Katari Village along

the Kaduna-Abuja highway as

venue for a press conference, said

the police recong>overong>ed 500 live

ammunition, 37 AK47 rifles, 12

locally made guns, a revolver

pistol, 60,000 fake US dollars and

military uniforms.

But I fear that the police might

have captured the wrong people as

the Chief of Army Staff, COAS,

Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai,

says those responsible for the

violence and banditry in the

country are the embittered

politicians who lost the March

general elections. Addressing

members of the House of

Representatives Committee at the

headquarters of the Military

Theatre Command, Operation

Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri on May

15, Buratai said: “I want to believe

and rightly so that what is going

on in the North-West is a fallout of

the just-concluded general

elections. There are several

political interests; politicians in

particular who lost in the elections

and because of their defeat,

therefore they are trying to take

revenge by sponsoring some of

those banditry activities and

seeming conflicts between farmers

and herders.” I believe the COAS

as this explains why years before

the elections, the army has been

unable to defeat the terrorists and

bandits.

Despite the ong>overong>whelming

evidence, the General does not

think these sponsors of violence

and banditry should be brought to

book, rather, he argued that “the

best thing is to advise these

politicians who are aggrieved for

no just cause and are inflicting

serious injury and discomfort to

individuals and the country” to

turn a new leaf. In other words, they

should go and sin no more. I love

his spirit of forgiveness. I think

Buratai deserves to be retained.

There has been a titanic battle in

the last few weeks to validate the

announcement of veteran labour

leader, Frank Kokori, as the

Chairman of the National Social

Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF. His

supporters had made a strong case

that he is a hero of the June 12

struggles for democracy. They cite

his brutalisation and being kept in

solitary confinement for his

principled struggles to validate the

June 12, 1993 presidential election

which the military regime of

Babangida annulled and that

Abacha buried. With the

Presidency preferring a nonactivist

or June Twelver, those who

made these arguments should by

now have realised that it was a

wrong campaign strategy; those

holding power today were in the

opposite camp in the June 12

struggles. They were loyalists of

Abacha. So how could such

arguments have swayed them?

Thank God May 29, with its

unending intrigues, has been

annulled as Democracy Day; June

12 is the new Democracy Day! On

June 12 we stand, sit or crouch.

As another ponzi scheme berths in Nigeria

By Tony Ademiluyi

CHARLES Ponzi was an Italian-

American who was fascinated by life

in the United States when he first arrived.

He was taken in by the American dream and

vowed within himself to be part of the

wonderful way of life.

The 1920s in Uncle Sam proved to be the

ripe time for him to strike. This was before

the Great Depression when Americans

relished quick wealth with the purchases of

stocks. He promised his ‘clients’ 50 per cent

profit if they kept their money with him for

45 days or 100 per cent profit if they kept

their money for 90 days. He had no known

business model to multiply the funds. He was

more or less robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The funds from new investors were used

to pay the older ones. As long as the greedy

investors had funds to part with, the music in

the party kept playing on with word

spreading around like wild fire about the

novel money-making scheme. Like insightful

analysts warned, the bust happened with

millions of investors having their fingers

burnt. The smart Ponzi fled with his new

found wealth before ending up behind bars.

His greatest ‘legacy’ is that ponzi schemes

were named after him to assure his

‘immortality.’

When the Sergey Mavrodi ‘MMM’

scheme came to Nigeria in early 2016, it

found lots of die-hard apostles as the

economic policies were biting harder on

Nigerians. It was too good to be true as the

returns of 50 per cent ensured that ‘brave

investors’ stayed afloat. It was so popular

that a song was composed in its honour. The

most lucrative job at the time was to become

a guider - they made tons of money by

‘guiding’ the people under them in the

pyramid box and made a fortune doing next

to nothing other than just sweet-talking

potential customers.

Then came the great bust in December

2016 when it was suspended with the

promise to reopen it in January 2017. That

promise was never fulfilled as billions of

naira disappeared without a trace as they

had no physical office in the country. The

death of the founder last year put paid to the

hopes of any funds recong>overong>y as there was an

announcement that the scheme had died

with the founder as there were no worthy

successors to carry on his ‘legacy.’

The announcement of the latest ponzi

scheme in town, Loom Nigeria, and the

enthusiasm with which it is being promoted

shows that Nigerians never learn from

history. The promises are so mouthwatering

- an investment as low as between N1000 to

N13,000 with eight times the return in only

48 hours. Wow! That’s too good to be true!

Will we ever learn?

Loom Nigeria has no physical office and

known promoters unlike the defunct MMM.

They have no known business model or even

a functional website as they operate in

closed groups on Facebook and Whatsapp.

We remember the wonder banks and how

their crash led to untold hardship for

Nigerians. The wonder banks have

resurfaced with the ponzi schemes spread

by the power of the new media and internet.

The reason why ponzi schemes thrive in

the country is as a result of the poor state

that our nation, with so much potential and

promise, has been reduced to. Things have

never been this terrible - company closures,

massive job losses, harsh operating

environment for businesses, suicides taking

a new dimension in a country once ranked

as having the happiest people in the world.

It’s no surprise that hunger has made us

develop a collective amnesia that makes us

rush like pigs to the slaughter at every ponzi

scheme that comes our way.

The Securities and Exchange Commission

issued a stern warning against the

participation in the scheme. While we

commend this, its warning is weak as a

hungry man is an angry man. The biting

fangs of hunger makes a man take leave of

his reasoning faculties. You can’t force

Nigerians to comply with the warnings when

their daily lives are plagued with needless

sufferings and avoidable hardships.

The Buhari-led gong>overong>nment should be

worried about the proliferation of ponzi

schemes. It is a sign that the ship has sunk

beyond rescue. While we commend SEC for

putting out the warnings, the gong>overong>nment

should take it as a challenge to come up

The reason why ponzi

schemes thrive in the country

is as a result of the poor state

that our nation has been

reduced to

with sound economic policies that will make

the creation of jobs take the centre stage.

Nigeria needs heavy industrialisation to get

back on track. At this level, we should be

talking of running a 24-hour economy

powered by 24-hour electricity supply and

not consoling Nigerians with the asinine

excuses of snakes being found in the Kainji

dam.

The Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief

Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, once said that

his son, the then Gong>overong>nor of Edo State,

Chief Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion, should

be given a second term even if he failed in

his first term since if a student fails a course

in the university, he will be asked to carry

ong>overong> or retake the course. It is baffling that

Buhari got a second term despite the failures

in the economy in his first term. How sad!

Despite the economic hardship, we should

be thick skinned to resist quick fixes which

these ponzi schemes are full of. Adolf Hitler

was once quoted to have said that pain

sharpens the brain. Let this present hardship

sharpen our brain to come up with creative

solutions to survive or even thrive in our

clime rather than seek salvation in schemes

that will further impong>overong>ish us.

We are naturally resilient people as we

have proven to the world that we can make

it anywhere if the climate is right. The neversay-die

spirit, especially of our brothers in

the South-East who thrive as businessmen

under the worst conditions known to man,

is a testimony to our collective bravery.

We should use the same energy to avoid

all sorts of ponzi schemes as they do nothing

but encourage laziness in us. The anxiety of

not knowing when the party will end does

nothing but rob you of your much-cherished

peace of mind and even the priceless

commodity called sleep. Participation in it

is not worth the stress at all. One can’t build

anything tangible or substantial on its back.

Nigerians should do all they can within

their powers to resist any form of ponzi

schemes and rather channel their energies

towards productive ventures in spite of the

daunting challenges. We should be visionary

in leaving something behind for the next

generation to enjoy – a ponzi scheme is never

designed that way. The lure of it should be

rejected.

•Ademiluyi, a social commentator, wrote

from Lagos.

C

M

Y


32 —Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

Edited by

OSA MBONU-AMADI

08070524223

osaamadi@yahoo.com

WHY NOT:

Creeping fascism and

how criminals hijacked

politics in Nigeria

Introduction : In 2008, Mr. Klaus P. Wachsmuth, the German Managing

Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nestle Nigeria Plc told me and

Ikechukwu Eze, two BusinessDay Senior Correspondents then, in an

exclusive interview that "nobody has the right to treat his country the way

Nigerians treat their country." Mr. Wachsmuth later sought to keep that

statement out of what was going to be published, probably because he felt

he shouldn’t have interfered in the internal affairs of his host country. But

Mr. Wachsmuth was absolutely right.

Today, Prof. Pat Utomi, one of Nigeria’s foremost public intellectuals for

four decades, is telling us things more grievous than what the former Nestle

M.D told us in 2008, and poignantly too: They raped their mother, Nigeria,

until she was in coma, and they still continued to rape her unconscious

body.

Who are these rapers of their mother? We may not be one of them but we

could be accomplices to the crime if we keep quiet ong>overong> the "gory" event as

Utomi defines it in this fearless book – a book that has the capacity to shake

us out of our slumber and spring us into action to reclaim our country from

the present pack of murderous fraudsters who have seized it.

In many ways, Pat Utomi’s "Why Not" is another Soyinka's “The Man

Died”. We must not only read and enjoy this great literary achievement in

its simple, and yet elevated language, but we must also let its important

message galvanize us into political actions.

On page 79, the author quotes Plato, the philosopher, thus: “One of the

penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being

gong>overong>ned by your inferior”. And also Socrates: “ The wise who refuse to rule

should prepare to suffer the rule of idiots". But for George Orwell, it is “a

people who elect corrupt politicians, impostors, thieves, and traitors are not

victims...but accomplices”.

This dogged, intellectual warrior, Pat Utomi, has played his part. The rest

is now left to us – to choose to act, or continue in our deep slumber until we

are all murdered in the sleep. The choices are ours. Meanwhile, enjoy this

masterpiece from the stable of one of the most brilliant brains in the history

of Nigeria:

Preface

Why Not: Citizenship, state

capture, creeping

fascism, and criminal hijack of

power politics in Nigeria – this is

the response to the question,

“Why bother”, which is posed by

those who believe that criminal

capture of political parties in

Nigeria is complete and those

outside the league of cult

members, 419ers and con men

have no chance of breaking in.

Hands should, therefore, be

folded, and observer binoculars

rented. The “Sidon look” of the

Bola Ige metaphor should be

accepted until current actors

push Nigeria into a ‘full failedstate’

status. The desperation of

that moment would then throw

up salvation champions,

illustrating how dry bones can be

made to rise and walk.

Using my experience in APC

this book sketches,

autobiographically, a path that

could lead Nigeria to Robert

Kaplan’s ‘Coming Anarchy’ and

an alternative possibility. It

begins with mapping what is

emerging as a path to a new

fascism in Nigeria as we see

power corrupting and people

hungry for absolute power, which

corrupts absolutely, turning to

unbridled impunity.

The desire for total domination

of others which invites the

country into a 21st century

slavery realm is also illustrated

in this narrative of experience.

This book is part of a threevolume

project. While this

volume tells the story, as it is the

companion volume, In The

Devil’s Den – How politics

underdeveloped countries

brings the experience into the

context of theories in

development economics and

political science to predict,

without hyperbole, the

consequences of the

undemocratic nature of

Nigeria’s democracy.

The three volumes are united

by one chapter, which is the

same in the other books. The

complicit middle, as one of the

chapters is titled, explores how

an educated middle class

through either contempt for

politics or prideful disrespect for

politicians, or through fear, and

a sense of helplessness

considers the public sphere the

arena of amusing, but

disgusting spectator sports. By

their actions and inaction, they

have become complicit in

Nigeria’s backward march.

Nigeria has been as hard to

travel as the roads of oil rich

Delta State. As civil rule

arrived in 1999, it had as

company, Karl Maier’s book,

This House Has Fallen:

Midnight in Nigeria. Many

such books by well-informed

foreigners like Stephen Ellis’

This Present Darkness and

Robert Kaplan’s The Coming

Anarchy, all point to a gift no

one would want to give their

child, yet political elite

behavious persists on the path

of wrong. This book explores

how a sense of shame met its

death in Nigeria as if

immobilized by a Boko Haram

IED.

A Haunting Metaphor

Shortly after I decided to

write this book to show how

The boy who raped and

killed his mother was

presumed by many,

including myself, to be

suffering from a mental

disease from the

moment of sighting the

headline; but the report

went on to indicate that

the young man took to

so dastardly a deed

because he was assured

that wealth beyond

comprehension would

be his if he did it

politics under-develops

Nigeria and eclipses the

dreams of its founding fathers,

a bizarre story was reported in

several Nigerian newspapers.

The story was about the arrest

of a young man who had

apparently raped his mother,

killed her, and proceeded to

sodomise her lifeless body

even as the corpse began to

manifest rigor mortis. Gory as

the report may seem, I saw it

as a metaphor sent from

heaven. In many ways it is the

story of Nigeria, a country of

enormous potential laid waste

by those given the most by the

country, its most powerful

people who, unfortunately

never managed to become

citizens in the classical sense

of the word.

A thesis I have held up for a

while is that Nigerians love the

business of finger-pointing.

Who is to blame? As soon as

those words are uttered,

fingers spring form, often

directed at the Public office

holders and politicians. I was

sure many more were

deserving of blame, but I was

looking for evidence. In 2018 I

decided to contest for the

gubernatorial candidate of the

APC, the political party in

charge of the gong>overong>nment at

the centre in Nigeria’s federal

arrangement. It was for the

seat of Delta State gong>overong>nor.

And suddenly there was a

hood of evidence.

Party apparatchik, senior

statesmen, high office holders

betraying sacred trust and the

oath of their office by the

minute, the educated middle

class who found it all an

amusing game and were thus

complicit in their own

enslavement, weak public

institutions and even the

media and academia. The

trouble with Nigeria was

clearly gang rape of a loving

mother by her own children.

While some were central to the

sordid act, others were

cheering and jeering even as

a compassionate mother who

sacrificed it all for her children

was raped into a coma. Others

looked on and were thus guilty,

by association, and failure to

exercise citizenship

obligations. Such

abominations often bring down

a curse on heritage.

Can this haunting metaphor

help us narrow down the

reasons why Nigeria’s

democracy is almost

completely out of credibility

and legitimacy in the eyes of

both its citizens and the world?

How does the evidence from

my experience show what is

wrong, how it went wrong and

what may be done to save

Nigeria? Can Nehemiahs arise

and rebuild the falling walls of

Nigeria? Can dry bones arise

and walk from the ruins of

Nigeria and the Nehemiahs

among them set stock for

rebuilding what the rapists

damaged as a gasping dear

mother struggled for breath?

The boy who raped and killed

his mother was presumed by

many, including myself, to be

suffering from a mental disease

from the moment of sighting

the headline. But the report

went on to indicate that the

young man took to so dastardly

a deed because he was assured

that wealth beyond

comprehension would be his if

he did it. This motive is

strikingly similar to what has

driven most in the political

class to run Nigeria to the brink

of anarchy, shame her before

the nations as the misery and

pong>overong>ty capital of the world

and cripple her as central

residence of people most

desperate to escape their

conditions by illegal migration

through the desert and

Mediterranean or for the wellheeled

professional; with a

one-way flight ticket to

Canada.

Whether it be this metaphor

of a gang rape of a mother by

her own children that is the

dominant metaphor of the

Nigerian condition or the

competing one in which

Nigeria is characterised as an

asylum for the mentally

challenged, such asylum

though seems to be one in

which die inmates take ong>overong>

the enclave and hold the

psychiatrists hostage and

subject the original caregivers

to treatment for a perverse

mental condition!

This Orwellian state

(remember George Orwell’s

Animal Farm) – a psychiatric

dimension is steadily creeping

into the Nigerian narrative.

Whatever the shrink may think

of us in Nigeria, in 2018 our

challenges had a tinge of déjà

vu. The primary elections of the

political parties in 2018 were

essentially the moral

equivalence of June 12. In

1993, the country voted and a

group of soldiers conspiring in

Aso Rock decided to annul it.

In 2018, the citizens in political

parties went out to vote but

groups of civilians prevented

them from doing so and

announced whatever pleased

them as the outcome.

On a moral scale, the 2018

experience was more morally

degenerated because the

architects of the annulments of

2018 were in civilian clothes

and pretended to be running

a democracy. The 1993

conspirators were soldiers who

had grabbed power and had no

obligation to accountability

beyond the iron law of

legitimacy which forces any

who gong>overong>ns to require some

justification of those being

gong>overong>ned. Even less flattering

is the fact that many who

perpetrated the travesty of

2018 fancy themselves as

heroes of democracy who

fought the conspirators of 1993.


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019 — 33

Edited by

OSA MBONU-AMADI

08070524223

osaamadi@yahoo.com

Politicking with ‘flocks of

scoundrels in APC'

THE major difference

between 1993 and 2018

is that we have a generation

that has lost its sense of

outrage. Whereas in 1993, I,

as the top executive of a

multinational, felt personally

insulted by the annulment

and wrote an op-ed piece in

The Guardian titled We

Must Say Never Again

which forced middle-class

professionals to rally and we

founded the Concerned

Professionals that mounted

opposition to military rule;

today’s people of my

equivalence in 1993 are on

Twitter and Facebook

making jokes about

happenings guaranteed to

ensure that they and their

children will have a more

miserable experience of a

future foretold.

I have conceived this book

as the second coming of my

op-ed piece of 1993, this time

in the longer book form. No

doubt influenced by

Mahathir Ibn Mohamad’s

writing of the book: The

Malay Dilemma, in similar

circumong>stanceong>s. As The

Malay Dilemma triggered a

revolution in Malaysia,

causing the Prime Minister

to resign and Mahathir

Mohamad (who had been

expelled from the United

Malay

National

Organisation, UMNO, the

ruling party at the time) to

be reinstated, I have no

pretence about my hope that

this longer version of We

Must Say Never Again will

awaken the generation with

a loss of a sense of outrage

and ignite a revolution to

save Nigeria.

Perceived

wisdom

I make this case in three

volumes of which this is the

first. I begin by challenging

the perceived wisdom that

politics in Nigeria is not for

the decent or for people who

are honest, hence the

question, why bother! I try to

provide evidence of the

damage this phenomenon

has done to the Nigerian

brand and the Nigerian

experience and offer a more

appropriate poser: “Why

Not?” The book takes its title

from a recognition that

citizenship is a gift with

which comes duties and

responsibilities. Noblesse

oblige’, he who has privilege

has obligations to the less

privileged.

For me this is a compelling

title and a fitting mission in

a country where it seems the

political class has a vested

interest in the perpetuation

of the pong>overong>ty and misery of

the people they claim to lead.

Sure, it makes it easier for

them to buy votes with

peanuts, accomplish state

capture with little effort, and

be a big man in a country

where servitude is writ large;

but the results are there for

all to see. All you have to do

is watch the video of the

remarks of the Emir of Kano

at 100 years celebration of

Union Bank of Nigeria. The

state of pong>overong>ty in the land,

remarkably among those

who have had the longest

and strongest hold on power

in Nigeria shows the

foolhardiness of the

perceived self-interest that

has driven a largely

incompetent political class to

repeatedly gang-rape their

mother. This being done in

pursuit of delusions of

grandeur – private jets,

siren-escorts, fancy

automobiles and homes

sitting empty most of the time

in such places as Dubai,

London and California,

where the authorities regard

them with contempt even

though they welcome the

funds looted from the

looter’s mother’s bosom.

Citizenship demands a

role, an obligation from the

educated middle class in a

For me this is a

compelling title

and a fitting

mission in a

country where it

seems the political

class has a vested

interest in the

perpetuation of the

pong>overong>ty and misery

of the people they

claim to lead

manner that brings civility to

public life and forces the

common good on the agenda

of society. The middle class,

however, has generally

chosen to flee from Nigeria

and to provide spurious

rationalisations for allowing

such.

The Motive

The chorus from close

friends rose to a deafening

crescendo as I considered

yielding to persuasion of

some that I consider running

for Gong>overong>nor of Delta State:

Why in the world would you

consider such a thing? they

asked. The logic of their

views was strong. In a very

Nigerian and personal peace

way, they were right. There

was so much to lose, it

seemed, and very little to

gain.

For some, the gubernatorial

seat was a climb down. I had

run for the office of the

president twice. At the

celebration of the 70th

birthday of the wife of Dr.

Thomas John, one of our

favourite people, I met Chief

Sonny Odogwu, Ide Ahaba,

the nonagenarian tycoon

who asked, “Is it true that

you are running for

gong>overong>nor?” It was almost by

way of rebuke. “You are too

big to run for gong>overong>nor,” he

continued.

‘Why not?’ I replied. Pride

was not a major offering in

my packaging and brand.

Could it lead to service to the

people that could change the

well-being of many? I

politely told him that if it

would make life better for

many, I would serve as a

Local Gong>overong>nment

councillor.

I was even more worried

because my wife was within

earshot. She was working

hard at being the supportive

spouse willing to encourage

a loved one to pursue what

will bring them fulfillment.

But I knew she was very

worried that I should be

running for public office

again. As we parted from

Chief Odogwu I wondered if

something was wrong with

me.

Why did these people who

were working so hard for me

to run pick on me? Was I

listening to them out of pride

or out of a much talked about

weakness that I have

difficulty with saying ‘No’?

I agonised quite a bit on the

matter. Surely it should not

be a matter of seeing a

position as beneath me – after

all, I had the pleasure of

making the acquaintance of

former French Prime

Minister, Raymond Barr, who

was then, Mayor of Lyons and

President of Aspen Institute,

France many years after

having served as Prime

Minister. And did I not have

as campaign adviser, Joe

Trippi (US Democratic

Strategist Joseph Paul Trippi)

who also worked with Jerry

Brown who was Gong>overong>nor of

California when I lived in the

United States as a graduate

student in 1979 and had

become an Alderman, a local

gong>overong>nment official before

dramatically returning to the

seat of Gong>overong>nor of California

more than three decades

later.

Really, why was I inclined

to respond to this effort to get

me to commit? After all,

similar effort had been made

in 2015 and I went to Delta,

took one look at things and

walked away. What was

different this time?

The other perspective on

why I should not run was

offered by Dr. Chris Asoluka,

a very dear friend of more

than three decades who has

shared many of my social

engineering dreams. He

stated, “You have a flock of

scoundrels in APC. The last

thing they would like to see

is someone with your values

in a position of authority.

They can humiliate you, use

you when it is convenient

and would not want true

performance from you as

this would show them up

for who they are even

though most young people

and businessmen took to

them because of you. Not

only did they shut you out

from the cabinet position even

though the whole country was

waiting for it, and it would have

boosted their credibility, but they

did not even bother to name

you to some inconsequential

Board.”

I teased him that his PDP

mentality made him think in

terms of compensation for

contribution and that people

tend to ask for or lobby for

appointments. Maybe I did not

get on the radar because I did

not ask, I continued. But, Chris

went as far as to suggest that

the party chieftains may even

deliberately encourage me to

run so they can rubbish me by

then pulling the rug from

underneath my feet.

I recognised there could be

plenty of truth in his worries. So

why run? Not to run would leave

me with my peace and

reputation intact but it would

also leave the scoundrels with

their iron-clasp grip on public

life, asphyxiating the polity, and

draining Nigeria of the

possibilities of progress as they

loot the Treasury and

incompetently manage what

they have not stolen. Surely it

should be citizen duty for some

to sacrifice their reputation and

challenge the status quo even

in a failing effort that breaks

down the wall and makes way

for the future.

I further challenged Chris

saying what value is there in my

reputation being saved from

being rubbished if, because of

the way Nigeria is gong>overong>ned –

every time I bring out the green

Nigerian passport, as is the case

today, shame precedes and

ong>overong>comes me. Fear of

reputation loss where there is

rectitude of intent, was my least

problem, I tried to assure Chris,

just to make him less agitated

about what decision I would

make.

TOMORROW...

Utomi continues the

story of his misadventure

in APC and

party politics in Nigeria.

He recounts

attempts by his acquaintances

to dissuade

him from contesting

Delta gong>overong>norship

and even

praying against his

being made a finance

minister because of

the feeling that he will

block avenues to

corruption given his

critical disposition

against fleecing of the

nation's resources


34 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—35


36 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—37


38 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—39


40 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—41


42 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

YOUR LUCK TODAY

By Joshua Adeyemo Phone 08056180139

GEMINI; Better than yesterday. Happenings within your

working arena will not give you cause to worry but situation

may change tomorrow. Your finances are favoured.

CANCER; Here is a day when things are meant to go

according to your plans and record success. Yong-at-heart

may be in for a romantic day. You just have to take the

initiative.

LEO; This is your day; although there will be some challenges

within your base of operation, eventual success

will be yours. Be more family minded.

VIRGO; Even if friends have failed to live up to expectation

in the recent days you will need to leave the past

behind you and forge ahead. Long>overong>s are fairly favoured.

LIBRA; Recent challenges notwithstanding pleasant surprises

are possible. The more financially ambitious you

are today the better for your cause.

L E I S U R E

TAKE HEART — ELLA RANDLE

“If you want to be as clear and refreshing as the

breath of the morning breeze and like the sun, have

nothing but warmth and light for everyone.”

-S. Abu-

If you want to attract more positive energy into your

life. Have love for everyone. Whether in their presence

or absence, see only the good. Remember life

brings back what you give to it. -- Ella Randle

TERROR MUDA in “Never say goodbye”

SAYINGS OF

OUR PEOPLE

Do not forget

what is to be a

sailor because

of being a captain

yourself.

~ Tanzanian

prong>overong>b

By Kola Fayemi

SCORPIO; Better opportunities indicated for those of you

willing to be as self assertive as possible, and it could turn

out to be a happy day to be remembered by real long>overong>s.

SAGITTARIUS; Although you will need to keep your secrets

for the next few days that is not to say you should not

pursue your financial interest. Take care of your health.

CAPRICORN; Don’t wait till tomorrow before you make

an important move because good luck and success are

closer to you today than you image. Be hopeful.

AQUARIUS; Tomorrow will prove more rewarding financially

but you will have good opportunity to do things

rightly within your working arena. Be loving.

PISCES; Some of you who are travelling purposely for

love are in for rewarding day. All of you will need to take

your social life more seriously.

DUDU in “ROLLING HOT” By A.O. OLAIDE

ARIES; Professional advice may be needed ong>overong> your finances

but if you are sure of what you are doing you can

go ahead. Be more family minded.

TAURUS; Unusual co-operation may come your way today

but if you are carried away by this the whole thing

may change tomorrow. Respect your spouse.

ASTROLOGICAL COUNSELLING

ASTROLOGICAL COUNSELLING

Send your date e and place of birth th to the Astr

trological

Counselling, P.M.B 100

007, 7, Apapa, Lagos

What’s my birthday ruler?

Dear Joshua,

According to the date I was born I should be a Libran by my

star but most of the time when I read horoscopes written by

both yourself and foreign Astrologers Scorpio always applicable

to me, why?

Kindly tell me how the planets lined up when I was born

and the day of the week I was born but don’t publish my

date of birth.

M.B., Otta.

Dear M.B.

You were born on a Sunday meaning that mighty Sun rules

your birthday. You were wrong to have taken Libra as your

Sun sign because the Sun was placed in early degree of

Scorpio together with many other heavenly bodies. Then

with the Moon in Libra when you were born Libra will

equally be influential in your characteristics build up but,

you are mainly a Scorpio born person.

You are both an intelligent and emotional person. And as

there was no planet at home when you were born, too many

ideas will always struggle for prominent place in your mind,

thus decision making is difficult but most times, your intelligence

comes to the rescue.

Certainly, you appear to other as a gentle person who can

be mistaken for soft fellow but your inner-self is the personality

with a steel like will power.

You are the consistent type who may find it difficult to

change once you have made up your mind.

Placement of your natal Sun (basic self head) and Moon

(your sub-conscious self) in Scorpio and Libra respectively

are indications of your being mainly Scorpio born person

and partly in Libran. And that is to say basic characteristics

of both Scorpio and Libra are highly pronounced in

you.

Then, you are spiritually gifted; if you don’t develop it is

another thing.

VIRGINIA

HOME & ABROAD

dadadekola@yahoo.com

By Lawrence Akapa


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019 — 43

others that lead the NLC the NLC be shouting that its

through very difficult periods,

traversing but not re-

prosecuted by the Economic

two members are not being

stricted to military interregnums.

As militant as they mission, EFCC, when it’s a

and Financial Crimes Com-

were, risking detentions and maxim in Management that

abuse, never did they arrogate

to themselves the power the members of the Board is

if there is failure in a place,

NSITF Imbroglio: The Pong>overong>ty to dictate who got what political

appointment. Even in exception? From what the

held accountable without

the not-too-distant past, minister explained at the inauguration,

the impression

of Leadership by NLC

Comrade Adams Oshiomole,

the National Chairman of one gets is that both the Administrative

Panel and the

the ruling All Progressive

Congress (APC), as stubborn Auditor General’s report indicted

all the Board members

By Emma Agu

as he was, never usurped the

NOTHING suggests

power of the minister. If he without exception.

that the leadership of

did, it was not public knowledge,

implying that he posernment

can count its bless-

For now, the Federal Gov-

an organisation cannot

make mistakes. Why would

sessed the skills and tact to ings, on the labour front.

anyone expect a leader to be

navigate his way through First, is that, with Ngige as

infallible? But what distinguishes

nobility from

Board appointments. Espehead,

Nigeria has returned

the intricate political webs of the Gong>overong>nment’s arrow-

charlatanism; maturity of

cially Tripartite Gong>overong>nment to reckoning in the International

Labour Organisation

mind from mediocrity is the

Boards in which the NLC

ability to retrace one’s steps,

was represented.

(ILO). It is now back, to the

the humility to apologise

Wabba’s pathetic position honorary board after 10 years

once a mistake has been unambiguously

identified. As

worrisome as it unearths a portant point is the approval

on the NSITF Board issue is of absence. The second im-

psychologists will tell you,

certain gap in the leadership of the new minimum wage

rather than being a sign of

of the NLC. If the leadership of N30, 000. Whether Ayuba

weakness, humility is a sign

of an organisation cannot or the NLC like it or not,

of strength, that inner power *Chris Ngige

be trusted to tell or ascertain Ngige will always be remembered

as the Gong>overong>nment’s

that makes the purveyor

the truth, then such an organisation

is bound to arrowhead that made it pos-

stand erect even after eating

ant and a highly respected leadership in Nigeria; he

humble pie.

corporate player, to chair the blamed the Presidency for flounder because many of its sible even if he disagreed

But all this will seem to be

Board.

coming out with its explanation

late. What impudence! falsehood, as in the instant during the negotiations, as

actions would be based on with labour on the figure,

lost on the leadership of the

The NLC would not hear of

Nigerian Labour Congress,

that. Thus began a battle of If the truth must be told, the case. To say that it behooves claimed by the NLC President

in one of his media at-

NLC, as it continues to

wits between the minister NLC’s obduracy, in the face the leadership to retract its

grandstand, after the presidency

had unequivocally dis-

and a section of the labour of its falsehood, did not deserve

any explanation. Beogy

is what leadership is all

position and issue an apoltacks.

leadership as both the Trade

owned it ong>overong> the failed appointment

of Frank Kokori

Union Congress (TUC) and sides, it was never in the about. By the way, this will Ultimate demonstration of

the United Labour Congress province of the NLC to dictate

to the Presidency whom that activists would have

not be the first or only time the pong>overong>ty of leadership

as Chairman of the Nigerian

stayed out of the needless

Social Insurance Trust Fund

controng>overong>sy. For its part, the to offer or deny political appointment,

unless it could side of the truth. For those gotiation that ended the

been caught on the wrong Not to be left out is the ne-

(NSITF). For those not familiar

with it, let me rehash

NLC deployed every conceivable

strategy: blackmail, ethnic

profiling, intimidation the prospective nominee had would not have forgotten Union of Universities

muster evidence to show that familiar with the case, we strike by the Academic Staff

the issue that led to a protracted

crisis between labour

and ultimately, physical character flaws which, by the too soon the Ebony Magazine

conundrum of the still holding simply shows

(ASUU). That the truce is

centre and the minister of

bombardment of the minister’s

private residence, all in

eighties involving one of that either the Federal Gov-

Labour and Employment,

Dr. Chris Ngige. In the count

a vile but futile effort, to cow Besides, it will appear

that those who

Nigeria’s stormy petrels of ernment is keeping to its side

down to the constitution of

the minister to submission.

those days, Dr. Tai Solarin. of the bargain or that ASUU

boards of agencies under the

In the end, the Presidency

That was the era of haywire is reasonably satisfied with

ministry, it was reported that

weighed in on the imbroglio had pushed for disinformation, aimed at discrediting

the military junta Federal Gong>overong>nment that it

the noble intentions of the

Comrade Frank Kokori, a

and got the Board inaugurated

in the Presidential

that was in power at the is prepared to be patient

Comrade Kokori, to

veteran labour leader who,

head the Board, did

for many years, was general

Villa.

time.

while the problem is being

secretary of the NUPENG,

Perhaps this article would so without the endorsement

of the Country’s standing in the ten was the bail-out funds

addressed. Not to be forgot-

had been penciled down to

not have been necessary if labour

had not persisted with

global labour calculations that were magnanimously

head the board of the NSITF.

minister who, by the

It is instructive to note that

its grandstanding, even after

the inauguration of the NSITF Act, was Quite frankly, unless there Buhari to enable the states

approved by President

there was no formal announcement

by the Federal

Board. Worse still, coming charged with the are ulterior motives behind settle arrears of salaries while ensuring

that Federal workers were not

Gong>overong>nment beyond social

after the Presidency had explicitly

denied the claim that

NLC, labour should be denied their legitimate entitlements.

the bizarre behaviour of the

responsibility of

media speculations and

“scoops”.

it had nominated Kokori for recommending to proud of the achievements of Neither labour nor any fair minded

the top political appointment,

the NLC’s sanctimo-

labour matters. This is not tion of empathy without risking the

the President who to the Buhari Administration in person could ignore such demonstra-

Mismanagement of about

appoint as chairman

of the board country’s standing in the the minister of labour had no hand in

N48 billion of the Fund

nious posturing is reeks of a

about Ngige. It is about the charge of sadism. And to pretend that

huge character deficit and a

However, acting on the recommendation

of the minis-

shameless throwback to the

global labour calculations; all these or did not use his political

era when unscrupulous and

it is about the commitment clout to get these deserved benefits

ter, President Muhammadu

self-serving labour leaders

to the welfare of Nigerian for workers, is to take hypocrisy to the

Buhari approved that the inauguration

of the special-

held organisations to ransom.

In any decent society, Republic of Nigeria, disquali-

Constitution of the Federal

workers, in spite of the dire apogee of tomfoolery.

economic straits; it is about No matter the way anyone wants to

ized board be put on hold,

labour would have swallowed

its dented pride, even made NLC position to

fied such a person. What

how free labour has been in look at it, truth is that Ngige stands

to allow an on-going administrative

enquiry, empanelled

conducting its legitimate out as one of the most vibrant

shown remorse by publicly be hopelessly untenable was

activities. If we must narrow and result-oriented members

by the minister, into the mismanagement

of about N48

apologizing to the Federal the fact that though the

it down to Ngige, the facts of the Buhari cabinet and one

Gong>overong>nment, the minister NSITF dealt with workers’

demand that the NLC of the most successful labour

billion of the Fund’s money,

and Nigerians who, it had led compensation contributed

should have the honesty and ministers of all times. That

to be concluded. Besides, it

into falsely believing that by employers, the appointment

of the board was not a

humility to defer to a public said, it should of course be

will appear that those who

Ngige was all along disobeying

the President. Actually, labour matter.

functionary who has the constitutional

powers to ong>overong>see jostling for ministerial posi-

recognized that in this era of

had pushed for Comrade

Kokori, to head the Board,

the Presidency said it loud To put it mildly, the conduct

of the leadership of the

its activities and whose actions

so far, do not portray interested politicians could

tions, chances are that some

did so without the endorsement

of the minister who, by

and clear that the Minister,

as an experienced former NLC smacks of condemnable

pettiness and question-

him as being anti-labour. indeed be speaking through

the NSITF Act, was charged

civil servant brought a programme

of work for the place able patriotism. Never in the

However, if his insistence the mouths of labour leaders.

with the responsibility of recommending

to the President

that a new vibrant NSITF Could it be that Ayuba is fighting

a personal war for his self-

which was duly approved by history of labour activism

Board should be allowed to

who to appoint as chairman

the President.

has the leadership of the NLC

forensically handle the ish interest or is he doing a

of the board. Thus Ngige recommended

Austin Enejamo-

But the NLC President, descended to this nadir of

mindless mismanagement of proxy war for some political

Comrade Ayuba Wabba petulance and unbridled

workers’ money, under the leaders; only him can answer.

Isire, an insurance practitioner

of repute, an accom-

would not have anything of egotism. We all saw the fiery

watchful eyes of a Board that But if the answer is in the affirmative,

that will be the ulti-

that. Rather, typical of the Hassan Sunmonu, the

included two labour leaders,

plished chartered account-

impunity that has become suave Paschal Bafyau and

then Ngige is likely to be a mate demonstration of the

the hallmark of irresponsible the methodical Ciroma and

criminal forever! Why should pong>overong>ty of leadership.

C

M

Y


44 — Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

COMMISSIONING: From left— Oyo State Commissioner for Works and

Transport, Alhaji Wasiu Dauda; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; and

Oyo State Gong>overong>nor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, during the commissioning of

the dualised Ibadan-Oyo/Iseyin-Owode Road, named after the Monarch.

LAUNCH:From left—Oba of Ikate-Elegushi, HRM Oba Saheed Elegushi; The

Ojomu of Ajiran land in Eti-Osa, HRM Oba Tijani Adetunji Akinloye; Enyo stillwaters

Landlord, Aare Bashir Fakorede and his wife Tayo Fakorede; and (on far right)

CEO, Enyo Retail and Supply, Abayomi Awobokun at the launch of Enyo Lekki

Mega station in celebration of Enyo’s 2nd year anniversary in Lagos.


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019 —45

Karen: “Not

good enough

to be a pro”

•But now she debuts in

“Imaginativeness”

By Osa Mbonu-Amadi,

Arts Editor

Three artists, Orlu Prince

Ozangeobuoma, Karen

Ogidi and Akinbanji Osanyemi

are set to showcase

their works at an exhibition

titled Imaginativeness at Alexis

Galleries, Akin Olugbade

Street, off Idowu Martins,

Victoria Island, Lagos.

The exhibition opened last

Saturday, May 18 and will run

till May 25, 2019.

Karen Ogidi, of Nigerian

and Turkish parentage, was

born in Istanbul. She has a

bachelor’s degree in English

language and Literature from

Eastern Mediterranean

University in Cyprus in 2012.

“This is the first time I am

exhibiting in a public place,”

she told Vanguard. “I am

very excited. I am happy that

people are going to be seeing my

works. I like seeing beautiful things,

I like nature. I like to see people doing

their own thing because I think

there is beauty in being you. I like to

capture people at that very moment

when they are original, when they

are truly themselves. I also like landscapes.”

Karen says her works are based on

real life sceneries, though due to her

love for colours, she sometimes tries

to enhance those real life sceneries

with colours brighter than in real life.

“I didn’t go to any art school but I

have always had an interest in art. In

2015, I left my teaching job to do

fulltime art, though I still teach, I

teach English and History.

Largely a self-taught artist, Karen

said she had always wanted to do

art. “I was told when I was in

secondary school, that I was not

good enough to be a professional

artist.”

She was almost discouraged from

pursuing her dream in art. “I

thought maybe those people (who

said I could not be a pro) knew what

•Continues on page 46

Sensitivity, new

paradigm in

conflict reporting

Pg 46

When Korean Janggu

drum festival was

spiced with Nigerian

indigenous songs

Pg 47

Popular artist, Iké Udé

photography exhibition

opens 1st June

Pg 47


46—Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

OSA MBONU-AMADI

08070524223

osaamadi@yahoo.com

Karen: “Not good enough to be a pro”

Continued from page 47

they were talking about. But when

I came back to teaching, I said ‘but

this is what I really want to do.’ So

to improve my skills, I went to (do

apprenticeship at) Universal Studios

in the National Theatre. I was

discouraged from even going to a

full art school. I was told I could

not be a professional but I was very

determined. That’s basically what

happened. I just practised constantly.

I was determined to be as

good as anyone around me.”

Karen says she has sold quite a

number of her works before getting

this opportunity to have her first

exhibition. She will be bringing 10

works of hers to the exhibition.

Exhibiting also is the Ikwerre,

Rivers State-born Orlu Prince

Ozangeobuoma. Also speaking

with Vanguard, Ozangeobuoma

said he went to University of Port-

Harcourt to study art. “I also

studied at the Institute of

Management & Technology

(IMT), Enugu. Apart from school,

I had my first internship with a Port-

Harcourt-based artist, Kpodoh

Michael.

“I proceeded from there after

some years to school. During my

third year in school, I did an internship

with Duke Asidere. I can

say that (meeting Duke) was the

beginning of my strokes in art.

“I had a lot of experience and I

think they influenced my works a

lot. I believe that art is everywhere,

it is everything you do. I am an

engineer – I build houses, I do a

lot of constructions.”

Ozangeobuoma said engineering

is something he picked up from

his father and his elder brother who

are also engineers. “The construction

part of the art I do I call them

installation. So I do my installation

as construction. For me, art is

everything I do – it is not only

painting on canvasses.

“I paint from the known to the

unknown. I want to create things

that I don’t even know. So I move

from what I know to what I don’t

know. Sometimes I call it an end

product which is the finished work.

In that finished work, I see a lot of

things I don’t even know. I

communicate with my work while

I work. My work talks to me and I

talk to my work. Without that communication,

I don’t paint.”

Akinbanji Osanyemi who had

discong>overong>ed his creative ability quite

early in life said: “I started art at a

very tender age. It was something

of fun until 2009 when I was in

school. I started as a portrait artist.

People were just giving me portrait

to do for them. I use charcoal.

Sometimes I combine materials like

pages of textbooks, old textbooks

or newspaper to give it some kind

of effect. And you can actually see

that from my expressions; that the

strokes are not really definite, they

are rough. The collage makes it

easy for me to create that kind of

effect.

“I like to do art that cuts across;

art that talks to racism, love and

the environment.”

Akinbanji’s message also relates

to environmental activism – the

need for man to stop abusing the

environment and protect it instead.

Akinbanji will be presenting about

seven works in the exhibition.

Alexis Galleries is partnering

with Cerebral Palsy Centre, a nongong>overong>nmental

and not-for-profit

organisation established in 2010.

The Centre which manages children

with Cerebral Palsy, CP in

Nigeria was founded by Mrs.

Nonye Nweke.

The centre has ong>overong> the years

maintained the goals of providing

respite for parents and care givers,

striving to improve the prognosis of

children diagnosed with CP,

increasing societal awareness of the

condition and spearheading policy

changes that will positively affect

children living with CP. Part of the

proceeds from this exhibition will be

donated to Cerebral Palsy Centre.

Imaginativeness is sponsored by

Pepsi, Mikano, Tiger, Delta

Airline, Wazobia TV, Cobranet Internet

Service Provider, iPractico,

La Cave, Cool FM, Art Café and

the Homestores Limited.

*From left: Karen Ogidi, Orlu Prince Ozangeobuoma; Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis, Founder & Director,

Alexis Galleries/Curator; Mrs. Nonye Nweke, founder, Cerebral Palsy Centre, and Akinbanji Osanyemi,

during “Imaginativeness” press briefing at Alexis Galleries, Lagos.

Sensitivity, new paradigm in conflict reporting

By Udo Ibuot

CURRENT tendencies in

newspapers’ cong>overong>age

of conflict situations usually

focus on reporting of violent

activities, behaviours of winners

and losers, with details of

how these tragedies have been

sustained. This conflict reporting

model is associated with

war journalism given its focus

on reporting of violence

and how the stakeholders foist

untold hardships on affected

citizens and the nation as a

whole. However, an alternative

paradigm of conflict journalism

has emerged. Its fundamentals

include the requirement

that media professionals

cong>overong>ing conflict beats

be sensitive to the hardships that the people contend

with. It also demands that they explore the

backgrounds and contexts in which these conflicts

are formed to prevent their escalation. The

new paradigm involves giving all the combatants

similar opportunities to express their misgivings

and reporting excesses found to have been

perpetrated by all the sides to the conflict.

These are sensitivities that are often absent in

most conflict or war reports. The sensitivity not

only led to the conceptualisation and introduction

of conflict-sensitive journalism, but is also

the reason for this book which is a product of

three conflict-sensitive researches. The three researchers,

Tunde Akanni, Jide Jimoh and Philip

Olayoku, obtained their Ph.Ds in Media, Peace

and Conflict Resolution Studies at the Institute of

African Studies of the University of Ibadan, with

two of them teaching journalism at the Lagos

State University, and the third teaching cultural

and media studies at the premier university. Each

of these researches focuses on a specific conflict

situation with all the three adopting content

analysis as research designs.

The first study entitled: Conflict-Sensitive Journalism

and the Jos Crisis (2010-2011) is presented

by Jide Jimoh. He purposively chose four newspapers

– The Guardian, The Punch, Daily Trust

and National Standard. The Punch and The

Guardian are privately owned newspapers based

in Lagos, National Standard is a Plateau State

Gong>overong>nment-owned publication while Daily Trust

is a privately owned newspaper based in Abuja.

The study had Framing theory and the Social

Responsibilities theory as theoretical underpinnings.

A major finding was that in the reportage

of the Jos crisis, 30.5 per cent of the cong>overong>age

reflected conciliatory language, 32.2 per

cent was considered inflammatory, 11.3 per

cent was considered sensational in tone while

26.1per cent was considered moderate. Combined,

it meant that about 44 per cent of the

reports were inflammatory or sensational in

nature. Another finding was that 65.2 per cent

of the main sources of news of the crisis were

from statements or speeches,

while 5.6 per cent came

from reports and other

publications. Reporters’

interviews accounted for

18.6 per cent of the sources

while press conferences

provided 6.2 per cent of the

cong>overong>age. Investigative reporting

accounted for 3.4

per cent of the cong>overong>age

with other sources accounting

for 0.9 per cent. This

finding suggests that media

professionals are no

longer engaged in the business

of investigative journalism.

The study concluded

that the newspapers did

not only report the conflict

but that they, indeed, contributed

to its exacerbation

through their use of sensational languages.

The second study entitled: A Conflict-Sensitive

Analysis of the Newspaper Cong>overong>age of

1999 Odi Conflict, is presented by Tunde

Akanni. The researcher purposively selected

three newspapers – Thisday, The Observer and

Vanguard - to examine the cong>overong>age of the

‘Odi massacre.’ Justification of the choice

flowed from the fact that owners of the three

newspapers were connected to the Niger-Delta.

The Observer is owned by Edo State Gong>overong>nment,

one of the six states in the region,

while Thisday and Vanguard are Lagos-based

newspapers owned by Niger- Delta citizens.

Editions of the newspapers spanning the period

of the crisis were analysed in line with

the research questions. Salient questions were

on the pattern of cong>overong>age of the conflict, issues

arising from the pattern, and how the

selected newspapers manifested the ethos of

conflict-sensitive journalism. Theoretical underpinning

was the Gatekeeping theory, while

about 220 editorial items comprising news

stories, feature articles, opinions and editorials

were analysed for the study. Of this number,

130 represented statements or speeches,

while five were from reports or publications.

Reporters’ interviews accounted for 30 of the

stories while 40 were from press conferences.

Public opinion polls accounted for 15 of the

stories while no investigative report was published

during the period. The researcher drew

attention to the lack of multiple sources of

editorial items or the dominance of statements

and speeches in the newspapers under

review. He observed that this constituted a

serious vacuum to the concept of conflict-sensitive

journalism. His findings included the

observation of a bandwagon effect in the reportage

as virtually all the newspapers adopted

similar dispositions in news reporting. He

also found that there was a conspicuous absence

of investigative reporting on the pages

of the affected newspapers. The reportage of

the Odi affair was also found to be largely

bereft of conflict sensitivity as reporting of

stakeholders’ comments did not seem to be

mindful of their impacts on the larger society.

The third entry entitled Towards a Culture of

Conflict Sensitivity: Group cum Ethnic Profiling in

the Media Reportage of Nasarawa State Violent

Crisis (2012-2013) is presented by Philip Olayoku.

The study focused on how the newspapers reported

on the Eggon or Ombatse crises in Nasarawa

State. Two newspapers - Daily Trust and

EggonNews - were purposively selected for the

study and the choice was justified by the proximity

of the publications’ offices to the crises

environment. Daily Trust is a private newspaper

based in Abuja with focus on the north and the

gong>overong>nment, while EggonNews is a communitybased

monthly newspaper that caters to interests

of the Eggon. The researcher adopted Gatekeeping

theory as the underpinning theoretical framework

for the study. He examined the effect of labelling

adopted by reporters in the two newspapers in the

cong>overong>age of the conflict and explained that while

EggonNews profiled the Fulani as ‘mercenaries

and militia’, the Daily Trust profiled the Ombatse

as ‘cult group and ethnic militia.’

Sensationalism was the second theme the

researcher examined. Its use was dominant in both

newspapers as lead headlines were laced with

editorialising tendencies, a move that was meant

to generate sympathetic affections or sentiments

from members of the public towards the causes

the newspapers represented. The other trend which

Olayoku’s study found was the discriminatory

approach towards the female gender in the

reporting of the conflict. This is a theme that was

also discernible in the two previous studies.

Women, children, the aged and people living with

disabilities constitute a group that is often

relegated in conflict reporting scenarios, yet they

bear the brunt in all conflicts and ought to dominate

in these discourses. Both the Daily Trust and the

EggonNews paid scant attention to this category.

These studies have brought to the fore the need to

introduce the core knowledge that is required to

cause a paradigm shift in reporting of conflicts.

The fundamental knowledge should include,

among others, the requirement that media

professionals detailed to cong>overong> conflict situations

acquire detailed conflict-sensitive training that will

enable them to understand the tone of language to

use in their reports to reduce tension in conflict

environments. This book is recommended to

journalists and all media organisations that may

have to assign reporters to conflict situations. It

should also serve as a valuable manual for lecturers

and students of communication studies in

universities, polytechnics and monotechnics, as it

will enable them to have first-hand knowledge of

how to approach the field.

Publishers: The Kukah Centre with

support from McArthur Foundation

Pagination: 100 pages

Year of Publication: 2019


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019—47

OSA MBONU-AMADI

08070524223

osaamadi@yahoo.com

When Korean Janggu drum

festival was spiced with

Nigeria indigenous songs

By Prisca Sam-Duru &

Elizabeth Uwandu

It was an atmosphere of

love, passion and camaraderie

for Nigerians and Koreans

present at the 2019 graduation

ceremony of Janggu

with Papa as participants displayed

their prowess in the

beating of Janggu drum

spiced with Nigerian indigenous

songs.

The workshop tagged: Surulere

Edition, in its fifth edition,

is a collaboration of Korean

Cultural Centre and

Drumview Concept which was

organised to showcase the

cultural relationship between

Nigeria and South Korea.

The event also spoke loudly

•Nollywood Portrait

Iké Udé, Nigerian-born,

New York-based photographer

will break new ground

in June when he holds his

first photography exhibition

in Nigeria. The exhibition

will take place at Alliance

Française, Mike Adenuga

Centre, 9 Osborne Road,

Ikoyi, Lagos from June 1 – 16,

2019.

Titled: Nollywood Portraits:

A Radical Beauty, Udé will be

offering a substantial presentation

of his portraits of members

of Nigeria’s vibrant movie

industry, Nollywood.

In the solo exhibition, Udé

will orchestrate a dramatic

cinematic atmosphere of light

and colour, whereby the

industry’s illustrious

veterans, in company with the

next generation of emerging

talent, pose in classically

staged shots. Pictorial

representation will include

personalities such as actress

Genevieve Nnaji, director

Stephanie Okereke Linus and

filmmaker Kunle Afolayan. In

all, 64 Nollywood

personalities captured in the

of the usefulness of drum in

the promotion of a healthy lifestyle;

immersed synchronisation

of the body, soul and

mind; inner meditation and

shared bond of human and

the universe.

Explaining the reason

behind the event held at Villa

Jazzmatazz Surulere, Lagos,

Isioma Williams, founder,

Drumview Concept said that

the “Janggu workshop is

aimed at equipping and

empowering the youths in

addition to promoting my

experience of traditional

drumming among my

colleagues.

“Just like I said during my

opening remarks, a lot of

traditional drummers do not

know the theory of drumming.

So I was opportune to acquire

that knowledge, hence the

desire to pass it round

inspired this workshop.

“This event is the fifth

edition themed: Surulere Edition

and it is done quarterly.

Popular artist, Iké

Udé’s photography exhibition

opens 1st June

The title is both

play on, and

departure from

the artistic

opulence of one

of Raphael

Sanzio Urbino’s

notable fresco,

The School of

Athens (1509)

elegant style of the artist will

feature in the exhibition.

The thematic thread that intertwines

this body of work

culminates in the centerpiece

of the collection titled: The

School of Nollywood. The title

is both play on, and departure

from the artistic opulence

of one of Raphael Sanzio

Urbino’s notable fresco,

The School of Athens (1509).

The painting is of a grandiose

architectural framework,

depicting prominent philosophers

of Greek antiquity, posing

in a manner whereby they

dominate but do not crowd

their environment.

With these works of portraiture,

Udé complements the

discourse on the representation

of Africans in cinema,

from colonial domination and

inferior stereotypes to one of

intellect and creative agency

in telling our own stories.

•Korean Janggu drum performance

Udé is an aesthete, dandy,

writer and founder of the

seminal artfashion print

magazine, aRUDE, 1995-

2009. In addition to the

accompanying coffee table

book, Nollywood Portraits: A

Radical Beauty published

by Skira in 2016, he is also

the author of Style Files: The

World’s Most Elegantly

Dressed, published by

Harper Collins in 2008 and

Beyond Decorum published

by M.I.T Press in 2000.

Vanity Fair included him

in the magazine’s

International Best Dressed

List in 2009 and 2012. He

has exhibited in solo and

group exhibitions and has

been reviewed in a number

of publications including Art

in America, The New Yorker,

Art Daily, L’UOMO

Vogue, Flash Art, and The

New York Times. His articles

on fashion and art have been

published in magazines

and newspapers worldwide.

Throughout his innovative

career, Udé’s work has been

exhibited at Leila Heller

Gallery, New York (2013),

the Rhode Island School of

Design Museum,

Providence (2013), the

Minneapolis Institute of Art,

Minneapolis (2014), the

Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam

(2014), the Palm Springs

Museum of Art, Palm

Springs (2015), and the

National Academy Museum

and School, New York

(2015), amongst others.

Udé’s work is in the

permanent collections of the

Smithsonian National

Museum, Washington D.C.,

The Solomon R.

Guggenheim Museum, New

York, the Museum of Art and

Design (MAD), New York,

the New Britain Museum of

American Art, New Britain,

CT, the Sheldon Museum of

Art, Lincoln, NE and the

Rhode Island School of

Design (RISD) Museum,

Providence, RI. He currently

lives and works in New York.

Hopefully, the next workshop

will commence in June. You

know it started in Mainland

from there to Bariga, and now

in Surulere. We are also planning

for the Island edition.

The whole essence of this

workshop is to equip ourselves

with the knowledge

that will help us preserve our

culture because I’ve realised

how fast we are losing our

culture. If a country can be

promoting their culture and

tradition in another country,

then we can do same.”

On why he specifically chose

the Janggu drum, the Creative

Director explained: “I chose

the Korean drum because it is

a traditional drum. It is also

based on the extent the Korean

gong>overong>nment is providing funds

to promote Janggu drum. This

is quite exciting for me, and I

feel Nigeria should copy from

them and do likewise.”

Williams added that

preparation to form Janggu

Club was underway as the

number of participants in the

last five years has increased

to 60.

On his part, Lee Jin Su, Director,

Korean Cultural Centre

in Nigeria, of the Embassy of

the Republic of Korea expressed

delight ong>overong> the energetic

performance of the students.

According to him:”I am

very impressed with the students’

performance. I am happy

for Nigerians as they are

very interesting and energetic

people.”

The Korean Cultural

Ambassador further pledged

to continue to support Isioma

Williams in his effort towards

the promotion of Janggu

drum.

Guests at the event included

Josephine Igberaese, retired

Drama Director of the

National Troupe of Nigeria;

Qudus Onikeku, Art activist

and CEO of Q-Dance Centre;

Dr. Ndidi Nwaneri, Executive

Director, Arocsa and Research

fellow at Hanong>overong> Institute

and Goethe Universitat;

Kayode Idris, veteran artiste

and pioneer member of

National Troupe of Nigeria;

Tairu Ajibode, Secretary of the

Guild of Nigerian Dancers.

Others were: Adedayo Liadi,

former president of GOND

and CEO of IJODEE Dance

Centre; Sam Uquah, Music

scholar and the owner of the

venue; Sam Olukoya (BBC);

Mrs. Patience Ime Oyeniyi;

Uche Onah, Director of Productions

of the Guild of Nigerian

Dancers, and John

Orji, Coordinator, Lagos Island

Artistes Forum.


48 — VANGUARD, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019

Zamfara School

Abduction:

Hostages

regain freedom

AJAGBE

I, formerly known as Miss

Ajagbe Olumayowa Aminat,

now wish to be known as

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Aminat. All former

documents remain vaild.

General public take note.

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note.

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please note.

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now wish to be known as

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please take note.

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NYSC and the general public

should please take note.

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Azubogu, now wish to be

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Abuh Nkiruka Elizabeth. The

general public should please

take note.

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I, formerly known as Miss

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wish to be known as Mrs

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General public, and all relevant

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I, formerly known as Lawal

Aderonke, now wish to be

known as Ogunmola

Aderonke. All former

documents remain vaild.

General public take note.

LADI

I, formerly known as Ladi

Afticus, now wish to be

known as Ladi Joel Binauto.

All former documents remain

valid. General public please

take note.

OLADOJA

I, formerly known as Miss

Abioro Adenike Oladoja, now

wish to be known as Mrs

Adefolaju Adenike Oladoja. All

former documents remain

vaild. Ogun State Local

Gong>overong>nment Service

Commission and general public

take note.

AKANDE

I wish to confirm that my

names are Oluwadunsin

Akande and Yetunde

Oluwadunsin Moyinoluwa

Akande, that it all refers to

one and same me. All

documents bearing these

names, remain valid general

public please take note.

NKEMKA

I, formerly known as Miss Nkemka

Kate (Cathrine ) Kelechi, now wish

to be known as Mrs Okafor Kate

(Cathrine) Kelechi. All former

documents remain valid. Oguta Local

Govt. Council, Local Govt. Service

Commission, Mgbidi Micro Finance

and general public take note.

NZEI

I, formerly known as Miss

Nwamaka Antoinette Nzei,

now wish to be known as

Mrs Nwamaka Antoinette

Eta. The general public

should please take note.

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I, formerly known as Miss

Ezeani Ebelechukwu Maria,

now wish to be known as Mrs

Nworji Ebelechukwu Maria. All

documents bearing my former

name still remain Valid.

General public, and all relevant

authorities please take note.

REUBEN

I, formerly known as Oyo

Reuben, now wish to be

known as Oyo Christian

Oghenetejiri. All former

documents remain valid.

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note.

ABIODUN

I, formerly known as

Abiodun Taofeeq Abiodun,

now wish to be known as

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note.

AHMED

I, formerly known as Ahmed

Abdul-Jabbar, now wish to

be known as Viktor Ahmed

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former documents remain

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note.

OGUNTOLA

I, formerly known as Miss

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now wish to be known as

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Grace. All former documents

remain valid. General public

please take note.

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I, formerly known as Miss

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now wish to be known as

Mrs. Okorie Stella Obiageli.

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take note.

UGOCHUKWU

My name, Ajuzieogu Franklin

Ugochukwu, appears in my

pension account while Ajuzie

Lucky Ugochukwu appears in

my documents. I wish to state

that both names belong to one

person. Any document bearing

any of the names is valid.

General public please take

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Nigeria Immigration Service

(NIS) and general public take

note.

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I, formerly known as Miss

Odjoh Gloria Oghare, now

wish to be known as Mrs

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The general public should

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I, formerly known as Miss

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and all relevant authorities

please take note.

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I, formerly known as Miss

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now wish to be known as

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Mirian. All former

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ALLISON

I, formerly known as Allison

Amaka Daphine, now wish

to be known as Ajighevi

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I, formerly known as

Ogundeyin Adegbolahan

Adefolahan Mulikat Adekoya,

now wish to be known as

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wish to be known as

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former documents remain

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Sharter Esther Emojevwe,

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OKOLIE

In my primary school leaving

certificate my name was wrongly

spelt as Okoliem Ndidi Instead Of

Okolie Ndidi. And I formerly known

as Okolie Ndidi now wish to be

known as Okolie Uche Celestina. All

former documents remain valid.

General public please take note.

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I, formerly known as Nwaokwo

Ogechi Eucharia, now wish to

be known as Ugoala Ogechi

Eucharia. All my documents

with Diamond/Access Bank

remain vaild. Diamond/Access

Bank Plc and general public

take note.

MMADUWUBA

I, formerly known as Mrs

Virginia Ogoegbulem

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general public should please

take note.

AIGBEDO

I, formerly known as Miss

Vero Aigbedo and Mrs Vero

Ogiso, now wish to be

known as Mrs Vera

Izevbudu. The general public

should please take note.

EKPIRORO

I, formerly known as Miss

Kevwe Ekpiroro, now wish

to be known as Mrs. Kevwe

Maxwell Yusuf. All former

documents remain valid.

General public please take

note.

OZAVESHE

I, formerly known as Miss

Rachael Omeyimi Ozaveshe,

now wish to be known as

Mrs Rachael Omeyimi

Adumaza. All former

documents remain valid.

General pubic take note.

OLAYEMI

I, formerly known as Miss

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to be known as Mrs. Dauda

Abibat. All former documents

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take note.

OKOLIE

I, formerly known as Miss

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wish to be known as Mrs.

Esealuka Ifeyinwa Lilian. All

former documents remain

vaild. General public take

note.

OMOTOSHO

I, formerly known as

Omotosho Victoria

Oluwatoyin, now wish to be

known as Ade-Adedokun

Victoria Oluwatoyin. All

former documents remain

vaild. General public take

note.

OKON

I, formerly known as Ms Unwana

Bassey Okon, now wish to be known

as Mrs. Unwana Emmanuel Bassey.

All documents bearing my former

name remain valid. The University of

Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa

Ibom State and the general public

please take note.

EDOZIEM

I, formerly known as Miss

Edoziem Jennifer Chiamaka,

now wish to be known as Mrs.

Ofoegbu Jennifer Chiamaka.

All former documents remains

valid, general public please

take note.

ASAKOME

I, formerly known as Mrs.

Asakome Oghenerievu

Charity, now wish to be

known as Akpoguma Charity

Oghenerievu. All former

documents remain vaild.

General public take note.

AZIEGBE

I, formerly known as Miss

Faith Aziegbe, now wish to be

known as Mrs. Faith Thiel. All

former documents remain

valid. All concerned

Authorities and the general

public please take note.

KARO

I, formerly known as Karo

Paul, now wish to be known

as Izikire Oghenekaro Paul.

All former documents remain

valid. General public, banks and

all concerned institutions

should please take note.

WARRIE

I, formerly known as Miss

Inemesit Okon Warrie, now

wish to be known as Mrs.

Inemesit Antigha Isong. All

former documents remain

valid. General public please

take note.

EBHOTA

I, formerly known as Miss

Sophia Ebhota, now wish to

be known as Mrs Sophia

Osemudiamen Odianosen. All

former documents remain

valid, general public take note.

By Nasir Muhammad

Gusau

Six people abducted

when bandits raided

Gong>overong>nment Girls Comprehensive

Secondary

School Moriki on May 2,

2019, regained freedom

yesterday after spending

18 days in bandits den.

The hostages returned

home after N1.5 million

was paid by members of

the family.

A source close to the

family revealed to Vanguard

reporter that the

hostages came back home

safely after the ransom

demanded by the

abductors was paid.

Among the people who

were abducted was 18-

year-old Maryam who

was said to be an old

student of the school,

having graduated in 2017,

and gained admission at

Gwadabawa Polytechnic,

Sokoto.

Before the incident

Maryam had already finished

her registration and

was about to resume

school when bandits raided

the school and abducted

her.

The other person, Abdurrahaman,

is a 16-yearold

JSS3 student of Kulliya

Institute, Moriki, before

he was abducted on that

fateful day, while another

victim, Hassan, is a

primary 6 pupil of

Muhammadu

Ari

Primary School, Moriki.

The other three persons

whose names were not

obtained by Vanguard

newspaper at the time of

filing this report, were also

among those who regained

freedom.

Efforts to reach Police

Public Relations Officer,

SP Muhammad Shehu,

for comment, proved

abortive as he could not

be reached on phone.

Ebonyi govt

won't tolerate

exploitation of

citizens in the

name of

empowerment

— Orji

By Peter Okutu

A EBONYI BAKALIKI—

state gong>overong>nment,

weekend, stated

that it would not tolerate

any form of financial exploitation

of its citizens by some

so-called organisations operating

under the guise of

carrying out empowerment

schemes in the state.

The State Commissioner

for Human Capital Development

and Monitoring,

Mr. Uchenna Orji Stated

this in Abakaliki while declaring

open an empowerment

training organised by

a multi Level marketing organisation,

Super Life Nigeria

Limited.


Vanguard, MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019 —49

THANKSGIVING—From left: Oyo State Deputy Gong>overong>nor-Elect, Mr Rauf Olaniyan; wife of the Oyo

State Gong>overong>nor-Elect, Mrs Omini Makinde; Oyo State Gong>overong>nor-Elect, Mr Seyi Makinde; and Presiding

Bishop, Living Spring Chapel, Pastor Femi Emmanuel, during a Special Thanksgiving Service at Living

Spring Chapel, in Ibadan, yesterday. Photo: NAN.

ong>Stormong> ong>overong> ong>Obasanjo'song> ong>stanceong> on

‘Fulanisation' agenda

Continues from Page 5

other than what Obasanjo

said, he should share

such with a traumatised

country. If he failed to do

so, he is just being

insensitive.”

Lamido should tell us

if he now speaks for

Boko Haram –

Osuntokun

Also lampooning

Lamido, Mr. Akin

Osuntokun, a former

Political Adviser to former

President Obasanjo, said:

“If the only aspect of the

publication he read was

limited to the sensational

headlines, then he has a

point. If, however, he took

his time and settled down

to read the entirety of the

report I doubt he will

reach the same

conclusion.

“Obasanjo addressed

himself to the activities of

Boko Haram and if

Lamido has a different

understanding of the

mission of the terrorists he

should educate us on

such. He should also let

us know if he now speaks

for Boko Haram,

otherwise it is difficult to

understand the platform

he stands to play the lead

advocate of an

organisation ranked the

third most deadly terrorist

group in the world.”

Obasanjo is being

mischievous – Balarabe

Musa

Peeved by the former

president’s statement,

Alhaji Balarabe Musa,

who noted that Obasanjo

is well informed about

Boko haram insurgency

than any average

Nigerian, said: “Obasanjo

is being mischievous

because he knows about

Boko haram more than

average Nigerians. There

is nothing to show that the

insurgent group wants to

Islamise Nigeria. Why

should he say such thing

now? So, he is wrong and

a confusionist.”

Obasanjo wants to set

Nigeria on fire – Junaid

Mohammed

In like manner, Dr.

Junaid Mohammed said:

“I have no choice but to

condemn his language,

the circumong>stanceong>s and the

choice of place for such a

statement. I believe a

person, who was a

President should be very

cautious about the kind of

language to use when

addressing vital national

issues. What Obasanjo

said was a lie. His

intention is to set this

country on fire. Any time

Obasanjo looked for

something and he didn’t

get it, he used abusive

language to reduce what

he looked for. He wants to

play one section of the

country against the other.

The people being killed

are mainly Muslims in the

North and they are people

who have nothing to do

with the contentious

issues in the country.

“Every Nigerian leader

should be blamed for the

mess we found ourselves

in. We must blame in

totality, the so called

political class, who have

not handled the economy

and politics well. They

have been very divisive in

their ways. But for

Obasanjo to say that some

people are trying to

islamise anyone is wrong.

I am one of those, who

come from a family that

does not go out to convert

anyone. ‘’Clearly,

Obasanjo is lying and if

Obasanjo abuses anyone,

I will encourage the

person to revenge. I recall

that I and the late Dr. Bala

Usman had gone to

caution him not to get

involved with the Sharia

thing that was being

introduced then. We told

him to allow Muslims to

handle it, insisting that if

he got involved, a new

dimension that would not

serve the country well

would be introduced. We

even told the late Bola Ige

to caution him against it.”

Obasanjo’s warnings

should be taken

seriously – Fani-

Kayode

Berating Lamido, Fani-

Kayode, in a statement,

yesterday said:

‘’President Olusegun

Obasanjo remains the

only politically active

southern and Middle

Belt leader that

understands what is

really going on, the grave

danger that we are in and

what lies ahead. He is

deeply courageous and

his latest contribution that

there is an agenda to

Fulanise West Africa and

Islamise Africa says it all.

‘’Obasanjo needs say

no more. History and

posterity will be kind to

him for speaking the

bitter truth and saying

what almost every other

southern and Middle

Belt politician and leader

knows to be true but is too

timid and too scared to

say publicly.

‘’With his latest

contribution he has

vindicated yours truly

and many others. I saw

this coming in late 2013

and I told the world.

Nnamdi Kanu saw it

coming in 2014 and he

told the world. Asari

Dokubo saw it in 2015 and

he told the world.

‘’Afenifere, OPC,

YOLICOM, PANDEM,

MEND, the Middle Belt

Forum, the Niger Delta

Avengers, IPOB,

MASSOB and Ohaeneze

saw it in 2017 and they

told the world. The

National Christian Elders

Forum, NCEF, CAN and

the Church saw it in 2018

and they told the world.

‘’Sadly, the world

refused to listen, left us on

our own and, instead of

rising to the occasion and

confronting the evil,

Nigerians went on

bended knees to the

powers that be and acted

as if they were not

saddled with a major

problem that was bound

to eventually consume

them all. Now they know

better even though most

of them are still in denial.

‘’Now, they must live

with the consequences of

their indifference,

ignorance, cowardice and

stoicism. What a pity.

‘’ It is a tragedy of

monumental proportions

that a nation that is so

blessed

with

extraordinary human and

mineral resources should

end up going this way.

‘’ I hear one or two

people like Sule Lamido

are not too happy with

what OBJ said and have

called him out for saying

it. That is sad and

unfortunate because

Obasanjo has done more

for the core north,

Lamido’s Fulani tribe and

Nigerian unity than any

other former President or

Head of State in our

history. He also fought in

a civil war to keep the

country together.

‘’For anybody from the

core north to call him

names for speaking the

truth and baring his mind

ong>overong> what is unfolding in

Nigeria today tells you

how blinded by power,

insensitive and callous

some of these people are.

‘’It is only those that

subscribe to the

Fulanisation and

Islamisation agenda that

will criticise or oppose

Obasanjo’s observation

and describe him as “a

bigot” for making them.

What OBJ said was

timely and necessary and

millions are commending

him for it. He spoke the

truth, the whole truth and

nothing but the truth.

FG’s inability to

brand Boko Haram

terrorist group

suggests hidden

Agenda – Ohanaeze

On its part, the

Ohanaeze agreed with

Obasanjo that Boko

Haram was out to

islamise not only Nigeria

but also other West Africa

countries.

The Igbo parent body

also said the federal

gong>overong>nment did not help

matters in its refusal to

brand both Boko Haram

and Miyetti-Allah as

terrorist groups, noting

however that any further

Islamic push against

Christians in Nigeria

may lead to break up of

the country.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo

made the remarks

through the media

Adviser to the President

General of the group,

Chief Emeka Attama,

who noted that Miyetti-

Allah was not on the

same pedestal with other

ethnic nationality groups

as Afenifere or

Ohanaeze Ndigbo.

Attama said: “When the

Boko Haram started its

activities, many Ngerians

didn’t give it much

thought but with its

continued aggression,

coupled with the refusal

of the current leadership

to brand it a terrorist

organisation, it became

highly suggestive of a

hidden agenda.

“The intrusion of the

dreaded ISIS and the

seemingly half hearted

response to Boko Haram

by the Federal

gong>overong>nment makes it

more so.

“Equating the

murderous Miyetti Allah

with Afenifere and

Ohanaeze Ndigbo

further brings out the

insincerity

of

gong>overong>nment.

“Yes, Christians in

Nigeria have every

reason to suspect an

Islamic agenda. But that

certainly will be the end

of an entity known as

Nigeria.”

Obasanjo’s view not

far from the truth –

PANDEF

Also, the PANDEF said

former President

Obasanjo’s views that

Boko Haram and

herdsmen have become

tools for the Fulanization

and Islamization of

Nigeria were not far from

the truth.

Speaking with

Vanguard, National

Secretary of the South

South regional body, Dr

Alfred Mulade said:

“Looking at the matter

critically, it is not far from

the truth. We see

herdsmen as they push to

the South attacking,

sacking and taking ong>overong>

communities from

people.”

“Clearly, herdsmen

movement is part of the

Islamization process, that

is why people are

apprehensive, it is not

about trespassing people’s

land, they are

dispossessing people of

their territories with arms

and occupying them.

“It is from occupying the

places where they chased

out the original owners

that they start

Islamization. In Delta

State, herdsmen are

sacking communities and

stopping farmers from

going to their farms.

“I can tell you that it is not

a matter of selling cows or

business that they are doing.

They have a different

mission. Last time, they

kidnapped the former

Secretary to the Federal

Gong>overong>nment, Chief Olu

Falae, in Ondo state and that

is how they are kidnapping

in other states,” invoking fear

in people in preparation for

Islamisation of the country”,

he said.

Dr Mulade observed: “It

was in the news recently that

police captured some Boko

Haram infiltrators in Edo

state. So they are spreading

their tentacles, they are

already in control of certain

communities in Delta State

for inong>stanceong>, where they often

launch attack villagers,

kidnap people for ransom

and rape women.’’

He called for investigation

of the herdsmen and Boko

Haram forays into to the

southern part of the country,

saying, “The Fulanization

and Islamization thing is a

systematic affair, they know

what they are doing and

before you know, they will

ong>overong>run states and take ong>overong>

the country.”

Obasanjo now a talking

drum—Tsav

A retired Police

Commissioner, Alhaji

Abubakar Tsav said: “The

man has become a talking

drum. How can that be

possible when the attacks are

concentrated in the north?

They are attacking Muslims

and sometimes churches. I

think age is affecting his

thinking faculty.”


50 — Vanguard, MONDAY MAY 20, 2019

June 12 should be

declared MKO

Abiola Day

— Agbakoba

•Why North is afraid of

restructuring

*Dr Olisa Agbakoba, SAN

By Chris Onuoha

Former President of the

Civil Liberties

Organisation, CLO, human

and pro-democracy activist,

Dr Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, was

one of those who fought for

the actualisation of the June

12, 1993 presidential election

mandate of Chief M.K.O.

Abiola, a struggle that led to

the return of civil rule on May

29, 1999. In this chat, he

spoke on the Federal

Gong>overong>nment’s declaration of

June 12 as Democracy Day,

how to end the scourge of

insecurity afflicting the

nation, why the North is

afraid of restructuring and

how to save the country.

The Federal Gong>overong>nment

has declared June 12 as

Democracy Day instead of

May 29, and the National

Assembly has passed a bill

in that regard. As one of

those who fought for the

actualisation of June 12, how

do you feel now?

I feel very happy that it was

declared. It is an honour well

deserved for MKO Abiola,

who was the symbol of the

democratic struggle. But what

we just hope is that by next

year, rather than call it June

12, and with recognition

personally to Abiola, I am

looking forward to ‘MKO

Abiola Day’, like you have

the Martin Luther Day in

January in America. That

would be the icing on the cake

when Abiola would be

recognised personally for

the struggle he fought for in

Nigeria.

Will it be right to

celebrate true democracy

day in Nigeria looking at

the rising wave of

insecurity in the country?

It is a challenge that so

many interlocking factors

are involved. You cannot

take away the fact that the

economy is not doing very

well. Job creation is at all time

low, and particularly in the

North, where insecurity is

very high; you have millions

of almajaris who are not in

school, who have no other

means of survival. It is easy

for them to be recruited into

these criminal behaviours

we are seeing. What one

hopes in response is for

gong>overong>nment to first of all come

out with new security

architecture. To deal with

this insurrection is of utmost

importance. The security

architecture that we have

this day clearly cannot deal

with these issues.

My point is, with the high

level of unemployment,

people are idle and easily

recruited to look for trouble.

So, it is important that two

things will happen; first, the

gong>overong>nment must really do

something about the

economy. The economy is not

in a good position that will

encourage Nigerians to

engage in profitable and

good behaviour. Secondly,

even the security architecture:

- the army, police, intelligence

- is not in any way modernised

to deal with what is going on.

Our borders are porous. Al-

Qaeda that was formerly in

Libya when that country broke

up and went into crisis, came

down to Mali and from there

entered into Nigeria. And

Nigeria perhaps, is the most

vulnerable country for ISIS to

operate. As soon as their

activities stopped in the

Middle East, Nigeria

became the place they now

found solace. It also finds it

very easy to recruit cheap

labour and these guys go into

violent behaviour and they

are ready to destroy. The

response from the security

architecture is very poor.

Don’t forget the fact that

these are very poorly paid

people. So, the willingness to

respond to the security

challenge in the North is not

there.

We need to focus on our

economic recong>overong>y

programmes. Our GDP

should be at least 6 -10 per

cent a year and not at 1 per

cent. Our population has

outgrown our GDP. We are

producing six million new

babies every year and that

will not work. What should

happen is a complete new

thinking of how our economy

will work including our

defence and security policies.

Restructuring seems to

sound frightening to so

many people. Do you think

a new name should be

given to it to drive home its

point and vision?

Changing the name or

slogan will sound very good

going by what seems a

Rather than call

it June 12, and

with

recognition

personally to

Abiola, I am

looking forward

to ‘MKO Abiola

Day’, like you

have the Martin

Luther Day in

January in

America

suggestion, because I don’t

even like the word

‘restructuring’ any more.

Whether we like it or not, in

the South, to deal with

Nigeria’s problems, all

ethnic groups must agree. If

northerners do not like to hear

the word, ‘restructuring,’ then

let’s discard it and find a

better name for it. All we are

trying to do is to say the

Federal Gong>overong>nment is

exercising 98 per cent of the

power. They can give us a lot

of the power they are

exercising. They can give,

take for inong>stanceong>;

incorporation of business

names, issuance of driver's

licence, agriculture, health,

marriage, etc. Why should

the Federal Gong>overong>nment

control my marriage in the

first place? These are

basically things that can be

done at the local gong>overong>nment

level. It is not political

actually. Secondly, what is

Federal Gong>overong>nment’s

interest in construction of

River Niger and the seaport

at Onitsha? They have no

interest. Since 1978, the

Federal Gong>overong>nment has

spent ong>overong> N30 billion fixing

the Onitsha port, but not a

single ship has come there,

because the people

responsible for issuing the

contract for Onitsha port are

sitting there in Abuja doing

nothing. And they have no

idea of what is going on. Why

don’t you give it to Anambra

State Gong>overong>nment to run?

There are many ways the 36

gong>overong>nors and president can

sit and be like a draft and shift

items of power here and there.

The idea of restructuring is so

simple but we made it sound

so big and complex. We can

have the Federal Gong>overong>nment

handle defence policies,

foreign affairs, immigration

and things they can do best

for all of us. Matters of

religion are state policy. If

gong>overong>nment wants to have

Sharia in Zamfara and

maybe a Catholic in

Anambra State, it is a state

affair and should not be

federal. If you make religion

a national affair, the Moslems

will be counting how many

Christians are going on

pilgrimage and the

Christians are also counting

how many Moslems are going

on pilgrimage. If you go to

the airport, a national

monument, the Christians

build a church and moslems

build a mosque. That’s a

problem. We need to rebrand

and distribute power in

Nigeria so that the

geopolitical zones can get

stronger and rely less on the

Federal Gong>overong>nment.

Do you agree that there

should be financial

autonomy for the local

gong>overong>nment?

It is a difficult question

because if you allow that to

happen, it will be difficult to

have central economic plans

for the states. I think the

problem really is that the

gong>overong>nors as a result of

impunity ignore the local

gong>overong>nments. That can be

resolved if we create strong

institutions. Nigeria does not

have strong institutions. If

there are strong institutions,

the gong>overong>nors will not have

to behave the way they like

with the local gong>overong>nments.

In America, there are local

counties that get money

from the states but in a way

the state cannot dictate for

them. I think that the

argument about autonomy is

a bit shaky because we have

to be careful we don’t have

so many entities that

disagree with the state

gong>overong>nments and cause

confusion.

On state police

The argument about state

police is such that should not

be because the gong>overong>nors

might misuse it but my

argument is that we should

create strong institutions

that check what gong>overong>nors

can do, in order not to ride

on the local gong>overong>nments but

the gong>overong>nors must have an

ong>overong>all control of states.

The ruling All Progressives

Congress, APC, has

endorsed Senator Ahmad

Lawan for Senate Presidency

and Femi Gbajabiamila for

speakership of the House of

Representatives. What do you

continues on page 51


Vanguard, MONDAY MAY 20, 2019— 51

June 12 should be declared MKO

Abiola Day — Agbakoba

continued from page 50

think of that

especially with the

exclusion of South-

East zone?

That is the problem.

I am worried that our

concern is about